(NEW LONDON, Conn.) — U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Laura Beck has received a 2017-2018 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to study in Norway. Beck graduated from the academy in 2017 with a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. Beck is the second consecutive Coast Guard Academy graduate to be granted a Fulbright Award to Norway.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build and foster relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries in order to solve global challenges. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Beck is currently an apprentice marine inspector at Sector New Orleans. She conducts foreign vessel examinations to ensure compliance with safety and security regulations. Beck also holds the advanced qualification of tank vessel examiner, which allows Beck an opportunity to play an active role in pollution prevention and safety system inspections onboard vessels carrying hazardous cargo. In this position, Beck is on the front line of ensuring the safety and security of US waterways, as well as the prevention of pollution incidents.
After graduation from Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, where she will pursue a two-year international master of science degree in marine technology with a specialization in marine engineering, Beck plans to assume the duties of a marine safety engineer in the Coast Guard. She will be responsible for enforcing environmental and safety standards for both domestic and international vessels operating in U.S. waters.
Later in her career, Beck hopes to obtain a position within the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Design and Engineering Standards where she will be responsible for the development of regulations for sustainable technologies for all U.S. vessels. After retirement from the Coast Guard, she plans to continue working in the government on energy policy through the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Management Program or the National Science Foundation. She also plans to attend law school and concentrate on governmental regulations concerning the environment and address a broader range of human concerns in relation to the environment and climate change issues.
“I plan to volunteer with the Self Help for Immigrants and Refugees organization and help those who are seeking better lives in Norway,” said Beck. “I believe Norwegian practices contain the foundations that I can bring back to the United States to promote inclusion and diversity in the Coast Guard and my home community.”