Premier Homeland Security Educator Awards 32 Master’s Degrees
MONTEREY, Calif. – Thirty-two homeland security professionals earned a Master of Arts in Security Studies March 30 from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS).
The students received degrees from CHDS as part of ceremonies at the Naval Postgraduate School. They represent a cross-section of the homeland security profession and include professionals from law enforcement, fire safety, homeland security, emergency management, social services and the military.
"These graduates bring great credit to themselves and their professions. They will join the expanding network of homeland security leaders who are shaping the future of our nation," said CHDS Director Glen Woodbury.
Three graduates earned honors:
- Chas Eby earned the Outstanding Thesis Award, given to the student whose thesis best exemplifies the contribution of scholarship to the study and practice of homeland security. Eby’s thesis was titled "The Nation that Cried Lone Wolf: A Data-driven Analysis of Individual Terrorists in the United States since 9/11." Eby is Chief Planner for Emergency Preparedness for the Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.
- Sunil Dutta was honored with the Curtis H. "Butch" Straub Award, which is presented to the student who has written an outstanding thesis and has demonstrated leadership in the classroom. Dutta is a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department. The award is named after one of the founders of CHDS.
- Sharon Watson was presented the Philip G. Zimbardo Award, which is presented to the student’s whose outstanding analyses and keen insights exemplify the best in academic scholarship as applied to the solutions of emergent national challenges. The award is named after renowned Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo, who also teaches at CHDS. Watson is public affairs director with the Kansas Adjutant General’s Office.
During the 18-month online and in-residence program, homeland security officials from across the nation collaborate on current policy, strategy, and organizational design challenges. Graduates must complete a thesis relative to their employing agency and often this research finds its way into practice and policy.
The following graduates comprise the cohort:
- Jennifer Barsh, Sergeant, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
- Merideth Bastiani, Children and Family Services Specialist 2, New York State Office of Children & Family Services
- Gregory Bernard, Chief, Mission Execution, DHS/Domestic Nuclear Detection Office
- Ben Chlapek, Deputy Chief, Central Jackson County Fire Protection District
- Donald Davis, Port Security Specialist, U. S. COAST GUARD
- Andrew Di Fusco, Supervising Fire Marshal/Director of Training, Fire Department of the City of New York
- Nancy Dragani, Executive Director, Ohio Emergency Management Agency
- Sunil Dutta, Lieutenant (Patrol Watch Commander), Los Angeles Police Department
- Charles Eby, Chief Planner for Emergency Preparedness, Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
- Elizabeth Gaffin, Associate Counsel, DHS/USCIS
- Chad Gorman, CBRNE Branch Chief, Department of Homeland Security: Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Robert Hehemann, Reserve Advisor to the NORAD Director of Operations and Deputy N-NC Command Center Director, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
- Samuel Johnson II, Program Specialist (Watch Officer), FEMA
- James Kiesling, Captain, New York City Fire Department, Special Operations Command
- Elizabeth Koren, Program Analyst (Planner), FEMA
- David Linthicum, Police Lieutenant, Raleigh Police Department
- Jill Mcelwee, Lieutenant , Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department
- Scott Minarcine, Deputy Director, Division of Emergency Preparedness and Reponse, Office of Preparedness, Georgia Deparment of Community Health
- Julie Nations, Grants Manager/UASI Coordinator, Memphis Police Department
- Aaron Nelson, Captain- firefighter/paramedic/hazmat tech, Unified Fire Authority of Greater Salt Lake
- Robert Nelson, Captain II – CBRNE/WMD Unit, Los Angeles Fire Department
- Anthony Perry, Program Manager, TSA
- Andrew Phelps, Preparedness Program Manager, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Harold Pretel, Commander, Cleveland Division of Police
- Bruce Robertson, Chief, Centerville OH Police Department
- James Saunders, Assistant Director, Iowa Dept. of Public Safety – Investigative Operations, Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center
- Richard Sellards, Deputy Regional Director, US Dept. of Homeland Security/FPS
- Andrew Slaten, Deputy Director, International Affairs, FEMA International Affairs Division
- Thomas Sturm, Major, USNORTHCOM Operations
- Andrew Teeter, District Chief – Field Operations Section, Tulsa Fire Department
- Nathan Tsoi, Operations Officer, TSA
- Sharon Watson, Public Affairs Director, Kansas Adjutant General’s Department