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Sailing Director Charlie Arms Named California's Boating Educator Of The Year

(Vallejo, CA – December 20, 2011) – Susan "Charlie" Arms, director of sailing for The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), has been named the California Educator of the Year by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety.

Arms, who has served as Cal Maritime's director of sailing since 1999, received the award for her commitment to boating education. She was the only recipient in California to receive this year's honors.

"The State of California is fortunate to have the talent, generosity and continuing commitment of one of the finest  boating educators in the country," said Lucia Becerra, Chief Deputy Director and Acting Director for the California Department of Boating and Waterways. "Charlie is an outstanding teacher and coach who has dedicated her life to training Californians to be capable, skilled and safe boaters."

As Sailing Director at Cal Maritime, Arms directs the operations of the campus's sailing program and a sailing aquatics center. She also coaches the varsity sailing team, which took fifth place in the 2010 Student Yachting World Championships in France.

She instructs sailing, power boating, and kayaking classes both for Cal Maritime cadets and the community. She has developed youth aquatic day camps, including boating lessons, ecology, crafts, games, and service projects. Arms has also presented clinics on boat handling, sail trim, and starting techniques, and has written and administered grants for boating safety courses.

"I always say that I have the best job on campus, because I get to teach people about having fun on boats," said Arms. "It's different than the professional mariner training our cadets are getting, it's not work; it's recreating on boats. I feel honored to be recognized for something that I do for the love of doing it."

Arms is a US SAILING small boat instructor trainer, keelboat instructor trainer, powerboat master instructor trainer and a Level 2 performance sailing instructor. She volunteers as US SAILING's vice chair of the training committee and is the regional training coordinator for Northern California.

In addition to being named NASBLA's Boating Educator of the Year, Arms has been honored with US Sailing's Mary Luray Award for Outstanding and Unselfish Contributions to further public access sailing, the John Rumsey Award and the Yachtswoman of the Year Award from the San Diego Association of Yacht Clubs; and the Yachtswoman Excellence Award from the Southern California Yacht Racing Union.

Arms received her bachelor's degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from CSU Long Beach, and is finishing her master's degree in recreation, parks and tourism from San Francisco State University. She holds a Coast Guard Masters Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels license.

Established in 1929, The California Maritime Academy, a campus of The California State University, is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Cal Maritime was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as #18 in the "Top 20 Best Value Colleges" in the nation – and the #1 Best Value in California for providing students with the highest quality education for their academic dollar. Located in Vallejo, Calif., the campus serves approximately 900 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. It also offers a master's degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses. For more information about Cal Maritime, visit www.csum.edu.

Photo Caption:  Left to Right: Cal Maritime Sailing Coach Susan "Charlie" Arms; Lucia Becerra, Dept. of Boating and Waterways; Cal Maritime President Bill Eisenhardt


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Last updated: 8/27/20