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Cadets named to Fall 2012 Dean's Aces List
Cadets named to the Fall 2012 Dean's Aces List pose for a photo in the Falcon Club Feb. 7, 2013. The Aces List includes cadets who earn a perfect 4.0 GPA. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Chambers)
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Dean releases 'Aces' list: Cadets recognized for academic excellence

Posted 2/22/2013   Updated 2/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Charlotte Portlock
Academy Economics and Geosciences Department

2/22/2013 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Fifteen cadets were recognized for academic excellence at a Dean's Aces dinner held Feb. 7 for achieving perfect 4.0 GPAs during the fall 2012 semester.

The Dean's Aces Dinner, first held in 2005, recognizes those few cadets who distinguish themselves academically.

"The aim of the Dean's Aces dinner is to recognize cadets who have truly distinguished themselves academically," said Brig. Gen. Dana Born, the Academy's dean of the faculty. "In the 4,007-member cadet wing, only 15 cadets earned a 4.0 GPA in the fall semester."

The fall 2012 Aces list includes two freshmen, five sophomores, four juniors and four seniors.

Cadet 2nd Class Blake Abrecht was recognized as an Ace for the fourth time in five semesters. Abrecht was one of three cadets to achieve this level of academic distinction while studying on exchange at the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Naval Academy. Four other cadets maintained top academic marks while competing on intercollegiate athletic teams.

"Maintaining a 4.0 was extremely challenging, particularly when balancing schoolwork with college athletics," said Cadet 1st Class Conor Henry.

Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould and Born both spoke at the dinner, held at the Falcon Club, each stressing what they called "the important role academic growth has to play in leadership development."

"This was one of my proudest achievements at the Academy," said Cadet 1st Class William Smedley VII. "The atmosphere at the dinner was great, and it afforded (us) a wonderful opportunity to speak with senior Academy leaders."

Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Greg Lengyel, Athletics Director Dr. Hans Mueh and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Adis Vila also attended the recognition ceremony.

The Dean's Aces list was inspired by the late Brig. Gen Robert McDemott, the first dean of the faculty at the Academy, Born said. The general, for whom the Academy's McDermott Library is named, is often referred to as the "father of modern military education" for his contributions to the Academy's mission of educating and developing leaders of character.

The 15 cadets placed on the Fall 2012 Dean's Aces List were:

Name Cadet Squadron Major Notes
Cadet 1st Class Conor Henry CS 07 Systems Engineering Management (A)
Cadet 1st Class Justin Sleeter CS 21 Biology  
Cadet 1st Class William Smedley VII CS 28 Geospatial Science (C)
Cadet 1st Class Michael Swartz CS 09 Biology (C)
Cadet 2nd Class Blake Abrecht CS 01 Systems Engineering / Human Factors (S)
Cadet 2nd Class Glen Hanson CS 22 Meteorology *
Cadet 2nd Class Elise Hill CS 03 Biochemistry  
Cadet 2nd Class Rachel Kennedy CS 12 Biology  
Cadet 2nd Class Glamis Koh CS 02 Astronautical Engineering (S)
Cadet 3rd Class Rebecca Esselstein CS 19 Astronautical Engineering (S)
Cadet 3rd Clsas Christian Ferrarini CS 01 Economics (C)
Cadet 3rd Class Ayesha Hein CS 23 Astronautical Engineering (S)
Cadet 3rd Class Andrew Miller CS 05 Astronautical Engineering  
Cadet 3rd Class Alex Quiros CS 31 Astronautical Engineering (C)
Cadet 4th Class Josh Bradley CS 12 undeclared (S)
Cadet 4th Class Felix Knutson CS 24 undeclared (S)

* - Hanson was recognized Feb. 7 for his perfect GPA in the Spring 2012 semester, as he could not attend the previous Aces dinner.
(C) - Also named to Commandant's List, which includes cadets with military performance averages of 3.0 or higher.
(A) - Also named to Athletic Director's List, which includes cadets with physical education averages of 3.0 or higher.
(S) - Also named to Superintendent's List, which includes cadets whose GPAs, MPAs and PEAs are all 3.0 or higher in the same semester.

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