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SMART Center Co-PI Brad Mason Awarded 2016 HI-TEC Industry Partner Recognition

8/31/2016

During this year's annual HI-TEC (High Impact Technology Exchance) conference SMART Center Co-PI and key industry partner Brad Mason, Director of Operations for AMSEC, LLC (a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries), received the "Industry Recognition" award for his "significant contributions to the education and training of today's technology workforce."

"Brad recognizes the workforce needs, challenges and opportunities within the maritime and transportation industry and is a tireless advocate for the development of effective career pathways to produce vitally-needed technicians who can go on to become industry leaders," said  SMART Center PI and Executive Director Barbara Murray. "We are grateful for his leadership as one of our Co-Principal Investigators on our NSF grant-funded work,"

Under Mason's joint leadership (with PI Murray), the SMART Center's Maritime Technologies (MariTech) Consortium, a group of of more than 40 industry employers and secondary and college-level educators committed to assisting the Center, developed the first SMART Maritime Technologies pathway featuring stackable academic credentials. The pathway enables students to earn academic certificates in key ship building repair, maintenance, and modernization skilled trades as well as port operations and vessel operations indusry sectors which can be "stacked" toward an A.A.S. Maritime Technologies or A.A.S. Maritime Transportation degree. In addition the pathway provides a way for registered apprentices to earn college credit for their required classroom instruction hours and a way for current mariners to earn academic credit for demonstrated prior learning through U.S. Coast Guard credentials. Through the pathway the SMART Center has increased the enrollment of women, veterans, first-generation college students, dual/concurrent enrolling high school students, and members of underrepresented populations in maritime technologies programs at partner colleges in Virginia, Texas, and Maryland, as well as their feeder high schools. Mason is also currently assisting the Center in scaling its work to the West Coast with partners in California and Washington state.

Mason also contributed to the development of new curriculum by the SMART Center (MAR 120 – Introduction to Ships and Ship Systems) and modification of Marine Blueprint Reading curriculum. He also ensures that his staff serves as subject matter experts (SMEs) when expertise is needed for curriculum development and speaks on regional and national conference panels about the SMART Maritime Technologies pathway.