For Immediate Release
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GCU Launches New Master’s Program in Homeland Security

Lakewood, N.J., Nov. 5, 2010—Georgian Court University’s new M.S. in Homeland Security program reflects the country’s growing need for experts who understand how to combat global terrorism, organized crime, and international corruption.

“We’re seeing a re-emphasis on criminal justice as a result of living in a post-9/11 world, and a realization that we’re not as secure as we thought we were,” says Robert Louden, Ph.D., director of the new homeland security master’s program, which is accepting students for its launch in January 2011.

The 36-credit curriculum covers a range of current issues—the intelligence process, computer applications, hostage negotiation, emergency preparedness and response, and the informal and formal money transfer systems that often fund terrorism—that homeland security professionals face daily. The rigorous program also requires GCU students to complete courses that examine the psychological and sociological aspects of disaster and terror; legal issues in homeland security management; and leadership and policy analysis, among other classes.

The need for such a program mirrors the growing demand for homeland security professionals. It is a field that, in part, is being fueled by public and private sector emphasis on safeguarding the nation’s infrastructure—economic systems, banking, physical buildings, and computers and other technology.

“That translates into increased coordination and cooperation between law enforcement, government and business,” says Dr. Louden, a former chief hostage negotiator for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) who has led the criminal justice program at Georgian Court since 2005.

Students earning the new Master of Science in Homeland Security degree will also learn from Divya Sharma, Ph.D., an associate professor of criminal justice and homeland security.

“Since 9/11, we’ve seen too many linear and simplistic explanations,” she says.”In fact, they’re more sound bite than systematic studies. As more universities offer these programs and do research, they will be able to present the big picture.”

Dr. Sharma, most recently a visiting associate professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York Institute of Technology, is also an expert on the world’s informal banking systems, terrorism funding, economic and white collar crimes, and the many ways immigration and cultural identity impact terrorist behavior.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves nearly 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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