Homeland security thesis by OSEA member Susan Graves published

OSEA’s own Sue Graves received a Masters of Arts degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security on March 30. The Naval Postgraduate School officially released her thesis on June 8 to the Homeland Security Digital Library.

Graves, a member of Lincoln County Chapter 19 as well as the school district’s safety coordinator, was one of 29 students to participate in the ceremony held in Monterey, Calif.

“I feel honored and humbled to have participated in this degree program,” Graves said. “It was a challenging and stretching season of learning, collaborating and expanding the way I think. The colleagues in my cohort represent all different sectors of the ‘homeland security enterprise” … to learn alongside and from these exceptional people was a real treat.”

During the 18-month online and in-residence program, she collaborated with homeland security officials from across the country on policy, strategy and organizational design challenges. Graduates were required to write a thesis pertinent to their current employment. Graves’ thesis was titled “Early Warning: A Strategy to Prevent Injuries and Loss or Life During Active Shooter Attacks on K-12 Schools.”

According to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s website, the degree provides leaders with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Develop policies, strategies, plans and programs to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States and reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism and catastrophic events
  • Build the organizational and interagency arrangements needed to strengthen homeland security
  • Help mayors, governors, other elected officials and federal leaders improve homeland security preparedness by developing actionable policies and strategies.

Graves has served as the Lincoln County School District’s safety coordinator for 17 years.  Over the years, she has become a nationally recognized expert in school safety. She has been a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students for the past 10 years and, in 2014, she became OSEA’s representative on the Oregon Task Force on School Safety, which was created by the Legislature in the aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Clackamas Town Center. One of the biggest accomplishments of the task force was the creation of the SafeOregon tip line, which launched last year.

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