KINGS POINT, N.Y., June 30, 2016 - On Friday, June 17, 2016, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point held the “Class of 2016 Awards Convocation” in Ackerman Auditorium. Sixty-eight midshipmen received over 100 awards in recognition of their academic achievements, athletic accomplishments and exemplary service to the Regiment of Midshipmen, the community and the Nation.
Five midshipmen were also recognized for their Kings Point Scholar Projects. These projects are the successful culmination of many hours of research, completed under the guidance of a faculty advisor, on a topic outside the required curriculum. The scholars who presented their projects to an audience of faculty and midshipmen earlier in the month were:
Devin Thomas Malamphy for “Electromagnetic Railgun (A new weapon for the U.S. Navy),” his Faculty Advisor was Dr. Mukund Patel.
William Bernard Murray for “Containership Development Economies of Scale in Megaships,” his Faculty Advisor was Dr. Chang Guan.
Augustus Grant Sawatzki for “Understanding the Education and Training of a Twenty-First Century Deck Officer,” his faculty advisor was Dr. Chan Guan.
Martin Locklin Wisniewski “Human Powered Oscillating Sail Propulsion System,” his Faculty Advisor was Dr. Sergio Perez.
Steven Michael Blake for “President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill: A Study in divided Government,” his Faculty Advisor was Rear Adm. James A. Helis, USMS, Superintendent.
In addition to midshipmen awards, three members of the faculty chosen by the Class of 2016, received awards for distinguished teaching and leadership. John Jaeger received the Service Award for Distinguished Teaching. Capt. Timothy Tisch, USMS, received the Sue Alice McNulty Award for being the professor “who has contributed most to their education during their four years at the Academy.” Finally, Capt. John Hagedorn, USMS, received the VADM Gordon McLintock Award for Exemplary Leadership for serving as an outstanding officer role model, exemplifying qualities of character, officership, integrity, and leadership.
The convocation ended with two very special presentations, recognizing men who are considered institutional legends, Capt. Douglas Hard ’62, USMS and Capt. Kenneth Force, USMS. Class of 2016 President, Benjamin Morris thanked Hard for his over 40 years of service to the Academy and presented him a replica of the Academy Battle Standard. Morris said, “the Class 2016 would like to present Capt. Douglas Hard with this Battle Standard plaque as a token of our appreciation for not only the academic lessons he taught us, but also the life lessons that prepared us to where we are today.”
Then Midshipman Bandmaster, Steven Blake, paid tribute to Capt. Force, Director of Music, who retires after 45 years of service to the Academy. Blake said, “I remember my first time meeting Capt. Force. Here was this man with a giant personality coming down the stairs into the Band Room, who said, ‘welcome to my band; I am glad to have you all in it. I look forward to working with each one of you as we achieve excellence in all we do.’ Captain, it has been my honor and pleasure to serve by your side as the Regimental Band Master for the last of your 45 years of service. Upholding the proud traditions of the Band with you and leading them across the country has been the highlight of my career at Kings Point. You have taught me so much over the years serving under you. I will always remember what you have done for the Academy, the Band, and me.”
“It is an honor to recognize our outstanding students, faculty and staff,” said Superintendent Rear Adm. James A. Helis, USMS. “The United States Merchant Marine Academy is proud to acknowledge the academic, leadership and personal accomplishments of the entire Academy community.”
By Veronica Cassidy Barry