Member Spotlight and Guest Blog:
Megan Rice became a Northwest Seaport member before she even stepped aboard the Lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure.” Seaport staff welcomed her aboard both the lightship and tug Arthur Foss last week to discuss membership and ways to become involved with Northwest Seaport as a young adult. During the discussion, she agreed to share her story and goal of serving the country as a naval engineering officer and designer of the Coast Guard cutter fleet. She also writes, “I only wish I’d found out about NWS a lot sooner.”
Washington State can be proud that she will represent the State and her community at the United States Coast Guard Academy with the graduating class of 2018.
“Hello, I’m Megan Rice and I’m 21 years old. My interest in engineering, the maritime industry, the U.S. military, and the Coast Guard inspired me to attend the United States Coast Guard Academy, where, as a cadet, I’ll get closer to my goal of serving my country as a naval engineering officer and designer of the Coast Guard cutter fleet.
Since my early fascination with the Titanic, I’ve immersed myself in studying ships and the art of integrating many complex systems into one functional, buoyant vessel. This passion has led me to pursue a career in naval architecture and marine engineering.
After diligently contacting over 25 local shipyards and engineering firms without any contacts in the maritime world, I became employed at Jensen Maritime Consultants. At this prominent NA&ME firm, I work in both field and office environments, but I still don’t feel I’m acquiring enough practical engineering experience to prepare me for the USCGA and the rest of my career.
After two years of searching for an entity that could provide such training, I finally discovered Northwest Seaport. As a volunteer at Northwest Seaport, I hope to gain some hands-on experience, especially in engine rooms, while helping to preserve the fascinating and historically rich vessels Arthur Foss and Swiftsure. I only wish I’d found out about NWS a lot sooner.
In addition to my vocational experience at Jensen and with my future endeavors with NWS, I’ve also prepared myself for the academic rigor of the USCGA. I graduated from Snohomish High School in 2011 and already completed three years of college and the University of Washington’s pre-engineering program at Everett CC, UW Bothell, North Seattle CC, and Edmonds CC.
Although I could continue working in the commercial maritime industry and pursuing my civilian education, I want a more rewarding educational experience and a career in an organization that allows me to make more of a difference for my country.
As a proud member of the U.S. military, I’d engage in the adventure and physical activity uncharacteristic of a civilian desk job while protecting the United States.
In the armed forces, the Coast Guard stands out as a small, diverse, and versatile service that emphasizes homeland security and humanitarianism. As a member of such a remarkable organization, I’d want to take on additional responsibility as a leader, and I’m confident that the USCGA will effectively help me prepare for this role.
Because I was fortunate enough to attend AIM (Academy Introduction Mission) in 2010, I know that the USCGA’s rich history and tradition, beautiful location, legacy of academic, athletic, and military excellence, and commitment to its core values, make it the perfect setting for my collegiate experience.
As a small, tight-knit school, the USCGA also offers the ideal team and family dynamic I’ve been looking for in an academic and athletic environment. This atmosphere will enhance my experience of trying out for the varsity volleyball team, the boxing team, and participating in new activities, clubs, organizations, sports, and the USCGA’s renowned NA&ME program.
As a hard-working USCGA cadet, I expect to make lifelong friends, contribute to the USCGA volleyball and boxing teams’ success, learn practical leadership skills, train on the Eagle, and acquire hands-on experience and a sound understanding of the principles of NA&ME. When pursuing my goal of becoming a USCG student engineer, naval engineer, and then professional engineer, I want to confidently apply this knowledge and leadership ability when pursuing my dream of helping to maintain, operate, design, and build the Coast Guard cutters.