zoom US-based cruise line Celebrity Cruises has entered into a partnership with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Ghana which will enable female bridge officers to be openly recruited from a West African country for the first time in the cruise industry. As informed, on August 27, 2017, the cruise line will welcome the first official crew member from the Celebrity Cadet Program, RMU Cadet Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who will join the bridge team onboard Celebrity Equinox.The partnership with RMU came about when Celebrity’s President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo met with students from the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Florida International University (FIU). There, the CEO met Tifuh Azirh who shared her “inspiring story of perseverance”. Tifuh Azirh holds two degrees, yet following graduation she struggled to find opportunities in the maritime industry as an African female despite her academic performance, subsequent teaching at RMU, and cadet experience.“After hearing Nicholine’s story, I met with our SVP of Global Marine Operations, Patrik Dahlgren, to see what we needed to do in order to give her, and others, the opportunities they’ve earned. A year later, I’m so excited to share the news of our partnership with RMU and to welcome Nicholine on board,” Lutoff-Perlo said.“Nicholine isn’t just a new-hire, she symbolizes hope for women around the world who dream of working in a very male-dominated industry; she’s the face of our industry-leading partnership,” Lutoff-Perlo added.“Nicholine’s success is our entire world’s success. Her story shows the power of win-win partnerships and the positive impact they have on our communities – and beyond,” Mark B. Rosenberg, FIU President, commented.“The goal of our partnership with RMU is to inspire and disrupt the social norms that burden female officers in western African nations, such as Ghana,” Patrik Dahlgren, SVP of Global Marine Operations, Celebrity Cruises, pointed out.“Nicholine is our pioneer cadet and a pioneer for women in her country; moving forward, we will continue to evaluate candidates and continue to push the envelope in developing a growth sector for marine officers in a part of the world that traditionally underserves female officers,” Dahlgren concluded.