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Today@NPS - March 2015

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 NPS' photo galleries and graduation pictures can be found on the Photo Gallery - Collections page.


U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
NPS Observes Women's History Month
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart

NPS Chief of Staff Capt. Deidre McLay discusses Capt. Joy Bright Hancock's role in making women a permanent part of the Navy during the Multicultural Heritage Committee's Women's History Month observance at Glasgow Hall, Mar. 19. McLay's speech also focused on the contributions made by the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES).

"The event was an opportunity to pause and reflect on the contributions of women over the years and the importance of making opportunities available to all based on ability and performance," said McLay.

McLay noted that WAVES Director Lt. Cmdr Mildred McAffee was also the president of Wellesley College and that she commanded over 82,000 women at the height of WWII.

"Given that we work at NPS … with many accomplished women academics, I thought it important to draw attention to the fact that many of the first women officers of the Navy, in the 1940s, came from academic leadership positions," said McLay.

"I look forward to future Heritage Committee events and encourage participation and attendance by NPS' military and civilian students, faculty and staff," McLay continued.

Posted March 25, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Top Academic Performers Honored at Winter Quarter Awards Ceremony
By Javier Chagoya

Lt. Timothy Shaffer proudly displays the three awards he was presented with during the Winter Quarter Awards Ceremony in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom, March 17. Shaffer was the recipient of the Monterey Council Navy League Highest Academic Achievement Award, the Military Operations Research Society Stephen A. Tisdale Graduate Research Award, and the Chief of Naval Operations Award for Excellence in Operations Research.

A human resources officer since 2012, Shaffer will be graduating from the university's operations research program. His thesis research explored statistical methods that he hopes will help improve the Navy Region Hawaii's Resident Energy Conservation Program (RECP).

"Our research identifies several solutions for improving the fairness and billing stability of the RECP and employs systematic, evaluative criteria and measures of performance to quantify the potential improvements associated with these solutions," said Shaffer.

Associate Professor Sam Buttrey served as Shaffer's second thesis reader. "Tim is a soft-spoken, very academic officer. But he's also a hard worker and is very smart – a pair of commending traits you find only in certain students … It's been a pleasure working with him," said Buttrey.

A total of 26 graduates were honored during the Winter Quarter Graduation Awards Ceremony. The awardees are slated to graduate, along with 247 of their fellow classmates, during the graduation ceremony in King Auditorium, March 27.

Posted March 24, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Michael Ehrlich
NWC Monterey Celebrates 62nd Graduating Class
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich

The 62nd graduating class of the Naval War College (NWC) Monterey partnership with NPS for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) stands for a group portrait in front of Herrmann Hall, March 19. Through the partnership, 3,979 officers have earned their Command & Staff diplomas with JPME Phase I certification since the program's inception in September 1999.

"I commend each of the graduates here today for taking on the added responsibility and scholarship it takes to earn that Naval War College diploma and simultaneously complete their remaining NPS studies," said NWC President Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III. "You're efforts are shining examples of efficiency and effectiveness."

Professor Fred Drake, chairman of the NWC Monterey program, and Howe presided over the ceremony where a total of 92 Navy, Marine Corps, and Army officers earned their Command and Staff diplomas.

Posted March 23, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
CCMR Associate Honored Through Building Int'l Partnerships
By Javier Chagoya

NPS Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) Educational Associate Blaire Harms is presented the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Commander's Award for Civilian Service by Army Col. Lawrence Madkins, March 10. The award was presented on behalf of USARPAC Commander Gen. Vincent Brooks in recognition of Harms' service as CCMR liaison to his command from 2012-2014.

"It was flattering to realize that my work at U.S. Army Pacific Exercises was recognized and appreciated. I miss the work I did there and the people I worked with who supported me and helped me be so successful," said Harms.

In her capacity as liaison, she assisted the USARPAC G7 Exercises branch with the design, delivery and assessment of regional security cooperation exercises. Her contributions to developing strategic partnerships with key Asia-Pacific nations, including India, Indonesia and Japan, were noted in her certificate.

Harms now serves as a Program Coordinator for CCMR's Collaborative and Adaptive Security Initiative (CASI) and Prevention, Relief and Recovery (PR&R) programs where she supports education and training activities aimed at bringing together the diverse activities that collectively contribute to field operations in complex mission environments.

"I'm moving from one group of great people in Hawaii to another great group at CCMR," said Harms. "I am excited to be part of the PR&R team and I think that I bring some good organizational skills from my exercise development and execution time at USARPAC. I am also going to be able to reach back to my dissertation research on the role of religion and religious leaders in democratizing states, and that is exciting too."

Posted March 20, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Hartnell Students Explore Their Summer Internship Options
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich

Ensign Chris Halcon, center, advises students during the Hartnell Community College Summer Internship "speed dating" event at the Cebrowski Institute, March 12. Halcon, a Hartnell graduate himself, participated in NPS' STEM internship program before commissioning in the Navy to pursue a career in naval aviation.

"My internship was definitely a stepping stone towards my commissioning," said Halcon. "When I was an intern here with the Space Systems Academic Group, I was able to work with a lot of pilots and bounce ideas off them. The answers I received molded me towards getting my commission."

STEM Internship Coordinator Alison Kerr has worked with Hartnell for several years.

"We have had more than 120 Hartnell interns come through NPS and 95 percent of those students have completed their bachelor's degree, or are on track to complete them, in a STEM field," said Kerr. "[In comparison], the percentage is closer to 22% for community college graduates actually completing their four-year degrees."

Casi Martin is a former NPS intern, now she's a student in the Scholarship for Service computer science program working toward her master's degree. She noted the value of the real world experience interns obtain at NPS, especially for Navy and DOD.

"[These Interns] could be assets to the Navy due to the increasing demand for properly trained people in the cyber field," she said.

Posted March 19, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
NPS Personnel Lend Helping Hands to Local Science Fair
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart

Dr. Roberto Christi of the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering presents certificates to two honorees during the 2015 Monterey County Science and Engineering Fair held at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), March 15. Nearly 50 NPS faculty, students and staff volunteered their time and expertise to the event.

"This year we had over 80 judges to include about 50 NPS students and faculty," said Christi. "I tasked our judges with helping the participants improve the quality of their projects. We must encourage them to reach higher every time, this type of help will solidify their enthusiasm in science."

Four NPS faculty, including Cristi, Senior Lecturer Bard Mansager, Oceanographer Mike Cook and Associate Professor Scott Davis, volunteered on the fair's Scientific Review Committee. During the fair, participants had to interview with judges to prove their understanding of the scientific concepts and research methods demonstrated in their projects.

University Provost Dr. Douglas A. Hensler, along with Monterey Country Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Kotowski and CSUMB Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bonnie Irwin, had the privilege of presenting awards to the science fair's winners.

"At CSUMB, we're really happy to collaborate with all of the colleges and universities in the region," said Irwin. "I was thrilled to see NPS here, I am glad that we could [work] with them and the county school district to give this experience to students, and also to congratulate them on their efforts … They all did wonderful work."

Posted March 18, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
CIVINS Program Places Navy Officers in America's Top Universities
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich

Lt. Matthew Martinez, Director of the Navy's Civilian Institutions Programs Office (CIVINS), is pictured in his Herrmann Hall office, March 17. When an officer's needs cannot be met at NPS, CIVINS steps in to place the officer at one of several top universities across the nation.

"Not all of the needs of the Navy are met through NPS, which is when we have to seek out civilian institutions to meet our needs," said Martinez.

"There is no school in the world that has everything under one house … It is just not economically feasible," added CIVINS Program Manager Gerry Gibbons. "And we still find it beneficial to have officers take advantage of schools such as Harvard because of the interaction they get from instructors, professors and the community."

One community where the Navy outsources education is the Judge Advocate Generals Corps. Lt. Cmdr. David M. Shull is currently working through CIVINS to study environmental law at the University of California, Berkley.

"The opportunity to study at a top-tier institution like Berkeley Law will certainly pay dividends for the Navy," said Shull. "I will be well-suited to fill positions within the Navy JAG Corps that require environmental expertise, and given the increasing emphasis being placed on environmental issues, I believe my new skills will be in high demand."

CIVINS supports 71 different subspecialties such as nuclear engineering, music, divinity and shipbuilding. Annually, about 22 percent of officer graduate education assignments are routed through CIVINS.

Posted March 17, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Navy Turns to NPS to Educate Naval Strategists
By Kenneth A. Stewart

The first cohort of Strategic Studies students are pictured in the NPS Flag Garden, March 9. After a long hiatus following the Cold War, the Navy has once again turned to NPS to educate board-selected officers to receive the 2301P Naval Strategist performance code.

"The Navy has P-coded billets for O5s and O6s designed to give these folks insight into how strategy is made so that when these folks are running the Navy, or advising our civilian leaders, they will be qualified to contribute to the discussion," said NPS School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS) Dean Dr. Jim Wirtz. "It is really designed to give people something more than just operational experience."

The 15-month program allows students to focus on maritime strategy. Courses include forays into American national security, defense policy, economics, international relations, comparative politics and regional area studies.

NPS student Lt. Jason Rogge is one of the new strategic studies students attending NPS.

"My hope is that the Navy continues to support the program and keeps it alive, the Navy really needs people that are able to deal with these issues. As we go forth and interact with different nations, these are things that we will need to know. NPS is a great place to get this knowledge," he said.

Strategic Studies students pictured from left to right are: Lt. Jason Rogge, Army Capt. Betsy DeSitter and Indonesian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Aminuddin Albek.

Posted March 16, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Aspiring Scientists Revel in Day of Discovery at NPS
By Javier Chagoya

Electronics Technician 2nd Class Richard Reardon introduces students from the Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science (MAOS) to the Pioneer P3-DX Mobile Robot, March 6. The MAOS students were exposed to a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related concepts with hands-on activities and demonstrations by NPS students, faculty and staff.

"My favorite demonstration was the one on sound and physics at the beginning of the field trip," said one of the MAOS students. "It was just crazy seeing all of the things they could do."

Therese Mayone was the coordinator for the MAOS group. She was impressed by the passion with which NPS students and faculty shared the science behind their research.

"The level of professionalism among the NPS staff was amazing … It was obvious that each of the NPS presenters had a very strong command of their subject," said Mayone. "They related the material to the students in a way that was not only understandable, but engaging."

Mayone, who calls guiding young minds toward science her "highest calling," noted that her students left the presentations with a desire to learn more about how physics is used and applied in the real world.

Posted March 13, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Systems Engineering Chair Named INCOSE Fellow
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich

NPS Department of Systems Engineering Professor and Chair Clifford Whitcomb will be named a fellow at the 25th Annual International Symposium of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) in Seattle, July 13. The appointment recognizes Whitcomb's scholarship, research and professional contributions to systems engineering.

"It feels great to be recognized at this level by your peers," said Whitcomb. "This is one of the most significant distinctions I have made since being a part of the Systems Engineering Department here at NPS."

Whitcomb, who is a retired Engineering Duty Officer himself, has been a part of systems engineering at NPS from the beginning.

"I wanted to be a part of the implementation and growth of a systems engineering department," said Whitcomb. "Eventually attaining ABET accreditation for our programs, and being nationally ranked by U.S. News and Report as the number 20 systems engineering graduate program in the country is very satisfying."

According to Whitcomb, part of that satisfaction comes from knowing that his students will have a direct impact upon systems engineering in the Navy. He notes that "the education they get here is directly and contextually relevant to their careers and the nation."

The Department of Systems Engineering at NPS was founded in 2002 and has since grown into six different curricula including a PhD program. INCOSE is a not-for-profit professional society founded to develop and disseminate the interdisciplinary principles and practices that enable the realization of successful systems.

Posted March 12, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
Former Army Chief of Staff Meets with Students, Faculty
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart

NPS students, faculty and staff listen intently to former Army Chief of Staff retired Gen. George W. Casey at Ingersoll Hall, March 5. Casey shared stories and anecdotes from his 4-decade-long career and discussed, amongst other things, the role of civilians in the modern military.

"We need to learn how to communicate with civilians … it's amazing to me how few military folks are practiced in that [art]," said Casey. "You have to learn to put yourselves in their position and get to know and relate to them."

Casey also spoke about the importance of public relations and the relationships of trusts that commands must foster with the press in order to ensure that their messages are being heard and communicated to the public.

"How many of you know a reporter well enough to e-mail them?" Casey asked. "You need to start building those contacts now, seek them out and stay in touch."

"If there is a modicum of trust between the two of you; you have a better chance of them getting the message right," continued Casey.

Casey entered the Army in 1971. He served in multiple theaters of operations including a three-year stint as the senior coalition commander in Iraq from 2004-2007.

Posted March 11, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Lt. Gen. Christopher Kelly Visits NPS, Students
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Kelly, left, meets with students at Ingersoll Hall during his visit to NPS, March 5. Kelly spoke with students about career development and logistics optimization.

"I never say never. Anything is possible," said Kelly. "We could be doing a lot better at leveraging capabilities across our services and finding ways to organize, train and equip."

Kelly also encouraged the assembled students to excel academically and to view their military service as a high calling.

"If you stop learning you will become stagnant and the competition will going flying by," said Kelly. "If you decide to make service to your country your vocation, you must gain expertise in a field and find a way to stand out."

Posted March 10, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
International Graduates Honored at Quarterly Luncheon
By Javier Chagoya

NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route, left, presents Brazilian Air Force Lt. Col. Arthur Alexandre Gentil Toneli, right, with an NPS lapel pin during the International Graduate Program Office's Farewell and Appreciation Luncheon at the La Novia Room, March 6. Toneli is one of seventeen international students from ten countries scheduled to graduate, March 27.

"The Naval Postgraduate School contributed to my professional development, helping me to understand old problems with new perspectives," said Toneli.

Toneli also distinguished himself as the recipient of NPS' Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for International Students. He will be presented the award at the upcoming Winter Graduation Awards Ceremony, March 17.

Toneli is a Brazilian Air Force Aviation Officer studying Manpower Systems Analysis. He was recognized, in part, for his thesis, which developed a senior leader assignment model that he hopes to utilize after returning to the Brazilian Air Force Personnel Command Headquarters.

Student spouses were also recognized at the ceremony with certificates of appreciation for the important roles that they play in support of their loved-ones' graduate education.

Posted March 9, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
PS Recognizes Top Sailors of the Year
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Ehrlich, Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Kelli Kennedy and Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Scott Froom, from left, are pictured following Staff Quarters, March 6, where they were each awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in front of the university's Herrmann Hall.

"It's an honor to be selected for Sailor of the Year," said Kennedy. "The team we have in the Special Security Office (SSO) are integral to my success. We have worked hard all year and this is the culmination of their hard work and mine."

Also awarded were the Blue Jacket and Junior Sailor of the Year awards, represented by Ehrlich and Froom respectively.

"I am grateful and I feel honored to be selected as the 2014 NPS Junior Sailor of the Year," said Froom. "2014 has brought many accomplishments to my life and I attribute them to my family, friends and fellow sailors. I've learned that NPS is conducive to excellence, allowing me personal and professional growth … and I look forward to achieving many more milestones."

Ehrlich agrees, noting, "My chain of command has given me the time and the tools to succeed," he added. "In one year I've been able to accomplish so much. I've been promoted to 3rd Class Petty Officer and now I'm the Blue Jacket of the Year … It doesn't get any better than that."

Posted March 6, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Homeland Defense Professionals Share Lessons Learned at APEX Conference
By Brian Seals, CHDS

NPS' Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) held its Annual Professional and Educational Exchange (APEX), March 4-5, reuniting alumni for two days of workshops and agency updates at the McNitt Ballroom on campus. Environmental and sustainability expert James Tindall, pictured above, was one of the event's speakers, discussing the scarcity of certain resources, particularly water, and the potential security implications of it.

"Global water supply is linked to almost all aspects of society. And, a limited supply eventually leads to civil unrest, which homeland security professionals will be called upon to quell," explained Tindall. "You haven't seen angry people until you see them hungry and dirty."

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, a graduate of CHDS' Executive Leaders Program, and CHDS alumnus Dallas Police Department Major Stephen Geron, presented strategies for engaging the public during protests, such as the Occupy Movement of 2012.

"In many cases, approaching a crowd of protesters with a soft engagement approach is a more effective tactic than deploying SWAT teams," said Evans. "What we took out of the Occupy Movement was that the hard tactics and militaristic approach didn't work. The key to our success was building relationships with the kids in the camp."

Nearly 200 alumni attended the workshop, providing CHDS graduates with continuing education and increasing their understanding of relevant homeland security issues.

Posted March 5, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Ops Research Students Recognized With SNA Academic Excellence Award
By Javier Chagoya

Operations research students, U.S. Navy Lts. Dustin Schultz and Steve Rockwell, center left to right, are this quarter's recipients of the Surface Navy Association Award for Academic Excellence in Surface Warfare, announced March 2. The award-winning duo is pictured with their faculty advisors and research supporters, Department of Operations Research Senior Lecturer Paul Sanchez, Professor of Practice Jeff Kline, and Professor Tom Lucas, from left.

Sanchez and Lucas nominated the two students, suggesting a unique joint award in recognition of their critical research on one of the Navy's emerging surface ship weapons systems, the high-energy laser (HEL). Rockwell's research focused on the integration of an HEL on a destroyer in relation to air defense, while Schultz ran a detailed simulation of a HEL-equipped warship under an attack.

"Their work is far more of a collaboration than I have ever seen in my 17 years at NPS," Lucas said. "The SNA Academic Excellence award is validation that the research our students are doing is of great value to the Navy – above and beyond our mission to educate officers."

Posted March 4, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
Navy Medical Administrative Unit Opens Office in Herrmann Hall
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Wilfred Flores reviews a medical manual, designed to help him understand the complexities of medical benefits afforded to international students studying at NPS, from his Herrmann Hall office, Mar. 3. Wilfred is the Leading Petty Officer (LPO) at the newly established Navy Medical Administrative Unit (NMAU) Monterey's NPS office.

"We now have a health benefits advisor for international students located here at the Naval Support Activity Monterey," said NMAU Monterey Officer in Charge Lt. Kathleen Dagher. "This way, students and their family can come here [instead of the Presidio of Monterey]."

The Preventive Medicine (Prev Med) office was also moved to NPS and is collocated with NMAU. It is responsible for maintaining the health of the military community through clinical and community health services as well public health education.

"We are responsible for all of the preventative medicine inspections for food establishments, the day care, golf courses, play grounds and things like that." said Dagher. "Also, we provide a great benefit to the students and staff by offering the Periodic Health Assessment [PHA] administrative check list as well as part one of the overseas screening process."

The NMAU office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on a walk-in basis, but Dagher encourages everyone to make an appointment.

Posted March 3, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Ops Research Department's TEAL Classroom Gets an Upgrade
By Javier Chagoya

NPS Audio-Visual Systems Engineer Harry Thomas demonstrates the latest upgrades to the Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classroom in Glasgow Hall following a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, Feb. 24. Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and originally brought to NPS in early 2010, the TEAL concept integrates technology with design to maximize collaborative learning opportunities for students.

"The term applied for learning using such systems found in these upgrades is video tele-education … It offers a rapid engagement process between student and teacher, including team development," explained Thomas.

"There are two significant upgrades that are immediately noticeable. The first are the overhead cameras and microphones, which are used to project and record both sides of an adversarial wargame. Now, all students will be able to view the wargame from their seats," he added.

Operations research Lecturer Kevin Maher was also heavily involved in the upgrade.

"This installation of the latest audio-video technology allows the curriculum program sponsors, from anywhere in the world, to observe and to participate in discussing the wargame as it unfolds … But the greatest benefit is still to the students," explained Maher.

"We couldn't have gotten the project done without the help of Information Technology and Communication Services, the Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences, and NPS' own Comptroller and Contracting offices," he added.

Posted March 2, 2015


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