Maritime Alumni Participation Challenge

Maine Maritime Alumni often say that their time at the Academy instilled in them the qualities of leadership. Acquaintances and coworkers of our alumni often echo that sentiment, describing their MMA friends and colleagues as outstanding role models. Industry partners visit the MMA campus in search of the leaders of tomorrow, and faculty and staff work every day to honor this legacy of leadership. We lead. It’s what we do.

By leading the way in the Maritime Alumni Participation Challenge against Massachusetts and SUNY Maritime Academies, we will send a message to the next generation of Mariners that our alumni rise to the challenge, they are engaged, and we care about MMA students, the leaders of tomorrow.

Here are a few words on leadership from alumni that inspired the idea of leading the way:

Captain Richard Spear ’43-2  |  Nautical Science

The discipline was what set the example for all of us: treating everybody fairly, but equally.


Sarah Weippert ’07  |  International Business and Logistics

Above all else, Maine Maritime Academy provided me with the ability to be flexible. The world is always changing and the ability to adapt will drive success, both professionally and in your personal life.


Rear Admiral John Bitoff ’58  |  Nautical Science

At MMA we had to quickly become competent to address real-life problems and to solve them quickly and efficiently.  We developed leadership principles from hands-on practical experience and we were held accountable. We learned to make decisions and accept responsibility.


Captain Thomas Daley ’70  |  Marine Engineering

MMA provided the “channel locks and flashlight” of the skillset toolbox. You reach in and use those basic skills over and over again. And over the years I have hired Maine Maritime graduates, and without fail find those same tools and abilities.


Michael Chambers ’80  |  Nautical Science

I was trained at MMA to lead by example and to treat the people I lead with respect. My training helped me as a leader when I sailed and in my work as an attorney.


Rear Admiral Bryan Cutchen ’83  |  Nautical Science

The study of meteorology, navigation, and stability all directly applied to flying Navy aircraft. But the skills, common sense and adaptability of practical seamanship were priceless in all aspects of my Navy career.


Katie Hutchinson ’11  |  Global Business Services, Fidelity Investments |  International Business & Logistics

Maine Maritime helped me to understand the immense value of authenticity. People trust authentic leaders and see right through those that are not. I am a more confident, tenacious, and empathetic leader because of my personal growth fostered at MMA.


Nicole St. Pierre ’08  |  International Business and Logistics

I learned valuable lessons as a student-athlete that continue to guide me (and our company) today. Mainly, the importance of: an ambitious mission, cultivating culture, and a deep bench of talent. At MMA, I didn’t know this passion would (or could!) translate into an incredibly fulfilling, full-time career, but I’m sure thankful it did.


Jason Oney ’96  |  Marine Engineering Operations

My education at MMA was exceptional, but more importantly, and more useful to me, was the leadership experience we gained at a very young age and the ability to see what works. Ultimately, making decisions becomes easier because you have built the confidence to know when you are right.


Lynda Doughty ’08  |  Executive Director, Marine Mammals of Maine

My time at MMA instilled a desire in me to have an impact on protecting marine species in Maine. This past year we opened the first triage center of its kind on the east coast…I am now able to feel confident in leading my own organization.


Elizabeth Cote ’11  |  Bath Iron Works Engineer

I am grateful for the education and opportunities Maine Maritime Academy has given me. The leadership skills I was taught both in and out of the classroom at the Academy have allowed me to succeed in my field.


Eric F. Smith ‘88  |  Engineering

I can easily trace my success, both personally and professionally, to all that I learned from my days at MMA and I am forever grateful.


Peter Betti ’10  |  Project Manager | Performance Contracting Inc. PCI

I am currently a Project Manager at PCI, overseeing several commercial and Navy shipbuilding projects. Like many alumni I attribute my success and happiness to the friendships, education, and leadership skills I established while attending MMA.


Chris Gilman ’16  |  Consultant, Strategic Management Solutions

Throughout my training, I was taught how to handle the process of making decisions quickly and critically under pressure. The Academy instilled in me a great ambition to be successful across the field, classroom, and community that continues to drive me forward in my personal and professional life today.


Craig Johnson ’91  |  Marine Engineering Operations | Partner, Flagship Management

I have been associated with Maine Maritime Academy since 1987 as a student, a graduate, sailing coach, alumnus and lifelong supporter of the school. With 25 years since graduating I have built a solid career in the maritime industry based on the education that I received at the Academy.


Jillian Perron ’15  |  Marine Biology  |  St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine

Growth knows no threshold. Maine Maritime Academy has exposed me to the significance of self-value, but more importantly, seeing value in others who do not necessarily see it within themselves.


Maggie Corain ’12  |  International Business & Logistics  |  Logistics Engineer, Sappi North America

MMA provides multiple opportunities to learn and practice how to conduct oneself in a business environment. Combining these opportunities and education with my athletic career, I learned valuable leadership skills that I was able to translate into the real world.


RADM Mark R. Whitney USN ’84 | Marine Engineering

Maine Maritime Academy instilled in me the leadership quality of humility by teaching me to never expect anyone to do something I would not do myself or, more aptly, had not done myself already.  This has served me well throughout my career.


Carl Rhodes ’04   |  Small Vessel Operations

…The working waterfront and hands-on learning at MMA provided the stage for success and I would say is the #1 way MMA prepared me for the future. You can’t be a good captain/leader without first being the best deckhand/follower.