By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
Some 400 new NPS students, pictured, listen to a presentation at the Summer Quarter New Student Orientation at King Auditorium, July 1. The orientation introduced the students to policies, information and services relevant to their stay at NPS. NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route welcomed the new class. "Today you're beginning your educational journey here at the Naval Postgraduate School - we welcome you and we're glad you're here," said Route.
Route went on to discuss the unique and powerful convergence between NPS' student body and its world-class faculty. He also reminded those assembled that, "this is payback time, for you and for your service" acknowledging both the Navy's investment in NPS education and the opportunities for new students to catch their breath and enjoy Monterey.
"You've worked hard to this point in your career and you're off to a great start," said Route. "Now, here at NPS, is a great opportunity to take a little time and reconnect with family, when you're not studying! Enjoy Monterey!".
By Javier Chagoya
Newly arrived NPS National Security Affairs (NSA) Department students listen to Senior Lecturer Helen Anderson, left, as she discusses the merits of developing good writing skills. Her class is made up of students that are attending NPS for the first time.
“I’m honored and excited about being here and ready to learn,” said Army Capt. Betsy Desitter. “The last time I was in college was at North Central, Illinois eight years ago.” Desitter is a Medical Service Officer coming off tours in Yongsan, South Korea and Iraq.
“As an administrator in the Medical Service Corps, I applied for NPS’ NSA program and I am looking forward to working in the [Medical Corps’] Operations and Security section when I finish here,” said Desitter.
Saudi Arabia National Guard Col. Abdullah Alanazi, a weapons and ammunition management specialist, is also a new student in the NSA program. This is Alanazi’s first time in the U.S. “I’m looking forward to the NSA program … I am very interested in learning more about international affairs,” said Alanazi.
Desitter and Alanazi arrived with some 120 Navy, 120 Marines, 65 Army, 20 Air Force, five Coast Guard and 71 International officers newly onboard.
By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
NPS STEM – or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – Internship Coordinator Alison Kerr hosts the annual “Ph.D.s and Polka Dots” luncheon at the Roman Plunge Reflecting Pool, July 10. Kerr welcomed the university’s collection of female high school and college summer interns to meet with NPS faculty Drs. Eva Regnier and Deborah Goshorn for a networking and mentorship opportunity designed to encourage the students’ pursuit of STEM careers.
"The importance of role models cannot be stressed enough for young people pursuing STEM professions, particularly for those that don’t see themselves mirrored in the general STEM workforce,” said Kerr.
Regnier, an Associate Professor in the Defense Resources Management Institute, agreed and advised the group to have the confidence to tell their own stories.
“Everyone makes mistakes but stick to the technical fields and work hard,” said Regnier. “You’ll have more options later. Tell your story as if you had every intention to do exactly what you did because in a way you had to go through those things to get where you are.”
The female students in attendance are part of a larger group of 84 total students interning at NPS over the summer. Participating in the eight-week internships, the students are assigned research projects focused on areas such as computer security, space systems, renewable energy, humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), and the modeling of virtual environments.
Carmel High School senior and Robots in the Roses research fair participant Hayley Oliver was grateful for the opportunity to work with HADR.
“I think this internship is great, I was referred by a teacher around the same time I joined the robotics team at my school,” said Oliver. “Engineering, computer science and biology have always been exciting to me so this has been a great experience. I’ve focused a lot on data analysis here so that’s all been really new to me but I’ve learned a lot.”
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Former naval aviator and 1977 NPS alumnus, retired Navy Capt. George Galdorisi lectures to NPS students on the developing communication network between air, surface and underwater systems dubbed Undersea Constellation, July 10. As director of the Corporate Strategy Group at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, Galdorisi frequents NPS to present real-world problems that can be solved through thesis and cohort studies in the classroom.
“The joint information environment is crucial to networking our warfighters, especially our forward deployed naval forces,” said Galdorisi. “Undersea forces will likely lead the push into the contested littorals as the Navy and the other services execute the [Air-Sea Battle Concept].”
The success of modern warfare, according to Galdorisi, is in the networks.
“Unless you have a good network, you aren’t going to win, and the development of research and understanding get’s done at NPS. There is so much thesis potential in Information Dominance, and these are the problems you can take on here,” Galdorisi noted.
Working on the Undersea Constellation with Galdorisi is Capt. Miguel San Pedro of the Undersea Integration Program Office. In a visit to NPS last April, San Pedro said, “I am hoping to encourage students to take interest on this Undersea Constellation project … I believe there is plenty of opportunity for thesis work in the undersea domain, be it manned, unmanned, or unattended sensors and how to utilize nodes to move information from seabed to space.”
“This briefing addresses the strategic context for delivering undersea information dominance and will explore the need for a more innovative undersea communications architecture – an undersea constellation,” said NPS Undersea Warfare Chair, retired Rear Adm. Jerry Ellis.
“With the rapid emergence of cutting-edge technologies in manned and unmanned undersea vehicles as well as undersea systems and sensors, the full potential of these technologies will not be realized unless or until integration and connectivity issues are addressed in new and innovative ways and given the same priority as the vehicles and sensors themselves,” he added.
By Dale M. Kuska
Air Force Institute of Technology Chancellor Dr. Todd Stewart, right, examines NPS’ Segmented Mirror Telescope with Distinguished Professor Dr. Brij Agrawal, left, during the National Research Council’s (NRC) visit to campus back in early November of 2013.
The council’s comprehensive review of the university fulfilled a review of specialized military graduate education in the Department of Defense, and the final report has just been released awarding high marks to NPS, noting its value to the nation is far greater than its costs.
As the operating arm of the National Academies, the NRC is the federal government’s pre-eminent source for independent, expert advice in science, engineering and technology. The focal point of the comprehensive study aimed at graduate education in these scientific fields, as well as management. It focused on the education and research provided by the DOD’s internal institutions, NPS and Ohio’s Air Force Institute of Technology, and how this education related to conventional civilian schools.
The results of the study were resoundingly clear.
“These schools (NPS and AFIT) offer valuable educational experiences typically not available at civilian institutions, which provide benefits that outweigh their costs. Notably, students attending AFIT and NPS possess the ability to readily conduct sensitive and classified research on campus alongside fellow students and faculty members,” the study said.
“Their programs focus on militarily relevant problems, some of which might not be welcome in civilian institutions (e.g., weapon system research). Their classroom environments allow for the free exchange of sensitive ideas,” the report continues. “Their geographical and cultural proximity to Service laboratories create significant leverage for limited DOD research funds. In addition, the students have the opportunity to interact inside and outside the classroom with a cohort that shares a common interest in military culture and problems.”
Officials at the university were clearly pleased with the outcome of the report, but also note it reiterates what many close examinations of the institution often do.
“The National Research Council report once again underscores the magnitude and extraordinary value of the Naval Postgraduate School to the nation’s security, and the centrality of the convergence of instruction and research at a distinguished graduate institution in its service to the Navy and the nation,” notes Dr. Douglas Hensler, NPS Provost.
By Javier Chagoya
Office of Counsel attorney Curtis Lee Heidtke delivers a brief on the potential ethical implications of outside employment during a one-hour training on Ethics for Academic Professionals and Staff in King Auditorium, July 10. The session provided civilian faculty and staff with critical information on how to protect the integrity of both NPS and the dedicated professionals who serve and support its unique mission.
“Ethics is more than a set of rules, it is an approach to one’s duties,” said Heidtke.
More than 600 civilian faculty and staff members registered as attending last week’s two training sessions where NPS’ team of ethics advisors, Counsel Kath Ashton, Staff Judge Advocate Cmdr. Tracy Clark and Heidtke, offered comprehensive training on ethics in the workplace. With the complexities of relevant rules and guidelines, the ethics team’s message to utilize them as a resource was a common theme throughout.
“Don’t wait until the hurricane is overhead,” noted Heidtke. “When you see the storm clouds approaching, please call us.”
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
NPS alumnus Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Lavery is pictured in front of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56). Lavery is Acting Naval Expeditionary Combatant Command Coordinator for Task Force 73 and was responsible for coordinating all efforts for Seabee, Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Riverine units’ during last month’s Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise.
“Coordinating efforts with nine different countries has been a huge challenge for us. Because each country has its own set of operations and logistics protocols, we have to flex to accommodate them,” said Lavery. “Being an EOD officer has given me a thorough background in electronics education, but the organization and the administration skills I learned at NPS has been a greater help."
Lavery graduated from the electrical engineering curriculum in 2008, followed by EOD training. His NPS education goes beyond the classroom and standard career paths to accomplish highly-complex missions.
“The value of coming from a school like NPS, where you are immersed in an academic environment with military, civilian and DOD guidance helps significantly,” said Lavery. “NPS set me up for success with its strict curriculum of coordination, paper and thesis writing requirements.”
In its 20th year, CARAT 2014 a multinational exercise series with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Pasig City Command, Communication and Control Center (EC3) Director Ritche Van C. Angeles, right, guides NPS Information Sciences Lecturer and Hastily Formed Networks (HFN) Research Group Director Brian Steckler on a tour of the EC3 center located within Metro Manila in the Philippines, June 24. Steckler traveled with a small team of students to the Southeast Asia nation during the break between quarters to advance research in innovative technologies in support of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
“I wanted to know what the state-of-the-art is in Metro Manila with regards to disaster response and resilience,” said Steckler. “It was impressive to see their real-time ability to react to disaster, crime and public safety.”
The EC3 has made several advances to their disaster response and warning systems capabilities including a localized weather station working in tandem with Doppler radar, updated camera and monitoring equipment, and social media alerts.
“The systems [within the EC3] are based on those in Chicago and San Francisco,” said Angeles. “Every city within Metro Manila has or is developing their own system.”
After deploying to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan last year, Steckler returned to the nation to advance his research in the field of communications, power and shelter support in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster.
“I show the art of the possible to the global early responder community by using hastily formed networks and alternative power systems on expeditionary and HADR [humanitarian assistance and disaster relief] missions,” said Steckler. “It’s very rewarding when you provide help to people when they are in dire need.”
By Javier Chagoya
NPS Marine Corps students, in formation, seized the opportunity to honor the July 7, 1846, amphibious landing of Monterey conducted by Sailors and Marines of the Pacific Squadron during a dining-out event held at Monterey’s historic Custom House.
The Marines in attendance reflected on the amphibious action that led to the annexation of California prior to their annual dining-out. NPS’ own Senior Marine Corps Representative Col. Mitch McCarthy led the event.
“This was not only a great location for our dining-out affair, but we also honored outgoing NPS Deputy Senior Marine and [GSBPP] guest lecturer Lt. Col. Greg Flaherty by being able to raise his retirement flag over this prominent site,” said McCarthy.
Commanding General, Training and Education Command, Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas Murray was the evening’s guest of honor. Murray is well-versed in NPS’ education and research programs, serving as one of five federal members of the NPS Board of Advisors subcommittee.
“NPS is meeting the needs of our Marines in many aspects of their education, especially in simulations. The programs here are extremely alive and vigorous,” said Murray.
The dining-out festivities were equally alive as the Marines in attendance enjoyed a barbeque dinner in Monterey’s stunning Pacific House Memory Garden.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
NPS students Lt. Cmdr. David Tully and Marine Corps Capt. Kristofer Skidmore, traveled to Subic Bay, Philippines to evaluate a novel construction solution in support of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations during their break between quarters.
Both Tully and Skidmore are Graduate School of Business and Public Policy (GSBPP) students. Tully is earning his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management and Skidmore is working on a Master of Science in Management.
Tully and Skidmore were on site to evaluate a project dubbed “Cold-Formed Steel,” a machine capable of forming pre-designed building frames from rolled steel, on site. Their business case and cost benefit analysis of the project could have a clear direct impact on future expeditionary and HADR missions.
“This is the culmination of my NPS studies, and it applies all the academic principles that I learned at NPS to a real-world scenario,” said Skidmore.
“We look to compare [cold-formed steel] to wood frame and cement block construction and asked the question, ‘Does this system provide added benefit for the Seabees?’” Skidmore continued.
Skidmore hopes that by traveling to the Philippines he will be able to see first-hand how users interface with the system and its associated equipment. Tully also sees an important advantage to the first-hand assessment.
“Actually experiencing and evaluating the process in a real-world environment is an extremely valuable part of my education at NPS,” said Tully.
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Enlisted staff stand in front of Herrmann Hall in their Navy Service Uniforms (NSU) to begin an Awards and Quarters Ceremony, July 11. Three of NPS’ top enlisted performers were recognized during the ceremony.
Yeoman 1st Class Lemarkus Thompson was announced as the NPS Senior Sailor of the Quarter (SSOQ), Electronics Technician 2nd Class Richard Reardon as the Junior Sailor of the Quarter (JSOQ) and Yeoman 3rd Class Jerrica Davis as the Blue Jacket of the Quarter (BJOQ).
Thompson displayed superb management skills and outstanding performance in supervising a team of four Sailors providing administrative support to over 1,500 students, staff and faculty members. He set new standards in customer service while processing over 500 correspondence pieces and 45 officer and enlisted evaluations.
“I am truly honored to be selected,” said Thompson. “But I couldn’t have done it without my team. They helped make this possible through our combined effort. We are a team so this is an award for Flag Admin, not just me.”
Reardon’s performance as the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Assistant Leading Petty Officer (ALPO) and consistent performance of his demanding duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner resulted in his selection as JSOQ. His expert technical skill contributed to an exceptional performance rating during the NPS Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science, ECE Calibration Re-certification by the Naval Sea Systems Command.
“I am humbled to receive this honor,” said Reardon. “I know I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the support and camaraderie of my department.”
For her outstanding performance as Admin Assistant, Command Admin Department, Davis consistently performed her demanding duties displaying a tireless work ethic and professional manner. Responsible for the timely and accurate processing of over 550 pieces of correspondence, Davis’ dedication to duty, professionalism and integrity reflect on the caliber of her performance.
“I am happy to be recognized for my work,” said Davis. “It makes me feel appreciated after all my hard work.”
Workshop Inspires Future Navy Leadership to Innovate
By Javier Chagoya
NPS Center for Executive Education (CEE) Leading Innovation Program Manager Neal Thornberry leads a group of participants through one of many brainstorming exercises during the Leading Innovation Energy Application Focus (LIEAF) Workshop, July 17. Conducted through NPS’ Center for Executive Education, the workshop provided 17 senior officers and executive service officials with real-world tools for inspiring innovation across their organizations, with a special emphasis on energy security.
“The brainstorming, based on design-thinking methods, challenges these future admirals and senior executives to use a more free-thinking, wild idea approach in discovering solutions for energy conservation or leveraging,” said Thornberry.
“The focus of this workshop is not to have a ‘finished product’ or having to think of making Power Point presentations to an Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The workshop is not based on performance, but to change the mindset of the warrior,” he stressed.
A total of 70 participants have attended LIEAF Workshops in fiscal year 2014. Guest lecturer and Design Thinking facilitator Scott Underwood participated in the program for the first time during this latest iteration.
“This was my first workshop with Navy leadership, and the participants were unique in my experience. I was impressed with their willingness and ability to engage with the exercises,” Underwood said. “The methods were not part of their usual set of tools for finding challenges and creating solutions, but they were able to identify the issues underlying energy use and craft innovative approaches to effect change.”
By Javier Chagoya
Energy Academic Group (EAG) Faculty Associate Thomas Hazard, right, is presented with the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award by EAG Chair and NPS Department of Operations Research Professor Dr. Daniel Nussbaum, left, upon his retirement from civil service. Hazard was honored with the recognition for his “visionary leadership” through more than 16 years of service.
“As Director of the USPTC [the U.S. Partnership for Peace Training and Education Center] Tom demonstrated exceptional decision-making and operational support capabilities,” said Nussbaum. “He led the [USPTC] team to develop engagement strategies for NPS faculty interactions in support of the Naval Forces, combatant commands, and the U.S. Department of State.
“His exemplary actions directly contributed to the creation of positive synergies across the Department of Defense and Department of State … The relationships [Hazard] established and the cross-cultural engagements he pursued have resulted in added defense community recognition for NPS’ scholarly capabilities,” said Nussbaum.
Notably, Hazard’s relationship with NPS extends beyond his 16 years of civil service. While serving in the Marine Corps, Hazard was a military instructor with the Aviation Safety School, which was co-located at NPS from 1992-1995.
By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
NPS enlisted staff member Cryptologic Technician Technical 2nd Class Tom Norbot putts as Operations Specialist 2nd Class Vince Hummel and Information Systems Technician 1st Class Lance Bloodworth look on during the 2014 Naval Support Activity Monterey Captain’s Cup golf tournament. The tournament attracted players from the NPS community and surrounding military installations, with more than 20 four-person teams participating.
“It was inspiring to see the amount of golfers who participated in our fourth annual Captain’s Cup golf tournament, we had more participants this year than in the event’s previous four-year history,” noted NSAM Commanding Officer Capt. Timothy Faller. “Everyone worked hard to make this year’s tournament a success – from our MWR coordinator, volunteers, pro shop and especially our grounds keepers who have been remarkable in maintaining the quality of our greens year-round for everyone’s enjoyment in spite of our current drought and fiscal challenges,” he said.
“Playing in the Captain’s Cup is an event I always look forward to,” added Hummel. “I get to spend the day strengthening the bond between me and my shipmates, all-the-while representing my command on the golf course; hopefully in a good way!”
Sponsored by MWR, the event also served as a great morale booster to NPS’ enlisted staff.
“NPS’ MWR is great,” said Hummel. “They are easily one of the best MWR detachments I’ve seen in the Navy. Lindsey Carver really listens to our requests, which allows us to attend events like this.”
Participants in the competition were awarded raffle prizes after the tournament. In addition, $50 gift certificates to the Monterey Pines Golf Club were given to each member of the winning teams for top gross and top net, as well as to the players closest to the hole and with the longest drive in fairway. Winning team members Lt. Cmdr. Mike Harris, Lt. Rich Jordan, Lt. Eric Stinson and U.S. Army Maj. Derek Raymond will also have their names engraved on a plate that will go on the cup trophy, which is to be displayed in the golf club's pro shop.
By Javier Chagoya
NPS Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences Military Associate Dean Army Col. Nelson Emmons presents a memento to departing Information Dominance Center for Excellence (IDCFE) Director Navy Capt. Tim Unrein during a military faculty luncheon in the Del Monte Room, July 28. NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route honored Unrein with the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) during the gathering.
Unrein’s MSM citation noted his many contributions to NPS and the Department of Defense as IDCFE Director from July 2011 to August 2014, which he summed up in a few words.
“I think the main thing I’ve been able to do is to get NPS faculty and students better attuned to what Information Dominance Warfare (IDW) means,” said Unrein. “I’ve worked hard to infuse NPS education and research with ongoing challenges in the IDW business, such as cloud computing, big data science, electromagnetic maneuver warfare and cyber operations.”
Unrein, who himself graduated from NPS with a Master of Science in Applied Physics in 1997, is known for his dedication to the professional development of officers in the IDW program and has been an integral, long-term member of the NPS community.
“To have spent five-and-a-half years of my career here was an incredible gift,” he said. Unrein will next report to Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia.
By Dale M. Kuska
Dudley Knox Library Special Collections Manager John Sanders is pictured inside the Naval Postgraduate School’s new Welcome and Historic Center, July 30, located near the front entrance of Herrmann Hall. Through Sanders’ efforts, the center provides a permanent display of the university’s unique history, and that of the former Hotel Del Monte where it now resides.
“NPS and Hotel Del Monte have a remarkable and rich history. Their shared legacy and heritage have had a global impact in areas as diverse as sports, recreation, tourism, transportation, art, historic preservation, mathematics, science, engineering, and military and political affairs. This is a compelling story with a global impact and these examples from the past offer a guide star for the present and the future,” said Sanders.
The notion for a “welcome center” of sorts had been around for several years. In fact, during fiscal year 2011, the Advanced Education Review Board at the approval of then Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, earmarked funding for several special projects including a number of improvements to Herrmann Hall, with a welcome center among them. While the improvements were completed, the center stalled until Sanders stepped forward.
“I feel that if we preserve, celebrate and honor our history then we make today’s NPS stronger and more effective, because this remarkable history demonstrates important achievements … discoveries and contributions; visionary leadership; technological and managerial innovation; and a unique institutional ability to adapt to unknowns and unforeseen circumstances. We can learn valuable lessons and gain important insight from our history and these lessons can help us shape a more vibrant future,” Sanders explained.
“I hope the center will continue to present history in a lively and interesting manner and serve as a springboard to an enriching experience for students, staff, faculty and visitors,” Sanders continued. “Immediate next steps include adding more short video content, I have a new set of videos in the works, and enhancing the mobile self-guided tour with historic photos and a new audio product that I have called “The 20-Second Secret.””
For a first-hand look at this new facility, you can visit the Welcome and Historic Center at just about any time – the facility is located just inside the main entrance of Herrmann Hall. And for a larger tour of the campus, check out the Dudley Knox Library’s self-guided Historic Hotel Del Monte Tour Guide, available via QR (quick response) codes for both smartphones and tablets on display around campus or through DKL’s website.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
The Monterey Chapter of Federally Employed Women (FEW) recently installed its new slate of officers, welcoming Vice President Sara Stolt, President Breonna Tiffany, Recording Secretary Tyronica Jones and Corresponding Secretary Bardomina Lopez, pictured from left to right, to the organization’s leadership team. Jaye Panza, not pictured, will serve as chapter treasurer.
FEW is a private organization that works as an advocacy group to improve the status of women employed by the Federal government. At the national level, FEW is focused on four major program areas: legislative, training, compliance and diversity. But each chapter tailors its programs to the needs of members, and leadership says FEW Monterey has made community outreach one of its top priorities, while also emphasizing support to its members through scholarships in training and education.
“We do a lot of lunch and learns and speaker events, focusing on a variety of topics like heart health or disability awareness,” said Tiffany, now serving her second term as president. “We do a lot with Relay For Life; we do community outreach with the battered women’s shelter in Marina, and we donate to homeless shelters.”
Another successful outreach program chapter leadership proudly point to is the “Adopt-a-Family” effort, where members utilize donations to provide wrapped gifts and more to families during the winter holidays.
“Each child had two outfits, two pairs of shoes and books,” said Stolt. “Moms got a new suit, hair dryer and perfume to get ready for interviews. There were also donations of gift cards for grocery stores and Wal-Mart, so parents could go out and provide something for their family directly.”
As chapter leaders look toward future goals for the organization, Tiffany says they hope to host regional training for new FEW members, to increase membership and reach into the community, and to relieve any barriers to participation in FEW programs.
“We have lost a few members due to furlough … or pay cuts affecting people’s ability to pay membership fees,” said Tiffany. “I would like to increase our fundraising so that we can offer scholarships to our members so they can participate in regional events.”
For more information on FEW, check out their website at https://www.few.org/.
By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
ITACS Technology Assistance Center Manager Darnell Miles expresses his gratitude to Caryl Rojas before presenting her with the Meritorious Civilian Service Award in Ingersoll Hall, July 31. Rojas received the prestigious award as she retires from 30 years of service to the Department of Defense and the Naval Postgraduate School.
Before presenting the award, Miles shared a short story about Rojas’ spirit, unwavering work ethic and the major role Caryl and her husband, David, played in redesigning ITACS’ Help Desk.
“I’m not a designer, I can barely coordinate myself,” Miles quipped. “But Caryl rose to the occasion and enlisted her husband’s art skills to help get the place together … To this day people walk in and are amazed at the place.That’s something to be proud of.”
NPS Chief of Staff Capt. Deidre McLay also spoke highly of Rojas, reflecting on their friendship, her character and work ethic.
“You all know Caryl’s lovely voice is often the voice on the recorded telephone message when you call ITACS,” said McLay, “but well before I even realized Caryl worked for NPS, I’d met her out in town.
“We both enjoy music and we play bells together in a bell choir,” she added. “It was many months before I realized Caryl worked here at NPS, but when I finally did, I was grateful to have her because she’s always been very supportive and gracious, and that is both in the performance of her work here and the way she conducts herself as a friend and colleague.”
At the close of the ceremony, Rojas offered her own sincere farewell and thanks.
“I just really want to offer my thanks to everyone who has worked with me over the years,” said Rojas. “I am grateful to you all … It’s been an honor and a privilege.”