MMAPA 1st Quarter Meeting
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Blinn Hall, MMA

Meeting called to order at 1830 (6:30 pm)

MMAPA Board Members Present:  Chris Mucciarone, Ann Marie Seier, Deb Migridichian, Marianne MacLeod, Marilyn Cyr, and Leanne Avakian.    Deirdre MacInnis and Kim Farber were unable to attend this meeting.

General Membership:  10 members present, including 6 Board Members.  Cadet Parents, friends & families were present with several others via video telephone/conference.

Welcome Address:  President Mucciarone welcomed parents & friends both present and via video/phone conference.

Ms. Mirey Medina, Assistant Director for Multicultural & International Affairs

ComCad spoke about the Exchange program.  There are two schools that MMA has an exchange program with.  They are Shanghai University and Dahlia Maritime.

-Dahlia Maritime sent five cadets here this year and five cadets went over there.

-There are usually close to 20 students that participate in the exchange program.

-Currently there are a total of 16 students attending MMA from Shanghai University.

-18 students from MMA went to Shanghai.

Everyone is having a great time!  Students who host cadets this year will go over to China next year in 2015.

The exchange students introduced themselves using their Chinese name and then their English name and talk a little bit about themselves.

There will be events on campus for cadets and parents to attend.  There will also be a Chinese event put on by the exchange students.  They are looking for some parent participation for this event.   There were no questions from the parents.  Ms. Medina was thanked for her time tonight.

Administration Updates – Adm. Richard Gurnon

Update of the goings on at MMA.  He gave a power point presentation and showcased the many ongoing renovations and future renovations taking place throughout the Academy.

Parent question – Can dumpsters near the mess deck be blocked?  Yes they will partially block the dumpster.

Parent question – Are there any future plans for additional parking?  No, we don’t have a parking problem.  There are unsold spots in the lots managed by MMA.  Students park off campus.  Students park for free at the Rail Road station.  The gym lot is sold out.  The marina lot, St. Peter’s, the old theater and Nat’l. Marine Life Center all have unsold spots.  If a parking garage was to be built, the cost would be $30K per spot.

A question came through from a parent via the phone system regarding the Maritime Administration, who sold old ships for scrap.  All the maritime schools received $1 million each.  The money that MMA received will be used for fuel for the ship.   Fuel cost for this past Sea Term was $1.1 million.  We were also going to buy new software for the simulator.  The price for the software is one-quarter of a million dollars.

Parent question – Should my son take a Dynamic Positioning course elsewhere or wait for MMA to get their software?  Admiral Gurnon explained dynamic positioning.  This new program may not be certified for the next year or two.  The plan is to get the equipment for cadets to get used to it and have practice time on it.  MMA may not get certification right away.

Parent question – Have the students been questioned regarding the construction and the impact during their studies?   All work is done on the 2nd and 3rd shift so it will not impact daytime study or evening study.  Noisy work on 4th company was done during the winter. The Administration has not heard of any complaints from cadets.

Parent question – What are graduates of Deck major employment prospects?  There is a job fair coming up.  Deckies and engineers this year are in high demand.  Military Sea Lift Command is hiring desperately for Deckies and engineering.  The Gulf of Mexico is experiencing a tremendous resurgence in work.  Drill ships require supply ships and there is a great need to fill jobs.

Admiral Gurnon went on to say that the incoming freshman class will have split Sea Term.  If you’re not a deck student you will participate in half of the Sea Term.

Another possibility would be a one week sea term during orientation.  If a cadet doesn’t choose deck or engine, there is no need to do winter sea term.

Parent question – Would you consider partnering with other schools for Sea Term?  They are all full.  SUNY goes on two back-to-back, Maine Maritime and Cal Maritime also.  Cruises cost about $1.5 million in fuel alone.

Parent question – For the students who didn’t go on Sea Term and were told to go on Commercial Ship, will they all get a spot on a commercial ship this summer?  Yes.  MSC is going to start picking up 3C engineers this summer.

Parent question – Is there the opportunity for Deckies to go on MSC this summer?  3rd Engineer doesn’t need as many hours as Deckies.  When on a training ship, a cadet gets 1 ½ days for each day.  On a commercial ship it is one day only.

Parent question – Non-license majors – what is the job outlook for them?  Excellent job picture.  However, it is tough to forecast due to economy.  Engineers getting $80-90 to start 2 weeks on/2 weeks off or 3 weeks on/3 weeks off.  Lots of choices & for Deckies also.  This has not always been the case.  EM, MS and EP are particularly harder jobs to find.  $50-65K salary.  MEMA, FEMA and other large companies are hiring MSEP students.  Cruise ships are hiring them.  Regular shipping companies are hiring MSEP students for the paperwork involved.  Oil companies are also looking at MSEP graduates.  Int’l Maritime Business graduates have no problem finding jobs.

Parent question – Is there a tuition difference to go on a commercial ship?  Sea term is more expensive and not covered by financial aid.  Commercial shipping is less expensive and the Cadets are paid during their internship.

Parent question – Is there more than one cadet on a commercial ship?  Yes always 2, sometimes 3 or 4.

Parent question – What is the average pay for a cadet on a commercial ship?  $32/day.

There were no additional questions.  We thank Admiral Gurnon for participating in tonight’s meeting.

Chuck Richardson, Asst. Director of Advancement – Attending on behalf of Michelle Badger.

Mr. Richardson handles the Alumni matters with Ms. Badger handling Advancement.

Hand out presented included (3) items of interest:

  1. 1.      Phon-a-thon – This is worked by Cadets in two shifts ending at 8 pm.  It is (6) weeks from March 31 to May 8, 2014.  Email Michelle at for more info.
  2. 2.      Thunderbird Golf Tourney;
  3. 3.      Senior Class Campaign – Seniors need to raise $2,500, which can come from parents, friends, alumni, staff and teachers; need to get 50% participation which must come from seniors.

-Events include “How to buy your first house” sponsored by Santander.  Guests include a Lawyers, Bankers & Real Estate Agents.

-Senior Class Networking Dinner, held March 24 at Bay State, 6:30 pm.  Etiquette discussion & networking skills, preparing for meals with potential employers.

-How to Spend, Save, Share & Invest your first pay check, presented by Jeff Cutter ’89.  Date to be determined.

Secretary’s Report- Marianne MacLeod, Co-Secretary

Minutes were posted for parents to review before the meeting.  Chris asked if everyone read them.  There were no questions, so a motion made to accept the December minutes as posted.  2nd and voted unanimously to accept the December minutes as written.

Treasurer’s Report – Marilyn Cyr, Co-Treasurer

Updated treasurer’s report presented, copies provided.

– Spring Scholarship for academics $22,500.   This would total $40,000 given to the school from the MMAPA for this year.

Co-Treasurer Deb Migridichian suggested the MMAPA give $22,500 to MMA for scholarships.  Motion made to accept Deb’s proposal of $22,500 for scholarships to be presented in May.  These academic scholarships are for the upcoming year and awarded in September 2014.  Motion made, 2nd and unanimously approved.   This check will be presented at the May Trustees Meeting to Admiral Gurnon.

A motion was made to accept treasurer’s report as presented, 2nd and unanimously accepted.


Cruise Raffle:  Total money raised in the cruise raffle was $15,650; with a net profit $12,500.  1,900 tickets were sold.  The MMAPA gave Admiral Gurnon a check for $17,500 on departure day.  Proceeds from the Sea term t-shirts and cruise raffle sales covered this amount.

Sea Term T-Shirts:  There were 409 Sea term t-shirts sold between mail drop off and pick-up, with a profit of approximately $6,000.  We will need to replenish t-shirts for Sea term and long-sleeve t-shirts.

Beach Towel:  The beach towel fundraiser was very successful.  There are still plenty left for purchase.

Deb Migridichian researched a cruise for next year and shared the information.  The ship is called the Princess Regal.  It sails on April 12, 2015.  It will be going to St. Marten, Princess Key, and St. Thomas and sails out of Ft. Lauderdale.  The prize Includes airfare.    The travel agency that offers this will let us leave the passenger name open when booking.   Deb will go forward with this.  Tickets will be available for purchase this summer.

Parent question – Were the Sea term t-shirts popular?  Yes, income was up by $2,000 more as people like the shirts with the ports on them.  The t-shirts were sold by pre-order only.

Marilyn gave the treasurer’s update, including the Sea Term steins, certificates and etched glass.  Separate report attached.

Admissions Liaisons Report  – Leanne Avakian, Admissions Liaison

-Departure Day had a great turnout of volunteers.

-Open House on May 3rd.  Volunteers will be needed.   Volunteers will also be needed.

-Welcome Aboard on May 17th.   This is when the accepted students and their families come to MMA and attend mini sessions on various topics as well as having tours of different areas of the campus.  In June the MMAPA will be posting requests for volunteers for orientation week, which will be August 11th through August 16th.

Old Business

RETURN DINNER – Deirdre MacInnis, Hospitality Chair    

Chris shared information from Dee, as she was unable to be here tonight.  Dee expressed her sincere thanks to all who attended the Return Dinner held at the Coonamessett Inn, Falmouth, MA.   It was well attended, bringing cadet parents and families together the night before the training ship TS KENNEDY returned to home port.  Several parents shared stories from their cadets.

New Business


Intentions of current officers for the May election:  Chris extended an invitation to anyone who is interested in a position to send an email to any board member to let us know.  Every position is for a one-year term.

Admissions Liaison and Co-Treasurer positions are open; all positions are available, Leanne gave her intentions of running for the office of President, Anne Marie would like to stay on as Vice President, Marilyn would like to stay on as Co-Treasurer, Dee MacInnis would like to stay on as Hospitality Chair, and Marianne MacLeod and Kim Farber would like to stay on, each as Co-Secretary.  Elections will be held at the end of the May meeting.

With no further questions or issues, motion made to adjourn meeting, 2nd and approved.

Motion adjourn 2007 hours (8:07 pm).

Next meeting:  2nd Quarterly Meeting

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 – 6:00 PM,

 Blinn Hall as scheduling allows.

Respectfully submitted:  by Marianne MacLeod and Kim Farber, Co-Secretaries