News

Dr. Louise Comfort accepted the 2017 B. Wayne Blanchard Award for Academic Excellence in Emergency Management in Higher Education from North Dakota State University. The award is given annually to scholars who have made contributions to the field of emergency management, a field to which Dr. Comfort has dedicated her career. 

In 2013, Prof. Louise Comfort received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a tsunami detection system in Padang, Indonesia.  As a result, Prof. Comfort’s research has led to the creation of a faster detection system to replace the more expensive buoy system, possibly adding crucial extra minutes of warning for vulnerable coastal cities.

GSPIA Professor Louise Comfort, director of the Center for Disaster Management, has received the Distinguished Citizen Award from Macalester College. The Distinguished Citizen Award recognizes alumni who have exercised leadership in civic, social, religious and professional activities. Recipients demonstrate a practical acceptance of these obligations in their lives and work. Comfort graduated from Macalester in 1956. 

By Elizabeth Moody

Bob Kitchen, director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), recently visited GSPIA to share his firsthand experience of the Syrian refugee crisis and humanitarian response with students and faculty. Drawing from his extensive on-the-ground experience, Kitchen relayed the harrowing details of refugees’ journey to Europe and IRC’s response.  Kitchen put a human face on the conflict, reminding the audience how quickly the situation had deteriorated and that until recently, Syrians led very similar lives to many Americans. 

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