Jackson, MS (12/08/2014) – ALM Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director, Thad Hicks was awarded his PhD in Intercultural Studies last week.
Intercultural studies examines the cultural differences and similarities of people around the world. Workers in this field focus on bridging gaps among communities and providing necessary services. This field examines how race, culture and other factors impact social interactions. Understanding these barriers allows people around the world to interact and live harmoniously with each other.
At first glance, Hicks’ daily responsibilities at work might seem to diverge from his educational pursuits, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Hicks’ doctoral research centered around Salvation Army culture, and the influence that it has on Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services departments around the United States. Special attention was given to the tension within faith-based emergency response groups needing to focus on either saving souls or saving lives. Dr. Hicks' research indicated that these are not two separate concepts, but are of the “same cloth” and should be presented as such.
In addition to his duties with The Salvation Army, Thad partners with several colleges and universities as they develop and refine emergency and disaster management academic programs. Hicks stated, “The work of The Salvation Army is strong and reproducible. Even now our methods and strategies for this work are being taught in classrooms all over the world.” As organizations including government agencies recognize all that The Salvation Army can do at a disaster scene, the footprint of The Salvation Army will only continue to grow.
Hicks’ research will be presented officially in February at the 2015 Salvation Army Southern Territory CRD / EDS Conference. He is already at work crafting a new research project. This new exploration will examine the perception of emotional and spiritual care as opposed to its actual definition within emergency response organizations.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services work, and how you might be able to help, please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.About The Salvation Army