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.
April Hill, Ph.D., is a professor and program director of Criminalistics in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has conducted research on water quality analysis, forensic chemical analysis, archaeochemistry and science education for the visually impaired.
During her graduate research, Hill completed 12 flights aboard NASA’s microgravity aircraft, affectionately known as the “Vomit Comet.” She then completed a post doctorate in education and outreach at Penn State University’s Center for Nanoscale Science, where Hill developed a passion for creating hands-on science experiences for the blind. Her work in this area has been published in the Journal of Chemical Education and was awarded a ChemLuminary Award from the American Chemical Society.
As a dedicated proponent of increasing minority participation in STEM fields, Hill serves on the steering committee for MSU Denver’s CO-WY AMP Program and as the academic advisor for the Women in Science student organization. Her current research efforts include projects in archaeochemistry, chemical education for students with visual impairments and forensic chemistry. She has collaborated with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on several projects, including analyzing residues in ancient Mayan beer vessels to recreate an authentic Mayan beer and performing a demonstration of the Marsh Test for arsenic which was featured in the recent Poisons exhibit.
Hill received her doctorate in analytical chemistry and a graduate certificate of forensic science from Iowa State University in 2007. She completed her bachelor’s in chemistry and became ACS certified from Central College in Iowa in 2002.
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, 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.