The graduating class of 2010 United States Merchant Marine Academy...

The graduating class of 2010 United States Merchant Marine Academy marches in for their graduation ceremony. (June 21, 2010) Credit: Photo by Kathy Kmonicek

Number of graduates: 198

GRADUATION SPEAKER: Adm. Michael. G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Stay engaged with the world around you . . . Who would have predicted that some of our counter-piracy solutions would come not from the sea, but from aid workers and counterinsurgency experts in villages, helping locals to meet basic needs - finding meaningful, nonviolent employment for young men?"

VALEDICTORIAN: Marie Cho Ebers, Woodlands, Texas: "I wanted to give . . . some nugget of wisdom that would ensure our future success and happiness. Until I realized that we don't need it . . . We are already destined for success and happiness and have the brightest and best of futures."

Pat Ambrose, 22, of Colorado

Bachelor's in marine engineering and shipyard management

"I'm getting married in August and then looking for a job in a shipyard that involves engineering. There are plenty of engineering jobs out there, so I'm not worried."

Mary Rose Rooney, 22, of Long Beach

Bachelor's in logistics

"I'm in limbo. I've been in touch with a marine services company about a job in offshore supplying, but there's a hiring freeze."

Benjamin Inouye, 23, of Hawaii

Bachelor's in marine engineering systems

"I'll be working for a shipping company as an engineer, living in North Carolina and flying to wherever they assign me. I'll work for 75 days at a time, then I'll be off for 75 days. I'm lucky because the economy is horrible."

Jackeline Bernat Montalvo, 22, of Panama

Bachelor's in marine engineering systems

"I'm going back to Panama to find a job on a tugboat. I hope to work, then become a chief engineer. The economy there is getting better."

Stephanie Moore, 22, of Huntington

Bachelor's in marine transportation

"I'll be working for a marine transportation company, as a mate on tugboats on the Mississippi River, and probably cleaning up the oil spill from the Gulf. They should have had a better backup plan. It's such a shame for the marine life."

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