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Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard to receive Honorary Doctorate Degree at Metropolitan College of New York

Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard to receive Honorary Doctorate Degree at Metropolitan College of New York Commencement – June 11, 2011

I was pleased to see this recent announcement, Dr. Blanchard has done much to support Emergency Management over the years. It is great to see him get this recognition.

Dr. Wayne Blanchard retired last fall after a 30-year career with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  He began work there on civil defense programs and steadily advanced as training coordinator, staff officer and manager of the Family Protection Program before joining the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in 1994, where he was the architect of the Emergency Management Higher Education Project. This project encourages and supports the development of degree programs at the college and university levels.

Dr. Blanchard was instrumental in the approval process for Metropolitan College of New York’s (MCNY) Master of Public Administration in Emergency and Disaster Management degree program. In June 2002, he, along with other educators, heard MCNY’s proposal first presented by Dr. Mick Maurer at the fifth FEMA Higher Education Conference in Florida. The following year, as part of the degree approval process, New York State Regents requested two “independent readers” – Dr. Blanchard was selected by MCNY’s degree development committee and invited to review the proposed program in depth. He accepted and produced an evaluation report strongly in support of MCNY’s program design, hailing it’s, “emphasis on critically integrating experience and organizational and management theories in a way that concretizes the experiential component of the academic process.”Ali Gheith, director of the MPA Program in Emergency and Disaster Management at MCNY, said the college’s degree program is the only emergency-oriented one in the country that Blanchard ever agreed to independently review. At the time, there were just 19 master’s degree programs in the country; MCNY’s became the 20th in 2004.”Dr. Blanchard has always made himself available to MCNY faculty and administration for discussions on recruitment, constructive actions, faculty development, and ethics classes. Dr. Blanchard is regarded as one of the pioneers in the field of Emergency and Disaster Management. In his honor, Metropolitan College of New York is awarding him with an honorary doctorate degree for his outstanding contributions to the field of emergency and disaster management.”

“Dr Blanchard has been a good friend, supporter and mentor to MCNY from the first time I emailed him asking to attend the 2003 FEMA Higher Education Conference, till today.  He told me in 2003 we were one of the best kept secrets of new programs being delivered.  But he soon became intimately aware of MCNY by agreeing to be one of the two Independent Readers for the application to the NY State Regents (we are the only Program to have such a review by Dr Blanchard).  He was asked by MCNY because he is such a true blend of an academic with a practitioner background.”- Dr. Michael T. “Mick” Maurer, Adjunct Professor, MPA Program in Emergency and Disaster Management at MCNY.

“Dr Blanchard’s work at FEMA is a clear example that one man can have a significant and lasting impact on America and the world.  Working on a shoestring budget, the Higher Education Program has become the global leader in encouraging and supporting teaching, research, and theory in the field of disaster management”- Scot Phelps, Professor, The Emergency Management Academy.

“Wayne Blanchard is an inspiration to many of us who entered the field of emergency and disaster management. His dedication, compassion and professionalism in the field should serve as a benchmark for future generations. I think that this honorary degree is well-deserved and long overdue. I applaud Wayne Blanchard for his lifetime advocacy and commitment to emergency and disaster management. I further commend Metropolitan College of New York for recognizing his contributions to the field”- George W. Contreras, Adjunct Professor, MPA Program in Emergency and Disaster Management at MCNY.