Senator Joseph Lieberman visited the this afternoon to recognize the service academy’s superintendent, Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz.
Lieberman honored Stosz as a “Joe’s Hero,” a recognition he has been given to Connecticut residents and organizations for the past 15 years. He said the honor aims to spotlight people who are committed to a cause larger than themselves.
“It’s a way for me to say thank you to people who make a difference in our state and to recognize them,” said Lieberman.
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Stosz graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1982 and served 12 years as a service operations commander, which included command of two icebreaking cutters in the Great Lakes. Her experience also includes time as chief of officer assignments, program reviewer and acquisitions funds coordinator, and military assistant to the Secretary of Transportation.
Stosz became the first female superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy in June of 2011.
“You embody all the reasons why I’m so optimistic about this country…This country uniquely produces leaders like you, who incidentally are also path-breakers and pioneers," said Lieberman.
Lieberman said he was also impressed that Newsweek selected Stosz to be on their list of He presented Stosz with the award as well as a Senate coin, modeled on the coins exchanged between military officers.
Stosz thanked Lieberman for his help in getting to know people in the region. She also said she considers the award a measure of the academy as a whole, saying she thinks cadets in the current class are just as likely to attain senior leadership positions at the school.
“Every class is going to produce those kind of great leaders,” she said. “Cadets, look left and right. Who’s it going to be? The one who works the hardest and perseveres.”
Lieberman also praised the work of the Coast Guard, saying it has capably taken on additional responsibilities since it became part of the Department of Homeland Security. He said he feels such devotion he recognizes with Joe’s Heroes is apparent at all of the nation’s service academies.
“As time has gone on, I’ve just become immensely proud that this academy is here in Connecticut,” he said.
In introducing Lieberman, Capt. Glenn M. Sulmasy, chair of the academy’s humanities department, said Lieberman has “tirelessly” served the state and academy.
“He’s consistently been there and supportive of the cadets and also the leadership at the Coast Guard Academy,” said Sulmasy.