Robert J. Gaines, a former IWP intern, has been named the valedictorian of the United States Merchant Marine Academy Class of 2020. Robert interned with IWP the summer of 2018 after spending four months aboard the USNS Arctic, a Navy support vessel in the Mediterranean. In addition to being named valedictorian, Robert has been awarded six academic and service awards from various organizations that support the USMMA and the maritime industry. During his time at the USMMA, he completed a Kings Point Scholar Project: an in-depth research project around a chosen topic. He is the first valedictorian to have completed a Kings Point Scholar Project.
Robert graduated from the academy on June 20 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and a U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate’s License-Unlimited Tonnage. He will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and has been selected for USMC Aviation. His goal is to pilot F-35 fighter aircraft.