The 2021 Southwest Security Conference: Exploring Interest in Security-Related Fields

by Austin Perez

ASIS РEagle Committee at the Fall 2021 ERAU Career Fair with ASIS Phoenix Chapter Leadership (from left to right: Beth Chwialkowski, Michael Tokos, Jordan Cot̩, Emma Sanders, Prof. Reg. P. Parker, Stephanie Switz, Erik Lechleitner, Austin Perez)

Hello, My name is Austin Perez, Secretary of the ASIS – Eagle Committee at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. This committee is based on our relationship and partnership with the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and the ASIS Phoenix chapter, one of the many chapters in the internationally recognized ASIS Organization.

Recently, members of the ASIS – Eagle Committee were able to attend the 2021 Southwest Security Conference, hosted by ASIS Phoenix Chapter. This conference featured industry professionals across security-related fields, including experts in airline and airport security, supply chain professionals, law enforcement, and security managers from multistate supermarket chains discussing ongoing and emerging threats. Other speaking events included a presentation from the Scottsdale Police Department, in which they gave an in-depth, after-action report on the Scottsdale Riots at the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

The 2021 Southwest Security Conference presented opportunities for students to network with industry professionals.

Thanks to this incredible opportunity to hear from industry experts, students were not only able to network with potential employers but understand that the needs and demands for security are exponentially growing and constantly evolving in the private industrial security sector. This experience encourages students to tailor their education at Embry-Riddle to reflect their field interests and pursue industry experience while still in college.

ASIS – Eagle Committee‘s table at the Southwest Security Conference (from left to right: Prof. Reg P. Parker, Marissa Owens, Kaden Gaede, Michael Tokos, Josh Onabanjo).

Two of Embry-Riddle’s own professors were able to attend the 2021 Southwest Conference as guest speakers: Professors Alan Saquella and Reginald P. Parker. Both professors are active members of ASIS and have presented on private sector security at ASIS – Eagle Committee. Their presentations at the conference encouraged ASIS to provide resources and support to student members in order to cultivate the next generation of security professionals. Because of these two wonderful professors, ASIS International is looking at developing a more efficient way of training students in security fields, which includes a better working relationship between the ASIS – Eagle Committee, micro-internships, and mentorships.

Our professors Reginald P. Parker and Alan Saquella with Marisa Owens, Assistant Director of Career Services, giving a presentation on Emerging Threats.

Overall, our time spent at the 2021 Southwest Security Conference greatly benefited our new student members, many of whom had never met with industrial professionals, and expanded interest in private sector security fields.

The ASIS – Eagle Committee (from left to right: Jackson Owings, Emma Sanders, Prof. Reg P. Parker, Erik Lechleitner, Michael Tokos, Austin Perez)

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