Sustainment employees first to earn degrees through Florida Tech, CLIO partnership

News Release, NAVAIR News

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md–Two Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR) Sustainment Group professionals recently became the first Florida Tech Southern Maryland students to earn Logistics Management Bachelor of Science degrees through a partnership formed between the university and the College of Logistics and Industrial Operations (CLIO). They were recognized by the university during the school’s annual graduation exercise on May 23.

The two graduates, Kary Pawlowski, currently Naval Undergraduate Flight Training System (PMA-273) TH-57 Sea Ranger Program analyst/acquisition lead, and Mike Carter, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Weapons Program Office (PMA-242) assistant program manager for Logistics, both graduated summa cum laude.

“Weapon systems are becoming increasingly complex, requiring a team of logisticians who possess the skills and business acumen to ensure those systems continue to meet their proscribed readiness levels throughout their sustainment phase,” NAVAIR Sustainment Group Director Tom Rudowsky said. “Ms. Pawlowski and Mr. Carter chose to not only invest in themselves, but to bring back what they have learned from academia and industry and apply it to the products and services they provide to the fleet.”

Dr. Robert Schaller, Sr., associate professor of Business, and director of Florida Tech Southern Maryland, commended Pawlowski’s and Carter’s commitment to their education. “They earned their bachelor’s degree the hard way. First, they earned their associate’s degrees at another institution. Then they attended Florida Tech while working full time and taking care of family,” he said. “I taught them in the Strategic Management class, the capstone course for the Master of Business Administration. They performed as well, if not better, than some of the graduate students in the class. We are very proud of their accomplishments.”

Kary Pawlowski (left) and Mike Carter attended Florida Tech Southern Maryland at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center through the university’s partnership with the College of Logistics and Industrial Operations. Both graduated summa cum laude.

For Carter, attending college while working at PMA-242 was difficult but well worth it. “I’ve been a civilian for three years. Working full time and taking two or three classes every semester—including summers—did not leave a lot of time for fun. But I wanted to be competitive for senior civilian leadership positions and knew this was a crucial step in achieving that goal,” he explained.

Carter credits the program with providing him a strong foundation in supply chain management and business planning concepts as well as improving his understanding of logistics. “I’ve been able to apply the knowledge I gained from my coursework to what I do in my current job.”

Career advancement was also the reason behind Pawlowski’s decision to pursue a bachelor degree. She found the courses on contracts and acquisition especially helpful. “Materiel Acquisition Management and Procurement/Contracts Management were my favorite classes,” she said. “Because I’ve been a civilian for four years and worked as a contractor for more than 12 years, I had a working knowledge of these areas. These courses taught me about business, acquisition, logistics and supply chain management from an industry/commercial perspective. This is an angle civilians and contractors often miss when working in government environments.”

She appreciated the encouragement she received from her instructors for her success “Our instructors were extremely knowledgeable and brought with them real experiences that I could apply to my current position. All were avid supporters of the program, especially Dr. Bob Schaller. We really appreciated his words of encouragement along the way,” she said.

Both graduates said NAVAIR employees should take advantage of all professional development opportunities available to them and meet the challenges they will face head on. “Put in the hard work,” Carter said. You must do it to succeed.”

“Just keep moving toward your goals,” Pawlowski added.

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