Helms School of Government offers student workshop

Liberty University’s Helms School of Government is hosting its biannual Navigating High-Risk Human Encounters event at the Jerry Falwell Library Oct. 12-14.

The event will be a three-day workshop that trains attendees on how to recognize anomalous human behavior, detect possible threats and react safely. Arcadia Cognerati, a team of experts in the field of human behavior pattern recognition and analysis, will lead the event.

While the Helms School of Government will host the workshop, it is free and open to anyone who would like to attend, according to Chris Rhoades, assistant director of operations at the Helms School of Government.

“Anybody and everybody — are you a human? Then you need this training because it’s universal across the board,” Rhoades said.

According to Rhoades, the first day of training will focus on understanding the limitations of human observation. One such limitation is the “functional field of view,” what our eye is actually seeing versus what our brains are filling in. The purpose of this is to understand our own limitations and properly plan for them when dealing with others.

The second day will cover the domains of human behavior.  One such example given by Rhoades was the domain of geographics, or how human behavior shapes and is shaped by physical spaces. In geographics, an “anchor point” is a place where some people are welcome but not others, and can be found anywhere people congregate.

The third and final day will bring what is learned into the application stage, utilizing exercises and emphasizing how teamwork can mitigate a high-risk situation.

President and founder of Arcadia Cognerati, Greg Williams, will lead the event. Williams is both a trainer in human behavior profiling and a military and law enforcement veteran. This workshop will also be taught by Senior Vice President of Operations Brian Marren, a former Marine scout sniper and security professional.

While the Navigating High-Risk Human Encounters workshop does take place during fall break, Rhoades encourages as many students as possible to come.

“Human behavior is everywhere. You will come across it when you go to the lunchroom, when you go to your class, when you go into a job interview,” Rhoades said. “So, you can take the time to drive home, or catch a flight, or stay in your room and melt your brain. Or you can just invest a little bit of time to better understand human behavior that will have implications throughout your entire life.” 

Senior Emma Campbell shared why she believes this event will be helpful for students.

“I feel like it’s important for people to be able to navigate high-risk human behaviors because as humans, we all live together, and the Bible calls us to live in a community,” Campbell said. “There are going to be situations you encounter in your life where you have to address issues, and some of those issues might end up being behaviors that could harm yourself or others, and so I think it’s really good to just be aware of those things. And it sounds like this conference might be something that helps equip people to deal with that.”

McKenzie is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow her on X

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