Arctic Circle Graduation Ceremony Aboard Cutter Healy

By George Backwell
Monday, June 16, 2014
Arctic graduation ceremony: Photo USCG

Two Stanford University students embarked on US Coast Guard Cutter 'Healy' in support of the 'Study of Under-Ice Blooms in the Chukchi Ecosystem (SUBICE)' mission were consequently unable to attend the university for the award of their degrees, which were instead conferred in a special graduation ceremony on board.

Capt. John D. Reeves, Healy’s commanding officer, presided over the ceremony with Cmdr. Gregory Stanclik, Healy’s executive officer, acting as master of ceremonies as the bow steamed into the wind and sunshine bathed the flight deck. Resident writer, Dallas Murphy, filled the role of keynote speaker and offered a poignant commencement address with metaphors comparing his wanderings and travels in frigid Arctic weather to the struggles that lay ahead for newly graduated college students.

Dr. Kevin Arrigo, Chief Scientist for science mission 1401 of Arctic West Summer 2014, conferred the degrees as follows:

  • Erin Dillon, of Concord, Calif., received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with Honors in Marine Biology.
  • Caroline Ferguson, of West Memphis, Ark., received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology with a concentration in Human-Ocean Interactions, and will continue on at Stanford as a co-terminal Master’s student in the Earth Systems Program.

Dillon and Ferguson are completing their final research seminar with Dr. Arrigo.  All three members are embarked on Healy in support of the SUBICE mission.


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