AAPA, Lamar University Renew Partnership For Port Leader Education

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and Lamar University announced March 15 that they have renewed their agreement to partner in the delivery of advanced education to future port industry leaders through Lamar’s fully online Master of Science in port and terminal management. The agreement updates and renews a memorandum of understanding initially entered in June 2016.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AAPA is the unified voice of the seaport industry in the Americas, representing more than 130 public port authorities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. AAPA’s Professional Development Board, chaired by Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive director of the Port of Long Beach, led the initiative for the association.

“Lamar University’s Center for Port Management fulfills our industry’s longstanding dream of having an academic venue to gain both the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to successfully prepare the next generation of port leaders,” Hacegaba said.

“To meet the changing demands of the global supply chain and the recent substantial investment in U.S. infrastructure, the port industry must continually evolve,” said Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO. “There has never been a more important time to collaborate with colleges and universities to prepare the next generation of our industry’s leaders. Lamar University’s center and its singular advanced degree in port and terminal management is what port professionals of the future need today.

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“The agreement also enables port professionals certified through AAPA’s Professional Port Manager program to earn credit hours towards the completion of Lamar’s Port and Terminal master’s degree program,” Connor said.

Home to 17,000 students, Lamar University is in Beaumont, Texas, and a member of the Texas State University System. Lamar’s Center for Advances in Port Management was established by the state of Texas in 2015. CAPM is the first of three university signature centers, which also include the Center for Resiliency and the Center for Midstream Management.

CAPM’s primary purpose is the online delivery of advanced education for port and marine terminal professionals. The center also sponsors industry-relevant research, continuing education and certifications.

Fully half of the center’s 12-course, port master’s degree curriculum is taught by industry experts. The other half is taught by Lamar faculty from the MBA program and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department.

CAPM has been led since its inception by Erik Stromberg, who has nearly four decades of experience in the port industry, highlighted by his decade-long tenure as CEO of AAPA and subsequent 10-year service as CEO of the North Carolina State Ports Authority.

“Our master’s degree is aimed at enhancing leadership opportunities for port and terminal industry working professionals,” Stromberg said. “In addition, we have found strong interest from those in related careers who desire management positions in the port and marine terminal industry.”