Eleven female cadets recently returned from the MARAD sponsored Women on the Water’s 2013 annual conference held at SUNY Maritime, Bronx, New York. This mini expedition, led by Dr. Elizabeth Stevenson, is a yearly gathering, set up to showcase career opportunities after graduation and encourage woman from all six state maritime academies to mix, mingle and network!
Stevenson, a “Double Buc” ’97 and ‘07 MSEP and MSFM is an avid proponent of woman attending the Academy. “The MMA experience does not limit you to a career on the water,” she said. “With an MMA diploma in their pocket, both men and woman graduate fully equipped to determine where and what they want to pursue,” Stevenson continued.
The cadets, ranging from Freshmen to Seniors, representing four out of the seven current majors, were literally “wowed” by the experience. Sophomore Shavonne Boyle, hailing from Doylestown, PA, majoring in Marine Transportation noted, “The Women on the Water Conference surpassed my expectations. We were able to socialize with Mass. Maritime graduates as well as other amazing women, all professional and well-rounded - the "cream of the crop" in the maritime industry. They were all quick to lend a helping hand, give advice, contact information, and join in casual chit chat about anything and everything! It was empowering to have not only women speaking with us, but also extremely successful men who all applauded us for continuing with our goals as a minority in the industry,” Boyle concluded.
Another Marine Transportation major, Jenna Breualt, a native of Buzzards Bay, MA, and a Sophomore, was also thrilled with the experience. “I learned that being a woman doesn’t put a disadvantage on success in a predominantly male industry. The women all agreed that it is possible to have a normal lifestyle and a sea going career,” she said.
All attendees agreed. Mission accomplished. The weekend was a huge success … and aptly named to boot!