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National Capital Region Cohort Graduates 27

Twenty-seven professionals who work in the homeland security field were awarded master’s degrees Dec. 18 at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS).

The graduates comprise professionals from law enforcement, fire safety, homeland security, emergency management and public health.

These students took classes at the U.S. Office of Management and Personnel’s training facility in Shepherdstown, W.Va., but the program is under the auspices of CHDS and students participated in graduation ceremonies at the Naval Postgraduate School, which grants the Master of Arts degrees in Security Studies.

"These graduates bring great credit to themselves and their professions. They will join the expanding network of homeland security leaders who are shaping the future of our nation," said CHDS Director Glen Woodbury.

Three graduates were honored for special achievement:

- Thesis Award - Tom Rempfer, Deputy Commander, 214th Reconnaissance Group, MQ-1 Predator Pilot. Theses were evaluated on: overall academic rigor; quality of the literature review; impact of the study on homeland security strategy and future research implications; quality of analysis and conclusions; quality of organization, writing and overall presentation of thesis.

- Curtis H. "Butch" Straub Achievement Award - Tom Currao, Battalion Chief, New York City Fire Department. This award is based on grades, thesis and classroom leadership.

- Philip Zimbardo Award - Isabel Galantino, Deputy Assistant Area Director, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This award honors a student who demonstrates the best understanding of the psychological aspects of terrorism and whose performance in the master’s program best embodies the highest levels of academic achievement and outstanding leadership. The honor is named after renowned Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo, who also teaches at CHDS.

Remaining graduates include:

- Michael Aspland, Deputy Police Chief, Monterey Police Department

- Thomas Bauer, Police Chief, Oak Creek (Wisc.) Police Department

- Mark Bullard, Chief, Financial Management Division, DHS/TSA/OLE-FAMS

- Alan Carr, Lead Management & Program Analyst, Customs and Border Protection

- Todd Consolini, Area Commander, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Federal Protective Service

- John DeIorio, Assistant Chief, Marion County (Fla.) Fire Rescue

- Colleen Donovan, Hospital Preparedness Program Manager, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

- Veronica Epley, Senior Policy Advisor, DHs National Protection and Programs Directive.

- Jennifer Harper, Bioterrorism Coordinator, New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management

- Brenda Heck, Section Chief, Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation

- Albert Kao, Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, Systems Operations Control Division, Federal Air Marshal Service

- Joseph Lanzante, Area Port Director, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

- Danielle, Lee, Assistant Center Director, Center Fraud Detection Operations, U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services

- Jacqueline Maguire, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation

- Ryan McCormick, Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, TSA.

- Tom Merchant, Resident Agent in Charge, DHS Office of Inspector General

- Troy Miller, Director of Targeting and Analysis, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

- Scott Mulligan, Supervisory Attorney, Transportation Security Agency

- Catherina Mercogliana Pomerantz, National Preparedness, DHS/FEMA

- Bonnie Regan, Police Captain, Arlington County (Va.) Office of Emergency Management

- Evelyn Sahli, Field Office Director, DHS/USCIS

- Kathleen Scudder, Assistant Chief, DHS/CBP/OBP

- Brian Sturdivant, Deputy Fire Chief, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Fire Department

- Richard Zee, Assistant Federal Security Director, Operations, DHS/TSA