Three on education-center staff commended

  • Published
  • By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- Three U.S. Air Force Airmen were commended in East Tennessee, October 22, as the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center's outstanding senior NCO, NCO, and civilian of the third quarter.

TEC's First Sergeant, Senior Master Sgt. Amanda Calderon announced the awardees in an all-staff email.

"Take some time out of your day to congratulate the winners for quarter three," said Senior Calderon. "A huge THANK YOU to the nominees, who put their heads down to get the mission done."

All three Airmen were outstanding volunteers in their communities.

The Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter is Master Sgt. Elizabeth Aguirre, the NCO Academy superintendent and a professional military education instructor for the Lankford Enlisted PME Center.

Among other achievements, supervisors said that Sergeant Aguirre provided oversight for the Air Force's largest academy for mid-level enlisted leaders, which meant leading a 23-member team back to in-residence curriculum delivery. She coordinated with base organizations and revamped COVID mitigation procedures to ensure student and staff safety. The effort supported 224 total force students.

Sergeant Aguirre completed 15 credit hours towards a master's degree in Organizational Management with a 4.0 GPA. She also prepped and supported three Airmen for the Air Force fitness test.

The NCO of the Quarter is Tech. Sgt. Renee Wiederspahn, an EPME instructor for Lankford Center.

Among other achievements, supervisors said that Sergeant Wiederspahn led three NCO Academy classes, providing 435 academic hours of instruction. Her mentorship resulted in five Distinguished Graduates and one John L. Levitow award winner - EPME's highest accomplishment. Her efforts helped prepare 45 NCOs across 26 different career fields as future Senior NCOs.

Wiederspahn held four in-service training sessions for the 32-member instructor cadre in preparation for NCOA's post-pandemic, in-resident class. She also trained additional duties in honor guard, fitness, and safety, among other responsibilities. She reviewed and edited feedback from 687 students for the instructional system administrator team, which identified training deficiencies and improvement areas.

Sergeant Wiederspahn completed nine credit hours toward her bachelor of science while maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

The Civilian of the Quarter is Tammie Smeltzer, the director of education assigned to TEC University.

Among other achievements, supervisors said that Ms. Smeltzer was instrumental in developing the partnership between TEC-U and Pellissippi State College to award Continuing Education Units to graduating students in the Instructional Certification and Public Affairs Response Training programs. Her efforts resulted in 129.2 CEUs and 51 CCAF credits awarded to 17 students.

Smeltzer spent 80-plus hours coordinating an innovative approach that created an inclusive and immersive environment for welcoming visitors. She completed a 60-hour course to achieve Baldrige Examiner credentials. She reviewed and revamped local processes to increase the efficiency of 82 personnel. She also managed and tracked 50 simultaneous projects that impacted more than 700 students and 11,000 personnel.

Ms. Smeltzer led instruction for TEC's community relations program, which educated 38 business leaders.

(Supervisor award packages contributed to this report.)