Twenty-nine earn homeland security master’s degrees from NPS-CHDS
The March 30 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, along with city, county and state government (see list).
The first program in the nation of its kind, NPS-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.”
Four CHDS graduates earned special recognition:
- Outstanding Thesis Award: Samantha Korta, Deputy Director/Intelligence Supervisor with the Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center, for “Fake News, Conspiracy Theories, and Lies: An Information Laundering Model for Homeland Security” 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.
- Curtis “Butch” Straub Award: Cody Minks, Regional Public Health Emergency Planner, Saint Charles County Department of Public Health, Saint Charles, Missouri. The award is in honor and memory of one of CHDS’ founders.
- Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award: Samantha Ladich, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Nevada Attorney General’s Office, and Kevin Harrison, Battalion Chief, New York City Fire Department. The Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award and is named in honor of a former CHDS student who died in August 2014.
Naval Postgraduate School
Center for Homeland Defense and Security
Charles Cavnor, Fire Lieutenant/HazMat Technician/Paramedic, Dallas Fire Rescue Department
James Donahue, Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Washington, D.C.
Andrew Fox, Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement, Washington, D.C.
Brian Gibson, Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, San Francisco
Susan Graves, Comprehensive Safe School Coordinator, Lincoln County School District, Newport, Oregon
Kevin Harrison, Battalion Chief, New York City Fire Department
Thomas Hodge, Supervisory Intelligence Research Specialist/DHS Homeland Security Investigations/ICE
Erica Hupka, Assistant Director of Emergency Management, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
Linda Jashari, Management Control Program Manager- Training Specialist, DHS-Transportation Security Administration, Coppell, Texas
Samantha Korta, Fusion Center Deputy Director/Intelligence Supervisor, Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Amanda Kulikowski, Sergeant, Novi Police Department, Novi, Michigan
Samantha Ladich, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Nevada Attorney General’s Office, Carson City, Nevada
Marissa Madrigal, Chief Operating Officer, Multnomah County, Portland, Oregon
Terri March, Court Administrator, North Las Vegas Justice Court, North Las Vegas, Nevada
Cody Minks, Regional Public Health Emergency Planner, Saint Charles County Department of Public Health, Saint Charles, Missouri
Robyn Owen, Intelligence Research Specialist, DHS Homeland Security Investigations/ICE
James Pendley, Assistant Chief, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville, Florida
Raines, City Manager, city of Millbrae, California
Gabe Rhodes, Investigator/Commander, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office/ 322nd MP DET (CID) Army Reserve
Jennifer Ricker, Deputy Director (Acting), Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Springfield, Illinois
Andrew Schroeder, Director of Strategic Data, Analytics, and Technology, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York
Brian Smicklas, Lieutenant Commander/Commander(s), U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, D.C.
Stephanie Smiley, Director – Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Madison, Wisconsin
Eric Soucie, Deputy Planning & Preparedness Section Chief, FEMA’s Office of National Capital Region Coordination, Washington, D.C.
Richard Suttles, Field Intelligence Officer, DHS Transportation Security Administration, Phoenix
Michael Swangler, Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, Vice Presidential Protective Division, U.S. Secret Service, Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey Waldman, Instructor Pilot / Chief of Safety, Air National Guard, 129th Rescue Wing, Moffett Federal Airfield, California
Kellie Weir, Section Chief, Fraud Detection & National Security Section Chief, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
- One graduate’s name has been omitted per request.