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Apex student Mary Rachel Silliman earns highest Sea Scouts award

By University Communications

BOONE—Mary Rachel Silliman from Apex, a senior majoring in biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University, recently completed requirements for Quartermaster, the highest award in Sea Scouts, BSA.

View larger imageMary Rachel Silliman, a senior majoring in biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University, recently completed requirements for Quartermaster, the highest award in Sea Scouts, BSA. Photo by Ben Silliman

The Quartermaster award recognizes mastery of skills in swimming, lifesaving, safety, marlinspike seamanship, boat handling, anchoring, navigation rules, charts, piloting citizenship and leadership. Only .5 percent of Sea Scouts earn the Quartermaster rank.

Sea Scouts is a program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women ages 14 to 21. It aims to improve the boating skills of scouts “through instruction and practice in water safety, boating skills, outdoor, social, service experiences, and knowledge of our maritime heritage.” Scouts also learn about weather, the environment, engines and electrical systems as well as maintaining sailboats, power boats, and equipment. See http://seascout.org to learn more.

During her career with Ship 244 in Cary, Silliman was selected to Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership Training (SEAL) in 2013 and selected captain by her Galveston Gulf Coast peers. She also received scuba certification of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors at Florida Sea Base in Islamorada, Florida. In November 2012, she received the Boy Scout National Meritorious Action award for rescuing a peer whose canoe was swamped by a power boat on Jordan Lake in Apex.

At Appalachian, Silliman has served as a research assistant to Dr. Jennifer Geib, an associate professor of biology and science education. She is a 2013 graduate of Apex High School.

About the Department of Biology

The Department of Biology, housed in Appalachian’s College of Arts and Sciences, is a community of teacher-scholars, with faculty representing the full breadth of biological specializations – from molecular genetics to landscape/ecosystem ecology. The department seeks to produce graduates with sound scientific knowledge, the skills to create new knowledge, and the excitement and appreciation of scientific discovery.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

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