KINGS POINT, N.Y., October 21, 2013 – Today, classes resumed at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) following an unscheduled fall break due to the federal government shut down. Superintendent, Rear Admiral James A. Helis, PhD., welcomed back the entire Regiment of Midshipmen and assured them that the revised Academic calendar would allow the First Class to obtain their United States Coast Guard licenses and graduate as previously scheduled.
USMMA is one of our nation’s five federal service Academies, but it is the only one operated by civilian faculty and staff, a majority of whom were furloughed during the shutdown. While the other service academies were able to remain open, USMMA was forced to postpone classes. In order to minimize the impact on midshipmen, the Academy Administration decided to move up fall break to coincide with the shutdown. First Class President, Midshipmen Ryan Raffo said, “The Class of 2014 is excited that license testing and graduation will not be affected by the shutdown. It is great being back at the academy and staying on track for graduation, scheduled for June 21st, 2014.”
Academic Dean, Dr. Shashi Kumar, PhD., expressed his thanks to the faculty, saying, “We are very grateful to all involved including the faculty union for working together and revising our academic calendar. This will go a long way toward helping our midshipmen succeed. Thank you.”
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y., educates and graduates merchant mariners and leaders of exemplary character who will serve America’s maritime transportation and defense needs in peace and war. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.