By Michael Williams
A Walters State professor has received a rare and prestigious appointment to teach at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
Dr. Eric Powell will serve as visiting professor with the Homeland Defense and Security Issues Group under the Center for Strategic Leadership and Development at the military college. The appointment is for one year with an option for a renewal. Powell’s appointment began Aug. 1.
“Dr. Powell’s excellent reputation as both a scholar and instructor was the basis for his selection,” said Army Maj. Gen William E. Rapp, commandant of the Army War College.
Powell is director of Walters State’s fire science and paramedic programs. While based at the Morristown campus, he teaches at all campuses.
“Being selected by the Army War College reflects Dr. Powell’s lifelong commitment to public safety and, more specifically, homeland security. This opportunity is an honor not only for Dr. Powell, but also for Walters State and our Division of Public Safety,” said Dr. Wade B. McCamey, president of the college. “In addition to sharing his expertise, Dr. Powell will have the opportunity to learn more about homeland security policy and the military’s support of civilian authorities. That will, in turn, be shared with students, local law enforcement agencies, and public safety officials across the state,” McCamey said.
The Army War College trains senior military and civilian leadership in critical thinking, strategy and tactics, and analysis. Powell’s position will include developing and teaching courses in homeland defense and the interaction between the military and civil agencies like law enforcement. He will also participate in training exercises and be involved in cybersecurity education.
“During a time of crisis, the interaction between the military and civilian agencies is a key part of homeland defense. I am sure I will learn as much as I teach. I have a great amount of respect for my future students,” he said.
Powell expressed his gratitude to McCamey, Dr. Lori Campbell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Tim Strange, Dean of Public Safety.
“Due to their leadership, Walters State is a very forward-thinking community college. This could not happen without their support,” Powell said.
While teaching at the Army War College, Powell will also serve as an assistant editor of Homeland Defense and Civil Support Journal, a peer-reviewed journal.
In 2011, Powell became only the second educator admitted to the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security Program. He completed that program in 2012.
Powell is a graduate of Cape Fear Community College and Western Carolina University. In addition to his graduate degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, he holds a M.S. in health professions education from the Medical University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in community preparedness and disaster management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his Ph.D. in educational psychology and adult education at the University of Tennessee.
Powell also serves as a volunteer fireman with the West Hamblen County Fire Department. His previous employment includes work as a tribal paramedic in Cherokee, N.C., a flight paramedic, and EMT-Paramedic for the Tampa Bay Rays. He previously taught at Walters State from 1995-97. He returned to the college in 2009 to head the paramedic and fire safety programs.