Dr. Akers is an Associate Extension Professor of Community Preparedness and Disaster Management with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He focuses on statewide and regional community preparedness, resilience, and disaster management initiatives for the MSU Extension Service, which serves all 82 counties of the state by providing research-based information, educational programs, and technology transfer focused on issues and needs of the people of Mississippi, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being. With an academic home in the MSU School of Human Sciences, Dr. Akers provides direction on enhancing individual, family, and community preparedness across the lifespan for the people of Mississippi.
Nine years ago, Akers envisioned a comprehensive Youth Preparedness Continuum (YPC) that would allow for innovative and engaging youth preparedness and youth leadership outreach for youth across Mississippi. Prior to 2012, MSU Extension had zero formal and sustainable efforts and programs with a youth emergency preparedness focus. Today, there are four such programs, three of which are national award winners. Furthermore, with respect to youth preparedness, Dr. Akers has made MSU Extension a household name at the state, regional, and national level. In addition to his faculty role at Mississippi State, Dr. Akers coordinates the MSU Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program and is the MSU CERT Leader. Dr. Akers is also a graduate of FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute’s National Emergency Management Advanced Academy and the National Emergency Management Executive Academy.