Thirty-one earn CHDS master’s degrees

CHDS graduates gather at Hermann Hall prior to their December 18 ceremony.

CHDS graduates gather at Hermann Hall prior to their December 18 ceremony.

Thirty-one professionals were awarded a Master of Arts in Security Studies during a ceremony at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security December 18.

The graduates comprise professionals from law enforcement, fire safety, homeland security, local government, the military and public/environmental health (see attached list). The first program in the nation of its kind, CHDS provides a cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary curriculum in its 18-month master’s degree program in homeland security. Graduates are required to write theses pertinent to their employing agencies.

“These graduates will join a national cadre of cohorts who are helping keep our nation safer,” Woodbury said. “We are proud and look forward to their contributions to the homeland security enterprise in the coming years. They reflect the professionalism and dedication our nation deserves.”

Five CHDS students earned special honors:

• Outstanding Thesis Award: Eric Salyors, Captain, Sacramento, California Fire Department. Thesis: “Quantifying The Negative”  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 Award: Steven Polunsky, Research Scientist, Texas A&M University. The Curtis H. “Butch” Straub Award, is based on grades, thesis and classroom leadership. The honor is in memory of one of CHDS’ founders.

• Phillip Zimbardo Award: Lieutenant Patrice Hubbard, city of St. Petersburg, Florida, Police Department. This award honors a student who demonstrates the best understanding of the psychological aspects of terrorism. The honor is named after Stanford University psychologist and professor emeritus Philip Zimbardo, who formerly taught at CHDS.

• Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award:  T Michele Caliva, Administrative Director, Call Center for Toxic Emergencies, Upstate New York Poison Control Center; and,  Jerry Davis, Division Commander, Virginia State Police.  This award honors students whose actions instilled, sustained and created a spirit of unity and pride within the cohort.  The Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award and is named in honor of Mark Carr, a former CHDS student who died in August 2014.

CHDS, located at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), is the nation’s homeland security educator. Master’s degree students develop critical thinking, leadership and policy skills during a rigorous 18-month program. Each graduate completes a thesis on a current issue facing his/her jurisdiction. These theses often translate into policy and practice. The CHDS is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Preparedness Directorate, within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Naval Postgraduate School
Center for Homeland Defense and Security

• Major John Nitka, New York Army National Guard, Albany, New York
• Commander Timothy List, United States Coast Guard, Washington, D.C.
• Major Thomas A. Banker, Washington Air National Guard, Camp Murray, Washington
• Ms. Nabeela Barbari, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
• Ms. T Michele Caliva, Upstate New York Poison Center, Syracuse, New York
• Gloria I. Chavez, Senior Executive Service, Deputy Chief, Law Enforcement Operations  Division, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Headquarters, in Washington, D.C.
• Captain James Cook, Amtrak Police, Washington, D.C.
• Mr. Randy Cotton, Transportation Security Administration, Washington, D.C.
• Section Chief Josh Davies, Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services Agency, California
• Captain Jerry L. Davis, Virginia State Police, Wytheville, Virginia
• Chief Maggie A. DeBoard, Herndon Police Department, Virginia
• Deputy Chief Steven Dubay, Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado
• Ms. Vicky Furnish, Kern County Environmental Health Department, California
• Chief Scott E. Goldstein, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Maryland
• Lieutenant Patrice N. Hubbard, St. Petersburg Police Department, Florida
• Ms. Karrie Jefferson, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Washington, D.C.
• Mr. Michael Karau, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
• Mr. Robert C. King III, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
• Captain Chris Milburn, Long Beach Fire Department, California
• Mr. Craig J. Mohar, Sacramento Police Department, California
• Captain John A. Payne, city of Bremerton Fire Department, Washington
• Mr. Steven Polunsky, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Austin, Texas
• Mr. Stephen Ridge, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
• Mr. Michael E. Russas, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
• Captain Antonio Sajor Jr., Stockton Police Department, California
• Captain Eric Saylors, Sacramento City Fire Department, California
• Sergeant Mike Schofield, Kansas City Police Department, Missouri
• Lieutenant Michael Sedam, California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, California
• Deputy Chief Brent D. Swearingen, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Auburn, Washington
• Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Thomas, Florida Highway Patrol, Tallahassee, Florida
• Senior Special Agent Shawn P. Tupper, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Houston, Texas

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