AFIT celebrates fall commencement for 77 graduates

  • 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 held a commencement ceremony at the Dayton Masonic Center Sept. 14 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 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 of the 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 Defense Department 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 and Space Forces.

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

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

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

Nathaniel M. Choo**

Capt. Stephen D. Donnel

Lt. Col. Joseph M. Liles IV

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*

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

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)

Giancarlo C. Barreto**

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering

Ryan M. Schwartzwalder

Master of Science in Applied Mathematics

Charles A. Woodrum

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering

Morgan M. Hansen**

2nd Lt. Paul T. Kamp

2nd Lt. Wade A. Lawrie*

Nicholas E. Richardson

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

John M. Huntz

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Braden Burt**

Master of Science in Space Systems

Austin N. Beyers

2nd Lt. Daniel Y. Cheng

Kenneth W. Dungan

*Distinguished Graduate

** Returned to walk