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Rolling on the River

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Francesca Farlow

The academic year is rolling along here on the Thames in New London and I could not be more excited to be a third class cadet. It was great to return to the Academy from leave and see my friends and teammates, some of whom I had not seen in over three months. Last time my class walked the halls together we wore green shields on our uniforms and bore no stripe on our shoulder boards. Now we have returned wearing red shields and having earned a single diagonal stripe. This year will bring so many new adventures, new lessons, new friends, and perhaps most importantly the privilege to look at my food again. Third class year is a transition out of followership and into role-modeling. For my class, we will be setting an example for fourth class, holding ourselves accountable, and finishing out our core classes.

At the end of fourth class year, cadets are shuffled and moved to new companies where they will remain for the duration of the next three years. I was an Alfa fourth class and was placed in Charlie for the next three. I am interested to learn about Charlie’s role in the corps and what I can do to be a part of it as a third class. I am also eager to help fourth class get through this year because although it is tough, it is worth it, but that can be difficult to see while you’re experiencing it.

I am also excited to start taking major-specific classes and really begin to understand the Operations Research major. This semester I am taking two math classes, a computer language class, American Government, Rescue Swimming, Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Spanish. I am really looking forward to the computer language and math classes. Outside of class I am part of the women’s rugby team this season as well as Cadets Against Sexual Assault, Spectrum Council and Women’s Leadership Council.

Go 3/c year and Go Bears!

MORE ABOUT FRANCESCA

Alpha Lambda Delta

(Academics, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Amy Chamberlin

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

Hump Week

(Academics, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Anthony Turner

Midterms! This past week marks the halfway point of the first semester. Nine weeks of stress, lack of sleep, and late night group study sessions has finally ended, only to lead into another nine weeks of the exact same thing. These nine weeks have been a rough transition from high school. The ability to manage sports with classes, and military obligations, while keeping up your grades is a challenge. One thing that helped me get through the first part of this semester, would be the 4-5-2 class periods. These classes allowed me to effectively plan my obligations and assignments for the upcoming week, and while it may sound simple, it’s extremely helpful. When it comes to getting work done, you need to be able to find those small breaks that you have and use them effectively. Thus, you save so much more time at night, allowing you to do other activities such as going to bed early!

In terms of the grading process, the first part of the semester is almost completely homework. You won’t believe the amount of homework that you have. I remember my senior year, I had eight classes and I could get my homework done in a few hours. Now, I have 4 classes and depending on the number of military obligations I have, it can take all night. While it may sound rough, don’t worry it pays off in the end. I told my division head about my progress, and she advised me to push a little harder in the latter half of this semester, and I’ll have a gold star. Now, the latter half of this semester is going to be a little harder. The first half was plagued with homework, and now the latter half is plagued with exams. No worries though, it’s still going to be a good semester!

Until the next scheduled programming.

Peace,

Anthony Turner

MORE ABOUT ANTHONY

And Let the Games Begin! Again…

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Darden Purrington

Exactly nine weeks ago today, June 25, 2016, my parents and I arrived in New London, Connecticut, to the city that I would call home for the next four years. Swab Summer came and went in a whirlwind of yelling and commotion and now we are one week into the school year. And even though I am now part of the corps, that I am a “basically trained coast guardsman,” I feel no different.

Classes started this week and, just like high school, some are harder than others. Statics and Engineering Design is a pretty tough class, Leaders in U.S. History is practically a repeat of my AP U.S. History class (this is certainly not a bad thing since I loved my APUSH class, simply something I’ve noticed). While we are on the topic of things I’ve noticed, another thing I’ve observed is that life here at the CGA is very, very similar to high school (kinda backward right? Most people have told you differently, haven’t they?). My high school experience was very busy, 20+ hours a week on the water with my sailing team, rigorous academics with many AP classes, participation my school’s choir and a cappella group as well as my church’s choir, Girl Scouts (including earning my Gold Award), DEV Team, and working on the tech crew for my school’s theatre department and occasionally another theatre group outside my school. Do I say all this to make myself look good? No. I say all this because I read the cadet blogs all through high school and everybody said something to the effect of “it’s so much harder than high school ever was,” and I spent a good portion of my time worrying about how on earth I would ever survive in a place with even more demands on my time. I want to dismiss that thought for anybody who’s schedule was a jam packed as mine. In high school, I got up around 5:30 every morning, didn’t get home until after 7:30 every evening, and then did homework until at least 12 if not further into the night. Here at the Academy, I get up at 5:45 (Wooo! Sleeping in a bit!), I go to classes, some days I even have a free period where I can do homework, I go to sailing (which always ends at a set time), I eat (squaring my meals of course), then I either practice with the Glee Club for an hour or finish my homework and am in bed by 12 (unless there’s a Formal Room and Wing, then all bets for sleeping are off).

That was long and tangent-y so I’ll hop off here and let you continue with your day.

Very Respectfully,

4/c Darden Purrington

Feel free to email me at any time: Kathlene.D.Purrington@uscga.edu.

MORE ABOUT DARDEN

Crunch Time and Thanksgiving

(Academics, Class of 2018, Marine and Environmental Sciences) Permanent link
Cece Hosley

Well, it is finally that time of year again and I can’t wait! Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday. I can’t wait to finally relax, see all of my family, and of course eat Thanksgiving food; but before the holiday leave period rolls around we have a couple weeks of crunch time. That is when, all of the sudden, you are just overwhelmed with major projects, tests, and papers that the teachers have to squeeze into their class schedules before Thanksgiving leave. This week has been a total whirlwind and I still have two days left to get through before leave. It has been especially hard now that a lot have my friends have already gone home early on recruiting leave, Chase Hall feels a little extra lonely and quiet. Plus they also love to send me pictures of them relaxing at home or with the new Starbucks holiday drinks in their fun fall civilian outfits, how insensitive! Just kidding really, we’re all just a little antsy to get home to our families.

I am very lucky to live so close to the Academy, but since some of my classmates aren’t as lucky they can’t travel home for this holiday. I always extend an open invitation to anyone who can’t go home for Thanksgiving; no one should miss out on the good food in my opinion. Now, the only thing standing in the way of me and that turkey is a five-page paper on the subject of a world without mangrove forest habitats in Southeast Asia for my fisheries biology class and a massive rough draft poster presentation for our marine GIS project (or geospatial information systems). For our GIS project we are correlating NOAA sighting data of right whales to the acoustic detections of the DMON buoy located off of Martha’s Vineyard that I have been working with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on for my directed study as well. The importance of the project is crucial for the conservation of the species and will be presented to District 1 and hopefully Headquarters so that the Coast Guard will take on the buoy project and continue with this valuable research. The whole project is very interesting, but also very complicated so it has taken a ton of focus, research, calculations, and mapping to put it all together so far. Anyway, I should probably get back to working on that… Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!

MORE ABOUT CECE

[MES]sing Around

(Academics, Class of 2018, Marine and Environmental Sciences) Permanent link
Cece Hosley

Hello everyone and happy fall! I wanted to take this opportunity to blog about my major (the best major) here at the Academy and that is MES or Marine and Environmental Sciences. Within my major, I focus on two of the three intended tracks which are biology, physical oceanography and chemistry (I study biology and physical oceanography). I may be a little bit biased but I promise I am not exaggerating when I say that MES majors have the most fun at the Academy. We are constantly in the labs doing hands-on dissections, or out trawling for fish on the Thames River. Any other major will admit that they are jealous of the countless field trips we have to the beach, the Inner Space Center at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, or the Mystic Aquarium. I also find that learning about the environment that we will be operating in and around as officers is not only beneficial, but absolutely essential to our futures.

The one thing about being an MES major that makes me a little bit different is my directed study program, which goes on outside of class. My directed study is focused on stress physiology in marine mammals. More specifically I am working with Mystic Aquarium to determine if saliva samples collected from the exhale of whales will be indicative of stress levels present in hormones like cortisol and aldosterone that are present in blood samples. Every Thursday afternoon I head over to the aquarium’s labs located on the UCONN Avery Point Campus in Groton, Connecticut. At the labs, I work on a variety of tasks for the project including the analysis of samples (from 9 different Beluga whales captured and released in Bristol Bay, Alaska) in the flow cytometer; as well as archiving blood samples from past veterinary records for the Belugas at the aquarium along with stranded animals that the aquarium has rehabilitated or blood samples received for other studies. Along with my lab work, I also get to travel over to the aquarium to collect the actual samples as well, which involves working with the whales, always an absolute dream come true!!

Along with my work with the Aquarium, I also work with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) out on Cape Cod. WHOI currently has a buoy deployed off of Martha’s Vineyard that contains a hydrophone and satellite system to record and transmit noise picked up in the vicinity. The noise we are looking for is whale calls. Based on the songs the buoy hears, we can identify the species of the whale in the area, which is especially important for the conservation efforts of the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The website designed and created by WHOI is in the process of being turned over to me and a couple cadets for constant analysis and publication regarding the resulting species in the area.

Another thing I was lucky enough to participate in this past summer, which was associated with my major, was the discovery of the S.S. Coast Trader, a shipwreck off the coast of Vancouver, along with the team at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and on the Nautilus (a research vessel operated by the graduate school at URI). There is so much more I could say about my major, but I know no one has the time to read all that. Anyway, in conclusion, I could not be any happier with my major and the incredible opportunities I’ve had thus far here at the Academy. I will continue to happily [MES]s around here at school with my fish, my whales, and of course my homework and I hope to keep you all updated! Don’t hesitate to email me with any and all questions.

MORE ABOUT CECE

Lax, Lax, Re-Lax

(Academics, Marine and Environmental Sciences) Permanent link
Cece Hosley

Hello everyone and happy snow day! That’s right today is February 8th and here at CGA we had our very first snow day of the 2016 winter season! All excitement aside, it provided for a great extra day to get some homework done and just relax a little bit. Speaking of “lax,” last week marked the beginning of spring sports season for the greatest sport on earth, lacrosse! I am thrilled to be in season again, although conditioning is pretty tough and these days we tend to have to shovel the field before practice... We practice six days a week and have been working on fitness like crazy to prepare for our upcoming games. Although playing a sport is a pretty big time commitment, I love the girls on the team and there’s no other way I would rather spend my afternoons here at the Academy. Playing a sport also gives us a much needed break after the academic day and before starting on homework. Lacrosse also provides some incredible opportunities in terms of team development, leadership lessons, and travel. This spring break we will be going to Colorado to visit the Air Force Academy and play a few games against teams in the area. I am super excited and hope we will have a little bit of time to hike and explore. During one of our recent practices, we had to stop playing so that the President of the country of Georgia could cross our field, along with his escorts and secret service. Believe it or not, the team actually got to take a picture with him! He was such a nice man and even mentioned how he had heard of us and our world famous lacrosse skills.

Also, as promised, here is an update on my whale project: so I was very nervous to present to the Mystic Aquarium staff, but I did and they loved it! I explained all of the research that I had done and even provided everyone with an annotated bibliography of the papers I’d read (there were about 10 people in attendance!). The research and development team then asked me if I could come up with some research proposals on my own for ideas I had or the type of work I want to pursue with the whales. So far I am thinking serum cortisol levels in saliva (sounds fun right?). I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the aquarium and I look forward to learning and working more with them in the future, especially the whales! Go books, go Bears, go lax! And again please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

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Last (Hectic) Fall Semester

(Academics, Extracurricular and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

Today marks the last day of finals and the end to my last fall semester at the United States Coast Guard Academy. As I got to the end of this day, I finally realized that classes were done. I think it hit me so late because life has been so hectic this semester. It has made time fly. I have experienced so much in just these past couple of months. Academically, I started my Capstone project to design a medium icebreaker focused on scientific capability with little insight. Right now we are about to submit an executive summary of everything we have worked on throughout the semester. Working with my Capstone design group has been an eye-opening, challenging, and rewarding experience. Thankfully the people on the team are some of my closest friends at the Academy. We’ve had some late work nights, but I believe we have produced quality work and I’m so grateful for a group that is not only made up of my best friends but also works together well because sometimes that is difficult to find.

Outside of academics, Glee Club has had its usual busy fall schedule. Tonight we are performing at the Lessons and Carols service at the Chapel, which I think is one of the most beautiful performances we do. The candles, Christmas carols, and lighting of the tree afterward all puts me in the holiday spirit. It is a great way to end the fall semester and get excited for winter leave….which, speaking of, reminds me of how excited I am for the break! I plan to go skiing in Maine and Montana, find some good trail running in Florida, read some fun books, and hang out with family and friends. A whole lot of relaxation to ensue! Then come spring semester, I will be working in Golf leadership to create as best an atmosphere as possible for my company as well as finishing up senior year on a high note. There is a lot to look forward to, and I wish a happy winter holiday to everyone out there!

MORE ABOUT HANNAH