Sea Services Leadership Association

SSLA Announces 2022 Rising Star Award Winners

SSLA Press Release
Media Contact: Laura Stegherr,

Washington, DC (May 20, 2022) – The Sea Services Leadership Association, the nation’s premier professional development organization for women in the sea services, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Rising Star Award.

The award recognizes graduating female midshipman candidates enrolled in a military reserve officer training corps (ROTC) or officer-in-training (OIT) program (Navy, USMC or Coast Guard) who have demonstrated exceptional performance in academics, leadership and community service over the course of their ROTC/OIT program.

congratulations to sslas

This year’s awardees include, from top left of photo clockwise:

MIDN Kira Sage

University of Rochester

MIDN Methani Leslie
University of Wisconsin

MIDN Rachel Demmer
Massachusetts Maritime Academy

MIDN Elissa Nott
The George Washington University


MIDN Emma Lovejoy
Villanova University.

“I would like to extend a hearty congratulations to each of our Rising Star Award winners!” said SSLA President Navy Capt. Emily Bassett. “This year’s awards competition was extremely competitive, and these women have truly set themselves apart among their peers in every facet of leadership, academics, and giving back to their local communities. I’m excited to see Elissa, Rachel, Emma, Kira, Sage and Methani joining the ranks of our motivated and talented sea service leaders in just a few short months!”

The Rising Star Award is one of four awards presented annually by SSLA that recognize outstanding men and women from the services and Department of Defense across a wide spectrum of leadership. Other awards include the Emerging Leader Award, presented to one female active duty or reserve junior enlisted member (E3 to E6), one active duty or reserve junior officer (O1 to O4), and/or one government civilian employee (GS-5 to GS-12 or their equivalent), male or female;  the Compass Award, presented to an active duty or reserve enlisted member, in the pay grades of E7 or above, male or female; and the North Star Award, presented to an active duty or reserve officer in the pay grades of O-5 and higher or a government civilian employee in paygrades GS-13 (or equivalent) to Senior Executive Service (SES), male or female. Nomination deadlines for the Emerging Leader, Compass and North Star Awards have been extended to May 15; specific information and eligibility criteria for each award and the process for submitting nominees is available at

About The Sea Services Leadership Association (SSLA)

SSLA was established in 1978. It is currently the only non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to providing professional development through networking, education, and mentorship of women from all three maritime armed forces – the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. SSLA is a national non-profit and non-political organization and an officially recognized affinity group for the sea services, continually advising the services about issues affecting Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel and their families. SSLA also maintains partnerships with the Navy’s Women’s Policy Office and the Coast Guard’s Gender Policy Advisors, as well as the United States Marine Corps’ Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Branch and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Women’s Association (NOAAWA).

To learn more about the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium and SSLA, visit, or follow SSLA’s FacebookJWLS’ FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram



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