On Monday, September 29, Perry Center Director Mark Wilkins presided over an internal farewell event recognizing the contributions of a number of departing members of the WJPC team.
Departing faculty members include: Mr. Manuel Lora, Dr. Patricia Escamilla-Hamm, and Dr. Michael Gold-Biss. These professors are truly experts in their fields, and they excelled at research, course instruction, and regional outreach during their time at the Center.
The student services team (the “face” of the Perry Center, as any alumni will know) is also departing; Ms. Alzira Fernandes, Ms. Audete Ramos, Ms. Lourdes Wilson, and Ms. Patricia Uribe represented the Center to all who arrived in DC for courses or seminars.
A number of staff members, who played vital roles in their positions throughout the organization, are also departing at this time: Mr. Frank McGurk, Ms. Mildred Belton, Ms. Monica Stapleton, Ms. Alicia Beall, Mr. Michael Patykula, and Ms. Alicia Brau.
Finally, the Dean for Students, Administration, and Outreach, MG (ret.) John C. Thompson, is also moving on from his time at the Center. Anyone who is familiar with the Center knows MG Thompson, and his influence is evident in everything that makes the Center the preeminent institution it is in the region. Recently, his work at the Center was recognized by Mexico’s University of Security Sciences (Nuevo León). On August 27, the University presented MG Thompson with a plaque commemorating his academic merit and leadership during his tenure at the Center. At the farewell ceremony on Monday, MG Thompson received the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Career Civilian Service Award, awarded to him by DSCA Director Vice Admiral Joseph W. Rixey.
All departing team members received certificates honoring their status as Distinguished Members Emeritus. The Perry Center’s chief mission is to develop and maintain partnerships, and that extends to the staff and faculty. The Center has undergone many changes in recent months and will continue to adjust as resources and mission demands evolve, but the sense of community and family we have built together remains the foundation for our success.