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cadet blogs

Whale That Was Fun! An Admissions Trip to Sitka, Alaska

(Academics, Class of 2018, Marine and Environmental Sciences) Permanent link
Hosley Photo Well, here I am back at the Coast Guard Academy after an amazing weekend in (you’ll never guess it) SITKA, ALASKA!! How lucky am I, right?! Well, as some of you may know I had an internship this summer through the Marine Sciences department at the Sitka Sound Science Center in Sitka, Alaska, which is one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion and naturally I wanted to go back. Lucky for me, our internship invited us back to Sitka for a weekend in November for the annual Whale Festival, or Whalefest. Whalefest is a four-day event full of research symposium presentations, scientific talks, a film night, wildlife tours, concerts, and much more! Of course we simply had to go, but we weren’t sure how we would get the funding so I did a little bit of research. As fate may have it, on the Friday before Whalefest weekend, the University of Alaska Southeast, along with the Science Center, was hosting the National Ocean Science Bowl competition right there in Sitka. This is a competition where high schoolers from all over the state (even the country) come to compete in a trivia style competition with questions solely focused on our ocean environment. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to do a little recruiting so I talked to Admissions and pitched my idea and BAM! It worked, we were going back to Alaska!!

 

I know it seems crazy to fly all the way across the country for the weekend, but it was definitely worth it. We arrived Thursday night just in time to have dinner with all our friends from Sitka. Then, Friday we volunteered at the Science Bowl competition all day! I was wearing my favorite Coast Guard Academy lacrosse shirt (had to represent!) and talking to the high school students about the Academy every chance I got! After that, we got to attend some of the scientific talks and experience Whalefest, which was a blast! On Saturday morning, we donned our very professional Service Dress Blue uniforms and gave an hour long presentation to the community and the high schoolers from the Ocean Bowl about the Academy and the admissions process. Our presentation was a huge success and people were asking lots of great questions (they also loved the Bears backpacks, brochures, and pens we handed out as well). After the presentation we explored the festival some more and soaked up the beautiful (rare) sunshine that was shining down on Sitka that weekend. On Sunday, I went out in a little skiff with some friends and got to see the humpback whales bubble net feeding and breaching out of the water! It was absolutely incredible (and a tiny bit scary) to see these massive and majestic animals so close to us! Overall, the weekend was absolutely amazing and I am beyond lucky to have had the opportunity to go. I will never be able to thank the Coast Guard enough for the opportunities it has given me to learn and to travel and explore and experience the world.

 

More about Cece.

 

Escaping (For an Hour a Day)

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo I’m starting to realize that the longer I’m here, the harder it is to find things to write about and the more I want to write about something other than the Academy. It’s funny because you would think that, with all the firstie responsibilities, my Capstone project, and upcoming billets, I wouldn’t be able to stop talking about these things but they all kind of meld together into a giant mass of “stuff that needs to be done.” So, I’m going to leave the Academy and enroll in classes at Connecticut College across the street.

 

However, leaving the Academy at this point would’ve made AIM, CGAS, and the past three years all for naught (and put me in a serious amount of debt.) So, instead of leaving for good, I trek over to Conn College for about an hour a day to take a class in Mandarin Chinese. It’s pretty nice, really. I am lucky to have an awesome academic advisor and a good enough memo to convince the Academy to let me to take Chinese for my language requirement as a Government major. I grew up speaking Chinese, so this is a great opportunity for me to build up on my skills, especially reading and writing. I can even see my improvement every time I call home or listen to Chinese music. The class itself is a lot of fun—my professor and classmates are all very welcoming, and it’s a very relaxed environment. Not only that, but I get to wear civilian clothes and experience a bit of traditional college, even if it’s only for an hour a day.

 

More about Olivia.

 

Alpha Lambda Delta

(Academics, Class of 2020) Permanent link

Chamberlin Photo On Tuesday 24OCT2017, fifty members of the Class of 2020 were inducted into the Academy’s chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD). To be an inductee, a cadet has to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5. It was an extraordinary night, with Lieutenant Melissa K. McCafferty (a former blogger) as the keynote speaker. Her words of wisdom about striving to put others before yourself, working hard toward your dreams, and staying humble throughout your journey touched everyone. Dr. Alina Zapalska, the advisor of ALD, commented that there were more inductees in the Class of 2020 than usual, which she was very excited about. Being a part of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society is just the beginning of a great academic career at the Coast Guard Academy. As LT McCafferty told the inductees and special guests, there are scholarship opportunities for high-standing cadets, such as the Fulbright Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, and Rhodes Scholarship. LT McCafferty was awarded the Truman Scholarship in 2011, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Truman Scholars Association. My favorite part of the night was when all of the inductees got their certificate and stood reciting the pledge of the Alpha Lambda Delta society with a “flame of knowledge” (a lit candlestick)! 

 

If you have any questions about Alpha Lambda Delta or anything regarding cadet life, please email me at Amy.M.Chamberlin@uscga.edu.

 

More about Amy.

 

I'm Designing an Icebreaker

(Academics, Class of 2018, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo This semester has been a whirlwind. We were assigned our Capstone groups for the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major almost as soon as we returned to the Academy after summer training. I am part of a group of four who are working on creating a medium icebreaker with a focus on scientific research. For the first couple weeks, we concentrated on creating our design philosophy, and now we are moving on to actually developing our icebreaker using Rhino, a computer program that allows us to build a ship hull. Initially, I experienced some major struggles using the software, but thankfully after many hours in the ship design lab, I am slowly becoming more proficient at the program, and it is amazing to see ideas come to life.

 

Our Capstone group has also undertaken a yearlong interview/photo/social media initiative with the Public Affairs Office following our project. Last week, we were interviewed in the Henriques Room in Hamilton Hall. We were given the opportunity to speak with the Public Affairs personnel about our project and plans. Getting interview experience and public speaking practice, I believe, will help me immensely next year when I become an ensign, and getting to hear my groupmates talk about their outlook on the project was eye-opening as well.

 

Well, I realize this post has been almost entirely about academics but, presently, that is what my life is most centered around. Don’t get me wrong, military trainings, Glee Club, Fairwinds, friends, and athletics are still an essential part of my daily routine, but like me, completing our Capstone project is what most first class cadets are focused on. Have a great week, and feel free to email me any questions about anything! Hannah.M.Eshleman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Hannah.

 

1/c Life

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Martorell Crespo Photo So far, life as a first class cadet is not bad. As a 1/c cadet, I am held to a higher standard than everyone else and we, as a class, are the leaders of the Corps of Cadets. I was given the opportunity to be a division officer and actually have the authority to set high expectations for our division members and even myself to complete our division’s goals. Although it is nice to lead, it is also a challenge because not only do I have to be aware of the members in my division, but also manage my own responsibilities.

 

As a firstie, I have a lot of work to do in the barracks but also in academics, especially with my Capstone project. In your last year at the Academy, you get assigned a major project that you have to work on throughout the semester and it’s not easy. Not only will you have to put a lot of work into it to finish with a successful project, but it will require some late nights and even no sleep on other nights. But overall, life as a 1/c cadet is fun and challenging. Even though you have a lot to worry about, the motivation to graduate and become an ensign is what keeps everyone’s hopes up!

 

More about Irene.