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Today@NPS - July 2016

Today@NPS showcases some of the speakers, conferences, experiments, lectures, and other events that take place at the Naval Postgraduate School on a daily basis.  If you would like more information about any of the highlighted activities please contact the public affairs office at To view more stories visit the Today at NPS archive. NPS' photo galleries 
and graduation pictures can be found on the Photo Gallery - Collections page.


U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Bowman Scholars Make the Rapid Transition to Graduate Studies
By Javier Chagoya

NPS students Ensigns Ellen Bradford, left, and Rebecca Greenberg, right, listen to Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Distinguished Professor Xiaoping Yun during his lecture in their optimal control systems course in Spanagel Hall, July 7.

Bradford and Greenberg are members of the latest class of U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Admiral Frank Bowman Scholars program recipients. Twenty ensigns were selected from their 2016 USNA graduating class, and upon commissioning, continue on to NPS as master's candidates.

Each of the Bowman Scholars has a compelling story along their path to NPS. Bradford, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, just returned from the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. During her time at the Academy, Bradford was a highly-decorated swimmer winning multiple Patriot League titles, and was awarded Scholar Athlete of the Year three times.

"It's such an honor to receive all the awards, but I didn't know those awards existed until I was told that I got them," Bradford said during an interview with her hometown newspaper. "Mostly I had just been working hard for four years just doing the best I could because that's what I was raised to do."

Ensign Jim Catina, a native of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, has also caught the attention of Navy leadership. While at USNA, he led a research team studying the use of additive manufacturing for rocket propulsion applications. The research was recognized by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in the 2015 SECNAV Innovation Awards, selected from more than 300 research projects across the Department of the Navy. 

July 7, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich
NSAM Welcomes New Students With MWR Leisure Fair
By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

Community Recreation Supervisor Nichole Wright hosts a prize booth during the Naval Support Activity Monterey (NSAM) Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) leisure fair outside the Dudley Knox Library, July 5. The fair introduces students to a variety of community programs, student-run clubs, and the MWR services and activities that are available to them.

"Today is our fifth annual leisure fair, and we are hosting this event to give back to our military and their families," said Wright. "We also invited the public in to advertise and promote what they have going … We have groups from the MWR run golf course, the fitness center, USAA, Navy Federal, and many more groups who like to give back throughout the year.

"Our job is to produce fun," she added. "It's building morale for all our active duty members on this installation."

For more information about NSAM MWR, check out their website at or visit the MWR offices located in Herrmann Hall.

July 6, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Lewis Hunsaker
Summer Quarter Welcomes Largest Incoming Class of the Year
By MC1 Lewis Hunsaker

First quarter NPS students U.S. Marine Corps Capts. Valerie Munoz, left, and Danny Sanchez, right, transition between classes during the first day of instruction, July 5. The Summer quarter represents the university's largest incoming class of nearly 450 new students, with Munoz and Sanchez part of a record 123 new Marine Corps students on campus.

Munoz and Sanchez are both coming from Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, and have elected to be geographical bachelors during their time at NPS with their respective families remaining down south. In fact, it was this difficult decision that has already given Sanchez an idea of what he would like to examine for his thesis in the manpower systems analysis curriculum.

"I believe that we should be able to map out our careers for five years," he said. "Five to ten year plans should be allowed in the Marine Corps … This will help with family life, purchasing a house, school for kids, and ultimately with retention in the Marine Corps."

"I have to agree with many of Sanchez' points as a dual military family myself," added Munoz, a student in the acquisitions and contract management program.

The Summer quarter traditionally represents the largest incoming class of the year. Of the nearly 450 new students on campus, 160 are U.S. Navy officers, 123 are Marines, 76 are U.S. Army officers, and 29 are Airmen. In addition, 45 officers from international partners around the world, along with 10 DOD civilians, began their studies at NPS this quarter.

July 5, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
NPS Leadership Share Life Primers with Summer STEM Interns
By Javier Chagoya

NPS Dean of Research Dr. Jeff Paduan, seated right, shares his views on the value of graduate-level research to an audience of 92 summer interns, who met with NPS senior leadership in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Auditorium, June 30. The interns are now working alongside a diverse cadre of NPS faculty through the university's impressive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach program.

"The model for graduate education that has been developed in the United States is one in which students are integrated into the ongoing research of their faculty mentors. The research program complements classroom teaching," said Paduan.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Dr. Doug Moses was also in attendance, describing his academic career and personal journey to his current position at NPS as "random."

"The first thing is don't worry if you don't have a plan," Moses said. "This will work itself out as you follow my second suggestion … And that is, whatever endeavor you choose in the road of life, you must do the very best job that you are able to do. This opens up doors unimagined as you go up in life," said Moses.

NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route and Chief of Staff Capt. Anthony Parisi both imparted enlightening advice on their careers and choices, and the importance of continuing education beyond the papered degree.

Intern Rhys Leahy of American University in Washington, D.C., is a student in the international relations curriculum. She says that regardless of her current pursuits, she's discovered further career possibilities in the month as an intern at NPS.

"Coming into a STEM internship as an international relations student has given me a wide angle lens on how science and engineering can be applied to most issues," said Leahy. "At NPS, I'm working on a project on cyberwarfare and U.S.-Russia relations, so my background has helped me analyze the conflict, and the faculty, students and resources at NPS helped me develop a nuanced understanding of cybersecurity."

Leahy intends on including more math and physics in her schedule upon her return to American University. Her goal is to work in a federal agency and to fuse her passion for science with her regional knowledge of Eastern Europe, with an eye towards eventual diplomatic work.

"I'm particularly interested in how people interact with technology, and, after [observing] the Navy's #HacktheSky Hackathon Event, I want to learn more about user interface design," she said.

July 1, 2016


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