Welcome to the Air Force Institute of Technology

AFIT graduates new class of master’s, doctoral students
Posted Friday, March 31, 2017


The Air Force Institute of Technology Graduate School of Engineering and Management at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base hosted a commencement ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force March 23.  Degrees awarded at the ceremony included 254 master's (two students earned dual degrees) and two doctor of philosophy degrees.  In addition, three master's and 24 doctoral graduates returned to walk in the ceremony.

This graduating class included three Air Force non-commissioned officers, nine U.S. Army, two Marine Corps and 15 civilian students.  In addition, one international officer from Argentina received a degree.  More than 20 different research areas were represented.

During his speech, Dr. Todd Stewart, AFIT's director and chancellor, highlighted a third generation AFIT graduate - Capt Aaron Vincent, who earned a master's degree in logistics & supply chain management and was a Distinguished Graduate.  His father, Roger Vincent, a retired Air Force colonel, earned a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1997.  His grandfather, Oakley Vincent, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering in 1965. " What a great family tradition of service to our Air Force and our country," Stewart said. 

In addition, Stewart paid special tribute to some very special guests: More than 20 parents and grandparents who were veterans of the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars were in attendance. 

The commencement speaker was Gen. James Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command. 

" The tie between the military aviation technology and the engineers and scientists that provide it has many layers.  All ACC Airmen depend on you and the work that you will give them an edge in combat, vital logistics support, and for their very lives," Holmes said.

" The many late nights spent studying and the time spent catching up on homework or developing your thesis...will enable each and every one of you to put your expertise to work and make a huge impact on our Air Force," he said.  " I am really excited to think about what each of you will bring to the table after you leave here today.

" In my humble opinion, AFIT offers the best professional military education the Air Force has to offer.  A long tradition, continuously updated, means we provide unique graduates that we can't get from any other university anywhere else," Holmes said.

In closing, Holmes charged the graduates " to continue in their duties, remember the sacrifices of those that came before us and the Airmen that we serve with today.  May we all remember our obligations to the men and women that we serve with."

During a ceremony earlier in the day at AFIT, some students were presented awards for their exemplary performance during their graduate studies.  Those presented awards included:

  • Maj. Francis Hallada from the Department of Engineering Physics was presented the Chancellor's Award for demonstrating the most exceptional individual master's thesis research.
  • First Lt. Zachary Hoeffner from the Engineering Physics Department received the Mervin E. Gross Award for his exceptional academic achievement and high qualities of character, initiative, and leadership. The award is named in honor of Brig. Gen. Mervin E. Gross, first commandant of the Institute.
  • Capt. Anthony Rose from the Computer and Electrical Engineering Department received the Louis F. Polk Award.  The winner of this award exhibited the highest standards of academic and professional accomplishment and through their research made a significant contribution toward strengthening the nation's industrial defense base.
  • MAJ  Ronald Lenker, U.S. Army  from the  Department of Engineering Physics received the Edwin E. Aldrin Sr. Award, presented for displaying the most exceptional leadership characteristics while in the graduate program. 
  • Tech. Sgt. Nathan Carlson from the Department of Operational Sciences received the Secretary James G. Roche Award for demonstrating exceptional academic achievement through a combination of grade point average and outstanding research, as well as high qualities of character, initiative, leadership and service.

Since AFIT's establishment in November of 1919, the institute has counted among its alumni some of the most accomplished engineers and scientists known worldwide, both past and present. This list includes Air Force pioneers Gen. George Kenney, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, Gen. Bernard Schriever, Gen. Benjamin Chidlaw, Astronauts Virgil  " Gus" Grissom,  Gordon Cooper, and Guion Bluford, to name a few.

AFIT first granted accredited resident degrees in 1955 and since then more than 18,760 master's and 795 doctoral degrees have been awarded. 

To learn more AFIT, visit:

List of Graduates:

*Distinguished Graduate
#Dual Degree
^Return to Walk

Doctor of Philosophy
Lieutenant Colonel Jason R. Anderson, Logistics & Supply Chain Management^
Captain Andrew M. Armstrong, Applied Mathematics^
Captain Joseph Ausserer, Aeronautical Engineering^
Major Kenneth W. Burgi, Applied Physics^
Captain Aaron Joseph Canciani, Electrical Engineering^
Major Andrew E. Cottle, Aeronautical Engineering^
Lieutenant Colonel Randall D. Deppensmith, Electrical Engineering^
Captain Ashley E. Gonzales, Optical Sciences & Engineering
Lieutenant Colonel Kara M. Greene, Aeronautical Engineering
Mr. Seth T. Hamman, Computer Science^
Captain Nicholas C. Herr, Applied Physics^
Captain Joshuah A. Hess, Aeronautical Engineering^
Lieutenant Colonel Clay J. Humphreys, Aeronautical Engineering^
Major Tod V. Laurvick, Electrical Engineering^
Captain Andrew J. Lingenfelter, Aeronautical Engineering^
Mr. Juan Lopez, Computer Science^
Mr. Jacob Andrew Martin, Applied Physics^
Major David Matters (US Army), Applied Physics^
Mr. Fairul Mohd-Zaid, Applied Mathematics^
Mr. Michael Raymond Rhoby, Optical Sciences & Engineering^
Major John C. Rice, Computer Science^
Mr. Joshua Vaughn Rodewald, Systems Engineering^
Captain Richard P. Uber, Applied Mathematics^
Ms. Sandra Lee Vaughan, Computer Science^
Mr. Donald Venable, Electrical Engineering^
Mr. Luke Atticus Wuertemberger, Materials Science^

Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Second Lieutenant Nicholas C. Becherer 
Captain Eddie K. Caberto 
Second Lieutenant Christopher Joseph Garnick 
Second Lieutenant Ryan Argent Good 
Captain Jose Amaury Gutierrez del Arroyo* 
Captain Daniel Lugo 
Second Lieutenant Travis B. Rennich 
Captain Daniel Patrick Richardson

Master of Science in Computer Science
Second Lieutenant Matthew Edward Aust 
Second Lieutenant Colin Raymond Busho 
Captain Jeffrey Lee Choate 
Second Lieutenant Kevin Scott Cooper 
First Lieutenant Joseph Khalil Daoud (US Army)
Second Lieutenant Elwyn John McCargar Jr 
Captain Timothy Robert Meyer 
Captain Rosemberg Ortiz 
Second Lieutenant Evan G. Plumley (US Army)
Second Lieutenant Jake Michael Spuller 
Captain Kebin Peace Oluwaseyi Umodu 
Captain Donald Alan Van Patten II 

Master of Science in Cyber Operations
Captain Richard Evan Chappell II 
Second Lieutenant Andrew James Chaves 
Second Lieutenant Justin Kyle Gallenstein 
Second Lieutenant Jonathan S. Goodgion* 
Captain Stephen Khou* 
Captain Htein Aung Lin 
Captain Caleb E. Mays 
Second Lieutenant Eric M. McKinion 
Second Lieutenant Christopher Andrew Parsons* 
Second Lieutenant Anthony A. Portante 
Second Lieutenant Cassandra Ramos Post 
Captain Travis Shell Potthoff 
Major Matthew P. Sibiga 
Captain Ian Wayne Stine 

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Second Lieutenant Michael Josiah Bentley* 
Second Lieutenant Noah Thomas Blach 
Mr. Daniel J. Carson
Second Lieutenant Sean C.S. Coates 
Captain Schuyler Lane Collis 
Captain Cameron Wilford Coon 
First Lieutenant Matthew Aaron Cooper#
Captain Joshua Alexander Day 
Mr. Jeffrey William Eaton
First Lieutenant Stephen T. Emmons 
Captain Elliot R. Erstein 
Captain Benjamin Michael Fain 
Captain Benjamin Israel Fogarty   
Captain Justin Milan Guerrero 
Major Philip C. Jackson
Captain Daniel Thomas Johnson* 
First Lieutenant Andrew Martin Jones 
Captain William G. Kaval IV 
Captain Mark Sungsoo Kim   
Captain Jordan Taylor Kirk 
Mr. Andrew J. Knisely
Second Lieutenant Michael J. Ledford 
Captain Scott J. Lefgren 
Captain Noah Christopher Lesch   
Captain Robert Lee Mash II 
Captain Richard R. McMurry 
Captain Sean Patrick O'Neill 
Captain Oliver Wesley Petree 
Second Lieutenant Patrick Alan Reber 
Captain Anthony Joseph Rose* 
Captain Brady Paul Ross 
Captain Joseph Robert Sciacca 
Captain David Alexander Smith 
Second Lieutenant Alex Robert Strom 
Captain Christopher Michael Talbot 
Second Lieutenant Alton Micah Vaughan 
Second Lieutenant David Lee Weathers 
Captain Mark Joneric Wireman   
Second Lieutenant Blake E. Yerkes 
Captain Nicholas Yielding 
Captain Nicolas Hitt Zimmerman

Master of Science in Applied Physics
Major Francis David Hallada 
First Lieutenant Zachary W. Hoeffner*# 
Captain Ann M. Lanari 
Captain John Scott Van Ross 
First Lieutenant Ethan Daniel Thorp 

Master of Science in Materials Science
Ms. SarahKatie Thomas

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
Captain Kasidit V. Chalaopak 
Captain Derek W. Haws 
First Lieutenant Zachary W. Hoeffner*#
Major Ronald Clayton Harold Lenker (US Army)
Ms. Julie V. Logan*
Second Lieutenant Kaz Antonio Moffett 
First Lieutenant Taylor R. Schulmeister 
Major Clinton Alan Shelby (US Army)

Master of Science in Optical Sciences and Engineering
Captain Marvin-Ray Arida 
First Lieutenant Brady M. Gough 
First Lieutenant Madilynn Elizabeth Viens 

Master of Science in Logistics
Captain Cory Edward Sanders

Master of Science in Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Captain John Daniel Atkinson IV 
Captain Dominic Gideon Baker 
Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Hernan Bertram (Argentina)
Captain Jonathan Michael Burnett 
Technical Sergeant Nathan J. Carlson 
Captain Ryan C. Crean 
Captain Daniel W. Crouch 
Captain Joshua D. DeFrank 
Captain Cody Samuel Freeborn 
Captain Greg Elliot Hoyt 
Captain Kelsie Lynn Hughes 
Captain Jason M. Leighton 
Captain Gayleen S.A. Lim 
Captain Michael Phillip Mason 
Captain Caitlin Marie Oviatt 
Captain Aaron Thomas Vincent* 
Major Russell H. Williams

Master of Science in Operations Research
Captain Benjamin W. Benson 
Captain William N. Caballero*
Second Lieutenant Stuart Alexander Corbett 
Captain Travis Lloyd Cox (US Army)
First Lieutenant Douglas Allen Dillard 
Second Lieutenant Christiana Rose Fairman 
Major Matthew D. Ferguson (US Army)
Captain Courtney N. Franzen 
Second Lieutenant Robert Joseph Gutierrez 
Captain Ryan William Hutson (US Army)
Second Lieutenant Garrett Lee Jameson 
Captain Phillip R. Jenkins*
Mr. Austin Maillette Klaus
Captain Alexander G. Kline* (US Army)
Captain Benjamin David Leiby 
First Lieutenant Megan Lynn Muniz 
Second Lieutenant Hai-Dang Nguyen 
Major Brendan Menelik O'Neal 
First Lieutenant Maria Sharon Phillips 
Second Lieutenant Gregory Dale Potts II 
Second Lieutenant Erik Benjamin Schuh 
Captain Katlyn A. Schulte   
Second Lieutenant Joseph Raymond Schwemmer 
Major Daniel Shane Summers (US Army)
Captain Kimberly S. West 
Captain Bret Nicholas Witham 
Captain Jamie Taylor Zimmermann

Master of Engineering in Applied Systems Engineering
Major William T. Carter^
Captain Richard Dominguez Santos

Master of Science in Cost Analysis
Master Sergeant Alicia Danyle Binggeli 
Captain Michael Jacob Brown 
Captain Ian Shayne Cordell 
Mrs. Cory N. D'Amico
Captain Peter Andrew Debois 
First Lieutenant Kevin Michael Dwyer 
First Lieutenant Virginia Lee Galbraith 
First Lieutenant John Richard Griffith 
First Lieutenant Sharif Francis Harris 
First Lieutenant Ryan Paul Recker 
Captain Aaron Michael Rhea 
Captain Daniel Joseph Ronning 
First Lieutenant John Patrick Rosson*
Ms. Diane Elizabeth Covan Schultz
Captain Ryan Christopher Trudelle

Master of Science in Engineering Management
Mr. Brian R. Allen
Captain Zachary S. Bierhaus 
Captain Michael J. Blaess 
Captain Joseph C. Buyer 
Captain Jim Holley Daniels 
First Lieutenant Corey Ryan DeGroot 
Captain Justin E. Eshleman*
Captain Dustin Lynn Gooden 
Captain Alexander James Graboski 
Captain Nathan Alan Greiner 
Captain Victor L. Guinn 
Captain Shandon L. James 
Captain David A. Kohlhepp 
Captain Erich Christian Kramer 
First Lieutenant Chad Alan Martel 
Captain Sean T. Murphy 
Captain John Harold Nussbaum 
Captain M. Carlyn Olive 
Captain William Lawrence Page 
Captain Michael William Peterson 
First Lieutenant Christopher T. Schmidt 
First Lieutenant Christopher Michael Twigg 
Captain Keegan Darius Vaira 
Captain Shane R. Veitenheimer* 
Captain Anthony D. Williams

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering & Science
Captain Brandon Bill Barnes (US Marine Corps)
Captain Matthew Thomas Barnes (US Marine Corps)^
Captain Gabriel A. Cantu 
Mr. Morgan M. Russell
Captain Matthew David Smith*
Captain Christopher Allen Swift (US Marine Corps)

Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene
Captain Inna D. Chavez 
Major Matthew P. Nowoczynski

Master of Science in Systems Engineering
Captain Donald Barrett 
First Lieutenant Bryan Robert Bentz 
Second Lieutenant Anthony John Hillesheim   
Captain Bryan V. Jackson
Captain Clifford D. Johnson 
Mrs. Laura L. Lucas
Captain Robert L. McClanahan 
Captain Blake Thomas McCollum 
Second Lieutenant Casey John Remington Riggs
Captain Andrew John Roberts
Captain Stephen J. Satava II 
Captain Jordan Lee Stern* 
Captain Roman Tillman 
Ms. Lidia Toscano
Captain Steven T. Wachtel*

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
First Lieutenant Robert Walden Ashby 
Mr. Andrew Doyle Bower
Second Lieutenant Carol Ellen Bryant 
Captain Alison Marie Ceranski
First Lieutenant Matthew Aaron Cooper#
Captain David L.A. Eisensmith 
Second Lieutenant Peter T. Heidlauf 
Second Lieutenant Jonathon R. Hill 
Captain Christopher R. Hoskins 
Captain Thomas P. Hulsey 
First Lieutenant Kevin R. Knapp 
First Lieutenant Joshua J. Lee 
Captain Eric W. Lum 
Mr. Ian Michael Maatz*
First Lieutenant Ryan Craig Petrie 
Second Lieutenant Zachariah Adam Provchy 
Second Lieutenant Jordan Wade Snyder 
Captain Beau Jacob Stegemann 
Major Mark William Vahle*
Second Lieutenant Christopher James Vorgert 
Second Lieutenant Luke Anthony Welch

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering
First Lieutenant Ryan Jacob Anderson 
Second Lieutenant Daniel R. Barnes 
Captain Christopher A. Box 
Second Lieutenant John N. Brick*
Second Lieutenant Anthony Mark Callaham 
Mr. Jonathan Michael Childress
Captain Brian D. Couch 
Second Lieutenant Melissa Ann Dunkel 
Second Lieutenant Patrick Neal Dunkel 
Captain Ali M. Hamidani 
Captain Nicholas L. Hyatt 
Captain Jeremy Joseph Kaczmarek 
Captain Matthew Steven Mashek 
Second Lieutenant Rachel Oliver 
Captain Brian William Pitman*
Captain Marissa Carol Reabe 
Captain Adam T. Rich 
Second Lieutenant Christine Marie Robinson 
Captain Kenneth James Stuart 
Captain Christopher Douglas Tommila 
Captain Stephen K. Tullino

Master of Science in Materials Science
Captain Nicholas James Boucher*
Captain Thomas Arthur Bowen 
Master Sergeant Ronald K. Mitchell

Master of Science in Space Systems
Captain Christian Nels Alf 
Captain Laura Henderson Broch 
Captain Cameron R. Cunningham 
Captain Jacob James Downey
Mr. Carl R. Kobza^
Captain Daniel T. Lanzo 
Captain Justin A. Sadowski

The original article is posted in the 31 March 2017 Skywrighter, Vol 58, No. 13.