NPS winter graduation ceremony includes 28 students from CHDS

The March 31 graduation ceremony at the Naval Postgraduate School included 28 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 the fields of homeland security, emergency management, law enforcement, the fire service, public health, education, and city/county government (see list). The first program in the nation of its kind, CHDS provides a leading-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,” CHDS Director Glen 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.”

Master’s degree cohort 1505/1506

Three CHDS graduates earned special recognition:

  • Outstanding Thesis Award: Hoaithi Nguyen, Attorney-Advisor, TSA/Office of Chief Counsel, San Francisco, for her thesis “Lawful Hacking: Toward a Middle Ground Solution to the Going Dark Problem.” The award is based on academic rigor and the quality of the literature review, analysis and conclusions as well as writing and overall presentation of the thesis.
  • The Curtis “Butch” Straub Award: Major Manuel Morales, Miami Police Department. The Straub Award is based on grades, thesis and classroom leadership. The award is in memory of one of CHDS’ founders. Morales also received the Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award, which recognizes students whose actions instilled, sustained and created a spirit of unity.  The Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award and is named in honor of a former CHDS student who died in August 2014.
  • Philip Zimbardo Award: Don Neuert, Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Madison, Wisconsin. This award honors a student who demonstrates the best understanding of the psychological aspects of terrorism.

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.

 Naval Postgraduate School

Center for Homeland Defense and Security

  • Tracy Avelar, Captain, Foster City Police Department, Foster City, California
  • Anna Brookes, Lieutenant, Massachusetts State Police, Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Michael  Brown, Field Intelligence Officer, TSA/EWR, East Elmhurst, New York
  • Tiffany Brown, Emergency Manager, Clatsop County Emergency Management, Astoria Oregon
  • Joseph Coulter, Chief CBP Officer, Customs and Border Protection Long Beach, California
  • Kimbley Craig, City Council , Salinas, California
  • Mike Davis, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAIC) , DHS – U.S. Secret Service, Washington, D.C.
  • Donalyn Dela Cruz, Director of Communications and Community Affairs, Hawaii, Department of Education, Honolulu
  • Christopher DeMaise, Lieutenant, New Jersey State Police, West Trenton, New Jersey
  • D. Jeremy DeMar, Public Safety Emergency Communications Supervisor, Emergency Communications, Department/Monroe County 9-1-1 Center, Rochester, New York
  • Jacob Hallgarth, Deputy Supervisory Agent, Coast Guard, Alameda, California
  • Shawn Harwood, Special Agent, DHS/ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Washington, D.C.
  • Ronnell  Higgins, Chief of Police, Yale University Police Department, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Patrick Keane, Inspector, NYPD,  New York
  • Deanna  Kralick, Supervisory CBP Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Miami
  • Thomas  Landry, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, US Secret Service, Dallas
  • Manuel Morales,  Major, Miami Police Department, Miami
  • Don Neuert, Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Madison, Wisconsin
  • Hoaithi  Nguyen, Attorney-Advisor, TSA/Office of Chief Counsel,  San Francisco
  • Desmond ONeill,  Special Agent, ICE/OPR, Jamaica, New York
  • Vernon   Pierson, District Attorney, El Dorado County District Attorney,  Placerville, California
  • Kimberly Ramsey, Branch Chief, PED Fusion Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Office of Intelligence, March ARB, California
  • Joanna Recor, Chief CBP Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Champlain, New York
  • Joseph Russo, Lieutenant, FDNY, Brooklyn, New York
  • Anna Schermerhorn-Collins, Lieutenant, FDNY, New York
  • Michelle Trost, Strategic Communications Director, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Centennial, Colorado
  • Trevor    Wilson, Intelligence Officer, DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), Dover, Delaware
  • Aristotle Wolfe, Captain, California Highway Patrol, San Francisco