The Faults on our Earth


How innovative programs at CSU campuses help increase gender equity in traditionally male-dominated fields.


With a track record of more than 90% of its graduates landing jobs within months of graduation, the California State University Maritime Academy is a unique, specialized CSU campus producing the maritime leaders of the future.

Located in Vallejo, California, on the scenic San Pablo Bay, Cal Maritime is one of only seven degree-granting maritime academies in the United States—and the only one on the West Coast. More than 800 students are enrolled in the Cal Maritime Corps of Cadets, pursuing degree programs in marine transportation, marine engineering technology, international business and logistics, mechanical engineering, oceanography, global studies and maritime affairs, and facilities engineering technology. These degrees open doors for graduates to pursue lucrative positions within the industry while positioning them for leadership roles in their field.

Since joining the California State University in 1996, Cal Maritime has highest employment rate in the CSU system. On average, Cal Maritime's graduates receive several offers with starting salaries well above the national average.

Cal Maritime President Thomas A. Cropper (left) with alumna Kate McCue and Chancellor Emeritus Timothy P. White in 2019. Courtesy of Cal Maritime ​

One of the university's more visible alums, Kate McCue ('00), became the first-ever American woman to captain a mega cruise ship when she took the helm of the Celebrity Summit in 2015 and now commands the Celebrity Edge—one of the cruise liner's newest ships. In fact, with McCue at the helm, the Edge recently made headlines as the first cruise ship sailing with guests from a U.S. port after the pandemic shutdown of 2020.

McCue visited the Cal Maritime campus in May 2019 with Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president & CEO of Celebrity Cruises, who gave a commencement address emphasizing the importance of growing diversity in the maritime industry—giving a shout-out to McCue in her speech. And during the university's 2021 commencement, both student speakers were women: Marina Bartels, a Marine Transportation major, and Nicole Light Densberger, who earned an MSTEM (Masters in Transportation and Engineering Management).​

Similar to the maritime industry, maritime academies have historically been challenged in achieving ethnic and gender diversity within their student bodies and faculties. As a public university in California, Cal Maritime is working to double minority representation on campus through active alumni recruiting efforts to identify candidates for enrollment and programs that support and celebrate diverse populations.

In addition, Cal Maritime hosts an annual Women in Maritime Leadership Conference offering opportunities for leadership development and networking for women in maritime and related fields. Captain McCue was keynote speaker for the March 2021 event, held virtually.

Cal Maritime ca​dets in several majors have an opportunity to embark on a training cruise aboard the university's Training Ship Golden Bear.

[Learn about more innovative CSU programs advancing gender diversity below]​


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Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Women in Engineering Program prepares students for lucrative careers in engineering.

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Cal Maritime alumna Flora van der Schoot (marine transportation '20) served as Cadet Second Mate on the unversity's Training Ship Golden Bear during a 2019 training cruise.

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