Individuals who work at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) contribute toward a lofty goal: develop technology that improves the U.S. military’s ability to fight, win and bring troops home safely.
The institution of higher education located in closest proximity to Dahlgren – University of Mary Washington (UMW) – wants to contribute toward NSWCDD’s goal.
The first step has been taken.
NSWCDD employees – 40 percent of whom have advanced degrees – now have a chance to improve their skills and, possibly, achieve yet another degree. All they have to do is leave the office and drive across Highway 301 to Mary Washington’s Dahlgren Campus.
UMW’s College of Business, in collaboration with Continuing and Professional Studies, has enrolled its first cohort of Dahlgren leaders in a project management certificate program. Those admitted for the program are qualified, if interested, to pursue a master’s in business administration after December 2021 when they earn their certificates.
In a formal signing ceremony on Friday, NSWCDD’s Business Director Chris Clifford said the UMW program will help participants “do their jobs better.” By offering courses in contracting, financial planning and business operations, he said, the program “fills a critical gap” at Dahlgren and will help prepare the base’s leaders of the future.
UMW President Troy Paino spoke of the importance of building bridges between UMW and entities in the surrounding area. “Partnerships matter,” he said, noting that the degrees and certificates participants earn through the Mary Washington program will have a “stamp of high quality.”
Professors from UMW’s College of Business, fully accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International, teach the project management courses at the Dahlgren campus. Key to making the partnership work has been UMW lecturer John Burrow, a former department head for the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Force Warfare Systems Department and retired deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, test and evaluation.
College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson singled out Burrow, and thanked all the people involved for their patience in getting the partnership established.
NSWCDD Acting Technical Director Darren Barnes described the program as “the sweet spot for us.” He said, “This is a shining example of the relationships we would like to pursue.”