U.S. Naval Academy Community Relations Director Miriam Stanicic received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award Jan. 16 at the 27th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award Dinner in Glen Burnie, Md.
The award recognizes local leaders who keep Dr. King’s dream alive through their words, deeds and their extraordinary acts of service and commitment.
Stanicic’s acceptance speech started with a quote from Dr. King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others," Words that she lives by and imbues in the midshipmen she works with every day.
“I’m fortunate in that I get to see positive community change every day through outreach of the Naval Academy,” said Stanicic. “I am inspired through these midshipmen’s efforts.”
“She is that selfless leader that we teach Midshipmen to be,” said Marine Capt. Kenneth Tarr, Midshipmen Action Group (MAG) officer representative. “She embodies it, embraces it and shows it to everyone around her.”
As the MAG faculty representative and through her leadership, the group performed 25,000 hours of community outreach and collected more than 60,000 pounds of food for the Harvest for the Hungry program in 2014.
“I think MAG is Miriam,” said Tarr. “As her sole job at the academy is community relations, she has taken on MAG and loves everything about it. I don’t think there was a day I have seen Miriam where she hasn’t been happy and excited to be part of this organization.”
Stanicic also works with the Office of Diversity at the Naval Academy and was instrumental in connecting USNA affinity groups to their community-based counterparts in Anne Arundel County, and throughout the entire Baltimore-Washington area.
“She is the link between our office and the midshipmen that we work with, and the surrounding community of Annapolis, Baltimore, and D.C. areas,” said Steve McCartney, USNA Assistant Chief Diversity Officer. “Miriam cares so much about the Midshipmen and the community that she works with. There is a deep personal connection that she has with her work. It is not a job for her, it is so much more."
Additionally, she helped form the Midshipman Diversity Council, which brings together all affinity group brigade leaders from the Academy to share best practices and raise awareness.
“Naval Academy community engagements exemplify dedication to service in its highest forms by creating lasting relationships with all of our neighbors, a dream in keeping with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of building stronger and more equitable communities for all members of our society,” said Stanicic.
Stanicic became the USNA Community Relations Director in 2007. For the past two years, her department has been recognized as the best community relations program for a large shore command throughout the Navy, receiving the Thompson Ravitz Award for this distinction.
Founded in 1988 the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee was designed to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Anne Arundel County.