Taking over the reins from Eric K. Larsson, former Director of the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Maritime Education, Captain Stephen Polk now commands SCI’s advanced training program for mariners. SCI appointed Polk, a USCG Licensed Captain and US Navy veteran, to begin work as Director earlier this month.
Captain Polk has logged thousands of hours on SCI’s advanced simulators training professional mariners and in the classroom helping them evaluate complex situations. He has also managed the operations of SCI’s Houston Center as Director since 2008, scheduling training and developing coursework for mariners.
In his new appointment, Polk assumes responsibility for both Centers and their training programs. With computer simulators in Paducah, KY and Houston, TX, SCI’s Center for Maritime Education trains over 1,500 mariners each year.
Underpinning his teaching, Polk has extensive industry work experience. A 1997 graduate of Texas A&M University at Galveston, he has managed vessels on the inland waterways and the Gulf Coast, including coastal and deep-sea tankers. Polk is also a veteran of the US Navy, honorably discharged in 2009 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Adapting courses based on feedback and developments in the industry, SCI strives to stay on the cutting edge, according to the Rev. David M. Rider, SCI’s President & Executive Director. He chose Polk to manage SCI’s training offerings because of his proficiency and varied experience. “Stephen has his finger on the pulse of the business, including issues that are shaping the future of maritime commerce.”