Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Mon, 11 Oct 2021 20:04:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Do your part to #BeCyberSmart https://today.citadel.edu/do-your-part-to-becybersmart/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 19:55:23 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27679 Matriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelMatriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel"Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background..."]]> Matriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelMatriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel

By CDCI Team

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

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

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

5 things to remember about Cybersecurity

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

Double your login protection.

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

Shake up your password protocol.

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

Never click and tell.

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

Keep tabs on your apps.

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

Stay protected while connected.

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

What is CDCI?

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

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

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Scientists, volunteers fan out across Charleston in national effort to map hottest areas https://today.citadel.edu/scientists-volunteers-fan-out-across-charleston-in-national-effort-to-map-hottest-areas/ Mon, 09 Aug 2021 13:33:37 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=25608 Scott Curtis turns on his heat-sensor camera along with others participating in the collaborative Heat Watch project around Charleston to record temperatures across the city and determine where heat is most extreme on July 31, 2021, in North Charleston. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff awhitaker@postandcourier.comScott Curtis turns on his heat-sensor camera along with others participating in the collaborative Heat Watch project around Charleston to record temperatures across the city and determine where heat is most extreme on July 31, 2021, in North Charleston. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff awhitaker@postandcourier.comCurtis said the findings of the project should be ready around the end of September.]]> Scott Curtis turns on his heat-sensor camera along with others participating in the collaborative Heat Watch project around Charleston to record temperatures across the city and determine where heat is most extreme on July 31, 2021, in North Charleston. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff awhitaker@postandcourier.comScott Curtis turns on his heat-sensor camera along with others participating in the collaborative Heat Watch project around Charleston to record temperatures across the city and determine where heat is most extreme on July 31, 2021, in North Charleston. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff awhitaker@postandcourier.com

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Shamira McCray

Photo above: Dr. Scott Curtis turns on his heat-sensor camera along with others participating in the collaborative Heat Watch project around Charleston to record temperatures across the city and determine where heat is most extreme on July 31, 2021, in North Charleston. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staffawhitaker@postandcourier.com

Researchers and volunteers in Charleston joined a national effort in late July to track heat and humidity across the city on one of the hottest days of the year.

On July 31, volunteers traveled across parts of the Charleston area by car and foot to record temperatures, humidity, time and location using special sensors mounted to cars and cellphone cameras. 

Data recorded during the citizen science project will be used as part of the national Heat Watch program to learn where action is needed to protect vulnerable populations now and in the future.

Researchers and volunteers in Charleston joined a national effort in late July to track heat and humidity across the city on one of the hottest days of the year.

On July 31, volunteers traveled across parts of the Charleston area by car and foot to record temperatures, humidity, time and location using special sensors mounted to cars and cellphone cameras. 

Data recorded during the citizen science project will be used as part of the national Heat Watch program to learn where action is needed to protect vulnerable populations now and in the future.

Researchers and volunteers in Charleston joined a national effort in late July to track heat and humidity across the city on one of the hottest days of the year.

On July 31, volunteers traveled across parts of the Charleston area by car and foot to record temperatures, humidity, time and location using special sensors mounted to cars and cellphone cameras. 

Data recorded during the citizen science project will be used as part of the national Heat Watch program to learn where action is needed to protect vulnerable populations now and in the future.

Volunteers picked one of the year’s hottest days to execute their project. At 3 a.m. on July 31, the National Weather Service in Charleston said the temperature at Waterfront Park was 87 degrees. There was a heat index of 106 at that time.

The weather service said temperatures downtown reached 93 degrees that day.

The idea on July 31 was to collect as much air temperature data at the street level as possible, said Scott Curtis, Ph.D., who leads the Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr. Center for Climate Studies at The Citadel. He said scientists do not have a lot of information about that currently.

“Satellites can give us skin temperature or the temperature of the surface, but that’s actually different than the air temperature a lot of times,” Curtis said.

During the heat-mapping project last month, Curtis and Citadel graduate student Bonnie Ertel drove around parts of North Charleston three times — during a morning, afternoon and evening shift — to record air temperature data.

Their route included wooded neighborhoods around Leeds Avenue and Dorchester Road, retail areas near Tanger Outlets and industrial parts of North Charleston surrounding Meeting Street.

Curtis was required to drive no more than 35 mph in order for the censor to record accurate data. So highways were excluded from the route.

“We basically take a lot of backroads, which is good because we want to know, like for neighborhoods, what the temperatures are,” Curtis said. “Where people are living and working, we want to know what the temperature is like.”

Curtis said it will be interesting to see how the heat and temperatures vary in different parts of the city.

Ertel commended Heat Watch partners for making the project local and more applicable to the people who live in the area.

“I think it’s neat to be part of climate research kind of where I live,” Ertel said.

The data collected last month will help to shape city policy from zoning codes to what kinds of trees are planted, according to Mark Wilbert, chief resilience officer for Charleston.

In April, Wilbert said Charleston’s recent vulnerability assessment for hazards like earthquakes, hurricanes and sea-level rise indicate “at a very high level” that extreme heat and its effects on the city’s occupants pose a threat.

The data from the project on July 31 will be analyzed by collaborating organization CAPA Strategies. Curtis said the findings of the project should be ready around the end of September.

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From The Citadel to University of Cambridge: a cadet’s future on the rise https://today.citadel.edu/from-the-citadel-to-university-of-cambridge-a-cadets-future-on-the-rise/ Tue, 27 Apr 2021 10:00:12 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23062 Cadet Najjar working in a labCadet Najjar working in a lab"Christian views criticism as an opportunity for improvement and always strives for perfection. He may be one of the most outstanding cadets I have ever met."]]> Cadet Najjar working in a labCadet Najjar working in a lab

Photo above: Cadet Christian Najjar doing research work at a lab at the University of Heidelberg in 2019

It is one of the oldest universities in the world, with origins dating back to 1209. Some of it’s most famous alumni include Charles Darwin, Oliver Cromwell, Stephen Rajiv Gandhi and Stephen Hawking.

University of Cambridge is commonly regarded as one of the most desired, but difficult to enter undergraduate and post-graduate institutions in the world. But that is exactly where Cadet Christian Najjar will head to continue his education after gradating from The Citadel in May 2021.

Najjar will work toward a one-year Masters in Population Health Science at Cambridge, then he will come back to the U.S. to begin his studies with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, where he has already been accepted.

Cadet Chistian Najjar during a German study abroad program with The Citadel.

Najjar has two majors: Biology and German. He’s earned a 4.0 grade point average in all but one of his semesters at The Citadel, according to one of the college’s associate provosts for Academic Affairs.

“Using his fluency in German coupled with his extensive science background, Cadet Najjar has participated in research projects to include designing research protocols, interpreting findings for published work, and applying information for future studies, all of which provide a strong foundation for his continued studies in mental health and illness,” said Chris Fudge, associate provost for Academic Affairs and director of The Citadel Success Institute. “One of these studies took place in Germany where he worked hand-in-hand with German scientists creating and discovering new protocols for Zika virus research.” 

Cadet life comes with a bit of an extra challenge for Najjar, who was born with only one arm. He never let’s that get in the way, becoming known for his one-handed pushups and personal drive.

“Cadet Najjar is a self-starter who creates and develops research independent of others, but his collaborative nature matches well with his independence,” Fudge says. “Christian views criticism as an opportunity for improvement and always strives for perfection. He may be one of the most outstanding cadets I have ever met.”

Cadet Christian Najjar with his mother, Elizabeth Najjar

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Citadel nursing students, athletics trainers help vaccinate faculty and staff on campus https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-nursing-students-help-vaccinate-faculty-and-staff-on-campus/ Thu, 25 Mar 2021 13:44:25 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22941 In partnership with Plantation Pharmacy, Faculty and staff are given the Johnson & Johnson Janssen coronavirus vaccine in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)In partnership with Plantation Pharmacy, Faculty and staff are given the Johnson & Johnson Janssen coronavirus vaccine in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)"Having the opportunity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine seems like a small role, however, it is truly an honor to be a part of the solution to this crisis gripping our nation."]]> In partnership with Plantation Pharmacy, Faculty and staff are given the Johnson & Johnson Janssen coronavirus vaccine in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)In partnership with Plantation Pharmacy, Faculty and staff are given the Johnson & Johnson Janssen coronavirus vaccine in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Slots still open for on-campus vaccine clinic Friday, March 26

Photo above: Cadet Victoria Conley, a senior Nursing major, administers a Johnson and Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccination injection.

The Citadel is holding two COVID-19 vaccination clinics for faculty and staff, and tapped into an on-campus resource to help: senior nursing students from the Swain Department of Nursing. There are 32 nursing students who are expected to graduate in May, eight helped with the vaccination clinic. Additionally, five trainers with the college’s athletics teams are also helping give vaccines.

Bulldogs Coach Brent Thompson getting the Johnson & Johnson Janssen coronavirus vaccine, administered by athletics trainer Jenna Byrd, in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

All faculty, staff , campus partners, vendors and contractors are eligible to receive the Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine, as well as high-risk cadets and students, by appointment. It is the vaccinate that only required one dose. The first clinic was March 24 and the students helped vaccinate more than 180 people.

The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’79, visits with cadets and students from the Swain School of Nursing at the college’s vaccination clinic for faculty and staff on March 24, 2021

“The nursing students and athletic trainers did an incredible job, as did both nursing faculty instructors,” said Leah Schonfeld, assistant vice president/chief resources officer for The Citadel Department of Human Resources. “The students and trainers were very professional, checking employees after their shots, and following all of the necessary procedures.”

The next clinic on campus is Friday March 26, with registration required in advance through this link: The Citadel COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic FRI 26 MAR 21.

Left to right: Cadet Catherine Hill, Logan Nelson and Amauri Bowman, all Class of 2021 nursing students, pose for a quick photo during the The Citadel faculty and staff vaccination clinic on March 24, 2021.

The future nurses welcomed the opportunity to help thwart the pandemic. Cadet Catherine Hill will graduate in May and accept a commission as an Army officer nurse.

As senior nursing students we were honored to be asked to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Our nursing instructor Dr. Linda Edgerton said it best, ‘we are making history getting to distribute it to the faculty and staff at The Citadel.’

This time last year we were sent home, anxiously wondering what the next year had in store for us. No one thought we would be where we are today and as a nation we patiently waited for a vaccine to come out with the hopes that one day we would return to normal. Having the opportunity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine seems like a small role, however, it is truly an honor to be a part of the solution to this crisis gripping our nation.

Cadet Catherine Hill, The Citadel Class of 2021, U.S. Army-bound nursing major

Linda Edgerton, Ph.D., one of the college’s nursing instructors, helped train the student nurses on the vaccination procedures and oversaw their work.

“As this year’s nursing students graduate and enter health care settings as professional nurses, COVID-19 will continue to be present,” said Linda Edgerton.  “After helping vaccinate faculty and staff on campus, they know they are already making a difference and will be even more prepared work. This pandemic is an historic public health crisis and these women and men will likely remember helping safeguard The Citadel’s faculty and staff with vaccinations their whole lives.”

Left to right: Cadet Victoria Conley, ’21; The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’79; and Cadet Catherine Hill, ’21, show off their Citadel bands of gold while visiting during the college’s vaccination clinic for faculty and staff.

The campus community would like to thank the following Class of 2021 nursing students and the athletic trainers helping with the clinics.

Nursing students

  • Cadet Jesse Crook
  • Cadet Catherine Hill
  • Amauri Bowman, Citadel Graduate College evening student
  • Courtney Marsh, Citadel Graduate College evening student
  • Cadet Victoria Conley
  • Drexyl Blair, Citadel Graduate College evening student
  • Logan Nelson, Citadel Graduate College evening student
  • Cadet Kate Manzione

Citadel Bulldogs athletic trainers

  • Jenna Byrd
  • Jonathan Chang
  • Andy Clawson
  • Aliyah Duren
  • Michelle Lomonaco

All members of campus participating in The Citadel’s vaccinations clinics are provided with a laminated vaccination card.

For more information about studying Nursing at The Citadel, please visit The Swain Department of Nursing at this link, or

In partnership with Plantation Pharmacy, Faculty and staff are given the Johnson & Johnson Janssen coronavirus vaccine in McAlister Field House at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
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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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New Center for Climate Studies to be established at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/new-center-for-climate-studies-to-be-established-at-the-citadel/ Tue, 29 Sep 2020 19:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=19004 Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The Center’s mission will be to promote climate science through education, research, outreach and the development of public-private partnerships.]]> Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF, ’77, Center for Climate Studies under development

Photo above: Dr. Scott Curtis, director for the new Center for Climate Studies, surveying atmospheric conditions from atop Grimsley Hall.

Climate variability, risks and the advancement of solutions will be the focus of a new, interdisciplinary center being established at The Citadel. The official name: the Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF ’77 Center for Climate Studies.

Near, a member of The Citadel Class of 1977, career meteorologist for the Air Force and dedicated professor of Physics at the college, passed away in March of 2020.

“Lt. Col. Near knew the importance of climate science work firsthand. He demonstrated extraordinary generosity by providing the college, through The Citadel Foundation, a $1.865 million gift to initiate the Center. Ever humble and not wanting to receive any recognition for his donation, Jim specified that his gift remain anonymous until his passing,” said Darin Zimmerman, Ph.D., dean for The Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics at The Citadel.

The mission

Jenkins Hall, Thomas Hall and Grimsley Hall are seen from Summerall Field at The Citadel

The Center’s mission will be to promote climate science through education, research, outreach and the development of public-private partnerships, according to Scott Curtis, who holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Curtis was recently named the Dr. John Lining Professor of Physics and director of the Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., USAF ’77 Center for Climate Studies.

“There is a critical need for expanded climate work of this nature in the Lowcountry, coastal areas and around the country as evidenced by flooding, increasing storm magnitude and climate driven wildfires,” said Curtis, who will teach atmospheric and oceanic physics in addition to directing the Center. “Once activated, the Center will be unique in South Carolina higher education. There are several centers that focus on water, the environment and hazards, but none have climate as their central mission, like The Citadel’s new Center will.”

The Citadel is placing such importance on the Center that its establishment appears as Objective 6.3 within The Citadel’s strategic plan, Our Mighty Citadel 2026: Advancing Our Legacy of Leadership.

Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of The Citadel’s new Center for Climate Studies

In his first month as director, Curtis met with several climate stakeholders in the Lowcountry, including the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Charleston, Mark Wilbert, and Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie who graduated from The Citadel in 1983.

Curtis also recently released the 2nd annual Climatological Research Studies Grant (CRSG) competition. The CRSG will fund up to $60,000 in research projects related to climate science. In addition, Curtis is preparing a proposal for the Center to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, to be reviewed in early 2021.

The Center will:

  • Inform and promote the design of sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient and ethically defensible climate risk management strategies.
  • Guide curriculum development in atmospheric and climate science.
  • Conduct place-based research with undergraduates.

“We hope the Center will be readily recognized as an entity that will not only serve campus, but our Lowcountry neighbors, the citizens of South Carolina and beyond,” said Curtis.

Research activities

Planned research activities within the Center will include the relationship of climate and variability to:

National security

Climate effects are a critical issue facing the nation’s military and citizenry into the foreseeable future. In the 2019 “Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense,” 79 mission assurance priority installations were experiencing some effect of climate or would realize vulnerabilities within the next 20 years.

Coastal environment and infrastructure

Recurrent flooding is also a priority issue for policy makers in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. According to the Charleston NWS, coastal flood events in Charleston occurred 89 times in 2019, which far exceeded any other year in the record dating back to 1980. Nuisance flooding is costly to coastal communities through loss of revenue and degradation of infrastructure. Severe heat waves are detrimental to tourism, rising sea surface temperatures affect fish populations and acute drought events can decrease freshwater supply and increase salinity levels, which affects agricultural productivity and ecosystem services.

Public health and welfare

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the necessity of science literacy. Like public health science, climate science is inherently global, involves many feedback loops and requires the critical analysis of data trends. Climate extremes also can be linked to health disparities. For example, The Post and Courier recently reported that in Charleston “flooding can cause transportation hardships that lead to lost workdays and health risk for those who have to slog through water teeming with E. coli and toxic chemicals.” In addition, temperature and humidity extremes contribute to heat stress for field workers.

For these reasons, from 2020 to 2023 the Center will be a collaborator on an EPA grant: “Predicting Drinking Water Contamination from Extreme Weather to Reduce Early Life Contaminant Exposure.” 

For more information, contact The Citadel Department of Physics at (843) 953-5122.

The moon is seen over Padgett-Thomas Barracks during Matriculation Day for the Class of 2024 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 8, 2020
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Citadel launches climate science research center with $2 million donation https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-launches-climate-science-research-center-with-2-million-donation/ Tue, 29 Sep 2020 16:15:30 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=19034 Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)As seen in The Post & CourierBy Chloe Johnson A new research center at The Citadel will focus on climate change — the first group dedicated exclusively to this work in]]> Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Dr. Scott Curtis, Director of the new Citadel Climate Center, poses for a portrait on the roof of Grimsley Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

As seen in The Post & Courier
By Chloe Johnson

A new research center at The Citadel will focus on climate change — the first group dedicated exclusively to this work in the Lowcountry. 

Called the Lt. Col James B. Near Jr. Center for Climate Studies, it was started with an almost $2 million donation from its namesake.

Near, an Air Force veteran, was a meteorologist and 1977 Citadel graduate who worked in the school’s physics department. He died in March, and asked that his donation be kept anonymous until after his passing. 

The center will be headed by Scott Curtis, who was previously on the faculty at East Carolina University. He spent part of his career at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, where he analyzed atmospheric satellite data.

Curtis’ own work has focused on large-scale phenomenon like the El Niño climate pattern and precipitation trends. 

Mark Wilbert, chief resilience officer for Charleston, hailed the move, saying it will “raise the awareness from a super respected institution in the state that the climate science is real and the climate threat is real.”

Curtis said his goal for the ongoing fall semester is in part to learn about the existing research efforts in the area.

There’s already a rich scientific community in the Lowcountry. The state-funded S.C. Sea Grant Consortium provides towns with technical information about the environment, the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Hazards Center maps flooding, and there’s a local presence from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among others. 

“The center’s already trying to get itself ingrained in what’s happening here as much as possible,” Curtis said. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We don’t want to duplicate efforts.”

Curtis said there could be more to contribute to the understanding of the conditions that set up sudden, extreme precipitation, or rain bombs, that sometimes unleash flooding chaos on Charleston.

The center is designed to involve faculty across disciplines at The Citadel in climate research. For example, Curtis hopes that engineering expertise at the school will lead to work on potential flooding fixes.

The center will also focus on environmental health issues and is supporting water quality research to identify dangerous microbes and microplastics in floodwaters. 

The Citadel’s new group will also focus on how a changing climate affects national security. Some military installations in the state, including the Marine Corps training base on Parris Island and Coast Guard stations in Charleston, have been flagged in the past as vulnerable to rising seas

“Regardless of who’s in the White House and the political structure, I think the military is really taking this seriously,” Curtis said. 

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My ring story: Inspired by my grandfather https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-inspired-by-my-grandfather/ Sat, 26 Sep 2020 10:00:01 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18978 Cadet Dettrich and grandfatherCadet Dettrich and grandfather"The ring holds me to a higher standard."]]> Cadet Dettrich and grandfatherCadet Dettrich and grandfather

Meet Cadet Matthew Dittrich, Lawrenceville, Georgia, ’21

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

My grandfather, Louis A. Wilken, Class of 1960, would never miss an opportunity to tell me about one of his many stories about The Citadel. From marching in the heat of Charleston to having his room inspected every Saturday morning, I didn’t see how he could enjoy such a school. Nonetheless, he would wear his band of gold every day with pride.

Then came the time for me to attend college and I thought my plans would never change: I would go to Georgia Tech and join the USAF. But I started to think about the man my grandfather had become by attending the Citadel. I thought about all he taught me, and I knew that is what I wanted for my life.

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

Before coming here, I thought leadership was just about getting the job done. I never considered about the obligations that a leader has to his or her people. Now, I realize it is about taking care of the people first and mission comes second.

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

To me, it reminds me that I am part of a larger group myself. A group of alumni that hold themselves to a higher standard and have chosen to be leaders in their communities and their country.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

“Part of the Journey is the End.” I put this in my ring to remind myself that The Citadel will always be a part of my life, but the time is coming to move on and use what I have learned and experienced for the rest of my life.

The Citadel is a crucible for life: like everything that goes into a crucible, it must eventually come out.  

Cadet Matthew Dittrich, Regimental Academic Officer, double-majoring in Physics and Mathematics, ’21

When you finally look down at the band on your finger, what memories will come to mind?

I think about the times my grandfather sat me down and told me stories and taught me lessons. I will think about how I can now relate to each story, and how even after 60 years, this school is still able to teach the same lessons and instill the same values in its Cadets.

What obligations do you feel you have in the future as a member of the Long Grey Line who wears the ring?

The ring holds me to a higher standard. I am not just some college graduate trying to get a job, but I will be a Citadel graduate. I will take the lessons I have learned and use them to lead and mentor others as many people have done for me.

Note: This is one in a series stories intended to show the different journeys members of The Citadel Class of 2021 have undertaken to earn their bands of gold. The Regimental Public Affairs team, Cadet Ruby Bolden, public affairs officer, and Cadet Samantha Walton, public affairs NCO sent a list of questions to participating cadets. These are the resulting stories.

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Introducing nine new Swain School of Science and Mathematics professors https://today.citadel.edu/introducing-nine-new-swain-school-of-science-and-mathematics-professors/ https://today.citadel.edu/introducing-nine-new-swain-school-of-science-and-mathematics-professors/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:02:09 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17822 ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,The Swain School of Science and Mathematics welcomes nine new faculty members for the 2020-2021 academic year.]]> ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,

Above Photo: Citadel Mathematics professor, Dr. Rigoberto Florez, teaching a class in 2018

The Swain School of Science and Mathematics is comprised of seven departments: Biology, Chemistry, Cyber and Computer Sciences, Health and Human Performance, Mathematical Sciences Nursing and Physics.

Under the leadership of Dean Darin Zimmerman, Ph.D., the school has more than 50 tenured/tenure-track faculty and about 425 cadet majors. The school also offers 15 master’s degree level programs and certificates (non-cadet), as part of The Citadel Graduate College.

The Swain School of Science and Mathematics welcomes nine new faculty members for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Department of Chemistry

Robert Granger, Ph.D., professor and department head

Granger is an inorganic/analytical chemist with a background in laser spectroscopy and electrochemistry and joins The Citadel as the new head for the Department of Chemistry. He is the lead author of a nationally bestselling textbook on Instrumental Analysis (Oxford University Press).

Granger’s research interests include transition metal chemotherapeutic drug design and the study of electrocatalysis as it pertains to carbon-carbon bond formation (i.e. artificial photosynthesis). He holds a Ph.D. in Analytical/Inorganic Chemistry from Purdue University.

Read more about Granger here.

Megan Moyer, Ph.D.

With prior experience teaching chemistry at Carthage College, and as a teacher’s assistant at Colorado School of Mines, Moyer has taught General Chemistry 1 and 2 with associated labs. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and holds Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry from the Colorado School of Mines.

Moyer has a history of volunteerism including for summer STEM camps for girls. Moyer was awarded Most Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Chemistry (2018) and Catalysis Symposium Top Presenter (2018).

Read more about Moyer here.

Department of Cyber and Computer Sciences

Computer Science class taught by Dr. Michael Verdicchio, 2017

Prosenjit Chatterjee, Ph.D.

Chatterjee holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro. His specialization includes computer vision, deep learning, neural networks, data analytics, data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Chatterjee’s research centers on human face, iris based biometric authentication, and behavioral biometrics-based authentication.

Chatterjee has almost six years of teaching experience in different organizations and institutions and more than eight years of industry experience in software industry. He worked as a senior software engineer, database administrator, quality assurance team lead, and business enabler with the world’s leading banking and financial sectors such as Credit Suisse, Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM), and Wells Fargo. Chatterjee was the senior developer in the insurance vertical giant MetLife, John Hancock.

Department of Physics

Scott Curtis, III, Ph.D., John Lining Professor of Physics
Director for the Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., ’77, Center for Climate Studies

Curtis joins The Citadel as the director for the new Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., ’77, Center for Climate Studies. The center is under development, and was recently named for Near, who passed away in March of 2020, an alumnus, veteran and physics professor.

Curtis joins The Citadel from East Carolina University (ECU), in North Carolina, where he was titled Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics. During his time at ECU he acquired close to $1.4 million in grants and fellowships. Additionally, Curtis has authored more than 150 books, book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles and scientific white papers for presentations. He is engaged frequently to speak around the nation on issues including climate change, coastal water hazards and flooding. Curtis has participated as an editor for five scientific journals.

Curtis’s research centers on tropical climate variability with an emphasis on precipitation and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He earned a Ph.D. and a Master of Science, both in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, from the University of Wisconsin. Some of his distinctions include named Center for Sustainability Outstanding Affiliate Faculty Member from ECU, and the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers Research Award.

Kaelyn Leake, Ph.D.

Leake holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California. She earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Engineering Science and Physics from Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Prior to joining The Citadel, Leake taught Dynamics and Kinematics, Electrical Circuits, Modern Electronic Technology, How it Works, Designing a Sustainable Future, and Properties of Materials at Sweet Briar.

Leake has received several awards, including Outstanding TA Award, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2013-2014, and the QB3 Keck Fellowship, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2009-2010.

Read more about Leake here.

Hank Yochum, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head

Yochum joins The Citadel as professor and Physics Department head from Sweet Briar Collage where he worked for 18 years as a professor. He was also as associate dean for Academic Affairs, and the director for The Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program, which was ABET accredited.

Prior to becoming a professor, Yochum was an engineer with Lucent Technologies/OFS Specialty Photonics. His research interests include matter physics and nanotechnology, including nano structured optical devices.

Yochum earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Wake Forrest University in 1999. He returns to Charleston, working not far from his alma mater, The College of Charleston, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physics.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Cadets in a Math lab working on Mobius strips, in 2018.

Jeff Lyons, Ph.D.

Lyons teaching expertise ranges from College Algebra, Pre-calculus, Trigonometry and Calculus to Applied Engineering Math and Differential Equations. He joins The Citadel following visiting professorships at Trinity University and University of Hawaii. Before that he was a professor at Nova Southeastern University.

Some of Lyons publications include An Application of the Layered Compression-Expansion Fixed Point Theorem to a Fractional Boundary Value Problem (2019) in the Panamerican Mathematical Journal, and Two Point Fractional Boundary Value Problems with a Fractional Boundary Condition (2018) in the Fractional Calculus and Applied Analysis. He participated as a presenter in a virtual conference in 2020 for the Recent Advances in Differential and Difference Equations and Their Applications.

Lyons earned his Ph.D. in 2011 from Baylor University, where he also earned a Master and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

Swain Department of Nursing

Holly Donahue, instructor

PHoto of Holly Donahue, a nursing instructor at The Citadel.

Donahue is originally from LaGrange, Georgia and now resides in the Charleston area. She is a graduate of Columbus State University where she earned her Master in Science degree with a major in Nursing Education in 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from LaGrange College in 2015.

Before joining the Swain Department of Nursing, she served as the emergency department clinical educator at Trident Medical Center for the last year and a half. As a relatively new nurse educator, she is enthusiastic and passionate about nursing education and looking forward to contributing to the growth of the nursing department and future generation of nursing leaders.

Leonora Horton, Ph.D.

Horton is a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where she earned a Ph.D. in Nursing/Clinical Research. Her Master of Science degree was obtained from Columbia University NYC with a major in Nurse-Midwifery.

Horton has been practicing clinically for more than 35 years. She was a nurse-midwife for 30 years in which time she has held both administrative and faculty roles for MUSC. Her teaching experience includes the education of students of nursing, nurse-midwifery, physician assistants, and medical students as well as first and second year OB/GYN residents. She was the immediate past Nurse Midwifery program director at MUSC.

In addition, Norton the held the position of Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Director for South University Online as an associate professor. Her teaching expertise for South University included Research Methods, Women’s Health, Organization and Systems Leadership Nursing, DNP Field Experiences, and DNP Scholarly Project Courses.

Some of Horton’s achievements include the 2011 and 2012 Golden Lamp Teaching Award and the 2010 Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award.

Read more about Horton here.

Ctiadel cadet nursing majors learning from Dr. James Pelletier in simulation lab
Citadel cadet nursing majors learning from Dr. James Pelletier in simulation lab in 2019



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The Citadel’s commitment to elevating education throughout South Carolina continues https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadels-commitment-to-elevating-education-throughout-south-carolina-continues/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 23:00:49 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17394 Hundreds of K-12 teachers in South Carolina will be better prepared to educate students in the fall after learning new techniques through the STEM Center.]]>

Photo: South Carolina educators participating in a small session during Computer Science Professional Development Week

College’s STEM Center of Excellence prepares K-12 teachers for enhanced instruction 

When school resumes, hundreds of K-12 teachers in South Carolina will be better prepared to educate their students, whether it be face-to-face, virtually or a combination of the two.

Those teachers will integrate new techniques and concepts into their lessons, learned over the summer from The Citadel’s STEM Center of Excellence (SCE).

In addition to supporting Citadel cadets and students, the SCE serves as a community resource, holding numerous educational events for children annually and providing robust professional development programs for K-12 STEM teachers.

In July, more than 400 teachers participated in two, week-long workshops presented by the SCE. Both were originally planned to be held on campus, but were moved to a virtual format in response to the pandemic.

The goal of both workshops: help teachers inspire and prepare more South Carolina students to pursue STEM-related careers.

Addressing the shortage of computer science teachers

The first workshop involved the SCE’s ongoing work to increase the number of computer science teachers in South Carolina schools.

The SCE offered computer science professional development for nearly 250 teachers, with the goal of ensuring that every high school, and most middle schools, have at least one dedicated computer science teacher.

The South Carolina Department of Education selected the SCE to provide instruction in response to new, stricter guidelines about computer science requirements in South Carolina public high schools.

A teacher using the kits, provided by the STEM Center, to learn about computer science during the Computer Science Professional Development Week

“Now that a keyboarding class no longer counts as computer science credit, 436 high schools have to be able to teach in-depth computer science,” said Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., director of the The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence. “We’ve been working the last two summers with the Department of Education to make sure all of those teachers have the training and the certification needed to teach those classes.”

The experience was free for teachers, thanks to the funding from the state’s Department of Education, as well as a grant from the CS Teachers’ Association.

Infusing computing

The second workshop, held the last week of July, represented the final stage of a multi-million-dollar National Science Foundation grant awarded to the SCE, and project collaborators at North Carolina State University. The goal of the STEM+Computing project was aimed at helping teachers integrate computing and STEM curricula into their classes.

Nearly 200 teachers participated in the event, learning how to blend computational thinking — a problem-solving method that describes problems and their solutions in ways that a computer would understand — into their educational content.

Providing the workshop virtually didn’t faze the SCE director.

“We’ve had to restructure everything get the same, small-group, personal feel,” said Albert. “We had to almost triple the number of session facilitators that we hired this year, because we want them in small groups so they have the same amount of attention that they would have face-to-face.”

In fact, the SCE’s methods for adjusting to a virtual format, as well as more information on the workshop, is included on page 59 of a recent publication in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.

The SCE is a collaborative effort between The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education, the School of Engineering, and the Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics. It delivers outreach initiatives, like Storm The Citadel and more, to increase student interest, participation, and opportunities in the STEM disciplines.

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