The Patuxent Partnership Physics Scholarship Awarded

Submitted by Gretchen Phillips on August 11, 2021 - 2:26 pm
August 11, 2021
By Gretchen Phillips

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, in continued partnership with The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) - a local nonprofit organization that works with government, industry, and academia on initiatives in science and technology - has awarded the inaugural The Patuxent Partnership Physics Scholarship. 

First-year student Caitlin Kubina, of Columbia, Maryland, has been selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship award for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Because of TPP’s investment, Kubina is better positioned to be among the more than 50 St. Mary’s College physics students to work with Navy scientists as part of her college experience. Kubina could even convert her physics experiences into a related field within the Navy upon graduation as more than 40 St. Mary’s College physics students have accomplished in recent years. 

The Patuxent Partnership Physics Scholarship is the latest of many ways TPP has worked in strong collaboration with St. Mary’s College, its students and faculty over the years. 

In 2012, TPP invested $1 million to grow and expand the College’s physics offerings, including applied physics, of particular value to the Navy and STEM careers.

“We are extremely grateful to The Patuxent Partnership for its generous and continued investments in our students,” said St. Mary’s College of Maryland President Tuajuanda C. Jordan. “Each year more and more St. Mary’s College students are making invaluable STEM connections with our community and TPP plays a tremendous role in those connections which support our Honors College Promise and our mission. I truly value the relationship the College has with TPP and look forward to it building even more momentum in the future,” Jordan said.

St. Mary’s College students benefit greatly from the College’s close proximity to NAS Patuxent River — headquarters for Naval Aviation — and other facilities in the region. 

The College maintains educational partnership agreements with Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head (NSWCIHEODTD) and TPP. Through these relationships, St. Mary’s College students enjoy many opportunities, including internships, scholarships and careers. Opportunities are particularly abundant for students majoring in physics, chemistry, computer science and psychology. Examples include: 



  • St. Mary’s College faculty work with Navy scientists and St. Mary’s College students on developing new types of sensors for navigation, imaging, and submarine detection including cutting edge research in quantum sensing.
  • In recent years, 30 physics students have done their St. Mary’s Project (SMP) — an eight-credit senior research project — with NAWCAD labs.
  • Over 50 physics students have done internships (summertime and academic year) at Navy facilities, with more than 40 converting their St. Mary’s College physics experience into jobs as engineers, physicists, and program managers with the Navy and its contractors. 



  • St. Mary’s College faculty work with Navy scientists and St. Mary’s College students on developing new types of functional coatings and electronics like sensors and printable solid-state devices. 
  • Over the past five years, 17 St. Mary’s College students have completed their St. Mary’s Research Projects on Navy related technologies. At least four chemistry students have accepted internships at Navy federal laboratories, seven students have co-authored Navy supported publications or patents, and six have been hired after graduation. 
  • For students interested in applied materials careers, the chemistry and physics departments also support the materials science program on campus.  


Computer Science 

  • St. Mary’s College faculty Navy projects include augmented reality and data science. 
  • In the past five years, eight students have been hired directly by the Navy after graduation; one or two students a year in the Navy’s Pathways internship program; and one ongoing SMP with a Navy lab. 
  • The Navy is heavily recruiting students with degrees in computer science. 



  • St. Mary’s College faculty and students work with Navy scientists on human factors in aviation research including attention, performance, and decision making. 
  • A number of psychology graduates have transitioned their psychology degrees to employment at NAWCAD in positions such as engineering psychologists, contract specialists, analysts, recruiting managers, and financial managers. 


St. Mary’s College of Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education through 2024-2025. St. Mary’s College, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Approximately 1,600 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.