Faculty & Staff – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:20:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 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 School of Engineering announces three finalists for Dean https://today.citadel.edu/school-of-engineering-announces-three-finalists-for-dean/ Tue, 16 Mar 2021 18:28:53 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22703 Three finalists for the position of Dean of The School of Engineering at The CitadelThree finalists for the position of Dean of The School of Engineering at The CitadelThe search for a new dean The Citadel School of Engineering is now focused on three finalists for the position.]]> Three finalists for the position of Dean of The School of Engineering at The CitadelThree finalists for the position of Dean of The School of Engineering at The Citadel

The search for a new dean The Citadel School of Engineering is now focused on three finalists for the position. The school was one of the first five engineering programs in the nation, and is consistently ranked in the top 25 in America by U.S. News & World Report. Graduates from the schools undergraduate programs have a near 99% job placement rate within the first 6-months of graduation.

The Citadel initiated the search in December, with the announcement of the impending retirement of the current Dean, Col. Ronald W. Welch, U.S. Army (Ret.), PH.D., P.E., FASCE following the end of the 2021 academic year.

The finalists and their biographies are listed below.

Andrew Williams, Ph.D.

Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D., M.B.A., is an Associate Dean for the University of Kansas (KU) School of Engineering and the Charles E. and Mary Jane Spahr Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In this role, he led the strategic planning, fundraising, and implementation efforts to catapult the KU IHAWKe (Indigenous, Hispanic, African American, Women, KU Engineering) Diversity & Women’s Programs to receive the highest inaugural Diversity Recognition Program Award with exemplary distinction given by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2019.

Williams’s career spans higher education and the private sector, including positions at Apple Inc., GE Medical Systems, and Allied Signal Aerospace Company. He was also a Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellow and GE Edison Engineer. Williams served as a department chair for Computer and Information Sciences at Spelman College in Atlanta, and as a research affiliate in the Human-Automation Systems Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Williams was the John P. Raynor Distinguished Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Marquette University, where he founded and directed the Humanoid Engineering and Intelligent Robotics (HEIR) Lab.  His research and education work in artificial intelligence, autonomous robotics, and human-robot interaction has resulted in over 100 technical publications and presentations. His collaborative grant writing and fundraising efforts have resulted in approximately $29M in research and educational funding, corporate support, and private donations. He is the author of the book, “Out of the Box: Building Robots, Transforming Lives.” 

Williams serves on a National Academy of Engineering workshop committee for diversity, the ACM Education Advisory Committee, and the National GEM Consortium Alumni Advisory Board as Treasurer. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from KU, his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Marquette University, his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Artificial Intelligence from KU, and his Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University.  He was born in Fort Riley, Kansas, the son of a WWII and Korean War veteran. He is married to Anitra Williams, his wife of 28 years, and together they have three adult children.

Craig Harvey, Ph.D., P.E.

Craig M. Harvey, Ph.D., P.E., is associate dean for Academic Affairs for the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Engineering, a professor of Industrial Engineering, and holds the institution’s F.J. Haydel, Jr. Kaiser Aluminum Professorship. Prior to his current role at LSU, he was program director for Industrial engineering.

Harvey teaches and conducts research in the area of Industrial and Human Factors Engineering. His research has ranged from investigations into engineering design process, medical product usability, health care productivity, construction safety, and control room management. Harvey’s work has been funded by the Keck Foundation, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Federal Aviation and Hospitals, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Louisiana Department of Economic Development, Louisiana Board of Regents, Baton Rouge Area foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

Prior to joining the academic community, Harvey was a consultant of business process reengineering for KnowledgeWar, where he worked with Whirlpool and Ford Motor Company. Before that, he was manager of business process reengineering for the Student Loan Marketing Association (SallieMae) where he was responsible for the reengineering portion of the implementation of a $55 million document imaging system.

Harvey served un the U.S. Air Force in active duty for seven years and in the reserves for 13. During his time in the Air Force, he was an Air Force Civil Engineer. Harvey has more than 790 technical publications and is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and Human ?Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Joseph Rencis, Ph.D., P.E.

Joseph Rencis, Ph.D., P.E., is a first-generation college graduate from a working-class family in a small town in rural Northwestern New Jersey. He received an Associate of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural and Building Construction Engineering technology from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Rencis earned a Master of Science from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Civil Engineering.

Rencis is currently a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, where he previously served as dean. Prior to joining Cal Poly, Rencis was a professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of Engineering Mechanics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He served as department head for Mechanical Engineering, and as Twenty-First Century Leadership Chair at the University of Arkansas. Rencis was the dean of Engineering and Clay N. Hixson Chair for Engineering Leadership at Tennessee Tech University.

Rencis has published over 140 journal and conference articles in boundary elements, finite elements, molecular dynamics, and engineering education. He’s earned over $8 million in research funding.

Rencis is a fellow of the ASEE, ASME, and Wessex Institute of Great Britain. He served as ASEE President and was a director of the ASEE Engineering Deans Council Executive Board. Joe was elected to serve as the chair of the ASME Mechanical Engineering Department Heads Committee and was a member of the ASME Center for Education Board of Directors. Rencis has been an ABET program evaluator and has conducted reviews of new graduate programs. He is a recipient of ASEE awards for leadership, teaching, and service.

Presentations to campus

Each finalist will provide presentation for the campus community. They will all be held in Bastin Hall 207, and on Zoom. In-person attendance will be limited due to COVID-19 precautions, thus Zoom attendance is recommended.

Zoom links will be send to faculty and staff on the morning prior to the presentation.

  • Dr. Andrew Williams: Monday, March 22 from 1:30-2:40 p.m.
  • Dr. Craig Harvey: Tues., March 30 from 1:30-2:40 p.m.
  • Dr. Joseph Rencis, Thurs., April 1, from 1:30-2:40 p.m.

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Engineering professor uses sabbatical to strengthen collaboration between The Citadel and Army Research Lab https://today.citadel.edu/engineering-professor-uses-sabbatical-to-strengthen-collaboration-between-the-citadel-and-army-research-lab/ Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:21:17 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22686 Mazzaro has been working closely with Army researchers to develop a unique type of radar for detecting deadly hazards.]]>

Electrical engineering professor Gregory Mazzaro, Ph.D., splits time between labs at The Citadel and ARL’s headquarters in Adelphi, MD

Gregory Mazzaro, Ph.D., a professor in The Citadel’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is using his sabbatical, awarded for 2020-21, to focus full-time on research that he’s been conducting with the Army. Since August, Mazzaro has been working closely with Army researchers in Adelphi, MD to develop a unique type of radar as part of a suite of sensors for detecting deadly hazards.

Since joining The Citadel in 2013, Mazzaro has worked part-time as a consultant for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory (ARL) on several different technologies, including:

  • Harmonic radar — for detecting electronics such as those used to trigger explosives
  • Acoustic radar — for finding metallic objects such as landmines
  • Passive radar — for locating radio-frequency circuits such as those found in (2-way) communications gear and (1-way) scanner/listening devices

Mazzaro and his colleagues in the Sensors & Electron Devices Directorate at ARL have developed a variety of novel techniques for implementing these radars. This past spring, his team was awarded a pair of patents:

  • Method and Apparatus for Detecting Objects using a Combination of Radio and Acoustic Signals (US patent # 10,564,280)
  • Passive Non-Linear Synthetic Aperture Radar and Method Thereof (US patent # 10,649,080)

To date, Mazzaro is a named inventor on nine radar-related patents.

This year, Mazzaro and his team at ARL’s Adelphi Laboratory Center (ALC) designed, fabricated, programmed and tested a non-linear junction detector (“non-linear radar”) intended to be carried by a mobile platform (e.g. a drone) for detecting explosives. The initial design of the radar was conceived by Mazzaro; specifications were guided by experiments that he conducted on-site during prior summers at ALC. 

One of Mazzaro’s teammates, technician Khalid Salik of Ideal Innovations Inc., fabricated a prototype transceiver for transmitting very clean high-power probe signals while receiving very low-power radar-target responses. Another of Mazzaro’s teammates, Army electronics engineer Kyle Gallagher, programmed the software-defined-radio controller which generates and captures radar waves through that transceiver. In the fall, Mazzaro traveled to ALC to test the capability of this radar hardware to detect particular targets-of-interest, in different configurations:

  • At different distances away from the radar
  • Behind walls (i.e. inside nearby buildings)
  • Near ground (i.e. at different heights above a dry sandy surface)

Between his trips to ALC, Mazzaro processed the data he collected into actionable information which fed back into multiple redesigns of the radar. The latest incarnation of the radar was successfully tested in a desert environment as part of the Army’s Blood Hound Gang Program

This spring, Mazzaro is using his lab at The Citadel — an anechoic chamber located in the old coin-laundry building behind Letellier Hall — to evaluate his team’s radar against targets placed in different orientations (e.g. tilted, upside-down). Data that he gathers will further refine the radar’s design — widening its capabilities while reducing its size, weight, power and cost.

Despite not teaching, Dr. Mazzaro enjoys staying in-touch with his fellow Electrical & Computer faculty and students. “I bump into my students in Grimsley Hall and they ask me, ‘Aren’t you on sabbatical?’ and I say ‘Yes, of course.’ Then I smile and wait for the inevitable, ‘Hold on, what is a sabbatical?’ to which I reply, ‘I’m excused from teaching, which means I have more time to do real engineering.’”

With three more papers he’s written, expected to be released in conference proceedings this April, Mazzaro will reach a personal milestone: 100 technical publications. “I need to share credit for that accomplishment with my Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Michael Steer of North Carolina State University. He emphasized equal importance for both sides of research: advance the state-of-the-art, and communicate your advances to the scientific community.”

Mazzaro looks forward to sharing the latest-and-greatest in radar technology with his students when he returns to teach ELEC 426 Antennas and Propagation in June.

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An update on The Citadel Study Abroad, Global Scholars, and Study in D.C. programs https://today.citadel.edu/an-update-on-the-citadel-study-abroad-global-scholars-and-study-in-d-c-programs/ Fri, 12 Mar 2021 00:00:33 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22624 There are five planned, faculty-led summer study abroad programs for 2021.]]>

Photo above: Aberystwyth, Whales, one of The Citadel Global Scholars locations. Photo courtesy of VisitWhales.com.

As the spring 2021 semester and the coronavirus pandemic continue, The Citadel Office of Study Abroad is continually assessing summer and fall programs.

Here is an update from Zane Segle, Ph.D., director for The Citadel Study Abroad, International and Domestic Programs.

Summer 2021 Study Abroad

There are five planned, faculty-led summer study abroad programs for 2021. They include:

Estonia, led by Dr. Terry Mays, Ph.D.
France, led by Dr. Caroline Strobe, Ph.D.
Hungary, led by Dr. Sarah Imam, M.D.
Spain, Cadiz, led by Dr. Eloy Urroz, Ph.D.
Spain, Mallorca, led by Dr. Maria Jose Hellin-Garcia, Ph.D.

The programs are contingent upon Covid-19 travel restrictions which vary from country to country, as well as vaccinations for participants, and student interest.

Cap de Formentor, Mallorca, Spain. Photo by Livia Bühler.

Cadets and students interested in studying abroad through independent programs to Germany, Ireland, Italy, London or Japan are encouraged to contact The Citadel Office of Study Abroad at studyabroad@citadel.edu or for assistance with process navigation.

Fall 2021 study abroad with The Citadel Global Scholars Program

Thus far about 30 cadets are signed up for the college’s four Citadel Global Scholars Program locations, and more are welcome to participate.

The Citadel Global Scholars Program is an initiative to make semesters abroad feasible for all cadets. The program offers cadets enrolled in nearly every academic major at The Citadel to spend a semester abroad, taking courses relevant to their majors, while paying nearly the same amount for all study abroad costs as they would pay for a semester of study on campus.

The locations include:

  • Athens, Greece
  • Rome, Italy;
  • Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Aberystwyth, Wales.

In addition, two cadets will be participating in the annual UK Parliament program.

Those interested in signing up for fall 2021 should contact the office by emailing studyabroad@citadel.edu, by going by the office at 202 Richardson Ave. in person, or by calling (843) 469-7817.

The Citadel in D.C. fall 2021 semester

Muhammad Fraser-Rahim teaching The Citadel in DC students
Citadel professor Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D. teaching The Citadel in D.C. students.

Approximately 12 cadets and students will take part in this program. The focus of the experience is Intelligence and Security Studies, though other academic disciplines are welcome. The program provides academic and internship credit.

Those interested in this program should contact Dr. Segle at seglez1@citadel.edu.

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Col. Thomas J. Gordon, U. S. Marine Corps, to be next Commandant of Cadets at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/col-thomas-j-gordon-u-s-marine-corps-to-be-next-commandant-of-cadets-at-the-citadel/ Mon, 08 Mar 2021 19:08:42 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22517 Colonel Thomas J. Gordon, USMC, The Citadel Class of 1991, brings a wealth of leadership, operational, and academic experience to the role]]>

The President of The Citadel has selected the college’s next Commandant of Cadets.

Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC, (Ret.) sent the following announcement to the campus community on Monday, March 8:

After an exhaustive vetting and interview process, I am pleased to announce our next Commandant of Cadets.

Colonel Thomas J. Gordon, USMC, The Citadel Class of 1991, brings a wealth of leadership, operational, and academic experience to the role. I am certain he will build on the strong foundations set by Captain Geno Paluso. We are fortunate such dynamic leaders choose to return to their Alma Mater in this critical position. The Corps will continue in good hands.

I wish to thank everyone who expressed interest in the position, particularly finalists Captain Matt Meilstrup, Colonel Mike Larsen ‘92 and Colonel Scott Nahrgang ‘96. This was not an easy choice, each had extraordinary success in their military careers, and the requisite skill and experience to be a successful commandant.

I also thank our search committee, and everyone who took time to assist in the selection process.

On behalf of the entire Citadel Family, I welcome Colonel Gordon, wife Candace, son Shane, and daughters Shannen and Shelby to campus.

The Citadel Commandant of Cadets is a vice presidential position that is responsible for the command, leadership development and oversight of the 2,300-member South Carolina Corps of Cadets and is crucial to the success of the Military College of South Carolina.

Gordon sent this statement in response to his selection:

“I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve The Citadel as the next Commandant of Cadets. I am grateful for the confidence Gen. Walters and the BOV have extended, and am excited to give back to the institution that has given me so much. Candace and I are looking forward to returning to Charleston and serving alongside our Citadel family. “

Col. Thomas J. Gordon, USMC

Gordon graduated from The Citadel in 1991, becoming a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) officer. He retires from military service in May 2021 after 30 years.

Gordon is currently the Director of the Command & Staff College at Quantico, Virginia, one of the four Department of Defense professional military education colleges where he leads the development of future commanders of the joint force with graduate level education.

Previously Gordon served as the Chief of Staff to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, supporting the coordination of policy, plans, and decisions governing the manning, training, and resourcing of nearly 200,000 Marines and 13,000 civilian employees with an annual budget of $42 billion.

Examples of other his positions include serving as a Resident Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and as Commanding Officer for a 4,000 member organization executing world-wide combat operations that provided the communications, intelligence, electronic and cyber warfare capabilities, supporting arms integration, and liaison capabilities for the USMC. Gordon holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Webster University and studied as a Fellow of International Relations and National Security with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The search for a new commandant was initiated in November following an announcement about the retirement of the current commandant, Captain Geno Paluso, USN (Ret.), ’89, who will leave at the end of the current academic year. Paluso joined his alma mater as commandant in 2014.

Approved photo of Col Gordon
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Recognizing the women ROTC leaders helping train America’s next military officers https://today.citadel.edu/recognizing-the-women-rotc-leaders-helping-lead-americas-next-military-officers/ Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:34:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22398 Women are -- and for decades have been -- an integral part of the team that helps the Military College of South Carolina produce so many future leaders]]>

Women’s History Month is March 1 – 31, 2021

The 40th anniversary of the formal celebration of women in the United States is March 7, 2021. According to WomensHistoryMonth.gov, Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28, which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.”

At The Citadel, approximately 200 graduates accept commissions every year in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces to become officers. Women are — and for decades have been — an integral part of the team that helps the Military College of South Carolina produce so many future leaders.

U.S. Air Force/Space Force Detachment 765

The Air Force/Space Force ROTC Detachment at The Citadel is one of the largest in the nation with more than 500 cadets. The department supports The Citadel’s mission of educating and developing principled leaders, providing select cadets with the opportunity to earn a commission in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation.

There are six women in the detachment that work as professors of military science or staff. They include:

The women of The Citadel’s Air Force ROTC detachment. (Left to right: Ms. Cheryl Oliver, Maj. Kathleen Thurber, Capt. Jessica Specht, Capt. Rachel Loomis, Capt. Julie Dewey and Capt. Heather Verner)

U.S. Army ROTC Palmetto Battalion

The Citadel’s Army ROTC detachment, known as Palmetto Battalion, is the second largest of the 275 detachments across the United States Army Cadet Command.

It is comprised of cadets from The Citadel, as well as the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

The detachment supports the U.S. Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserves. There are five women in the detachment working as professors of military science or staff. They include:

  • Cpt. Laura Alvarez, professor of Military Science
  • Michelle Brown, administrative assistant
  • Sgt. Quamar Crapps
  • 1st Lt. Natalie Thompson, recruiting operations officer
The women of The Citadel Army ROTC department. (Left to right: 1st Lt. Natalie Thompson, Sgt. Quamar Crapps, Sgt. Kellin Varela and Cpt. Laura Alvarez. Not pictured: Michelle Brown)

The Citadel would like to thank all of the women working in ROTC detachments at the college for their dedication and leadership.

Women’s History Month events and resources

APPLE
Feature stories and highlights honor powerful female voices in the App Store and Apple TV app, on Apple Music and Apple Arcade, and in curated collections for Apple News, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Books. Learn more here.

Classrooms without borders: Film and Discussion about Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Free public event, with preregistration required. March 7, 2021 Film and Discussion “RBG” with Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice David Wecht, litigator Ann-Marie Ahern, and Prof. Jonathan Entin- moderated by attorney Courtney Cardin. Sign up here: https://classroomswithoutborders.org/events/rsvp.php?365

Grammy.com on Spotify
Women’s History Month playlist featuring the nominees from the 2020 Grammy Awards Show. The link to the playlist is here.

Military.com
Every March Military.com marks women’s history month by recognizing the contributions made and the glass ceilings broken each day by women in the U.S. ArmyNavyAir ForceMarine Corps and Coast Guard. Read a selection of featured stories here.

NASA
During the month of March, NASA celebrates and pays tribute to the many women who have played an essential role in shaping the history of the  Agency. From astronauts to specialists in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as professionals in communications, human resources, and more, women are helping NASA fulfill its mission to explore our universe for the benefit of all. Learn more here.

Naval History and Heritage Command
On 7 March 1994, the Navy issued the first orders for women to be assigned aboard a combatant ship, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). Today, women serve in every rank from seaman to admiral and in every job from naval aviator to deep-sea diver. Read more here.

PBS.org
A collection of stories by and about women for March 2021. See the list here.

Smithsonian and National Portrait Gallery
What does a leader do? Together with educators from the National Air and Space Museum and the National Women’s History Museum, we will explore this key question in relationship to portraits of activists Sojourner Truth and Sylvia Rivera, and pilot Bessie Coleman. Register for this free event here.

Society of Women Engineers
SWE celebrates some historical figures in the field of engineering who “built American, fought for civil rights, and who were pioneers in their field.” Learn more here.

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Editorial: Celebrate our success on Mars. Another giant leap may be near. https://today.citadel.edu/editorial-celebrate-our-success-on-mars-another-giant-leap-may-be-near/ Thu, 25 Feb 2021 16:46:32 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22369 This image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechThis image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechWhat they’re doing on site with the X-rays, UV and Raman spectroscopy, they can get that information directly uplinked. ]]> This image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechThis image was taken by EDL_DDCAM onboard NASA's Mars rover Perseverance on Sol 1 34 NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Photo above: NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. NASA/JPL-Caltech.

As seen in The Post and Courier
By the Editorial Staff

After a year of grappling with a deadly pandemic, racial injustice and disturbing political turmoil, the landing of NASA’s most advanced rover on Mars sends an important and timely message of how the United States can still do great things.

Last week’s stunning, near-touchdown picture of Perseverance — NASA’s particularly fitting name for the rover — should instill in us a sense of wonder of our ever-expanding ability to explore new worlds.

The image already is being compared with NASA’s most iconic photos, including Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon and Saturn as seen by Voyager 1.

The spacecraft has 25 cameras and two microphones, many of which were turned on during Thursday’s descent, and still more pictures and even audio recordings were released this week. But its most tantalizing potential goes far beyond photos.

The $3 billion craft was guided to a site only a mile away from an ancient river delta, where it soon will look for signs of ancient life; if Mars ever harbored life, scientists’ best guess is that it occurred about 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, when water flowed on its surface.

The rover ultimately will be able to take rock and soil samples and jettison them back into space for retrieval to Earth by yet another spacecraft within the next decade. (NASA is working with the European Space Agency on that.)

“They’re not just looking at the surface but the subsurface. That turns out to be important too when you think about what was the history of this place,” he said. “What they’re doing on site with the X-rays, UV and Raman spectroscopy, they can get that information directly uplinked. Even if they can’t bring back soil samples, they can do a lot.”

The craft also has a miniature automated helicopter that can fly through the planet’s thin air to capture images the rover can’t. And it will try to convert a small amount of carbon dioxide into oxygen, which, if it works, would be crucial to providing breathable oxygen and fuel for future manned missions.

All signs show Perseverance stuck its landing, and it could start roving around by early March.

Admittedly, NASA has sent rovers to Mars before — this is our ninth spacecraft and fifth NASA rover to land on the planet — and China and the United Arab Emirates also have spacecraft in orbit there.

And of course, we shouldn’t put all our bets on Mars. Venus also deserves more exploration, particularly after last year’s controversial discovery in which powerful telescopes detected faint amounts of the molecule phosphine, which might exist only because something living emitted it.

But our six-wheeled, car-size rover is the most advanced ever and ultimately could provide the first proof of the existence of life outside our own planet. If it does, that would be yet another giant leap for mankind indeed.

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Citadel Physics Department makes virtual learning into a physical reality for high school students https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-physics-department-makes-virtual-learning-into-a-physical-reality-for-high-schoolers/ Wed, 24 Feb 2021 16:33:43 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22171 The Physics Department offers a virtual, but still hands-on, “class” for high school students about physics and its practical applications.]]>

Photo: Physics professor Kaelyn Leake, Ph.D., leading cadets and high school students through The Citadel Applied Physics Experience.

There’s a big difference between knowing the equations that explain gravitational forces and actually being hit in the head by an apple.

One is theoretical, and the other is a real-world effect of those theories.

Working to help high school students bridge the divide between physics equations and physical events: The Citadel’s Department of Physics.

Faculty and cadets in the department are working with high school students three times a year through The Citadel Applied Physics Experience. It’s a virtual, but still hands-on, “class” that teaches high school students about physics and expands their knowledge of the study’s practical applications.

“The goal of our Citadel Applied Physics Experience is to help high school students understand that physics is more than theory, through tactile experiences demonstrating real-world uses,” said Hank Yochum, Ph.D., head of the Department of Physics. “We don’t want to just tell students why physics is important — we want to demonstrate and discuss. It’s a chance to build something together, even via Zoom in the COVID environment, and to talk about how and why it works.”

Cadets help guide high school students in breakout sessions during The Citadel Applied Physics Experience

The department is currently accepting registrations for both the spring and summer sessions, after having kicked off the program in the fall semester. Faculty and cadets in the Department of Physics will continue to hold events like this three times a year — in both semesters and during the summer.

The experience is not limited to certain high schools. Physics faculty members will send a kit, for the hands-on portion, to registered students — so anyone who can receive mail can participate. Any student can participate regardless of STEM background.

Current Citadel cadets and faculty will help the high school students assemble a light-seeking, biology inspired robot that looks a lot like a bug.

The next Applied Physics Experience will be held on Saturday, April 3 from 1 to 5:30 p.m. A two-day summer session is planned for July 8-9.

The event is open to any high school sophomore, junior or senior who enjoys problem solving, science, math and hands-on projects.

The cost for all materials is $20. Space for each session is limited.

To register for the spring session, click here. The deadline for this session is March 12.

To register for the summer session, click here. The deadline for this session is June 15.

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Commandant finalist presentations getting underway Feb. 22 https://today.citadel.edu/commandant-finalist-presentations-getting-underway-feb-22/ Fri, 19 Feb 2021 19:02:27 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22294 A portion of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets participates in parade practice on Summerall Field at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, November 5, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)A portion of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets participates in parade practice on Summerall Field at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, November 5, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The Citadel Commandant of Cadets is a vice presidential position that is responsible for the command, leadership development and oversight of the 2,300-member South Carolina Corps of Cadets.]]> A portion of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets participates in parade practice on Summerall Field at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, November 5, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)A portion of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets participates in parade practice on Summerall Field at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, November 5, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Col. Thomas Gordon, USMC, ’91, will be the first of the four finalists for the position of Commandant of Cadets to make a presentation to the campus community at noon on Monday, Feb. 22.  

During individual presentations on different days, Gordon and the other finalists will address this question: “Describe how you, as the Commandant of Cadets, will advance The Citadel’s mission of educating and developing our students to become principled leaders in all walks of life by instilling the core values of The Citadel in a disciplined and intellectually challenging environment.”

There will be limited seating in Bond 165 for each presentation on a first-come, first-served basis. As an alternative, members of the campus community are encouraged to watch the candidates remotely via Zoom, with a different link for each presenter. A brief registration form will be required before viewers will permitted into the Zoom meeting.

The Citadel Commandant of Cadets is a vice presidential position that is responsible for the command, leadership development and oversight of the 2,300-member South Carolina Corps of Cadets and is crucial to the success of the Military College of South Carolina. The current commandant, Captain Geno Paluso, USN (Ret.), ’89, will retire from the position in June.

Col. Thomas Gordon, USMC, ’91

Col Tom Gordon headshot
Col. Thomas Gordon, USMC, ’91

Gordon graduated from The Citadel in 1991, becoming a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) officer. He retires from military service in May 2021 after 30 years. Gordon is currently the Director of the Command & Staff College at Quantico, Virginia, one of the four Department of Defense Professional Military Education Colleges where he leads the development of future commanders of the joint force with graduate level education.

The Zoom presentation link for this candidate is: https://citadelonline.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YZzXtp0yQG2474tA-Kp2zw.

The other finalists will present at noon on these dates, in Bond 165 and via Zoom:

February 24: Capt. Matt Meilstrup, USCG

Capt. Matt Meilstrup, USCG

Meilstrup graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Academy in 1992 and continues to serve the USCG. He is currently Senior Manager, Logistics and Business Operations for the USCG, directing enterprise-level logistics policy, procedures and integrated assessments and business operations for the nearly $2 billion directorate. 

The Zoom presentation link for Meilstrup is:
https://citadelonline.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_D55N3l_VRz-rsRkO_qgk5g 

February 26: Col. Mike Larsen, U.S. Army, ’92

Col. Mike Larsen, U.S. Army, ’92

Larsen graduated from The Citadel in 1992 and has served in the U.S. Army as an active duty Infantry Officer for 28 years. Larsen is currently Deputy Commanding Officer for the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Jackson where he is second in command over the Basic Combat Training of 50,000 soldiers annually.

The Zoom link to view Larsen’s presentation is:
https://citadelonline.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Tkeb3a1ITe-92i8864MWaw

March 1: Col. Scott Nahrgang, USAF, ’96

Col. Scott Nahrgang, USAF, ’96

Nahrgang graduated from The Citadel in 1996 and became an officer in the U.S. Air Force (USAF). He continues to serve almost 25 years after his commission. Nahrgang is currently Chief of Command and Control, Electronic Warfare and Global Integrated Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Strategic Plans and Programs, at the USAF headquarters in the Pentagon.

The Zoom link to watch Nahrgang’s presentation is:
https://citadelonline.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gF-48PkYR9uVG9x4CqFswQ

How to weigh in on the candidates

If you are a current member of The Citadel campus community and would like to participate in the commandant candidates feedback surveys, please email the Office of Institutional Research at InstitutionalResearch@citadel.edu.

  • Emails requesting a link should be received by 5:00 p.m. on the day of each candidate’s presentation.
  • Each email will contain a unique link to the candidate’s survey. 
  • The email may not be forwarded and can only be completed once. 
  • The survey will remain available until 5:00 p.m., (1700) EST, the day after each presentation.

Read more about the finalists here.

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Army cadets learn leadership from one of The Citadel’s highest-ranking active duty officers https://today.citadel.edu/army-cadets-learn-leadership-from-one-of-the-citadels-highest-ranking-active-duty-officers/ Fri, 19 Feb 2021 16:41:47 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22207 Maj. Gen. David Wilson, '91, was -- virtually -- back on his old stomping grounds, teaching senior Army cadets about leadership.]]>

Photo: (top left) Maj. Gen. David Wilson, Class of 1991, speaking with Citadel cadets virtually

“If you don’t like what you do, you won’t do it well or do it long.”

A history-making graduate of The Citadel recently returned to Jenkins Hall, one of the campus locations where his Army career began many years ago.

Though Maj. Gen. David Wilson, USA, was back on his old stomping grounds, he didn’t get to stroll down memory lane. That’s because Wilson, a member of the Class of 1991, visited campus virtually via Microsoft Teams.

Wilson, the first African American Citadel graduate to become a two-star general, was participating in a day-long, virtual leadership development event, hosted by Fort Jackson.

Twelve senior Citadel cadets participated in the opportunity, which brought together senior Army ROTC cadets from nearly 20 colleges and universities. The annual Leader Professional Development Symposium — in its fourth year — included a panel discussion with junior officers and well as speed mentoring with various Army generals, including Wilson.

“Taking care of people is more than making sure that they have the means and resources to care of themselves and their families,” said Wilson during his Citadel speed session. “It’s about making sure they’re empowered and equipped to do the missions that they’re going to embark upon.”

Cadets were also given the chance to ask Wilson questions about his time in the Army, his Citadel experience and more.

Cadets asking Maj. Gen. David Wilson, ’91, questions about leadership and his experiences

“Receiving advice from a Citadel graduate, who is a general in the Army, gives me hope for my future,” said Cadet Pedro Sharpe. “This is true because advice from a graduate is more relatable. They can utilize examples from their experiences at this institution and connect them to real world scenarios.”

Wilson discussed how his time at The Citadel prepared him to operate in a diverse environment and gave him an early lesson in the importance of structure and discipline.

“The Citadel is a leadership laboratory. If you can get a senior private to shine their shoes, get their hair cut — that’s really something,” continued Wilson.

With a hands-on assist from Citadel AROTC Chief Military Science Instructor Sgt. Maj. Willie Murphy, Wilson also presented some of the attending cadets with his Challenge Coin, to honor their achievements.

“Listing to Maj. Gen. Wilson helped me realize that being a leader is about setting the example and putting your people first,” continued Sharpe. “Leadership includes you being the sole individual that is willing to put yourself on the line for your people. It also means being honest with yourself in the Corps and in the Army.”

Wilson wasn’t the only member of The Citadel family to help guide the ROTC cadets across the region. Citadel Military Science professor, Capt. Paul Najarian, sat on a junior officers’ panel, taking questions from cadets with all the participating ROTC units.

Capt. Paul Najarian during the junior officers’ panel

“It was an honor to be able to pass along some lessons that I learned the hard way,” said Najarian. “This is one of the ways in the Profession of Arms that we can continue to grow within our organization, ensuring future leaders learn from our successes and failures. Based on what I saw, and the questions I heard asked during the symposium, it is clear to me that the Army will be getting some fantastic young leaders very soon.”

Najarian also pointed out that all the cadets who participated in the program are less than 100 days away from becoming officers — making the lessons they learned at the event even more vital.

“Life isn’t so much about how much you keep for yourself, it’s about how much energy you pour into other people,” said Wilson. “And you as a leader, pouring into your subordinates, investing in them, is what’s going to allow them to achieve mission success.”

Citadel cadets, virtually joined by hundreds of ROTC cadets at other colleges, standing for the National Anthem
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From the Corps to the Chapel: Meet Chaplain Aaron Meadows https://today.citadel.edu/from-the-corps-to-the-chapel-meet-chaplain-aaron-meadows/ Tue, 16 Feb 2021 19:36:07 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22033 The former cadet, and current Air Force reservist, will now serve his alma mater as the Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets.]]>

“Remember Now Thy Creator in the Days of Thy Youth”

Those old words above Summerall Chapel greeted the new Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets, Aaron Meadows, a member of the Class of 2004.

The former cadet, and current Air Force reservist, will now serve his alma mater as the Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets.

Meadow’s role will involve tending to the spiritual needs of cadets, alumni, faculty and staff and also serving as a community leader, bringing religious leaders from different faiths around the city together for worship and fellowship. He also leads celebrations, such as the annual Christmas Candlelight Services, and the celebrations of the lives of the many people who request to have funeral services in the chapel.

Learn more about Ch, Lt. Col. Meadows below:

How many years have you served in the military?

I graduated from The Citadel in 2004 and accepted a commission that May — so May of this year will be 17 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

Why did you join the military?

I actually grew up in a military family — a Navy family — and I applied here my junior year. I got in, and I didn’t apply anywhere else.

My family could not pay for me to come to college, so I had to have some kind of scholarship, and I ended up getting a four year Army scholarship. My sophomore year, I switched from Army to Air Force but was able to maintain the scholarship.

Why did you want to become a chaplain in the Air Force?

My junior year, when I was doing campus ministry as a cadet — I was involved here in the chapel, went to Campus Crusade, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Charleston Wesley Foundation and several other campus ministries — God was calling me to ministry as a chaplain, so that’s when I switched. I had to go through a ton of hoops because there was no process to go from an active duty commitment to a reserve commitment at that time, and I was told it wouldn’t happen. But God just opened up a door and I was able to take a reserve commitment so I could go to seminary.

So I left The Citadel, went to seminary, and enrolled in the Chaplain Candidate Program. I became a chaplain, and I’m still an Air Force Reserve chaplain with the 315th Airlift Wing, stationed at Joint Base Charleston. Then God opened up the door for me to do campus ministry, which I’ve done with the Methodist Church for seven years. I am transitioning out of that to fully focus on my work here on campus.

Why have you stayed in the military?

I feel like God has given me the gifts and graces to do ministry in the military as a chaplain. I love caring for people, I love being able to meet people at the best of circumstances and — not that I love this part, exactly — but I also get to help people at their lowest, as well as people in the middle, too. And I get to do that from a perspective of faith.

As a Christian minister, I get to lead worship, I get to help people grow in their faith as Christians. As a chaplain I get to do this for everyone, for people of many faiths and beliefs. I get to help support others in their faiths or even those who have no faith at all. I get to be that person who’s there for them. That’s a big reason I’ve stayed in the military, but also why I wanted to do the chaplain job here at The Citadel.

What is the most defining moment of your service to date?

I think it would be all the times I was able to help multiple people — not just one person or moment. I feel like, for people who were at a low point of their life, or who’re completely lost and directionless, I was able to be a part of helping them get from where they were to where they needed to be — to a healthier place. God put me in the right place at the right time to help.

What does being an Air Force reservist mean to you?

I think that the beauty of the reserve world for me is that it lets me stay connected and be a part of the military, doing all the things I love to do there. I was initially planning on going active duty in 2010. I’d just started at a church in North Charleston that was struggling, but God started doing some really cool things, the church was growing and I thought, ‘I can’t abandon this ministry to go active duty.’ So I stayed in the Air Force Reserve.

What it’s allowed me to do is keep that military connection. That has opened up so many doors, even getting to work here at The Citadel. I get to do military ministry and to fulfill that part that I love, as well as staying connected to the church ministry and the civilian world. It’s allowed me to stay grounded in two, often, very different worlds.

What leadership qualities did you learn in the military that have helped guide you through your career and life?

There’s an important role that’s played by the military, so I think bringing that attitude, the understanding that sometimes you have to dig in and work hard, shows how there’s something valuable about sacrificing and working hard for the benefit of the whole. So I think those things — like adversity, discipline, getting yelled at — build the military attitude that’s part of making changes and breaking down barriers.

As an alumnus, what does it mean to you to take on this position?

I think that, when I walk around meeting cadets, they see me as just some 40-year-old balding guy — until they see my ring and say, “Wait a minute, you went here,” and then there’s an instant connection. We’ve done something similar.

As a cadet, I was a cadre corporal, squad sergeant, platoon sergeant, battalion recruiting master sergeant, regimental religious officer, on the honor committee, wrestler in my knob year — all those things I did as a cadet are now how I can better relate to current cadets.

Cadets know that as a graduate, I can relate to the fact that SMIs suck, or that I understand that morning PT isn’t always fun. I feel like I can understand those things in a way that I couldn’t if I hadn’t gone here. I feel like God’s gifted and graced me to support these young men and women and help transform their lives, specifically from a spiritual and faith-based aspect, for those who choose to engage there. But also for those who don’t, I think that I have an opportunity to help them in a positive way outside of the concepts and components of faith. That brings me joy — I feel like that’s a part of how God wired me.

What do you hope to accomplish as Chaplain to the SCCC?

I really want to be a part of growing the specific chapel ministry so, on campus, kids can grow in their faith and that part of their life for those who want to. We’re part of making this campus what it should be so that all students can come, thrive and leave here as better people.

Chaplain Aaron Meadows (center) with Summerall Chapel staff members LeLa Sijtsma (left) and Geri Jones (right).
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