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Two AFIT instructors earn Army Logistics University education awards

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Heather McDaniel receives the 2019 Educator of the Year award from Michael Williams, Army Logistics University president, during a ceremony at Fort Lee, Va., Sept. 25, 2019. McDaniel is an instructor at the ALU College of Professional and Continuing Education, and earned the award for her exceptional performance and significant achievements that greatly contributed to the success of ALU's academic and training mission. (U.S. Army photo / Dani Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Heather McDaniel receives the 2019 Educator of the Year award from Michael Williams, Army Logistics University president, during a ceremony at Fort Lee, Va., Sept. 25, 2019. McDaniel is an instructor at the ALU College of Professional and Continuing Education, and earned the award for her exceptional performance and significant achievements that greatly contributed to the success of ALU's academic and training mission. (U.S. Army photo / Dani Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Wilken receives a 2019 Distinguished Instructor award from Michael Williams, Army Logistics University president during a ceremony at Fort Lee, Va., Sept. 25, 2019. Wilken is an instructor at the ALU College of Professional and Continuing Education, and earned the award for exceptional performance and significant achievements that greatly contributed to the success of ALU's academic and training mission. (U.S. Army photo / Dani Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Wilken receives a 2019 Distinguished Instructor award from Michael Williams, Army Logistics University president during a ceremony at Fort Lee, Va., Sept. 25, 2019. Wilken is an instructor at the ALU College of Professional and Continuing Education, and earned the award for exceptional performance and significant achievements that greatly contributed to the success of ALU's academic and training mission. (U.S. Army photo / Dani Johnson)

FORT LEE, Va. – Two Air Force Institute of Technology instructors on staff at the Army Logistics University were recognized for outstanding achievement in education during a ceremony here Sept. 25, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Heather McDaniel was recognized as an ALU Educator of the Year for her role in teaching doctrine in the College of Professional and Continuing Education’s Joint Logistics Course, as well as other colleges inside ALU.

“I am humbled by the selection because Army Logistics University works very hard to grow the best instructors and educators across all logistics disciplines,” McDaniel said. “This level of recognition validates the amount of effort and care that I put into each class to ensure doctrine and concepts teaching points are given in a way the students understand.”

McDaniel's supervisor at AFIT praised her use of different teaching methods that conveys her experiences outside the classroom in an engaging way for students. 

"Her study and knowledge of joint logistics makes her very credible to the members of all services she teaches in her Joint Logistics Course," said Guy Fritchman, logistics management department head in AFIT's School of Systems and Logistics. " I'm especially proud that she has focused upon active and experiential learning methodologies rather than traditional lectures."  

McDaniel will now compete at the Army Training and Doctrine Command-level competition.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Wilken received the 2019 Distinguished Instructor award, given to the top five percent of instructors, for his work in the school’s College of Professional and Continuing Education as a senior Air Force instructor in the Operations Research and Systems Analysis - Military Applications Course.

“It really is an honor to be recognized as a distinguished graduate,” Wilken said. “My undergrad is math education.  This job allows me to pursue my passion to teach and mentor the next generation of Operations Research.”

Wilken’s ability to convey the course material, specifically math, to the students in a way that relates easily to real-world challenges is part of what makes him unique.

“[Wilken] cares that the students learn not only the content in order to apply it to their jobs, but he challenges them to learn to systematically approach the unknown problems,” said Pamela Coleman, chief of force development division and Wilken’s ALU supervisor. “He is a well-respected mentor for our new analysts.”

Editor’s Note: Dani Johnson, Army Combined Arms Support Command Public Affairs, contributed to this story.