Faculty & Staff – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Wed, 04 Jan 2023 16:52:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.6 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Faculty & Staff – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team announced https://today.citadel.edu/all-southern-conference-faculty-and-staff-team-announced-3/ Wed, 04 Jan 2023 16:51:22 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33957 SOCON Award WinnersSOCON Award WinnersThe Southern Conference named its All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team, with two representatives from The Citadel included in the recognition by the league.]]> SOCON Award WinnersSOCON Award Winners

As seen on SoConsports.com

The Southern Conference named its All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team on Wednesday, with two representatives each from all 10 member schools being recognized by the league.

While the selections were left up to each institution’s discretion, the recipients all shared the common characteristics of demonstrated service to the institution and contributions to campus life and the local community. Faculty members selected have demonstrated strong contributions to teaching, research and/or service, while staff members are being recognized for bringing out the best in others and creating conditions for success.

The faculty and staff recipients include: The Citadel’s Dr. Deirdre Ragan and Kester Melville; ETSU’s Dr. Don Good and Levi Smith, Furman’s Dr. John Harris and Hunter Reid; Mercer’s Dr. Caryn Seney and Katie Johnson; UNC Greensboro’s Dr. Susan Phillips Keane and Melinda Wolf; Samford’s Laura Promer and Doug Wilson; Chattanooga’s Dr. Michael D. Thompson and Will Watson; VMI’s Col. Tom Timmes and Sergeant Major Tom Sowers; Western Carolina’s Dr. Cyndy Caravelis and Brian Boyer; and Wofford’s Dr. Cecile Nowatka and Dr. James Stukes.

“The Southern Conference is proud to once again recognize outstanding faculty and staff members from each of our member institutions,” SoCon Commissioner Jim Schaus said. “They are all integral parts of each of their campuses and it’s our honor to commemorate their service. I look forward to meeting all of them at our recognition ceremonies throughout the next couple of months.”
The recipients will be recognized at one of their institutions’ home men’s basketball games this year.

Dr. Deirdre Ragan, The Citadel

Dr. Deirdre Ragan is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering as well as the director of the Honors Program at The Citadel. Ragan delivers excellence through her unwavering passion and commitment to students and her faith in the mission of The Citadel. Students remark on her level of knowledge of her subject matter as well as an ability to teach and explain topics well. Although challenging, students appreciate Ragan’s emphasis on reasoning through a problem and understanding the implications of a result. Ragan’s dedication to students, her work ethic, and her love of teaching are celebrated by those who have had the privilege to work with her. Ragan previously worked for PPG Industries, a Fortune 500 company with specializations in glass, coatings and specialty chemicals, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. She holds five patents for ideas conceived and implemented while working in the industry. She previously received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on electrochromic materials at Uppsala University in Sweden and her research interests include materials science, nanotechnology and solar power.

Kester Melville, The Citadel

Kester Melville serves The Citadel as a Grounds Crew Leader within the Facilities and Engineering Department.  Extremely knowledgeable in the disciplines of landscape development and maintenance, Melville inspires and mentors the other members of his team to improve their overall service to the college’s buildings and grounds as well as highlighting The Citadel’s campus. Melville also maintains the Sweet Grass along the Jay Beam Memorial Crosswalk on Lee Avenue.  In addition to the challenging gardening and landscaping required to manicure this native species, he led the effort to donate the Sweet Grass cuttings to local basket weavers. His efforts ensure this Lowcountry cultural icon remains sustainable. Melville’s professionalism, perseverance and untiring devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Facilities and Engineering Department and are in keeping with the highest traditions of The Citadel and the state of South Carolina.

Dr. Don Good, ETSU
Dr. Don Good, a professor in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at ETSU, is also the program coordinator for the doctoral program in Higher Ed Leadership. He has chaired over 30 dissertations and served as a committee member on over 200, chairs the Clemmer College Curriculum Committee, serves as a faculty advisor for Cru Campus Ministry and the ETSU Wrestling Club, and as a member of the Academic Freedom and Faculty Ethics Committee. He has also served on the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and is a strong supporter of ETSU student athletes. Good is the author of The Campus History Series: East Tennessee State University as well as numerous publications in the area of higher education. In addition to his service to ETSU, he is a member of the Bristol Motor Speedway Fan Advisory Board and is an extra in the movie and series, Mayberry Man.

Levi Smith, ETSU
Levi Smith began his professional career at ETSU in 2016 as a transcript analyst in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and since August 2021 has served as the Coordinator for Transfer Evaluation and Articulated Programs. He also handles all processing and admission of second-degree students and performs the initial evaluations for prospective student athletes. Smith also serves on the General Education Review Committee. Although his work is almost entirely behind the scenes, what he does has a direct impact on students and their success at ETSU. A true legacy of the Johnson City, Tennessee, area, Smith’s sixth-great-grandfather was Henry Johnson, the founder of Johnson City, and as a student and employee, Smith has been coming to ETSU’s campus nearly every day since 2006.

Dr. John Harris, Furman
Dr. John Harris is a professor of mathematics and the director of the Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection at Furman. In the Mathematics Department, he enjoys teaching courses at all levels and appreciates the opportunities to get to know his students well. He has worked with dozens of students on undergraduate research projects, and he is always proud to see students do great things. His professional activity involves work in recreational mathematics (the study of games, puzzles, and magic) and in sports analytics, where along with colleagues he consults with ESPN, the NCAA, and The Athletic. In his work with Furman’s Center for Vocational Reflection, Harris participates in programs designed to help students (and others) think about and develop ideas and experiences that lead to lives of meaning and purpose. He loves getting to know and work with student-athletes, and he enjoys attending their matches, races and games. Harris can trace his support for athletic endeavors to his high school days when he supported his own basketball team from the very end of the bench.

Hunter Reid, Furman
Hunter Reid is now in his 38th year at Furman, having joined the department as assistant sports information director in 1985. The Southern Conference’s longest-tenured active SID, Reid works alongside a loyal and immensely talented Furman staff in overseeing publicity efforts for the school’s 18 intercollegiate sports, with direct responsibility for football and women’s basketball. In addition, he serves as liaison to Furman’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He was named SID in 1986 and added the titles of assistant athletics director in 1989 and associate athletics director in 2010. He served as media coordinator for both the 2017 and 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first- and second-round games played at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville, South Carolina, and will coordinate media operations for the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship regional, slated for BSW Arena in March. Reid, who served as SID at his alma mater, Presbyterian, for four years, enjoys the broad spectrum of sports, as well as history, reading, gardening, music and classic Ford Mustangs. He is married to Jeanne Symmes and has a son, Alexander, a senior at Christ Church Episcopal School.

Dr. Caryn Seney, Mercer
Dr. Caryn Seney is a professor of chemistry in the Mercer University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Seney maintains a robust research program and frequently collaborates with colleagues in the Mercer University School of Medicine and Department of Chemistry. Her publications include research in chemical education and mercury toxicity, and frequently include student co-authors. She was part of a team that won a $200,000 Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge award. In addition to her excellence in teaching, Seney has also served as Associate Chair of Chemistry. Seney is married to her husband, Rod, and they have two daughters – Ruthe and Abbie. In her spare time, she enjoys evenings of culture (watching her children act in plays and dance), attending Ruthe’s high school volleyball matches, hiking and attending Mercer sporting events.

Katie Johnson, Mercer
Katie Johnson, Director of Access and Accommodation/ADA Coordinator, came to Mercer University in 2017. There, she works to provide services to students and seeks to create an accessible and inclusive environment. Throughout her career, she has worked to build programs that are inviting to students, serving their needs to make programs, services, and activities accessible to all students. She has built braille production programs at two universities, served on the executive board for the Mississippi Association for Higher Education and Disability, and served as the vice president and president of the Georgia Association for Higher Education and Disability. She has presented at national and state conferences and enjoys interacting with colleagues. She and her husband, Robert, have two beautiful daughters, Alexa and Denielle, who are the delight of her life. In her personal time, she loves to visit family, travel, go on family adventures, hiking, trying new food and activities, and loves animals.

Dr. Susan Phillips Keane, UNCG
Dr. Susan Phillips Keane is a professor within the Department of Psychology at UNCG and has held major administrative roles within the department that directly impact student competency development for most of her career. Keane conducts research on mental health and health outcomes in children with early identified behavior problems and has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on federally and locally funded grants for 27 years. She also successfully secured federally funded clinical training grants continuously since 2002 which provide stipend support and community-based clinical training experiences for students. Keane was instrumental in establishing the UNCG Psychology Clinic as a resource for underserved populations and developed a summer camp program to foster social, communication and emotion regulation skills in children on the Autism Spectrum. She also instituted several initiatives to support graduate student retention and success including a pre-matriculation summer research initiative called Running Start and an Alumni Mentoring program for training grant recipients. To celebrate alumni success, she developed the Department’s Alumni Award program, which recognizes recent and distinguished alumni including those whose contributions directly impact North Carolina. Keane was recognized as UNCG’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor in 2019.

Melinda Wolf, UNCG
Melinda Wolf works as an administrative assistant in the UNCG Psychology Department and considers it an honor to work with the wonderful faculty, staff and students on the beautiful UNCG campus. Wolf has been the Undergraduate and Graduate Administrative Assistant and is now the Business Services Coordinator. She worked previously in the EUC Reservations office and the HDFS Department at UNCG. She lives in Greensboro with her husband, Melvin, and their dog Ruby. She has three adult children and four wonderful grandchildren.

Laura Promer, Samford
Laura Promer is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Health Professions at Samford University. She founded Communication and Reading Therapies in 2001 where she evaluates and treats language, reading, writing and related disorders in children and adults. Promer is an Associate in the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and a certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist (SLDI) through the International Dyslexia Association. In 2017, she started the Literacy Specialty Clinic through Samford University’s Academic Enhancement Center to provide evaluations and treatment to athletes with learning disabilities in the areas of language, reading and writing.

Doug Wilson, Samford
Doug Wilson joined the Samford staff in 2000 as a major gifts development officer and is now the Assistant Vice President of Advancement for the university. A 1983 graduate of Samford, where he lettered on the track and cross country teams, Wilson served 28 years in the Air Force and the Air National Guard, where he had multiple deployments, including Operations Deny Flight, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He retired from the Air National Guard in 2011 with the rank of Lt Col.

Dr. Michael D. Thompson, Chattanooga
Dr. Michael D. Thompson is a UC Foundation Associate Professor of American History and has served as the head of the History Department at Chattanooga since 2018. Appointed to UTC’s history faculty in 2009, Thompson is a scholar and teacher of the American South and slavery, and the early national and antebellum United States. His first book was an award-winning study of waterfront labor and laborers in Charleston, South Carolina, between the American Revolution and the Civil War, and he now is working on a book that interrogates the historical nexus of essential labor, racial presumptions, and disease in urban environments, as well as a history of enslavement in and around Chattanooga and Hamilton County, Tennessee. As the History Department’s internships coordinator from 2015-22, Thompson cultivated approximately 25 partnerships through which over 90 student interns served the community for more than 12,000 hours. Thompson recently completed a decade of service on UTC’s institutional review board, and he currently serves on the undergraduate petitions committee. Thompson is a member of the Southern Labor Studies Association’s executive board and a member of the editorial board for the University of South Carolina Press’ Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World series.

Will Watson, Chattanooga
After obtaining two degrees from Chattanooga, Will Watson now serves as the Workforce Development Specialist in UTC’s Center for Professional Education. In his role, Watson developed healthcare certification programs and removed barriers to train and prepare adult learners to enter healthcare occupations, such as Certified Nursing Assistant and Clinical Medical Assistant. In less than five years, Watson has overseen the training and certification of roughly 750 adult learners, while providing them with direct pathways to meaningful employment through employer partnerships. These partnerships cover the cost of tuition for students, provide them with pay while in training, and guarantee them full-time employment once they finish. With the recent strain on the healthcare system and labor market, these training programs are a vital piece in supporting the Chattanooga healthcare system, as well as the community members striving to identify new career pathways. As a board member of the Howard High – Erlanger Institute of Healthcare and Innovation advisory board, Watson played a key role in assisting the school in obtaining NCAS status. Further, Watson integrated the CNA program into the school day for Howard High students at no cost to them or the school system, while also offering the same opportunity at the school in the evening for adults and family members. Watson was recently selected to be a part of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce’s Protégé Chattanooga 2022-23 cohort. He enjoys supporting all things Chattanooga and UTC, while spending time with his family, girlfriend, and dogs.

Col. Tom Timmes, VMI
Col. Tom Timmes, a 1992 VMI graduate, is a professional engineer who served for over 25 years in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps and is a professor in the VMI Civil and Environmental Engineering department. His academic and research interests include water quality, electrocoagulation, military field drinking water, water treatment plant optimization, and water system vulnerability assessments. As an Army Environmental Engineer, he conducted extensive drinking water and wastewater system characterizations and public health threat assessments throughout the U.S. and overseas. He commanded the Headquarters Company of the U.S. Army Chemical Activity-Pacific on Johnston Atoll during its closure as a chemical agent demilitarization site and served as a Jumpmaster with the 82nd Airborne Division. He taught a variety of academic subjects on the faculty at the US Military Academy (West Point) for six years. Timmes commanded the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research in Fort Detrick, Maryland, and served as the Director for Environmental Health Sciences and Engineering at the Army Public Health Center before retiring from Active Duty to join the VMI Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. As a volunteer diving coach, Timmes has helped the VMI men’s and women’s teams grow in number and skills and provide critical points to the swim/dive team scores. Timmes dove for VMI during the 1988-89 season and finished the season as the Tri-State Champion for both the 1-Meter and 3-Meter diving boards. His “rat” year total score for 11-dives on the 1-Meter board remains in the VMI record books.

Sergeant Major Tom Sowers, VMI
Sergeant Major Tom Sowers retired from the United States Marine Corps in June 2018 and assumed his duties as the Institute and Corps Sergeant Major for VMI. The 30-year veteran of the Marine Corps assumed much of the day-to-day oversight of the Corps of Cadets and is responsible for administering the New Cadet Military Training Program and overseeing cadet leaders, among many other duties. Sowers came to VMI after having served as 1st Marine Division Sergeant Major at Camp Pendleton, California, a position he held since 2015. He served five combat tours: one in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, one in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and three in Operation Enduring Freedom. His awards include the meritorious service medal, the bronze star medal with combat distinguishing device and one gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps commendation medal with combat distinguishing device and two gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal with three gold stars, and the combat action ribbon with two gold stars.

Dr. Cyndy Caravelis, Western Carolina
Dr. Cyndy Caravelis, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Western Carolina, merges her teaching, research and service in ways that have benefited on-campus and off-campus communities. An award-winning teacher, she has led students on study abroad classes to Europe, South Africa and New Zealand. A certified victim advocate, Caravelis serves on the Board of Directors for the local Center for Domestic Peace and provides legal and emotional support to domestic violence victims. Such work drives her on-campus commitment “to educating all students on issues of interpersonal violence with a focus on destigmatization.” Her peers note that “perhaps her greatest impact to the betterment of student life comes in the form of the creation of the Peacekeeper training program,” which helps “all faculty, staff, and students learn how to respond to trauma and victimization on campus.”

Brian Boyer, Western Carolina
As a residential case manager at Western Carolina, Brian Boyer has shaped the lives and enhanced the experiences of countless students. His impact stretches across campus and beyond, as he has promoted athletic events, organized community and civic oriented learning programs, and provided immeasurable support to students throughout their four or more years in Cullowhee. According to one of his many fans, Boyer “creates a great sense of community amongst the on-campus students,” giving them the resources and instilling in them a confidence “to help them succeed.” Others have noticed that in addition to all his other duties and responsibilities, “Brian is always throwing together informal meetings and gatherings, things that are not part of his job requirements, but play a role in our students experience as Catamounts.”

Dr. Cecile Nowatka, Wofford
Dr. Cecile McAninch Nowatka is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Wofford College, where she has taught since 1999. She is a licensed clinical psychologist. Nowatka teaches courses on child development, abnormal psychology and statistics. Until Covid, she had been the volunteer therapist at St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic for many years. She has involved her students in service learning in numerous ways, including sponsoring a blood drive, raising money for multiple sclerosis, creating a reading garden at an elementary school, and working with infants and toddlers at a child development program. She has served on numerous Wofford committees and was a fellow in the year-long Teach.Equity.Now program.

Dr. James Stukes, Wofford
Dr. James Stukes, a proud first-generation college graduate, serves as the Assistant Dean for Student Success and College Access within the Office of Student Success and the Center for Community-Based Learning at Wofford College. For the past 10 years, Stukes has worked in various areas of higher education, including TRIO programs, all while serving in capacities related to creating welcoming and affirming spaces for students, faculty and staff. In 2018, he created the Wofford Firsts initiative to serve as a resource for first-generation college students; this initiative led to the college being initiated into the 2022-23 cohort of First-Gen Forward institutions with the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASPA). Stukes is currently a member of the Black First-Gen Collective steering committee. His work with college access reaches into the local community through current Wofford students who serve as near-peer mentors for high school students seeking college entry. Stukes serves as the vice-chair of the Executive Board of the Citizen Scholars Institute, which is a local non-profit dedicated to the elimination of barriers to college access through various programming and initiatives. At Wofford, Stukes has taught several courses focused on the first-year experience, community sustainability, and self-identity. He also serves a mentor for the Level-Up program within the athletics department that provides direct support for athletes as they prepare for postgraduate success.

Drayton Named Head Football Coach https://today.citadel.edu/drayton-named-head-football-coach/ Wed, 14 Dec 2022 19:28:38 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33932 Maurice DraytonMaurice DraytonFormer Bulldog player and defensive coordinator Maurice Drayton has been named the next head football coach at The Citadel.]]> Maurice DraytonMaurice Drayton

From The Citadel Athletics

Former Bulldog player and defensive coordinator Maurice Drayton has been named the next head football coach at The Citadel. The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Mike Capaccio on Tuesday.

“We are very excited to have Maurice back at The Citadel,” said Capaccio. “We conducted a very thorough search and it was clear that Maurice was the best person for this position. He understands what it takes to be a cadet-athlete at The Citadel, and also understands what it takes to be successful on the field.”

A former standout player and defensive coordinator, Drayton returns to The Citadel after spending the previous seven seasons working in the NFL. He most recently served as the assistant special teams coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders. Drayton also served as the special teams coordinator in Green Bay in 2021, assistant special teams coordinator for the Packers from 2018-20, and the special teams coordinator for Indianapolis Colts in 2016-17.

In his final season in Green Bay, Drayton worked with newcomer P Corey Bojorquez, who finished with the highest gross punting average (46.5 avg.) in a season (min. 35 punts) in franchise history. He also saw K Mason Crosby set a new franchise record with a streak of 24 consecutive field goals made from 2019-2021.

Drayton’s first season with the Colts saw him guide Pat McAfee to his second Pro Bowl after leading the league with a 49.3 yard average. Additionally, he helped Adam Vinatieri register his 19th and 20th 100-point seasons, extending his NFL record.

“I want to thank Gen. Walters, Mike Capaccio and the entire committee for giving me this opportunity. I made the decision several years ago to take the road less traveled, and it allowed me to meet people that have remained loyal.

“I believe in the divine power of God and that has moved in the minds of those who extended the invitation to return home. For me and my family, Moncks Corner, Charleston and The Citadel will always be home. I am prepared to assist in taking our school to the next level.”

Drayton served as The Citadel’s defensive coordinator from 2014-15, helping the Bulldogs to the 2015 Southern Conference Championship. The 2015 defense led the conference with 31 takeaways, 11 fumble recoveries, 10 passing TDs allowed and a 36.5 opponent third-down conversion percentage. The defense also ranked third in the FCS with 20 interceptions, including five returned for touchdowns.

All-in-all, Drayton has spent 14 seasons at The Citadel as a player or coach. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1998 and his master’s in education in 2007.

As a player, Drayton was a two-year starter at cornerback and finished his career with 145 tackles, 17 pass break-ups and three interceptions.

After completing his eligibility in 1998, Drayton spent the next seven seasons as a member of the Bulldog coaching staff. He began as a graduate assistant/secondary coach, before spending the 2000 season coaching the tackles/tight ends. He also worked with the wide receivers (2001) and outside linebackers (2002), before spending the 2003-05 seasons coaching the secondary, special teams and serving as the recruiting coordinator.

Drayton spent the 2006 season as the defensive coordinator for the Seinajoki (Finland) Crocodiles of the European Football League. He spent 2007 as an assistant principal and assistant coach at Goose Creek High School.

Drayton joined the staff at South Carolina State in 2008, coaching the defensive backs and special teams. In his two seasons in Orangeburg, Drayton helped SCSU capture a pair of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) titles.

Drayton spent the 2010-11 seasons as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach at Coastal Carolina.

He would serve as the secondary coach for former Bulldog head coach Ellis Johnson at Southern Miss in 2012 before working with the defense and special teams with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2013.
A native of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, Drayton and his wife are the proud parents of two children.

For more information on Drayton’s coaching career, click here.

Robert Pickering named Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/robert-pickering-named-chief-inclusive-excellence-officer-at-the-citadel/ Tue, 13 Dec 2022 21:47:19 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33919 Robert PickeringRobert PickeringRobert Pickering, a member of The Citadel Class of 1994, has been promoted to Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer.]]> Robert PickeringRobert Pickering

Robert Pickering, a member of The Citadel Class of 1994, has been promoted to Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer.

In this position, Pickering will lead, develop and enhance a culture of diversity and inclusion at The Citadel, in support of the college’s mission, core values and the Our Mighty Citadel 2026 strategic plan.

“As the Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer, my goal is to advance and support The Citadel’s mission of developing principled leaders in all walks of life,” said Pickering. “Whether its cadets, faculty, or staff, continuing to provide a professional environment for all members of The Citadel family – regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs – is critical to the college’s core values of honor, duty and respect.”

Pickering replaces Dr. Shawn Edwards, who was the first person to serve as Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer for The Citadel. 

Prior to this role, Pickering was the director for Multicultural Student Services. He has served in a variety of roles since joining the college as an employee in 1995, including admissions counselor, associate director of admissions focused on recruiting minority and underrepresented students, director of the Student Success Center, director of The Citadel Success Institute and an ombudsman.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue this mission. We have made, and continue to make, significant progress when it comes to ensuring The Citadel is a place where everyone is welcomed,” Pickering continued.

Pickering’s experiences at The Citadel have shaped his perspective in many ways. As a cadet, he was part of the African American Society and served as their president his senior year.

“I know firsthand what it was like as an underrepresented student 30 years ago – I started my knob year in 1990. For others like me who are in an underrepresented population, I can say The Citadel’s efforts to create an open campus, one where differences are appreciated and respected, reflects the college’s commitment to our core values,” said Pickering. “I want to continue making The Citadel a better place for all cadets, students, faculty and staff.”  

Pickering, a Charleston native and Burke High School alum, graduated from The Citadel in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In addition to the African American Society, Pickering was part of the Accounting Club and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He also earned his Master of Arts in Social Science from The Citadel in 2007.

Amazon Web Services Education Champions program welcomes The Citadel’s Dean of Engineering https://today.citadel.edu/amazon-web-services-education-champions-program-welcomes-the-citadels-dean-of-engineering/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 19:40:38 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33786 Amazon Web Services IMAGINE 2022 conferenceAmazon Web Services IMAGINE 2022 conferenceAWS Education Champions program is community-led, made possible through the work of others who look at the bigger picture when it comes to improving education and accelerating research. Among those recognized at the conference were Andrew Williams, Ph.D., dean for the School of Engineering.]]> Amazon Web Services IMAGINE 2022 conferenceAmazon Web Services IMAGINE 2022 conference

Photo: Third from left, Andrew Williams, Ph.D., dean for the School of Engineering at the IMAGINE 2022 conference.

The Amazon Web Services Education Champions program recognizes and supports education leaders who are driving digital transformation with cloud computing. It is community-led and made possible through the work of others who look at the bigger picture when it comes to improving education and accelerating research. The first inductees into the AWS Education Champions program were recently honored at the IMAGINE 2022 conference for their innovative work and for improving education through cloud computing technology.

Among those recognized at the conference were Andrew Williams, Ph.D., dean for The Citadel’s School of Engineering, who was recently named an AWS Education Champion, due to his implementation of the AWS cloud at The Citadel. Williams also served as a keynote speaker during the event.

Along with being recognized, AWS Education Champions will also receive professional development opportunities, have increased visibility in a network of other education leaders and get access to travel grants.

“Introducing the AWS cloud to our students and faculty has been an engaging way to have them learn about artificial intelligence and cloud computing,” said Williams. “The cloud makes computing for an institution so accessible, many people including faculty don’t realize that. We’re using it to further our entrepreneurial mindset.”

AWS is a cloud service from Amazon that provides services in the form of building blocks. These building blocks can be used to create and deploy any type of application in the cloud. A few services that AWS provides are storage, databases and management tools.

Since his time at The Citadel, Williams and the faculty at the School of Engineering have used the cloud to teach students how to program cars to drive by themselves using deep reinforcement learning with AWS DeepRacer, an integrated learning system for users to better understand reinforcement learning, and to experiment with and build autonomous driving applications. They also lead AI workshops that use AWS cloud-based machine learning services, ensuring that learning opportunities for students are endless as they become more familiar with this technology. Williams has been successful in incorporating AWS AI, AWS Cloud, Alexa and DeepRacer into curricular and co-curricular activities.

“The cloud is used in all of our daily lives, so it’s important to encourage student’s curiosity with it. There are many free resources that help you learn how to access network tools and software services in a simple way, by just using a web browser — it’s invaluable knowledge to have access to,” said Williams. “Pursue your curiosity and drive to increase your knowledge using the cloud. Institutions like The Citadel and AWS’s trainings and certifications will help do that. AI impacts people, but you can’t understand that until you tie it in with learning and the cloud.”

The Citadel is ranked as one of the Top 25 Undergraduate Engineering programs and is one of the first five engineering programs in the country, providing a greater education experience to each cadet and student involved.

What led a Citadel professor to the “Origins of The Wheel of Time” https://today.citadel.edu/what-led-a-citadel-professor-to-theorigins-of-the-wheel-of-time/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 12:34:15 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33383 Michael Livingston with his book "Origins of The Wheel of Time"Michael Livingston with his book "Origins of The Wheel of Time"Citadel professor Michael Livingston, Ph.D., is set to release a companion book on the best-selling “Wheel of Time” series. His book, titled “Origins of The Wheel of Time: The Legends and Mythologies that Inspired Robert Jordan” will debut on Nov. 8. ]]> Michael Livingston with his book "Origins of The Wheel of Time"Michael Livingston with his book "Origins of The Wheel of Time"

Citadel professor Michael Livingston, Ph.D., is set to release a companion book on the internationally best-selling “Wheel of Time” series. His book, titled “Origins of The Wheel of Time: The Legends and Mythologies that Inspired Robert Jordan,” will debut on Nov. 8.

Livingston’s love for the writing of Robert Jordan – or James Rigney Jr. as he was known when he graduated from The Citadel in 1974 – started 30 years ago. Now, Livingston has been able to see his own book, that builds upon the world Jordan created, come to life.

Livingston worked closely with Harriet McDougal Rigney — Rigney’s wife and editor — who provided a foreword in “Origins of The Wheel of Time.” McDougal was an integral part making ”Origins” a reality; she gave Livingston access to notes and early drafts from Jordan that had never been shared before. Livingston says he understands the world he and many other readers love would not have existed without her, and neither would his newest book, so he made sure she was part of this from the very beginning. In return, Livingston included a favor to McDougal on the front and back his book’s inside covers. There, readers will see the symbol of The Wheel of Time, the interwoven snake and wheel. In a 2013 interview, McDougal said she always wished she could have included that symbol in “The Wheel of Time” books.

“Origins” will be welcomed by Jordan’s fans all over the world, but the number one audience in my mind was Harriet,” said Livingston. “It was essential to me that I do justice to her husband’s legacy while acknowledging her vital role in its making — not just as his wife, but as his editor, as well.”

McDougal will also narrate parts of the “Origins” audiobook, along with Livingston and others. The audiobook will also feature an interview with Rosamund Pike, one of the actresses from Amazon’s TV adaptation of “The Wheel of Time” series.

Additionally, as part of the 2022 Charleston Conference, Livingston will speak during the Robert Jordan/Wheel of Time Special Collection Lecture and Tour at 12 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3. For more information, click here.

A few days later, Livingston, McDougal and Maria Simons, Jordan’s editorial and research assistant, will be at Barnes & Noble Westwood at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 for the first “Origins” book signing. Livingston will provide deeper insight into this companion book, including further mention of Jordan’s connections to The Citadel.

“Being at The Citadel, in halls he walked…I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do think it made a difference to write this book in a world that he loved so dearly,” said Livingston.

Read more of Livingston’s recently published work

Livingston has also recently published “Crécy: Battle of Five Kings,” a groundbreaking new study of the Battle of Crécy in 1346, which is one of the most famous and widely studied military engagements in history. In addition, Livingston gave a virtual lecture on Oct. 17 the Hudson Library and Historical Society, and also recorded a podcast with The Sons of History discussing the Battle of Crécy. Click here to listen.

To keep up with his upcoming appearances and learn more about him, click here.

The Zucker Family School of Education receives Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement https://today.citadel.edu/the-zucker-family-school-of-education-receives-frank-murray-leadership-recognition-for-continuous-improvement/ Mon, 17 Oct 2022 13:49:39 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33369 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous ImprovementFrank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous ImprovementThe Zucker Family School of Education was a selected recipient of the 2022 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement. They are ranked as one of the best master’s and bachelor’s programs for education in South Carolina. ]]> Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous ImprovementFrank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement

The Zucker Family School of Education continues to excel, most recently by receiving recognition for their leadership and commitment to continuous improvement. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation – CAEP – announced that 32 providers from 16 states were recipients of the 2022 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement. This achievement means The Citadel’s education programs provided clear data trends that achieved accreditation with no stipulations or areas for improvements.

“The ZFSOE is steadfast in its efforts to close the loop on initiatives related to continuous improvement. Engaging in data collection and analysis is a cornerstone of our operations, not to mention listening to partnering school districts and educational organizations,” said Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., dean for the Zucker Family School of Education. “Improvement is a representation of countless ideas distilled down to the best ones in which our team swarms to the call of duty.”

The Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement is named after the founding President of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) who was a key advocate for a single set of educator preparation standards. Recipients of this recognition are proven advocates of continuous improvement in education and preparing students to succeed during their study and throughout their careers.

“I’m proud to work with so many of my colleagues who devote long hours, often late into the night, to influence education in the Lowcountry for the better,” said Britnie Kane, Ph.D., department head of Literacy Education. “This award showcases the fruits of that labor: strong undergraduate and graduate-level programs, excellent professional development opportunities for educators and opportunities for kids – who are at the heart of our work – to come to campus and learn with us. Expect more great things to come from the ZFSOE.”

The Zucker Family School of Education was a selected recipient of the 2022 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement due to its excellence in educator preparation and representation of the diversity and innovation that comes with CAEP accreditation. They are ranked as one of the best master’s and bachelor’s programs for education in South Carolina. This recognition is another mark of quality and distinction.

The Citadel is the newest KEEN Partner Campus, bringing new entrepreneurial engineering opportunities https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-is-the-newest-keen-partner-campus-bringing-new-entrepreneurial-engineering-opportunities/ Wed, 12 Oct 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33170 Dean Andrew Williams with cadetsDean Andrew Williams with cadetsThe Citadel is officially a KEEN Partner Campus, making it the first senior military college or academy to be given that distinction. Along with more than 50 other schools, this program will bring new collaboration, faculty development, and funding opportunities for The Citadel’s faculty, cadets and students.]]> Dean Andrew Williams with cadetsDean Andrew Williams with cadets

The Citadel is officially a KEEN Partner Campus, making it the first senior military college or academy to be given that distinction. Along with more than 50 other schools – like Georgia Institute of Technology, The Ohio State University, Duke University and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology – this program will bring new collaboration, faculty development, and funding opportunities for The Citadel’s faculty, cadets and students.

KEEN, which stands for Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, is an association of diverse colleges and universities across the United States. KEEN Partner Campuses collaborate to develop best practices and to champion the entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate engineering. Together with KEEN, The Citadel will be able to further develop and test best practices in entrepreneurially minded learning and showcasing the benefits this delivers to cadets and students.

“We are thrilled to be the first senior military college to have joined the KEEN Network as a KEEN Partner Campus,” said Andrew Williams, Ph.D., dean for the School of Engineering. “The introduction of entrepreneurially minded learning, or EML, is already having a tremendous impact on the ability of our cadets, students and faculty to innovate and create value for others. Our faculty are excited to work together with the Provost to lead The Citadel in implementing EML across our engineering curriculum and co-curriculum and throughout our campus.”

KEEN’s mission is to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so they can create personal, economic and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work, which matches with The Citadel’s track record in academics.

“With a 180-year history of educating engineers to serve the nation in the military, industry and academia, The Citadel is committed to our mission to develop principled leaders who will make a difference in the world,” said Sally Selden, Ph.D., SPHR, provost and dean of The Citadel. “By becoming a KEEN Partner, we believe we can continue to evolve our programming by encouraging curiosity and an entrepreneurial mindset so necessary to be innovative engineers today.”

The Citadel has been in the Top 25 Undergraduate Engineering programs since 2012 and is one of the first five engineering programs in the country, providing a superior experience and education to each cadet and student.

The Citadel partners with the Boot Campaign to remind veterans – You Matter https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-partners-with-the-boot-campaign-to-remind-veterans-you-matter/ Thu, 06 Oct 2022 18:45:49 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=33217 Boot Campaign partners with The CitadelBoot Campaign partners with The CitadelThe Citadel recognizes how important service members are, and for that reason, the college’s leadership has teamed up with the Boot Campaign to highlight the important message - you matter.]]> Boot Campaign partners with The CitadelBoot Campaign partners with The Citadel

Photo: The Citadel administration poses for a photo to show support for “YOU MATTER” campaign. Left to right: Robert Pickering, ’94; Capt. Jeff Lamberson, USN (Ret.), ‘85; Leah Schonfeld; Col. Cardon Crawford, U.S. Army (Ret.), ‘83; Sally Selden, Ph.D., SPHR; Gen. Glenn Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’79; Cmdr. William Lind, USN (Ret.), ’91; Col. Thomas Gordon, USMC (Ret.), ‘91; Col. Sonny Leggett, U.S. Army (Ret.), ’96.

The Boot Campaign started when Americans began lacing up their boots, specifically combat boots, to show their support and gratitude for active-duty service members, veterans and their families. Their decade-long mission has been to honor and restore the lives of veterans and military families through individualized, life-improving programs.

Their latest initiative is YOU MATTER. More than just a slogan, it is a universal message that everyone, especially the veteran community, needs to hear. The Citadel and its college leadership support this campaign and encourage any active-duty military member or veteran to remember the core message – YOU MATTER.

As the number one school for veterans, The Citadel recognizes how important service members are, and for that reason, the college’s leadership has teamed up with the Boot Campaign to highlight this important message. The Citadel is proud to offer veterans the opportunity to complete or advance their education in an understanding and appreciative military service environment. Here, veterans have access to all of the programs The Citadel offers and, through the Veteran Student Success Center, will have an easy and supportive transition from service to campus. The Citadel’s Veteran Student Success Center is open to all veteran students to increase awareness of VA Educational Benefits and Veterans Center activities.


Learn the signs of mental health issues, reach out, and know you are not alone.

Veteran Crisis Line: call 9-8-8 and press 1, text 838255 or chat online at veteranscrisisline.net/chat

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: call or text 9-8-8 or chat online 988lifeline.org/chat

The Citadel welcomes new Chief Information Officer https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-welcomes-new-chief-information-officer/ Mon, 29 Aug 2022 17:19:41 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=32887 In September, The Citadel will welcome Leonard Niebo, an internationally recognized expert in higher education technology.]]>

In September, The Citadel will welcome its new Chief Information Officer, Leonard Niebo.

Niebo comes to the Military College of South Carolina having previously served as the Associate Vice President and CIO for The College of New Jersey, directing a broad range of IT and Digital services in support of faculty and staff to meet the mission of educating more than 7,400 students.  Prior to that, he served as the Associate CIO and Director of Technology Operations for Touro College with more than 18,000 students across 29 schools in the greater New York metropolitan area, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.

At The Citadel, Niebo will lead a 30 member team, working to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations regarding data security and electronic technology operations, as well as security and risk procedures.

“We are excited to welcome Len and his talents to The Citadel,” said The Citadel Provost Sally Selden, Ph.D., SPHR. “Ensuring our technology and connectivity remain state-of-the-art is essential to The Citadel’s strategic plan and overall mission, and we are confident that Len is the right fit to ensure our continued IT success.”

Niebo is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in higher education technology and brings proven experience in leading all stages of IT infrastructure and software development efforts.

“The Citadel has a long and prestigious history,” said Niebo. “I would like to build on that history and be an integral part of its future. I am also immensely intrigued with the administrative and functional use of artificial intelligence and machine learning and the roles those technologies will play in the evolution of higher education.”

Niebo earned a M.A. in Educational Technology Management from Columbia University – Teachers College, New York, and his B.A. in History and Teacher Education from Richard Stockton College in New Jersey.

He replaces Kyle Herron, who recently left the college after serving as its first CIO for almost seven years.

Zucker Family School of Education names inaugural tenured chair position, enhances partnership with Tri-County Cradle to Career https://today.citadel.edu/zucker-family-school-of-education-inaugural-chair-partnership-tri-county-cradle-to-career/ Mon, 01 Aug 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=32773 Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., dean of the ZFSOE, has been named the first-ever Zucker Chair in Entrepreneurial Education Leadership.]]>

Dean Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., named Zucker Chair in Entrepreneurial Education Leadership

The Zucker Family School of Education is taking its mission — to support and prepare educators of the Lowcountry, state, region and nation — to the next level.

Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., dean of the ZFSOE, has been named the first-ever Zucker Chair in Entrepreneurial Education Leadership.

The creation of this endowed chair position is part of the gift agreement the college made with local philanthropist Anita Zucker in 2014.

“Having Dr. Ortlieb as the first Zucker Chair in Entrepreneurial Educational Leadership will guarantee the elevation of education for all students in the Lowcountry,” said Anita Zucker, namesake of the Zucker Family School of Education. “Not only will this position improve the schools in our communities, it will also directly expand and develop the local workforce. Through his new role, while still serving as dean, Dr. Ortlieb will work alongside local partners to foster both entrepreneurship and innovation on and off campus.”

As part of his new role, Ortlieb will lead the effort to build and align programs at The Citadel with Tri-County Cradle to Career initiatives.

The six milestones outlined by TCCC are:

  • Students will enter kindergarten ready to learn
  • Students will master critical math and literacy concepts in third grade
  • Students will master critical math and literacy concepts in eighth grade
  • Students will graduate high school ready to succeed in college or the modern-day workforce
  • Students will master critical math and literacy concepts in twelfth grade
  • Students who enroll in college or a career program will graduate ready to enter the modern-day workforce

As a member of the digital equity taskforce of TCCC, Ortlieb and his colleagues brokered partnerships and spearheaded efforts that increased high speed internet access to students in remote areas throughout the Lowcountry during COVID-19 and also expanded the capacity for families to stay connected through mobile platforms. Both efforts helped create the infrastructure for a cohesive, community approach to education.

Through his new role, Ortlieb aims to create systems that are sustainable, relevant and meaningful.

“Serving as the Inaugural Zucker Chair provides a unique opportunity to strategically lead initiatives that impact not only schools but entire communities,” said Ortlieb. “In this role, I will dually focus on improving K-12 student achievement while also creating transformational professional development experiences for teachers, counselors and administrators alike. Education and entrepreneurship go hand in hand, as they share a core focus on innovation, research and improvement science. I’m looking forward to collaborating with diverse stakeholders and owe profound gratitude to both Anita and Jerry Zucker for supporting principled leadership in action.”

The partnership between the ZFSOE and the TCCC is meant to improve workforce development from the ground up, starting before children enter kindergarten and continue throughout college.

TCCC was founded by Anita Zucker in 2013. She served as chair of the Board of Directors until stepping down in June 2022, though she remains on the board as chair emeritus. The Citadel Provost Sally Selden, Ph.D., SPHR, also serves on the TCCC executive committee as treasurer.