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CASTINE, Maine – Dr. John Barlow, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean at Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), has announced the appointment of Captain Timothy N. Leach, of Castine, Maine, to the post of director of career services and cadet shipping at the Castine college. Leach, the immediate past waterfront operations manager at MMA, recently transitioned to the post, bringing with him more than 30 years of experience in maritime industry relations, vessel operations, and marina management.
In his new position at Maine Maritime Academy, Leach will be responsible for the overall management of the college’s career services department which liaisons between current students and alumni, and the greater maritime industry to facilitate employment opportunities, networking, and industry relations. Given the college's diversification in academic offerings, the Career Services department links the college and its graduates to a variety of industry employers well beyond the maritime transportation and engineering fields. The department also works to promote the skills of MMA graduates within the power generation, marine sciences, and international business and logistics arenas.
The Career Services Department is also responsible for the annual placement of more than 150 students in short-term posts aboard commercial vessels. Known as Cadet Shipping, the program provides vital seatime training required for the licensure of students enrolled in traditional seafaring majors aboard some of the world’s largest ships. Placed in a real-life, no-nonsense assignment, unlimited license candidates spend their sophomore summer aboard commercial vessels visiting ports worldwide and working alongside professional navigation and engineering officers. Students are assigned to merchant vessels as cadets for further familiarization in shipboard procedures, standing watches, and completing assigned projects within their major.
According to Barlow, Leach began his duties in late December. “Tim’s long-standing commitment to Maine Maritime Academy gives him a solid understanding of the importance of this role in serving the needs of our students, alumni, and industry partners. As a professional mariner, he’s respected for his abilities, management style, and innovation. As a representative of this college, he is highly regarded for his generosity, willingness to serve, and his appreciation for the needs of those he serves,” said Barlow. Barlow noted that the college is reputed for excellence in job placement, which annually exceeds 90 percent professional employment within 6 months of graduation for its students.
“One of my greatest pleasures in working at Maine Maritime Academy has been training and teaching countless students who have gone on to make a difference in their families and in the world,” said Leach. “I am fortunate to have developed lasting relationships with our alumni, many of whom lead their industries as recognized professionals, and I look forward to expanding my relationships with them in this new role.”
An employee at MMA since 1979, Leach has served in a variety of teaching and management positions. Most recently, Leach served for nearly 10 years as marine operations manager, overseeing all aspects of the college’s working waterfront, including direct supervision of marine personnel and responsibility for the safe and efficient operations of all college vessels other than the T/S State of Maine. While in the position, he led efforts to preserve the schooner Bowdoin and integrate it into hands-on student training programs, elevate the college’s varsity sailing program to national and international status as a powerhouse in the sailing community, and acquire and renovate the training vessel Ned Nusunginya. He previously served as the college’s assistant waterfront services director and officer in charge of the tug Pentagoet.
A U.S. Coast Guard licensed master of vessels not in excess of 500-gross tons, Leach is a highly experienced mariner. He was instrumental in the development of the college’s classroom and applied skills program in tug and barge operations, the only one of its kind in the United States.
He holds an A.S. degree in marine engineering from Southern Maine Technical College. He also earned a B.S. degree in small vessel operations and an M.S. degree in maritime management from Maine Maritime Academy. A graduate of George Stevens Academy (GSA), Blue Hill, Maine, he served for more than seven years as a volunteer member of the GSA Board of Trustees.
An active mariner and community leader, he has served as a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Retired Skippers Race for more than 25 years. He is also a member of the Castine Harbor Committee and the Northeast Sector Homeland Security Committee. He served on the Maine Department of Transportation Bridge Oversight Committee for the Penobscot Narrows Bridge replacement. He is a former vice chairman of the Castine Merchant’s Association. A native of Penobscot, he lives with his wife, Gay, in Castine.