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CHDS Awards 25 Master’s Degrees March 26

MONTEREY, Calif. - Twenty-five professionals working in the homeland security field were awarded Master’s degrees in Security Studies March 26 at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

The graduates come from cities across the United States and comprise professionals from law enforcement, fire safety, emergency management, homeland security, the military and natural resources management (please see attached list).

Three graduates were honored for exceptional achievement:

  • Nicholas Campasano was honored with the Thesis Award. The award is based 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. Campasano is the Deputy Fire Chief in Manchester, N.H.
  • Richard DiGiacomo was the recipient of the Philip Zimbardo Award. 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. DiGiacomo is an Attorney Advisor with the Transportation Security Administration in Coraopolis, Penn.
  • Vinicio Mata was named winter of the Curtis H. "Butch" Straub Achievement Award. This award is based on grades, thesis and classroom leadership. Mata is a Lieutenant with the Sunnyvale Public Safety Department in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Remaining graduates include:

  • Gregory Brunelle, Deputy Director New York Emergency Management Office, Albany, N.Y.
  • Patrick Butler Assistant Chief Los Angeles Fire Department Los Angeles.
  • Kristi Church Lt. Col., Deputy Chief, Space Superiority Branch, Headquarters Air Force Space Command Programs Division, Peterson AFB, Colo.
  • John Comiskey, Lieutenant New York City Police Department, Flushing, N.Y.
  • Anthony Cox, Individual Assistance Program Manager, Arizona Division of Emergency Management, Phoenix.
  • James Curren, Chief, Studies, Research and Analysis, TSA/ Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service, Reston, Va.
  • Edward Dadosky, District Fire Chief, Cincinnati Fire Department, Cincinnati.
  • Bill Eller, Technical Coordinator, Washington State Conservation Commission, Yakima, WA.
  • John Ferry, Captain, Scottsdale Fire Department, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • David Gomez, Assistant Agent-In-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Seattle.
  • Ricardo Grave de Peralta, Unit Chief, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C.
  • Jan Ithier, Deputy Director, NORAD & USNORTHCOM, Washington Office, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  • Dennis Jones, Fire Captain, St. Paul Department of Fire and Safety Service St. Paul MN
  • Bill Kalaf, Technology Program Manager, Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona
  • Scott MacGregor, Chief, California Highway Patrol, Fresno, Calif.
  • Bruce Martin, Fire Chief, Fremont Fire Department, Fremont, Calif.
  • Abdo Nahmod, Deputy Assistant Chief, FDNY, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Bentley Nettles, Colonel, General Counsel for Joint Force Headquarters, Texas National Guard Austin, Texas.
  • Marin Ryczek, Captain, Chicago Police Department, Chicago.
  • Thomas Shannon, Emergency Manager, City of Scottsdale Emergency Management Homeland Security Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Eric Taquechel, Risk Analyst, US Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington D.C.
  • Alex Vargas, Sergeant II, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles.