Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Air Force Academy Spirit

87 cadets bound for Grad School

one to the University of California-San Diego medical school, and another to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was a biochemistry major and a member of the Wings of Blue. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry Simmons

Cadet 1st Class Brandon McCutcheon prepares a sample for an experiment using a dye to identify free radicals in hopes of one day treating chemical warfare decontamination and cancer. Cadet McCutcheon earned two post-graduate scholarships: one to the University of California-San Diego medical school, and another to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was a biochemistry major and a member of the Wings of Blue. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry Simmons

By Academy Public Affairs


Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cal Tech and Rice are just a few of the post-graduation destinations for members of the Academy’s Class of 2009.

Eighty-seven members of the Air Force Academy’s latest graduating class have earned entry into graduate school programs.

Several of the graduating cadets have been tapped for medical school, the latest being Cadet 1st Class Theodore Saitz. He received notification May 19 that he has a slot waiting for him at Tulane Medical School right after graduation, which brought USAFA’s medical school total up to 14 for the Class of 2009. The cadets bound for medical school are Cadets 1st Class Andrew Amack, Robert Edmonds, Andrew Groberg, Jane Hwang, Erin Johnson, Brit Long, Brandon McCutcheon, Kyle McIntosh, Joseph Migliuri, Sara Schwartz, William Timberlake, Kara Wilson and Travis Dekker.

Additionally, Cadet 1st Class Jenna Beasock’s post-graduation assignment is the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, while Cadet 1st Class Benjamin Pass is headed to dental school at Columbia University.

Harvard University is the next stop for five graduates, who have earned scholarships to the John F. Kennedy School of Government: Cadets 1st Class Victor DiTommaso III, Elisa Park, Lindsey Robinson, Brian Williams, and Brian McCutcheon.

The Harvard scholarship is Cadet McCutcheon’s second post-graduate scholarship, as he is also headed to medical school.

Cadet 1st Class Brian Mueller is bound for King’s College in the United Kingdom after winning a Marshall Scholarship. Cadet Mueller is one of only 40 people in the United States to win the scholarship this year.

Through the Acquisition Accession Program, several cadets majoring in everything from physics to behavioral sciences are bound for graduate school.  This program sends graduating cadets to the Air Force Institute of Technology in residence and select civilian universities, based on the current needs of the Air Force. It includes a new AFIT in-residence program for cyber operations, which was introduced in 2008.  These cadets are: Cadets 1st Class Ainsley Allen, Eric Diss, Luke Ferrel, Byron Fryer, Harmon Gage, Joshua Heffernen, Adam Hillier, Alexander Kaszynski, Charles Keaton, Adam Kruse, Garrett Kurtz, Spenser Lee, Benaiah Lozano, Brooke Lunde, Erin McNeil, Ashley Miller, Crystal Murray, Michael Paul, Emily Purcell, Robin Rogers, Stephanie Schmidt, Nathanael Sladek, Alexander Stevenson, Jared Tuinstra, Ariella Walker, Matthew Williams and Abby Rogers. 

Cadet Abby Rogers also earned an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, along with Cadet 1st Class Roni Yadlin. Cadet Rogers is a gymnast while Cadet Yadlin played soccer. 

These scholarships are awarded by the NCAA to graduating student-athletes who have performed with distinction in both athletics and academics.  The NCAA awards fewer than 200 scholarships annually to the best of more than 384,000 NCAA athletes. Cadet Yadlin also won an endowed scholarship to Oxford University, United Kingdom.

Several nationally competitive and endowed scholarships are sending graduating firsties off to schools in Europe and around the United States, including: Cadet 1st Class Daniel Castle to Colorado State University; Cadet 1st Class Brooks Crane to the University of Pittsburgh; Cadet 1st Class David Day to Baylor University; Cadet 1st Class Adam Otten to La Sorbonne, France; Cadet 1st Class Katharine Kalamaroff to The California Institute of Technology; Cadet 1st Class Adam Comer to Cambridge University, United Kingdom; Cadet 1st Class Laura Johnson to St. John’s College, and Cadet 1st Class Keidrick Roy to Arizona State University.

The Academy’s Center for Space and Defense Studies is sending two cadets to graduate school: Cadet 1st Class Nathan McCaskey to Colorado State University and Cadet 1st Class Steven Tomaszewski to Indiana University.

Four members of the Class of 2009 earned the Superintendent’s Rand Ph.D. Scholarship, which sends cadets to the Pardee Rand Graduate School in Santa Monica, Calif., for a doctoral degree in policy analysis. They are: Cadets 1st Class Jeremy Didier, John Langley, Kimberly Hale and Kevin O’Neill.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology awaits five graduates of the Academy’s Class of 2009: Cadets 1st Class Philip Cho, Corey Crowell, Matthew McCormack, Josiah VanderMey, and George Sondecker, IV.

Rice University has 13 engineering and space operations majors slated for grad school there.  They are: Cadets 1st Class Tyler Brummer, Tracee Curlett, Wyatt Harris, Brad Jenicke, Timothy Phillips, Timothy Spielman, Bradley Ward, Matthew Wichmann, Joel Halpert, Andrew Kirk, Jackson Mason, Anthony O’Shea, and Jake Schonig.

Cadet 1st Class Monique Ludvicek will put her aeronautical engineering and research skills to work at the University of Washington, via that university’s engineering fellowship.

Four graduating cadets will attend the University of Maryland Scholarship at University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.  An important selection criterion is a continuing interest in public policy and service in the public sector and this program awards a master’s in public policy. Those cadets are: Cadets 1st Class Brad Dewees, Josiah Gaffney, John Munson and Benjamin Otte.

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