Leadership – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Mon, 24 Jan 2022 17:03:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.6 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Leadership – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Alumnus, veteran named Presidential Leadership Scholar https://today.citadel.edu/alumnus-veteran-named-presidential-leadership-scholar/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 16:34:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=30088 Headshot of Michael Burris, Citadel Class of 2010Headshot of Michael Burris, Citadel Class of 2010I applied to become a Presidential Leadership Scholar with the hope of working on a project to close the unemployment gap for military spouses and veterans.]]> Headshot of Michael Burris, Citadel Class of 2010Headshot of Michael Burris, Citadel Class of 2010

Baker School of Business ’10 grad among new class of scholars

Note: Michael Burris graduated as a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He was Delta Company Commander and a member of the Honor Court while at The Citadel and attended on a Navy ROTC scholarship. After his commissioning, Burris served as a naval officer for seven years working in both conventional and special operations. Upon leaving the Navy, Burris earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. He grew up in Charleston but now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife Brooke (also a Charleston native), and their sons Holsten who is two, and Creighton who is three months old. Burris works as Director of Operations for an investment firm.

Michael Burris, The Citadel Class of 2010, with his wife Brooke and sons Holsten (2) and Creighton (3 months), in Raleigh, North Carolina

I applied to become a Presidential Leadership Scholar with the hope of working on a project to close the unemployment gap for military spouses and veterans by bringing them into apartment property management,” explained Burris in an email to The Citadel. “I look forward to developing this concept which will provide a stable career with upward mobility, remote work opportunities and the development of critical skills that can be transferred into other fields.

As I understand it, I am the first alumnus from The Citadel to become a Presidential Leadership Scholar. My intention is to compel others from The Citadel to apply and to hopefully also be selected in the future.

Michael Burris, The Citadel Class of 2010, Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2022

As seen on Presidentialleadershipscholars.org

The Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program today (Jan. 18, 2022) named the 60 Scholars who will form the program’s seventh annual class. PLS serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and create meaningful change in the United States and around the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The seventh class was selected after a rigorous application and review process. Scholars were chosen based on their leadership growth potential and the strength of their personal leadership projects aimed at improving the civic or social good by addressing a critical challenge or need in a community, profession, or organization.

Over the course of several months, Scholars will learn from former presidents, key former administration officials, and leading academics. They will study and put into practice varying approaches to leadership and develop a network of peers who can help them make an impact in their communities. The program kicks off virtually Jan. 18.

The latest class joins an active network of more than 350 Scholars who are applying lessons learned from the program to make a difference in the communities they serve. Examples of these Scholar-led efforts include addressing the opportunity gaps that exist around early childhood education, healthy communities, and entrepreneurship within the Hispanic community; providing employment opportunities and mentorship to veterans; and deploying much needed resources globally in the wake of COVID-19.

Since the program began in 2015, Scholars have consistently reported remarkable growth in skills, responsibilities, and opportunities for impact. For example, 96% of Scholars reported significant growth in their sense of purpose and role since beginning PLS.

2022 Scholars:

  • Tara Abrahams, Head of Impact, The Meteor, New York, NY
  • Sara Allan, Director, Early Learning & Education Pathways, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA
  • Mozhgan Wafiq Alokozai, CEO and Founder, Eagle Online Academy, Chantilly, VA
  • Riana Elyse Anderson, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Detroit, MI
  • Liany Arroyo, Director, Department of Health & Human Services, City of Hartford, Hartford, CT
  • Jacqueline Assar, VR/AR Developer Relations Lead, Meta, Sausalito, CA
  • Chethan Bachireddy, Chief Medical Officer, Virginia Medicaid, Henrico, VA
  • Sara Fenske Bahat, Chair, California College of the Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
  • David Bargueño, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
  • David Bernstein, Orthopedic Surgery Resident Physician, Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency Program/ Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Michael Burris, Director of Operations, Cortland, Raleigh, NC
  • Heath Clayton, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co., New York, NY
  • Frances Colón, Director, Oboe Mobile Foundation Inc., San Juan, PR
  • Rabia de Latour, Gastroenterologist/Therapeutic Endoscopist; Director of Endoscopy, Bellevue Hospital Center; Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Ian Eishen, Senior Enlisted Leader, CSAF Strategic Studies Group, U.S. Air Force, Fairfax, VA
  • Ntiedo Etuk, Founder and CEO, FitGrid, New York, NY
  • Venu Gupta, President, VGA Consultancy, Chicago, IL
  • Ed Han, Managing Director, Global Investment Bank, BofA Securities Inc., Montauk, NY
  • Donnie Hasseltine, Chief Security Officer, Xenon Partners, Redwood City, CA
  • James Hendon, Commissioner, NYC Department of Veterans’ Services, Bronx, NY
  • Hana Hinkle, Interim Director and Department Head, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Loves Park, IL
  • Rosie Hunter, Psychologist, Xefatura Consulting, McKinney, TX
  • Dan Imbat,  Senior Director Business Development,  Shield AI,  San Diego, CA
  • Corrine Irish, Pro Bono Counsel/Of Counsel, Squire Patton Boggs LLP, New York, NY
  • Jennifer Jacobs, CEO, Connect Our Kids, Falls Church, VA
  • Timothy James, Chairman, The Lenny Zakim Fund & Vice President of North American Consultant Relations, State Street Bank, Ashland, MA
  • Victor Jones, Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund Inc., New Orleans, LA
  • Aamina Awan-Khan, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State, New York, NY
  • Amrit Kirpalani, Founder and CEO, NectarOM, Dallas, TX
  • Wade Lairsen, President, Gen Next Foundation, San Francisco, CA
  • Tim Latimer, CEO, Fervo Energy, Austin, TX
  • Jin Lee, Director of Digital Health, Astellas Pharma Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Lirui Li, Advisor & Head of Community, Peppercorn.ai, Philadelphia, PA
  • Elisabeth Avila Luevanos, Superintendent, Milano Independent School District, Waco, TX
  • Aila Malik, Founder & Co-Principal, Venture Leadership Consulting, Mountain View, CA
  • Melissa Martinez, Clinical Social Worker, Human Trafficking Response Unit, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, New York, NY
  • Anna Mason, Managing Partner, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Washington, D.C.
  • M. Yasmina McCarty, CEO and President, New Growth Innovation Network, Miami, FL
  • Marsha Michel, Advisor, Rohingya Refugee Response, U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Crystal Moore, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Strategic Education, Jackson, MS
  • Kelly Northridge, Managing Partner, Audacity Institute, Reno, NV
  • Brian O’Connor, Principal, Veteran Enhanced Technology Solutions, Granite Bay, CA
  • Justin Owen, CEO, Beacon Center of Tennessee, Nashville, TN
  • Sabs Quereshi, Director, Global Health Strategy, Rockefeller Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Anita Ravi, CEO and Co-Founder, PurpLE Health Foundation, New York, NY
  • Benjamin Reynolds, Chief Advanced Practice Officer, UPMC, Edgewood, PA
  • Michelle Richart, Director, Corporate Counsel, Cardinal Group Companies, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Andy Riise, Texas A&M University Program Director, National Security Network, Montgomery, TX
  • Daniel Roby, CEO, Austin Street Center, Dallas, TX
  • Aasim Saeed, CEO and Founder, Amenity Health, Dallas, TX
  • Takudzwa Shumba, Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford Health Care, Menlo Park, CA
  • Maya Smith, Executive Director, Born This Way Foundation, Lafayette, CA
  • Steven Smith, Client Director, McKinsey & Company, Austin, TX
  • McKenzie Snow, Division Director, New Hampshire Department of Education, Concord, NH
  • Ben Teague, Vice President of Strategic Development, Biltmore Farms LLC, Fletcher, NC
  • Iris Tian, Executive Director of Assessment, Texas Education Agency, Austin, TX
  • Esther Hsu Wang, Co-Founder, IDinsight, Potomac, MD
  • Sacha Williams, Pediatric Surgery Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Ossining, NY
  • Diana Zhang, CEO and Co-Founder, NeighborShare, Westport, CT
  • Lourdes Zuniga, Executive Director, Financial Health Pathways, Pflugerville, TX

About Presidential Leadership Scholars

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program is a partnership among the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. To learn more, visit www.presidentialleadershipscholars.org. For updates about the Presidential Leadership Scholars, use #PLScholars and follow @PLSprogram on Twitter and Instagram. 

Michael Burris while serving in the U.S. Navy. Photo provided by Burris.
Cadets volunteer at LEARN Horse Rescue https://today.citadel.edu/cadets-volunteer-at-learn-horse-rescue/ Fri, 26 Nov 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=28985 The Class of 2024 reported for work with enthusiasm, energy and an eagerness to give out animal cracker treats.]]>

By Alaina Rink, CGC ’22

Over a dozen horses and other farm animals are grateful to the team of more than 10 cadets who landscaped their pastures, washed their trailers and, of course, hand fed them treats.

The sophomore cadets traveled to Hollywood, South Carolina, where Livestock & Equine Awareness & Rescue Network (LEARN) provides horses with much needed rehabilitation and love. LEARN is a volunteer-run horse rescue that has been rehabilitating horses from across the state and educating the community since 2009. The nonprofit has already cared for over 300 horses, most of whom arrived malnourished.

Taking care of the rescue horses at LEARN is one of over 20 hands-on projects through which cadets served others during the Class of 1979 Leadership Day, on Oct. 20. This is when cadets at The Citadel replace classes with service opportunities in the Lowcountry as well as leadership training. The cadets arrived before 9 a.m. and were prepared to stay all day if needed. After hours cleaning stables, clearing brush and grooming the horses, cadets still had the energy to ride the horses.

Mason Wilkinson, a finance major from Prosperity, South Carolina, knows there are many ways to make a difference, but he hadn’t given thought to caring for horses until choosing an assignment for Leadership Day. His first inclination was to volunteer to pick up trash. However, there were already many cadets signed up for that option, and he knew he could be useful at the rescue too.

Wilkinson was quickly befriended by a leopard Appaloosa mule named Eddie (short for Edisto) who followed him around the pastures.

“Helping others is a good thing to do,” said Wilkinson, “but also someone could be having a bad day, so you never know when the simplest thing could help them out.”

Others have been there for Wilkinson. He expressed gratitude for the work of an upperclassmen who held him accountable for his studies. Now, Wilkinson holds rank as a clerk for Delta Company, which enables him to provide administrative support to his company.

The Class of 2024 reported for work with enthusiasm, energy and an eagerness to give out animal cracker treats. Eddie, in particular, looks forward to next year’s Class of 1979 Leadership Day when a new class of cadets puts their hooves on the ground.

Alaina Rink is a graduate assistant in the Office of Communications and Marketing while pursuing a master’s degree in English. She earned her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston in secondary education English and taught in the Charleston area for four years.

Cadets at The Citadel give thanks to healthcare workers https://today.citadel.edu/cadets-at-the-citadel-give-thanks-to-healthcare-workers/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 20:50:38 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=29006 More than 1,000 goodie bags are now in the hands of local healthcare workers, a small sign to show how cadets are grateful for their work.]]>

Photo: Cadets (left to right) Collin Beck, Benjamin Johnson, Davis Fuller, Andrew Davis and Jesse Murdaugh — with other members of The Citadel community — delivering goodie bags to Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

More than 1,000 goodie bags are now in the hands of local healthcare workers. The gifts are a small sign to show how cadets at The Citadel, and members of the community, are grateful for their work.

“Healthcare workers are something that we cannot do without,” said Cadet Benjamin Johnson, who helped deliver the gifts. “Showing them appreciation, and showing them that their work does not go unnoticed, is something that I feel is important. Healthcare workers are the backbone of society.”

Giving back was a group effort — freshmen cadets packed the goodie bags on Oct. 20, during the Class of 1979 Leadership Day. The bags were then delivered by five cadets from the college’s new Alpha Epsilon Delta Healthcare Honor Society to local hospitals on Nov. 10.

“One reason I chose to help is so that we could give back a small token of our appreciation to all the healthcare workers that have been working so diligently with those affected by COVID over these difficult times,” said Cadet Jesse Murdaugh. “We tend to take their care for granted until it may be that they are caring for one of our own loved ones. I just wanted them to know that, at The Citadel, we appreciate their hard work everyday.”

The gifts, packed in bags with hand-written messages from the freshmen cadets, contained snacks, lotion and lip balm.

Usually, freshmen cadets will travel to local schools and speak with students there, sharing stories of leaders who have impacted them. This year, due to COVID, they weren’t able to make it to the schools — but found another way to give back.

“When we realized that the cadets wouldn’t be able to visit schools in Charleston County, we had a short period of time to find other ways for the more than 650 cadets to contribute,” said Christina Arnold, director of service learning and community engagement for the Krause Center. “We organized four stations on campus, and one of those put together goodie bags for health care heroes. It’s just a little something to remind them they are important as they continue to be on the front lines of covid-19 and all the limitations and policies that have resulted from it.”

So far, more than 100 bags have been delivered to nurses with the Charleston County School District, 400 to the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and 600 to the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital. 400 more bags will to to Roper St. Francis after Thanksgiving.

“Giving back to healthcare workers that put in so much effort to take care of the community felt really good,” said Cadet Davis Fuller. “It felt even better that I was able to represent The Citadel while doing so.”

Citadel professor teaches compassion in the classroom and out of the country https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-professor-teaches-compassion-in-the-classroom-and-out-of-the-country/ Wed, 27 Oct 2021 16:10:27 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=28103 Sarah ImamSarah ImamSarah Imam, M.D., professor of health sciences, infuses her medical terminology and exercise physiology classes with lessons on compassion.]]> Sarah ImamSarah Imam

Photo: Citadel professor Sarah Imam, M.D., right, and daughter while working at a free medical pop-up clinic in Kenya

By Alaina Rink, CGC ’22

Sarah Imam, M.D., associate professor and director of health sciences, infuses her medical terminology and exercise physiology classes with lessons on compassion, which are essential to medical practice.

Imam, who has been at The Citadel since 2015, cultivates compassion in her students by example. She organizes cadets for Feed a Friend Fridays to help the homeless. Cadets initially volunteer to earn service hours, but once their compassion is sparked, they can’t wait to help again. After the first Feed a Friend Friday this semester, all the volunteering slots were booked solid for the next several weeks.

“I have students that have started programs who are continuing to volunteer in medical school and in dental school,” she said. “I have one student who participates in free dental clinics. He doesn’t have to, and he doesn’t really get extra credit for it, but he loves doing it.”

The same determination to serve can be attributed to Imam. She and her daughter ventured to Nairobi, Kenya in July where they operated a free medical pop-up clinic and taught classes on health and safety in Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa. The patients greeted the mother-daughter duo with a bottle of Coke, which is an expensive gift, and dancing to express their appreciation.

Sarah Imam, M.D., providing healthcare in Kenya as part of her free medical pop-up clinic

“I was overwhelmed with how much I was loved. It was just incredible,” she said.

The line of patients wrapped twice around the corner of the building. One woman traveled 350 miles, having heard about the visiting doctor whose face she saw on flyers.

“Many of the patients that I saw have not seen a doctor in years, so there’s literally no access to healthcare. What was very cool was that the Kenyan government actually sponsored my pop-up clinics — they provided the medicine. What they’re really short of is people helping.”

She was also thanked by the district’s minister of health who awarded her a medical license.

Sarah Imam, M.D., receiving her medical license from the district’s minister of health

This is not Imam’s first time being involved with healthcare overseas. Prior to the pandemic, she took students to Lithuania for a healthcare-based study abroad. While she hopes for similar opportunities in the future, she is paying close attention to the pandemic and is co-author of nine scientific publications on COVID.

Imam’s end goal is not making better students but making better human beings.

“You have to care about the wellbeing of someone else,” she said. “Where does that compassion begin? It begins right here at The Citadel. So I think that overall as a school, we are doing a good job with that.”

Helping however she can, Imam administers medicine to the body, knowledge to the mind and compassion to the soul.

Alaina Rink is a graduate assistant in the Office of Communications and Marketing while pursuing a master’s degree in English. She earned her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston in secondary education English and taught in the Charleston area for four years.

Learning to serve before they lead https://today.citadel.edu/learning-to-serve-before-they-lead/ Thu, 21 Oct 2021 17:34:22 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27965 South Carolina Corps of Cadets gathered on Summerall Field for the closing ceremony from The Citadel Class of 1979 Leadership DaySouth Carolina Corps of Cadets gathered on Summerall Field for the closing ceremony from The Citadel Class of 1979 Leadership Day"You'll do everything you can to make sure they come home the same as you do."]]> South Carolina Corps of Cadets gathered on Summerall Field for the closing ceremony from The Citadel Class of 1979 Leadership DaySouth Carolina Corps of Cadets gathered on Summerall Field for the closing ceremony from The Citadel Class of 1979 Leadership Day

A look at The Citadel Class of 1979 Leadership Day 2021

The Citadel Class of 1979 Leadership Day is an annual event when every member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets is focused on service-learning. On this day, more than 1,000 cadets go into the community to volunteer with 30 partner agencies. Others study leadership and ethics with professionals on and off campus.

All of the cadets can add the day’s experiences to the cumulative leadership portfolio they build during their four years of required leadership and ethics courses complemented by year-round activities directed by the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics.

And this year, Sgt. Kyle White, USA, a Medal of Honor recipient from the War on Terror, visited with freshmen to share his story of leadership and sacrifice from his time serving in Aranas, Afghanistan in 2007.

“In military service, you can go from monotony and repetitive daily activities, to suddenly being in the line of fire. When that happens you know this is it. This is real. And the only things that matter are the people to your right and left,” White said while speaking to the freshmen in McAlister Fieldhouse on campus.

“You won’t understand this until you put on a uniform and put yourself in harm’s way. Spend day and night, 24/7, 365, with your platoon and they become closer than family, they become everything to you. You’ll do everything you can to make sure they come home the same as you do.”

White encouraged cadets who will go on to serve as leaders in the military to keep the mental health of their soldiers in mind and to know how to access resources for them.

Senior seminars with community business leaders

Senior cadets visiting the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston to learn from that organizations leaders on Oct. 20, 2021.

The Class of 2022 engaged with military and civilian leaders around the Lowcountry, with 25 different options based on their field of study and career goals. Five different sections of the U.S. Air Force in Charleston opened their doors to cadets.

Other soon-to-be graduates learned from the FBI, the River Dogs, the Barnwell, Whaley Patterson and Helms law firm, and the South Carolina Aquarium to name a few of the generous organizations welcoming cadets.

From left to right: Executive Director for the Gibbes Museum of Art, Angela Mack, senior cadets. and The Citadel Director of Fine Arts, Tiffany Silverman

Fine Arts is one of the more popular minors at The Citadel, and seniors in the program met with arts leaders around town.

“The discussion revolved around ethical decision-making for issues impacting the artistic community right now,” reported Cadet Samantha Walton, regimental public affairs officer for the Corps and a Fine Arts minor. “We also got to explore behind the scenes of the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Dock Street Theater.”

Additionally, Walton said the group visited the City Gallery, the Vendue Art Hotel and Robert Lange Studios, with an introduction along the way to the Mayor of Charleston, John Tecklenberg, a musician and a champion of the arts.

Home Works of America, Habitat for Humanity projects in Charleston

Working together to put a new roof on a Charleston neighbor’s house through Home Works of America was just one part of the more than 20 hands-on Leadership Day projects where cadets served others in the Lowcountry. There were 15 cadets there when The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’79, checked in while making the rounds from project to project.

Over in Ravenel, 40 sophomores and Commandant’s Office volunteers used an array of tools to contribute to a new home being build through Sea Island Habitat for Humanity.

Freshmen work on project to help local elementary schools

Normally the entire freshman class would go to local elementary schools in teams to lead activities with the children about what it means to be hero. Instead, due to the pandemic, they spent the day moving through a number of stations to prepare curriculum packets, hero goodie bags, cards and other items that will now be provided to the teachers at those schools.

Now an endowed annual event thanks to the Class of 1979

Beginning this year, this massive service learning event will be called The Class of 1979 Leadership Day, rather than just Leadership Day, after that class generously stepped forward to provide the funds to perpetuate the endeavor through The Citadel Foundation. A group representing the class visited with cadets and watched the closing ceremony on Summerall Field.

We believe our endowment of The Class of 1979 Leadership Day will have a positive and lasting impact on every cadet, in every class, long after they graduate. It also ensures that the legacy of the Class of 1979 extends well beyond The Citadel’s gates and into the future.

Col. Leo Mercado, USMC (Ret.), former Commandant of Cadets, The Citadel Class of 1979

Watch service-learning in action

Citadel videographer Sam McAdams, ’07, captured some of day’s activities in the video below.

Head of Leadership Studies included as expert in USA Today article https://today.citadel.edu/head-of-leadership-studies-included-as-expert-in-usa-today-article/ Tue, 28 Sep 2021 18:17:49 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27176 Professor Faith Rivers James, The CitadelProfessor Faith Rivers James, The Citadel"Many Black farmers and other groups who have experienced historic discrimination have inherited heirs’ property." ]]> Professor Faith Rivers James, The CitadelProfessor Faith Rivers James, The Citadel

Note: Professor Faith Rivers James, J.D., is the Assistant Provost for Leadership at The Citadel, and the head of the Department of Leadership Studies. Rivers James, who holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. from Dartmouth College, practiced legislative law in Washington D.C. She is an expert on leadership, public policy, legislative process and property law.

Black farmers accuse the USDA of racism. The USDA appears to agree and vows to address ‘historical discrimination.’

Synopsis of article from USAToday.com
By Mark Dovich, Jeff A. Chamer and Hazel Tang 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Agriculture launched a commission Friday aimed at addressing “historical discrimination” in agriculture, a sign the USDA is looking to overcome a decades-long history of systemic racism that Black farmers say has shrunk their numbers and kept families from building generational wealth.

The Equity Commission will help identify USDA programs and policies that have contributed to, exacerbated or perpetuated discrimination, the department said.

“The truth is, the deck has been stacked against Black farmers who for generations have been denied access to land and capital,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement to USA TODAY.

He vowed a “top to bottom” evaluation of decades-old farm programs to ensure they “more equitably serve” American farmers. 

Black farmers account for only 1.4% of all U.S. farmers, farm only 0.5% of the country’s farmland and generate only 0.4% of total U.S. agricultural sales every year. In contrast, about 14% of all U.S. farmers in 1920 were Black, according to that year’s agriculture census.

Full article on USAToday.com at link above. Contributions by Professor Faith Rivers James are below.

Keeping farms in the family

Another stumbling block to supporting Black farmers: keeping farms in the family.

At issue is a legal term called heirs’ property. The term refers to land inherited by the descendants of a property owner without any form of legal documentation of ownership. The heirs “hold title as tenants in common, but that interest is only conceptual,” explained Faith Rivers James, assistant provost for leadership at The Citadel military college and an expert on heirs’ property.

Because the land has not been divided, no single person can claim a specific part of it.

The problem’s roots go back more than a century, Rivers James said.

“The unique challenge in the Southern states [where most Black farmers live] is that much of the property was acquired during Reconstruction, at which time there were not sufficient lawyers to assist landowners in drafting wills,” Rivers James said. “So subsequently, without access to lawyers for estate planning, a great deal of land in the South was transferred [without wills] and is now heirs’ property.”

That’s pushed many heirs out of agriculture. Black farmers lost upward of 90% of their land from 1910 to 1997, according to agriculture censuses.

Rivers James called heirs’ property issues “a vestige of segregation and discrimination in its worst form.”

In July, the USDA announced it would provide $67 million in loans to help address long-standing heirs’ landownership issues and allow Black farmers to keep land in their families.

“Many Black farmers and other groups who have experienced historic discrimination have inherited heirs’ property,” Vilsack said in a statement at the time. “USDA is committed to revising policies to be more equitable and examining barriers faced by heirs’ property owners is part of that effort.” 

The $67 million is intended to help heirs receive recognition as landowners. The loan program is a “very much needed” step to solve a “systemic issue,” said Cornelius Blanding, the executive director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, a Georgia-based nonprofit group.

The program will “play a huge role in starting to clear up this heirs’ property issue in communities around the United States in general, and in the Black community specifically,” he said.

Helping heirs acquire clear title to their land is “the only way to open doors for growth and to be able to hand that property on to their family members,” Rivers James said.

“After all,” she said, “a great portion of these challenges arose because of government policies and state land laws that impaired this form of African American landownership.”

Two ways to advance your knowledge about the U.S. Constitution https://today.citadel.edu/two-ways-to-advance-your-knowledge-about-about-the-u-s-constitution/ Fri, 27 Aug 2021 16:36:33 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26161 Wide photograph of PT Barracks at The CitadelWide photograph of PT Barracks at The Citadel"Our concern is preparing cadets for future leadership roles..."]]> Wide photograph of PT Barracks at The CitadelWide photograph of PT Barracks at The Citadel

Constitution Day recognition events scheduled at The Citadel Sept. 21 and 23, open to public

Every cadet at The Citadel is required to take a course to learn more about America’s founding documents. They take it during their sophomore year, and it is an element of the Corps of Cadets’ requisite four years of leadership training that complements their academic and military training.

The chair of The Citadel Leadership Studies program, Faith Rivers James, JD, developed the course that began in the spring of 2020.

“Our concern is preparing cadets for future leadership roles by providing them with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about their role in Democracy,” said Rivers James. “We examine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, of course. We also study advocacy pieces about the documents like the Federalist Papers.”

With national Constitution Day approaching (Sept. 17), the college continues to reinforce the importance of constitutional learning. The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences is sponsoring two events. Both are free and open to everyone, facemasks required.

The first is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21. It will be a public reading of the Constitution involving volunteers from across campus and the community. Those wishing to volunteer should contact Professor Scott Segrest at ssegrest@citadel.edu. It will be followed by a discussion led by a professor of Political Science.

The event will take place in Bond Hall, 165. There is free parking on campus. A virtual campus map is here.

The second event, from 7- 9 p.m. on Sept. 23, will feature a constitutional expert, Prof. Richard Garnett, JD. He is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also the founding director of the Program on Church, State & Society. 

“We can all learn from Prof. Garnett’s expertise on First Amendment issues, especially on the freedoms of speech, association and religion. Additionally, he is a leading authority on questions of religion in politics and society,” said Scott Segrest, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science at The Citadel. “Professor Garnett earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and clerked for the late Chief Justice of the United States, William H. Rehnquist, and also for the late Chief Judge of the S.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Richard S. Arnold.”

The event on Sept. 23 will be held in the Altman Center, which is the building at the end of the football stadium facing Fishburne St. The address is 68C Hagood Ave., and there is complimentary parking just outside of the building.

Both of the events are sponsored by the School of Humanities with generous support from the Henry and Jenny Johnson Endowment for Historical Studies.

Below: Prof. Faith Rivers James, chair for The Citadel Leadership Studies program, being interviewed by Fox News about the college’s requirement for cadets to study America’s founding documents when the course began being taught in 2020.

All about The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 https://today.citadel.edu/all-about-the-citadel-graduate-college-class-of-2021/ Tue, 11 May 2021 21:25:40 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24183 The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)More than 230 undergraduate transfer and graduate students participated in the spring commencement events. ]]> The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 takes place in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

We celebrate the achievements of our extraordinary graduates of the Class of 2021. They stand strong sharing the common bonds of honor, duty and respect – the Core Values of a Citadel graduate.

Sally Selden, Ph.D., SMP
The Citadel Provost and Dean of the College
May 9, 2021

The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 celebrated commencement in McAlister Field House on campus during two ceremonies on May 9. More than 230 undergraduate transfer and graduate students participated in the spring commencement events.


The Citadel Graduate College kicked off commencement with an awards event. Students and faculty were celebrated for exceptional achievements on Thursday, May 6, with the following individuals being recognized:

Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Graduate College
Dr. Kevin Skenes

Graduate Student Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership
Addison Dame

College Transfer Program Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership
Catherine Brooks

The Veteran Student Success Center Award for Academic Excellence in Leadership
Ashley Towers

Hirshey Awards
Glenda Levine
Molly O’Reilly
Stephanie Fye
Elizabeth Ceccoli
Ferhana Shah

Aline Mahan Award
Department of Psychology, Ed.S., Class of 2021

J. Patrick Leverett Award
Shawnte Posley

Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Leadership Studies
Aliènne AJ Salleroli

Lindbergh Awards
Brianna C. Rice
Parker L. Bass

MBA Faculty Member of the Year
Dr. Jeremy Bennett

MBA Student of the Year
Timothy Jones

Business College Transfer Program Faculty of the Year
Theresa Strong

Business College Transfer Program Student of the Year
Steven Turano

P. Michael Politanto Graduate Research Award
Nathan Adams

Citadel Graduate College legacy students

The cherished tradition of legacy diploma presentations continued in 2021. There were eleven Citadel Graduate College graduates who were joined on stage by a grandparent, parent or a child who were alumni of The Citadel.

The special presenters included:

Dr. Mark A Bebensee, Honorary Member, ’83
Catherine Diane DeMers, ’04
Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Wegner Dyson Sr., USA (Ret.), ’69
James Steven Gaskins, ’05
Kimberly Joseph, ’12
Andres Eduardo Lorduy, ’18
EOD3 Nicholas J. McKenna, USN, ’17
Daniel J. “Jim” Rieker, ’99
Major J. Stephen Veyera, USA, (Ret.), ’13
William “Bill” Lewis Yaeger Jr., ’83

Norman Seabrooks, ’73, presented with honorary degree; provides commencement speech on resilience

Mr. Norman Seabrooks provides the key address during the commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 on Sunday, May 9, 2021.

Norman Seabrooks graduated as a member of The South Carolina Corps of Cadets in 1973, eventually becoming a market president for the Fortune 500 company, Aetna.

During his time as a cadet, Seabrooks was a three-year starter at defensive tackle for the Bulldogs and the first African American co-captain of the football team.

Seabrooks was presented with an honorary degree from The Citadel, just prior to addressing the graduates.

Left to right: Col. Myron Harrington, Mr. Norman Seabrooks, and The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, on stage during the commencement ceremony for the Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, May 9, 2021.

For his legacy of ethical leadership, sportsmanship, and service to his community, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to award Norman Seabrooks the honorary Doctor of Leadership and Ethics in Commerce degree.

Gen. Glenn M. Walters,
The Citadel President
May 9, 2020

Seabrooks shared some of his life story, including successes and failures, and provided sage guidance on building and sustaining a successful career and life.

Watch Norman Seabrook’s commencement speech below.

Norman Seabrook, Citadel Class of 1973, addressing The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 at McAlister Field House May 9, 2021.

Congratulations to all of The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2021 graduates

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
John Daniel Del Barrio
Sara Nicole Parris

Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies
Kenneth Powell Harwood

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Michael Carey Shirey
Willis Charles Smith
Darius Denzel Warren

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Katelyn Marie Arnold
Tommy Barfield Baker
Alan Leroy Barker Jr.
Jonathan Paul Boxx
David Franklin Braun Jr.
Carla Lynn Bryan
Jennifer Lynne Byrd
Michael James Fewell
Margaret Chandler Fowler
Olivia Bailey LaRoche
Jessica Ann Simmons
Brandon Allen Welch

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Joseph Peter Arnold
Bryan Robert Bocock
Matthew Bolick
Jose Victor Contreras
Joshua Thomas Leming
Colby Alexander Poplin
Brianna Cheree Rice
Jonathan Andrew-McCarty Strobel

Bachelor of science in Construction Engineering
Parker Lee Bass

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Brittney Marie Deckard
Joseph Raymond Demelis
Travis Tremaine Eldell
Michael Ryan Greco
Emma Rae Bevins Hefner
Andrew Jacob Hinson
Matthew Shawn Mullinax II
Tyrone Malik Richardson Tanco
Eric Edward Smalls
Matthew James Stallings
Kenwell Richard Stoll Jr.
Lily Ann Wald

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Taylor Blanton
Steven Buckwalter
Stephen Jack Channell
Christopher Durphey Clifton
Luis Humberto Garcia
Cameron Thaddeus Jordan
Leinyuy Veradzem Laisin
Daniel James Ludwigsen
Denny Lamar Middleton
Benjamin Thomas Perry
Grant Sullivan Ritter
Stephen Sanada
Inez Gisela Shapiro
Sara Ann Chester Surrett

Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Melissa Anne Bell
Drexyl Blair
Vivian Marie Delgado
Ariel Domke
Jacqueline Shealy Gorrin
Courtney Huskey
Leah Ann Kibler
CheVonne Whitley Lindsey
Courtney Marsh
Addie Elizabeth McCracken
Allyson Suzanne McRae
Logan Ivy Nelson
Meghan Elizabeth Nyers
Kali Elizabeth Potes
Abby Rovick
Claire Seabrook
Catherine Brooks Sexton
Kathleen Durst Talbert
Hugh Davis Von Meding

Master of Arts in Biology
Elena Ann Burgess
Rian Derek Burris
Claudia Berry Sams
Marian Cristina Smith

Master of Arts in English
Olivia Anne Guillet

Master of Arts in History
Anthony John Kniffin Jr.
Betty Sterling Sadler

Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies
Craig Randall DuBose
Sarah Ann Fink
Cole Edward Huffman
Megan Elizabeth Kasprzak
John Christian Lines
Corey Alexander Neal

Master of Arts in International Political Science and Military Affairs
Brett Alastair Honeycutt
Cornelius Peeler
Anna Eloise Sandgren
Timothy Richard Vrastil

Master of Arts in Military History
Betty Sterling Sadler
Martin Gregory Valles

Master of Arts in Sport Management
Bradley Tejohn Frasier

Master of Arts in Psychology
Ricco Gabriel
Ashley Nicole Harris
David Edward Johnsen
Clyde Talmadge Padgett Kahn
Emilio Jose Lopez-Powers
Kelsey Lynn Mazzocco
Gabrielle Mooneyham
Lesley Pena
Emily Dawn Sizemore
Virginia Blake Stallings
Caroline Beth Whitlock

Master of Arts in Social Science
Eramis Nicole Gethers

Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education Biology
Katherine Lee Dumont
Connor Elexander Macko

Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education Social Studies
Katherine Lee Dumont
William Alexander Kay
Jessie Elana Mintz
Ferhana Shah

Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education English
Elizabeth Grey Thomas

Master of Business Administration
Arne Albin Anderson
Katrina Elaine Billie
John Alexander Castleberry
Jonathan Chang
Christian Edward Cochran
Alexander Stephen Cosper
Bradley Diggins Costello
Kenneth Tyler Denison
Gregory Wegner Dyson Jr.
Zari Ebadeh Ahvazi
David Haynie Fant Jr.
John Alfred Fludd Jr.
Marion Terrell Foxworth Jr.
Ryan Farrell Graham
Daniel Jonathan Harrison
Nicholas Dillon Heffner
Hayden Gordon Hollinger
Stephen Matthew Holton
Samantha Mary Kolpak
Jin Ju Lee
Kelly Diane Linderman
Adriana Belen Lorduy
Seth William Malek
Katherine Anne Malloy
Michelle Love McDonald
Christopher George Melonas
Christine Anne Miller
Latoya Montgomery
Brandon James Mulier
Kavin Samy Panneerselvam
Coleman James Parler
William Bradley Pond
Jon-Paul McKinnon Ramsing
Elizabeth Devoll Rogers
Trevor Raymond Speelman
James R. Thompson
Jennifer Anne Veyera
Sean Ward
Brandon Matthew Watt
Benjamin Eugene Womick
Quintin Fitzgerald Wright Jr.
Lauraie Ann Zealy

Master of Education in Counselor Education
Elizabeth Ann Bassetti
Lorraine Marie Bebensee
Laurel Clark
Addison Dame
Caitlin Elizabeth DeMers
Vanessa Yvonne Kopp
Kileigh Michelle O’Brien
Molly O’Reilly
Elsie Cassandra Schloegl
Kimberly Nettles Sfreddo
Nicole Gabrielle Snow
Patricia Szczygiel

Master of Education in Educational Leadership School Administration
Kayla Paige Baker

Master of Education in Literacy Education
Elizabeth Ceccoli
Lauren Elizabeth Roche
Katherine Marie Warren

Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Jonathan Eric Pinto

Master of Science in Health Exercise Sport Science
Ramsha Shams

Master of Science in Leadership
Carey Dawn Gorden
Christopher Micah Peyton
Alienne Ashley Jessica Salleroli
Albert Wayne Walling Jr.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Michael William Scullin

Master of Science in Project Management
Emily Morgan Peters
Matthew Edward Rushing
Suzanne Virginia Tully

Specialist in Education in Education Leadership School Superintendent
Deitra Lynn Clegg
Ashley Dominique Grech
Glenda Gibson Levine

  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Daniel Patrick Ryan
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership – Stephanie Anne Fye, Rochelle Roper Johnson, Ryan Jeffrey McGill, Jacob Christopher Pilarski, Wayne Anthony Wright
  • Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Analysis – Jeffrey Scott Hoel, Joseph Netzel, Clark Alexander Roberts
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership – Alexis Camille Bradfieldm Charles Robert Forsythe, Carey Dawn Gorden, Zachary Jones, Christopher Micah Peyton, Tara Jane Spencer
  • Graduate Certificate in Literacy Education – Elizabeth Ceccoli, Lauren Elizabeth Roche, Katherine Marie Warren
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport Management – Bradley Tejohn Frasier
  • Graduate Certificate in Student Affairs – Jamie Samantha Cannady, Jessie Colleen Cannon, Andrew Robert Nyser, Joshua Luke Simon
  • Graduate Certificate in Technical Project Management – Jonathan MJ Cain, Melissa Delaney Nenninger, Emily Morgan Peters, Matthew Edward Rushing, Suzanne Virginia Tully

Watch a brief recap of The Citadel Class of 2021 commencement ceremonies below.

The Citadel Graduate College students from December 2020

The names of the people from all sections of The Citadel Graduate College who graduated in December 2020 are as follows:

Abigail Stevens Best                                        
Adam C. Raynor                                              
Adrienne Louise Busch                                       
Alden Moinet Hathaway III                                   
Alexandria Marie English                                    
Alexis Noel Ayoub                                           
Alison Katherine Milz                                       
Allyson Elaine Burrell                                      
Alyssa Muraoka                                              
Amy Marie Baldwin                                           
Amy Michelle Paparozzi                                      
Andrea Gaskins Carlton                                      
Andrew B. Phelan                                            
Andrew Lewis Dolan                                          
Anna Rose Nelson                                            
Annalise Joy Boisvert                                       
Ashley Elizabeth Rutherford                                 
Aubrey Carson                                               
Aveus Cierra Johnson                                        
Benjamin Manuel Dacoba                                      
Blake Cody Mallett-Fuina                                    
Braiden Leigh Burdette                                      
Brandon Lee Rainey                                          
Brenna Rene Prince                                          
Brian Joseph Monk                                           
Brian Paul Scarborough                                      
Carolyn Claire Gutshall                                     
Chandler Marie Dodds                                        
Charles Wood Benton                                         
Chase Edward Hyland                                         
Chelsea Scott Keyes                                         
Clarence Ray Bocook Jr.                                     
Crystal Lashay Cochran                                      
Curtis Jerome Capers Jr.                                    
Dana Morales Kozak                                          
Dean Stanley Haggerty III                                   
Dimitra Michalaka                                           
Donald Charles Buzanowski II                                
Douglas Henry Gudenburr                                     
Edmund Jevon Gilchrist                                      
Elizabeth McLaurin Uptegrove                                
Emanuele Giogli                                             
Emanuele Giogli                                             
Gregory Richard Djoboulian                                  
Gregory Richard Djoboulian                                  
Harley Lauren Murphy                                        
Heather Lauren Studer                                       
Holly Thompson                                              
Hunter Cassidy Helms                                        
Ian James McCormack                                         
Ian Quin Russick                                            
James Caleb Robinson                                        
James Curtis Tingle                                         
Jason Alan Scott                                            
Jason Alan Scott                                            
Jason Alan Scott                                            
Jason Marc David                                            
Javonna Michelle Perry-Moultrie                             
Jeremy Joseph Carrick                                       
Jessica Baynes                                              
Jessie Montel Townsend III                                  
John Michael Ray                                            
John Patrick McKenna                                        
John Paul Semones                                           
John Thomas Welch                                           
Jonathan Meyer Workman                                      
Jordan Joseph Bradway                                       
Joshua Davidson Trac                                          
Julia Mae Luzon                                             
Kaila Xiomara Smith                                         
Kenneth Abram Wright Jr.                                    
Kevin Christopher Swain                                     
Kevin Joseph Dougherty                                      
Kimberly Ellis Waters                                       
Kimberly Larissa Palomo                                     
Kyle Robert Dickerman                                       
Leslie Arlen Cotter III                                     
Linnea McAnaw Parker                                        
Lisa Marie Calhoun                                          
Marei Martin Draper                                         
Matthew Douglas Brock                                       
Matthew Stephen Bonham                                      
Megan Elizabeth Yaeger                                      
Michael Sharpe                                              
Nathan Adams                                                
Nathan Jamar Haggwood                                       
Nicholas Edward Paramore                                    
Nicholas Erickson                                           
Nicholas Kollias                                            
Norris Aubrey Moore                                         
N’taallyah Wilder                                           
Orianna Isabella Baham                                      
Phillip T. Sexton                                           
Rebecca Leah Marazita                                       
Robert Gasque Howe II                                       
Ross Ian Caterino                                           
Russell Hunter Griffith Louis Jr.                           
Salondra Marie Griggs                                       
Shannon Nicole Turner                                       
Shasta Marie Rieker                                         
Sims Brooks Dozier                                          
Stephanie Darian Childers                                   
Stephanie Rose Clinevell                                    
Sumerlyn Cate Carruthers                                    
Thomas Scott Tezera                                         
Timothy Bryan Beckham                                       
Timothy Douglas Jones                                       
Victoria Rodriguez                                          
William Henderson Arnette                                   
William Jasper Lucas                                        
Zachary Andrew Hanchin                                      

Citadel Graduate College’s Lt. Col. Brandon Pitcher, leading infantry battalion https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-graduate-colleges-lt-col-brandon-pitcher-leading-infantry-battalion/ Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:48:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=21572 The 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion, SC National Guard, honored U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph B. Bulwinkle, 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion outgoing commander, and welcomed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brandon T. Pitcher, during the 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion change of command. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly D. Calkins, SC National GuardThe 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion, SC National Guard, honored U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph B. Bulwinkle, 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion outgoing commander, and welcomed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brandon T. Pitcher, during the 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion change of command. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly D. Calkins, SC National GuardA College Park Middle teacher has climbed the ranks to now lead an infantry battalion in the National Guard in the upstate.]]> The 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion, SC National Guard, honored U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph B. Bulwinkle, 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion outgoing commander, and welcomed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brandon T. Pitcher, during the 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion change of command. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly D. Calkins, SC National GuardThe 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion, SC National Guard, honored U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph B. Bulwinkle, 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion outgoing commander, and welcomed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brandon T. Pitcher, during the 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion change of command. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly D. Calkins, SC National Guard

Photo above: The 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion, SC National Guard, honored U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph B. Bulwinkle, 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion outgoing commander, and welcomed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brandon T. Pitcher, during the 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion change of command. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly D. Calkins, SC National Guard.

As seen in The Post and Courier

Note: Pitcher earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The Citadel Graduate College

A College Park Middle teacher has climbed the ranks to now lead an infantry battalion in the National Guard in the upstate.

On Jan. 9, the 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion, South Carolina National Guard, honored U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph B. Bulwinkle, 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion outgoing commander.

The battalion also welcomed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brandon T. Pitcher, during the 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion change of command held at McCrady Training Center in Eastover.

Bulwinkle relinquished his command to Pitcher after nearly five-year post as commander.

Pitcher is a seventh and eighth-grade science teacher at College Park Middle. This is his first year at the school. He has served in the National Guard for 25 years.

Pitcher said this milestone achievement is “huge” and something he has been working toward during his career with the National Guard.

“This is a big deal for me,” he said, adding, “To be chosen is quite an honor.”

The Change of Command went into effect this month.

According to his bio, Pitcher is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the Citadel College of Graduate Studies. Pitcher has served as a teacher and school administrator for more than 29 years in the Berkeley County School District and Dorchester School District Two; he retired as Oakbrook Middle’s principal last year and desired to head back to the classroom, and came to College Park Middle.

Pitcher attended the Palmetto Military Academy Officer Candidate School, Class 49 and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1998. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Infantry Captains Career Course, the Combined Arms Exercise course, the Human Resources Management Qualification Course, and is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College.

Pitcher’s previous military assignments include: Deputy Commander, 218th Regiment (Leadership); Executive Officer, 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB); S1, 218th MEB; S3, 1-118th Infantry Battalion; S1, S3 Air, 4-118th Infantry Battalion; Commander, Company A, 1-118th Infantry (Deployed); Executive Officer Detachment 1, HHC, 1-118th Infantry; Executive Officer, Company A, 1-118th Infantry; and Platoon Leader, Company B, 1-118th Infantry.

Pitcher’s military awards include: the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device, NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Expert Infantry Badge.

He is a member of the National Guard Association of South Carolina, the National Guard Association of the United States, the National Infantry Association, Sumter Guards, Washington Light Infantry, and the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Pitcher lives in Summerville with his wife, Susan, and their daughters, Brettan, and Graycen, and son, Colton.

Leadership Day has a new name and some COVID-caused adjustments, but the spirit of service is exactly the same https://today.citadel.edu/leadership-day-has-a-new-name-and-some-covid-caused-adjustments-but-the-spirit-of-service-is-exactly-the-same/ Fri, 23 Oct 2020 18:00:09 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=19222 Thanks to a generous donation from The Citadel Class of 1979, the annual event, which has a new name, will be permanently endowed.]]>

Photo: (left) Cadet Samantha Walton, contributor to this story and Regimental Public Affairs NCO, volunteering to make masks at The Citadel

2020 will be a year without Leadership Day at The Citadel — but that does not mean that the South Carolina Corps of Cadets will go a single day of the year without acting as servant leaders.

However, even after the pandemic is behind us, Leadership Day will not return. That’s because, thanks to a generous donation from one alumni class, the annual event has a new name.

A nearly $1 million contribution — surpassing their goal of $604,000 — will permanently endow the Class of 1979 Leadership Day

“In support of strategic commitments to service learning and development of principled leaders, The Citadel’s annual Leadership Day entails all regularly scheduled classes replaced with an on or off campus training, seminar, or service project for all cadets. All activities on Leadership Day are designed to engage students in a meaningful educational and developmental process outside the classroom. This gift will ensure the continuation and future growth of this program and further the development of principled leaders.”

The Class of 1979, The Citadel Foundation

The Class of 1979 Leadership Day will have an immediate chance to live up to its new name — the first major challenge is overcoming year’s difficulties and setting the stage for many more Class of 1979 Leadership Days to come.

One of the most visible aspects of a normal Leadership Day is when Citadel cadets travel into the community, donating their time to local schools and organizations. Activities are divided by class. Freshmen visit local elementary schools, sophomores choose from a variety of service projects, juniors take part in an on-campus Ethics Enrichment Experience and seniors visit local businesses and organizations to learn from Lowcountry leaders.

Cadets shoveling oyster shells at U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Cadets shoveling oyster shells at U.S. Fish and Wildlife in 2019

This year, in the COVID environment, the Corps will have a smaller physical presence in the community, but with the same large impact. Groups of freshmen cadets will design and record lessons about what makes a hero, which will be shared with elementary, middle and high schoolers in the area. Sophomores will still travel out to work on service projects, but will do so on two separate days in November; other sophomores will serve as team leaders for the freshmen. Juniors and seniors will be assigned virtual lessons to replace their normal activities.

But just because the Class of 1979 Leadership Day looks different this year doesn’t mean cadets have stopped serving the community on a daily basis.

Hear from some Citadel cadets below and how they’ve been making every day a leadership day.

Sweetgrass Garden, by Cadet Lucy Pincus

I enjoy doing community service. It’s a great way to help a person or an organization in the local community. It’s also a great way to get off campus and to ease your mind off cadet stuff.

On one weekend we had an inspection and, right after it was over, I went to volunteer at a farm called Sweetgrass Garden.

Some of the tasks were gardening, mowing the lawn, moving and placing down mulch, taking care of the goat pens, and other various activities. I really enjoyed it, and I will go back there again.

I got to meet and talk to new people, we bonded as a group and ended the effort by sitting around a bond fire. We also got to bring back a small jar of honey, collected from bees on the farm, as well as a bag of sunflower seeds. 

Feed a Friend, by Cadet Hunter Smith

This was my first-time doing Feed-A-Friend Friday, but I was extremely eager to make a difference.

Each Friday a non-profitable organization cooks and provides food to homeless people in downtown Charleston. My favorite part of the experience was seeing the warm smiles on the faces of those in line when they received a warm meal, and seeing that a plate of food can make someone’s day better.

My job was handing out water to those in line, and I extremely enjoyed the small conversations that I had with them as they waited in line. I know that also made their day for someone just to greet them and make them feel welcomed.

My goal is to be the person that cares when they don’t have someone else who does.

Hope to Home, by Cadet Javonte Spratley

Volunteering for Hope To Home was a great experience for me. This was the first time I decided to volunteer for service hours without being told to do so.

I was able to travel around to different donors and collect the items that they donated, going to the formerly homeless who just got houses. I would also send the donations back to the warehouse.

This allowed me to go out of my way to help my community and also learn about my community. I was able to see how happy and glad the donors were when we came to pick up their donations, and I was able to see how happy the team members were when we finished putting everything in the warehouse. 

This experience has opened my eyes to how much volunteering allows me to see and do. After I finished volunteering, I joined the Rotaract Club because I loved going out of my way to help the community and those who need help. If I was ever asked to volunteer for Hope For Homes again, I would gladly do it. 

Beidler Forest Audubon Center, by Cadet Samantha Walton

An exhilarating and gratifying part of The Citadel experience is the ability to unselfishly give your time to others around you. It is such a heartwarming feeling, continuing to expound upon The Citadel’s rich heritage of making a positive impact in the South Carolina community.

On the first Saturday of September, The Citadel’s Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics gave 13 cadets an opportunity to serve at Audubon’s Beidler Forest Service.

The Beidler Forest Audubon Center is a service that administers the ecosystem of the forest and grasslands of the Lowcountry. The forest is a picturesque part of nature offering sundry trails, campground sights, and a birds-eye view of South Carolina’s exquisite wildlife. 

The energized team arrived on site at about 8 a.m., enthused and eager to be hands on worker-bees. We were first introduced to the three-man squad and given further knowledge about the expectation to fulfill the duties and tend to the forest.

The team was then split up into groups of no more than five, while being sure to execute COVID-19 protocols of social distancing. The objective for the my team was cutting back the overrunning sweetgum trees, branches and anything in the way of the fire breakers along the nature trails.

It was such an enjoyable experience to participate in a new service, beautifying and giving an alluring appeal to nature that God so carefully designed for us to enjoy. I took away the significance of maintaining our habitats to sustain a flourishing environment for our animals and mankind. 

The cadet perspectives are courtesy of Samantha Walton, the Regimental Public Affairs non-commissioned officer, who also contributed her own volunteer story above.