AFIT Celebrates Fall Commencement for 77 Graduates

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

The Air Force Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management held a commencement ceremony Sept. 14 at the Dayton Masonic Center to celebrate 77 new graduates.

The Graduate School conferred 54 master’s degrees and 23 doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Additionally, three master’s students and two doctoral alumni who graduated earlier in the academic year returned to participate in the ceremony.

The graduating class included 65 Air Force and Space Force officers and 11 civilians. One international student from Saudi Arabia received a master’s degree.  Of particular note, were the seven females in the class who earned doctoral degrees – the most in one quarter at AFIT.

The keynote speaker was Lt. Gen. Donna Shipton, military deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. She is responsible for research and development, test, production, product support and modernization of Air Force programs worth more than $60 billion annually.

Shipton is an AFIT alum having earned a Master of Space Systems degree in 2005.

“I know a little bit about what you, the graduates, have experienced to get here tonight,” Shipton said.  “You should be extremely proud of your accomplishments.”

Following her graduation from AFIT, Shipton’s follow-on assignment was as a program manager for a classified, cutting edge, counterspace technology demonstrator at Los Angeles Air Force Base.  

“It was the education that I gained at AFIT that prepared me for the challenges that I encountered on that program,” Shipton said. “For more than 100 years, it’s been the legacy of this fine Institution to take some of the greatest minds of our Department, and steep them in the latest research and learning so they can extend that excellence into our Force.”

Shipton emphasized to the graduates that the Department of Defense now confronts its most technologically capable and well-resourced foreign competitors in history.

“In this time of strategic competition, we need leaders at all levels who have a deep expertise in emerging technologies and their application to military operations,” Shipton said. “As you move on to your next assignments, you will play a major role in carrying out the Secretary of the Air Force’s imperatives as you implement the potential of our technology and our ideas.”

Lastly, Shipton charged the graduates to be known as a person of competence, character and intellectual humility.

Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, AFIT’s mission is to educate defense professionals to innovatively accomplish the deterrence and warfighting missions of the Air Force and Space Force.

The following students met all degree requirements and were approved for the designated degree (in bold):

Doctorate of Philosophy

Applied Mathematics
Maj. David M. Arquette
Ms. Christine E. Knott
Capt. Jeremiah S. Lane
Capt. Kristina O. Williams

Applied Physics
Maj. Madilynn E. Compean
Capt. Billie V. Deluca
Capt. Seth H. Garland
Maj. Samantha R. Howard
Capt. Adrian D. Scheppe
Mr. Timothy True**
Maj. Keith A. Wyman

Astronautical Engineering
Lt. Col. Rachel M. Derbis
Maj. Robert B. Jones
Maj. Jeremy J. Kaczmarek
Maj. David F. Spendel

Computer Science
Maj. Sarah J. Bolton

Lt. Col. Timothy E. Landucci

Operations Research
Capt. Jeremiah P. Bill
Mr. Nathaniel M. Choo**
Capt. Stephen D. Donnel
Lt. Col. Joseph M. Liles IV
Mr. Carson G. Long
Capt. Matthew E. Scherer
Maj. Ryan B. Walton

Space Systems
Lt. Col. Daniel S. Moomey

Master of Cyber Systems
2nd Lt. Preston M. Albury
2nd Lt. Chase P. Brown
2nd Lt. Christopher Zu Rong Chwa
2nd Lt. Benjamin D. Miller
2nd Lt. Pareena M. Patel
2nd Lt. Agustin D. Sullivan
2nd Lt. Anthony J. Tolbert

Master of Engineering (Aeronautics)
2nd Lt. Lauren D. Aquino
2nd Lt. Sean M. Bedwell
2nd Lt. Matthew N. Borrowman
2nd Lt. Ryan M. Dinndorf
2nd Lt. Peter J. Garlisi
2nd Lt. Ryan B. Johnston*
2nd Lt. Conrad E. Kramer
2nd Lt. James C. Pennington III
2nd Lt. Trevor D. Smiley
2nd Lt. Brandon J. Villejo
2nd Lt. Kyle F. Zarwanski

Master of Engineering (Applied Systems Engineering)
2nd Lt. Rayomand M. Bam
2nd Lt. Evan D. Carmichael
2nd Lt. Sarah E. Deresky*
Mr. Matthew T. Genelin
Capt. Nathaniel P. Harms
2nd Lt. Zane R. Kam
2nd Lt. Abigail E. Loesch
2nd Lt. Michele A. Mason
2nd Lt. Thomas C. McCloskey
Mr. Eni K. Ofong
2nd Lt. Maxwell N. Patterson
2nd Lt. Kyle D. Smith
2nd Lt. Nathaniel A. Steward
Lt. Col. James C. Walliser

Master of Engineering (Space Systems)
2nd Lt. Nathan J. Price

Master of Operations Analysis
2nd Lt. Jack M. Calkins
2nd Lt. Kelly B. Dang
2nd Lt. Gabriel J. Garcia
2nd Lt. Jaime S. Gustitus
2nd Lt. Victoria S. Lambos
2nd Lt. David C. Kohler
2nd Lt. Jacob H. Pitman
2nd Lt. Joseph N. Wittig*

Master of Science (Aeronautical Engineering)
2nd Lt. Henry R. Pyzdrowski
2nd Lt. Joshua M. Schmidt

Master of Science (Electrical Engineering)
Mr. Giancarlo C. Barreto**

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Mr. Ryan M. Schwartzwalder

Master of Science in Applied Mathematics
Mr. Charles A. Woodrum

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering
Mr. Morgan M. Hansen**
2nd Lt. Paul T. Kamp
2nd Lt. Wade A. Lawrie*
Mr. Nicholas E. Richardson
Mr. Brian J. Tondel

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Maj. Ahmad M. Almalki (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)*

Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Mr. John M. Huntz

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
Mr. Braden Burt**

Master of Science in Space Systems
Mr. Austin N. Beyers
2nd Lt. Daniel Y. Cheng
Mr. Kenneth W. Dungan

*Distinguished Graduate
** Returned to walk