Mark Stephenson

Mark Stephenson, MPA, is a affliate professor member in the Department of Human Services and Counseling – Fire and Emergency Response Administration program at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His areas of expertise include incident command, fire, hazardous materials, tabletop exercises and interfacing with state and federal agencies. He currently teaches Fire-Related Human Behavior, Fire Dynamics and Fire Prevention, Organization and Management.

Prior to joining MSU Denver, Stephenson worked for 36 years in fire service. He served as deputy chief, was a founding member of a hazardous-materials team and spent time as a paramedic. He served as an EMS bureau director, exercising oversight of the paramedic program. Stephenson also served as chief of planning, on-line battalion chief, shift commander and deputy chief of Administration Services. He eventually returned to the line as chief officer and finished out his last few years in fire service as battalion chief.

He is an active volunteer in the community and chairs the Aurora Federal Credit Union Board of Directors. Stephenson also serves as the chair of the Board of Directors of the Aurora Community Mental Health Center and is an active advocate for mental-health care in the community. Stephenson has been awarded the Exemplary Employee award and Citation for Actions award for working on an underground-interstate-pipeline fire.

He received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado. He also holds several specialty certificates.

Nancy Rich

Nancy Rich, M.A., is an affiliate professor in the Department of Human Services in Counseling at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her areas of expertise include psychology and counseling for first responders, trauma, crisis intervention, emotional ramifications of terrorism, first responder stress and emergency mental health. She teaches Advanced Behavioral Analysis, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma Informed Care, Trauma Resilience to Terrorism, Disaster and War, Psychopathology and the Mental Health Clinician, among others.

Rich has been teaching at the college level for 30 years. Prior to joining MSU Denver, she worked as an instructor at Red Rocks Community College, Saint Anthony’s Hospital Paramedic School, and Denver Sheriff’s Department Academy teaching a variety of subjects in criminal justice and emergency response. Rich also has years of experience in the mental health field working as a program manager and clinical supervisor for trainees. She has earned the Outstanding Contributions in the Field award from both the American Critical Incident Stress Foundation and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. She also received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Internation Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Her areas of research include mental health issues within emergency response personnel, crisis intervention, and disaster response. Rich is the author of “Critical Incident Stress: An Occupational Hazard” published in Colorado Trooper. She is the co-author of “Summer Therapeutic Program – STEP: A Hospital Alternative for Children” published in Behavior Modification Approaches To Parenting. Rich has given nearly a dozen presentations and appearances to speak on topics like The Columbine Shooting and Hurricane Katrina.

Rich earned her Master’s degree in psychology from University of Northern Colorado in 1980. She earned two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kansas – one in human development and the other in sociology – in 1971 and 1968, respectively. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor and a certified trauma specialist.

Scott Heiss

Scott Heiss is an affiliate faculty member the Department of Human Services – Fire and Emergency Response Administration program at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His areas of expertise include fire department administration, structural firefighting, incident command and fire department physical and mental wellness. He currently teaches Personnel Development for Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Prior to joining MSU Denver, Heiss served as the Division Chief of Safety and Training for the Denver Fire Department. During his time at the Denver Fire Department, he also worked as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, and assistant chief/district chief. Heiss also worked within a partnership between the Denver Fire Department and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, where he developed and taught classes on mental health awareness for those in the line of duty.

He currently serves as a member on the board of directors for Building Warriors, a mental health counseling organization for first responders. Heiss received his bachelor’s degree in education from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 1985.

Brian Bagwell

Brian Bagwell, Psy.D., is a professor in the Department of Human Services at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

He previously had a 20-year career as a firefighter/paramedic. Bagwell spent five years in New York City, part of which was spent working with a team providing psychological services to members of the New York Police Department following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. In addition to teaching, Bagwell coordinates MSU Denver’s Fire and Emergency Response Administration degree program. He is also a member of the Emergency-Preparedness Committee, a task force member of the Campus Climate Survey Committee and council member of the Service Learning Program Advisory. Bagwell received the Faculty and Staff Award for Exceptions Achievement in Community Engagement from MSU Denver in 2016.

He has presented locally and nationally on topics that include workplace violence, critical incident stress management, trauma, treating claustrophobic firefighters and perception of threat and de-escalation of violence strategies for first responders, employers and mental health clinicians.

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