The Day – Coast Guard Academy Regimental Review honors long-serving former teachers
New London – At the Regimental Review held Friday at the Coast Guard Academy, Superintendent Rear Admiral William Kelly offered a “welcome home” to the five honorees: recently retired members of the teaching staff who are now professors emeritus.
The regimental review, at which the corps of cadets march in formation and maneuver to the commands, is a centuries-old tradition at service academies, and Friday’s was the third this spring at the academy.
“It’s kind of like a professional family reunion,” said Capt. Rich Sanders, who retired last July after serving on the faculty from 1997 to 2021, ending up as head of the science department. Sanders – who was Kelly’s roommate when they attended the academy together as cadets – was also director of the Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy and studied the impacts of corrosion on underwater wrecks.
Other honorees were also recent department heads: Capt. Brigid Pavilonis served as head of the humanities department and Capt. Mindy McGurer as head of the math department.
Pavilonis led the academy’s largest summer internship program and built relationships that resulted in an endowment to support overseas internships, managed three debuts with U.S. presidents, and expanded advanced research projects sponsored by the Coast Guard in the major government. She is now a provost at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
McGurer said “it’s more than teaching” because they mentor cadets to work in the same organization they work for. McGurer, who has advised on more than 50 operations research and computer analysis consulting projects for Coast Guard cadets and other government entities, is now an operations research analyst with Sonalysts in Waterford.
Janet McLeavey, the only civilian honouree, also previously served as chair of the math department. She was the academy’s first female faculty member when she joined in 1974 and retired last July as the academy’s longest serving faculty member.
The fifth recipient was Captain Kurt Colella, who served as dean of academics from 2006 to 2021. As dean, he oversaw the creation of the Center for Arctic Policy and Study and the new cybersystems major.
The Coast Guard Academy has honored local elected officials and visiting Coast Guard leaders at past regimental reviews, and the first this spring honored 11 of the academy’s first 14 female graduates, members of the graduating class. from 1980.