Welcome to the Air Force Institute of Technology

AFIT awards 235 masters and 6 doctorate degrees at graduation ceremony
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2018


Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson gives remarks during the 2018 Air Force Institute of Technology Commencement Ceremony inside the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, March 22, 2018. AFIT is focused on providing exceptional defense-focused research-based graduate education. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

By Stacey Geiger, 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs / Originally published March 28, 2018 on the Wright-Patt News site

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management awarded 241 masters and doctorate degrees March 22 at the National Museum of the Air Force.

This graduating class includes 208 Air Force officers, three Air Force Non-Commissioned officers, 10 Army officers, three Marine Corps officers, and 13 civilians. The school also had three international students from Argentina and the Republic of Korea. 

Of the total graduated, the Graduate School awarded 235 master degrees and six doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields. One graduate received dual degrees. In addition, five masters and 12 doctoral alumni who graduated earlier in the academic year returned to participate in the ceremony. 

The guest speaker for the graduation ceremonies was Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. 

“The United States Air Force relies on the most advanced technology to defend our nation and project power in the air and space around the globe,” Wilson said addressing the graduates. “We are going to lean hard on you as the next generation of scientists and engineers in air and space. So choose to ask why, choose to innovate, and choose to build strong relationships throughout your professional lives. Our nation needs you desperately and our future generations are counting on you.”   

AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management is a research–based institution offering graduate programs leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in engineering, applied science and selected areas of management.  Their mission is to provide high-quality graduate education programs and engage in research activities that enable the Air Force to maintain its scientific and technological dominance. 

This year marks AFIT’s 99th anniversary. AFIT first granted accredited resident degrees in 1955 and since then more than 19,550 masters and 835 doctoral degrees have been awarded. 

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

• Capt. Steven M. Beyer from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was presented the Chancellor’s Award for demonstrating the most exceptional individual master’s thesis research. 

• Capt. Daniel J. Broyles from the Electrical and Computer Engineering 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. Martin Span III from the Systems Engineering and Management 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. Steven M. Hoak, from the Engineering Physics Department received the Edwin E. Aldrin Sr. Award, presented for displaying the most exceptional leadership characteristics while in the graduate program. 

• Master Sgt. Benjamin D. Bobic from the Operational Sciences Department 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.

The following students have met all degree requirements and have been approved for the designated degree:

Doctor of Philosophy

Mr. Christopher W. Badenhop^

Maj. Jarred L. Burley^

Maj. Daniel J. Casey 

Capt. Jonathon R. Climer^

Mr. Ricardo Davila

Lt. Col. Armando DeLeon Jr. 

Mr. Ben Eshel^

Mr. Zachary C. Little

Capt. Gordon E. Lott^

Capt. Carlos R. Garcia

Mr. James S. Okolica^

Maj. Matthew D. Roberts^

Lt. Col. James M. Sattler^

Lt. Col. John E. Stubbs^

Mr. Noah R. Van Zandt^

Mr. Frederick C. Webber^

Maj. Pamela L. Wheeler^

Mr. Andrew J. Zakrajsek

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering

2nd Lt. Joshua-Edward C. Beardsley III 

Capt. Anthony A. Castello 

Capt. Dayle L. Chang 

2nd Lt. Kevin J. DeMarco 

Capt. Jeffrey A. DesRoches 

2nd Lt. Christopher J. Ditter 

Capt. Andrew D. Durkee 

2nd Lt. Jacob P. Fischer* 

Maj. Michael Fritts

Maj. Michael J. Harris, U.S. Marine Corps

2nd Lt. Dylan N. Hope 

2nd Lt. Riley Huff 

Capt. Brian G. Kroeger 

Capt. Tyler S. Levy 

Capt. Steven W. M. Long 

2nd Lt. Nicholas J. Marco 

2nd Lt. Savannah N. Minor 

2nd Lt. Kyle D. Moore 

Capt. Lee R. Morris 

Capt. Aadit A. Patel 

Mr. Charles L. Shuff

Capt. James G. Tewaheftewa 

2nd Lt. Michael C. Waters 

Capt. Lee F. Wise 

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering

2nd Lt. Jacob A. Dahlke 

Mr. Mark C. Duane

2nd Lt. Jeremiah R. Hoffman* 

2nd Lt. Justin D. Katzovitz 

2nd Lt. Robert B. LaRue 

Mr. Kan Liu

Capt. Rodrigo I. Ocampo 

2nd Lt. Karson A. Roberts 

Capt. Christopher C. Rocker 

Mr. Benjamin N. Sargeant

2nd Lt. Braeden A. Sheets 

Capt. David F. Spendel 

Capt. Perry K. VanZandt 

Capt. Caleb J. Werner 

Capt. Samuel D. Wright 

Master of Science in Materials Science

Capt. Matthew T. LeSaint^

Capt. Glen E. Pry III* 

Capt. Steffan M. L. Wilcox 

Master of Science in Space Systems

Maj. Taehoi Koo, Republic of Korea

Capt. Isaac M. Nacita* 

Capt. Von Drake L. Ramos 

Capt. Daniel A. Timme (Dual Degree)

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Capt. Karl C. Bentjen  

Capt. Steven M. Beyer*

Capt. Brandon P. Froberg 

Capt. Robert P. Loibl Jr.  

Master of Science in Computer Science

Capt. Sarah J. Bolton 

2nd Lt. Luke M. Bradford 

Capt. Daniel D. Hart 

2nd Lt. Min Woo Kang 

2nd Lt. Samuel A. Mayer 

2nd Lt. Zachary C. Paulson 

Capt. Jonathan B. Roeber 

Capt. Kenneth R. Sample 

Capt. Daniel J. Schelkoph 

2nd Lt. Nicholas J. Seydel 

Master of Science in Cyber Operations

Capt. Markus M. Borneman 

Capt. Mason R. Bruza 

2nd Lt. Daniel J. Celebucki  

Mr. Jacob W. Connors

Capt. Michael H. Dunn 

Capt. Jeffrey J. T. Guion 

2nd Lt. Blaine M. Jeffries 

Capt. Matthew D. Kanning 

Capt. Bradford E. Law* 

2nd Lt. Tiffany M. Phan

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

1st Lt.  Matthew N. Alombro 

Capt. Roger S. Anderson 

2nd Lt. Taylor B. Bodin* 

Capt. Daniel J. Broyles* 

Capt. Alexander W. Duchane 

Capt. Kolby H. Elliott 

Capt. Joseph A. Ellis 

Capt. Roderick D. Ervin 

Capt. Antwon R. Gallagher 

2nd Lt. Ian R. Goodbody 

Capt. Robert E. Irby, IV 

Capt. Patrick R. Kennedy 

Capt. Daniel K. Koch 

Capt. Lawrence J. Lee 

Capt. Michael P. Malec 

Capt. Tyler M. Moore    

Capt. Lauren A. Mount 

Capt. Duy Kien Nguyen 

2nd Lt. Seeley M. Pentecost* 

Capt. Christian K. Peters 

2nd Lt. Bertus A. Shelters 

Capt. Chad M. Sobota 

Maj. Thomas Stuart

Mr. Evan V. Swihart

Capt. Joseph C. Tompkins 

Capt. Kullen W. Waggoner

Capt. John Willis

Capt. Clark L. Wolfe 

Department of Engineering Physics
Master of Science in Applied Physics

Maj. Diana Cruz, U.S. Army

Capt. Carlos D. Diaz 

Capt. Kalen L. Knippling 

Capt. Cameron A. Merriman 

2nd Lt. Richard D. Peterson 

Capt. Christopher R. Pitkins 

Maj. Nathan D. Smith 

Master of Science in Atmospheric Sciences

Capt. Gabriel D. Donndelinger

Capt. Tania M. Garza

Capt. William J. Graff

Capt. Nancy M. Holden

1st Lt. Jeremy A. Mayo-Johnson

2nd Lt. Sarah A. Olsen

Capt. Matthew W. Perkins

Master of Science in Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction

Capt. Richard F. Daughtry III, U.S. Army

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

CPT. Peter D. Anderson, U.S. Army

Maj. Todd A. Bryant, U.S. Army

Capt. Zachary T. Condon 

2nd Lt. Anita N. Dunsmore*

Maj. Steven M. Hoak, U.S. Army

2nd Lt. Robert J. Olesen* 

Mr. Jay E. Ostler*

2nd Lt. Steven G. Sauer 

Capt. Jason R. Stickney 

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Master of Science in Applied Mathematics

Capt. Daniel E. Hill 

2nd Lt. Andrew P. Lawrence 

2nd Lt. Justin Ng 

Department of Operational Sciences
Master of Science in Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Vice Commodoro Jose A. Alvarez*, Argentina

Capt. Rachael S. Beightel 

Maj. Thomas S. Bihansky Jr.  

Master Sgt. Benjamin D. Bobic  

Capt. Dustin D. Bohall 

Capt. Melvin K. Boothe 

Capt. Samantha R. Bryan  

Capt. Joshua P. Casey 

Capt. Brandon M. Clements 

Capt. Daniel S. Finney 

1st Lt. Rachel E. Herald 

Capt. Michael J. Hester*

Master Sgt. Theodore S. Holliger 

Maj. Scott M. Kubalek 

Capt. Steven T. Lane 

Capt. Andrew J. Lankow* 

Capt. Benjamin W. Leung 

Capt. Michael D. Mauro 

Master Sgt. Michael P. McLane 

Capt. Casey L. Owens 

Capt. Samuel H. Pang 

Capt. Josiah J. Pratt 

Capt. Francisco J. Rodriguez 

Capt. Luis D. Rosado-Medina 

Ms. Jessica A. Smith^

Capt. Jessica M. Thomas 

Capt. Michael J. Weber 

Capt. Peter J. Williams 

Master of Science in Operations Research

Capt. Nolan R. Bet 

1st Lt. Stephanie M. Boone 

2nd Lt. Luke M. Brantley 

Capt. Spencer A. Butt 

Capt. Josh D. Deehr, U.S. Army

1st Lt. Jacob T. Elliott 

Capt. Chelsea T. Froom 

Capt. Sarah K. Furrer 

Capt. James C. Gallagher*, U.S. Army

2nd Lt. Preston A. Green 

2nd Lt. Jake Edward Johnson 

2nd Lt. Anthony J. Kallhoff 

2nd Lt. Ivan G. Keene*

2nd Lt. Jacob R. Lindell 

1st Lt. Miguel J. Macias 

1st Lt. Frances G. MacKinnon 

Capt. Richard E. Mard, U.S. Army

2nd Lt. Lindsey N. McEvoy 

Capt. Evan L. Munson, U.S. Army

2nd Lt. Sarah E. Neumann 

Capt. Clifton M. Noble 

Maj. Rachel C. Ramirez 

Mr. Joseph E. Schoenbeck 

1st Lt. William C. Sevier 

Capt. Matthew T. Small 

Capt. Jeffrey R. Smith Jr. 

1st Lt. Alexander M. Trigo 

Capt. Nicholas M. Uhorchak, U.S. Army

Maj. Kyle S. Wilkinson* 

Department of Systems Engineering and Management
Master of Engineering in Applied Systems Engineering

Capt. Steven P. Carpenter 

Capt. Marie Gaudreault

Mr. Jacob Jackson

Capt. Montgomery B. Kirk IV^

Capt. Jordan Ziegler

Master of Science in Cost Analysis

Capt. Evan R. Boone 

Capt. Kirsten Bunecke

Capt. Tarah E. Cotton 

1st Lt. Bradley M. Duncan 

Capt. James Ellis 

1st Lt. Scott C. Hewitson 

1st Lt. Chase M. Houser 

1st Lt. Deborah B. Kim 

Capt. Amanda L. McGowin 

Capt. Raymond L. Mims II 

1st Lt. Garrett B. O'Hanlon 

Capt. James T. Okamoto* 

1st Lt. Bryan J. Price 

1st Lt. Shauna M. Young 

Master of Science in Engineering Management

Capt. Joseph A. Applebee 

Maj. William E. Bentley 

Capt. Bianca E. Boney 

Capt. Corey J. Booker 

Capt. Jared R. Breuker 

Capt. Joshua C. Chambers-Mills 

Capt. Samuel M. Clark  

Capt. Andrew W. Davenport 

Capt. Paul P. Dennison 

Capt. Christopher A.J. Edlund 

Capt. Jared R. Erickson 

Capt. Justin M. Iungerich 

Capt. Brendan J. Maestas*

2nd Lt. John P. McCrea 

Capt. Robert J. McGaha 

Capt. Philip A. Ramsey* 

Capt. Sean M. Stuntz 

Capt. Jesse A. Trawick 

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering & Science

Capt. Sean M. Dyson 

Capt. Thomas G. Hornstein, U.S. Marine Corps

Capt. Joseph B. Kunicki, U.S. Marine Corps

Capt.  Ariel L. Waiters 

Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene

Ms. Michelle L. Page^

Maj. Keith A. Sanders* 

Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Capt. Timothy J. Allen 

2nd Lt. Walid Basraoui 

Capt. Mark G. Bateman Jr. 

Capt. Joe R. Berry 

2nd Lt. David J. Buehler 

Capt. Daniel Cipera 

Capt. Matthew W. Davis

Maj.  Michael S. Felten 

Capt. Michael M. Kaniut 

Mr. Austin M. Klaus

Maj. Kijun Lee, Republic of Korea

Capt. Martin Span III*

Capt. Daniel A. Timme (Dual Degree)

Capt. Austin A. Troya 

Mr. Michael J. Walters^

*Distinguished Graduate

^ Graduated earlier in the academic year and returned to participate in the ceremony