Brian D. Heslin, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, HSI – Boston

The Center for Homeland Defense & Security (CHDS) Masters Program is an extremely challenging, yet very rewarding programing. The educational aspects of the program are outstanding as they challenge the student to go outside their comfort zone and study areas one may not normally ponder during their career. While the education portion of the program is the reason one applies, the interaction one obtains with other members of the cohort brings tremendous value. In my class I encountered individuals from across the nation in various positions each of whom brought their own experiences and perspectives. Over the 18th month program the cohort came together as a team, supporting each other through the challenging academic curriculum and real life events that occurred during that time. The cohort becomes a family that will be with you long after graduation. As a career government employee, I’m truly thankful that the agency participates in programs like CHDS. Throughout my career I often thought of pursuing a high education, yet never had the right time or opportunity to do so. The agencies participation in this program provided me that opportunity. For those considering this program, go for it. Yet be aware it is no cake walk. You will be challenged, stressed and at time utterly confused. Yet the dedicated educational staff at CHDS and the cohort family you will encounter will get you through it. In the end you will obtain a Master’s Degree and apply those newly obtained skills to your profession. A long trip, yet one worth taking.” Brian D. Heslin Assistant Special Agent in Charge Homeland Security Investigations-Boston

Michael Spina, Deportation Officer, DHS – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Truly an unforgettable, life altering journey. The NPS/CHDS Master’s Program has changed my life on multiple levels. Personally, it gave me the honor and privilege of developing relationships with some of the most talented leaders throughout the homeland security enterprise. Intellectually, it pushed me out of my comfort zone and increased my ability to examine complex issues critically— an invaluable skill. Professionally, it has provided me with a multi-disciplinary network of HS professionals with whom to collaborate.” Mike Spina Deportation Officer Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Laura Jamison, Supervisory Intelligence Analyst (SIA), FBI

I applied to CHDS because I wholeheartedly wanted to learn about homeland security from a prestigious academic university that promoted independent thinking and problem solving methods. I wanted to understand how the homeland security enterprise impacted my role as an FBI supervisory intel analyst and ways I can better assess vulnerabilities in protecting the US. I also wanted to write a thesis to strengthen my research, analysis, and writing skills and examine a problem that was currently on my plate. The caliber of the professors and classmates and the discussions about homeland security and problem-solving went above my expectations. The resources and facilities were outstanding and I am forever grateful for the experience.” Laura Jamison Supervisory Intelligence Analyst (SIA) FBI

From Jason Lyon – Battalion Chief, Billings Fire Department

The Master’s Degree program at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security was both the most challenging and rewarding experience in my professional life. The opportunity to study and learn from CHDS’s internationally recognized staff has provided me numerous tools to increase the security and efficiency of my community. Studying and learning with homeland security professionals from across the nation and spanning all of the components of the homeland security enterprise has provided me with an extensive professional network with whom I can reach out to in order to respond to new challenges facing my jurisdiction. The academic programs at CHDS have changed my thinking with their emphasis on making decisions based on evidence and the quality of that evidence. The resources that CHDS provides to their students ensures that they become better speakers, writers, and thinkers. I strongly encourage any homeland security professional looking at a master’s degree to apply to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at NPS.

From Ana Lalley – Police Chief, Elgin Police Department

The Center for Homeland Defense & Security (CHDS) Masters Program was one of the best learning experiences I have had.  The level of expertise that each instructor brings to the learning environment is unmatched.  I entered the program with a Masters’s Degree from a university, but my experience at CHDS continued to challenge and inspire me as an individual and leader in my organization.  It was refreshing to hear so many different perspectives from talented people in my cohort and I truly enjoyed the experience.  If your mindset is a ‘can-do’ attitude when you arrive at CHDS, when you leave CHDS your mindset will be ‘can-do’ and ‘will-do’!” Ana Lalley Police Chief Elgin (IL) Police Department

Craig Schwartz, Captain, Santa Rosa Police Department

I began looking for a Master’s degree program in 2015, looking for something that would be relevant for my job now and in the future. My Chief of Police suggested applying to the CHDS program through the Naval Postgraduate School. I got my Bachelor’s Degree from the Naval Academy, so I was immediately enthusiastic. The application process was rigorous, and I was not accepted into the program until about a year after I applied. It was the best educational experience I have had since attending USNA almost 28 years ago. The faculty and staff are fantastic, as were the members of my cohort. I loved our time together during the in-residence sessions in the National Capitol Region, and miss our discussions, classes, and networking already, just a month after graduating. I gained a broader view of homeland security and my agency’s place in the enterprise. I wrote my thesis on a topic I could apply immediately at work, and I hope my thesis work will benefit other law enforcement agencies across the country as they look to implement unmanned aircraft or other controversial technologies. If you are thinking about applying to this program, do it! It will be both difficult and one of the best experiences of your life.” Craig Schwartz Captain Santa Rosa Police Department