AFIT staff member wins AETC 2023 AF International Affairs Excellence Award

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

Air Force Institute of Technology’s international military support officer Michael Paprocki is the Air Education and Training Command winner of the 2023 Air Force International Affairs Excellence Award (Junior Civilian Category). He will next compete at the Air Force level.

This award recognizes Airmen who have made the most significant contributions in building, sustaining, expanding and guiding international relationships, as well as those who execute and support security cooperation and assistance programs.

Paprocki's dedication to student success has been exemplary.  In 2023, he successfully guided 24 international military graduate students, coordinating their course schedules and laboratory access, resulting in a 100% on-time graduation rate. Notably, 50% of these students earned honor or distinguished graduate designations.

Additionally, he developed training agendas for AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management’s collaboration with Israel and created a quick reference course catalog praised by the Israeli Air Force's foreign liaison officer.

He maximized the visa certification process in partnership with the U.S. State Department and five foreign defense ministries, ensuring all students had swift U.S. access and a smooth start to their academic programs.

Identifying a deficiency in the management and tracking of temporary allowance payments, Paprocki independently developed a system that managed 340 payments totaling $365K for 15 international students, ensuring financial obligations were met and allowing students to focus on their studies.

His efforts in providing Military Articles and Services Listing information for 12 international courses resulted in complete partner satisfaction and increased interest from ten new international partners.

Serving as the liaison between AFIT and the Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron, he processed 15 student training reports with a 100% on-time rate, securing $320K in tuition payments for the Department of the Air Force.

Paprocki facilitated emergency international travel for three students, ensuring their ability to return home during border closures and reducing their stress.

His innovation led to the execution of a new field study program that enhanced international relationships by exposing coalition partners to American culture.

A valued team player, Paprocki also stepped in to assist the Graduate School's admissions team overcome a significant backlog, personally conducing 100 academic reviews while maintaining high-quality applicant standards.

He was appointed to an Institute-wide renovation board charged to develop a plan and secure funding for facility improvements, directly benefiting students, faculty, staff and visitors.

His leadership extended to event security, where he managed the on-site security team for a three-star distinguished visitor, successfully executing the first event of this scale in over 15 years.

Further demonstrating his involvement on behalf of AFIT, he also assisted with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s 2023 Australia Day cerebration and facilitated a visit by the Israeli Air Force's Materiel Directorate director, fostering new academic partnerships and technical exchanges.

Paprocki’s exceptional contributions led to AFIT’s recognition as the most requested Department of Defense organization for the Engineer and Scientist Exchange and Administrative and Professional Exchange Programs for officers from Germany and Republic of South Korea as well as the most requested organization for exchange officers from Israel, Germany and Republic of South Korea.