FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell delivered the 2023 commencement address at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Information Sciences and Technology on May 6.
Administrator Criswell’s remarks highlighted technological advances that help FEMA and the emergency management enterprise respond to disasters, including COVID-19, but reminded the new graduates that it is the people behind the technology that are the real heroes.
“Technology helped fast-track the development of COVID vaccines, but it took people to get the shots in arms. Technology enabled virtual medical appointments, but it took people to work through the complex process of protecting patient information. And when it came to your college education, technology brought you into virtual classrooms, but it took your professors and administrators to maintain the experience of a world-class education,” remarked Administrator Criswell. “We can never forget that it is the people behind the technology that has helped us get here today. Technology is only one part of the solution — you are the other.”
Administrator Criswell also challenged the class of 2023 to continue to question and challenge the status quo in order to make change in their own communities, nationwide and across the globe.
“Regardless of the career you choose, I challenge you to give back to the places you call home. Use your skills to make a difference, change a life and perhaps save one too” said Administrator Criswell.
You can read the Administrator’s full remarks on FEMA.gov watch her commencement speech on YouTube.