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Home / Academic News / An Academy First: Ensign Christine Groves, First Academy Graduate Awarded Two Prestigious Scholarships

An Academy First: Ensign Christine Groves, First Academy Graduate Awarded Two Prestigious Scholarships

Stefanie Senkow | August 28, 2023

ENS Christine GrovesEnsign Christine Groves ‘23, is the first Coast Guard Academy graduate to simultaneously receive two prestigious scholarships—the Truman Scholarship and Fulbright Scholarship. Dedicated to research on renewable energy technologies, Groves is currently in Reykjavik, Iceland starting her sustainable energy engineering graduate program at Reykjavik University.

“This is an international program, taught in English, with students from all over the world. I will be here for two years completing my master’s degree,” said Groves.

Before starting her studies in Iceland, Groves completed part of her Truman Scholarship in Washington, D.C. interning with Pathways to Housing D.C., a non-profit organization that works to provide permanent housing solutions for the area’s homeless population.

“I was able to see different sides of public service and work directly to help provide support for homeless individuals,” said Groves.

Groves credits the Academy faculty and staff with helping her through the application process for both awards and providing mentorship throughout her four years in New London. Looking ahead at her Coast Guard career and beyond, she can already see the impact that her Truman opportunity has had on her and is excited to bring all she learns in Iceland to her first unit.

“Both scholarships have already provided me the opportunity to meet many incredible people that I would not have otherwise. I have met people from different branches of the military and from many different cultures and regions. I believe that these different perspectives and experiences will help to shape my leadership in the fleet,” said Groves. “I hope to be able to share what I’ve learned and bring what I learn from my studies on sustainability in Reykjavik back to the Coast Guard to help further our mission of environmental protection.”

Prestigious awards start with Coast Guard Academy Academics.

Sponsor Family Application

Thank you for submitting your application to be part of the Sponsor Family Program. Your application will be processed in the upcoming week. Coast Guard Academy’s policy on background screening now requires all adults (everyone 18 and older living in the home) who volunteer to mentor, teach, coach or sponsor cadets, whether on or off Coast Guard Academy grounds, to be screened every 5 years. They are required to provide personal information (name, birth date and social security number) for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check.

The Security Officer at the Coast Guard Academy, CWO2 Gina Polkowski, is overseeing this process. Her email is: Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.

Sponsor Family designations fall into several different categories. Below are the guidelines to help you determine how best to meet the background screening requirement:

  1. If you are Coast Guard active duty you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  2. If you are a Civilian working for the Coast Guard you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  3. If you are non-Coast Guard Active Duty, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at  Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.
  4. If you are non-Coast Guard civilian who has a current security clearance or National Agency check, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at  Gina.M.Polkowski@uscg.mil.
  5. All civilians in the families who are 18 years or older and do not have a security clearance or a National Agency Check are required to be vetted through Mind Your Business, the third party vendor hired by the Coast Guard Academy for the vetting process.

After you complete your application, please e-mail the Sponsor Family Program Coordinator at CadetFamilySponsorProgram@uscga.edu. In your e-mail, you must include the e-mail address and phone number of every adult living in the home. The Sponsor Family Coordinator will then initiate the background check process and you will receive an email with further instructions.

Important things to note:

There is a Sponsor Family Training that is a one-hour training which we ask sponsors to attend once every four years. This training is designed to give you an overview of the program, what is expected of you as a sponsor, and what you can expect from your cadets. This training will also help familiarize you with the cadet regulations onboard CGA. You will be notified via e-mail once the training is scheduled.

The matching process of swabs to families will occur during July and August. Please bear with us and remain flexible through this process. There will be a meet and greet scheduled on Campus, typically in late August. This will give families an opportunity to formally meet their cadet if they have not already done so. Details on this will also be via email.

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