SJU Launches Center for Domestic Leadership and Preparedness

Monday, November 5, 2012

The College of Professional and Liberal Studies (CPLS) at Saint Joseph’s University has relaunched the former Early Responders Distance Learning Center (ERDLC) as the newly enhanced Center for Domestic Leadership and Preparedness (CDLP) to better meet the demands both regionally and nationally to prevent and respond to disasters of all kinds.

CPLS and SJU provide an essential foundation to offer not-for-credit training and certification for public and private sector professionals in leadership roles who are responsible for ensuring safety for their respective agencies and organizations. Building on the history, reputation and established relationships of the former ERDLC as a regional leader in crisis training, the new CDLP will provide:

  • Certificate programs and not-for-credit training to professionals in the general public on subjects relative to domestic preparedness for hazards including prevention, planning, response and recovery.
  • A training and educational resource to government and private agencies as well as sustained operations and commitment to existing clients.
  • Identification and discussion of emerging threats through forums and summits that promote ethical, safe, and effective leadership during emergencies and critical situations.

CPLS Dean Paul DeVito, Ph.D., and Associate Dean Patricia Griffin ’81 (M.A.), serve as co-directors for the Center. Upper Darby Deputy Fire Chief, who serves on several regional and federal Homeland Security Committees, Timothy Boyce will coordinate outreach programs and special events with DeVito and Griffin, facilitating research and training in domestic preparedness.

“Thanks to the vast knowledge base and subject matter expertise at Saint Joseph’s University, Aramark Corporation has successfully developed an Annual Preparedness Exercise that tests organizational readiness capabilities to ensure the safety of our people and protection of our brand and image,” said Marc S. Liciardello, MBA, CFM, CM, vice president, Corporate Services, ARAMARK.

“Established and emerging public safety professionals in the public and private sectors need a wide variety of training experiences to provide solid leadership in the face of any natural or human-caused disaster,” said Ed Atkins, director, Chester County Department of Emergency Services. “The experts at the Center will continue the Saint Joseph’s tradition of providing outstanding ethics-based leadership training while expanding opportunities for certificate-documented training.”

In addition to Aramark Services, enduring clients of the Center include the District Attorney’s Office of Delaware County, U.S. Liability Insurance, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, VPIS and the National Catholic Conference.

“Saint Joseph’s University’s Center for Domestic Leadership and Preparedness has helped advance the mission of the Jesuit Conference and other Catholic institutions both nationally and internationally.  The Center’s work provides an excellent experience of educating religious personnel on contemporary issues,” said Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J., President, Jesuit Conference of the United States.

The measures developed and implemented by those who have participated in CDLP training have led ground-breaking initiatives that have protected vital business lines, promoted community building and protected the lives of thousands. 

“The CDLP recognizes and values the public and private partnerships forged with corporate and regional leaders who are forward-thinking in their approach to meeting the contemporary challenges of providing security for our local, regional and national communities,” said Griffin. “Our main purpose and mission at the CDLP is to provide the continuing training and networking opportunities to support the immense work of our valued partners.”

The work and accomplishments of the Center since its beginning in 1999 have been appreciable on several fronts.  Beyond providing service and support to the women and men in emergency response and law enforcement fields  during periods of extreme and historic levels of crisis, attracting extramural funding in excess of $12 million, it has been at the forefront of developing new and emergent techniques in distance learning. 

“It is my hope that these advanced techniques, including shareable learning content, interactive knowledge checks and individually adaptive learning procedures will soon become the norm of distance-learning courses offered by Saint Joseph’s University,” said DeVito.

For more information about the CDLP, contact CPLS at 610-660-1267.



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