Ella Strano, 21, of Sandwich is a second class cadet (junior) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Why did you choose Mass Maritime Academy?
I was attracted to MMA for its Marine Transportation program and for the rigorous regiment. I liked knowing that I was signing up for a challenge and I was choosing an industry and college experience that was off the beaten path.
What course of study are you taking?
I am studying to become a third mate, also known as a deck safety officer, through Mass Maritime’s Marine Transportation program. I also am working towards minoring in Marine Biology. From an early age I loved all things marine and was really interested in science. In eighth grade, I went to a summer camp hosted on the campus and run by cadets and I was :introduced to the major and loved how it combined working on the ocean and the applied science of navigation. I also knew that going to a college that prides itself on discipline and cultivating leadership skills would work with my personality and work ethic.
What career do you hope to enter after graduation?
I hope to get a third mate position on a research vessel preferably for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
What is it like being one of the few women cadets?
While statistically speaking our student body has a much larger percentage of men than women we like to say our school is male populated but not male dominated! I am lucky in that I get to be a part of such a close knit group of women that set a strong example for our male shipmates.