AFMC Command News

AFIT awards 243 masters and doctoral STEM degrees

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

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management awarded 236 master’s degrees and seven doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Two graduate students received dual master’s degrees.  Due to current concerns of COVID-19, a commencement ceremony was not held.

The graduating class included 195 Air Force officers, four Air Force non-commissioned officers, seven Army officers, four Marine Corps officers, 14 civilians, and seven defense contractors. The school also graduated three international students from Australia and Brazil. 

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, the first Chief of Space Operations, U. S. Space Force was to be the commencement speaker.  In a recorded video, Raymond addressed the students saying, “Despite the on-going challenges we face due to the Corona virus, I want to send a sincere and heartfelt congratulations to each of you for completing your advanced degrees and being part of our newest graduating class from the Air Force Institute of Technology.” 

“During this time of uncertainty, one thing remains absolutely certain - our mission to protect and defend the air and space domains remains unchanged. As AFIT graduates, many of you will go on to support our critical missions with innovative ideas to maintain air and space superiority for our nation and that of our allies. I look forward to your leadership, your ingenuity, and the opportunity to serve at your side,” said Raymond.

Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Commander and President of Air University, congratulated the graduating class in a recorded video saying, “You went through a lot of hard work…but it is worth it. Now you are an AFIT graduate and that means something.”

“The AFIT diploma each graduate will receive signifies both completion of all academic requirements for award of the degree and equally important demonstrates of the values, character and professional qualities we require of all AFIT graduates,” said AFIT’s Director and Chancellor, Dr. Todd Stewart.

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.  The school’s 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. 

The following students earned awards for their exemplary performance:

  • Second Lt. Alexander Boeckenstedt from the Engineering Physics Department received the Chancellor’s Award for producing the most exceptional individual master’s thesis. 
  • Capt. Jenee Jagoda from the Systems Engineering and Management Department received the Mervin E. Gross Award for her 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.
  • Second Lt. Aaron Bauer from the Aeronautics and Astronautics 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.
  • Capt. Joanna Williams, 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.  The award is sponsored by the Wright Memorial Chapter of the Air Force Association and is named in honor of Lieutenant Edwin E. Aldrin, Sr.; a member of the institute’s first graduating class in 1920, who upon graduation, became AFIT’s first vice commandant.
  • Master Sgt. John Johnson from the Systems Engineering and Management 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 award is named after Air Force Secretary James G. Roche whose leadership in 2002 led to the first class of non-commissioned officers into the Graduate School of Engineering and Management.


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


Doctor of Philosophy

Aeronautical Engineering

Maj. Colin C. Engebretsen

Maj. David J. Newell


Computer Engineering

Lt. Col. James W. Dean


Electrical Engineering

Lt. Col. Benjamin J. Voetberg



Maj. James A. Cotton III


Nuclear Engineering

Ms. Brittany D. Campbell


Systems Engineering

Mr. Eric E. Geiselman


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics


Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering

2nd Lt. Aaron P. Bauer*

Capt. Andrew W. Beard

Capt. Joseph R. Dechert

2nd Lt. Anna C. Demoret

2nd Lt. Richard A. Depaola III

1st Lt. Andrew W. Goldin

2nd Lt. Kevin D. Greenoe

2nd Lt. J. Luke Hill

2nd Lt. Daniel Holobeny

2nd Lt. Corey J. Lee

2nd Lt. Richard A. Macias

Capt. Kyle J. Matissek

2nd Lt. Kavi Muraleetharan

2nd Lt. Ryan A. Oddo

Ms. Elizabeth C. Pickering*

2nd Lt. Candice R. Roberts

2nd Lt. Austin P. Robertson

2nd Lt. Bennett M. Staton*

2nd Lt. Joshua R. Warren


Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering

Mr. William R. Gallagher

Capt. Dax A. Linville

2nd Lt. Liberty M. Shockley

2nd Lt. Jeremy A. Touma


Master of Science in Materials Science

Mr. Thaddeus M. Williams


Master of Science in Space Systems

Capt. Brian A. Erickson

Capt. Jessica Wightman


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Master of Science in Computer Engineering

2nd Lt. Tylar J. Hanson

2nd Lt. Micah J. Hayden

2nd Lt. Jake M. Magness

2nd Lt. Lucas E. Mireles*

2nd Lt. Joseph A. Vagedes

2nd Lt. Terrence J. Yi


Master of Science in Computer Science

2nd Lt. David R. Crow*

Capt. Michael R. Crowl

2nd Lt. Bradley S. French

2nd Lt. Joshua P. Gallaher

2nd Lt. Andrew T. Lee

Capt. Zachary D. Madison

Capt. Sean A. Mochocki

Capt. Kirill A. Sarantsev


Master of Science in Cyber Operations

2nd Lt. Nathan V. Barker

2nd Lt. Christopher Dukarm

Capt. Nathaniel W. Flack*

Mr. Brandon K. Kamaka

Capt. Alexander D. H. Kim

2nd Lt. Ahmed L. King

2nd Lt. James M. Marvin

2nd Lt. Marvin W. Newlin

2nd Lt. Jacob A. Q. Orner

2nd Lt. Youngjun Park*

Capt. Aaron J. Pendleton

Capt. Dillon M. Pettit

Capt. Kyle J. Smathers

Ms. Jessica A. Switzler


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

2nd Lt. Sharee B. Acosta

Capt. Bryan R. Bartelt

Capt. James P. Boettiger* (Australia)

Capt. Marc R. Brown

Maj. Brandon C. Burfeind

Maj. Jason D. Carroll

Capt. Blake M. Colson

2nd Lt. Nicholas C. Echeverry

Capt. David J. Ellis

1st Lt. Zachary P. Friedel

Capt. Joshua J. Garretson

Capt. James L. Harris

Mr. Mitchel C. Hezel

Capt. John M. Holowchik

Capt. Jerrod M. Kempf

2nd Lt. Patrick R. Latcham

Capt. Thomas A. Lepley

2nd Lt. Erik M. Madden

Capt. Nicholas N. Martin

2nd Lt. Dylan T. Martin-Abood

Capt. Yousuke Z. Matsui*

Capt. Kyle D. McCleary

1st Lt. Loren E. Myers

Capt. Grant T. Nafziger

Capt. Nicholas O'Brien (Australia)

2nd Lt. Nicholas Ogorman

2nd Lt. Oluwayemisi A. Orikogbo

2nd Lt. Caitlyn M. Renne

Maj. Michael J. Rodgers

2nd Lt. Michael Sherburne

Capt. Michael K. Sim

2nd Lt. Mark E. Vlassakis

Capt. Trent W. Wargo

Mr. Josiah D. Watson

2nd Lt. Jeremiah C. Williams


Department of Engineering Physics


Master of Science in Applied Physics

1st Lt. Timothy J. Bate

Capt. Adam L. Baxter

Capt. Michael W. Bishop

2nd Lt. Alexander S. Boeckenstedt

1st Lt. Kevin S. Burg

2nd Lt. Nicolas J. Guerrero

1st Lt. Joshua A. Key

2nd Lt. Tristan R. Naranjo

2nd Lt. Brandon A. Pierce*

Capt. Daniel W. Stambovsky

1st Lt. Taylor R. Whitney*

2nd Lt. Rachel L. Wolfgang


Master of Science in Atmospheric Sciences

Capt. Brandon M. Bailey

Capt. John L. Fioretti

Maj. Julie C. Grossnickle

1st Lt. Daniel B. Jagoda

Capt. Michelle K. Kanipe*

2nd Lt. Adam W. Klein

Capt. Brian R. Urbancic

Capt. Joanna E. Szewczyk Williams


Master of Science in Materials Science

2nd Lt. Chance M. Baxter

Ms. Amber S. Powell


Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

2nd Lt. Aaron W. Burkhardt

Maj. Ryan K. Chapman

MAJ. Lawton E. Drake (U.S. Army)

MAJ. Trenton Luther Freeman (U.S. Army)

2nd Lt. Nathan Gale

1st Lt. Daniel A. Gum

Mr. Lansing S. Horan IV*

MAJ. Christopher J. Mihal (U.S. Army)

Ms. Taylor M. Nichols

MAJ. Andrew J. Owens (U.S. Army)

2nd Lt. Ashwin P. Rao

MAJ. Lorin D. Veigas (U.S. Army)

LTC. Jason C. Wood (U.S. Army)


Master of Science in Optical Sciences and Engineering

Capt. Adam B. Zucker


Department of Mathematics and Statistics


Master of Science in Applied Mathematics

Maj. Brian A. Boardman*


Department of Operational Sciences


Master of Science in Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Capt. Christina M. Akers

Capt. Adam J. Brubakken*

Capt. Daniel Cherobini (Brazil)

Capt. Kyle R. Gladney

Mr. Corbin S. Hartman

Capt. Michael D. Ingram

Capt. Thomas R. O'Neal

Mr. Zachary B. Shannon


Master of Science in Operations Research

1st Lt. Garrett A. Alarcon

Capt. Adam J. Brakeville

Capt. Ryan D. Bruns

1st Lt. Peter A. Calhoun*

Capt. Marc W. Chale

2nd Lt. Anson Cheng

Capt. Mark A. Ciaravino

Maj. Richard S. Danaher

Capt. James L. Deitschel

2nd Lt. Nicholas C. Forrest

2nd Lt. John K. Cumnock Francois

Capt. Aaron C. Giddings

Capt. Brandon J. Hufstetler*

Capt. Andrew L. Langland

1st Lt. Stephen M. Lee

Capt. Andrew H. Lloyd

Capt. Joseph B. Maloney

MAJ. Edward Y. Park (U.S. Army)

2nd Lt. Trey S. Pujats

Capt. Aaron J. Salazar

2nd Lt. Maria N. Schroeder

Maj. Charles A. Skrovan

Capt. Tyler M. Spangler

Capt. Conor S. Spiegel

Capt. Wilson Tapia

2nd Lt. Maxwell C. Thompson

2nd Lt. Kayla N. Tinucci

1st Lt. Clarence O. Williams III

Ms. Megan K. Woods


Department of Systems Engineering and Management


Master of Engineering in Applied Systems Engineering

Mr. Dinh D. Khoa

Ms. Lynnette J. Gawell

1st Lt. Andrew J. Henderson

Mr. J. Adrian Herrera

1st Lt. Wesley B. Jackman

1st Lt. Sarah K. MacKinnon

1st Lt. Hannah M. Myers

Capt. Adrian R. Sanchez

Capt. Brian Rose

1st Lt. Ryan M. Taylor

Capt. Anthony M. Trombley

Capt. Scott D. White


Master of Science in Cost Analysis

1st Lt. Ethan E. Blake

1st Lt. Katherine A. Carr

1st Lt. Carlo S. Damato

Capt. Jordan S. Edwards

Capt. Clayton S. Eilert

Capt. Evan A. Gist

1st Lt. Dakotah W. Hogan*

Master Sgt. John A. Johnson

Master Sgt. Dana P. Luketic

Capt. Christopher W. Miller

Master Sgt. Bradford A. Myers

Master Sgt. Eric A. Plack

1st Lt. Ryan D. Stafford


Master of Science in Engineering Management

1st Lt. Trever J. Braunberger

2nd Lt. Kaitlyn R. Berry

Capt. Michael E. Canfield

Capt. Neal S. Fennell

Capt. Jamie E. Filer

Capt. Shane Gardner

Capt. Scott R. Guerin

Capt. Sam Harriger

Capt. Jenee A. Jagoda*

Capt. Nathanael T. Kohl

Capt. David G. Leonard

Maj. Jeremy J. Miller

Capt. Ryley R. Haselton Paquette

Capt. Ian N. Parks

Capt. Jay F. Pearson

1st Lt. Amy E. Silverbush

2nd Lt. Meghan G. Strang

Capt. Danielle K. Tabb

Capt. William L. Taylor

Maj. Nathan J. Thomsen*

Capt. Alvin T. Yip


Master of Science in Environmental Engineering & Science

Maj. Marc J. Blair* (U.S. Marine Corps) (Dual Degree)

Capt. Jacob G. Cools (U.S. Marine Corps)

Capt. Matthew D. Hershey Holliday (U.S. Marine Corps)

Ms. Megan L. Steele (Dual Degree)

Capt. Robert J. Truver III (U.S. Marine Corps)


Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene

Maj. Marc J. Blair* (U.S. Marine Corps) (Dual Degree)

1st Lt. Stephanie A. Ohms

Ms. Megan L. Steele (Dual Degree)


Master of Science in Systems Engineering

2nd Lt. Jinan M. Andrews*

2nd Lt. Katherine E. Cheney

2nd Lt. Connor Gary Crandall

2nd Lt. Luke J. Farrell

Ms. Taylor F. Flaxington

Capt. Matthew L. Holmes

Capt. Christopher E. Hopkins

2nd Lt. David King

Capt. Simon R. Knister

Capt. Justin R. Marsh

Capt. Nicholas Tassos

Mr. Lynn A. Wallace


*Distinguished Graduate