Thirty-one students earn homeland security master’s degrees from NPS-CHDS

The December 14 graduation ceremony at the Naval Postgraduate School included 31 homeland security professionals who completed a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

The students 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 below).

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 alumni 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 students earned special recognition:

  • Outstanding Thesis Award: Ronald Dorman, Deportation Officer, DHS/ICE, for “Shoot the Horse and Build a Better Barn Door: Exploring the Potential for a Superforecasting Methodology to Strengthen the DHS Leadership Selection Process.” 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: Kristen Ziman, Police Chief, Aurora Police Department, Illinois. The award is in honor and memory of one of CHDS’ founders.
  • Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award: Robert Tisdale, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, USCIS (Cohort 1703), and Danny Wu, Fire Captain I, Los Angeles Fire Department (Cohort 1704). The Mark Carr Esprit De Corps Award and is named in honor of a former CHDS student who died in August 2014.
Master's Degree Cohort 1703/1704

Master’s Degree Cohort 1703/1704 stands for a group shot on graduation day, December 14, 2018. (Photo by Javier Chagoya/PAO)

Naval Postgraduate School

Center for Homeland Defense and Security

Ike Barnes – Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, US Secret Service

Steven Blindbury – Assistant Federal Security Director-Law Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration Office of Law Enforcement

Theodore Boe – Chief of Police, Burien Police Department

Kimberly Buffkin – Battalion Chief, Orange County Fire Rescue

Juan Byron – Battalion Chief, South San Francisco Fire Department

Scott Corbin – Emergency Management Director, Allegan County

Jeffrey Covitz – Paramedic Captain, San Francisco Fire Department

Ben Crowell – Surface Operations Officer/LCDR, USCG

Ronald Dorman – Deportation Officer, DHS/ICE

Craig Dowdell – Lieutenant-Homeland Security Unit, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department

Kyle Falkner – Captain/External Affairs Officer, Fort Worth Fire Department

Lisa Figueroa – Executive Assistant to the Tribal Administrator, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Cesar Garcia – Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DHS/CBP

James Jenista – Deputy Chief, Joint Exercise Division, NORAD & USNORTHCOM

Robert Lawler – Assistant Director, CBP/OS/LESC

Kathlyn Lawrence – Assistant Field Office Director, DHS/ICE/ERO

Keith McKinney – Deputy Regional Attaché, DHS Homeland Security Investigations

Charity Menefee – Regional Hospital Coordinator, Knox County Health Department

Mourad Mourad – Sergeant of Detective Squad, NYPD

David Park – Assistant Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge, Transportation Security Administration/Office of Law Enforcement

James Seebock – Police Captain, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Jason Sirney – Emergency Manager, City of Sacramento

Michael Spina – Deportation Officer, DHS/ICE/ERO

Nathaniel Steger – Sergeant, Homeland Security Unit, San Francisco Police Department

Robert Tisdale – Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, USCIS

Christian Tubbs – Fire Chief / District Manager, Southern Marin Fire District

Robert Vasquez – Deputy Chief of Police, Santa Fe Police Department

Steve Vaughn – Systems Accountant, DHS/FEMA

Ryan Whitehead – Transportation Security Inspector, Department of Homeland Security/Transportation Security Administration

Danny Wu – Fire Captain I, Los Angeles Fire Department

Kristen Ziman – Police Chief, Aurora IL Police Department