DJ Phalen

DJ's picI have a very eclectic background…but there is a method to the madness. After serving in the Navy in the early 90’s, I began my civilian journey working in healthcare; as an EMT, ER Technician, as clinic/hospital leadership, and finally rounding out my healthcare career working as a partner in human resources.  Along the way I have also trained/served and had the opportunity to work along with some of the Nation’s finest as a medic and technical rescue specialist with a sheriff’s department, as a medic with a federal disaster medical/DMAT team, as a firefighter/EMT, and as a member of a county Medical Reserve Corp (MRC).  Ultimately, I have made a career out of helping others, and it has been a rewarding experience every day.

I have also worked in a fusion center, contracted as a consultant and subject matter expert for private, state, and federal agencies refining programs and doing course reviews of new and existing training courses, served as the hospital counterterrorism advisor/trainer for a private security contractor/organization, and continue to serve in several working groups and committees as well as regularly contribute to several peer-reviewed professional journals, newsletters, and blogs in the terrorism/counterterrorism and emergency management communities.

During my career, I also decided to reinforce many years of “in the trenches experience” with traditional, solid academics.  Having started my college career with a strong interest in biology and psychology, I gradually shifted into the areas of studies that I felt most reflected both my experience and passions for serving and helping others and completed a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with honors and then went on to complete a Master in Homeland Security with honors.

Ultimately, I also learned that I had developed a strong passion for teaching.  I started out with teaching CPR and other healthcare skills, martial arts and self-defense (eventually becoming the United States Muay Thai Association State Director for South Dakota and the State Representative for California), teaching and training disaster and emergency management concepts, training search and rescue medics, co-hosting a wilderness and travel medicine TV show and podcast series, teaching corporate leadership courses, and then finally, turned a part-time teaching position in homeland security into a full-time professor and program director position at two (sister) universities. 

On the personal side…in my free time (which is rare these days) I still love to hike, bike, trail-run, and camp. I also continue to study and train in martial arts.

Please feel free to contact me anytime at: