Today@Sam Article

Homeland Security Institute Names New Executive Director

Dec. 14, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Michael Aspland headshotBy Victor Henson II

The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University is pleased to announce the arrival of its inaugural executive director of the Homeland Security Institute, Michael Aspland.

The newly developed Homeland Security Institute began with a proposal to the Texas State legislature. Nadav Morag, Department Chair of Security Studies, drafted the document highlighting gaps between government and private industry in four critical infrastructure areas: Transportation, Energy, Chemical, and Healthcare (TECH). The state legislature approved this proposal and granted the institute $5 million over the next two years. The institute will address these vulnerabilities through dedicated research to provide critical information on the safety of these vital infrastructures. The first step in its launch was to hire an executive director to help lay the foundation of the Homeland Security Institute.

Aspland, who has 34 years of government experience in law enforcement, homeland security and infrastructure protection says he looks forward to applying his professional background and experience toward an immediate impact on the security of the TECH sectors.

 “We will continue the work we accomplished at SHSU to serve Texas and the greater Houston area,” Aspland said. “Our goal is to build strategic partnerships that improve our resiliency, security and continuity of service specific to protecting our critical infrastructures.”

In partnership with the Security Studies Department, the institute will manage an educational certificate program in partnership with directly affected private industries that will serve to grow professional knowledge and expertise on threats to these infrastructures. The Homeland Security Institute will focus on research exploring areas of vulnerability, evaluating the impact of policies and procedures, and giving corporations an overview of what these threats look like. Though the certificate program is geared to help professionals in the homeland security field, SHSU students will have access to these programs as a part of their undergraduate degree plan. Initiatives like this will produce better-prepared students as they enter the job market. Aspland facilitates an Advisory Board to the Homeland Security Institute with representatives from the different infrastructure sectors with the goal of developing a well-rounded agenda, addressing TECH constituent’s needs.

The Homeland Security Institute is ready to impact the field by improving public and private entities while focusing on student success. Aspland looks forward to advancing various infrastructures while serving as the executive director of the institute by launching new initiatives that directly impact the future of the homeland security sector.

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