Our Emergency Management Faculty

Below are the University of New Haven faculty members that teach online in our Master’s of Science in Emergency Management.

Wayne Sandford

M.A., Sacred Heart University, 2003

Wayne Sandford joined the University of New Haven as full-time faculty in 2010 after teaching as an Adjunct professor since 1984. He holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies and a BS in Fire Engineering. Mr. Sandford has robust experience in Emergency Management including serving as the Deputy Commissioner of State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He also served as Fire Chief of East Haven, CT, and as the State Fire Administrator for Connecticut and the Director of Fire Training. Finally, Mr. Sandford was appointed to the Sandy Hook Commission by Governor Malloy.

Today Mr. Sandford manages the Emergency Management program at the University and teaches in the Fire Science program both undergraduate and graduate levels as well as the Emergency Management program. He teaches courses in Fire Hydraulics, Fire Management Ethics, Emergency Management Planning and Emergency Management Recovery, Business Continuity Crisis Management.


Peter Struble, M.P.A.

M.P.A., University of New Haven, 2007

Peter Struble was a member of the Wallingford Fire Department in CT for 35 years. He spent the last 13 years as the department’s fire chief. Upon retiring from the fire department he joined the faculty at the University of New Haven Fire Science Department. While teaching at the University of New Haven he has developed a course in Strategic Planning for the Fire Service at the graduate level and introduced the first emergency medical services courses.  His current work responsibilities for the University of New Haven are coordination and management of an undergraduate college level paramedicine program. He has an expertise in Emergency Medical Services at the Paramedic transport level and organizational leadership. He is experienced in a both unionized and volunteer labor environments with the ability to create collaborative relationships.

Chief Struble holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York in Fire Service Management, a Master’s Degree from the University of New Haven in Public Administration and is a recognized national speaker in fire and emergency medical services. His credentials include designation as a Chief Fire Officer and Chief Medical Officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

Dr. Rachel Dowty Beech

Dr. Rachel Dowty Beech designed low-impact crude oil bioremediation methods for her master’s thesis, taught biology, chemistry, zoology, environmental science, sociology, and service-learning courses before earning her Ph.D. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After receiving her Ph.D., she served a post-doc with the National Science Foundation designing ways to study organizational culture in disaster response. She was the director of the Disaster Science and Management Program at Louisiana State University for six years, where she designed and taught many face-to-face and online courses in emergency and disaster management.


Katherine McCormack, RN MPH MEP

Katherine McCormack was the Director of Public Health Nursing, City of Waterbury; the Director of Health for the City of Hartford for eight years, and the Director of Emergency Management for the City of Hartford for eight years.

Ms. McCormack is an accomplished healthcare executive.  Her leadership strengths include the development of multiorganization coalitions, crisis management to include bioterrorism threats and operations management, department and fiscal restructuring and oversight.  Her funding applications on behalf of the City of Hartford secured awards that included the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).  Ms. McCormack is currently the volunteer Director of the Capitol Region Medical Reserve Corps and the CT MRC Liaison for the Department of Public Health’s statewide Medical Reserve Corps program.  She has  consulted with Tetra Tech as an exercise controller/evaluator for six years and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Haven, Emergency Management Masters Program.

Ms. McCormack serves on multiple boards and committees and is active in the CT Emergency Management Association (CEMA) and the International Emergency Management Association (IAEM) serving as secretary/treasurer of Region I.


Jamie Caplan

Jamie Caplan is President of Jamie Caplan Consulting LLC (JCC). JCC provides comprehensive emergency management planning services for all phases of disaster management, including mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Ms. Caplan has been working in emergency management for over 20 years. Mitigation planning is at the forefront of Ms. Caplan’s expertise and focus. She has vast experience developing mitigation plans for unique jurisdictions such as the Territory of American Samoa and multiple Native American Tribes.

Ms. Caplan was the Prime Contractor for Connecticut’s South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan for ten jurisdictions in South Central Connecticut.  Ms. Caplan completed a multi-hazard risk assessment for the University of Massachusetts Amherst and assisted the Pioneer Valley Regional Planning Commission with the university’s mitigation plan.  Finally, Ms. Caplan worked with FEMA Headquarters to develop mitigation-planning guidance documents and a mitigation-planning course.

Diane Ifkovic

Diane Ifkovic has been employed at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) since October 1999 within the Land and Water Resources Division, Flood Management Program.  As the State National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Coordinator, Ms. Ifkovic serves as the liaison between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and municipalities to reduce flood losses and mitigate natural hazards.

She conducts community outreach meetings to promote wise floodplain management and ensure compliance with the minimum federal NFIP standards.  Other duties include performing local ordinance and regulation reviews for compliance with minimum federal requirements, conducting training workshops for municipal officials, publishing an electronic newsletter, assisting municipalities and regional planning agencies in preparing hazard mitigation plans, and assisting community officials and residents following a disaster declaration.

Ms. Ifkovic also participates in the state’s Long Term Recovery Task Force and on the Connecticut Interagency Hazard Mitigation Committee.  She has also served on the state’s Drought Task Force and is a member of the board of directors for the Connecticut Association of Flood Managers (CAFM).  She is also an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven, teaching an online floodplain management class for their masters in emergency management program.


Richard Fontana, Jr., M.S

Richard Fontana is currently Director at the City of New Haven, Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security where he has been for the past 10 years. He retired from the West Haven Fire Department after spending over 30 years as a Paramedic and Career Firefighter with 2 departments including a Lead Firefighter & Shift Commander for the Sikorsky Aircraft Fire Department. His time now is spent preparing for, and responding to major emergency incidents in New Haven, and also serves as an Operations Section Chief for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security Region 1,2&5 Incident Management Team.

Mr. Fontana earned his Fire Science Administration Degree from the University of New Haven and went on to earn a Masters Degree in National Security and Public Safety also from the University of New Haven. Mr. Fontana is appointed to serve on the FEMA Region 1 Regional Advisory Committee with the states of CT, MA, RI, ME, NH, and VT.

Mr. Fontana currently serves as the ESF-5 Chair of the Region 2 Steering Committee under the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency. He further serves as the Region 2 ESF -20 Port Security Chair.

Additionally, Mr. Fontana is a Governor appointed Fire Commissioner for the CT Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. Fontana was nominated and selected in 2013 to represent the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and is serving his second 3-year term.


William Austin

William Austin served as the fire chief of West Hartford, Connecticut from December 1996 until his retirement on July 30, 2011. He has since formed his own consulting practice, The Austin Group, LLC, assisting both government and corporate clients in leadership, emergency management, and homeland security issues.

Chief Austin is also the retired fire chief of Tampa, Florida, and has more than 35 years of experience in fire, emergency medical and emergency management services. In addition, he is a retired Command Sergeant Major from the United States Army with 40 years’ active and reserve service. He holds national certifications as Chief Fire Officer, Homeland Security Expert, and at the full Member level from the Institution of Fire Engineers.


Douglas Glowacki

Douglas Glowacki worked with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Inland Water Resources Division from 1998 to 2005. Mr. Glowacki administered the Connecticut Automated Flood Warning System and was project manager of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  He also served as the Deputy State Hazard Mitigation Officer and Co-Chairman of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Review Committee for 13 years. Mr. Glowacki also served as secretary to the Committee on Automated Flood Warning.

In 2003 Mr. Glowacki became the State Hazard Mitigation Officer and became the program leader of the Flood Management Section within the Department of Environmental Protection.

He has authored two quarterly newsletters; Alert/Flows Inc. User News, and the Alert News. He is also the author of the Connecticut Section 322 Disaster Response Plan and the Operational Guide for the Automated Flood Warning System.

In 2005 Mr. Glowacki accepted a position with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) as an Emergency Management Program Specialist.  Doug’s duties include the administration of over $20 million dollars in 3 major programs which cover almost every town and city in Connecticut.  Doug continues to provide detailed weather data and forecasts for DEMHS when severe storms are forecast, and he also works with the Connecticut Attorney Generals office as an expert witness for weather-related cases involving the State of Connecticut.


Ronald Kanterman

Ronald Kanterman is currently the Fire Chief for the Town of Wilton, Connecticut Fire Department. He entered the fire service in 1975 in Brooklyn, New York and then took a position in 1989 as the Assistant Chief and then Chief of Fire Protection for a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. In 2008, he was promoted to Chief of Public Safety. Then, in 2009 he took the position of Fire Chief/Fire Marshal for the Mohegan Tribal Nation in South Eastern Connecticut.

Chief Kanterman has been published over 175 times and contributes to Fireengineering.com regularly through his blog page known as “Chief Kanterman’s Journal” as well as Fire Engineering magazine. He hosts a monthly radio show on Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio with his partner Tom Aurnhammer, known as “The Back Step Boys.”

Chief Kanterman owns his own training company and travels the country each year teaching a myriad of classes and subjects for local fire departments, county, and state associations and at national conferences.


Mark Amatrudo, MBA, CPA

Mark Amatrudo is a seasoned executive as well as being an active chief fire officer. He held senior executive management positions with a number of publicly-held companies before focusing his efforts on consulting for first responder product companies and now serving as a career Deputy Fire Chief Emergency Management Director.

For more than 10 years, Mr. Amatrudo ran a consulting firm serving companies that manufacture products for first responders. In 2005, he accepted a position as a career Deputy Fire Chief and has held that position since then, splitting his time between that role and continuing to consult for first responder product companies.

Mr. Amatrudo has received various recognitions and a number of awards, including Connecticut Fire Instructor of the Year, New England Emergency Manager of the year, Holmatro “Golden Pin” Rescue Award and the Exchange Club of Connecticut Hero Award. In 2015, he was appointed Chairman of the Connecticut Citizen Corps Council, which oversees over 100 Community Emergency Response Teams and Medical Reserve Corps Units throughout the State.

Mr. Amatrudo is a chief fire officer, MBA, CPA and has achieved the highest level of national fire officer certification. Lastly, he is a renowned instructor, university lecturer and the author of two public safety related books.