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U.S. Coast Guard Honors SLU Emergency Management Instructors

by Maggie Rotermund
Media Inquiries

Maggie Rotermund
Senior Media Relations Specialist

Reserved for members of the media.

ST. LOUIS – Two faculty members in Saint Louis University’s School for Professional Studies are being honored for their work in emergency management.

Shawn Steadman, director of Saint Louis University’s emergency management program, and Jesse A. Scott, Ph.D., instructor in emergency management, were honored Thursday, May 2, at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards.

Shawn Steadman, Ph.D.
Shawn Steadman. 

The pair received the Auxiliary Achievement Award as part of a Coast Guard team transforming Emergency Management in USCG District 8.

“Steadman and Scott have demonstrated their innovative nature in both the classroom and in emergency situations,” said Scott Duellman, Ph.D., interim dean of the School for Professional Studies. “Throughout their careers, they have supported others in need and are truly deserving of recognition.” 

Per the Coast Guard, the award recognizes the 8th Western Rivers Region (8th WRR) Emergency Management Team, led by Commodore Richard L. Lawrence and Steadman, for implementing groundbreaking initiatives that have enhanced operational capabilities and redefined crisis and emergency management practices.

The team’s achievements include developing a unique organizational structure to support incident missions, which improved agility and responsiveness, particularly evident during hurricanes, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Baltimore Bridge incident.

Scott’s integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provided real-time spatial data during critical events, enhancing situational awareness and decision-making.

Steadman managed the team and provided the organizational structure for real-time incident management and the incorporation of GIS and other technological tools.

“This prestigious award recognizes our capabilities being taught to Saint Louis University students in the Emergency Management program,” Steadman said. 

Steadman has volunteered with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for over 30 years, providing expertise in maritime operations and emergency response. His background includes managing and exercising man-made (terrorism), natural and technological disasters. He is a highly experienced crisis and emergency manager with a career spanning several decades across academia, government and private consulting.

Jesse Scott
Jesse A. Scott, Ph.D.

Scott is a multi-faceted professional, blending over two decades of military and federal leadership with expertise in environmental, hydrological and geospatial sciences. He began his career with the U.S. Marines before moving on to the U.S. Coast Guard and then the U.S. Army. He served as the lead GIS specialist within the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Office of Emergency Management. Scott teaches GIS for Emergency Planning and Disaster Response at SLU.

SLU’s Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management is the only undergraduate emergency management program offered at a Jesuit university in the United States. The comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program focuses on all sectors recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), providing students with essential skills for careers in the emergency management sector.

Each year, the Coast Guard celebrates its creative workforce through the Captain Niels P. Thompson Innovation Awards, recognizing the most impactful innovations across the Coast Guard enterprise. The annual awards recognize innovative efforts by the Coast Guard workforce to increase efficiency and productivity or provide other process improvements. The award’s namesake is considered a legendary Coast Guard innovator; the chain stopper Thomsen developed in 2008 was credited with dramatically improving the safety of buoy tending operations for the Coast Guard.