The Quarterly Academy Newsletter
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
In the News
Message from Rear Admiral Helis
Many of our alumni, parents and other supporters are already well aware of the Academy’s strategic plan unveiled last summer. Today, I would like to tell you about another way we are implementing the ideas in our plan by introducing the Academy’s “In the News” briefing, a newsletter that will improve meaningful communications with our Academy community on an ongoing basis. There is evidence across the campus, on our website and in ongoing press coverage about the Academy demonstrating that we are busy turning our “words into deeds,” making the strategic plan a reality. Mallory Pier construction is now underway. We have hired a new Deputy Superintendent, Rear Admiral Susan Dunlap, and we are launching a new website, all good steps forward among many others. As you read more about our progress below, I encourage you to continue to provide feedback and share your ideas to help make the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy the leader of maritime education.
New “Margin of Excellence Needs List”
On February 11, 2013, the U.S. Maritime Administrator, David Matsuda officially approved the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s “Margin of Excellence Needs List: 2013.” The list is closely tied to goals of the Academy’s Strategic Plan which strives to enhance academic excellence through cutting edge programs, creating a more dynamic campus culture, providing sound leadership and creating a first class infrastructure. ‘We are very pleased that the Academy has an updated needs list. The new list is geared toward Academics, Midshipman Life and Athletics. Improvements in these areas positively impact our programs and greatly enhance the overall midshipman experience,” said Rear Admiral Helis, Ph.D., superintendent. Helis launched the Academy’s “Strategic Plan 2012-2017’ at a Town Hall meeting with Academy midshipmen, faculty and staff in August 2012. He emphasized that it is an Academy priority to move forward immediately on the recommendations of the Strategic Plan.
Welcome, New Deputy Superintendent
The United States Merchant Marine Academy welcomed its new Deputy Superintendent during a Town Hall meeting that was held at Ackerman Auditorium on January 25, 2013. Rear Admiral Susan L. Dunlap was commissioned into the United States Maritime Service by Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari in the presence of administration, faculty, staff and the Regiment of Midshipmen. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda also attended the commissioning ceremony. “We're thrilled to welcome Captain Dunlap on-board to help continue the important work of training and preparing the next generation of Merchant Mariners,” said Deputy Secretary Porcari. “Her invaluable experience will help ensure a bright future for the Academy.” For full story, click here.
Construction of Mallory Pier Begins
On Wednesday morning, February 5, 2013, construction began on the United States Merchant Marine Academy's new Mallory Pier. Construction crews from Russell Marine have had a barge on-site in Hague Basin since early January focused on the first phase of the project, which required preparing the old pier to help support the new construction. Last week the first pre-cast concrete piles arrived by barge, and after much anticipation, the first test pile of the new pier was driven into the Long Island Sound seabed. “Our waterfront and its training activities are critical for our operations and the hands-on education of our midshipmen,” said Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Ph.D., superintendent of the Academy. “Mallory Pier is a very important element of the capital improvement plan for creating a first class-infrastructure. We are excited that the construction phase of the project is finally underway.” Click here for the full story.
New Website Launches
Visitors to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy website may notice some changes beginning today – a new look and feel that reflects an exciting time at the Academy. Improving communications and building strong and lasting relationships with our stakeholders are two of the goals in the Academy’s strategic plan, along with modernizing infrastructure and strengthening administrative services. The launch of the new website is an important step toward achieving our goals. The overhaul is the product of many months of information gathering and collaboration. The site underwent vigorous accessibility and usability studies to ensure visitors can intuitively find what they need. As a result, the content has been logically labeled and organized in a way that makes it easy to navigate to what you need in the shortest amount of time. It assures a faster, more efficient and satisfying web experience for current and prospective midshipmen, faculty, parents, alumni, industry members and the general public. Click here for the full story.