Twenty-nine earn security master’s degrees from NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security

Graduation ceremonies at the Naval Postgraduate School on December 16 included 29 homeland security professionals who completed a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

The graduates comprise professionals from law enforcement, fire safety, homeland security, emergency

Master’s degree cohort 1503/1504.

management, and the military (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.”

Four CHDS graduates earned special recognition:

• Outstanding Thesis Award: Marcus Sexton, Criminal Investigator, ICE, Homeland Security Investigations, San Antonio, for “Forecasting Our Adversaries’ Next Move: Trend Analysis and the Department of Homeland Security’s Role in the Development of Counter-Proliferation Intelligence.” The honor 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.

• The Curtis “Butch” Straub Award: Brian Lee, Employment Services Bureau Commander , Phoenix Police Department, Phoenix. The Straub Award is based on grades, thesis and classroom leadership. The award is in memory of one of CHDS’ founders.

• The Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award: Pat Hensley, Captain, Daly City (California) Police Department and Jeff Siems, Fire Marshal, Edina (Minnesota) Fire Department. This award recognizes 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).

ABOUT NPS: The mission of the Naval Postgraduate School is to provide unique advanced education and research programs in order to increase the combat effectiveness of the U.S. and Allied armed forces as well as enhance the security of the United States. For information, visit

Naval Postgraduate School
Center for Homeland Defense and Security

• John Abrahams, Director of Personnel Support Services and Benefits, TSA, Arlington VA
• Calvin Bowman, Urban Area Security Initiative and Senior Policy Advisor, Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, Baltimore MD
• Melanie Burnham, Lieutenant Commander, United States Coast Guard, Washington, D.C.
• Jeffery Davis, Police Captain, El Cajon Police Dept., El Cajon CA
• David DeMarco, Fire Captain, Everett Fire Department, Everett WA
• William Fitzgerald, Supervisor / Aviation Support Unit, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County CA
• James Fitzgerald, Special Agent, FBI, Washington, D.C.
• Sevan Gerard, Firefighter/Paramedic, Los Angeles Fire Dept., Los Angeles CA
• Patrick Hensley, Captain, Daly City Police Department, Daly City CA
• Kevin Hood, Unit Commander/Lieutenant, Virginia State Police, North Chesterfield VA
• Matthew Jonkey, Commander, 92nd Civil Support Team, Nevada National Guard, Carson City NV
• Lawrence King, Supervisory Transportation Security Inspector, DHS/, TSA, Jamaica NY
• Brian Lee, Employment Services Bureau Commander , Phoenix Police Department, Phoenix AZ
• Reed Little, Alternatives to Detention Monitoring Officer, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Dallas
• Payne Marks, Lieutenant/Virginia Fusion Center Director, Virginia State Police, Richmond VA
• Sheree McManus, Grants Management and Policy Specialist; DHS/FEMA, Washington, D.C.
• Mark Molinari, Captain, NYPD, New York
• Edward Scott, Supervisory Federal Air Marshal, Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), Atlantic City NJ
• Eric Seibel, Asst. Chief, Point Pleasant Fire Protection District , Erlanger KY
• Marcus Sexton, Criminal Investigator, ICE, Homeland Security Investigations, San Antonio TX
• Jeffrey Siems, Fire Marshal, Edina Fire Department, Edina MN
• Don Simko, Emergency Management Program Specialist-Public Assistance, FEMA HQ, Washington DC
• Steve Simonds, Shift Commander, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Leonardtown MD
• Brannon Snead, Major (Bureau Commander), Florida Highway Patrol, Tampa FL
• Chad Stangeland, Assistant Chief, Moorhead Fire Department, Moorhead MN
• Kevin Starbuck, Assistant City Manager, Community Services, City of Amarillo, Amarillo TX
• Thanh Vo, Resource Manager, Oregon Army National Guard, Salem OR
• Michael Ward, Lieutenant, Patrol Services Bureau Administrative, Montgomery County Police, Gaithersburg MD
• Katrina Woodhams, Deputy Director, FEMA HQ Protection and National Preparedness, Washington, D.C.
• Brian Young, Assistant Chief, Orange County Fire Authority, Irvine CA