FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 16, 2021
Release #2168 Point of Contact—Jeffrey Prater (401) 832-2039
Eighty-five NUWC Division Newport employees honored for earning advanced degrees
Eighty-five Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport employees were recognized for earning college diplomas at an Academic Degree Training Recognition Ceremony held in September.
The honorees represent those employees who have earned advanced degrees since 2018. This includes six bachelor degrees, four graduate certificates, 52 master’s degrees and seven doctorates from 23 different institutions. A full list of those honored posted here: https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Portals/103/Documents/NUWC_Newport/Academic_DegreesSept21FINALp2.pdf?
“It’s really important to recognize everyone here that has done great work,” Division Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings said. “If we’re going to get better in the undersea domain, we’re going to need that brain power and the experts in the field.
“The work you do is really inspiring and impressive. Thank you for all that you do and a job well done.”
Division Newport offers four different options for those seeking advanced degrees, each with different levels of compensation and time commitments. All candidates are competitively selected.
“We’ve been around for 152 years and plan on being around for many more. In order to do that, we need a really educated workforce,” Technical Director Ron Vien said. “Thank you for all the personal sacrifices you made to get these degrees because I know they’re not easy. You are helping to keep this country safe.”
Vince Legaspi, a program analyst in the Undersea Warfare Electromagnetic Systems Department, is one of those employees who experienced what it is like to balance a full-time job with part-time academic work.
“It was definitely challenging to balance my professional and academic life; however, I consider myself having a more manageable experience with it since I didn’t have the added dimension of raising a family in that mix,” Legaspi said. “There are some in this program that I’d definitely commend because they found the time to balance all three.”
Legaspi began at Division Newport in 2017 as an intern in the Pathways Program, which offers federal internship and employment opportunities for students, recent graduates and those with an advanced degrees, and was fully on-boarded in 2018. He ultimately earned his Bachelor of Science in operations management from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and is currently working toward a master's degree in industrial and systems engineering, also from UMass Dartmouth.
Like Legaspi, Pratik Ubba, an information technology specialist in the Cybersecurity Branch of the Corporate Operations Department, also was inspired to get an advanced degree by a desire to keep learning.
“I’m always on a quest for continuous knowledge,” Ubba said. “That’s what I like about cybersecurity, it’s constantly moving and the knowledge we have to maintain is constantly evolving.”
Ubba earned a master’s degree in cybersecurity and digital forensics from the University of Rhode Island in May 2021. It’s his third degree, having previously completed a bachelor’s in bioengineering from Stony Brook University and master’s in information systems from the University of Phoenix.
Ubba, who already is thinking about what degree to go for next, said one of the things he enjoyed about his most recent master’s program was a number of his co-workers were in the same program.
“It was fun going through the different classes,” Ubba said, “especially to get the chance to collaborate with some of my co-workers but in an educational setting.”
One of those co-workers was Gurvinder Singh, a system administrator in the Information Technology Operations Branch of the Corporate Operations Department, who was hired at Division Newport in 2018 after earning a bachelor’s in computer science from UMass Dartmouth.
“I found the program very rewarding because what I learned in my master’s is exactly what I am doing in my work at NUWC,” Singh said. “It’s never too late to go to school! Speak with your supervisor and see if it’s right for you.”
Also like Ubba, Singh is not wasting any time in looking toward his next degree. He already is working on a doctorate in cybersecurity from Capitol Technology University in Laurel, Maryland.
Most of those who earned degrees on Sept. 30 participated in the part-time Academic Degree Training Program, which is for part-time students attending classes outside of duty hours and intended for those seeking associate, undergraduate or graduate degrees, as well as certification programs.
A few honorees received advanced degrees through the Fellowship Program, which is normally a one-year opportunity intended for master’s and doctorate programs. More rigorously selected and typically only offered to a few applicants a year, Fellowship participants receive tuition allotment, travel and living expenses, and their salaries are paid while attending school full time.
NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.
NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.
Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NUWC-Newport/Career-Opportunities/ and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.