Conference to Shed Light on Relevant Response Skills in Digital Age

NEW YORK, NY – February 27, 2013 — Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) hosts SMARMIE (Social Media and Response Management Interface Event) on Thursday, February 28, 2013. The conference takes place at the Manhattan campus, 431 Canal Street, from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM and is free to the public with advance registration.  MCNY’s conference comes on the heels of Social Media Week, an annual week-long conference that addresses the necessity for social media in the midst of changing climates in all industries.

SMARMIE is a combined effort created by MCNY’s Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Program in Emergency and Disaster Management and Master’s in Business (MBA) Program in Media Management.  It is geared towards those in the private and public sectors who are involved in Emergency Management or Continuity Planning. The always-evolving landscape of technology raises new questions on how best to address emergencies by establishing best practices for crisis communications. Although gaining understanding of this area is essential to emergency messaging, it remains underutilized in Emergency Management. In an era when most individuals rely heavily on a number of different mobile devices, they are likely to have these devices in their possession at the time of a disaster or major emergency and to utilize them to capture some aspect of the event. It is the responsibility of Emergency Managers to ensure that use of this medium is maximized to reach the public in time of need — and to build Social Media Management Tools (SMMT) into their emergency response plans. These, among other issues, are addressed by the SMARMIE Conference.

A vast number of topics will be covered at this year’s conference, including the new crisis communications paradigm, crowdsourcing, crowd mapping and fencing, and mining social media for crisis communication and forensic analysis.  A featured panel will be “Social Media and Hurricane Sandy: Crisis Case Studies,” using real-life examples from the superstorm to demonstrate how the use of social media was integral to emergency response, as well as how it could have further been utilized to aid those who were affected.

“We pride ourselves on providing our students with a purposeful education at MCNY,” stated MCNY President Vinton Thompson. “We are able to provide our students and other Emergency Management Professionals with the tools to be extremely effective in their field. This year’s conference is a timely look at essential services in a crisis such as Sandy.  Going forward, the skills learned in the classroom, on the job and at this conference will be vital.” 

Subject matter experts from around the world will join the MCNY community to share their expertise.  Among the esteemed speakers are:

Kay C. Goss, former Associate FEMA Director in charge of national Preparedness, Training, and Exercises for President Clinton;

Phil Harris, CEO of Geofeedra, special social media search and discovery service location;

Jerome M. Hauer, Commissioner of the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services;

Patrick Meier, PhD, Director of Social Innovation at the Qatar Foundation’s Computing Research Institute (QCRI), internationally recognized thought leader on the application of new technologies for crisis early warning, humanitarian response and resilience; and

Kim Stephens,  iDisaster 2.0 , lead blogger on the challenges faced by the emergency management community.

For more information on MCNY’s graduate programs, visit

Contact Uniworld Group Public Relations:

Teresa Lyles Holmes (212) 219-7239

Camille Gray (212) 219-7121