Science & Mathematics – The Citadel Today Thu, 17 Dec 2020 21:19:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Science & Mathematics – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 What’s Lurking in our Flood Waters? Sat, 26 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 A joint research project, with Dr. John Weinstein and Dr. Claudia Rocha, is analyzing microplastics and bacteria found in tidal flood waters.]]>

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Megan James

Under a microscope is a dish of flood waters from Haygood street, and graduate researcher Bonnie Ertel is picking out microplastics.

“I’m looking for color, shape, and also texture.”

It’s all part of the joint research project of Dr. John Weinstein and Dr. Claudia Rocha, analyzing microplastics and bacteria that are found in our sunny day, coastal flood waters from high tides.

“Our hypothesis is that as the flood water covers the street, and then ebs down into the tidal creeks, that it could be a pathway for microplastics into the coastal waterways here in Charleston,” Bonnie Ertel, Graduate Student Researcher at The Citadel, said.

Microplastics, of course, can harm organisms living in these waterways. Harmful bacteria can as well, and it can also cause an array of health problems for people.

“DHEC looks for certain types of bacteria that indicate contamination by fecal matter,” Dr. Claudia Rocha, Professor of Biology, said.

That’s what you can see here in these petri dishes. There are fecal coliforms and enterococci, which harm both human and animal health.

“We find another bacteria that you don’t hear much about and that is vibrio,” Dr. Rocha said. “Vibrios can become a concern not just for the contamination of shellfish, but because it can cause infections.”

Understanding what microplastics and bacteria are found in our waterways is ever important as our climate continues to change.

“The seas are rising, and therefore we are seeing more flooding events here in the city of Charleston,” Dr. Rocha warned.

“It’s not gonna stop anytime soon,” Ertel said. “I think it’s important to understand the whole impact, the environmental impact, this flooding has before it’s too late…. Before it’s too late.”

At the Citadel, Meteorologist Megan James, Count on 2.

Tis the season: cadets share holiday thoughts and traditions Sat, 19 Dec 2020 17:00:00 +0000 Citadel Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu, on winter furlough in Austria in 2019Citadel Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu, on winter furlough in Austria in 2019When you are kind, when you treat people with respect and show that you care about them, it goes a very long way.]]> Citadel Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu, on winter furlough in Austria in 2019Citadel Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu, on winter furlough in Austria in 2019

Photo above: Citadel Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu, on winter furlough in Austria in 2019

By Cadet Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs NCO

Cadet Samantha Walton

I’m Samantha Walton. I am a junior, the Regimental Public Affairs NCO for the 2020-21 academic year, and am majoring in Political Science.

I am home in Macon, Georgia with my family for the our Winter Furlough from campus.

Christmas is a very important time for me as a Christian, as an individual, and as a member of The Citadel Gospel Choir.

I also appreciate the differences of my fellow students in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. We don’t all see this season in the same way.

As part of my role as Regimental Public Affairs NCO I work to keep cadets connected through communications and stories. This time, I asked a few cadets to share their thoughts about the holiday season after we all left campus for the break. This is what they emailed back to me.

Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu

Junior, Construction Engineering Major

Favorite holiday song?
My favorite holiday song is “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” because it is very jolly.

A tradition you cherish?
In Taiwan, most people don’t really celebrate Christmas as our holiday, but we do occasionally exchange gifts for fun and sharing joy.

Fondest holiday memory?
I remember when I was little, my dad came home very late once on Christmas eve, dressed up as Santa Claus, and gave me and my brothers presents. This was a special memory because we really didn’t normally celebrate Christmas. And last year I took an amazing trip to Austria.

Citadel Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu, on winter furlough in Austria in 2019
Citadel Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu, on winter furlough in Austria in 2019

Looking forward to?
I look forward to the decorations everywhere when in America with my host family. It is so magical to see all the lights, Christmas trees, and decorations everywhere you go. Additionally, I was looking forward to going home to Taiwan, but due to COVID-19 I am staying with my host family.

Caring for others in this challenging time?
I am helping my host family move to a new home, gathering things and delivering them for donations, and packing up.

Religious traditions?
I am not religious.

On your wish list?
A Netflix marathon!

Cadet Natalie Stewart, USMC contract

Sophomore, Psychology Major
Las Vegas, Nevada

Cadet Natalie Stewart’s Christmas tree and family dog

Favorite holiday song?
Happy Christmas by John Lennon

A tradition you cherish?
On Christmas my mom, sister and I sit in the living room together and share lots of love. We eat cookies, wear fuzzy pajamas, and spend time together.

Fondest holiday memory?
My fondest holiday memory is when I came home for Winter Furlough from my knob year. I hadn’t seen my family since I left for matriculation, since they live so far away. I remember coming home to my mom and sister, and I felt an immense rush of joy when they hugged me. 

This year we are taking extra precautions to keep my grandparents safe and ordering our gifts all online.

Looking forward to?
I am looking forward to relaxing and spending lots of time with my family and dogs. Since there isn’t much to do with COVID-19 regulations, we will all be home together this Christmas. I hope to make some cookies with my sister! 

Religious traditions?
My family isn’t a specific religion, but we always express the importance of spreading kindness and acceptance in the world. 

On your wish list?
I asked for a new pair of glasses and a watch. I’ll be going into 2021 with 20/20 vision – ha!

Band Company cadet Natalie Stewart prepares supplies before knob arrivals during Matriculation Day for the Class of 2024 at The Citadel.

Caring for others in this challenging time?
I think the first thing we can do as individuals is spread kindness and love (especially in times like these). For those who are able, there are programs you can reach out to, where you can help others in need. Having open arms (6ft away of course) and recognizing each other’s individual needs can go a long way.

I went through my closet the other day, and I posted what I gathered on my neighborhood page. I was glad I found some people my age who were in need of some clothes. We also got in touch with a local church, where you can “adopt a family” and it allows you to help out a family in need. 

“Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love” – Anonymous (Buddhist quote)

Jaret Sean Price

Junior, Exercise Science Major
Aiken, South Carolina

Favorite holiday song?
Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys

A tradition you cherish?
A tradition that I cherish is that every Christmas Eve after dinner my brother, sister, and I each open an ornament given to us by my Mom and Dad to hang on the family Christmas tree. This was something my Mom did as a little girl with her parents and carried it over when I was born. I hope one day I can continue this family tradition when I have children of my own.

Fondest holiday memory?
I don’t really have a fondest holiday memory. I just enjoy being home with my family and living in the “now.” Every Christmas leaves me with a new memory, and if I were asked what I remember from a certain Christmas then I’d be able to answer with a smile.

Looking forward to?
Each year I look forward to coming home from The Citadel for Winter Furlough and walking into the house to see that my parents have put up all 25 Christmas trees. Each Christmas tree, of course, has its own theme.

The COVID-19 pandemic really isn’t changing how we celebrate the holidays. We’re wearing masks, but still celebrating.

Religious traditions?
We put up my great-grandfathers manger and Nativity Scene that he built and the figurines my great-grandmother painted.

On your wish list?
Not much, just some closes and little things.

Caring for others in this challenging time?
Every Christmas season we do a sweep of clothes that we don’t wear anymore or that are too small on my younger siblings. Those clothes are collected and are taken to the local Goodwill for people who will need them.

When you are kind, when you treat people with respect and show that you care about them, it goes a very long way. As a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets I remember people who were kind and caring towards me, who took the time out of their day to check on me. That is someone I want to be, something that I don’t ever want to steer away from; and I truly believe that all Cadets are capable to doing this.

Freshmen on Matriculation Day 2020

James Hayes III
Freshman, Civil Engineering Major
Ridgeland, South Carolina

Favorite holiday song?
“This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway. We always play this song during the Christmas season.

A tradition you cherish?
A tradition I cherish is when my family goes to my grandparents’ house. We all go there and eat good food, open gifts, and have great fellowship. It’s something I look forward to every year. Unfortunately with the pandemic I don’t think we can all go be with my grandparents.

Fondest holiday memory?
My grandma’s sweet potato pie. It’s a staple during the holiday season

Looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and friends. I also like to fish so I’m looking forward to that as well.

I am also looking forward to going back to campus in January, but I hope we can have more interaction with our peers, though I know the restrictions were meant to keep us from getting COVID-19. I really enjoyed the battalion cookout we had before we left for furlough. I think doing more of those throughout the year would help a lot.

On your wish list?
I would like to get a guitar and keyboard piano because I started practicing on those instruments this past semester at The Citadel. 

Caring for others in this challenging time?
We are getting gifts for people at the homeless shelters. We are also taking some of our extra clothes and jackets there for people to use this winter.

Candles line the aisle at The Citadel Christmas Candlelight services
Letters to the Editor: Trees offer many benefits beyond helping with storm water Sat, 19 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 Scott Curtis, Ph.D., is the director of The Citadel's Lt. Col. James B. Near, Jr., USAF, ’77 Center for Climate Studies.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier

I very much enjoyed reading the Dec. 13 Post and Courier article “Amid a flooding crisis, thirsty tree coverage shrinks.”

Norm Levine of the Lowcountry Hazards Center at the College of Charleston provides convincing evidence of the loss of trees in the Charleston area and their effects on storm water management.

Trees also have an important benefit for the ecosystem, providing habitat and food sources for animals, but I would like to highlight other weather and climate benefits for healthy forests in the Lowcountry.

First, trees act as wind breaks for storms and hurricanes. According to a 2019 Coastwatch article, many structures were spared after Hurricane Floyd hit North Carolina because large trees surrounded homes.

Trees also provide important shade, lowering temperatures in the summer by 20 degrees or more, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The supply of moisture to the atmosphere (evapotranspiration) also is a cooling effect on the air surrounding the trees.

Finally, trees take up carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and store carbon more effectively than grass, thus they serve as a way to mitigate climate change.

The benefits of forests in the Lowcountry show a need for strategic planning for growth in the Charleston area so we can all be safe from future water, wind, and temperature threats.

Director, Lt. Col. James B. Near, Jr., USAF, ’77 Center for Climate Studies
The Citadel
Moultrie Street

For more information about The Citadel’s Center for Climate Studies or any of these projects, please contact the director, Dr. Scott Curtis by emailing

Atlanta attorney and humanitarian pledges $20 million to The Citadel Wed, 16 Dec 2020 19:49:42 +0000 William B. Endictor, The Citadel Class of 1959William B. Endictor, The Citadel Class of 1959Class of 1959 alumnus, William Baer Endictor, announces legacy gift to support college’s academic endowment He may be retired, but Atlanta attorney William Baer Endictor, The Citadel Class of 1959,]]> William B. Endictor, The Citadel Class of 1959William B. Endictor, The Citadel Class of 1959

Class of 1959 alumnus, William Baer Endictor, announces legacy gift to support college’s academic endowment

He may be retired, but Atlanta attorney William Baer Endictor, The Citadel Class of 1959, continues to make a name for himself through his extensive volunteer and charitable work.

The former assistant solicitor for the state of Georgia and Fortune 500 CEO has found a new passion in fighting food insecurity to help the less fortunate members of his community. He has taken on the cause like a new career, working tirelessly as a volunteer to support Feed the Hungry and the Atlanta Community Food Bank, along with several local hospitals.

Endictor firmly believes that charity begins at home. In addition to his extensive support of his local community, his attention has never wavered from his roots and experiences as a cadet at The Citadel, which he credits for much of his success. To make similar opportunities available for generations of cadets to come, Endictor has decided to bequeath his entire estate to his alma mater.

Recently, Endictor announced a legacy gift totaling approximately $20 million at today’s value to support the greatest needs of the college through The Citadel Foundation (TCF). This gift—among the largest TCF has ever received—is an expansion of a previous bequest of $2.5 million initially documented in 2009. 

How Endictor’s generosity will contribute to his alma mater

Endictor’s thoughtful and strategic placement of funds will provide for the greatest needs of the college and significantly augment the Academic Enhancement fund. This fund plays a critical role in securing the college’s academic excellence through TCF’s annual academic enhancement grant to The Citadel. Each year, this distribution of several million dollars from TCF to the college supports educational enrichment opportunities, scholarship support for faculty and students, program enhancements, and technology upgrades and improvements.

“In supporting the college’s strategic plan, Our Mighty Citadel 2026, this gift helps ensure The Citadel remains strong in the future,” said The Citadel President General Glenn M. Walters, USMC, Ret., ’79.  “Academic enhancement is the lifeblood of this institution, supporting our mission to educate principled leaders. By generously supporting this fund, Bill’s estate gift secures his legacy of leadership and reinforces his lifetime of service to his alma mater.”

Endictor, who lives in the Atlanta suburb of Brookhaven, Georgia, is a retired lawyer who specialized in trial work. He is a former Georgia Assistant Solicitor as well as a corporate attorney for the former E.T. Barwick Industries. Endictor advanced to the position of chief executive officer and member of the then Fortune 500 company’s board of directors. 

Why he loves The Citadel

Endictor is deeply passionate about his alma mater, made evident through his service as a member of both the President’s Advisory Committee and The Citadel Foundation Board of Directors, and as the former TCF Class Chairman for the Class of 1959.  He is a member of The Citadel Legacy Society and the Society of 1842 lifetime giving societies, as well as a Past President of The Citadel Alumni Association. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from The Citadel.

Cadet William Baer Endictor, photographed for The Citadel’s Sphinx yearbook in 1958 while a junior

In 2009, to celebrate his 50th class reunion, Endictor documented a significant legacy gift in an effort to recognize and repay the role The Citadel played in the success he achieved in life. He named The Citadel as the sole beneficiary of his entire estate, becoming one of only a handful of donors who have done so.  In the decade since, he has seen the value of his estate grow, allowing him to substantially increase the amount of his legacy gift to The Citadel.

Modestly downplaying his own career successes, Endictor attributes the bulk of his wealth to two factors: the influence of his mother and father, and his experience as a cadet at The Citadel.

“The Citadel Foundation is the life-blood of The Citadel. Without the Foundation, Lesesne Gate would have closed decades ago,” said Endictor regarding the inspiration for his generous gift. “The leadership of The Citadel is outstanding. I have always said that the smartest thing anyone can do is to hire the right people and then get out of their way.”

TCF President and Chief Executive Officer John P. Dowd III, Ph.D., notes the significant impact this gift will have on the future of the college when the bequest is realized.  “Through his extensive professional accomplishments and volunteer service to The Citadel, Bill Endictor has demonstrated his profound commitment to the disciplined education and leader development The Citadel provides.  On behalf of The Citadel Foundation Board of Directors and staff, I am pleased to express our gratitude for Bill’s leadership and service to the college,” said Dowd.

As Endictor’s estate has grown, so has his relationship with his alma mater and The Citadel Foundation.  Over the years, TCF Director of Legacy Giving Bill Yaeger, ’83, has developed a long-standing relationship with Endictor.  “We have many alumni who are passionate about our alma mater. Mr. Endictor, as demonstrated by his activities with the college and now this gift, has put credence into that passion,” said Yaeger. “He is a friend of mine and a friend of our alma mater, and he has been great to work with.”

William B. Endictor photographed with The Citadel’s 19th president, Gen. John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret.), ’73

William Baer Endictor graduated from The Citadel in 1959 as a pre-med major with a Bachelor of Science degree. After starting at the Medical College of Virginia, he realized that his true interest was in law and changed his career focus. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1963.

A specialist in international and trial law, Mr. Endictor pursued a career distinguished by standing up for principles that are at the heart of our legal system. He successfully tried hundreds of cases in different parts of the world and also served as Assistant Solicitor for the state of Georgia. In that position, he became well known for his work combating pornography and organized crime, successfully litigating cases all the way to the nation’s highest court, the United States Supreme Court.

In the 1970s Mr. Endictor joined E.T. Barwick Industries, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of floor coverings, as general counsel. He later became president and CEO of that Fortune 500 company.

During the past four decades, Mr. Endictor has been loyal and supportive of The Citadel with his time and talents. He is past president of The Citadel Alumni Association, a founder of The Citadel Development Foundation and a former director of The Citadel Foundation. He serves as chairman for the Class of 1959 and leads The Citadel Volunteers group in Georgia. As a member of the Society of 1842, he has joined The Citadel Foundation’s most elite philanthropic circle.

Mr. Endictor has also generously supported several Atlanta charities including the Atlanta Food Bank, a Feed the Hungry organization and three hospitals.

In recognition of his leadership to his profession and his deep commitment to his alma mater, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to present William Baer Endictor with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

From the 2011 Honorary Doctor of Laws citation from The Citadel for William Baer Endictor
Renowned Citadel health scientist leading new military sector for National Physical Activity Plan Fri, 20 Nov 2020 21:06:43 +0000 Dr. Dan Bornstein photographed in Citadel weight room in 2018Dr. Dan Bornstein photographed in Citadel weight room in 2018CPR3 director, Dan Bornstein, Ph.D., continues work to improve fitness for national security The Citadel offers one of the only graduate degrees in America designed to meet the growing demand]]> Dr. Dan Bornstein photographed in Citadel weight room in 2018Dr. Dan Bornstein photographed in Citadel weight room in 2018

CPR3 director, Dan Bornstein, Ph.D., continues work to improve fitness for national security

The Citadel offers one of the only graduate degrees in America designed to meet the growing demand for exercise science, specifically ones trained to work with military personnel and first responders – those considered tactical athletes by occupation. It’s one of the academic programs offered through the college’s Center for Performance, Readiness, Resiliency and Recovery (CPR3).

But the Master of Science in Health, Exercise and Sport Science: Concentration in Tactical Performance and Resiliency is only one component of CPR3. There are two other tactical academic programs, also in-person training events for first responders and veterans, plus numerous supporting research efforts underway.

CPR3 training session on campus

The exercise scientist behind CPR3, and national news-making researcher into America’s declining physical fitness, Dan Bornstein, Ph.D., now has another role to contribute to his goal to build a more fit America for the sake of military readiness.

CPR3 training session with law enforcement officers in Citadel’s Dawg Pound Weight Room

In November, the Steering Committee for the National Physical Activity Plan approved adding a tenth sector, Military Settings, to the plan. Bornstein, who has served in numerous roles supporting the plan, was named to head the new sector.

“The National Physical Activity Plan supports promotion of physical activity in all segments of the U.S. population.  The addition of content that is specific to promotion of physical activity in military settings extends the reach of the National Plan to critical elements of the population including active duty personnel, veterans, families of military personnel and civilian employees of the military branches,” said Russell Pate, Ph.D., one of the founders of the plan, and an exercise scientist with University of South Carolina.  “Dan Bornstein is the ideal person to lead this effort because he combines a long association with the National Physical Activity Plan with his ongoing professional leadership in promoting physical activity and fitness in military groups.” 

The National Physical Activity Plan is a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives designed to increase physical activity in all segments of the U.S. population. The plan aims to foster a national culture that supports physically active lifestyles. Its ultimate purpose is to improve health, prevent disease and disability, and enhance quality of life. Bornstein is assembling a team to begin the work of developing the Military Settings portion of the plan beginning in early 2021.

Additionally, Bornstein has served in roles for the Physical Activity Alliance since its inception and he is past chair of the American Public Health Association’s Physical Activity Section. Locally he volunteers as part of the Mayor’s Wellness Council among other projects. In 2018, Bornstein led a group to Capitol Hill, providing a briefing for The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity to call attention to how Congress, the Administration, industry, nonprofits and others within both the public and private sectors can work together to create a national way of life that supports and inspires physical activity—a linchpin for a physically, economically, and militarily stronger America.

Bornstein (third from left) with fellow panelists on Capitol Hill after Congressional briefing in 2018

Bornstein’s work has garnered national interest, with the impacts of first-of- its-kind research with U.S. Army data on impacts to national security because of a decline in the physical readiness of recruits. Other research by Bornstein and the CPR3 team includes:

  • Study with U.S. Army investigating economic impact to training-related injuries during basic combat training.
  • Upcoming study with Army ROTC investigating impact of professional Tactical Performance and Readiness training on Army Combat Fitness Test Performance.
  • Upcoming study on perceived benefits of professional tactical performance and readiness training among law enforcement SWAT team members.

From a community engagement perspective CPR3 is:

  • Providing professional psychological resiliency and recovery training to Citadel cadets
  • Engaging with Joint Base Charleston to provide professional tactical performance and readiness training on base.
  • Engaging with South Carolina National Guard to provide professional tactical performance and readiness training to Guard members

Read more about Bornstein and watch videos about related programs at The Citadel here.

CPR3 outdoor tactical training unit
From the Corps of Cadets to a clinical calling; alumni share their scholastic successes Wed, 18 Nov 2020 20:57:27 +0000 The Citadel Health Careers Society invited four Exercise Science alumni to visit (via Zoom) and discuss their successes.]]>

The main consensus: have a healthy GPA

Especially in the current climate, the word “exposure” has a lot of negative connotations — but, even from a medical point of view, exposure can also be a good thing.

In fact, exposure to positive alumni outcomes is very important to healthcare-bound cadets and students — that’s according to Sarah Imam, M.D., faculty administrator for The Citadel Health Careers Society and a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance.

That’s why, for the society’s holiday meeting, they invited four Exercise Science alumni to visit (via Zoom) and discuss their successes.

“It gives our current students hope,” continued Imam. “Sometimes the goal of being a doctor or dentist, or any health professional seems like an unattainable dream. Seeing alumni that were in their shoes not so long ago makes the dream obtainable.”

The guest panel included:

  1. Fernando Gonzalez, medical student at USC-Greenville. He has an HPSP Naval Scholarship and is a Medical Officer, 01 Ensign USNR
  2. Kyle Smith, dental student at MUSC. He has an HPSP Army Scholarship and was the founding Vice President of The Citadel Health Careers Society.
  3. Taylor Baucom, Physician Assistant student at MUSC. Current MUSC Public Relations chair for MUSC College of Health Professions and former president of The Citadel Health Careers Society.
  4. Christian Shave, Physical Therapy student at MUSC. Commissioned 2LT, Army.

One main theme of their conversation: grades.

“The most important part of coming out of The Citadel is: they give you a great opportunity to have a high GPA. Which, sometimes isn’t the most important thing on your bucket list, but I really want to emphasize that having this high GPA will make you super competitive,” said Smith, Class of 2018. “I think The Citadel gives you ample opportunity to boost your GPA, not only through the extra classes you take but also the study programs they have and the help that is provided to you.”

Kyle Smith, Class of 2018

And while everyone stressed the important of grades, they also point out that there are plenty of other things that make for a distinctive application to healthcare programs.

“I also have two medical mission trips under my belt,” said Gonzalez, a member of the Class of 2016. “They do help you to stand out from everybody else if you pursue them with the right mentality. I think they’re a great opportunity for anyone who can do that.”

Fernando Gonzalez, Class of 2016

But, ultimately, applications are not only about grades or extracurriculars — they’re about the applicant. And The Citadel’s leadership laboratory produces some of the best and most competitive.

“Just being at The Citadel gives you a one up on most other candidates,” said Shave, who graduated in 2020. “The director of the MUSC Physical Therapy program — after I got my acceptance — he actually sent me an email personally saying ‘Hey, we really value what you guys do at The Citadel, and we know you’ll bring great things to this program because of your experience at The Citadel.’ So they know that you guys are really doing good stuff and, even though your time may be limited in other areas, they recognize that and they know what you guys are learning.”

Christian Shave

The Citadel Health Careers Society is a student-led organization, for cadets and students — from any major — wanting to pursue any career within healthcare. The society helps members be more competitive applicants for postgraduate studies.

More chilling than Halloween: Top 10 cybersecurity threats of 2020 Mon, 26 Oct 2020 20:03:42 +0000 Photo of man wearing skeleton mask disguisePhoto of man wearing skeleton mask disguiseThey can run tools called “packet sniffers” which essentially grab little “packets” of your data being transmitted. ]]> Photo of man wearing skeleton mask disguisePhoto of man wearing skeleton mask disguise

They are creeping around many corners in cyberspace − nefariously cloaked tricksters (bad actors, black hats, hactivists, script kiddies – pick one) who may be out for more than just pulling minor pranks. Just as parents rifle through their kids trick-or-treating haul to search for something dangerous or corrupt, so should cyber users be wary.

With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, cybersecurity cadets Jared Johnson, Andrew Lindenmeyer, Robert Roser, Shiloh Smiles and Trey Stevens developed this list to help raise awareness about these ongoing threats. Lindenmeyer and Smiles are two of the college’s CyberCorps scholars, their junior and senior years funded with National Science Foundation grants that will lead them to cybersecurity-related positions with a federal agency after graduation.

  1. Deep Fakes

Deep fakes use Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to piece together existing footage and sound clips in order to fabricate fake clips that are super realistic, to the point where many believe it to be true. A.I. has gotten to the point where, with enough audio samples, it can simulate your voice into saying sentences that’s not close to anything that you really said.

2. Social Engineering

Social engineering is the act of manipulating people to gain information and data. The deception could be carried out as a fake phone call, a fake social media request or even a person coming to your door representing a “company.”

3. Phishing

Phishing is a threat, usually over email or phone call, where a hacker pretends to be a legitimate institution or company and baits users into clicking on a nefarious link or entering data into a fake official-looking form.

4. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware, generally downloaded through a malicious website or a through phishing email. The ransomware spreads rapidly on a computer, “encrypting” all its files—essentially translating them to an unreadable language. You then are forced to pay the hacker real money, often Bitcoin, in order to get your files decrypted and back to normal.

5. Physical Security

Physical Security is one that we all tend slack on as we think we are protected with a strong password on our computers. When leaving our devices, we need to lock them in order to prevent any unauthorized people from getting to it. While it does not seem realistic, a few seconds may be enough time for someone to run an automated program to setup remote access into your computer. These programs can sometimes exist on regular looking flash drives that people fall victim to. The majority of the time it is a USB someone finds on the ground or discarded somewhere. The finder is temped to look at it on their computer and, before you know it, it takes over. Make sure to avoid any unknown items and to enable security and location tracking in case your device disappears.

6. IoT Attacks

IoT stands for Internet of Things which has become a popular term in the recent years. This is a generic term that goes from the wireless smoke detector to the Amazon Alexa you have set up in the living room. Anything that is a device that connects to the Internet qualifies as an IoT device. Attacks on these devices are very bad when exploits are found. Depending on your IoT device, it may not receive updates as often as your computer and, since it is a smaller device, chances are the operating system is a stripped-down version compared to the full package. An IoT device may contain a stripped-down version in order to conserve space but this tends to cut out important security features. These devices should, instead, have stronger security because of the functions they can control. Enable every possible security option your device has, or research those that have the highest level of security.

7. Public Wi-Fi

The danger of public Wi-Fi is that nefarious people can often operate undetected. They can run tools called “packet sniffers” which essentially grab little “packets” of your data being transmitted. These packets could potentially include your credit card information or passwords. Additionally, people can trick you into joining networks and infect you with malware.

8. Data breaches

Data breaches are security breaks where massive amounts of data are leaked or stolen from a database, usually a company. This has multiple negative side effects. It hurts the company, which loses customers and credibility, the users who are now at risk due their personal data being in the hands of bad actors and it potentially hurts future users by giving hackers more credentials to try on other websites.

9. Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing is a specific type of cyber-attack use hackers use. Essentially, they take a large bank of hacked username/password combos and try them very rapidly against a website. If one happens to pass, they gain access into a user account. People who reuse usernames and passwords are vulnerable to this.

10. Accidental Sharing

With corporate and personal email being the leading sources of accidental data leaks, it is easy to see why accidental breaches are a top risk when securing information. The main cause of this is ignorance: an estimated 60% of organizations have not educated their employees on securing information. By simply understanding what phishing emails are, or by keeping passwords secure, can decrease the chances of exploitation significantly.

Interested in studying cybersecurity?

The Citadel offers a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations. Those graduating with that degree will be able to:

  • Apply security principles and practices to the design and implementation of the physical, software, and human component of the cyber systems
  • Analyze and evaluate cyber systems with respect to security
  • Identify, analyze and mitigate threats in the cyber systems

The Citadel is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Citadel cadets and students are eligible to apply for Department of Defense (DoD) Cybersecurity Scholarship (CySP) programs. The success rate for our students obtaining DoD CySP is 100%. And, The Citadel secured $2.8 million, establishing National Science Foundation CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program in 2020, the first SFS Program in the State of South Carolina.

For more information please call (843) 953-1089 or email

Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program preparing cadets to qualify for elite post-graduate scholarships Sun, 25 Oct 2020 23:00:00 +0000 CDSP provides its scholars with targeted mentoring and fellowship advising – learning who they are, what they want to accomplish, and helping them chart a path for getting there.]]>

The Citadel Distinguished Scholars Program (CDSP) is guiding its second group of cadets from the Class of 2023 toward constructing the kind of academic portfolio needed to be seriously considered for prestigious post-graduate scholarships such as a Rhodes or Fulbright.

The program selection committee identifies the highest-performing freshmen, who then work during their time as undergraduates at The Citadel to prepare to compete for master’s or doctoral degrees from the world’s best universities.

If these past months have taught us anything, it is that the world can change at lightning speed. For our future leaders that means not just having command of a narrow body of knowledge, but having the breadth of understanding of the world around us and critical thinking skills to analyze a situation and discern the right course of action quickly. We are helping our future leaders develop the skills to be bold, courageous and definitive.”

Earl Walker, Ph.D., professor of Management and Leadership, The Citadel

CDSP, recognizing that The Citadel is instilling core values in students in a disciplined and intellectually challenging military environment, seeks among them the most ambitious scholars who will then receive a higher level of personal, academic and professional development than was ever offered before.

CDSP’s newest cohort of scholars was selected last spring before the pandemic-forced campus shutdown. They are now sophomores and moving forward in the program.

Cadet Caleb Friend, The Citadel

Caleb Friend is a sophomore from Spartanburg, South Carolina, double-majoring in Modern Languages in French and Spanish. He graduated high school with high honors, where he was involved in the Student Leadership Institute and student government (as class rep and treasurer), Beta Club and concert band. He also participated on the golf, cross country and soccer teams, and attended Boys State. At The Citadel, Caleb is in the Honors Program, and is active in the Catholic Chaplaincy, Citadel Pipe and Drums and Irish Heritage Society. He plans to earn his Master’s before entering the Marines, and hopes to earn a doctorate one day.

Blake Garwood is a sophomore Computer Engineering major from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

At The Citadel, Blake is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and participates in the Association for Computing Machinery Club and the Cybersecurity Club. His favorite pastime is golf, and in high school he played in golf tournaments throughout the state of Florida.

Blake is interested in research, innovation and entrepreneurship, and plans to pursue a Ph.D.

Austin Miles-Curtsinger, is a sophomore from Newark, California, majoring in Political Science. In high school, he was a member of the swimming and water polo teams and volunteered with his city’s police department, assisting in the planning and execution of community events. He was awarded the Marine Option ROTC Scholarship to pay for his college education, and he will eventually commission in the United States Marine Corps. He enjoys reading, swimming, watching movies, horseback riding, exercising and spending time with friends and family. Austin is undecided about a military career and is interested in pursuing a law degree.

Cadet William Moran

William Moran is from Lexington, South Carolina.

He is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major, interested in having an impact via a math-based career in biotechnology while also open to learning new things and creative pursuits. In high school William was dedicated to learning and athletics, participating in cross country and tennis. At The Citadel, William is a member of the Toastmasters Club. He strives to be the friendliest person in the room. 

John Morris is a sophomore from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Morris is studying Political Science with a focus on Pre-Law and Legal Studies. He graduated from the Academy of Arts, Science and Technology. During high school he played soccer. He also enjoys reading, exercising, surfing and participating in missions for his church. At The Citadel, John participates in the South Carolina Student Legislature delegation and the Citadel’s chapter of the Republican Society. After graduation he plans to go to law school and practice as an attorney.

Cadet Benjamin Race

Benjamin Race is a sophomore double major in Mathematics and Computer Science, looking to add the new Cybersecurity major.

Race is from Columbus, Georgia but spent most of his life in Stockbridge, Michigan. In high school he was a two-time recipient of the AP distinguished scholar award. He was on the rifle team and received the U.S. Army Association award. As commander of the drill team, he helped them win two third-place state titles in drill, a first for his county. At The Citadel, Benjamin is a member of the Math Club and will join the Republican Society next year.

Elissa Reckdenwald is originally from Charleston, South Carolina. During her early teenage years, she moved to Andrews, South Carolina where she graduated from Andrews High School as valedictorian. In high school, Elissa was president of the National Honor Society, president of the Science National Honor Society, a delegate at Palmetto Girls State, and the secretary of FBLA. Elissa was captain of the female varsity cross country and soccer teams for three years, and participated in other extracurricular activities including the Art National Honor Society, drama club, chorus and band. At The Citadel, Elissa is a sophomore Intelligence and Security major with double minors in Leadership and Cyber Interdisciplinary Studies. She hopes to add a major in Spanish. She is a member of the Leadership Scholars Program and a Yawkey Scholar. Elissa also attends Grace Girls and is the manager of The Citadel women’s soccer team. During her first semester at The Citadel, Elissa was awarded Dean’s List, Gold Stars, and President’s list distinctions. She would like to pursue a security career with the U.S. government.

Trevor West is a Veteran Day student, having served as an Airborne Infantryman in the U.S. Army. During his enlistment he received two Army Achievement Medals, a U.S. Presidential Certificate of Appreciation and became the only soldier to complete the 82nd Airborne Division’s Pre-Ranger Course as a PV2.

West owns and operates a five-unit rental portfolio consisting of both single family and residential multifamily properties. He is also the Founder and President of The Citadel Real Estate Investment Club, serves as a Sector Head for the Student Managed Investment Fund, and is a Veteran Mentor to Citadel cadets pursuing combat roles and positions in Special Operations units. He is a sophomore Gold Star recipient majoring in Finance and minoring in Economics and Data Science.

“Among our diverse new scholars are future military and civilian leaders, engineers and lawyers,” said Earl Walker, Ph.D., director of CDSP and professor of management and leadership. “We see this program as beneficial to students in all majors and programs looking to maximize their opportunities for successful careers. We will develop their potential over their four years at The Citadel and make them well-rounded, well-versed, academically-prepared candidates who can put themselves up against the best of the best.” 

Potential scholars are invited to apply for the program based on academic achievements through their first semester at The Citadel. Successful candidates must submit an application, be interviewed by a panel of faculty and sign a contract committing them to a variety of academic goals.

“The first things we look for among potential scholars are ambition and verve,” adds Walker. “There are plenty of bright students out there with 4.0s, who will make out fine in life, but there is another tier, an upper echelon, for those who aspire to push themselves to be among the best in the world. 

CDSP provides its scholars with targeted tutoring, mentoring and fellowship advising focused on engagement – learning who they are, what they want to accomplish, and helping them chart a path for getting there.

The first four scholars, selected in 2019, are: 

  • Will Jensen, Computer Science and Mathematics
  • Ashley Ruiz, Political Science and Cybersecurity Intelligence
  • Eric Skinner, English and Electrical Engineering
  • Martynas Tendzegolskis, Finance and Political Science 

“We are always on the lookout for exceptional candidates. If you think you have what it takes, please contact us. We want to help you,” Walker concluded.

For more information please contact Dr. Walker via email at or Vanya Perez, CDSP program administrator, at

Citadel faculty, staff to participate in study of Charleston sunny day flood waters Thu, 22 Oct 2020 14:02:59 +0000 Researchers from The Citadel are taking a closer look at threats hiding in flood waters and marshes across Charleston and surrounding areas.]]>

As seen on WCBD – NBC Count on 2, by Riley Benson

Researchers from The Citadel are taking a closer look at threats hiding in flood waters and marshes across the City of Charleston and surrounding areas.

Plastics and microplastics, tire material and dangerous bacteria could all be lurking below the surface of sunny day flood waters. Researchers with The Citadel are hoping to learn more about the threats posed by the water.

“We’re trying to elevate research here at The Citadel on climate science, there hasn’t been a coordinated effort to do that yet and so through the center we are trying to do that,” says Dr. Scott Curtis, a professor at The Citadel.

The research consists of several projects. It’s part of a $47,000 initiative targeted at learning more about coastal flooding in and around Charleston.

“Marshes out here might be a sink for some of this plastic so it might absorb some of this plastic which is not good for the ecosystems that rely on the marshes,” says Curtis.

The study led by Citadel faculty and cadets will target streets across the peninsula known to flood when the tides get high, even when there’s not rain in the forecast.

“Whenever you have standing water it’s always an area where you can have a growth for bacteria,” says Curtis.

Dr. Curtis is leading the charge here in the Lowcountry but says the threats are far reaching across South Carolina.

“USC, Clemson, College of Charleston and now The Citadel are getting into this because it is such an important aspect to life here in the Lowcountry is better understanding flooding events,” says Curtis.

Several of the projects are already underway with the latest round getting underway just this week. Researches anticipate the projects to take place on a yearly basis.

What’s in Lowcountry sunny-day floodwaters that can endanger people, marine life and the environment? Citadel’s Center for Climate Studies is working to find that out, and much more Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:17:59 +0000 shot of roiling clouds over the citadel campusshot of roiling clouds over the citadel campusStudents working on this project will help create new knowledge about the fate of perfluorocarboxylic acids in the atmosphere; this information is required to determine whether these compounds are an important part of global warming. ]]> shot of roiling clouds over the citadel campusshot of roiling clouds over the citadel campus

The Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF, ’77, Center for Climate Studies is funding four new research projects essential to addressing current and problematic climate related issues in Charleston.

Scott Curtis, Ph.D., the director for the center recently announced the projects selected from those submitted by Citadel faculty.

The new center is providing $47,190 to support the research led by Citadel faculty that includes cadets and graduate student researchers.

Excerpts from the project proposals are below.

Assessing the role of nuisance flooding in transporting street-associated microplastic and tire wear particle into adjacent tidal-creek salt marsh systems

Locations where floodwater samples are collected for Dr. John Weinstein’s microplastics/tire wear particles and street flooding research

Funding for this project will allow us to expand our current study to characterize street-associated microplastic and tire wear particles and investigate if adjacent salt marshes are serving as sinks for these particles.

John Weinstein, Ph.D., The Citadel Department of Biology chair

Flooding is one of the most frequent and widespread manifestations of climate change in the coastal environment, causing annual economic losses related to damaged infrastructure, overwhelmed storm/waste/fresh water systems, disrupted harbor operations, closed roadways, and disrupted economic activity (Sweet et al., 2019, Hino et al., 2020). Over the past 60 years, the increased frequency of flooding associated with encroaching tides and extreme storms has swamped streets in coastal cities all over the globe- including Charleston, South Carolina.

Also, according to the National Climate Center, it’s raining harder in Charleston than it used to – the amount of precipitation falling in heavy rainstorms is 27% higher than in the mid-20th century (Melillo et al., 2014). Street flooding, whether caused by high tides or extreme storms, is a manifestation of climate change that not only poses safety risks for those driving through the city, but also may contribute pollution to our local waterways. One such pollutant is plastic debris. Plastic debris is a major environmental problem and has been identified as an emerging global issue that may affect our ability to conserve biological diversity and maintain ecological interrelationships. The overarching goal of this project, which began in 2019, is to investigate the role that street flooding may have as a pathway by which microplastics, including tire wear particles, are introduced into coastal waters.

Principal investigator: John Weinstein, Ph.D., professor of Biology and head of The Citadel Department of Biology

Graduates student investigators: Bonnie Ertel, Rian Burris, and Mary Ballentine

Further characterization of potential bacterial pathogens in nuisance flooding affecting Charleston: Implications for human health

Preliminary findings from sample collections in Charleston’s sunny-day flooding sites show harmful bacteria present in all areas

In the United States, nuisance (sunny day) flooding has been estimated to have increased between 300 to 900 times in costal areas relative to 50 years prior, thus Charleston is predicted to experience around 180 days of flooding by 2045 (according to NOAA). Furthermore, an increase in infections after flooding events have been well documented around the world. In consequence, a current public concern in the city of Charleston is the presence of harmful bacterial in nuisance flooding.

Specifically, the presence of fecal coliforms and enterococci, pose a threat to human and animal health during flooding events that bring water from tidal creeks into the streets. Fecal coliforms including E. coli are indicators of the presence of other enteric pathogens. E. coli is known to cause a variety of infections including diarrhea, urinary tract, and pneumonia.

The specific aim of this project is the further characterization to the special level of fecal coliform bacteria, Enterococcus bacteria, and Vibrios found in nuisance flooding waters currently affecting the City of Charleston. Further identification of potential pathogenic bacteria in flooding waters will permit the development of adequate public health measures toward control and prevention of infections by these bacteria.

Claudia Rocha, Ph.D., professor of Biology

Principal investigator: Claudia Rocha, Ph.D., professor of Biology

Cadet researcher: Malcom Jackson, Nursing major

Long-term study of tides on the Ashley River: flow speed and water levels

The Ashley River at Folly Beach in Charleston SC courtesy of Unsplash

The Ashley River begins as a blackwater creek near Jedburg, South Carolina and becomes a tidal river near Ft. Dorchester State Park, then runs 23 miles to Charleston Harbor, where it joins the Cooper River before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The area surrounding the Ashley is mostly undeveloped, and the river encounters no dikes or other structures (other than bridges) along its route. Therefore, it is as close to a “wild and scenic” river as one can find adjacent to a metropolitan area of 300,000 population.

The effect of stormwater runoff on water levels is of great importance to the populations living around the bottom third of the river. Church Creek (West Ashley) and the Brittlebank/Hagood Ave. area have had serious and recurring flooding problems due to the combination of rain and tides (as reported in The Post & Courier).

There are to the best of our knowledge no tide gauges or water level monitors on the Ashley River. In order to model the interaction of lunar tides with precipitation, data must be collected at several points along the river.

In 2017, Lt. Col. James Near (for whom the Center is named), and Dr. Patrick Briggs of The Citadel Physics Department devised a project to produce small, inexpensive monitoring stations to be placed at several locations along the Ashley River. These stations would measure a number of relevant parameters such as water level, water velocity, salinity, humidity and temperature. The data would be automatically cached and sent by WiFi or phone link to a server on The Citadel campus.

We want to continue and expand this project as an ongoing research effort within the Physics Department, eventually adding students from other science and Engineering departments to our team.

Drs. Patrick Briggs and Kaelyn Leake, The Citadel Department of Physics

Principal investigators: Patrick R. Briggs, Ph.D., associate professor of Physics and Kaelyn D. Leake, Ph.D.. assistant professor of Physics

Cadet researcher: Erin R. Garber, a senior Physics major

Exploring the role of photocatalytic decomposition of perfluorooctanoic acid on a mineral dust proxy

Students working on this project will help create new knowledge about the fate of perfluorocarboxylic acids in the atmosphere; this information is required to determine whether these compounds are an important part of global warming.

Holly Bevsek, Ph.D., The Citadel Department of Chemistry

Polyfluorinatedalkyl compounds (PFCs) are anthropogenic (resulting from human influences on nature) materials that are widely used in polymer synthesis, textile and paper coatings, and fire retardants due to their stability. This stability, however, also gives them a long lifetime in the environment which leads them to be persistent organic pollutants. Another concern about PFCs is that the chemical bond absorbs light in a region of the infrared spectrum where very few other gases absorb. Due to this and their stability PFCs are among the most powerful greenhouse gases known.

Perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, C7F15COOH) in particular have been the focus of much study as they have been found worldwide including remote regions such as the High Arctic. They have been detected in soil, water, and in many organisms such as algae, amphibians, land and marine mammals, and humans. Toxicity studies of PFOA have shown that it is a carcinogen, liver toxicant, developmental toxicant, and immune system toxicant.

PFOA as well as PFCs are of particular interest to the Lowcountry as high concentrations have been found in local dolphin populations and in sediment from the Charleston Harbor and the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.

Despite the fact that PFCAs are highly stable studies have shown they can be decomposed in the presence of water and a photocatalyst such as Titanium Dioxid.

“This project will investigate possible pathways for the destruction of perfluorooctanoic acid–a persistent organic pollutant and potentially important greenhouse gas that appears widely in the abiotic and biotic local environment,” Bevsek wrote in the project proposal.

Principal investigator: Holly Bevsek, Ph.D., professor of Chemistry

For more information about The Citadel’s Center for Climate Studies or any of these projects, please contact the director, Dr. Scott Curtis by emailing