KINGS POINT, N.Y., February 16, 2018 -On Thursday, February 8th the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) hosted a ceremony to celebrate the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USMMA and the Korean Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU). The new agreement, which will be in place until 2022, was signed by Rear Admiral James A. Helis, USMMA Superintendent, Dr. Han-Il Park, President of KMOU and their Dean, Dr. Yun-Cheol Lee. Also attending the signing ceremony were, Dr. Byeong-Dok Yea, Head of KMOU’s Department of Offshore Management, and Dr. Jin-soo Park, outgoing Dean of KMOU’s College of Maritime Sciences.
The memorandum formalizes a cadet exchange program that has existed between the two maritime academies since 1981. Under the agreement KMOU sends two or three of their students to USMMA for an entire academic year, and the Academy may assign USMMA cadets to KMOU training ships. The Memorandum of Understanding also provides for short-term faculty exchanges.
After the ceremony, the delegation provided a presentation on the history of their university and their programs to Captain Preston De Jean, Interim Academic Dean, and the department heads of Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering, Captain David Moskoff, and Captain Joseph Poliseno. Dr. Joshua Smith, Humanities Professor, escorted the visitors on a tour of the Academy, followed by lunch with the Regiment of Midshipmen in Delano Hall.
Captain DeJean praised the program, saying, “The visiting program exposes KP midshipmen to students from another culture and it also creates great opportunities for faculty exchange with KMOU” adding “which we plan to further pursue.”
At the completion of the academic year, the visiting Korean students—who have already earned their mariner licenses in Korea—will receive a certificate of attendance from USMMA. Before returning to their home country, the visiting South Korean cadets plan to hold a Brown Bag session to discuss the various aspects of their time at Kings Point.