Maine Maritime Academy Honors its Best & Brightest

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Maine Maritime Academy will honor its best and brightest at a ceremony to be held on the college campus in mid-November. The college will formally recognize student academic success and outstanding faculty at its annual Celebration of Achievement on Thursday, Nov. 11. In total, 24 individuals associated with the college will be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.

The event, an ongoing tradition at the college, consists of several recognition ceremonies that are held jointly each year for the purposes of fostering mutual respect, admiration, and inspiration among all honorees. The ceremonies include the college’s Scheel Scholars and ABS Scholars presentations, and an Excellence in Teaching award. They highlight the interrelationship of student curiosity and scholarship, and inspired teaching and academic commitment, respectively.

Maine Maritime Academy honors selected students annually as Henry A. Scheel Scholars, the college’s highest undergraduate academic honor. Awarded to those students who best exemplify intellectual curiosity and academic achievement, the distinction is named in honor of the late Henry A. Scheel, a resident of Rockport, Maine, and a noted naval architect, who expressed his high regard for Maine Maritime Academy by leaving funds to permanently endow scholarships for outstanding students. This year’s 10 recipients were selected for the academic honor by the chairs of the academic departments at the college. They represent the highest standard of achievement within each of the undergraduate majors offered at the college. They are Derek J. Joliceour, Waterville, Maine, power engineering technology major; Curtis K. Libby, Cary Plantation, Maine, marine systems engineering – non license track major; Bryce D. Lynn, Waterville, Maine, marine systems engineering – license track major; Lance A. Meadows, Castine, Maine, small vessel operations major; Anthony W. Ngo, Bangor, Maine, marine engineering  technology  major; Luke  T. Nielson, Saco, Maine, international business and logistics  major; Amelia M. Smith, Kennebunk, Maine, marine biology major; James C. Stickney, Standish, Maine, marine engineering operations major; Jae-Lee A. Vanidestine, Orrington, Maine, marine science major; and Sean A. Wentworth, Maclean, Va., marine transportation operations major.

A recently established academic distinction will also be presented at this year’s ceremony, recognizing the accomplishments of 11 outstanding students and the academic support of a leading U.S. ship classification society, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). According to ABS, consistent with its role as a leader in marine technology and its position within the maritime industry, the company is committed to supporting maritime education through a global scholarship program. Scholarships are awarded to deserving engineering and naval architecture students at colleges and universities that are recognized as national or international leaders in maritime technical education and research. Candidates for the scholarship opportunity at MMA were selected from those students enrolled in the college’s 5-year marine systems engineering program. Recipients will each receive a $10,000.00 scholarship in each of the final two years of their academic career at MMA. They are also provided the opportunity to complete an internship at ABS. They were selected by a committee of MMA engineering faculty and administrators based on their overall grade point average, their classroom and academic leadership, and their intellectual curiosity and growth. This year’s recipients are Brandon C. Dubois, Lewiston, Maine; Ryan G. Gannon, Franklin, N.H.; Adam S. Graves, Aliquippa, Pa.; Jonathan M. Kalloch, Gorham, Maine; Christopher J. Keiley Gloucester, Mass.; Lucas H. Miller, Belfast, Maine; Gordon K. Smith, Beals, Maine; Colt M. Stewart, Clarksburg, Pa.; Charles W. Thibault, Skowhegan, Maine; Joel F. Walker, Winthrop, Maine; and Daniel H. Woods, Limerick, Maine.

Maine Maritime Academy will also present the fifth annual Excellence in Teaching Award, the college’s highest faculty achievement award. The award designates a member of the college faculty as selected by students and alumni, as the faculty member that best exemplifies proficiency in their field of expertise, and passion for teaching and student learning. This year’s recipient will be Paul E. Mercer, Penobscot, Maine, associate professor of engineering at MMA.

Mercer holds a B.S. degree in marine engineering from Maine Maritime Academy, and a U.S. Coast Guard license as a first assistant engineer of steam or gas turbine vessels, any horsepower. A senior manager of power generation projects with more than 25 years of experience, he is the former president of Northeast Engineering, Inc., an engineering consulting firm. Mercer taught at MMA from 1982-1988, serving as an associate professor and department chair within the department of engineering. During that time, he was instrumental in the diversification of engineering programming at MMA and the initiation of power engineering majors at the college. He rejoined the college faculty in 2006. He serves as the college’s director of alumni relations and was recently appointed by MMA President William Brennan to lead a college sustainability plan.

The college will also recognize Mark S. Libby, North Yarmouth, Maine, professor of engineering and chair of the college’s engineering department, and Richard T. Reed, Penobscot, Maine, professor of engineering. Libby and Reed were each promoted to the rank of full professor at the conclusion of the 2009-2010 academic year following a rigorous peer review process. Their promotions were approved based on their extensive service to the promotion of the college's engineering programs.

Libby’s promotion was approved based on his extensive service to the engineering program and his more than 13 years of dedication to teaching excellence at the college. Libby’s promotion also noted his selection as the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient. Libby, a State of Maine First Class Stationary Engineer, and Chief Engineer, Steam and Motor Vessels, earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Maine Maritime Academy. He was appointed to the college faculty in 1997.

Reed’s promotion was approved based on national recognition and work in the scholarship of motor vehicle accident causes and reconstruction, his more than 14 years of dedication to teaching excellence at the college, and his service to the Academy through various committees. Reed earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Maryland. He was appointed to the college faculty in 1996.

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