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USMMA Midshipmen Recognized at Connie Awards Event

KINGS POINT, N.Y., December 12, 2013 - On Monday, five United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) midshipmen received scholarships at the prestigious annual Connie Awards luncheon at the Newark Club in Newark, New Jersey. An audience of about 300 distinguished representatives from various sectors of the transportation industry was present to see them recognized.  Academy Superintendent, Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Ph.D.  said, “We are very proud of the accomplishments of this outstanding group of midshipmen. It is a great honor to be recognized at an event as prestigious as the Connie Awards.”


The event which was hosted by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII), which for nearly 50 years, has promoted education in the international trade and transportation industry. The Connie Award was established in 1972 to recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the evolution of containerized shipping and intermodal transportation.  The 2013 Connie Award went to H. Winchester “Win” Thurber III, chairman and CEO of Norton Lilly International.


As part of the Connie Awards event, CII and its partner firms also present scholarships to students committed to making a career in the field.  The scholarships were presented by CII Board of Directors members Captain Jon Helmick, USMS; Steven Blust, former chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission and Kings Point graduate; and Anne Kappel, CII Treasurer.  Captain Helmick has coordinated scholarships for CII and its partners at the Academy since 1996.


CII’s Richard A. Simpson scholarship was awarded to First Classman Midshipman Kevin Berto, who is majoring in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation and serves as Regimental Commander.  Mr. Berto is interested in maritime security and the possibility of a commission in the U.S. Coast Guard.


This year’s Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) scholarship was awarded to Midshipman Ashleigh Phillips, Class of 2014.  Ms. Phillips is a Logistics and Intermodal Transportation major and plans to pursue a career in the logistics and maritime fields while sailing on her Deck Officer License.


Two midshipmen received awards from Crowley Maritime Corporation.  Midshipman Christopher Anthony, a First Classman majoring in Marine Operations and Technology, who sailed with Crowley during his sea year and plans to work in the break-bulk and tanker industries upon graduation. Midshipman Thomas Treat, Class of 2014, also received a Crowley scholarship.   Mr. Treat is majoring in Marine Engineering Systems with a concentration in Nuclear Engineering.  While sailing aboard Crowley vessels during his sea year, he developed in interest in the oil field and he has decided to pursue a career working in the Offshore Industry.


Midshipman Nicholas Grippo, a First Class Logistics and Intermodal Transportation major, received the Ceres Terminals Scholarship. Following graduation, Mr. Grippo plans to sail as a Third Mate with the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots (MM&P).

Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013