Academics – The Citadel Today Wed, 05 Aug 2020 18:51:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Academics – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 Killing COVID-19 germs on campus, step by step Wed, 05 Aug 2020 18:22:41 +0000 Knob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, SouthKnob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, SouthWe are taking a multi-layered and generously resourced approach that provides ongoing, carefully mapped out cleaning and disinfection to keep our campus as safe as possible.]]> Knob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, SouthKnob Athletes report to campus at The Citadel in Charleston, South

8 ways The Citadel’s facilities are being sanitized for Operation Fall Return 2020

Having cadets and students back, and campus back in action, means optimizing cleaning and disinfection services with the goal of killing COVID-19 germs and keeping all facilities as healthy as possible.

“We care deeply about the health of our campus community which is why we are taking a multi-layered and generously resourced approach that provides ongoing, carefully mapped out cleaning and disinfection,” said Cdr. Jeff Lamberson, USN (Ret.), vice president for The Citadel Facilities and Engineering Department. “For example, certified teams are disinfecting classrooms every evening after classes end.”

Cdr. Jeff Lamberson, USN (Ret.), vice president for The Citadel Facilities and Engineering Department, overseeing sanitation preparations in Murray Barrack.

The Citadel has hired The Budd Group, with almost 60 years of experience in disinfection services, to implement and oversee the ongoing campus sanitation operation.

Keeping clean, step by step

Budd Group expert sanitizing a cadet room at The Citadel
Contract manager for The Budd Group, demonstrates a backpack atomizer, which can clean an entire barracks in four hours, in Murray Barrack

1. Cadet rooms and barracks

All barracks and cadet rooms are thoroughly disinfected and sanitized using professional processes prior to move-in. Each barracks restroom will be equipped with hand-soap, hand sanitizer, touchless faucets and hand driers. Barracks restrooms will continue to be disinfected and sanitized daily.

2. Classrooms

L’Quante Hill demonstrates an electrostatic atomizer in a Capers Hall classroom at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina
L’Quante Hill demonstrates an electrostatic atomizer in a Capers Hall classroom at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina

Nightly, disinfecting teams will deploy into each classroom. These teams are using safe disinfectants on high touch-point areas, including desks and chairs. Additionally, classrooms are equipped with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.

3. Look for the backpacks

Ray Cervantes, contract manager for The Budd Group, demonstrates a backpack atomizer, which can clean an entire barracks in four hours, in Daniel Library at The Citadel

Electrostatic disinfection teams are deployed across campus in high traffic areas. You’ll see them wearing backpacks with sprayers that send a deep cleaning, environmentally safe, mist into the air and across surfaces, penetrating hard to reach areas as well. After four minutes, the surfaces are fully disinfected. How does it work?

Electrostatic spray uses a specialized solution that is combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. Subsequently, the spray contains positively charged particles that are able to aggressively adhere to surfaces and objects. Because the particles in the spray are positively charged, they cling to and coat any surface they’re aimed at, enabling the sanitizing agent in the spray to then disinfect.

4. Proctors are following in your footsteps

Enhanced custodial services include disinfectant proctors assigned to busy locations such as the library, the mess hall and large shared spaces.

Karen Kennedy and Iris Hamilton Seabrooks clean chairs and tables in Daniel Library

“These proctors are responsible for disinfecting and sanitizing specific touch-points, such as cafeteria surfaces, water fountains, stairwells and handrails, door handles and push rails, trash cans, bathroom surfaces, and light switches,” Lambert explained. “They’ll also be attending to frequent gathering areas, such as conference rooms, break rooms, shared work spaces, media rooms, and waiting areas.”

5. Atomizers for use by all

Ryan Bilitski, a junior cadet in Charlie company and a facilities and engineering intern demonstrates an atomizer in Daniel Library offices at The Citadel

Feel like an area you are about to use needs a little extra attention? Disinfection atomizers are located in spaces across campus filled with a botanically-based solution that kills COVID-19 germs. The atomizers can safely be used by anyone wanting to sanitize an area before or after using it.

6. Sanitation stations

Self-help sanitation stations are located around campus in buildings and offices. These include large dispensers of disinfectant wipes and also hand-sanitizer.

Jeff Lamberson, vice president for Facilities and Engineering, demonstrates some of the procedures in place to keep cadets, faculty and staff safe during

7. Special service areas

Special service areas, such as the Treasurer’s Office, have protective plastic shields in place between staff and customers to block germ transmission and are regularly sanitized.

8. Offices

Faculty and staff offices were disinfected prior to reopening campus and are sanitized on a regular basis.

Lamberson says he wants The Citadel family to know that “we will continue to use our resources to ensure that our campus is a clean and a safe place to learn, lead, and achieve.”

The Citadel to use new technology to enhance virtual learning Wed, 05 Aug 2020 13:28:45 +0000 Classrooms at The Citadel are now equipped with new technology called Swivl that helps brings the in-class experience to virtual learning via Zoom.]]>

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2 by Katie Augustine

Classrooms at The Citadel are now equipped with new technology to bring the in-class experience to virtual learning.

It’s called swivl. It adds a little something extra to a traditional zoom call.

“What is does is allows us to have face-to-face classes while still practicing social distance,” said Maria Aselage, an adjunct professor in the Baker School of Business at The Citadel. “And in addition to that, it’s going to give students the experience of being a cadet on campus which is so very important to The Citadel mission.”

The technology is in a small tool called a marker. It contains a microphone. The professor carries the marker around with them and that allows the swivl to rotate and follow them wherever they walk in a classroom.

“I think that’s what makes it real special is that we can walk anywhere. To the back of the class, the front of the class. Either side of the class and the swivl’s going to follow us,” said Aselage.

One cadet at The Citadel has the opportunity to test out the new technology today with Aselage. Typically, Amanda Teague prefers face-to-face instruction, but after testing out the swivl she feels more optimistic about learning virtually.

“It’s more like an actual lecture. Whereas, during spring break, it was just the teacher’s face and it wasn’t very interactive, but just with this tool it’s going to help a lot. It’s going to keep us more engaged as well,” said Teague.

The Citadel is taking more steps to ensure a safe semester for everyone on campus. For more about Operation Fall Return 2020, click here.

Citadel professor speaks on Fox & Friends about required Constitution class Sat, 01 Aug 2020 23:08:03 +0000 The head of the Department of Leadership Studies, Faith Rivers James, J.D., spoke with Fox & Friends to discuss The Citadel's required Constitution class.]]>

The head of the Department of Leadership Studies, Faith Rivers James, J.D., spoke with Pete Hegseth on Fox & Friends Saturday morning to discuss The Citadel’s required Constitution class and why it’s important for cadets and students.

In addition to studying the Constitution, the sophomore-level course will also focus on other important documents like the Federalist Papers and the Emancipation Proclamation.

As seen on FOX News

The Citadel’s commitment to elevating education throughout South Carolina continues Thu, 30 Jul 2020 23:00:49 +0000 Hundreds of K-12 teachers in South Carolina will be better prepared to educate students in the fall after learning new techniques through the STEM Center.]]>

Photo: South Carolina educators participating in a small session during Computer Science Professional Development Week

College’s STEM Center of Excellence prepares K-12 teachers for enhanced instruction 

When school resumes, hundreds of K-12 teachers in South Carolina will be better prepared to educate their students, whether it be face-to-face, virtually or a combination of the two.

Those teachers will integrate new techniques and concepts into their lessons, learned over the summer from The Citadel’s STEM Center of Excellence (SCE).

In addition to supporting Citadel cadets and students, the SCE serves as a community resource, holding numerous educational events for children annually and providing robust professional development programs for K-12 STEM teachers.

In July, more than 400 teachers participated in two, week-long workshops presented by the SCE. Both were originally planned to be held on campus, but were moved to a virtual format in response to the pandemic.

The goal of both workshops: help teachers inspire and prepare more South Carolina students to pursue STEM-related careers.

Addressing the shortage of computer science teachers

The first workshop involved the SCE’s ongoing work to increase the number of computer science teachers in South Carolina schools.

The SCE offered computer science professional development for nearly 250 teachers, with the goal of ensuring that every high school, and most middle schools, have at least one dedicated computer science teacher.

The South Carolina Department of Education selected the SCE to provide instruction in response to new, stricter guidelines about computer science requirements in South Carolina public high schools.

A teacher using the kits, provided by the STEM Center, to learn about computer science during the Computer Science Professional Development Week

“Now that a keyboarding class no longer counts as computer science credit, 436 high schools have to be able to teach in-depth computer science,” said Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., director of the The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence. “We’ve been working the last two summers with the Department of Education to make sure all of those teachers have the training and the certification needed to teach those classes.”

The experience was free for teachers, thanks to the funding from the state’s Department of Education, as well as a grant from the CS Teachers’ Association.

Infusing computing

The second workshop, held the last week of July, represented the final stage of a multi-million-dollar National Science Foundation grant awarded to the SCE, and project collaborators at North Carolina State University. The goal of the STEM+Computing project was aimed at helping teachers integrate computing and STEM curricula into their classes.

Nearly 200 teachers participated in the event, learning how to blend computational thinking — a problem-solving method that describes problems and their solutions in ways that a computer would understand — into their educational content.

Providing the workshop virtually didn’t faze the SCE director.

“We’ve had to restructure everything get the same, small-group, personal feel,” said Albert. “We had to almost triple the number of session facilitators that we hired this year, because we want them in small groups so they have the same amount of attention that they would have face-to-face.”

In fact, the SCE’s methods for adjusting to a virtual format, as well as more information on the workshop, is included on page 59 of a recent publication in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.

The SCE is a collaborative effort between The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education, the School of Engineering, and the Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics. It delivers outreach initiatives, like Storm The Citadel and more, to increase student interest, participation, and opportunities in the STEM disciplines.

Academic plan details for Operation Fall Return 2020 Thu, 30 Jul 2020 17:24:12 +0000 This description of the plan related to academic operations is broken into two sections -- Healthy Environments and Healthy Operations.]]>

Provost discusses modifications for fall semester

The President of the Citadel, General Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), initiated The Citadel’s Operation Fall Return 2020, which outlines the processes, procedures, and facilities modifications put in place to support a healthy teaching and learning environment for the Fall of 2020. The plan is based upon guidance published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), input from a Presidential Advisory Board consisting of prominent medical professionals, and emerging successful practices from colleges and universities from across the country.

This portion of the report provides a description of the plan related to academic operations and is broken into two sections — Healthy Environments, which outlines the modification made to the physical space, and Healthy Operations, which outlines the changes to academic operations to support the return to the classroom.

Healthy Academic Environments

Modified Room Capacities and Physical Barriers

Sally Selden, Ph.D., provost and dean of The Citadel

The physical environment existing prior to the pandemic supported students and faculty coming together and interacting collaboratively in shared spaces, many of which were quite small. But a key element preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to maintain a social distancing of 6-foot or greater. This shift in approach to space has required significant modification to the teaching and learning environment to support a healthy environment. In preparation for the Fall, the capacity of every academic classroom, lab, office, and common space has been evaluated and updated to comply with the 6-foot spacing requirement. New room capacities have been published on easy to understand signage on every door and modified seating charts have been provided to guide the campus community to proper seating to ensure appropriate spacing. In locations where it is difficult to maintain safe distancing, plexiglass barriers have been installed as a physical barrier to help reduce the spread of the virus. Along with the physical modifications to the academic spaces, consistent signage meant to remind and encourage social distancing has been installed. 

Cleaning/ Disinfection Academic Spaces

Many academic spaces are used frequently throughout the day. The customary practice of cleaning academic spaces just once a day is not consistent with recommended operation of facilities during a pandemic. In response to the need for additional cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day, several changes have been made to the cleaning operation, and additional disinfection products have been provided. The Citadel’s contract cleaning service will provide disinfection of frequently touch surfaces like door handles and stair rails throughout the day. Standard daily cleaning of the spaces which will continue but additional disinfect each evening will be provided using a electrostatic atomizer and a disinfection solution that will kill any viruses left on surfaces. The campus community expressed a desire for on demand disinfection. In each academic space, disinfections wipes for all surfaces excluding electronics, alcohol wipes for all electronics, and hand sanitizer will be stocked daily. As an additional measure, on-demand atomizers filled with disinfection solution will be made available for faculty use. Instruction on the safe and proper use will be provided as well as on-demand training for those who require it.

Healthy Academic Operations

Personal Protective Equipment and Promoting Healthy Behaviors

Along with a culture that promotes the practice of healthy behaviors, the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to limiting the spread of the virus. The Citadel has adopted a leveled protocol outlining the conditions and degree of PPE required for a given condition. In short, face masks will be required of all faculty, staff, and students. They will be worn at all times with a few exceptions.

  • Faculty or staff members working in their offices do not need to wear masks as long as they are alone.
  • A faculty member teaching a course and maintaining 6-foot separation from students will be permitted to wear a face shield in lieu of a face mask.

These are the only exceptions to the face mask policy.

In support of this policy, The Citadel has supplied all faculty and staff with face masks. Face shields will be provided upon request. Students will be issued four face masks, and additional face masks will be available for purchase in the cadet store.

Appropriate PPE is essential, but without other healthy behaviors PPE is not enough. The Citadel adopted a stay home or self-isolate policy for all faculty and staff when appropriate. Signage has been installed to remind the campus community that if they are experiencing any signs of COVID-19 they should stay home and notify their supervisor. In addition, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are being emphasized through official policies and reminders through appropriate signage placed strategically around campus.

Classroom Pedagogy to Support Social Distancing

The reduced capacity in the classroom, together with the expectation that some students will be unable to attend class due to either illness or required quarantine isolation, has required modification to classroom instruction.

The Citadel will be utilizing a modified HyFlex or split class approach to instruction. Depending on the room capacity and the class enrollment, classes may be divided into groups of two (A/B) or three (A/B/C). Or if the class is small enough and the room is large enough, the class will remain undivided. For the undivided classes, students will attend as they traditionally have but with everyone in the class maintaining 6-foot spacing. For the classes that require dividing, students will attend in person on their designated days and participate synchronously while livestreaming through Zoom on the other days. This mix of in person and synchronous livestream through Zoom will provide the required social distancing while minimizing the impact to instruction. Each classroom has been equipped with a SWIVL and each professor has been provided an iPad to support this approach. The SWIVL has the ability to move the camera on the iPAD to follow the professor as they instruct. Since the courses are offered synchronously, students who are livestreaming will be able to ask questions and engage the professor during instruction similar to the students attending in person. This approach will also accommodate the students who are healthy but unable to attend in person because of quarantine requirements as well as those students who have contracted the virus but are still healthy enough to engage in their education while recovering.

Sally Selden, Ph.D., SPHR
Provost and Dean of The Citadel

Citadel Engineering faculty; alumnus leaders making news with top awards Tue, 28 Jul 2020 23:00:54 +0000 Faculty and an alumnus from The Citadel School of Engineering are the proud recipients of awards from the 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers.]]>

Photo above: Award-winning Volvo interchange engineering project led by Citadel School of Engineering alumnus

The Citadel School of Engineering, consistently ranked as one of the top engineering schools in the country, could not achieve that status time and again without prominent industry faculty leading the way. The results of the 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awards for the state of South Carolina underscore that point. 

Announced in July, the awardees include two faculty leaders, an alumnus, and a project that alumnus helped lead. 

Le Tellier Cup winner for outstanding lifetime achievement

Col. Ron Welch, USA (Ret.), Ph.D., PE, dean for The Citadel School of Engineering 

Dean of The Citadel School of Engineering, Dr. Ron Welch, accepting Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award in 2018

“Dr. Welch has accumulated a highly regarded national reputation for academic excellence continues to play an instrumental role in direction of ASCE’s Project ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education), and is a recognized leader in ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) Civil Engineering Division.  He has served in academic appointments in higher education over 29 years including faculty and leadership positions at U.S. Military Academy, University of Texas at Tyler, and The Citadel.  His career includes 25 years of service as an Officer in U.S. Army rising to the rank of Colonel, prior to his retirement from the Corps of Engineers in 2007.   

His career includes 25 years of service as an Officer in U.S. Army rising to the rank of Colonel, prior to his retirement from the Corps of Engineers in 2007.  Since his arrival at The Citadel in 2011, Dean Welch has served as a forward-thinking leader of higher education in our state. As a testament to his vision, two new undergraduate degrees were added to The Citadel School of Engineering including Mechanical Engineering and Construction Engineering.  Additionally, he led creation of Master of Science degree programs in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.  Through Dean Welch’s strategic leadership, The Citadel’s School of Engineering enrollment has risen to 700 students, comprising approximately one-third of the college’s degree seeking students.”

William J. Davis, Ph.D., P.E., Dept. Head and D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering, The Citadel 

In addition to leading the The Citadel School of Engineering, and continuing to teach Civil Engineering cadets and students, Welch has worked as a servant leader in numerous voluntary leadership positions throughout his career. Examples include serving a board member for Engineers Without Boarders and serving ASCE in leadership roles for more than 20 years, including as a program developer and mentor.  

Some of Welch’s other awards include: 

  • ASCE Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award, 2018 
  • Bliss Medal, Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), 2018 
  • Pillar of the College, College of Engineering, University of Texas at Tyler, 2017 
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE Fellow, 2016 
  • Engineer of The Year, Charleston Engineer’s Joint Council, 2015 
  • Society of American Military Engineers, SAME Fellow, 2015 
  • American Society of Engineering Education, ASEE Fellow, 2015 

Educator of the Year

Kweku Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Kweku Brown teaching cadets out in the field during a Civil Engineering course in 2019

“Dr. Kweku Brown is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel. His well-founded educational approaches and effective teaching methods are benefiting students, contributing to the quality of our Department’s learning environment, and embodying the highest ideals of The Citadel’s mission, as a teaching institution.  

His ability to create and support productive student-learning environments is phenomenal. Through his great work ethic and collaboration, he exemplifies how engineers can work together to strive for the highest standards of excellence. He passed his PE exam in 2020 and is in the process of submitting his application.” 

William J. Davis, Ph.D., P.E., Dept. Head and D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering, The Citadel 

In 2019, Brown taught 12 sections of 8 Civil Engineering Courses, was selected as a national delegate for the Minority Faculty Development Workshop at Harvard University, and participated in 27 Citadel events and initiatives including Leadership Day and Student Excellence Day. In addition, Brown currently serves as a faculty Advisory for the student chapters of ASCE, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.  

Brown’s most recent research appointments and recognition include: 

  • Member, Geographic Information Science and Applications, Standing Committee, Transportation Research Board, National Academies of Sciences, 2014-present
  • Member, Statewide Transportation Data and Information Systems, Standing Committee, Transportation Research Board, National Academies of Sciences, 2014-present
  • National Committee Member: American Association for State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Geographic Information systems for Transportation (GIS-T), Vice Chair of Student Paper Award Committee 

Brown received his Civil Engineering Bachelor’s degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. His Master’s degree and Doctoral degree were obtained from the University of Connecticut and Clemson University, respectively. Brown is a member of both the National and South Carolina Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). 

Engineer of the Year

Jim O’Connor, The Citadel Class of 1989, JMT engineering, Charleston

Project of the Year 

I-26/Volvo Car Interchange, Jim O’Connor, chief engineer 

Jim O’Connor

Charleston area JMT executive, and a JMT project, have been honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) South Carolina Section. Jim O’Connor, PE, CEng MIEI was named Civil Engineer of the Year, and JMT’s I-26/Volvo interchange design-build project was selected as Project of the Year. 

Jim O’Connor is a 1989 Citadel graduate and Vice President in JMT’s Charleston office who is both responsible for the firm’s South Carolina operations and actively participates in complex projects. He also holds an MS from Rutgers University and is a professional engineer in several states, including being a Chartered Engineer in the Republic of Ireland. As an active ASCE member, he serves as a Practitioner Adviser at The Citadel and is a member of the Civil Engineering Department’s Advisory Board. 

As an accomplished structural engineer, O’Connor contributed to the success of several key projects that are helping reshape the infrastructure in South Carolina’s Lowcountry including the award-winning I-26/Volvo interchange, the Port Access Road/I-26 interchange, the historic Low Battery reconstruction, and the Nexans Marine Terminal in the Goose Creek Bushy Park complex. 

Delivered to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in 2019, the new I-26/Volvo Interchange provides critical access from a regional Charleston interstate highway to Camp Hall Commerce Park and the Volvo manufacturing facility. As the lead design firm on this project, JMT provided overall project management along with bridge and roadway design, and environmental services in support of the contractor, Conti Enterprises, Inc. The successful delivery of this project has added substantial value to the greater Charleston coastal community and the state of South Carolina. (Provided by JMT) 

One of The Citadel’s most in-demand programs gains a new leader Tue, 21 Jul 2020 17:46:59 +0000 The newest faculty member is Larry Valero, Ph.D., who is now head of the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies.]]>

Intelligence and Security Studies now headed by Dr. Larry Valero

Protecting America is a relentless pursuit, requiring continually expanding teams of highly trained intelligence and security professionals.

For example, the Department of Homeland Security says it is fighting COVID-19 fraud on several fronts, including by transnational criminal organizations shipping prohibited medical supplies. 

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center says the areas where “foreign intelligence entities are hitting us the hardest and where we need to devote greater attention” include: critical infrastructure, key U.S. supply chains, the U.S. economy, American democratic institutions, and cyber and technical operations. 

And, when speaking at The Citadel during an Intelligence and Cyber Security conference, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, “China and Russia are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s and the relationships is likely to strengthen,” a statement that appeared in the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Dan Coats, former Director of National Intelligence, speaking at the 2018 Intelligence and Cybersecurity Conference at The Citadel

The Citadel is helping meet the need through its burgeoning Intelligence and Security Studies undergraduate and master’s degrees, supported by a growing department. The newest faculty member is Larry Valero, Ph.D., who is now head of the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies.

“As a nation, we face challenges ranging from infectious diseases and other natural hazards, to terrorism, to peer-to-peer conflict on the global stage,” said Valero. “I am delighted to be a part of The Citadel and the talented Department of Intelligence and Security Studies team, educating the next generation of intelligence leaders who will analyze these threats effectively to provide for the security of the United States.”

Valero’s research and teaching interests focus upon U.S. intelligence and national security, strategy, and modern warfare. He holds a Ph.D. in International History from University of Cambridge, an M.A. in War Studies from King’s College London, and a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA

Valero currently serves as an American Council on Education faculty evaluator for military programs in the field of intelligence studies. He was the president for the Association for Intelligence Education from 2014-2019. Additionally, Valero was Scholar in Residence at the National Security Agency, Ft. Meade, Maryland and served on the faculty of the Department of International Security and Military Studies at the U.S. Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He was honored with the 2011 Outstanding Instructor Award by the International Association for Intelligence Education.

“Professional, educated, and principled intelligence and security experts are critical for the future safety of the United States, and we are confident in the training such future leaders will receive under the skilled direction of Dr. Larry Valero and the rest of the department,” said Brian Madison Jones, Ph.D., dean for The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Larry’s distinguished pedigree, relevant scholarship, and practical experience in program development and funding will be critical assets as we advance our vision for our rapidly growing intelligence and security studies program.” 

Valero moves into the department head role following the retirement of the founder of The Citadel Intelligence and Security Studies programs and department, Carl Jensen, Ph.D. Jensen becomes a professor emeritus for the college as he retires from a career that, in addition to his leadership at The Citadel, included service in the Navy and 22 years of service in the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he was a field agent, supervisory special agent for the Behavior Science Unit, and lead instructor for the FBI National Academy’s terrorism course.

About 315 cadets and evening undergraduates (non-cadets) are currently pursuing a B.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies and approximately 50 graduate students are pursuing an M.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies. For more information, or to apply, visit this website, or call (843) 953-6886.

Citadel grad from Indianapolis mobilizes to USTRANSCOM in support of COVID-19 operations Mon, 20 Jul 2020 21:03:34 +0000 CDR Eric Chitwood, who earned a Master of Science in Leadership from The Citadel in 2018, is currently mobilized to United States Transportation Command.]]>

Note: CDR Eric Chitwood earned a Master of Science in Leadership from The Citadel in 2018

From U.S. Transportation Command Public Affairs

A U.S. Navy reservist from Indianapolis, Indiana, is currently mobilized to United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) in support of COVID-19 operations.

U.S. Navy Commander Eric L. Chitwood is playing a critical role in the U.S. Government’s response to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in his part helping to sustain USTRANSCOM’s mission through the current force health condition measures. He also serves as aide-de-camp to Navy Rear Admiral Robert T. Clark, deputy commander, Military Sealift Command, and Major General Michael C. Wehr, Army Corps of Engineers, in this role at USTRANSCOM.

Because of his special skills and experience, Chitwood was hand-selected from the Joint Transportation Reserve Unit (JTRU) for this mission. He is one of approximately 40 JTRU members who will augment their active duty counterparts inside USTRANSCOM’s 24/7 Global Operations Center. Chitwood has a total of 16 years of uniformed service.

“Our nation’s response effort requires a true whole-government approach, and USTRANSCOM’s role is to coordinate and oversee the operations and transport of personnel, critical supplies and protective gear worldwide,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Kenneth Council, commander of the JTRU. “Without our reservists like Cmdr. Chitwood, we would not be able to accomplish our mission.”

The JTRU augments USTRANSCOM as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation’s choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, USTRANSCOM underwrites the lethality of the Joint Force, advances American interests around the globe, and provides the nation’s leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options, while creating multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.

Citadel professor published in Foreign Policy Sat, 18 Jul 2020 10:00:27 +0000 Muhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPRMuhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPRMuhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D., is the executive director of Quilliam North America and an Intelligence and Security Studies professor at The Citadel.]]> Muhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPRMuhammad-Fraser-Rahim, NPR

As seen in Foreign Policy, by Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D., an Intelligence and Security Studies professor, and Mo Fatah

In Somalia, Iran Is Replicating Russia’s Afghan Strategy

Iranian forces are supporting al-Shabab and allegedly offering bounties. The U.S. government must stop Tehran before it further destabilizes the Horn of Africa.

Iran has established covert ties with the Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorist group well known for its attacks in the Horn of Africa. Following Russia’s playbook in Afghanistan and the surrounding regions, Tehran is allegedly using al-Shabab to attack the U.S. military and other foreign forces in Somalia and in the region, according to senior Somali government and security officials familiar with intelligence and briefed on the matter.

Using financial inducements as their means for recruitment, Iran has a proxy network in Somalia and uses facilitators to provide support to violent extremist organizations to counter the influence of the United States and Persian Gulf states, including using Somalia to funnel weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen and to transit weapons to other countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Mozambique, and Central African Republic.

Iranian engagement on the African continent is not new. In particular, Iranian religious groups and intelligence agencies have worked for decades to establish missionary and influence operations on the African continent. These include providing religious scholarship opportunities throughout sub-Saharan Africa and in the Horn region competing and countering Gulf states’ influences.

Furthermore, these educational efforts have allowed Africans to study in Shiite religious centers such as Qom in Iran, and then go back to their countries to engage in both direct and indirect proselytizing in favor of Tehran’s activities, making many of them witting or unwitting accomplices to those pursuing Tehran’s intelligence objectives in the region.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the main Iranian organization in Somalia, and its Quds Force has established relations with extremist groups and criminal networks, according to Somali officials. Somali police and finance ministry officials claim the Quds Force uses these networks to smuggle Iranian oil into Somalia and then sell cheap oil across Africa to subvert U.S. sanctions, with some of the proceeds used to support militants in Yemen and Somalia.

Somali military officials maintain that Iran has been running secret operations to undermine the United States in Somalia, providing sophisticated weapons, improvised explosive devices, mortars, and chemicals used to make bombs. The military officials allege that Iran and its proxies are complicit in al-Shabab attacks on the U.S. military, Somali forces, and the African Union Mission in Somalia. A senior military official involved in operations against al-Shabab in south-central Somalia alleges that al-Shabab has received financial and material support from Iran and may have paid bounties to militants to attack U.S. forces in Somalia and the region.

According to Somali defense ministry and security officials, Iranian money, weapons, and ammunition may have been used in 2019 and 2020 al-Shabab attacks on U.S. military bases in Somalia and northern Kenya, as well as the European Union military convoy in Mogadishu.

Security forces involved in operations against al-Shabab in south-central Somalia discovered weapons as well as bomb-making materials and chemicals from Iran. These officials claim that al-Shabab attacks since 2017 have become more lethal and attribute the group’s increased capabilities to foreign-sourced weapons, with the majority coming from Iran and Yemen.

On Jan. 5, al-Shabab carried out a pre-dawn attack at Manda Airstrip on Camp Simba in northern Kenya. The attack killed three Americans (one soldier and two contractors) and destroyed U.S. military equipment, including surveillance equipment used to support intelligence operations in the region.

Al-Shabab attacked Camp Simba two days after a U.S. drone strike killed Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi politician and the deputy chairman of Popular Mobilization Units, an Iraqi paramilitary force. (Although the group claimed there was no link between Suleimani’s killing and its attack, the timing and al-Shabab’s history of opportunistic strikes suggests that the two events may have been linked.)

On Sept. 30, 2019, al-Shabab carried out a large car bomb and gun attack on the Baledogle facility, wounding a U.S. service member at the base, according to news reports. The Baledogle base, about 60 miles northwest of Mogadishu, hosts hundreds of U.S. military and civilian personnel supporting Somali government operations against al-Shabab. The U.S.-trained Somali forces and U.S. military repelled the coordinated attack and inflicted heavy casualties on al-Shabab.

Also on Sept. 30, an al-Shabab car bomb hit the European Union military convoy in Mogadishu. The Italian military convoy was part of the European Union Training Mission in Somalia. The attack damaged convoy vehicles, but did not result in any injuries.

Despite U.S. and Somali counterterrorism operations, al-Shabab remains the largest active al Qaeda network in the world, and the Iranian Quds Force’s financial and material support to the militant group represents a new escalation and a morphing threat to U.S. and Western interests in Somalia and the region.

Although the number of U.S. forces in Somalia has increased over the past three years, there has been a steady increase in attacks by al-Shabab and the Islamic State in Somalia in south-central Somalia, Puntland, and increasingly in northern Kenya. According to Gen. Stephen Townsend, “After a series of complex attacks targeting Somali and U.S. bases last year,” the leaders of al-Shabab “publicly identified Americans and U.S. interests worldwide as priority targets,” a stance similar to Osama bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war against the United States.

In addition to Iran, Russia has expanded its contact and influence in Somalia, sending an ambassador for the first time in 30 years and establishing ties with extremist groups in the fragile state to pressure and bleed U.S. forces and Western allies in the region.

According to senior defense ministry and national and regional security officials in Somalia, Russia’s intelligence service and the Wagner Group—a paramilitary mercenary company with ties to the Kremlin—are active in Somalia, where have they established ties with al-Shabab while also trying to offer the Somali government and regional governments training and equipment, without oversight or accountability and avoiding compliance with U.N. sanctions.

Over the past two years, Russia and Iran have shown renewed interest in the Horn of Africa, and, according to a senior Somali military official, Russia has been working with Iran to push the United States out of Somalia—especially Baledogle, a base built by the Soviet Union that formerly served as Moscow’s main hub in the region.

According to officials, Russians have expressed interest in Baledogle and the port of Berbera. The officials are concerned that the 2019 attack on Baledogle was influenced and supported by Iranian or Russian proxies seeking to force the U.S. military out of the base.

Given that Iran has engaged with and supported violent extremist groups in Somalia and across the region, it’s not surprising that Tehran and its proxy agents are supporting al-Shabab. The reality is that Tehran has on countless occasions in recent years engaged with a wide range of Islamist elements in Somalia. Iran uses these actors in Africa to project its influence and spread its extremist doctrine wherever and however it can. Tehran continues to use proxy allies and violent extremist groups in Somalia, undermining the U.S. administration’s counterterrorism strategy in Somalia and international efforts to stabilize the country.

To counter this threat, the U.S. government should first focus on reducing al-Shabab’s access to financial and material support from foreign sources such as Iran. This can be done by expanding the use of sanctions to identify and target individuals or groups in Somalia and the region facilitating Iranian proxy activities in Somalia, as well as identifying how violent extremist organizations in Somalia procure weapons and chemicals used to attack civilians, government institutions, and security forces in Somalia and the region.

It should then use the Combined Task Force 150 and the European Union Capacity Building Mission to focus on disrupting the flow of weapons and chemicals to Somalia, while helping the federal government of Somalia and federal member states to build naval, coast guard, and other maritime capabilities to protect Africa’s second-longest coast.

Second, the U.S. government should work toward reducing Iranian influence in the Horn of Africa, making it challenging for Iran and its proxies to operate. The U.S. government can reduce Iranian influence by increasing intelligence collection on proxy allies of Tehran, their facilitators, and support structures, as well as by monitoring Iranian trade with countries in the region. Additionally, the United States can use sanctions to go after individuals and organizations engaging with sanctioned elements of the Iranian regime.

Finally, to counter Iran, Russia, and other rogue states, the U.S. government should increase military, security, and economic assistance to Somalia, supporting the Somali government’s efforts to increase the size and capabilities of Somalia’s security forces as they wage counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations to dislodge al-Shabab and other violent extremist groups from areas they control .

Al-Shabab’s aspiration to attack the United States in the region and beyond poses a direct threat to the United States’ national-security and foreign-policy interests. To defeat al-Shabab and limit Iran’s and other foreign agents’ involvement in Somalia requires the U.S. government to use all instruments of national power—including economic, military, security, and financial tools, to defeat the world’s most active, effective, and enduring al Qaeda affiliate.

Muhammad Fraser-Rahim is the executive director of Quilliam North America and an assistant professor at The Citadel. Twitter: @mfraserrahim

Mo Fatah is the CEO of the Horn Security Group and a senior fellow at Quilliam International.

Baker School of Business professor published in National Review Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:51:15 +0000 Richard M. Ebeling, Ph.D., is the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership in the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business.]]>

Photo: Richard M. Ebeling, Ph.D., is the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership in the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business

As seen in the National Review by Steve H. Hanke and Richard M. Ebeling on July 1, 2020

Thomas Sowell at 90 Is More Relevant Than Ever

Thomas Sowell in a Hoover Institution interview in 2018. (Hoover Institution/via YouTube)

Yesterday, Thomas Sowell turned 90. And he is more relevant than ever. Sowell, a frequent contributor to National Review and prodigious scholar, has delivered yet another insightful and accessible book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies. It was released on his birthday — a gift from Sowell to the rest of us.

In his new book, Sowell puts primary sources and facts under the powerful microscope of his analysis. His findings are, as is often the case, inconvenient, not to say explosive, truths. Indeed, Charter Schools and Their Enemies documents how non-white students thrive in charter schools and close the performance gap with their white peers. It’s no surprise, then, that there are long waiting lists to enter charter schools. So why aren’t there more of them? Well, public schools and their teachers’ unions don’t like the competition. This, of course, traps non-white students in inferior public schools.

Just who is Thomas Sowell and why is he a larger-than-life figure in today’s world? Sowell was born on June 30, 1930, in North Carolina. He grew up in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood and served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He earned three economics degrees, one from Harvard (1958), one from Columbia (1959), and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1968). After holding down faculty positions at prestigious universities, Sowell settled at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, where he has been for the past 40 years.

As Sowell recounts in his autobiography, A Personal Odyssey (2000), he considered himself a Marxist during most of his student years. Chicago put an end to that infatuation. But Sowell’s study of classical economists included the works of Marx, and in 1985 he published Marxism: Philosophy and Economics. As anyone steeped in Marx knows, all symbols of the capitalist, exploitive past must be uprooted and destroyed before a workers’ paradise can be constructed. It turns out that Marxism is of the moment: Yes, the removal of statues and the changing of street and building names is straight out of Marx’s playbook.

But for those who find Marxism too general and abstract to be relevant for the events of today, we direct you to a treasure trove of books in which Sowell has focused his attention on the problems surrounding race and discrimination both in the United States and around the world. To name just a few of his many works specifically on this theme: Race and Economics (1975), Markets and Minorities (1981), Ethnic America: A History (1981), The Economics and Politics of Race (1983), Preferential Policies (1990), Race and Culture (1995), Migrations and Cultures (1996), Conquests and Cultures (1998), Affirmative Action Around the World (2004), Black Rednecks and White Liberals (2005), Intellectuals and Race (2013), Wealth, Poverty and Politics (2016), and Discrimination and Disparities (2018; rev. ed., 2019).

When analyzing race and discrimination, Sowell relishes going after one of his favorite targets: the intellectual elites, or as he refers to them, “the anointed.” The heart of his message is that men are not born with equal abilities. Contrary to the assertions of the anointed, Sowell argues that “empirically observable skills have always been grossly unequal.” Sowell also argues that not all cultures are equal contributors to world civilization. Indeed, he observes that “differences among racial, national and other groups range from the momentous to the mundane, whether in the United States or in other countries around the world and down through the centuries.” Sowell concludes that the world is culturally complex and filled with variety. We still have little understanding of the causes and consequences of that complexity. But markets tend to harmonize the interests of, or at least minimize the friction between, various peoples and cultures, while politics creates conflict, with advantages for some at the expense of others.

Much of what Sowell has to say about race is contained in his undeniably controversial Black Rednecks and White Liberals, a collection of essays. In the course of a lengthy examination of identity, culture, and its socioeconomic effects, he looks, among other issues, at what he refers to as “black ghetto culture” (something, he stresses more than once, of which “most black Americans” are not a part) and its particular language, customs, behavioral characteristics, and attitudes toward work and leisure. Sowell argues that it has been heavily influenced by earlier white southern “redneck” culture, although, as he is careful to note, this is not a matter of “simple linear extrapolation.” And indeed it is not.

Sowell traces this culture to several generations of Americans mostly descended from immigrants from “the northern borderlands of England . . . as well as from the Scottish highlands and Ulster” who arrived in the southern American colonies in the 18th century. The outstanding features of this redneck or “cracker” culture — as it was called in Great Britain before and during the emigration years — included, Sowell writes, “an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery.” It also included “touchy pride, vanity, and boastful self-dramatization.” The point to be drawn, he writes, “is that cultural differences led to striking socioeconomic differences among blacks, as they did among whites. In both races, those who lived within the redneck culture lagged far behind those who did not.”

Most of the commercial industriousness and innovation in the South in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Sowell demonstrates, were introduced by businessmen, merchants, and educators who moved there from the North, and especially New England. The culture of work, savings, personal responsibility, and forethought that flourished in the North left the southern United States lagging far behind — a contrast often remarked on by 19th-century European visitors.

Sowell’s tracing of these past differences brings us back to today. On June 5, the American Economic Association (AEA), the premier professional association for economists since its founding in 1885, issued a statement saying that it was time for officers and governance committees within the association to look into racism and racist practices and presumptions within the profession. To that end, the AEA compiled a recommended reading list on race and discrimination. Sowell is nowhere to be found on it. Neither is the late Gary Becker, former president of the AEA, who won a Nobel prize in 1992 for, among other achievements, his pathbreaking work on the economics of discrimination. This is the blinkered world we live in today.

Steve H. Hanke is a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University and a senior fellow and director of the Troubled Currencies Project at the Cato Institute. Richard M. Ebeling is the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel.