People who know Chris Noll, a recent graduate of Immaculata University, are likely not surprised that he earned a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Planning and Management. He is following in the footsteps of both of his parents, who have volunteered with disaster response organizations.
Noll has served his community and his country throughout his lifetime. In addition to serving in the Army during the war in Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011, he is also a volunteer firefighter for Station 7 of the Wissahickon Fire Company near his Montgomery County home.
While earning his associate degree in emergency management at a community college, Noll secured an internship with the Montgomery County Division of Emergency Management. His supervisor recommended Immaculata’s bachelor’s program — one of the few emergency management bachelor’s degrees in the region.
The nuances of this program offer expanded experience.
“There have been a lot of different aspects of emergency management that I learned at Immaculata, which were a little surprising that I did not learn before,” Noll said.
During his final semester at Immaculata, Noll was inducted into the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society, dedicated to homeland security, emergency management, and all protective services disciplines. He admits that he was surprised to be among the inductees, but ultimately felt appreciative that his academic achievements were recognized.
Noll rated his experience at Immaculata as excellent. He took classes both online and on campus. He felt supported by his professors and made friends with his classmates, whom he hopes to connect with as professionals in the industry.
“Chris has been an outstanding student in the EPM program, and his perseverance and resilience have been particularly inspiring,” said Dr. George M. Schwartz, who taught Noll in many of his classes.
Working as the security manager for a small pharmaceutical manufacturing and research/development company in Chester County, Noll is seeking an emergency management position with one of the many federal agencies — ideally with the Department of Defense. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for emergency management professionals is projected to grow four percent as the importance of preparing for and minimizing the risks from emergencies will help sustain demand and employment. Emergencies related to weather, terrorism, infrastructure, public health, and cybersecurity are constant and evolving threats for emergency managers.
Noll understands that the future of emergency management will continue to change and adapt as the threats and disasters evolve.
“The threats we face today will be different than what we face tomorrow and different than what we have seen in the past,” he said.
No matter the challenges, Noll feels prepared and excited to enter the emergency management field and help his fellow Americans — something that is ingrained in him.