USMMA Newsletter, October 2015

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U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

In the News

October 2014

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Message from the Superintendent

Dear Midshipmen, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Parents and Friends:

Events over the past two months brought moments of triumph, transition and loss to our Kings Point community.  October will be remembered as a time of great sadness. As most of you know, our beloved and much admired former Athletic Director Susan "Sue" Petersen Lubow passed away.  Much of the success of our Department of Physical and Education and Athletics was because of Sue. She was a strong leader with a great vision and she had an unparalleled love for the Academy and our midshipmen. During her memorial service, the Mariner’s Memorial Chapel was filled to capacity as she was remembered fondly by those who knew her and whose lives she touched. I offer my deepest condolences to her family, friends, former students and colleagues.

That same week, USMMA, the State Academies, and the entire U.S. Merchant Marine community kept vigil, hoping that the El Faro’s crew would be found. When the U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for survivors, they also confirmed that one of our own had also been lost, Steven Wink Shultz, class of 1984. On behalf of the entire Academy community, I express our deepest con­dolences to their family, friends, co-workers, and the midshipmen, staff, and faculty who knew them.

The loss of the El Faro has sparked much discussion, reminding us of the challenges of the sea, and the very purpose and importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  In the days and months ahead, as we prepare our midshipmen for their Sea Year and ca­reers, we will talk about safety at sea, the lessons being learned from this and other cases, and build the knowledge and skills that enable our mariners to keep themselves and their shipmates safe.

September was a much better month for Kings Point. We learned that two honored and highly respected members of our faculty have decided to move on to new exciting horizons.  During Parents Weekend, CAPT Ken Force, who has served as our Director of Music since 1971, announced that he plans to retire at the end of the Academic Year.  Our Academic Dean, Dr. Shashi Kumar, ac­cepted a position to serve as Deputy Associate Administrator and National Coordinator for Maritime Education and Training at Mar­itime Administration (MARAD) headquarters. In his new role, he will lead their efforts to build a pipeline of future merchant mari­ners for our nation, and working with State Maritime Academies to address the intersection between state and Federal maritime edu­cation, including training ship requirements. Dr. Kumar and CAPT Force will be missed at Kings Point.  We wish them well, and thank both for their immense and lasting contributions to the Academy.

Capt. David J. Palmer, USMS, Ph.D., is serving as our Interim Academic Dean. We added an article about him, including his bio, below.

We were all very proud of our football, men's soccer, and women's volleyball teams as they swept the Secretaries' Cup weekend with three victories over the Coast Guard Bears! It's a great weekend every year, where both Academies' Regiments are present at each game, and they were cheering loudly for their teams in the three very close contests. We are rooting for all our teams as the seasons continue.

In other good news, it was great to see USMMA’s outstanding value recognized by U. S. Department of Education.  Among the 251 schools offering transportation programs, their new College Scorecard rated USMMA number one for “Salary after Attending” and “Percent Earning Above HS Grad,” seventh best for “Graduation Rate,” and in the top 10% for “Average Annual Cost.”  These are indicators that we provide a topnotch quality education, tremendous career opportunities for our midshipmen, and that they are in high demand both in industry and within the Armed Forces.

It was very good to hear from you during our recent town halls here at Kings Point and by call-in.  Please help us keep our lines of communications open, and don’t hesitate to contact us when you have questions, concerns or to let us know about someone who deserves praise.

Rear Admiral James A. Helis


 Sue Lubow

USMMA Mourns the Passing of Former Athletic Director Sue Petersen Lubow

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy learned that a beloved and much admired, long-time member of our USMMA family, former Athletic Director Susan "Sue" Petersen Lubow, passed away.

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 33 bells

USMMA Remembers and Honors El Faro Crew

On October 9th, during morning colors, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy hosted a ceremony to remember and honor the officers and crew who were lost aboard the El Faro, which sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

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 Secretaries Cup

Secretaries Cup Sweep - Football Opens Season with 14-3 Victory over Coast Guard to "Complete the Sweep"

The USMMA football team put the cherry on top of a great day around campus here in Kings Point for the host Mariners, as Merchant Marine defeated arch-rival Coast Guard, 14-3, in the 2015 season-opener at Brooks Stadium, to complete the sweep of the Bears in all three games hosted at Kings Point.

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 Faculty honored

USMMA Faculty Honored at Alumni Awards Dinner

The Academic Dean and Director of Music of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point were honored by the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation at their start of Homecoming Awards Dinner.

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 First Plebe Cruise

Plebes Complete First Overnight Training Cruise

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s newest plebes, completed their first overnight training cruises aboard the training vessel, T/V Kings Pointer this month. The first of ten scheduled overnight trips for the Class of 2019 sailed August 13-14.

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 Captain Palmer

USMMA Announces New Interim Academic Dean

Capt. David J. Palmer, USMS, Ph.D., was appointed Interim Academic Dean of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

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 U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, New York, 11024 Office of External Affairs 516-726-6048