Faculty and Staff

JSU Emergency Management Educators are Leaders in the Field

Students in Emergency Management programs benefit from the dedication and expertise of a faculty and staff who have more than 200 years of combined experience.  All professors and instructors hold doctorate and/or master degrees and many have hands-on experience in their field outside of academia, uniquely qualifying them to teach Emergency Management courses.


Tanveer Islam
Tanveer Islam, PhD, CFM
Department Head


Belinda Chitwood
Ms. Belinda Chitwood
Administrative Assistant

256-782-5925  bchitwood@jsu.edu 

Alessandra Jerolleman, PhD
Doctoral Program Director


Shih-Kai Huang (Sky), PhD
Assistant Director, Doctoral Program

Denise DaSilva
Denise DaSilva, MPA
Academic Advisor, BS & MS Programs



Education Specialization/Research Interests

kushma2Jane Kushma

Ph.D. 2001 - University of Texas at Arlington

  • Emergency Management Policy
  • Disaster Management
  • Nonprofit organizations and volunteer management
  • Service learning

Bill3Bill Lowe

D.B.A. 2000 - Nova Southeastern University
  • Homeland Security
  • Terrorism
  • Response 
  • Mitigating, Preventing, Responding, and Recovering from Active Shooters Incidents

Tanveer Islam
Tanveer Islam

Ph.D. 2006 - Texas Tech University
  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Community Resilience
  • Social Media
  • GIS applications
Associate Professors

SkyShih-Kai Huang

Ph.D. 2014 - Texas A & M University
  • Risk Perception
  • Risk Communication
  • Warning Response
  • Cross-national Comparisons in Disaster Research
  • Quantitative Research Method

jerollemanAlessandra Jerolleman

Ph.D. 2013 - University of New Orleans
  • Privatization of Emergency Management
  • Disaster Resilience
  • Hazard Mitigation

Van SlykeJeff Van Slyke

ED.D 2007 - University of Texas
  • Response
  • Terrorism
  • Campus Safety
  • Homeland Security
  • Threat Assessment
Assistant Professors

newtonAllison Newton

Ed.D. 2017 - University of Alabama
  • Student Veteran issues e.g. transitioning to civilian life, etc.
  • Hazard Mitigation and Recovery Issues to include Federal/State Mitigation Programs and Emergency Relief
  • The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project

WangChongming Wang

Ph.D 2016 - Pennsylvania State University
  • Evacuation Behaviors & Preparedness
  • Vulnerability of Elderly Populations
  • GIS Applications in Social Science

FahadFahad Rabbani
  Assistant Professor


Ph.D 2021 - University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Climate Change Vulnerability
  • GIS & Remote Sensing
  • Coastal Resiliency
  • Computational Hydrology
  • Machine Learning and Big Data
  • Sustainable Smart Cities

OlsonLaura Olson
  Visiting Professor


Ph.D 2012 - George Washington University
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Disaster Recovery

Emeritus Faculty

coxA. Barry Cox
IEP Director Emeritus

Ph.D 1968 - University of South Carolina
  • Safety and Environmental Health Issues
  • Hazardous Materials Management

RyanJeff Ryan
Professor Emeritus

Ph.D 1996 - North Carolina State University
  • Public Health Preparedness
  • Biosecurity
  • Military Role in Disaster Response

Distinguished Affiliate Professor/Affiliate Faculty

David McEntireDavid McEntire
Distinguished Affiliated Professor


Ph.D 2000 - University of Denver
  • Emergency Management Theory
  • Vulnerability Reduction
  • Community Preparedness
  • Response Coordination
  • International Disasters
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security

BalilajArjola Balilaj

Ph.D 2020 - Florida Atlantic University
  • Diversity
  • Mediation & Conflict Resolution
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Budgeting and Management

David ThorntonDavid Thornton

Ph.D 2008 - Auburn University
  • Serious Games
  • Gamification
  • Multimodal and Speech-enabled Interfaces
  • Human-Computer Interaction

Adjunct Faculty

DaSilvaDenise DaSilva

MPA/EM 2002 - Jacksonville State University
  • Social dimensions of disaster
  • Preparedness and planning

gaddyJonathan Gaddy

MA/Security Studies 2016 - Naval Postgraduate School
  • Policy and strategy in homeland security/emergency management
  • Emerging trends and challenges in disaster preparedness and response
  • The role of science and technology in man-made and natural hazards
  • Novel applications of leadership/management/program development models in public sector

harperRhonda Harper

MA/EM 2012 - American Public University
  • Public Safety Telecommunications
  • Disaster Operations
  • Clinical Incident Stress Management -Crisis Negotiations

JonesAndre Jones

Ph.D 2021 - Walden University
  • Management Systems in Disaster
  • Major Incident Response
  • Emergency Operations Center Management 

McFallMatthew McFall

MS 2014 - Jacksonville State University
  • Business and Academic Continuity
  • Cyber Security
  • Risk Perceptions 

McGriffBrad McGriff

MS 2007 - Jacksonville State University
  • Cyber Security
  • Computer Systems & Software Design 

ManningScott Manning

D.Sc. 2017 - Jacksonville State University
  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership Theory and Organizational Behavior
  • Homeland Security Planning and Preparedness

rothmanEugene Rothman

MS/EM 2013 - Jacksonville State University
  • Public Safety
  • Response

LAMSLaura Ann Martin Sullins

MA in Communication Management 2014 - University of Alabama at Birmingham

MA in English 2006 - Jacksonville State University

  • Technical Writing
  • Interpersonal Communications

ManningMary "Kay" Vonderschmidt

D.Sc. 2017 - Jacksonville State University
  • Healthcare Emergency Management
  • Medical Surge
  • Social Vulnerability
  • Disaster Modeling