Recently I was reminded that you can't judge a book by its cover, and that both names and appearances can be a bit deceiving.
When the trip request from Devon appeared on the app, I logically expected a male passenger. But to my surprise Devon was, in fact, a petite young woman.
Born and raised in a rural area of Southern New Jersey, she had many interests and was involved in a variety of activities. In high school she was a cross-country runner, a scholar, and an enthusiastic "people person".
Thanks to her family and her natural environment, Devon grew up on the water and enjoyed boating. She remembered watching the large cruise ships sailing by and determined that one day she would like to be the captain of her own ship.
After graduating from high school she was accepted as a cadet at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. They offered a fully accredited, four year program with a regimented military flare.
She has embraced her studies and the Academy experience, including an internship on the Norwegian Cruise Line.
Devon is currently a senior and holds the position as Cadet Chief Mate, the highest rank of the academy. She is responsible to help lead all the maritime cadets!
The following excerpt from the Academy website explains her responsibilities.
"Cadet Chief Mate Devon Campbell manages the Deck Rates, senior cadet officers who specialize in specific areas of the deck such as navigation, lifeboats, and training. She works beside the TS Kennedy's (that's the name of the ship) Chief Mate to ensure that the ship's safety management system is completed and jobs are being done correctly. Devon organizes and motivates cadets to make sure they get the most of their experience, gaining seamanship skills that they will take with them on commercial ships and into the industry after graduation."
She is quoted as saying, "The opportunity to lead more than 500 cadets is one I am so grateful for. That the Captain and the Kennedy's crew believe in me makes me feel proud, and that all of my hard work has begun to pay off."
Upon graduation she will be qualified to serve on any tonnage vessel as a third mate. Eventually she would like to serve as a captain of a cruise ship operating off the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean.
Her masculine sounding name has confused many a seaman, and she has needed to change sleeping accommodations more than once.
The name Devon has Gaelic origins and has a variety of possible meanings. These include "poet", "of a little deer", "defender" and "from God".
After meeting Devon I can see aspects of these definitions in her stature, personality and character.
It was a pleasure to have Devon as my Uber passenger and welcome her to the Ubernamez blog.
Who knows? One day I may be Captain Devon Campbell's passenger on a cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea!