KINGS POINT, N.Y., November 22, 2016 – On November 10, 2016, during a lunchtime ceremony at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, CAPT David J. Palmer, PhD, Class of 1991, received a medal recognizing him for outstanding performance as the Interim Dean of Academics.
Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Superintendent, pinned the Maritime Service Commendation Medal on Palmer’s uniform in front of the Regiment of Midshipmen, faculty and staff. The medal was accompanied by a citation which read:
“Captain David Palmer delivered an outstanding performance as the Interim Dean of Academics from 13 October 2015 through 29 October 2016. During one of the most demanding periods in the history of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Captain Palmer demonstrated energy and initiative in moving forward on key objectives. In pursuit of a long-term goal of improving faculty morale and proficiency, Captain Palmer arranged more sabbaticals in the last year than were awarded in the previous three. He oversaw completion of the self-study for decennial reaccreditation and the site visit from Middle States Commission on Higher Education. After reviewing the Academy’s self-study, he established a general education working group to review the core curriculum with inputs from across campus. Captain Palmer has actively worked to address a range of issues raised in the final Middle States accreditation report. He ensured that core leadership courses for the classes of 2020 and beyond were ready for implementation in AY 2016 and received USCG approval for meeting STCW leadership training requirements. On Captain Palmer’s watch, the Academy underwent an outstanding U.S. Coast Guard Standards for Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping audit in the Spring of 2016 for which USMMA received high accolades for setting the standard in maritime education. The Class of 2016 achieved the highest overall first time pass rates for the Coast Guard licensing examination in many years, with no Midshipmen needing to do a full retest for the first time in institutional memory. When the Academy stood down from using commercial vessels for sea training in June 2016, Captain Palmer was a critical member of a team effort between Shipboard Training, the Waterfront, the Commandant’s Department, and the Marine Engineering and Marine Transportation Departments to maximize sailing opportunities and accommodate the disruptive schedule in evaluating sea projects. Captain Palmer’s performance is in the finest traditions of the Maritime Service and reflects great credit on him and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.”
Palmer who was joined by his family, addressed the audience. “ Wow, thank you so much. It has been a true honor to serve as Interim Academic Dean. Kings Point is the toughest, most rigorous and the best Federal Academy in the United States of America. Congratulations to all of you and thank you again.” Palmer added, “A big thank you, as well, to my wonderful wife Lisa, my beautiful daughters Marisa and Allison and my great son Scott.”