People – The Citadel Today Thu, 24 Dec 2020 05:15:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 People – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 Six generations of Workmans and a wakeup Sat, 26 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 Knob Billy Workman, a sixth generation Citadel Cadet, poses for a portrait at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, November 20, 2020. (Photo by Dashawn Costley / The Citadel)Knob Billy Workman, a sixth generation Citadel Cadet, poses for a portrait at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, November 20, 2020. (Photo by Dashawn Costley / The Citadel)When Billy Workman matriculated in August of 2020, he was simply echoing the Workman family tradition. He was after all the sixth in a line of William Douglas Workmans to attend the Military College of South Carolina.]]> Knob Billy Workman, a sixth generation Citadel Cadet, poses for a portrait at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, November 20, 2020. (Photo by Dashawn Costley / The Citadel)Knob Billy Workman, a sixth generation Citadel Cadet, poses for a portrait at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, November 20, 2020. (Photo by Dashawn Costley / The Citadel)

By Cadet Merritt Reeves, The Citadel Class of 2022
Historic photos provided by The Citadel Archives and Museum

Photo above: Cadet-recruit William Douglas Workman V, The Citadel Class of 2024, a sixth generation Citadel cadet, poses for a portrait on campus on November 20, 2020.

When Billy Workman of Orangeburg matriculated in August of 2020, he was simply echoing the Workman family tradition. He was after all the sixth in a line of William Douglas Workmans to attend the Military College of South Carolina, a father-son tradition that dates all the way back to the late 19th century and his great-great-great-grandfather.

Billy’s full name: William Douglas Workman V.

In 1882, The Citadel resumed operations after closing its gates for 17 years after the Civil War. In that year, William Douglas Workman enrolled along with over a 100 other cadets. An 1886 graduate, he was the first of Billy’s ancestors to attend the college.

The second William Douglas Workman in the family line was William Douglas Workman Sr. who graduated from The Citadel in 1909 and was valedictorian of his class.


William Workman Sr. was also the second, and the last, Workman to attend The Citadel before it moved from Marion Square campus to its current location on the Ashley River. Billy’s great-aunt, Dee Benedict, talked about her grandfather’s service during World War I.

 “If you look at my grandfather, he really was an absolute hero of the bunch,” said Benedict. “Back when South Carolina was in its own brigade, he led the charge and broke the back of the Germans.”

Dee Benedict, Billy Workman’s great aunt discussing William Douglas Workman Sr.

In 1935, William Douglas Workman Jr., Billy’s great-grandfather, graduated from The Citadel after holding the rank of battalion commander.


In that year, the Corps numbered 89 cadets who were split into two battalions. William Workman Jr. was Benedict’s grandfather and, according to her, he served in North Africa during World War II. “After the war, he stayed in the reserves,” said Benedict, “He ran for the United States Senate against a newspaper man in Columbia and had 46% of the vote, which was amazing. There were a bunch of people who would get fired because they supported him which made it almost like a revival thing. Although he lost the race, that was the start of the Republican Party in South Carolina.”

Billy’s grandfather, William Douglas Workman III, graduated from The Citadel after serving as first sergeant in Tango Company. A 1961 graduate, he attended the college before it was integrated in 1966.

William Douglas Workman III, The Citadel Class of 1961

Billy’s father, Will (William Douglas Workman IV), who has a cotton ginning business in Orangeburg, was the last of the Workmans to attend The Citadel before the college turned co-ed. 

William Douglas Workman IV, '89
William Douglas Workman IV, ’89

He graduated in 1989 with the self-proclaimed title “centurion.” Known for his sense of humor, Will paid for this comedic streak throughout his years as a cadet with hundreds of tours. These punishments, however, hardly dimmed Will’s mischievous spirit.  According to Billy, he is still a jokester.  “He’s a pretty laid back guy,” said Billy, “but my going to The Citadel has loosened him up even more, and I can relate to him better.”

Doing what only felt natural, Billy is expected to graduate in 2024 with a Business Administration degree. After decades of forefathers who roamed the grounds of The Citadel, Billy finally joined the long line of Cadet Workmans. “Billy always had a choice on whether or not he would go to The Citadel,” said Will, “but when he decided he wanted to go for himself, it made me really proud. I was happy that the tradition wasn’t ending with me.”

William Douglas Workman V,
a sixth generation Citadel Cadet, who goes by Billy, posting for a portrait
at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on November 20, 2020.

The Workman family has seen the college through time and progress. Like Billy’s Citadel COVID-19 on campus freshman year, each generation has had difference experiences, but one thing remains constant—the lasting bond between alumni and college. With five generations before him, Billy feels a familial expectation, but he waits in earnest to fulfill this role and dreams even of continuing the legacy one day with a seventh William Douglas Workman.

Cadet Merritt Reeves is an intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing. A junior majoring in English with a Spanish minor, she has earned Gold Stars for academic excellence. After graduation, she plans to return to her home town of Columbia, South Carolina and attend law school.

Medieval warfare catapults Citadel professor into history Sat, 26 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 If he weren't such a medievalist, it would be tempting to call Citadel English professor Michael Livingston, Ph.D., a Renaissance man.]]>

If he weren’t such a medievalist, it would be tempting to call him a Renaissance man

Citadel English professor, Michael Livingston, Ph.D., covers a wide range of academic ground outside of medieval literature.

He is an award-winning historical fantasy writer who recently released his newest novel “Seaborn,” an Audible-exclusive.

He made national headlines discussing the final season of Game of Thrones.

He is a historian who published a wide-spread article claiming to have discovered the lost site of the Battle of Brunanburh.

He is a conflict analyst who regularly stars in “Contact,” a television show about the search for extraterrestrials on the Discovery and Science Channels.

Livingston’s medieval and military interests came together in another recent project of his — a book that he edited called “Medieval Warfare: A Reader.” It examines how people in the Middle Ages experienced armed conflict; the book is a collection of more than 130 primary sources that provide the voices of veterans and victims.

Michael Livingston, Ph.D.
Michael Livingston, Ph.D.

“Medieval Warfare” earned Livingston — along with Kelly DeVries, Ph.D. — their second Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Military History.

Both Livingston and DeVries also earned a Distinguished Book Award from the Society in 2017 for “The Battle of Crécy: A Casebook.” According to Livingston, they join only a handful of scholars to ever receive the award twice.

Institutionally, The Citadel’s faculty holds three of the organization’s Distinguished Book Awards; History professor David Preston, Ph.D., earned one in 2016 for “Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of Monongahela and the Road to Revolution.”

The Society says that Distinguished Book Awards recognize the best book-length publications in English on military history copyrighted in the previous three calendar years.

As a medievalist, he is always looking to the past; but as an academic and an author, Livingston is always full-steam ahead.

Though the pandemic may affect some publication timelines, he hopes to release four books in 2021; two are historical texts, one is a Middle-English military poem and the last is “Iceborn,” the second in the Seaborn series.

Livingston is often interviewed on medieval matters due to his regular column on, a science fiction and fantasy website. He is also an award-winning writer who has published, among others, a trilogy of historical fantasy novels and multiple nonfiction books.

Positives of the Pandemic: Resiliency in Relationships Sat, 26 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 “We are actively seeking out communication in a way that we’ve never done before,” said Chip Taylor, Head of Psychology at The Citadel.]]>

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Danielle Hensley

Since March, the world has seen tremendous loss in all arenas of life as a result of COVID-19. In an attempt to shine some light, News 2’s Danielle Hensley is highlighting a few positive impacts the pandemic has made here in the Lowcountry in a new series called Positives of the Pandemic.

Social, familial, and romantic relationships are a core part of our society. During quarantine, that aspect was largely stripped from day-to-day routines.

By nature humans are social animals, always looking for a way to connect with others.

Being at home with a lot of time and not a lot of human interaction, many found themselves being more intentional, making new relationships, and strengthening old ones.

“I’ve actually lost people I know and loved to COVID… so it’s been really difficult,” Jenna Johnson, Goose Creek resident, shared.

People like Jenna Johnson have experienced the effects of COVID-19 in every aspect of life and have needed relationships more than ever.

“It’s almost been therapeutic to have people reach out or me reach out and have conversation by phone or by facetime,” Johnson added.

Johnson says staying in touch with friends and family has been a lifeline.

“One thing that has helped me really survive is being intentional about staying connected to my friends and family,” commented Johnson.

Relationships now forged through the screen instead of in person.

As a whole, society has been resilient in finding new ways to cope with the new normal.

“We are actively seeking out communication in a way that we’ve never done before,” said Chip Taylor, Head of Psychology at The Citadel.

Gone are the days of difficult long-distance phone calls. “Now we can zoom with people and intentionally call friends and connect with folks across the country across the world,” Taylor noted.

Despite our best efforts to cope, Taylor says isolation can cause sadness and anxiety — which is what people worldwide have experienced for nearly eight months — and it has fundamentally changed our collective sense of ‘normal.’

“Even if people try to shake a hand or give a hug at this point it’s become odd… The hard part about this pandemic is there really is no end point on this,” Taylor mentioned.

While the absence of touch is still felt this new way of communicating is a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel.

“To me the overarching theme of positivity is resiliency. What we do is when we’re dealing with a crisis we typically find a way to find some positivity,” Taylor emphasized.

What’s Lurking in our Flood Waters? Sat, 26 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 A joint research project, with Dr. John Weinstein and Dr. Claudia Rocha, is analyzing microplastics and bacteria found in tidal flood waters.]]>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Cadet Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs NCO

Cadet Samantha Walton

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

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

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

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

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

Cadet Pei Hsuan Lu

Junior, Construction Engineering Major

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

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

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

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

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

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

Religious traditions?
I am not religious.

On your wish list?
A Netflix marathon!

Cadet Natalie Stewart, USMC contract

Sophomore, Psychology Major
Las Vegas, Nevada

Cadet Natalie Stewart’s Christmas tree and family dog

Favorite holiday song?
Happy Christmas by John Lennon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jaret Sean Price

Junior, Exercise Science Major
Aiken, South Carolina

Favorite holiday song?
Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freshmen on Matriculation Day 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candles line the aisle at The Citadel Christmas Candlelight services
All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team announced Sat, 19 Dec 2020 13:00:00 +0000 Dr. Chip Taylor and Henry Bouton are The Citadel's newest All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team members.]]>

Two representatives from each school honored on annual teams

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference named its All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team on Thursday, 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. Chip Taylor and Henry Bouton; ETSU’s Dr. Virginia Foley and Janet Stork; Furman’s Dr. Marian Strobel and Todd Duke; Mercer’s Dr. Mahkin Thitsa and Matt Brownback; UNC Greensboro’s Dr. Jeremy Bray and Amy Collins Moore; Samford’s Dr. Celeste Hill and Paige Mathis; Chattanooga’s Dr. Christine Benz Smith and Endia Butler; VMI’s Col. Timothy Hodges and Chief Michael Marshall; Western Carolina’s Dr. Kelly R. Kelley and Courtney Gauthier; and Wofford’s Dr. Anna Catllá and Lisa Lefebvre.

Dr. Chip Taylor, The Citadel

Lloyd "Chip" Taylor, Ph.D.
Lloyd “Chip” Taylor, Ph.D., professor of Psychology, The Citadel

The Citadel’s Dr. Chip Taylor is the Head of the Department of Psychology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. For over a decade, Taylor has served as the institution’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. In that capacity, he has been a tireless advocate for student athletes and for student athlete well-being. Most recently, he has led the charge to establish psychology resiliency coaches to assist student-athletes and cadets on campus. In addition, over the past two years he has served on the Executive Committee for The Center for Performance, Readiness, Resiliency, and Recovery. He serves as the chapter advisor for Chi Alpha Sigma, the national honors society for student-athletes, is a member of the SoCon Executive Committee, and is a past president of the Southern Conference. In addition to his work on various committees within the SoCon and at The Citadel, Taylor was instrumental in establishing the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences which will focus on exploring concepts of leadership and ethics from a research and scholarly perspective.

Henry Bouton, director of Intramural and Extramural Sports at The Citadel

Henry Bouton, The Citadel

Henry Bouton is the Director of Intramurals and Extramural Sports at The Citadel through the Department of Health and Human Performance. He schedules, organizes and carries out the day-to-day operations of more than 20 intramural sports on campus. A 1980 graduate of The Citadel, Bouton is an ambassador for The Citadel in the way he treats members, visitors and cadets, developing relationships and treating everyone with courtesy and respect while upholding The Citadel’s Core Values of Honor, Duty and Respect. Because of the work he does in the classroom and on the field of play with cadets enrolled in the Sports Officiating class, those students develop a sense of authority that comes from knowledge acquisition; they are shown how to handle their own mistakes professionally and they are given the opportunity to practice maintaining a cool head.

Dr. Virginia Foley, ETSU

Dr. Virginia Foley is a professor in ETSU’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and serves as program coordinator for the Administrative Endorsement master’s and doctoral programs. She has served the university in a number of leadership positions including President of the Faculty Senate and the faculty Trustee on the ETSU Board of Trustees. She serves the university on numerous committees, including the Academic Portfolio Review committee and the Institutional Review Board and is a mentor to other faculty. Her work takes her into the area schools, where she helps principals develop their leadership and professional skills. Foley has been part of the Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Bootcamp program and can often be seen helping students from other programs in addition to working with her own students. She goes above and beyond to build community with the doctoral students in her program. Even though her program is online, her students choose to come to Johnson City throughout their program to meet with Foley and she hosts them for meals at her home. She regularly attends their events, from the Bluegrass exhibitions and music department concerts to theatre performances and sporting events.

Janet Stork, ETSU

ETSU’s Janet Stork is the Event and Project Coordinator for the College of Public Health. An ardent supporter of ETSU athletics, she has organized the College’s tailgating efforts for every football game, as well as an annual Family Day for faculty and staff and their families to attend a women’s basketball game. At the tailgating event, Stork has several posters created that show every College of Public Health student that is on a sports team, in the marching band, or is a member of the cheerleading, dance or spirit squad. Stork conceptualized and now organizes the College’s Pinning and Hooding ceremony each semester, as well as the annual Student Awards ceremony. Stork came to ETSU in April 2010 to serve as the Executive Aide in the Office of the Dean in the College of Public Health before transitioning in 2018 to her current position. In her role, she also serves as the coordinator for the Tennessee Institute of Public Health. Stork has twice earned a College of Public Health Outstanding Support Staff Award (2012, 2018) and earned individual Dean’s Recognition for Outstanding Contribution in 2011 and 2019 and group honors four times.

Dr. Marian Strobel, Furman

Dr. Marian Strobel is the William Montgomery Burnett Professor in History at Furman. The Chair of the History Department from 1999-2010, she has served on a myriad of committees at Furman and has been the recipient of the Meritorious Teaching Award and the Maiden Invitation Award for excellence in the classroom. She has also been an active participant in the First Year Seminar program and was a member of the original task force that implemented that project. Currently a Shi Sustainability Fellow, Strobel studies the history of women’s higher education and American politics after World War II, as well as African-American history. She has presented her research in sessions at such prestigious venues as the annual conferences of the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the American Historical Association. She has also been a member of special teaching-based and has been part of Furman faculty foreign study trips to Canada, Jamaica, Cuba and Mexico. During numerous May terms since 2014, Strobel has co-directed a study away class on “War and Remembrance” that commemorates the centenary of World War I and travels to England, France and Belgium.

Todd Duke, Furman

Todd Duke, a member of the Furman community since 1997 and Furman’s Heller Service Corp Staff Member of the Year selection for the 2018-19 school year, serves as associate athletics director of facilities and game operations, with direct oversight and management responsibilities for all scheduled events involving Timmons Arena and athletic facilities. Before becoming a member of the Furman athletic department in 2013, he served as business manager and director of operations for Timmons Arena (1997-04) and later associate director with university conference and event services. In addition to his Furman work duties, he has served as faculty advisor to Furman’s chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 2015.

Dr. Mahkin Thitsa, Mercer

Dr. Mahkin Thitsa is an Associate Professor in the Mercer University School of Engineering, having joined the faculty in 2013 after serving as a Research Assistant Professor at Old Dominion, her alma mater. Her research interests include nonlinear systems and control theory, model-free control and data-driven control strategies. She has successfully applied control methods to photonic devices, unmanned aerial vehicles and traffic flow networks. As the director of the Cyber-physical Systems and Control Laboratory at Mercer University School of Engineering, she has mentored a large number of undergraduate students, including four who have been selected to receive a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. She has published numerous journal articles and conference proceedings with her undergraduate researchers as co-authors.

Matt Brownback, Mercer

Mercer’s Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Support Services, Matt Brownback joined the Bears’ athletic staff in 2013 as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s basketball program before being hired in 2015 as an Academic Coordinator of Student-Athletes. In 2016, he was promoted to Director of Student-Athlete Support Services before being promoted to his current position in 2019. His work, offering advising as well as coordinating all aspects of their academic support, serves to provide a positive experience for Mercer’s student-athletes as they negotiate their academic and athletic paths. He and his team have also played a large role in Mercer winning the SoCon’s Barrett-Bonner Award for placing the largest percentage of student-athletes on the conference academic honor roll. Mercer has earned the award each year since joining the Southern Conference.

Dr. Jeremy Bray, UNCG

Dr. Jeremy Bray is the Jefferson-Pilot Excellence Professor of Economics and Interim Head of the Department of Economics in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG. Since joining UNCG in 2013, he has fostered transdisciplinary health and wellness research within the Bryan School and across the university through his leadership and mentoring of faculty and students. Bray conducts research on the economics of health behaviors and has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous economic evaluations funded by federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. His publications have been referenced thousands of times by other researchers and have had a profound impact on public health by supporting the resource allocation decisions of federal, state and local policymakers, as well as employers, both nationally and internationally.

Amy Collins Moore, UNCG

Amy Moore is the Business Officer and Executive Assistant to the Dean in UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. In addition to these duties, she is the Affirmative Action Officer and manages Human Resource Management at the Dean’s level, which includes faculty and staff searches and personnel paperwork for faculty, staff and students. On staff at her alma mater since 2003, Moore serves on the Staff Senate and is currently on the Personal and Professional Development Committee and has been the Secretary and served on the Staff Recognition Committee in the past. She previously worked as the Executive Director for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina, Chapter Director for Operation Smile, and President of the Greensboro Jaycees. As a wife and mom to three daughters, she spends her free time as a Girl Scout Co-Leader and a member of the Greensboro’s Woman’s Club and is active in her daughters’ school PTSAs.

Dr. Celeste Hill, Samford

Dr. Celeste Hill is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, also serving as the faculty advisor of Samford’s student chapter of the National Council on Family Relations (SUNCFR) and as an advisor for underclassman. Hill, who holds four degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Ph.D. in educational psychology, currently teaches Infant and Child Development, Gerontology and the Family, and Family Life Interaction. Hill’s areas of interest include experiential education, online learning and development during late adulthood. Prior to becoming a full-time faculty member at Samford, Hill, who became certified as an online instructor and as a national peer reviewer for Quality Matters, earned the Stephen Shank Recognition for significant contribution to learner success at Capella University for the 2012 and 2013 academic years.

Paige Mathis, Samford

Paige Mathis serves as Samford’s Assistant Director of Athletics for Academics. In her eighth season, Mathis oversees the Academic Enhancement Program for Student-Athletes and is the primary academic counselor for the Bulldogs’ football program. Prior to her current role, Mathis served as the academic counselor for six sports and a tutor coordinator at Samford. Her passion for athletic academic service stems from her commitment to assisting student-athletes succeed not only on the field or court, but also in the classroom.

Dr. Christine Benz Smith, Chattanooga

Dr. Christine Benz Smith has been at Chattanooga in several capacities since 2001 and currently serves as the Director of the School of Nursing and the Chief Health Affairs Officer. Smith, who holds the rank of UC Foundation Associate Professor, is a member of the UT System COVID-19 Task Force, the UTC COVID-19 Campus Support Team, Emergency Operations Command, the Facilities Use Committee, and the Implementation Task Force and served on the Fall 2020 Task Force chairing the Campus Safety and Risk Management subcommittee. She has been awarded the Carolyn and Roger G. Brown Community Engagement Award, the UT System President’s Connect Award, the Outstanding Research and Creative Achievement Award for the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, the Dean Stinnett Award for the College of Health Education and Professional Studies, and the Girls’ Inc. Unbought and Unbossed Award, and was named one of the ETSU College of Nursing Top 60 Alums. She also earned the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga Keystone Award and the Dedicated to Youth Service Award. She is an American Lung Association Woman of Distinction.

Endia Butler, Chattanooga

Endia Butler is the Student Employment Coordinator for the Financial Aid Office at Chattanooga. She is responsible for Federal Work Study, Academic Service and Job Location and Development. Butler is passionate about partnering with other departments on campus to create programs that focus on the career and personal development of underrepresented students. In 2020, Butler and Dr. Lisa Piazza, Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor, created the Undergraduate Research Training Opportunity Program Scholars, a program that provides students an opportunity to learn research methodology and work as a research assistant under a faculty mentor. Butler teaches one of the First Year Experience courses and is an active volunteer in the First-Generation Program at UTC. She received the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award in April 2020 for the impact she has had on one of her first-generation mentees. Butler earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees at UTC and was selected to participate in the inaugural class of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Leadership Academy.

Col. Timothy Hodges, VMI

Colonel Tim Hodges, who currently serves as Professor and Head of Physics and Astronomy as well as Faculty Athletics Representative for VMI Athletics, has served the Institute as a distinguished member of the VMI faculty in a teaching career that spans nearly four decades. His teaching interests are in the areas of solid mechanics, dynamics and finite element analysis. After graduating from VMI in 1980, Hodges began his teaching career on post and was instrumental in the development of VMI’s mechanical engineering program. He went on to earn a Ph. D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia and continued to make a lasting impact in the Mechanical Engineering Department, where he served in many roles including department head and head of the engineering division. Hodges has received numerous awards throughout his tenure, including the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award, the VMI Distinguished Teaching Award, the VMI Institute Achievement Medal (twice), and the Charles S. Luck, Jr. ’20 Institute Professorship. He has taught over 25 courses during his tenure and has served on numerous VMI committees and service initiatives supporting both cadet and faculty development.

Chief Michael Marshall, VMI

Chief Michael Marshall has served the last 14 years as Police Chief for the Virginia Military Institute. The 32-year public safety professional has served in and led many areas in various departments, including Patrol, Investigations, Internal Affairs, Special Operations & Dignitary Security, Emergency Preparedness and Recruiting & Training. Marshall established and administers VMI’s Game Day Safety and Security Protocols. He provides key leadership in the overall strategic direction of Central Dispatch and the overall combined locality shared agreement in supporting and improving these services. Marshall leads the important safety and security implementation to support VIP visitors to Post. During his tenure, many national and international dignitaries have been welcomed, including a U.S. President, U.S. Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Army, Secretary of Defense, and the Governor of Virginia multiple times.

Dr. Kelly R. Kelley, Western Carolina

Since 2010, Dr. Kelly R. Kelley she has served as the University Participant Program Coordinator, Consultant, and now Director. Kelley is also an Associate Professor of Inclusive/Special Education. She has published 33 book chapters and articles and presented at more than 165 conferences. Her research interests include secondary transition, independent living, and inclusive postsecondary opportunities for individuals with intellectual disability. The two-time graduate of Western Carolina, who also holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, recently wrote a book called Teaching, Including, and Supporting College Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

Courtney Gauthier, Western Carolina

Courtney Gauthier has served as the Associate Director of Career Integrated Learning with the Center for Career and Professional Development at Western Carolina since 2017. She has worked in the field of career development since 2006, working with career centers at both public and private institutions. Gauthier works with students to make meaning of their college experiences and helps them select majors, explore interests, identify and reach goals, and develop competitive application materials to launch successfully into their next steps. She collaborates with faculty and staff to develop workshops targeted to the needs of their students and their curriculum and is passionate about bringing career development conversations into classrooms and student meetings across campus.

Dr. Anna Catllá, Wofford

Dr. Anne Catllá is an Associate Professor of Mathematics, Coordinator of the Applied Mathematics Concentration, and Director of the Center for Innovation and Learning at Wofford, where she has been teaching since 2008. Catllá’s classes and research interests center on the application of mathematics to a variety of fields. Recently, her research has focused on social justice and looking at how districts are drawn using techniques to detect possibly gerrymandered congressional districts. In her classroom and in her work directing the Center for Innovation and Learning, Catllá seeks to create inclusive spaces that give all learners the opportunity to grow in their understanding of a topic of study and to apply that understanding to other aspects of their educational and professional lives. Catllá was the recipient of the 2014 Roger Milliken Award for the Excellence in Teaching of Science.

Lisa Lefebvre, Wofford

Lisa Lefebvre is the director of employee wellness and medical services at Wofford. Before coming to Wofford, she worked as a nurse at AnMed, Duke University Medical Center, Spartanburg Regional Hospital, The American Red Cross, and Converse College. Lefebvre has always been a strong advocate for health and wellness on campus. Over the past nearly 10 years, she has worked with students, faculty and staff to increase fitness and wellness on campus, to stop smoking, and to increase access and availability of immunizations. Most recently, has been an important leader in the College’s COVID response team.

Live performances may have stopped, but The Citadel Gospel Choir has not Sat, 19 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 Members of The Citadel Gospel Choir gathered with safe distancing to record a variety of songs, to be played in lieu of a live performance.]]>

As the year (finally) comes to a close and we enter, what for many will be, a very strange holiday season, there are at least two ways of looking back at 2020.

One is to remember all that went wrong or what we didn’t like. But another is to feel proud of how we overcame that which could have brought us down.

There’s no way to know for sure — but it’s likely that most of the cadets who are part of The Citadel Gospel Choir will be taking the second option.

Not only did they, like the rest of The Citadel community, make it through a uniquely challenging year: the Gospel Choir also found a way, despite the pandemic, to continue sharing their faith and talents through their performances.

Instead of waiting for things to return to normal, the choir took matters into their own hands.

In early November, the devoted cadets gathered in Johnson Hagood Stadium — with safe, social distancing — to record a variety of songs. The Gospel Choir usually performs multiple times a year, both in and out of South Carolina. These recordings will be played at events where the choir cannot safely perform.

Part of the Gospel Choir tradition includes a performance at the annual, heavily attended Christmas Candlelight Service in Summerall Chapel.

A traditional Christmas Candlelight Service in Summerall Chapel

Though they were not able to perform together like they had hoped, members of the Choir still found ways to maintain one of the most valuable aspects — the kinship.

The relationships are what mean the most to Ruby Bolden, the Regimental Public Affairs Officer. Read about her experience with the Gospel Choir, starting in her knob year, below.

“The race is not given to the swift nor the strong”

I matriculated in August 2017, not knowing what to expect except a challenge. I was grouped with people I did not know and had to learn to trust very fast, which is something that I am not used to doing.

As challenge week progressed, I was introduced to a member of The Citadel Gospel Choir, and he was very warm-hearted and approachable. After that encounter, I believed that the group had to be the same.

Cadet Ruby Bolden, Regimental Public Affairs Officer

Appearing the following semester, I walked through the chapel doors being greeted upon arrival. Classmates that I recognized walking down the Avenue of Remembrance were there and some classmates that were in my company were there as well.

As I greeted everyone and they returned the greeting, I was placed in the soprano section and began to learn and sing songs that I had sung at my home church. The Gospel Choir reminded me a lot of home to the point where I almost wanted to cry.

The people were friendly, and I was comfortable in that space. I remember when I had to introduce myself, I mentioned that it felt like home and at that moment, I knew I would be in it for the long haul.

As years went on, I was able to witness the many successes that the Gospel Choir achieved. From performing in front of our peers, singing at the late Senator Hollings’ funeral to going on tour in the Spring of 2019; the Gospel Choir is one organization that has changed my life significantly.

Since COVID-19 took the world by storm, it has put a lot of things on hold for us. We could not go on tour last year and practices were cancelled for a while which put a strain on the choir’s familial aspects.

Ruby Bolden and members of The Citadel Gospel Choir on their spring tour in 2019

However, through those trying times, we stayed in contact over Zoom and other platforms to stay in touch. Now, practices are being conducted while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.

These protocols made it hard for us to continue the familial aspects of the choir however, after the practice prayers we state this verse for Ecclesiastes 9:11, “The race is not given to the swift nor the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.”

Simply put, adversities are given to those that are capable of enduring the challenges that comes with it. The Gospel Choir is a testament of that scripture and we will continue to be.

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

As seen in The Post and Courier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past and future meet in a plastic present Fri, 18 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 An interdisciplinary team from The Citadel, with the Gibbes Museum, is lifting the veil that separates the artistic from the technological.]]>

An interdisciplinary team from The Citadel, working with the Gibbes Museum of Art, is lifting the veil that separates the artistic from the technological.

The Veiled Lady — a masterful marble statue created by Pietro Rossi in 1882 — is one of the most well-known pieces of art in the Gibbes.

But the photo above is not of the Veiled Lady. Not the original one, at least.

Thanks to three departments on campus, and a 3D-printer company created by a former cadet called Evolve 3D, the priceless statue can now be recreated, anywhere, for less than a dollar.

Not only that, but the 3D-printed version of the statue can be touched, something that’s attractive to the museum’s everyday visitor and especially important for visually impaired guests.

“When I first saw the iconic Veiled Lady sculpture at the Gibbes Museum, I, like many, was drawn to the stunning textures of this intricately-carved marble,” said Tiffany Silverman, director of The Citadel Fine Arts program. “At the time, as a museum educator, I wished that everyone could have access to experience this artwork in a more tactile, immediate way. Fifteen years later, the perfect combination of talented colleagues and innovative technology has, at last, made this dream possible.” 

The Citadel Fine Arts Department, the Baker School of Business Innovation Lab, The Citadel Makerspace and Evolve 3D worked together to make the project possible — and to help make art more accessible outside of a museum.

Evolve 3D has its own interdisciplinary connections to The Citadel. The business (then called the Cambrian Project) was initially created as part of the annual Baker Business Bowl, a program aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into income.

Though the team didn’t win the first or second place cash prizes, Ben Scott — the founder and CEO of Evolve 3D — says they earned something more valuable.

On the company’s website, he wrote:

“Countless hours of work, every night in the library, then the garage, studying business, writing/rewriting the business plan, working/reworking financial predictions, not going out on weekends, straining personal relationships for months, and still lost. I didn’t sleep for days following, but ironically, I think we still won. The lesson learned from that failure is worth a lot more than $10,000.”

Evolve 3D also loaned one of their beta printers, named Eve, to the museum which will use it to produce more 3D prints of art.

“This innovative and interdisciplinary partnership with The Citadel has proven to be an exciting way to engage our community with art and new technology,” said Sara Arnold, the director of cultural affairs at the Gibbes Museum of Art. “Our visitors are amazed to see the 3D printer in action at the Gibbes. Bridging art and technology opens a whole new world of creativity and accessibility and we are so grateful to Tiffany Silverman and The Citadel cadets who have shared their time and expertise with us.”

As part of the collaboration, James Bezjian, Ph.D, shared his groundbreaking use of a high-resolution 3D scanner that he uses to document artifacts. Dan Hawkins brought the technology of The Citadel’s Makerspace, including 3D printers. Scott — one of Bezjian’s students — started Evolve 3D along with Fine Arts minor — and one of Silverman’s students — Ethan Warner. The Gibbes Museum, current partner of The Citadel’s Fine Arts program, was looking for ways to increase access to their collection for both virtual and in-person audiences.

To that end, and thanks to the entire team involved, a 3D print of the Veiled Lady is also currently on display, waiting to greet visitors at the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Citadel Intelligence and Security Studies veteran student awarded Rangel Graduate Fellowship for foreign service Thu, 17 Dec 2020 15:20:22 +0000 Ashley Towers served America for eight years in the Army National Guard’s military police force. Now she will serve the nation again, this time in foreign service through the U.S.]]>

Ashley Towers served America for eight years in the Army National Guard’s military police force. Now she will serve the nation again, this time in foreign service through the U.S. Department of State.

Towers is among a group of 45 individuals recently awarded a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship through a highly competitive, nationwide process. The program prepares “outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State in which they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy,” according to the Rangel website.

“As a veteran student and campus leader, Ashley Towers exemplifies the very best in Citadel academics and leadership and is truly deserving of a prestigious Rangel Graduate Fellowship,” said Larry Valero, Ph.D. head of the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies for The Citadel.

Ashley Towers, seen far right, photographed with some of the members of The Citadel Veteran Student Veteran Association in front of the Howitzer cannons on Summerall Field at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, November 5, 2020.

Towers currently serves as president for the The Citadel Graduate College’s Student Veteran Association.

Towers and her class of Fellows will be supported through through two years of graduate study at universities of distinction, internships, mentoring, and professional development activities. The program awards the fellowships annually.

“When I first began looking at the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship, I was immediately drawn to the opportunity of such amazing funding for graduate school, and the excitement of a career with the U.S. Foreign Service that involves travel all over the world and learning new languages,” Towers said. “But when I dug deeper into what being a Foreign Service Officer entails, I realized that it would mean much more to me – it would mean serving a greater purpose in another, very different capacity than my time spent in the military, and finding camaraderie in sharing a very important mission. To represent and promote U.S. interests and policy abroad is a great responsibility, and I am honored and grateful for the opportunity.”

The Fellowship is administered by Howard University and provides each recipient with $42,000 annually for a two year period for tuition, room, board, books and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master’s degrees.

Additionally, Towers will have a personally assigned foreign service officer mentor. She will also participate in two summer internships including working on international issues for members of Congress in Washington, D.C. and working in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate assisted with up to $20,000 for internship related expenses.

Fellows who successfully complete the Rangel Program and Foreign Service entry requirements and all security screenings will receive appointments in the State Department Foreign Service. Each Rangel Fellow who obtains a master’s degree is committed to a minimum of five years of service. 

About The Citadel Department of Intelligence and Security Studies

Intelligence and Securities Studies is one of the most popular and fastest growing academic areas of interest at The Citadel. The Citadel has trained provided highly skilled intelligence and security military officers and civilian leaders for more than 100 years.

The Citadel offers Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies, a non-cadet degree completion program, and a minor. Additionally, The Citadel Graduate College offers a Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies or a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Analysis.

In the fall of 2020 there were approximately 375 undergraduate majors, 20 minors, and 85 graduate students.

For more information on the programs, please email