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KCC Faculty on Teaching

KCC Faculty on Teaching

Q&A with John Nappo

How did you get into teaching?
While working on my master’s degree, a classmate asked me what I was going to do after graduating. He was running a program for at-risk youth with the Board of Education and Catholic Charities. The program needed a teacher for an American government/social studies program. I went to the school, liked what I saw, and started right away. It was a very rewarding program, and I enjoyed my time there.

What career did you imagine for yourself when you were in college?
Originally, I wanted to get a Ph.D. in political science. Deep down – I wanted a career as a commercial fisherman. Fishing won out.

What do you love about teaching?
That’s an easy answer: The students. The energy they bring (good and bad) keeps every semester fresh and interesting. Professionally, I’m constantly developing the RADAR simulator and redesigning the motor vessel CUNY 1. Both projects allow me to develop new skill sets only available to me because of my unique job.

What’s your favorite teaching experience?
I love getting a student who has no maritime or boating experience behind the steering wheel of any of our training vessels. To watch them progress from apprehension to one of competence, over the course of a semester, is as good as it gets for me.

In what ways do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
Nothing can prepare you to teach maritime training than being at sea. Your experiences in ship-handling and engineering, allow you to present the training at a high level. Working in machine shops and shipyards brings a high level of relevancy to the training we do in the maritime program at KCC.

What advice do you have for current students?
Simple answer: maritime engineering. There is no career more in demand than engineers at sea and in power plants. The engineer’s license is the most portable universal document a young person can achieve for a rewarding career in the maritime industry and beyond.