The Center for National Security Studies (CNSS) is a nonpartisan academic institution for the instruction, analysis, and discussion of the issues related to the field of U.S. national security.  The mission of the CNSS is twofold: to promote an interdisciplinary academic environment on campus that critically examines both the theoretical and practical aspects of the national security policy and practice; and to assist students in preparing for public and private sector national security careers through acquisition of subject matter expertise, analytical skills, and practical experience.  The CNSS partners with local, regional, national, and international public and private sector organizations to promote this mission.

Ryan Vogel

Prof. Ryan Vogel, JD, LLM

Office: CB, 310J
Phone: (801) 863-6891


Prof. Vogel is the founding director of the Center for National Security Studies at Utah Valley University.  He advises the National Security Society and UVU Journal of National Security Society.  Prof. Vogel also directs the NSS program at UVU and teaches a variety of courses on international law and national security subjects.

Before coming to UVU, Professor Vogel served at the Pentagon as a senior policy advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  He began his career at the Pentagon through the Presidential Management Fellowship program and was awarded the Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2014.  Professor Vogel has also served at the Public International Law & Policy Group, at the U.S. Senate, and at the State Department.  He has taught law and national security courses at American University in Washington, D.C. BYU Law School and the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Professor Vogel holds an LLM in public international law, with a certificate in national security law, from the Georgetown University Law Center.  He earned a J.D. and am M.A. in international affairs form American University.  Professor Vogel is an alum of Utah Valley University, where he graduated with a B.S. in integrated studies.

Ryan Griffith

Ryan Griffith

Office: CB, 303B
Phone: (801) 863-5849

Ryan Griffith is a sophomore at Utah Valley University and the Student Coordinator at the Center for National Security Studies.  He is majoring in Political Science, with an emphasis in World Politics and a minor in National Security Studies.  he is very active in many capacities on campus including serving on UVUSA as the Senator for the college of Health and Public Services, as a member of the National Security Society, and as managing editor on UVU's Journal for National Security.  Additionally he serves as the president of the National Security Advisory Board, where he is engaged in programmatic and student development.  After graduation Ryan plans on attending law school in the D.C. area with hopes of starting a career in national security policy and strategy.


Greg Jackson

Assistant Professor of Integrated Studies

Office: CB, 311F
Phone: (801) 863-5580

Gregory Jackson is Assistant Professor of Integrated Studies at Utah Valley University.  He holds a Ph.D. in Modern European History, with minor fields in Middle East History and Francaphone Literature, from the University of Utah.  He earned an M.A. in French Studies and a B.A. in History, with a minor in French, from Brigham Young University.  Dr. Jackson participated in the Pembroke-King's Programme at the University of Cambridge, Pembroke College, as an Undergraduate.

Professor Jackson's research interests are Islam in Europe and the European Union.  He has published academic articles, book reviews, and op-eds.  He has also appeared on BYU Radio and occasionally goes on ABC 4 to provide political analysis on behalf on the Center for National Security Studies.  Professor Jackson is currently writing a book examining French identity among Muslims in the early-twentieth-century France, tentatively titled, Muslim and French?  Civil Rights and Identity in the Late-Third French Republic.

Robert Jorgensen

Assistant Professor, Program Director for Cybersecurity 

Office: CS, 620 
Phone: (801) 863-5282

Robert joined the faculty of Utah Valley University in 2013 after a 20 year professional career along the Wasatch Front.  He is the Program Director for UVU's Cybersecurity programs, including the new Master of Science in Cybersecurity launching Fall 2017.  Robert is a frequent presenter and panelist at conferences ranging from the Governor's Utah Economic Summit to cybersecurity community as the CSX Liaison for the Utah Chapter of ISACA, the President of the Salt Lake City Chapter of (ISC)2, and a member of the board of directors of UtahSec.  Robert also frequently contributes to television and radio as an expert in cybersecurity.  He has appeared on ABC4, KUTV CBS 2, and KSL NEWSRADIO.

Geoffrey Cockerham

Associate Professor of Political Science

Office: CB, 203H
Phone: (801) 863-5113

Geoffrey Cockerham is Associate Professor of Political Science at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah.  Before joining the faculty at Utah Valley University, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Louisville and Rhodes College.  Dr. Cockerham received his Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Arizona with a specialization in international relations.  He also received a J.D. degree from Louisiana State University.  His research and teaching interests include international cooperation, international institutions, international law and global governance.  Recent publications include articles in International Politics, The Latin Americanist, East Asia: An International Quarterly, and the book Globalization and Health published by Polity Press.

Jane Top-Kauffman

Adjunct Professor 


Janey Top-Kauffman is currently a professor of Russian language at UVU.  She has spent the past 15 years studying Russian and avidly consuming all news on Russian history, current events, politics and foreign policy.  She studied Philology and International Relations at Moscow State University in  2004-2005.  She finished her BA at the University of Utah in Russian and Linguistics.  After receiving her MA from BYU in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, she began teaching at UVU in 2013.  She is also fluent in Ukrainian.

Mathew Duffin

Associate Professor, Department Chair of Criminal Justice

Office: CB, 115B
Phone: (801) 863-6896

Matthew L. Duffin is an Associate Professor and Department Chair at UVU in the Criminal Justice Department.  he was a military Judge Advocate, prosecutor and defense attorney for more than twenty years.  Some of his more significant assignments were serving as an Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs) Department of Defense during the Iraq War, as legal advisor to the Criminal Investigative Task Force developing cases against GITMO Detainees, and as an Assistant Professor at the United States Air Force Academy.  He currently serves as a Small Claims Judge, Pro Tempore.  Professor Duffin earned a Master of Laws in Military Law from the Army Judge Advocate General's School in 1999, a Juris Doctor degree in 1988 and a Bachelor of Science in 1985 both cum laude from Brigham Young University.

John Macfarlane

Adjunct Professor, Academic Advisor for Political Science/History

Office: CB, 506W
Phone: (801) 863-6716

Mr. Macfarlane is an adjunct professor and an academic advisor for the Department of Political Science and History.  He serves on UVU's Peace and Justice Studies Executive Committee and leads study abroad programs to the Middle East.  Macfarlane is an expert on terrorism and teaches some of the most popular classes on campus on the subject.  Before coming to UVU, Macfarlane served in the U.S. Air Force as an A-10 pilot.  Mr. Macfarlane earned a B.S. in political Science/International Relations, and M.Ed. in Educational Studies, and an MPhil in Political Science from the University of Utah.  He holds a Certificate in Terrorism Studies from St. Andrews University in Scotland.

Ken Crook

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Office: GT, 608 
Phone: (801) 863-6147

Mr. Crook is an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice Department and has been at UVU for 10 years.  He spent 4 years in the U.S. Navy (2 years assigned to Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) - New York City & Philadelphia) and 2 years assigned to the Intelligence Staff of the Commander of the Navy's Middle East Forces operation out of Bahrain).  He left the Navy, received a Juris Doctor form J. Reuben Clark Law School and joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  During his 25 year FBI career his primary assignments were related to National Security matters: Foreign Counter-Intelligence (Counter-espionage) 10 years New York, 3 years Salt Lake City); and International Terrorism (7 years - investigation and asset development).  Other assignments include 3 years of Fugitive and Criminal Investigations (Including Elizabeth Smart, Unabomber, and Amber Kern kidnapping cases) and a 2 year assignment to the 2002 Winter Olympic intelligence sub-committee-Salt Lake City.

Daniel Waddington

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Office: EN, 115C
Phone: (801) 863-8857

Dr. Waddington has over 35 years of comprehensive criminal justice experience as a practitioner, mentor, consultant, educator, trainer, and analyst, both domestic and International.  He is a recognized expert in the fields of countering Violent Extremism, Criminal Justice Reform, Community Policing, Crime and Problem Analysis, and Organization Development.  He has been an advisor and consultant for the Department of Homeland Security, US Department of State, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Global Counter Terrorism Form (GCTF) and the international Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism.  Academically, he has a B.S. in Justice Administration, a Master's of Public Administration, and a PhD in Criminal Justice.

Michael Smidt

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice/Public Service

Office: CB, 115B
Phone: (801) 863-5929

Professor Michael L. Smidt recently retired from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.  In 1976, Mike enlisted in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division.  After leaving active duty, he enlisted as a weapons sergeant, with the U.S. Army Reserve, 12th Special Forces Group.  During his time as an army reservist, he became a police officer with the San Diego Police Department and completed his Bachelor's degree part-time.  After three years as a police officer, Professor Smidt left law enforcement to attend law school.  After graduating from California Western School of Law, he went to work as a prosecutor with the Office of the City Attorney in San Diego.  Mike decided to return to the Army as a Judge Advocate in January of 1990.

Professor Smidt's last assignment was as the senior legal advisor at U.S. Strategic Command.  He also served as the senior legal advisor at the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Chief of Operational Law at U.S. Northern Command.  In addition to various assignments in operational law and military justice throughout his career, he also served as the Staff Judge Advocate for the 1st Infantry Division.  Professor Smidt was also a professor of Operational and International Law at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School, an LL.M from the University of Virginia School of Law and an M.S.S. from the U.S. Army War College.  Among others, his awards include two Bronze Stars, Master Parachutist Wings and a Special Forces Tab.

Michael Smidt

Adjunct Professor, U.S. Intelligence Official

Professor Thomas Hales is a 30-year Intelligence Community professional with extensive national and military intelligence experience. Most recently, Professor Hales served as Chief of Operations at the Utah Regional Operations Center.  He is a retired Reserve Naval Intelligence Officer (1635) with service at the Office of Naval Intelligence, Strategic Command, NORAD/NORTHCOM, and European Command. Professor Hales has been recognized throughout his career for his service to the nation, being awarded the National Intelligence Council Medallion, the Intelligence Community Joint Duty Officer Designation, the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Non-Article 5 Medal for Afghanistan, four National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Awards, and three Joint Meritorious Unit Awards.

Professor Hales completed his J.D. at the University of Baltimore. He pursued graduate education in International Studies with a Homeland Security emphasis at the University of Denver’s Joseph Korbel School and received a certificate in Russian studies from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Professor Hales graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in English. He is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association.

Eric Russell

Associate Professor, Emergency Services

Dr. Eric J. Russell is an Associate Professor with Utah Valley University’s Department of Emergency Services. His writings and research involve the influence of homeland security education on responders as well as the impact of servant leadership on organizations and individuals. He is the author of more than 60 peer reviewed and trade publications as well as two books: The Desire to Serve: Servant Leadership for the Fire and Emergency Services (Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership) and In Command of Guardians: Executive Servant Leadership for the Community of Responders (Springer).  In addition, Eric speaks nationally on the subjects of servant leadership and homeland security education. Dr. Russell retired early from the Department of Defense/USAF Fire and Emergency Services with combined active duty military and DoD service. Dr. Russell’s education consists of a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership-Grand Canyon University & a Master of Science in Executive Fire Science Leadership-Grand Canyon University.


National Security Society

Savannah Mork

Savannah Mork


Elizabeth Jones

Vice President, Outreach
Elizabeth Jones


Maria Whitten

Vice President, Events
Maria Whitten


Tyler Osborn

Vice President, Service
Tyler Osborn

UVU Journal of National Security

Andre Jones

Andre Jones


Savannah Mork

Executive Editor
Savannah Mork


Ryan Griffith

Managing Editor
Ryan Griffith