St. Mary’s College of Maryland President Tuajuanda C. Jordan presented the 2018 President’s Trailblazer Award on Thursday, Sept. 6, to The Patuxent Partnership (TPP). The President’s Trailblazer Award was created by President Jordan in 2015 to honor those individuals or enterprises whose actions are notable “firsts” in the history of the College. “Under the leadership of St. Mary’s College alumna Bonnie Green, The Patuxent Partnership is an organization like no other in Southern Maryland,” said President Jordan. “Its mission is all about connecting – connecting things, people, and ideas. TPP’s support has enabled our physics department to become a national model and enhanced the reach of our Center for the Study of Democracy. We are grateful for its support.”
“TPP has a long and successful partnership with St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and we are proud of all we have accomplished together to support STEM education and workforce development in support of the Navy mission,” said Bonnie M. Green, TPP executive director.
TPP is a non-profit member organization working to advance technology through speaker programs, forums, and networking; to advance science and technology transfer through the exchange of ideas, information, and data related to technologies; and to increase workforce development through an array of programs and initiatives. TPP was established in 1997 for the purpose of expanding the business base in Southern Maryland through technology development.
St. Mary’s College and TPP have enjoyed several long-term partnerships furthering the advancement of education and programming.
In 2011, TPP formed an educational partnership agreement with Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) and the College that advanced scientific research and fostered academic growth in science, mathematics, technology, and engineering.
The College, in collaboration with NAWCAD laboratories, placed students in NAWCAD R&D labs to develop solutions to real-world problems. Students provided fresh perspectives on existing problems and the development of new technologies and methods to better serve the military. In return, subject matter experts at the lab provided students with a wealth of information and experience garnered from years of R&D work.
The Applied Physics Endowed Fund, established in 2012, created and supports the College’s applied physics program. The fund also promotes research, internship, and professional development opportunities through collaborative efforts between the College, NAS Patuxent River, and the DoD community in Southern Maryland. In 2016–17, St. Mary’s College’s physics program received national recognition on multiple occasions.
STEM-ING was designed to introduce middle school girls to careers in STEM disciplines. TPP provides support to the STEM-ING program through an education partnership agreement with NAWCAD and St. Mary’s College. In 2017, over 135 girls attended STEM-ING.
In March 2018, TPP, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, and St. Mary’s College formalized an educational partnership agreement that provides educational and research experiences for College students and faculty using expertise, unique facilities, equipment and technology. The agreement facilitates student internships, particularly in fields relating to the real-world technical applications required by the U.S. Navy.
TPP also provides forum and programming collaboration for St. Mary’s College’s Center for the Study of Democracy, including the2017 Patuxent Defense Forum which discussed the issues of economy versus environment in the Arctic domain; maritime challenges across the Arctic; and national security in the Arctic. TPP, with the Center for the Study of Democracy, also organized The Patuxent Policy Group, a working group of specialists, chosen for an invitation-only symposium that convenes once a year. The opinions and knowledge expressed by invited participants are incorporated in a White Paper that summarizes arguments and policy recommendations on a chosen issue of national importance.
Introduced by Bonnie Green, the keynote address at the Trailblazer ceremony was delivered by Dan Crippen, former executive director of the National Governors Association. Following the program, Crippen and Joseph Dyer, vice admiral, U.S. Navy (ret.), moderated a question and answer session with members of the audience. Dyer is a commissioner on the Section 809 Panel for the National Defense Industrial Association.
Previous St. Mary’s College Trailblazer recipients include Trustee Donald “Donny” Bryan ’73, honored in 2015 as the first African American student to graduate from St. Mary’s College’s four-year program. In 2016, President emeritus Edward T. “Ted” Lewis received the honor as the one who shepherded the “public honors college” moniker and the unique funding mechanism through the state legislature. Last year, Julie Croteau ’93 received the Trailblazer Award for being the first female to make the St. Mary’s College’s Division III team as a freshman and the first female to play NCAA baseball in the men’s league.