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TU making name for itself in homeland security

University spearheading more than dozen initiatives in field

TOWSON, Md. (Sept. 14, 2006)In the five years since the devastating attacks of September 11, TU has distinguished itself as a national leader in the emerging field of homeland security.

Jim Clements, (pictured, below right with President Caret), says he remembers the day several years ago when National Security Administration officials approached him about designating TU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Security and Assurance Education.

Clements, then executive director of TU's Center for Applied InformationTechnology (CAIT) and a member of the computer and information sciences faculty, says some raised doubts about

“I told them we could do it,” Clements recalls. “And we did.”

NSA reaccredited TU last year, he says, adding that of the 36 universities that sought the coveted designation, only a handful received it.

Now vice president for Economic and Community Outreach (DECO), Clements oversees an impressive array of university-wide initiatives, many funded in partnership with public agencies and corporations. 

By mid-2006, TU was spearheading more than a dozen major homeland security initiatives, including airport security analysis, cultural analysis of international terrorism, forensic chemistry, incident response management, and port security.

Clements points with pride to the TU-founded Maryland Alliance for Information Security (externally funded with more than $1 million), TU’s new online master of science program in integrated homeland security management, the Distinguished Homeland Security Speaker Series funded by alumnus Col. Edward Badolato, and emergency management mapping software developed by the Center for Geographic Information Science (CGIS).

“It’s one of the top GIS-based homeland security applications in the country,” he says of CGIS’ product. In fact, such undertakings have become so large a part of DECO that Clements is now seeking a director for a Center for Homeland Security. “We’re looking for someone who can integrate all of the homeland security-related projects going on across this campus and find the funding needed to continue the work,” he says.

“I can see Towson serving as a resource to the entire nation,” says Clements. “We’ve positioned the university very well; I think everything is working in our favor.

“Threats to our nation’s security aren’t going away, but hopefully TU will be a major source of knowledge and expertise to address the country's ongoing homeland security needs."

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