For many college students, finding a relevant degree program that will be utilized in a career can be a challenge.
For Louisiana State University of Alexandria student John Perez, his curriculum in Disaster Science and Emergency Management is currently assisting in his day-to-day operations as the Captain of the Administrative Operations Division at the Martin County Sheriff’s Office in South Florida.
“All of my classes are relevant. What I have learned and the projects we have had to complete all have real-life applications that I use on a daily basis,” said Perez.
Perez has been with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office since 2003. He has worked in a variety of positions including road patrol, detective, sergeant, etc. Upon promotion to Captain of the Administrative Operations Division, he took on the role as Emergency Management Coordinator in 2019. His first major disaster in this role was Hurricane Dorian, a category 5 storm that clipped the eastern Florida coast.
“I realized I wanted to learn more. I decided to go back to school and get a degree in Disaster Science Management. I researched schools and decided LSUA was the place for me to go. I am so glad I made this decision. I can’t say enough about everyone at LSUA. The professors, the staff, they have all been amazing,” Perez said.
Through his coursework, Perez has completed numerous case studies regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, tsunamis, and many other disasters. All of these have helped him understand the thought process from preparation, how to respond, and even prevention.
For his practicum class this semester, Perez completed and presented a project that was not only graded for class, but that he will submit for his current work.
“My capstone project was an After Action Report for my agency’s response to COVID-19. It was helpful to get feedback from my professors, so I know that when I turn it in for my job, I have had a tremendous amount of feedback and know that is well thought out,” he said.
Perez will graduate with his degree next year and plans to continue utilizing the material in his daily duties and responsibilities.
“My experience at LSUA has been amazing. I can’t thank my professors enough. Dr. Kerry Ordes has gone above and beyond and has been extremely accommodating. There has not been one time yet where I have not been happy with a class or professor. This has been a great experience.”