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Featured Scholar: Thomas Lacognata

Featured Scholar: Thomas Lacognata



Thomas Lacognata, Caddie Scholar from Rockaway Hunting Club, is currently a freshman at SUNY Maritime College, where he studies Marine Operations. Thomas is very excited to be pursing this major, as his main goal is to obtain a third mate unlimited license, in addition to a business degree. A third mate unlimited license will allow Thomas to be a member of large merchant cargo ships, as well as operate smaller ships, like ferries. There were many steps Thomas had to follow in order to pursue a future in the maritime industry; one of them being joining the Regiment of Cadets, where personal discipline is put to vigorous tests to validate candidacy. Thomas has participated in various fundraising and skill building activities that SUNY Maritime has offered this year. One event being “Laps for Lounges” where students raise money by running laps around the athletic field in order to raise funds to update their student lounges!

The time spent on the fairways of Rockaway Hunting Club have proven beneficial to Thomas. He learned discipline, time management and multi-tasking skills, which will undoubtedly be put to use in his field of study. He will soon have to exercise these skills as he departs on his 45-day summer sea term. During this time, Thomas will be learning skills pertaining to ship operations as well as ship maintenance and preparing for anything that could go wrong. During this sea term, his ship will be stopping at ports in New Orleans and Charleston. Thomas is looking forward to this voyage, and we wish him the best of luck and safe travels as he sets sail into his future!

Q: What was your college major? What made you pursue your academic studies in this major?

A: My major is Marine Operations. This major will allow me to pursue a third mate unlimited license as well as a business degree. I will also take classes to earn an endorsement on my license allowing me to be a designated engineer on small vessels. I spent much of my life on the water and have experience with ships, which is how I found the maritime industry. I am pursuing this study because it has a great job placement rate with a commendable average salary and I will also graduate with a degree in business.

Q: If caddieing has taught you anything, what would it be?

A: If caddieing taught me one thing, it would be to pay attention while thinking ahead. The job of a caddie relies heavily on the ability to anticipate actions, such as getting a putter ready for the player, while staying in the moment to see golf balls and advise the player on their next move. Another trait to have is a good hustle whereby no time is wasted between tasks.

Q: If you were to give back to the community, how would you do so?

A: Giving back to the community would be a high priority for me. While working in my profession I would be sure to give back to the LICSF as they did for me in allowing me to pursue this study. Upon any opportunities, I would look to advocate for the LICSF and SUNY Maritime College by speaking at events or providing my advice to the future recipients of the scholarship.

Q: What has joining the Regiment of Cadets taught you? How could you apply this in everyday life, or even on the golf course?

A: Joining the regiment of cadets has given me a heightened sense of professionalism and taught me how to be efficient and effective in everything that I do. This translates extremely well to the golf course with the extreme importance of the relations between golfers and their caddies as well as the crucial component of the speed and effectiveness of the caddie.