By Jessica Spencer

“After 9/11 this field of study is one of great need,” Daniel Wingler said.Wingler, a sophomore, is double majoring in fire, arson and bomb explosion investigation and homeland security.

“Being a fire, arson and bomb explosion investigation major made me want to do something with the government. Homeland security seemed to fit,” Wingler said. Homeland security is a new addition to Eastern’s list of majors. The program is designed to provide students with the basic knowledge that is necessary to protect from threats to people’s safety and security. Barbara Garrison, a freshman, said she decided to declare homeland security as her second major because she “loves adrenaline.”

“I love to be on the edge and trying new things,” Garrison said. “I do not want to be in the office or behind a desk. I want to be out doing things to help people.”

Garrison is also double majoring in fire arson and bomb explosion investigation. Garrison said classes such as disaster recovery and weapons of mass destruction hazardous material get her blood pumping.

Another reason Garrison said she chose this field of study was because she wanted to prove that it was not just a male field. “Feminist weakness is just a stereotype,” Garrison said. “I’m a female and I’m not weak, and I am going to prove it.” Wingler said students have a tendency to underestimate the amount of work that goes into homeland security classes. “It is a lot harder than you think and what you learn in these classes you use out in the field,” Wingler said. “A lot of people get into the field because they think it sounds cool. Once they get in and realize what they have to do, they get overwhelmed.”

Wingler encourages students looking into Homeland Security to be on top of things and prepare for the work. “It’s a lot of work, but it is worth it if it is something you have a passion for,” Garrison said.

Senior homeland security major Rodney Pratt said the turning point in planning his future was the attack on Sept. 11. After college, Pratt said he plans to go into active duty with the Coast Guard, which is one of the many agencies within the homeland security field. “Being a homeland security major and being a professional in the field gives you an opportunity to save the lives of the American people,” he said.