Through its online security studies degree programs, Angelo State reaches military and civilian students in countries around the world. Dr. Randy Mullis of the security studies faculty reaches even more of them in person.
Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP), a joint initiative of NATO and the Partnership for Peace Consortium. This year alone, he has made several trips to Macedonia and Ukraine to provide faculty and curriculum development workshops for administrators and instructors at various military academies.Director of ASU’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Security Studies since August 2017, Mullis is also a volunteer instructor for the
“The workshops include adult education and learning methodologies and assessment and evaluation techniques to improve their delivery of curriculum and their ability to assess how effective they are in producing military officers,” Mullis said. “It’s primarily all based on Defense Institution for Reform principles to provide critical thinking and reasoning opportunities to help prepare states like Macedonia for membership in NATO and the European Union.”
Since he began volunteering with DEEP in 2015, Mullis has made 14 trips to Eastern Europe and Central Asia that also included stops in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Croatia. This summer, he is heading to Madagascar through the related African Military Education Program, and then to another DEEP program in Croatia.
“It’s very rewarding because, at the end of the workshops, the military faculty are generally appreciative of what we present,” Mullis said. “There is also a lot of networking and collegiality. I have Croatian, German and Ukrainian colleagues, and we’ve worked on other projects together. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I hope to apply some of it here at ASU, so there is also a tangible benefit to our university.”
It is also not lost on Mullis that he is volunteering for a NATO-sponsored program while directing ASU’s Center for Security Studies that is named for Kay Bailey Hutchison – the current U.S. Ambassador to NATO.
“I definitely mention that when I do these NATO workshops,” Mullis said. “I see it as a larger contribution from ASU’s perspective and mine as the chair of the Center for Security Studies – that education is a means to enhance international security. To have those things come together for me professionally is amazing.”
“I really like the people here, and it’s a true family effort. I enjoy the Ram Fam atmosphere because we’re really a community here on campus.”
Also a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, Mullis spent 23 years on active duty, split almost evenly between serving as an intelligence officer and teaching at various institutions, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, Air Command and Staff College, and Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), among others. He came to ASU after nearly a decade at CGSC.
“It was an opportunity to complete a personal journey of professional development and teach at a civilian university,” Mullis said. “As the chair, I can influence the future of the department and hopefully make it an even better place with an even better reputation, as well as enhance our students’ learning.”
In addition to being department chair, Mullis is a professor of security studies and teaches online courses in the graduate program. But he is looking forward to some classroom teaching when he offers his ASU Signature Course for freshmen, “American Indian Wars: Culture and Conflict.”
“It’s the face-to-face time,” Mullis said. “It’s the ability to sit down with students, go into more detail, and get both verbal and non-verbal feedback. They’re from a different generation, and one of the things we emphasize is that we need to adapt to their way of learning. Engaging with freshmen is going to give me the opportunity to do that.”
“I’ve been teaching at the university level for 30 years, but I believe in lifelong learning,” he added. “So this will be another opportunity for me to learn along with the freshmen.”
As he nears completion of his first academic year on campus, Mullis is happy that he chose Angelo State.
“There have been some ups and downs, and I don’t think one year is enough time to master this job because there are so many things I still need to learn about ASU,” he said. “But I really like the people here, and it’s a true family effort. I enjoy the Ram Fam atmosphere because we’re really a community here on campus.”