Meet RJ Butrim

RJ Butrim Degree Visualization

B.A. INDS: Remote Sensing in Disaster Response

My INDS Degree

During my five-year Navy term, I was a rescue swimmer who provided advanced first aid. After my honorable discharge I became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Maryland. This certification expanded my skillset and knowledge of emergency medical care. It also opened my eyes to the civilian side of disaster response. The limited readiness at a local level and the lack of interdepartmental collaborative training on a large scale is surprising. The constant readiness of the military placed me in mindset of always having a rehearsed primary plan and several backups. Additionally, the law enforcement community as a whole is not always thoroughly trained on how to immediately coordinate an effective response with local EMS. While studying Disaster Management in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at UMBC, I will learn how to manage the big picture of an incident at a command level while also gaining additional skills related to the workers who have boots on the ground. No other program at UMBC will allow me to hone my emergency management mentality while discovering a new computer based skill that can be put to use in related real world situations.

Degree Mentors

  •  Shawn Bediako, Psychology
  •  Kathryn Hemmis,Sociology
  • Carrie Sauter, Individualized Study

Post Graduation Plans

Upon graduation, I will continue to provide volunteer EMS services in Harford County. I will also continue to enhance my cartographic skills by making maps for New Germany State Park, the UMBC campus, or other locations if I have access to remote sensing equipment at a reasonable cost. Within one year after graduation I will seek employment with a police department in Maryland. I feel that some type of law enforcement experience is necessary in order to round out my first responder experience and make superior maps. During this time as an officer, I will enroll in the EHS graduate program, Administration, Planning and Policy Track. After a three to five-year term with a police de-
partment and completion of my graduate degree, I will attempt to trans-
fer to a federal agency. Each agency will rely on one of my skills more

than another, but they will all provide an opportunity for me to create

maps to help others and protect our country.


Courses In My INDS Degree

The Context of Right-Wing Extremism: By understanding the social, political, and historical context of right-wing extremism as well as the psychology of hate, I will be able to analyze the meanings of extremist messages rather than just their effectiveness. (AMST 200/HIST 208/PSYC 304/ SOCY 321/ GWST 340/ PSYC 342/HIST 355AMST 376/ PSYC 380)

The Influence of Groups on Decision-Making: The media, peers, and extremist groups all contribute to a person’s decision to engage with extremist ideologies. (MCS 222/SOCY 330/MCS 334/PSYC 340/ SOCY 397)

Research Methods: Because my work will focus on research, it is essential that I develop practical research skills relevant to my field. (SOCY 300/MLL 301/SOCY 301)

Individualized Study: These courses are required for the INDS major and allow me to develop my degree plan and capstone project. (INDS 330/INDS 335/INDS 399/ INDS 480 / INDS 490)