Millennials on the Move: Dolores Kuchina-Musina
30, Contract Administrator 3 for Huntington Ingalls Industries—Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News
Business community involvement:
National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Hampton Roads Chapter Executive Board, Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) Tidewater Chapter, Public Administration and Urban Policy PhD Student Association (PAUPers), Public Administration and Policy PhD Student Association (PAAPERS), Christopher Newport University Peninsula Alumni Chapter
Williamsburg Youth Orchestra (WYO), WHRO Public Media, Heritage Humane Society, Peninsula SPCA, Fear 2 Freedom, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Inc., Wounded Warrior Project, Arbor Day Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife
Something that sets you apart in your industry?
I take the time to ensure that those around me are given opportunities to grow and succeed, even if utilizing that opportunity for myself would enable me to advance. I reach my goals knowing that I support those around me to promote a collaborative and motivated team environment in all aspects whether it is in a professional, academic or philanthropic setting.
Someone who keeps you motivated?
My husband keeps me motivated to always strive for the best and overcome any challenges that are presented to me through his honesty and tenacity.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
This year, one of my research projects was chosen out of over 750 submissions to be presented at the American Society for Public Administration’s 80th Annual Conference. It was a great achievement to be part of The Role of Procurement in Governance: Managing Relationships to Serve the Public Interest Panel and presenting my research to my peers and my mentor at a national conference.
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
The hardest challenge I had to overcome was becoming more self-aware and having to accept that we all have limits. Understanding the importance of relaxing and winding down was crucial for my health, happiness and quality in my work product.
Most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
A collaborative learning environment that promotes working across departments to achieve a unified goal. There is always something new to learn, and a work environment that promotes and provides those opportunities will always be on top of my list.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
If I was not in the contracting profession, I would follow in the footsteps of my grandmother and mom. Although our areas of focus differ (physics vs. contract law), our passion for science and learning transcends in our desire to help develop the future generations.
What new idea or development are you most excited about in Coastal Virginia right now?
I am most excited about the cross-sector collaboration efforts to engage the Coastal Virginia communities in addressing the impacts of global warming such as sea level rise.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Being an older sibling helping my younger brother and sister with their school work, I would have to say that retaining qualified teachers in our public schools is the greatest challenge to Coastal Virginia. If we want to see our community thrive, we need to invest in our educators as they inspire our youth to be contributing members to society.
Favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
My favorite places in Coastal Virginia are the Noland Trail, Freedom Park or Waller Mill Park. I enjoy spending quality time with my family away from everyday distractions. Being outside has taught me how to disconnect from the world … and smell the dogwood trees.
From her nomination:
“Dolores is engaged with research projects that help bridge the gap between academics and practitioners focused on public administration and policy, cross-sector collaboration, public-private partnerships, privatization and innovation policy. She is the lead Contract Administrator for Columbia Class Submarine proposal efforts and is considered a high potential candidate for continued career development.”
—Roger Kelly, Senior Management, Newport News Shipbuilding