About NPS Foundation Awards

Student Awards

Distinguished Professor Kenneth J. Euske Dean's Medal for Innovative Contribution to National Defense
This award recognizes a graduating student, or a team of up to four members, from the Graduate School of Defense Management (formerly the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy) whose thesis or project is considered by the Awards Board and the Dean to present an innovative “potential” significant contribution to a National Defense issue, or create a new competitive advantage.
 
Established in 2018 with a donation from Dr. Steven L. Funk to honor Dr. Euske, former GSBPP Dean, the Euske Medal is awarded annually. Recipients receive a 2.5” (nickel, minted) medallion in a display box and a framed certificate.

Outstanding United States Air Force Graduate Award, Department of National Security Affairs
The Outstanding USAF Graduate Award goes to a USAF officer in the NSA Department for outstanding academic performance and overall scholarly achievement. Established in March 2005, the Outstanding USAF Graduate Award is presented quarterly during the graduation awards ceremony. Recipients receive a plaque and $500. The Greenside Foundation and Trustees Gary and Barbara Vandeweghe fund this award.

International Student Award for Excellence in Regional or Security Studies
The International Student Award goes to an international military officer or civilian student for overall scholarly academic performance in the Department of National Security Affairs (NSA). Established in March 2005, the International Student Award is presented quarterly during the graduation awards ceremony. Recipients receive a plaque and $500. The NPS Foundation funds this award.

Louis D. Liskin Award for Excellence in Regional Security Studies
The Liskin Award for Excellence in Regional Security Studies goes to a military officer or civilian student for overall scholarly academic performance in the Graduate School of International and Defense Studies (IDS). Established in 2003 by the Liskin family, on behalf of the Joseph and Ida Liskin Foundation, the Liskin Award for Excellence in Regional Security Studies is presented quarterly during the graduation awards ceremony. Recipients receive $500.

Louis D. Liskin Award for Excellence in Management
The Liskin Award for Excellence in Management goes to a graduate of the MBA program from the the Graduate School of Defense Management who has demonstrated scholarly achievement. Established in 2003 by David Liskin, on behalf of the Joseph and Ida Liskin Foundation, in memory of his father, the Liskin Award for Excellence in Management is presented semi-annually during the June and December awards ceremonies. Recipients receive $500.

ADM William Adger Moffett Space Systems Award
The Moffett Space Systems Award goes to a student in the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who has demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement in aeronautics studies. Established in 1972, the award is presented annually during the June awards ceremony. Recipients receive $250.

Gary Laughlin Patriot Award
The Patriot Award recognizes exceptional academic distinction and leadership. The award is to honor the example of patriotism and personal courage shown by Gary Laughlin who served in World War II and the Korean War as a Marine pilot. Established in 2007, the Patriot Award is presented annually during the June awards ceremony. Recipients receive a plaque and $1,000.

CAPT David S. Bill, Jr. Leadership Award
The Capt. Bill Leadership Award goes to a faculty or student officer who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities. Established in 2005 by David Liskin and Capt. Bill's family and friends, the leadership award is presented annually during the June awards ceremony. Recipients receive $500.

RADM Merrill W. Ruck Leadership Award
The Ruck Leadership Award goes to a student who has demonstrated exemplary leadership abilities, impacting his/her fellow students, NPS and the local community. The award was established in 2019 at the request of NPSF Chairman of the Board Hank Plain in honor of former NPS Foundation Executive Director and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Merrill Ruck who died in 2018. The award is presented annually during the September awards ceremony. Recipients receive a plaque and $500.

W. Randolph Church Award for Excellence in Mathematics
The Church Award goes to a student with outstanding performance in mathematical courses. The Church Award was established in 1975 and is presented annually during the June awards ceremony. Recipients receive a plaque and $100. The NPS Foundation funds this award.

Pat Tillman Leadership Award
The Tillman Leadership Award goes to a student officer who has distinguished themself in the Security Affairs program in the Department of Defense Analysis. Established in 2005 by David Reese, the award is presented annually during the December awards ceremony. Recipients receive $5,000.

CAPT Jack J. Jensen Award in Excellence in Meteorology & Oceanography
The Jensen Award goes to a student who has demonstrated overall scholarly excellence in either the Meteorology or Oceanography programs of the Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. The award honors NPS alumni and NPS Foundation supporter Capt. Jack J. Jensen who died in 2018. Established at the NPS Foundation in 2019 by NPSF Chairman of the Board Hank Plain, the award is presented annually during the December awards ceremony. Recipients receive a plaque and $500. Additional funding for the award comes from the Jensen family.

Astronaut Michael J. Smith, CAPT, and Astronaut William C. McCool, CDR, Astronautics Award
The Smith-McCool Astronautics Award goes to a student who has demonstrated outstanding astronautics achievement. Originally established in 1987 as the Smith Award, it was later coupled with the Moffett Award. Following the second space shuttle tragedy, the name was changed to include McCool and separated from Moffett. Both Capt. Michael Smith and Cmdr. William McCool were U.S. Navy officers and alumni of the Naval Postgraduate School. The award is presented annually during the December awards ceremony. Recipients receive $100.

Faculty Awards

The Mills Medal for Research, Analysis, or Service in Direct Support of the Fleet
This award recognizes research, analysis, or service conducted under the auspices of the Naval Research Program which has had a meritorious or conspicuous impact to the service headquarters, fleet, or operating forces as determined by the Dean of Research in consultation with the selection committee. Favorable consideration is given to efforts that involved NPS students and/or multiple Sponsors.
 
Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, USMC, signed the charter that established the Marine Corps Thesis Research Working Group (predecessor to the Naval Research Program). He was a visionary who understood the value of education, and saw NPS as underutilized research resource for the service. Dr. Anthony Pollman, former aide to Lt. Gen. Mills, provided the NPS Foundation with the means to fund the award. Established in 2018, the Mills Medal is awarded annually. The winning principal investigator receives $1,000, a 3” (nickel, minted) medallion in a display box, and a framed certificate. Other members of the winning investigation team, to include any co-principal investigators or students, receive a certificate.

Carl E. and Jessie W. Menneken Faculty Award for Excellence in Scientific Research — Highly Meritorious Research Award
The Menneken Award for Highly Meritorious Research goes to a junior faculty member who has exhibited outstanding research achievement in science, engineering and technology. Originally established in 1988, a revised agreement for the endowment fund was signed in 2015. The award is presented annually during the December awards ceremony. Recipients are chosen by a faculty panel and receive a framed certificate and $10,000, as well as $10,000 for their research project. 

The Carl E. and Jessie W. Menneken Awards for Excellence in Scientific Research — Significant and Sustained Contributions Award
The Menneken Award for Significant and Sustained Contributions goes to a senior faculty member whose work focuses on a sustained impact to the effectiveness of the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. The Menneke n awards were originally established in 1988, but a revised agreement for the endowment fund was signed in 2015 resulting in the Significant and Sustained Contributions Award. The award is presented annually during the December awards ceremony. Recipients are chosen by a faculty panel and receive a framed certificate and $15,000.

The Gary Kildall Award for Outstanding Teaching, Student Academic Excellence or Distinguished Research in Computer Science 
The Kildall Award goes to a faculty member to acknowledge outstanding teaching or distinguished research in the area of computer science. Dr. Gary Kildall is widely recognized today for his key role in the personal computer revolution. Kildall's career in the Naval Postgraduate's School Mathematics Department began in 1969 when he reported for active duty as a naval officer. He left active duty in January 1972, and in March of that year, he joined the faculty of the Mathematics Department at NPS as a civilian professor with research focused in micro-computer organization and applications. The Kildall award was established by his former students, Gordon Eubanks and Stephen Miller, in 2005, and is presented annually during the September awards ceremony. Recipients receive $1,000.

Richard W. Hamming Faculty Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement
The Hamming Interdisciplinary Achievement Award goes to a faculty member with innovative accomplishments that support and enhance interdisciplinary activities at NPS. Established in 1999 and first presented in March 2000, the award is presented annually during the March awards ceremony. Recipients receive $2,500. Funds donated by Mrs. Hamming, faculty, friends and Lucent Technology established two awards in memory of Dr. Richard Hamming.

Richard W. Hamming Teaching Award
The Hamming Teaching Award goes to faculty member who has achieved excellence in the classroom, thesis supervision, and in contributing to student education beyond the classroom. Established in 1999 and first presented in September 2000, the award is presented annually during the September awards ceremony. Recipients receive $2,500. Funds donated by Mrs. Hamming, faculty, friends and Lucent Technology established two awards in memory of Dr. Richard Hamming.

RADM John J. Schieffelin Award for Excellence in Teaching
The Schieffelin Award goes to a faculty member as voted on by students and graduates. Established in 1972, the award is presented annually during the June awards ceremony and announced by the Provost. Recipients receive $1,000 and their name is added to a plaque in Dudley Knox Library and to a plaque in the Provost's office. Funding for this award comes from the Schieffelin Fund and the NPS Foundation.

LCDR David L. Williams Outstanding Professor Award
The Williams Outstanding Professor Award goes to a faculty member in the Graduate School of International and Defense Studies (IDS) who has demonstrated the greatest dedication to the learning and intellectual growth of students, in-residence and abroad. The award was established in 2004 by a gift from Alan Silverman and named after U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dave Williams who died while on duty in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Lt. Cmdr. Williams graduated from NPS' Graduate School of International and Defense Studies. The LCDR David L. Williams Outstanding Professor Award is presented semi-annually during the June and December awards ceremonies. Recipients receive $500.

Louis D. Liskin Award for Teaching Excellence in the Graduate School of Defense Management
The Liskin Award for Teaching Excellence goes to a GSDM faculty member as voted on by all GSDM students. Established in 2003 by David Liskin, on behalf of the Joseph and Ida Liskin Foundation, in memory of his father, the Liskin Award for Teaching Excellence is presented semi-annually during the June and December awards ceremonies. Recipients receive $500.

Other Awards

NPS Foundation/U.S. Naval Institute Annual Essay Contest
The NPS Foundation/U.S. Naval Institute Annual Essay Contest Award is jointly sponsored by the NPS Foundation and the U.S. Naval Institute to encourage writing for publication and critical thinking among students, faculty and staff at the Naval Postgraduate School. Essays should be based on thesis, research, or operational experience that best advances the military profession. The contest was established in 2015 using funds donated to the NPS Foundation in honor of U.S. Navy retired Adm. Henry Mauz.

Submissions are due by March 31 of each year. Visit the essay contest landing page for specific details (e.g., eligibility, word length, deadlines). All USNI essay contests include publication of the winning essays in Proceedings or Naval History magazine. The winner of the NPSF/USNI Annual Essay Contest is recognized during the NPS June graduation ceremony and receives $5,000.