Arkansas State University
fax (870) 972-3069
Links to News Releases
Public activities at ASU
Faculty and Staff
Dr. Debbie Persell is first graduate of Homeland
Security Nursing program
June 12, 2008 --
Dr. Debbie Persell,
associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions,
recently became the first
of the new Homeland Security Nursing program at the University of
Tennessee in Knoxville.
She received her doctorate in May and is the only one of three doctoral
the program with the homeland security concentration.
The innovative program is the only nursing curriculum in the nation
which addresses disaster response training and was initiated to prepare
nurse leaders, managers and clinical nursing specialists to organize a
response agenda to disasters
which involve mass casualties.
Dr. Persell views the academic program as global in nature,
and she presented at
conferences in Amsterdam and Japan involving concept
development on standardized nursing language and disaster education.
the program in its first year in 2005, the New Orleans area was struck
by Hurricane Katrina. The devastation left a lasting impression on Dr.
Persell, and she based her dissertation on disaster response by
faith-based groups in New Orleans.
“As part of the research process, I volunteered with a faith-based
disaster response team and then interviewed residents of New Orleans,
staff and administrators, as well as volunteers with the faith-based
organization,” said Dr. Persell.
Dr. Persell is the coordinator for the disaster life support
regional training center and teaches courses in homeland security and
emergency management at ASU.