Science & Mathematics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Fri, 15 Oct 2021 20:15:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Science & Mathematics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 My Ring Story: Remember your “why” https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-remember-your-why/ Fri, 15 Oct 2021 20:11:21 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27854 Meet Jerry Eugene Higgins III, Class of 2022 Jerry Higgins is a cadet-athlete from Cleveland, Ohio, who is majoring in Biology. He is a basketball player and has received gold]]>

Meet Jerry Eugene Higgins III, Class of 2022

Jerry Higgins is a cadet-athlete from Cleveland, Ohio, who is majoring in Biology. He is a basketball player and has received gold stars for academic achievement. After graduation Higgens plans to attend medical school and become a physician.

Q. What is engraved on the inside of your ring and what is its significance?

A. I put two phrases inside my ring. The first is “Remember Your Why.” That will be a constant reminder to strive for greatness in everything I do. Your “why” is the reason you get out of bed in the morning and do all that you do. Your “why” is what you believe you are meant to do here. Some of us know our “why.” Some of us do not. And, for some of us it changes over the course of a lifetime. Knowing your purpose is crucial because it gives you direction. My “why” is focused on my family and the people close to me that have made me the man I am today; I truly don’t know where I would be without them.

The second engraving is “God’s Speed.” This will remind me that things will happen when they are meant to occur. Like being in the wonderful place right now of getting my band of gold. Through the journey of life, having God by my side eases my worries because I know In the end I will be alright.

Q. Who inspired you to begin your journey here at The Citadel?

A. My father has definitely inspired me to not only make the choice to come here, but to push through the hard times to success. When deciding to attend as a cadet-athlete, I was skeptical about whether I could handle sports plus the military requirements, on top of academics. I did my best to set an example of how an athlete at The Citadel should balance academics, athletics and our military requirements – all of them – like everyone else.

Left to right: Me, my father, Jerry Higgins Jr., my brother Cameron, my stepmother Svetlana, and my sister Sasha, in July when we all attended my brother’s preschool graduation.

My father assured me that he raised me to be able to endure any environment, and this was very true. His strength powers me through every day!

Q. Do you feel that you will have any special obligations now that you wear the ring?

A. Yes. Many. The ring represents everyone that has come before my class and that will come after. The same principles that I learned here will be with me as I wear the ring.

For me, wearing the ring is also showing appreciation for the people who were here in the Corps of Cadets before me. I know there have been many African American cadets that have attended this college that have paved the way for minorities to be accepted here.

Additionally, I think that it’s important that people realize that our ring isn’t your typical class ring. The ring bonds everyone that has successfully come through the gates of this school and represents sacrifices they made to be here.

Q. What are three specific things The Citadel taught you?

A. 1. Be grateful for everything. 2. Struggle is necessary for growth. 3. The importance of accountability.

Cadets Jerry Higgins and Douglas Karam, accompanied by Dr. John Weinstein, Biology, deploy an experiment to measure how face masks, rubber gloves and hand wipes decompose in the salt marsh behind Inouye Hall on Thursday, October 14, 2021.  Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel
Cadet Jerry Higgins III in the marsh near The Citadel campus, setting up a biology research project to measure the environmental impacts of discarded facemasks, gloves and anti-bacterial wipes in coastal areas.

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Citadel cadets, professor launch investigation into impacts of PPE on Charleston marshes https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-cadets-professor-launch-investigation-into-impacts-of-ppe-on-charleston-marshes/ Fri, 15 Oct 2021 13:37:16 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27792 Photograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TVPhotograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TV“It feels like you can have an impact on something you’re going through right now."]]> Photograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TVPhotograph credit: Forrest Tucker WCBD TV

As seen on WCBD-TV, by Forrest Tucker

Photo above by Forrest Tucker, News 2, WCBD-TV

Armed with boots to trench through muddy banks near the Citadel’s campus, senior cadets Douglas Karam and Jerry Higgins installed a project that the pair have been working on for much of the semester.

“The planning and the process of putting it together actually took about six to seven weeks,” said Karam.

The goal of their experiment is to see how face masks, rubber gloves and hand wipes decompose in a salt marsh environment over the next eight months. The personal protective equipment, or PPE, is screwed down on boards that will become submerged during high tides.

“It feels like you can have an impact on something you’re going through right now,” said Karam.

Photograph by Forrest Tucker, News 2, WCBD-TV

The COVID-19 pandemic created a large need for items like masks and wipes and not all of them have been disposed of properly.

According to research from Ocean Asia, an estimated 1.5 billion facemasks may have entered the ocean as plastic litter in 2020.

“There’s a myth that plastic items take decades to centuries to degrade. What we’re finding in the salt marsh environment is that it’s happening a lot quicker,” said Citadel Professor of Biology Dr. John Weinstein.

With the Lowcountry’s environment mostly made up of saltwater marshes, Dr. Weinstein and the cadets think that the PPE will start to degrade into thousands of microplastics in a much shorter amount of time.

“We believe that it will degrade in four weeks. But over time we are going to check it out at four weeks, eight weeks, sixteen weeks, and thirty-two weeks,” said Higgins. “So we will see how it degrades over time, the rate of how it degrades, and how much each product degrades.”

The research will help them gauge the impact PPE pollution has on aquatic life, including seafood caught to be served in restaurants, and humans.

“As far as their life processes and what they ingest (the aquatic life) are surrounded in water. Not only does it affect the aquatic animals, but also the people who are living in this environment,” said Higgins.

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Do your part to #BeCyberSmart https://today.citadel.edu/do-your-part-to-becybersmart/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 19:55:23 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27679 Matriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelMatriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel"Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background..."]]> Matriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelMatriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel

By CDCI Team

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI) will be identifying the many ways you can protect your cyber presence at home, in the workplace and on the go.

Cybersecurity is vital as we continue to grow and evolve in our everyday use of technology for both work and play.

CDCI is hosting and participating in several events on campus and kicked off National Cybersecurity Month by providing CDCI spirit towels at the Bulldogs game against VMI. Next up is a cadet-led Lunch and Learn event from 12 – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the Riverview Room upstairs in Coward Hall. The event is free but registration is required by going to this link.

5 things to remember about Cybersecurity

Here are five tips from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to keep in mind during Cybersecurity Awareness Month and beyond.

Double your login protection.

Enable multi-factor authentication for all accounts and devices to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media and any other service that requires logging in.

Shake up your password protocol.

According to National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and customize your standard password for different sites, which can prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach.

Never click and tell.

Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all criminals need to target you, your loved ones and your physical belongings—online and in the real world.

Keep tabs on your apps.

Most connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk.

Stay protected while connected.

Before you connect to any public wireless hotspot – like at an airport, hotel, or café – be sure to confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate.

What is CDCI?

CDCI is an acronym for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute. The Citadel and the nation’s other five senior military colleges have each received approximately $1.5 million of federal money to establish cybersecurity institutes as pilot programs on their campuses. The objective of CDCI is to provide highly skilled, principled leaders for the Department of Defense who are ready to join the cyber workforce on “day one” after graduation.

For more information on CDCI, please visit: https://www.citadel.edu/root/cdci

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“Surfing” barnacles research earning Citadel scientist international attention https://today.citadel.edu/surfing-barnacles-research-earning-citadel-scientist-international-attention/ Fri, 08 Oct 2021 21:11:22 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27650 Sea turtle's head with barnacles on itSea turtle's head with barnacles on it"We thought, ‘Ah, these guys are moving around so that they can get close together for reproduction.’"]]> Sea turtle's head with barnacles on itSea turtle's head with barnacles on it

Barnacles can move? Seriously who knew? Apparently not many people.

Research by a marine biologist at The Citadel is popping up science news outlets after his work was published by The Royal Society Publishing. The academic piece is entitled “Five hundred million years to mobility: directed locomotion and its ecological function in a turtle barnacle.”

The abstract states that Professor John Zardus, Ph.D., and his co-authors “confirm that the epizoic sea turtle barnacle, Chelonibia testudinaria, has evolved the capacity for self-directed locomotion as adults.” 

Yes, the barnacles that spend their lives attached to sea turtles actually move around on the turtle, they are not stagnant. And, according to the research, they often leave behind a little trail of their sticky “cement.”

Recorded Chelonibia testudinaria barnacle movement on plexiglass plate
Courtesy of Benny K.K. Chan and JRI-Chi Lin

“The goal of movement ecology is to determine how, why, where and when organisms move,” said Zardus. “And that’s what we set out to discover with barnacles.”

Here’s a look at two popular magazine articles about the findings.

Some Barnacles Can Move Around to Improve Feeding Position

The Scientist spoke with marine biologist and barnacle researcher John Zardus about why turtle barnacles—previously thought to be immobile—in fact slowly travel. He thinks the answer is food

As seen in The Scientist, by Chloe Tenn

Almost by definition, barnacles are immobile: these crustaceans cluster on surfaces such as whale heads, sea turtle shells, coastal rocks, and ship hulls. Once barnacle larvae mature, they travel on ocean currents in search of an anchoring place, preferentially settling in locations with good water flow, which often happen to be moving marine animals. Barnacles stick to host locations by secreting an adhesive cement, typically from a rigid plate on their undersides, that glues them to the surface. The general consensus has long been that barnacles then remain permanently cemented to their chosen surfaces, never to move again.

But a 2008 paper described an exception in barnacle immobility in the turtle barnacle Chelonibia testudinaria. This unexpected observation inspired John Zardus, a marine biologist and professor at The Citadel in South Carolina, and his colleagues to investigate barnacle locomotion on turtle shells. In a study published October 6 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they report that not only is Chelonibia testudinaria mobile, but it navigates purposefully toward locations of high water flow where the barnacles can more easily feed.

Barnacles are classified as filter feeders, extending a small fiber-like fan appendage that captures particles and miniscule organisms from the surrounding seawater. They may be able to feed more effectively if they are positioned so that currents push food particles into their fan. Zardus and colleagues hypothesized that Chelonibia testudinaria position themselves to capture more food, and tested this idea in multiple aquarium tanks around the world. The researchers observed that the barnacles moved up to 78.6 mm over the course of a year and could change directions. They also found that the barnacles situated on turtle shells tended to move toward the turtle’s head, against the flow of water that passes as the turtle swims, which would give them access to stronger currents and thus more food.

The Scientist spoke with Zardus about why it matters that these barnacles can move around, and how these slow-moving animals travel over turtle shells.

The Scientist: What interested you in studying animal mobility?

John Zardus: I was originally interested in barnacles that live on other animals. My real question was, how did these barnacles find the host that they have to live on? There are some [barnacles] that are specialized for sea turtles, some for whales. It was just by accident that we came across this species that moves. We weren’t the first ones to discover this. There was a paper published in 2008 by Julia Moriarty. She had contacted me and sent me some photographs, asking, ‘Can barnacles that live on turtles move around?’ I answered, ‘No, no, barnacles don’t do that. Once they’re stuck, they’re there.’ She sent these photos of a time series of turtles over time with barnacles on them. She was using the barnacles to keep track of which turtle was which. She realized that the barnacles seemed to be moving. When I looked at her pictures, I was really blown away by it. We’ve been looking at how that phenomenon could happen ever since. We finally were able to conduct some laboratory experiments that completely confirmed it, and then started asking questions about why they do it.

TS: According to the paper, the study finds barnacles have directed movement for feeding purposes. Could you expand on what this means about the current understanding of barnacles?

JZ: You have to understand a little bit about how a barnacle operates. Basically, they’re like a shrimp in a shell, living upside down, with their head pointed down, and they kick their legs out to capture food. They’re filter feeders, feeding on whatever’s in the plankton. When they attach to a turtle, probably the big benefit [of attaching] is feeding currents. If you take a barnacle, and it’s living in still water, it will take its appendages and stroke them through the water very actively. But once you provide some flow, then they’ll just sit there and passively capture their food. It’s much easier for them to do. They don’t have to expend any energy. This species and others that live on mobile hosts are probably taking advantage of the flow for feeding.

The bottom [of a barnacle shell] is very flat. They sit right on the surface. How does it [move around]? It doesn’t have little legs down there. We don’t know how it’s doing it. We just know that it is [moving] very slowly. It takes weeks or months for it to travel any significant distance. Most barnacles, on their bottom, secrete a basal plate that is made of calcium carbonate, and it’s solid. But this one doesn’t. It has a membrane. There’s a few [barnacles] that are like this with a soft bottom. We’re pretty sure that that’s an important component of the movement.

TS: What surprised you about this ability of barnacles?
JZ: We were pretty sure it was reproduction, but we were wrong. It turned out to be for feeding.

Let me tell you a little about reproduction in barnacles. They are mostly hermaphroditic. They have both male and female components, but they can’t fertilize themselves. They need to have a neighbor. It’s very typical for barnacles to live in clusters so that they can fertilize their neighbor next door. They have direct insemination, with the world’s largest penis per body size. They reach out and copulate with their next-door neighbors. We thought, ‘Ah, these guys are moving around so that they can get close together for reproduction.’

We set up some experiments where we put them in different arrangements, tightly clustered together or separated far apart. We figured that in the ones that were separated far apart, that over time, they would move closer together. But they didn’t. They ended up moving randomly. Only when we put flow on them from the jet in the aquarium did they start moving, and they moved towards the flow.

When you looked at them on sea turtles in the wild, they were mostly moving toward the head of the turtle or towards the anterior part of the turtle shell. That’s going to put them in higher flow. It seems to be that they’re really responding to flow, and that is probably more for feeding, and they don’t seem to be doing it so much for reproduction.

I also have another study that’s in press right now with this species demonstrating that it’s the only barnacle we know of that does not do active feeding. If you give them no flow, a barnacle will typically stroke its appendages to get food. If you put this one with no flow, it does nothing. It’ll die. It will never even actively feed. It relies 100 percent on passive feeding, so it really has to be in a high flow environment all the time. Which makes sense if you’re living on a turtle—you’re going to get a lot of flow.

One of the reasons it might not be so concerned about getting close together with other individuals is [this barnacle] has dwarf males that live attached to it. They’re really tiny, only a few millimeters in size, and a single hermaphrodite . . . may have 30 to 40 of what they call complemental males. They’re tiny individuals and they live in these crevices. They specifically settle in there and then they just provide sperm to the central hermaphrodite. If [the hermaphrodites are] carrying their own males, they probably don’t care if they’re near a neighbor or not because they’ve already got what they need. This one has a really cool biology. All sorts of interesting things going on.


TS: When you were observing these barnacles in the aquariums, were there any challenges that arose with the experiments?
JZ: We had to figure out how to get them attached to surfaces in the lab. We tried two approaches in my lab here in South Carolina. I started raising them from the larval stage, and I could get them to attach onto PVC pipe, and then grow them in the lab just fine. But for whatever reason, those that lived on PVC didn’t move.My colleague in Taiwan, Benny Chan, tried a different approach. He found some crabs that this barnacle was living on. He would catch the crabs, bring them into the lab, euthanize the crabs, cut the crab shell around the base of the barnacle, and then let it sit for a few days until the crab shell dissolved. Once it was dissolved, he could take the barnacle that was intact and healthy, put it onto a plexiglass panel, and let it sit for a few days. It would create some new glue and cement itself onto it. That was the real success. Once we got those glued onto glass panels, those were the ones that we could put into flow and move them around from aquarium to aquarium for the different experiments and do time lapse studies on them.

TS: Do you think that your findings could be extended to perhaps other types of barnacles or sessile animal models?
JZ: I think we should certainly look for it. I don’t think we’re going to find it happening very much. Do I think other barnacles are doing this? I doubt it. Maybe under very special circumstances. We would need to look at those. I think some of the prerequisites for this guy to move is it’s got this very flat, broad base with a membranous bottom. There aren’t too many barnacles that are like that. Those would be the candidates that I think we might look at.

Regarding other animals, there was a recent paper that came out about some deep-sea sponges that they found moving. Again, they don’t know how, but they could see tracks in the sediment or on the surface where the sponges had travelled. That was unexpected. I think it would be interesting to look in other places, but I don’t think it’s going to be widespread phenomenon.

Citadel Professor John Zardus, Ph.D. working with a sea turtle during his research on the epizoic sea turtle barnacle.

TS: Where do you see the future of the research going? What would you like to explore next with these barnacles?
JZ: I think the big question people really want to know is, how do they do this? What’s the mechanism? That’s where we’re headed. We don’t have a lot of tangible evidence for how it’s happening right now.

TS: Do you have any ideas or any suspicions of how barnacles could be moving?
JZ: I think it’s got to do with the glue. Barnacles, when they first attach to the substratum—almost all species—they start secreting a glue that permanently fixes them in place, and then they continue to secrete that glue throughout their lifetime as they get larger and larger. This one’s doing the same thing, but it must also be dissolving its glue. We want to look at that and see if somehow the glue is being laid down, then the animal is somehow severing that connection, and then reapplying the glue in periodic intervals.

We also want to examine this glue more carefully. We know that it looks a little different from some of the other glues we’ve seen in barnacles. It gets put down in different layers and the composition is different just looking under the electron microscope. That’s never been reported in barnacle glue before. That’s one part that we think is going to be important to figuring out.

Also reported on Science.org

It moves! Supposedly immobile barnacles can ‘surf’ across turtle shells
By Rachel Fritts

Courtesy of Prof. John Zardus, Ph.D., The Citadel Department of Biology

Barnacles are notoriously clingy creatures. The filter-feeding crustaceans—familiar sights on rocky shores or the hulls of boats—were long thought to be completely immobile. But a new study has confirmed that at least one species, which settles on top of sea turtle shells, can slide across surfaces to places where it’s easier to snag a snack.

Chelonibia testudinaria live predominantly on the backs of sea turtles and occasionally hitch rides on other seafaring creatures like manatees and crabs. Whereas their larval forms swim freely, adults cement themselves to a surface, where they were believed to hold fast for life. But in the early 2000s, researchers found there might be a little more wiggle room than previously thought: C. testudinaria barnacles on wild green sea turtles seemed to move around on the turtles’ shells, often against the current, over a period of months.

In 2017, other scientists tracked 15 barnacles’ movements on an acrylic surface in a lab (see video, above). After 1 year of observations, they found the barnacles used incremental secretions of their cement to “surf” to a new position, they report today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: B. They suspect the barnacles are after food, as they moved toward areas of higher water flow—which carry more food particles—when exposed to a current.   

The barnacles won’t be winning any races—they averaged a distance of about 7 millimeters over 3 months, with one barnacle moving 8 centimeters over 1 year. But scientists say this is still a notable feat for a group of animals once considered incapable of relocating.

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My Ring Story: leaning into the challenges towards triumph https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-leaning-in-to-the-challenges-toward-triumph/ Wed, 29 Sep 2021 14:49:26 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27173 Cadet Mya Dollard on the high jumpCadet Mya Dollard on the high jump"Honor, Duty, and Respect are now significantly instilled within me."]]> Cadet Mya Dollard on the high jumpCadet Mya Dollard on the high jump

Meet Cadet Mya Monaye Dollard, Class of 2022

Cadet Mya Monaye Dollard is an athlete on the track and field team, a gold star-earning scholar, and a future nurse. She is from Lake City, South Carolina.

Q. What quote is engraved inside your ring?

A. The quote that is inside of my ring is “And Still I Rise” and #LLRG. They are significant to me because I have faced so many obstacles while being here at The Citadel, yet I have earned my ring.

The engraving #LLRG pays tribute to the late Mr. Ra’Shaud Graham, The Citadel Class of 2017 and a mentor to me and so many others. It means Long Live Ra’Shaud Graham. He was an inspiration and motivated me to keep pushing forward and to believe in myself and losing him was hard for us all.

The biggest obstacle I faced while being here is when my mother was diagnosed with advanced-stage cervical cancer in early July of 2020 which also was the peak of COVID-19. Her diagnosis was life-altering, not only to me but to my family. Seeing someone you love so sick and not being able to be there for them was heartbreaking. The first semester of 2020, my mother went through weeks of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. I felt helpless, but thankful that my little sister was there with my mom. I wanted to make my mother proud, so I finished both semesters of my junior year with Gold Stars. In December of 2020, a few days before Christmas, she finally got to ring the bell for beating cancer, thus the engraving, “And Still I Rise.”

Cadet Mya Dollard with family at high school graduation
“This was June 6th, 2018. Pictured from right to left is Vincent Cole (boyfriend), my mother Mikiko Dollard, me, and my father, Samuel Dollard. This was taken on the night of my High school graduation at Johnsonville High.

Q. What is the number one way this institution impacted your life?

A. This institution provided me with everlasting life lessons and friendships.

Q. What are three things the Citadel taught you that you wouldn’t have learned at another college?

A. Honor, Duty, and Respect are now significantly instilled within me. I believe that many other schools do not take the time to emphasize the importance of these characteristics as a human being. But, here at the Citadel, we do!

Q. What will you think while looking at your Citadel band of gold on your finger?

A. My ring will remind me about my own perseverance. It will remind me of all the days that I did not think I could go on, yet I pushed through with the best version of myself. I believe that this institution has helped me grow as an individual while having the great support of my mentors, teammates and peers.

Cadet athlete Mya Dollard wearing her jersey and stethoscopes
Photo provided by The Citadel Athletics

Q. Why do you think it is important for people to understand the symbolism and weight of The Citadel ring?

A. The Citadel Ring conveys the message of overcoming adversity while being a principled leader in all aspects of life. The Citadel breaks you down to mold you into the best version of yourself, setting you up for success in life.

Q. “We wear the ring” is a repeated phrase amongst Alumni. What does it mean to you to wear the ring?

A. It means unity and strength! I do believe that it takes grit and fortitude to be here at The Citadel. I am honored to be part of a group that took a oath committing to take the road less traveled. I am a proud Citadel woman!

Cadet Mya Dollard pictured on left
“This was April 12 , 2018, signing day when I accepted my Citadel scholarship to become a cadet-athlete with the Track and Field team. I am on the left with my younger sister Sa’Mya Dollard on the right. She now attends the University of South Carolina, Class of 2023.”
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My Ring Story: becoming a cyber warrior https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-becoming-a-cyber-warrior/ Mon, 27 Sep 2021 21:50:53 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27128 Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021"After my time here at The Citadel I will be working with the Department of Defense within the cyber domain for at least two years."]]> Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021Cadet Trey Stevens spring 2021

Meet Trey Stevens, Class of 2022

Cadet Trey Stevens is a quadruple major: Computer Science, Cyber Operations; Intelligence and Security Studies, and Criminal Justice. Stevens is studying as part of the first group of cadets with The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute. Additionally, the Blythewood, South Carolina native was also recently awarded an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Cyber Security Scholarship. AFCEA is a professional association for those engaged in defense, security and all related technology disciplines.

This award is proven testimony of how valuable The Citadel’s cybersecurity curriculum really is as it prepares a cadet to be equipped with the high in-demand cyber skillset and experiences generated from our South Carolina Corps of Cadets military leadership laboratory. I would like to thank all of my family, friends, classmates, professors, and mentors who have guided me on my path here at The Citadel as I conclude my senior year. 

Cadet Trey Stevens, The Citadel Class of 2022
“This was taken on our first day of our last year as cadets, August 25. Bottom left, Cadet Ronald “Deuce” Prince, Cadet Mackenzie Battle, and me at the top,” said Cadet Trey Stevens describing this photo.

Q. What quote is engraved inside your ring?

A. The phrase I put in on the inside my ring reads, “Time never forgets. Now go make your mark.” This serves as a constant reminder that time doesn’t stop for anyone. It does not matter if you are the most powerful person in the world or if you believe yourself to not be significant. Time will never forget what you did or didn’t do, so it is up to you as to what you choose to do.

Q. How did you envision the day you’d receive your Citadel band of gold?

A. I personally did not envision this moment ever before. I didn’t know much about The Citadel before coming here. As someone who has experienced being homeless for a bit it was a miracle I was able to pull off going to any college. After being here for a few years I’ve been so busy trying to do as much as I can that it doesn’t feel real. I’m waiting for the moment when I wake up from this crazy dream!

Q. What are three things The Citadel taught you that you couldn’t have learned anywhere else?

A. The top thing The Citadel teaches us is to take care of ourselves, from fitness to emotional well being. You cannot be there for others if you are not able to operate yourself. Next I’d say that communication is essential to everything and anything you do, especially during your times of need. And finally, always be aware of your surroundings and those who occupy it. The people around you have lives of their own and you have no idea whether they need help or can be a friend unless you talk to them.

Q. Who inspired you to being your journey here at The Citadel?

A. Mr. William Epps, Citadel Class of 2016, my cross country and track coach at Blythewood High encouraged me to put in an application to The Citadel because he thought it would be a great thing for me. Turns out he was right. After I was admitted, Mr. Tony Dillion, the father of my successor as the captain of our high school cybersecurity team, contacted Dr. Jennifer Albert at The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence about me. Dr. Albert allowed me to stay with her during the summer to work in the STEM Center while I adjusted to the area. Ms. Christine Vargas in the Financial Aid office was very understanding and cooperative with me visiting many days in a row and sometimes multiple times during a day until I secured funds to matriculate. Dr. Shankar Banik, the founder of our program, and many other professors have provided persistent support. Without out these wonderful people I’m not sure how I would have turned out.

Q. What is your next step after you leave The Citadel?

A. After my time here at The Citadel I will be working with the Department of Defense within the cyber domain for at least two years. After this I will more than likely stick with my agency while I pursue higher education and hopefully return back to The Citadel some day to teach. While I will not be a cadet anymore I don’t plan on ever leaving The Citadel completely.

Cadet Trey Stevens and friends in Charlie Company
Cadet Trey Stevens, on right, with his mentor, Jeff Thomas Godwin (center) and fellow mentee, Ian Kaiser, on Recognition Day after successfully completing the Gauntlet in 2018. “My senior mentor, Jeff, never gave up on us, nor did he make life easy. He made me determined to always finish what I start. This is essentially what has become the basis of the work that I do today,” Stevens said.

About The Citadel Class of 2022 Ring Stories

Left to right: MSG Olivia Hime, Regimental Public Affairs NCO, and MAJ Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs Officer, Class of 2022.

The Class of 2022 Ring Presentation Ceremony is Friday, Oct. 1. The stories presented here are the result of the leadership of Regimental Public Affairs officer, Major Samantha Walton, and Regimental Public Affairs Non Commissioned Officer, Cadet Olivia Hime. Both women will also receive their rings and will graduate in May.

Walton, who is from Macon, Georgia, attends The Citadel on an U.S. Army scholarship and will accept a commission to become an officer upon graduating. She is majoring in Political Science.

Hime, who is from Holly Springs, North Carolina, is a junior and a member of The Citadel Honors Program. She is majoring in Biology, has repeatedly earned gold stars and President’s List positions for academic excellence. Hime will graduate in May, a year early, and plans to attend medical school to become a physician.

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A new kind of Frankenstein: bringing cadavers back to life in the classroom https://today.citadel.edu/a-new-kind-of-frankenstein-bringing-cadavers-back-to-life-in-the-classroom/ Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:38:11 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26948 Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelCadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel"This is absolutely going to make learning anatomy more memorable and more fun."]]> Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelCadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel

Take a peek into the new Anatomy and Physiology Lab at The Citadel

Forget the dusty plastic leg, torso and skeleton models clattering around from hooks in the back of the labs. Their usefulness in the anatomy lab is coming to a close at The Citadel.

Instead, turn down the lights and illuminate the beating heart, manipulate the moving circulatory system, or bring the cadaver of a man who died of cancer back to life digitally to observe the tumors as they grow, before virtually dissecting him.

Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel
Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran on the college’s Anatomage table in The Citadel Anatomy and Physiology Lab August 31, 2021.

The Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics is now using an Anatomage table and learning system that enables cadets and students to examine real medical case studies with a technology that transforms cadavers into digital living bodies that function and respond.

“The virtual dissection table unscrambles the complex layers of the human body for cadets and students getting degrees in biology, nursing, or health and human performance,” said Clinton Moran, Ph.D., a professor of physiology at The Citadel. “There are many animal cases also, so we won’t need to order and dissect preserved animal specimens. The potential for cross-disciplinary learning through our new Anatomage technology is also expansive.”

In addition to the dissection table, two large wall monitors show the entire class what those at the table are doing. Moran’s class was one of the first to use the Anatomage in the college’s new Anatomy and Physiology Lab this fall.

“This is really something. It’s crazy-real,” said Cadet Reed Reichel, a junior from Beaufort, South Carolina, after using the table for the first time. Reichel is majoring in exercise science and plans to go to graduate school with the goal of becoming a physical therapist. “This is absolutely going to make learning anatomy more memorable and more fun.”

How does it work?

The Anatomage system offers four gross anatomy cases, more than 20 high-resolution regional anatomy cases, and more than 1000 pathological examples. These digital human models function as practice patients for medical schools, physical therapy schools and colleges/universities across the country. 

Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran on the college’s Anatomage table in The Citadel Anatomy and Physiology Lab August 31, 2021.

A few things it can do:

  • Help students visualize the microstructures of the brain, ear, and eyes.
  • Enable students to visually examine how cardiac and other vital functions are carried out in an active, living human body.
  • Involve students in hands-on kinesiology simulation activities to understand how a living body physiologically produces motions. 

“Anatomage provides an interaction with anatomy inside a living human body that we could never offer before,” said The Citadel’s Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics Dean, Darin Zimmerman, Ph.D. “The Citadel is deeply grateful to the Swain family for helping provide this unparalleled learning experience.”

Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran on the college’s Anatomage table in The Citadel Anatomy and Physiology Lab August 31, 2021.

The software for The Citadel’s system will be upgraded as new functionality becomes available. For example, the next software update, Table 8, includes a digital pregnancy, from beginning to birth.

Want a closer look?

See what the Anatomage technology can do in the demonstration video below.

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Cybersecurity cadets learning, networking at WiCyS conference https://today.citadel.edu/cybersecurity-cadets-learning-networking-at-wicys-conference/ Thu, 09 Sep 2021 21:20:36 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26562 Citadel cybersecurity cadets in DenverCitadel cybersecurity cadets in Denver"The networking here is one of the most important benefits of WiCyS, which helps organizations recruit and retain highly trained women cybersecurity professionals."]]> Citadel cybersecurity cadets in DenverCitadel cybersecurity cadets in Denver

A contingent of cadets, and one veteran student, who are majoring in Cyber Operations is attending the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) conference in Denver. Most in the group are members of The Citadel WiCyS chapter.

“Everyone in our group was awarded a travel grant to make this trip and this important experience possible,” said Shankar Banik, Ph.D., founder of The Citadel Cybersecurity programs. Banik is with the group in Denver. “The networking here is one of the most important benefits of WiCyS, which helps organizations recruit and retain highly trained women cybersecurity professionals.”

At WiCyS, a global community of women, allies and advocates, we are dedicated to bringing talented women together to celebrate and foster their passion and drive for cybersecurity. We unite local communities of aspiring and thriving women cybersecurity professionals across the world to collaborate, share their knowledge, network and mentor. We create opportunities through professional development programs, conferences, career fairs and more.

WiCyS.com

Cadet Shilo Smiles, seen front row-left in the photo above, is a senior and serves as president for The Citadel’s chapter which established in 2019. Smiles is one of the college’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service recipients. The newest group of scholars will be announced soon.

Smiles and some of the other conference attendees are part of The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute. The Citadel and the nation’s other five Senior Military Colleges have each received approximately $1.5 million of federal money to establish a cybersecurity institute as pilot programs on their campus.

For more information on The Citadel’s Cyber Operations degree and related programs, major, please visit this link.

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Commentary: The heat we’re now experiencing is a bit different https://today.citadel.edu/commentary-the-heat-were-now-experiencing-is-a-bit-different/ Tue, 07 Sep 2021 19:12:31 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26438 unsplash photo of bright hot sununsplash photo of bright hot sun"In October, the results of the research will be presented to help Charlestonians better understand the extent of their urban heat challenges..."]]> unsplash photo of bright hot sununsplash photo of bright hot sun

As seen in The Post and Courier, By Janice Barnes and Leo Temko

Charleston punches above its weight. We all know that the city is a regional leader with its excellent health care and educational institutions, its beautiful historic architecture, its easy access to extraordinary beaches and other natural environments, and its many business opportunities.

What may be less known is that it also leads with one of South Carolina’s first All Hazards Vulnerability Assessments, a key tool to help cities better understand all of their expected risks, with its compelling work on the Dutch Dialogues, which tackled one of those risks, flooding, and with its recently adopted Climate Action Plan.

Pretty impressive for a city of 140,000-plus people, or even a region of 800,000-plus people. Many much larger cities have made far less progress on these challenging issues.

Charleston’s next step, as mentioned in The Post and Courier’s Aug. 29 editorial, is to tackle another of its key risks: extreme heat.

As Southerners, we tend to wear our heat hardiness as a badge of honor, kind of like an old-time Northerner describes walking to school barefoot in the snow as a child. But the heat we’re now experiencing is a bit different than it used to be, with more consecutive days of extreme heat and humidity each year — and with extreme heat arriving earlier in the spring and lasting longer into the fall.

Our electricity use is up along with the number of days that require air conditioning for us to be comfortable. Unfortunately, heat exposure also increases heat-related mortality and worsens other health conditions like cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, which are particularly trying during pandemics like we’re experiencing with COVID-19. Recognizing the challenge, Charleston is once again stepping forward to lead.

This summer, Charleston hosted three research teams, including significant local volunteer participants, to collect data on extreme heat around the city. One team, led by Dr. Kirstin Dow with the University of South Carolina, focused on outdoor workers at MUSC and The Citadel and their physical reactions to extreme heat.

Another, led by Dr. Chip Konrad of the University of North Carolina, focused on the monitoring of local variations in heat stress, similar to The Citadel’s monitoring of cadet training, or what high school football coaches use to monitor practice.

A third team focused on Charleston’s NOAA-sponsored HeatWatch campaign, capturing heat index readings and collecting thermal images across the Charleston region. Led by our firm, Climate Adaptation Partners, this effort was done with the city’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability, The Citadel’s Near Center for Climate Studies, the MUSC Arboretum, MUSC’s Office of Health Promotion and Office of Sustainability, the Charleston Resilience Network, the South Carolina Aquarium, the South Carolina Medical Professionals for Climate and Health, the South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light, and importantly, with the help of over 20 local volunteers.

All three research campaigns were completed during July when Charleston was experiencing one of its worst heat waves. In October, the results of the research will be presented to help Charlestonians better understand the extent of their urban heat challenges and to begin conversations about ways to improve the situation.

Recently, Charleston included extreme heat in its update to its comprehensive plan, a first step toward addressing the problem. The next step is to use the research findings to guide investments in heat reduction along with Charleston’s other planned investments on flooding, transportation improvements, carbon reduction and the many private investments that the metro area growth introduces.

For example, with the upcoming improvements to Charleston’s public housing, how might those better address extreme heat exposures for those residents? How might the Lowcountry Rapid Transit system include shading for each station and choose materials that are cooler to the touch?

As we build more homes and upgrade our existing ones, how might we improve insulation and reduce air conditioning requirements? If we include heat mitigation in these investments, we know that we can have multiple benefits from each dollar spent.

We can invest to capture water and cool down our communities. We can improve connectivity and make waiting at the bus stop more comfortable. We can lower our emissions and our energy bills.

We can do this because we punch above our weight. We see the challenge and we’ll tackle it, head-on, and in this case, hat on.

Stay cool out there.

Leo Temko and Dr. Janice Barnes are with Climate Adaptation Partners. Also contributing to this column were Mark Wilbert with the city of Charleston; Dr. Scott Curtis of The Citadel’s Near Center for Climate Studies; Dr. Kristin Dow of the University of South Carolina; Dr. Chip Konrad of the University of North Carolina; and Drs. Jerry Reves and Susan Johnson and Christine von Kolnitz of MUSC. 

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The Citadel part of collaborative team receiving $2M cybersecurity grant https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-part-of-collaborative-team-receiving-2m-cybersecurity-grant/ Mon, 06 Sep 2021 20:29:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26386 The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/ProvidedThe Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/Provided"Cyber attacks in South Carolina are becoming more and more common, just as they are across the country."]]> The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/ProvidedThe Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/Provided

“America’s critical infrastructure must be protected”

Photo above: Citadel cadets competing in cybersecurity simulations challenge on campus in 2021

The Citadel — as a Department of Defense National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense (NCAE-C), recently re-designated through 2028 — is working with a collaborative group to improve the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security, critical infrastructure control systems such as water, electricity, gas and traffic systems have become key targets for adversarial attacks from organized threat actors. This project is intended to help address that.

The University of Memphis Center for Information Assurance (CfIA) is leading the effort, having formed a consortium of NCAE-C institutions including The Citadel, North Carolina A&T State University and the University of West Florida to apply for and secure the grant. The overall goal is to design and develop a multi-disciplinary critical infrastructure cybersecurity program addressing the technical needs of public utility operations and emergency decision-makers. 

“Cyber attacks in South Carolina are becoming more and more common, just as they are across the country,” said Shanknar Banik, Ph.D., the founder of The Citadel’s cyber initiatives and head of all related entities. “America’s critical infrastructure must be protected.”

For example, in 2020 news outlets report that Greenville Water and the Bluffton Township Fire District were attacked, and Georgetown County was hit with a ransomware attack in 2021. A company called Seculore Solutions lists a state-by-state archive of infrastructure related cybersecurity attacks for each state, including South Carolina, here.

Banik, and Melissa Graves, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies, are The Citadel’s primary investigators on the CfIA led project.

The consortium intends to create a strong southeast regional coalition, leveraging the group’s expertise in cybersecurity to assist NCAE-C cadets and students, state and local governments, and critical infrastructure industry partners in contending with evolving threats. 

The matrix of cybersecurity and intelligence programs at The Citadel

The first cohort of cadets studying as part of The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute pose for a portrait on campus in Charleston, South Carolina, in March 2021.

The matrix of elements that are part of The Citadel’s Cyber and Computer Sciences programs include The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI). It is funded by DoD grants, the last one in the amount of $1.46 million, provided through legislation that created a similar entity at each of the nation’s six Senior Military Institutes. Thus far 19 cadets are studying under the umbrella of the CDCI.

“The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute exists because there is a critical shortage of qualified cyber professionals within the Department of Defense, in both the military and civilian service areas,” added Banik.

Additionally, The Citadel’s CyberCorps program — funded through a $2.8 million National Science Foundation grant — provides tuition, living expenses and dedicated training for cadets who will immediately go into cybersecurity government roles after graduation.

The Citadel offers undergraduate degrees in Cyber Operations, Computer Science, and Intelligence and Security Studies, plus two related master’s degrees and several graduate certificates. For more information email admissions@Citadel.edu.

Former Director of National IntelliCyber Security Conference, Department of National Intelligence, Daniel Coat having lunch with cadets during The Citadel intelligence and Cyber Security Conference in 2018
Former Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coast having lunch with cadets on campus during The Citadel Intelligence and Cybersecurity Conference in 2018

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