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APUS Appoints Dr. Chris Reynolds Dean of the Center for Teaching and Learning

Dr. Tom Phelan Succeeds Reynolds as Program Director, Emergency and Disaster Management and Fire Science

Charles Town, W.Va., August 12, 2010 – American Public University System (APUS) today announced the appointment of Dr. Chris Reynolds as dean of its Center for Teaching and Learning. Reynolds will oversee the center’s long-standing efforts to improve student learning through teaching excellence and provide support and resources for faculty to be scholarly, innovative, and effective. He previously served as program director for APUS’s award-winning Emergency and Disaster Management program.

The Center for Teaching and Learning serves as a resource center for APUS faculty members to access professional development materials, view development and training opportunities, share best practices and lessons learned, and participate in forum discussions on current research and teaching topics. It also provides students with a variety of online resources that help set them up for success, including ways to improve study skills, research strategies, time management tips, available online tutoring, and tactics to improve writing skills.

“The continuing enhancement of the center is in keeping with our standing commitment to excellence in delivering and measuring the effectiveness of online education,” said APUS President and CEO Dr. Wallace E. Boston.  “Chris has done a remarkable job in leading the Emergency and Disaster Program to this high standard, and we look forward to him sharing his success and best practices with all of our faculty in his new role.”

Reynolds, who holds degrees in Public Safety Administration and a doctorate in education, developed both the undergraduate and graduate emergency management curriculum for APUS's American Military University (AMU). He also developed the largest APUS social networking group on LinkedIn, "Masters of Disaster", and hosts a monthly show, "Issues and Trends in Emergency Management and Homeland Security" on AMU Radio.

Reynolds is a retired Shift Commander/Division Chief with Hillsborough County Fire & Rescue, one of the busiest engine and rescue companies in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force Reserve and veteran of the war on terror, having served in the Afghanistan and Pakistan theaters. Most recently, he coordinated the aeromedical airlift of Haitian casualties into South Florida in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake.

In related news, Dr. Tom Phelan will assume Reynolds’ prior role as program director for APUS’s Emergency and Disaster Management and Fire Science program, which offers both degree and certificate programs in how to establish command and control, coordinate communication, evacuate citizens, and perform clean-up in any type of disaster situation. Students and alumni hold positions across a diverse set of industries and are leaders in the field, including Fire Fighting, Emergency Medical Service (EMS), Local, State, and Federal Government Emergency Management, Disaster Relief, and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“I’m very pleased to assume oversight of our Center for Teaching and Learning, which fully  embodies our core mission of providing affordability, accessibility and quality in online higher education,” said Reynolds. “I do so knowing that Tom is an outstanding educator and leader who will help bring even further success to our Emergency and Disaster Management program.”

As president of Strategic Teaching Associates, Dr. Phelan's work has focused on educational preparation of emergency managers. Previously an adjunct graduate instructor of emergency management for Elmira College, he is the author of Emergency Management and Tactical Response Operations: Bridging the Gap (2008, Butterworth-Heinemann) and was named a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by Secretary Tom Ridge. His current research agenda includes creating a comprehensive glossary for business continuity, emergency management and homeland security, and investigating funding sources for healthy practices to reduce heart disease in firefighters.