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CPS Alumni Spotlight: John Copeland

John Copeland shares his educational journey as a Bethel Alumni

by Bethel University

“Public health and safety have always been my passion,” said Bethel University Alumnus, John Copeland, Ph.D. Copeland has led a successful career in the public safety sector for more than 15 years. Copeland is currently the director of the Crockett County ambulance service. He has held this position since 2014. In conjunction, Copeland works as a medicolegal death investigator for the county and is the owner of Honos Solutions, LLC, a company that specializes in public safety training and equipment.

Initially, Copeland entered the public safety field as a member of the rescue squad in 2004. He started as a volunteer but later began a full-time position as an emergency medical technician(EMT). It was at this time, Copeland developed his passion for public health and safety.

While working full-time as an EMT, Copeland attended night classes at Bethel University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management and organizational development in 2008. Copeland began graduate school immediately after completing his bachelor’s degree. In 2009, he received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Bethel University.

Copeland described the MBA program at Bethel University as “manageable” due to its online delivery, which allows students to complete the program while working full-time and managing personal responsibilities. “With good time management, you can have a family life and obtain your degree,” Copeland reflected, “It is possible.”

Shortly after earning his MBA, Copeland began his journey towards a doctoral degree. Copeland graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in public safety leadership from Capella University in 2018. “It was easy to transition from the MBA program at Bethel to the Ph.D. program at Capella.” Copeland stated, “The online format was very similar, and the programs have comparable deadlines. There’s more work at the Ph.D. level, but the time management was the same.”

Copeland has spent the entirety of his career working towards the betterment of the public service system through his academic research, professional achievements, volunteer work, and service on numerous boards and committees in the area. He is currently a member of the Tennessee Ambulance Association Board, Regional Healthcare Coalition, and Alamo Lions Club, among others. In the future, Copeland hopes to continue making positive strides within the public safety sector.