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UNC-IDB Strategic Studies Fellows Program Announces 2018 Graduates


UNC-IDB Strategic Studies Fellows Program Announces 2018 Graduates

PR Newswire

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The UNC-IDB Strategic Studies Fellows Program (SSFP) honored its seventh class of graduates on July 19, 2018 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. LTG Joseph Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, Headquarters, Department of the Army, was the keynote speaker for the graduation event.

The 2018 UNC–IDB SSFP Class with LTG Joseph Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, Headquarters, Department of the Army (front row, center).

"The UNC-IDB SSFP immerses young military officers in a stimulating environment focused on promoting strategic thinking in complex national security issues. I am confident that the 2018 graduates are better prepared to lead and excel in addressing threats facing the United States," said LTG Anderson.

The UNC-IDB SSFP is administered by the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

About the SSFP Program
The four-week course is a graduate-level leadership seminar dedicated to broadening the ability of emerging military leaders to adapt to the increasingly uncertain and complex international environment.

"Professors from esteemed institutions in the fields of international studies, business, media and communications, and political science, such as Johns Hopkins, Duke, and UNC-Chapel Hill, challenged the students to think critically about issues they will need to address during their current and future roles in the military and government," said IDB President MG Jim Hodge, USA (Ret). In addition to dissecting complex scenarios in the world of diplomatic relations, the Fellows worked with professors to sharpen their leadership and oratorical skills.

During this year's program, Congressman David Price (D-NC), paid a special visit to the Fellows. He spoke candidly with them about the inner workings of Congress, the challenges the body faces in today's complex geopolitical environment and the possibilities for cooperation and progress still inherent in this august institution. Other highlights included a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) visit day where students met with senior leaders at Rise Against Hunger, a global non-profit focused on combating hunger, where they learned about volunteerism, logistical innovation, and strategic-decision making. Also, they met with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill's women's soccer head coach, Anson Dorrance, where the Fellows gained a new perspective on leadership from this world-renowned icon.

Capstone Team Project
The program culminates with an applied strategic capstone team project, consisting of a team presentation and academic paper, demonstrating the students' application of the curriculum. At the end of the course, students presented their findings before a panel consisting of Mr. Robert MacMullen, Deputy Division Chief, Office of the Deputy Chief Staff, Operations, Strategic Leadership Division, Headquarters Department of the Army, G3/5/7; Professor David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security; and MG Jim Hodge, USA (Ret.), President of the IDB.

Graduating Class
Graduates received a joint certificate from UNC and the IDB and are now members of the IDB's expansive alumni network. The graduates are:

CPT Peter Boltuch, SPO Distribution Integration Branch, HHC, 16th Sustainment Brigade, U.S. Army

CPT Orlando Castaneda, Company Commander/Army Exchange Officer, D Co, 701st Military Police Battalion, U.S. Army

Mr. Martin Doxey, International Security Cooperation Program Manager, J5-81 CVEO, U.S. Army

CPT Tristan Felchlin, Headquarters Company Commander, 1-63AR, 2ABCT, 1ID, U.S. Army

CPT John Fernandez-Rubio, Board Recorder, Department of the Army Secretariat for Selection Boards, U.S. Army

SFC Michael Hardgrove, Pathfinder NCOIC, B Co. ARNG-WTC, U.S. Army

MAJ Ian Hepburn, Executive Officer, 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, U.S. Army

CPT Chester Kraft, Company Commander, Alpha Company, 249th Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army

Mr. Thomas Lexington, Strategist, HQ, Department of the Army, U.S. Army

CPT Jason Link, Officer in Charge, TASS Training Center, Camp Parks, CA, U.S. Army Reserves

Ms. Rachel Martinez, Strategic Planner, Dept. of Army/ USARAF, U.S. Army

CPT Gregoire Metellus, Plans Officer, 354 Civil Affairs Brigade, U.S. Army Reserves

CPT Justin Mirkovich, S3 Plans Officer, 211th Regional Support Group, U.S. Army Reserves

MAJ Matthew Neamand, S4 Logistics Officer, 57th Troop Command, U.S. Army National Guard

CPT Jason Nunes, COMMANDER, HHB, 1-62 ADA BN, U.S. Army

MAJ Ryan O'Connor, J35 Operations Officer, JFHQ, California National Guard, U.S. Army National Guard

CPT Elizabeth Pham, Intel Officer, E CO, 6-9 CAV, 3 ABCT, 1 CD, U.S. Army

CPT Alex Plotkin, Instructor, Special Operations Forces Captains Career Course, U.S. Army

Mr. James Purvis, Senior Plans Analyst, G-5 – Strategy, Plans, and Policy Analysis, U.S. Army

CPT Justin Rudolf, BDE S1, 1AD CAB, U.S. Army

CPT Caleb Schultz, Company Commander, SPT BN, 1st SWTG (A), USAJFKWCS, U.S. Army

MAJ Jordan Simmers, Humanitarian Assistance Program Manager, J58, U.S. Army Reserves and winner of the Governor James G. Martin Critical Thinker Award

CPT Matthew Smith, Battalion Intelligence Observer/Controller, NTC Fort Irwin, CA, U.S. Army

CPT Manuela Suslik, OC/T, OPS GRP, U.S. Army

CPT Alexandra Teskey, Company Commander, 30th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), 194th Armored Brigade, Fort Benning, GA, U.S. Army

MAJ Vincent Tirri, S1, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, U.S. Army National Guard

CPT William Vanderlip, Graduate Student, US Army Student Detachment, U.S. Army

CPT Geoffrey Vantine, Company Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army

MAJ Scott Weber, Deputy Surface Maintenance Division Chief, Joint Force Headquarters, U.S. Army National Guard

CPT Ryan Wiezer, Captain/ Plans Officer, 103d ESC, U.S. Army Reserves

CPT Casey Williams, Plans Officer, 2BCT, 101 DIV, U.S. Army

MAJ Robert Wilson, Deputy Chief of Operations, G-3/5/7 Operations, U.S. Army Reserves

About the IDB

The IDB is a nonprofit research and education institute formed in 1997 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina. The Institute provides custom executive and degree-granting education programs for all career levels from the military and government, non-governmental organizations, private sector, and international organizations. IDB features curriculum in logistics and technology, life cycle systems, leadership and organizational transformation, and strategic studies.

Media Contact: Zebrina Warner, Institute for Defense & Business, 919-969-8008,

IDB Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Institute for Defense and Business) (PRNewsFoto/IDB)

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