Servant Leadership – The Citadel Today Wed, 15 Dec 2021 14:04:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Servant Leadership – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 Cadets at The Citadel give thanks to healthcare workers Wed, 24 Nov 2021 20:50:38 +0000 More than 1,000 goodie bags are now in the hands of local healthcare workers, a small sign to show how cadets are grateful for their work.]]>

Photo: Cadets (left to right) Collin Beck, Benjamin Johnson, Davis Fuller, Andrew Davis and Jesse Murdaugh — with other members of The Citadel community — delivering goodie bags to Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

More than 1,000 goodie bags are now in the hands of local healthcare workers. The gifts are a small sign to show how cadets at The Citadel, and members of the community, are grateful for their work.

“Healthcare workers are something that we cannot do without,” said Cadet Benjamin Johnson, who helped deliver the gifts. “Showing them appreciation, and showing them that their work does not go unnoticed, is something that I feel is important. Healthcare workers are the backbone of society.”

Giving back was a group effort — freshmen cadets packed the goodie bags on Oct. 20, during the Class of 1979 Leadership Day. The bags were then delivered by five cadets from the college’s new Alpha Epsilon Delta Healthcare Honor Society to local hospitals on Nov. 10.

“One reason I chose to help is so that we could give back a small token of our appreciation to all the healthcare workers that have been working so diligently with those affected by COVID over these difficult times,” said Cadet Jesse Murdaugh. “We tend to take their care for granted until it may be that they are caring for one of our own loved ones. I just wanted them to know that, at The Citadel, we appreciate their hard work everyday.”

The gifts, packed in bags with hand-written messages from the freshmen cadets, contained snacks, lotion and lip balm.

Usually, freshmen cadets will travel to local schools and speak with students there, sharing stories of leaders who have impacted them. This year, due to COVID, they weren’t able to make it to the schools — but found another way to give back.

“When we realized that the cadets wouldn’t be able to visit schools in Charleston County, we had a short period of time to find other ways for the more than 650 cadets to contribute,” said Christina Arnold, director of service learning and community engagement for the Krause Center. “We organized four stations on campus, and one of those put together goodie bags for health care heroes. It’s just a little something to remind them they are important as they continue to be on the front lines of covid-19 and all the limitations and policies that have resulted from it.”

So far, more than 100 bags have been delivered to nurses with the Charleston County School District, 400 to the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and 600 to the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital. 400 more bags will to to Roper St. Francis after Thanksgiving.

“Giving back to healthcare workers that put in so much effort to take care of the community felt really good,” said Cadet Davis Fuller. “It felt even better that I was able to represent The Citadel while doing so.”

Cadets show respect for veterans in Operation Enduring Honor Tue, 20 Apr 2021 15:36:58 +0000 “The efforts of the cadets were an outward demonstration of honoring veterans who have served our country.”]]>

Everyone deserves a seat at the table.

Making sure wounded veterans in our community can have exactly that is why nine cadets from The Citadel’s Alpha Company and Palmetto Battery donated part of their Saturday, even on a weekend when they’d been granted general leave and a reprieve from the President’s Inspection.

It took the cadets around three hours to build four wheelchair-accessible picnic tables for two locations in the state. They assembled the tables on April 17, even getting a special visit from South Carolina State Rep. Joe Bustos and Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, USMC (Ret.), Class of 1976.

Those tables will be put to use in two locations: the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8760 — in Beaufort — and Operation Patriots FOB — a recreation park for veterans in Ridgeville.

“This project was important because it taught that service to others can still be carried out at a time when many activities have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID,” said Lt. Col. Glenn Remsen, SCSG, Teaching Activities and Counseling (TAC) Officer for Palmetto Battery and a member of the Class of 1994. “All of the cadets who participated were volunteering during their general leave period and truly demonstrated that service to others comes before self. Both Rep. Bustos and Gen. Regner were extremely impressed when they learned that all of the participants were cadets who freely gave up their leave time to participate.”

Cadets who volunteered include: Connor Deans, Matthew Earp, Eric Liebal, Tyler Martin, Alexander McCabe, Jacob Proctor, Claire Thomas, Dylan Tuzenew and Henry Winkler.

The Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics supported the effort by covering the building supply costs.

Operation Enduring Honor is an all-volunteer group that comes together to build wheelchair-accessible picnic tables and place them in recreational areas to ensure anyone with any physical challenges can enjoy the outdoors.

“In addition to being a project of service, this was a project of honor,” concluded Remsen. “The efforts of the cadets were an outward demonstration of honoring veterans who have served our country.”

All photos are courtesy of Cadet Eric Wilson.

Citadel creates Center for Mathematical Inquiry to help SC public school students Fri, 22 Jan 2021 16:03:36 +0000 Rural SC high school math teachers encouraged to apply for professional development opportunity, with $2,000 stipend, by Jan. 31 deadline]]>

Photo: (left to right) Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D. and Richard Robinson, Ph.D., leaders of the new Center for Mathematical Inquiry

South Carolina high school math teachers in rural school districts encouraged to apply for professional development opportunity, with $2,000 stipend, by Jan. 31 deadline

As a whole, South Carolina public schools are often ranked among the lowest in the country by organizations including U.S. News & World Report, and the National Education Association, for example. Math is identified as one of the key subject areas needing improvement.

Part of the mission of The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education (ZFSOE) is to help improve the quality of education in the state. ZFSOE continuously strives to provide professional development opportunities to K-12 teachers to help them improve their skills.

One new way the ZFSOE will help math teachers in South Carolina is the Center for Mathematical Inquiry. Funded by a $100,000 grant from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SC-CHE), the Center will provide professional development opportunities to Algebra 2 teachers, paying each $2,000 for their participation.

Dean of the Zucker Family School of Education Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D.

It’s a joint effort involving the ZFSOE’s STEM Center of Excellence, led by Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., and Swain School of Mathematics and Science professor, Richard Robinson, Ph.D.

 “One of the key areas of need in the state is assistance with fully engaging high school students who are studying Algebra 2. Right now only about 70% of them in South Carolina pass the course,” said Evan Ortlieb, Ph.D., dean of the ZFSOE and project director for the Center. “Through a professional development workshop and webinar series, Algebra 2 teachers will come together across multiple rural school districts to collaborate and share best practices, as well as learn new concepts in teaching the course.”

The Center will provide this training virtually to 24 South Carolina high school teachers. “Teachers from anywhere in the state can apply through January 31,” Ortlieb said.

Ortlieb explained that 10 of those slots are reserved for teachers in Georgetown County School District (GCSD). Compared to the state’s pass rate of 70%, only about half of GCSD students pass Algebra 2, a particularly important area to focus on.

Superintendent for Georgetown County School District Keith Price, Ed.S.

“We are thrilled that The Citadel is partnering with us to provide this professional learning series for our Algebra 2 teachers,” said Keith Price, Ed.S., superintendent for GCSD. “Algebra 2 is such an important course to help students prepare for college and career readiness. By engaging in this opportunity, not only will our teachers have the opportunity to study, plan, collaborate and implement research-based best practices, but our students will also see increased potential for success in this rigorous course as well as subsequent courses to follow.”

The Center will provide other programming as well, including free monthly webinars, open to anyone interested in attending.

Applications are open to South Carolina teachers until January 31.

To apply for one of the Algebra 2 program openings, click here. For more information, visit the project’s website at:, or contact Ashley Andrews at

This is a sponsored project through a grant from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education under the auspices of the EIA Centers of Excellence Grant Program.

Two brothers, both Citadel cadets, raise over 3,000 pounds of food donations for local food bank Thu, 07 Jan 2021 20:05:39 +0000 Citadel cadets Jack and Max Zappendorf grew up in Dawson County and, in 2013, noticed that some in the community needed extra help with food.]]>

Photo: Brothers Max and Jack Zappendorf recently raised over 3,000 pounds of food donations for local food bank RIC-Rack in their eighth annual food drive. (Courtesy: Seannie Zappendorf)

As seen in the Dawson County News, by Eric Aldrich

(Note: The cadets’ mother, Seanie Zappendorf, says her sons collected more than 4,000 pounds of food donations by the end of 2020, and over 12,000 pounds of food total between the years of 2013 – 2020).

Two Dawson County brothers recently raised and donated over 3,000 pounds of food to the RIC-Rack Food Bank during the family’s 8th annual food drive. 

Jack and Max Zappendorf grew up in the Dawson County community, and in 2013 the brothers noticed that there were some people in the community in need of a little extra help with their groceries. But instead of standing by, the brothers decided to do something about it. 

“They noticed that there was poverty in the county, so we went ahead and asked the Chamber who to donate to,” Seanie Zappendorf, the boys’ mother, said. “And they said that RIC-Rack would be a good one to donate to, so they started collecting food.” 

Jack and Max Zappendorf stand with a RIC-Rack employee and a school friend after unloading the canned goods donated during their food drive. (Courtesy: Seannie Zappendorf)

Max Zappendorf, who is now a sophomore in college at The Citadel, said that he and his brother Jack decided to hold their food drive around Christmas because it’s a time when RIC-Rack needs a little more food than usual, especially in a year such as 2020. 

“Every time at Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s really busy,” Zappendorf said. “I know that they’ve been needing a lot more this year and it’s been a lot harder for them to get food so I think it’s even more beneficial.” 

The Zappendorf family owns Discovery Parts, a racing car parts store that is located in the Atlanta Motorsports Park and sells to car racers all over the country. The brothers decided to use the family business as a way to reach more people and collect more donations. 

“We wanted to encourage people to come here for deals but also do something positive like this, so we give people a discount at the store and ask them to bring in as many cans as they want,” Zappendorf said. 

The amount of food raised has grown each year, from just over 190 pounds in 2013 to more than 3,000 pounds this year. 

According to Jack Zappendorf, a senior at The Citadel who will be accepting a 7 year contract with the Army upon graduation, he and his brother set a goal each year to raise more than the previous year. 

“It started out as a company food drive and it’s grown over the years,” Jack Zappendorf said. “Every single year the food drive numbers just keep growing and growing which is great to see, and most of the people are from out of the county, but they come in to help out which is great.” 

According to both brothers, it all comes back to doing what they can to help and support the community that they live in. 

“We’ve been here for almost a decade, and we just try to help out where we live,” Jack Zappendorf said.

Leadership Day has a new name and some COVID-caused adjustments, but the spirit of service is exactly the same Fri, 23 Oct 2020 18:00:09 +0000 Thanks to a generous donation from The Citadel Class of 1979, the annual event, which has a new name, will be permanently endowed.]]>

Photo: (left) Cadet Samantha Walton, contributor to this story and Regimental Public Affairs NCO, volunteering to make masks at The Citadel

2020 will be a year without Leadership Day at The Citadel — but that does not mean that the South Carolina Corps of Cadets will go a single day of the year without acting as servant leaders.

However, even after the pandemic is behind us, Leadership Day will not return. That’s because, thanks to a generous donation from one alumni class, the annual event has a new name.

A nearly $1 million contribution — surpassing their goal of $604,000 — will permanently endow the Class of 1979 Leadership Day

“In support of strategic commitments to service learning and development of principled leaders, The Citadel’s annual Leadership Day entails all regularly scheduled classes replaced with an on or off campus training, seminar, or service project for all cadets. All activities on Leadership Day are designed to engage students in a meaningful educational and developmental process outside the classroom. This gift will ensure the continuation and future growth of this program and further the development of principled leaders.”

The Class of 1979, The Citadel Foundation

The Class of 1979 Leadership Day will have an immediate chance to live up to its new name — the first major challenge is overcoming year’s difficulties and setting the stage for many more Class of 1979 Leadership Days to come.

One of the most visible aspects of a normal Leadership Day is when Citadel cadets travel into the community, donating their time to local schools and organizations. Activities are divided by class. Freshmen visit local elementary schools, sophomores choose from a variety of service projects, juniors take part in an on-campus Ethics Enrichment Experience and seniors visit local businesses and organizations to learn from Lowcountry leaders.

Cadets shoveling oyster shells at U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Cadets shoveling oyster shells at U.S. Fish and Wildlife in 2019

This year, in the COVID environment, the Corps will have a smaller physical presence in the community, but with the same large impact. Groups of freshmen cadets will design and record lessons about what makes a hero, which will be shared with elementary, middle and high schoolers in the area. Sophomores will still travel out to work on service projects, but will do so on two separate days in November; other sophomores will serve as team leaders for the freshmen. Juniors and seniors will be assigned virtual lessons to replace their normal activities.

But just because the Class of 1979 Leadership Day looks different this year doesn’t mean cadets have stopped serving the community on a daily basis.

Hear from some Citadel cadets below and how they’ve been making every day a leadership day.

Sweetgrass Garden, by Cadet Lucy Pincus

I enjoy doing community service. It’s a great way to help a person or an organization in the local community. It’s also a great way to get off campus and to ease your mind off cadet stuff.

On one weekend we had an inspection and, right after it was over, I went to volunteer at a farm called Sweetgrass Garden.

Some of the tasks were gardening, mowing the lawn, moving and placing down mulch, taking care of the goat pens, and other various activities. I really enjoyed it, and I will go back there again.

I got to meet and talk to new people, we bonded as a group and ended the effort by sitting around a bond fire. We also got to bring back a small jar of honey, collected from bees on the farm, as well as a bag of sunflower seeds. 

Feed a Friend, by Cadet Hunter Smith

This was my first-time doing Feed-A-Friend Friday, but I was extremely eager to make a difference.

Each Friday a non-profitable organization cooks and provides food to homeless people in downtown Charleston. My favorite part of the experience was seeing the warm smiles on the faces of those in line when they received a warm meal, and seeing that a plate of food can make someone’s day better.

My job was handing out water to those in line, and I extremely enjoyed the small conversations that I had with them as they waited in line. I know that also made their day for someone just to greet them and make them feel welcomed.

My goal is to be the person that cares when they don’t have someone else who does.

Hope to Home, by Cadet Javonte Spratley

Volunteering for Hope To Home was a great experience for me. This was the first time I decided to volunteer for service hours without being told to do so.

I was able to travel around to different donors and collect the items that they donated, going to the formerly homeless who just got houses. I would also send the donations back to the warehouse.

This allowed me to go out of my way to help my community and also learn about my community. I was able to see how happy and glad the donors were when we came to pick up their donations, and I was able to see how happy the team members were when we finished putting everything in the warehouse. 

This experience has opened my eyes to how much volunteering allows me to see and do. After I finished volunteering, I joined the Rotaract Club because I loved going out of my way to help the community and those who need help. If I was ever asked to volunteer for Hope For Homes again, I would gladly do it. 

Beidler Forest Audubon Center, by Cadet Samantha Walton

An exhilarating and gratifying part of The Citadel experience is the ability to unselfishly give your time to others around you. It is such a heartwarming feeling, continuing to expound upon The Citadel’s rich heritage of making a positive impact in the South Carolina community.

On the first Saturday of September, The Citadel’s Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics gave 13 cadets an opportunity to serve at Audubon’s Beidler Forest Service.

The Beidler Forest Audubon Center is a service that administers the ecosystem of the forest and grasslands of the Lowcountry. The forest is a picturesque part of nature offering sundry trails, campground sights, and a birds-eye view of South Carolina’s exquisite wildlife. 

The energized team arrived on site at about 8 a.m., enthused and eager to be hands on worker-bees. We were first introduced to the three-man squad and given further knowledge about the expectation to fulfill the duties and tend to the forest.

The team was then split up into groups of no more than five, while being sure to execute COVID-19 protocols of social distancing. The objective for the my team was cutting back the overrunning sweetgum trees, branches and anything in the way of the fire breakers along the nature trails.

It was such an enjoyable experience to participate in a new service, beautifying and giving an alluring appeal to nature that God so carefully designed for us to enjoy. I took away the significance of maintaining our habitats to sustain a flourishing environment for our animals and mankind. 

The cadet perspectives are courtesy of Samantha Walton, the Regimental Public Affairs non-commissioned officer, who also contributed her own volunteer story above.

Citadel cadets and students volunteer for veterans in need Fri, 09 Oct 2020 18:15:15 +0000 The Citadel Health Careers Society and others from the college spent Friday morning supplying low-income veteran families with food assistance.]]>

The Citadel community is always looking for opportunities to give back to those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

That’s why The Citadel Health Careers Society, joined by others from the college, spent their Friday morning volunteering with Soldiers’ Angels, supplying low-income veteran families with food assistance.

About 250 veterans were served, and each received about 70 pounds of food — including fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, frozen chicken, many varieties of frozen meals and canned goods, as well as drinks.

Citadel cadet preparing food bags while volunteering for Soldiers’ Angels

“We simply have the best at The Citadel, said Sarah Imam, M.D., faculty administrator for the society and a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. “Not only did this group of cadets and students volunteer, they did so wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm. They interacted with the veterans, addressed them with courtesy, asked them about their branch and thanked them for their service.

In total, 25 cadets, one veteran graduate student, and three members of the faculty and staff were on site to help those heroes who are in need.

Sarah Imam, M.D., with cadets volunteering for Soldiers’ Angels

“I had students from across the school from all majors — not just those that are pursuing a health career — who joined in with The Citadel Health Careers Society event today,” continued Imam. “These students genuinely care about our community and our veterans.”

The Citadel Health Careers Society is a student-led organization, for cadets and students — from any major — wanting to pursue any career within healthcare. The society helps members be more competitive applicants for postgraduate studies.

The volunteers from The Citadel worked at the Elks Lodge in Charleston from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Friday, October 9.

Soldiers’ Angles has a global network of volunteers — representing all 50 states and 12 countries abroad — who work tirelessly to ensure that those who serve or have served are supported, uplifted and remembered through a variety of support programs.

Citadel cadets look back, to lead the way forward Thu, 04 Jun 2020 16:04:01 +0000 Two servant leaders from The Citadel family — one current and one former cadet — are working to give back to the Charleston community.]]>

It’s a tense and difficult time in America. But that’s the kind of environment where principled leaders stand tall to help, demonstrating values like honor, duty and respect.

Two servant leaders from The Citadel family — one current and one former cadet — are working to give back to the Charleston community.

To be a servant leader means serving those around you and working to meet the needs of others.

Cadet Jackson Jenkins, a member of The Citadel Class of 2022, and 2nd Lt. Richard “Ben” Snyder (USA), the regimental commander for the Class of 2020, both started GoFundMe accounts in response to last week’s unrest for two different purposes.

Snyder’s fundraiser is called “24 Hours for Charleston,” raising money for the International African American Museum. On Friday, June 5, Snyder plans to walk around a track in Georgia for 24 hours, near where he is stationed for officer training. He says that he chose a track “to replicate the monotonous walk felt by peaceful-protestors as they search for a means to an end.”

“I think being alone with my thoughts, going in circles for 24 hours, will allow me to empathize with African-Americans that have walked for generations, have felt alone, and still not arrived at any final destination,” Snyder said. “It is important to me because I believe this is a simple way, any young man or woman, can be a part of the solution. By looking for an opportunity to be there for a neighbor, a friend, or even a stranger that has been mistreated.”

Jenkins decided to start a fundraiser for Mama Kim’s — a restaurant frequented by cadets for years — after it was damaged during the riots. It started with a $1,000 goal on Saturday May 31, but raised $16,000 by the end of the weekend.

“Mama Kim’s is really a touchstone part of cadet culture,” said Jenkins. “I think that so many people donated in such a short time because, in a large part, giving is also a huge part of Citadel culture. Mama really is a person that has helped several generations of cadets and is an adopted mother for the Corps. She is one of the best people out there, and when the opportunity arose to give back, everyone jumped at the chance.”

Jenkins plans to deliver the check to Mama Kim’s on Saturday, June 6.

Examples of civic leadership like this are part of the reason why the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded The Citadel with the Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification for the second time in two consecutive cycles.

The classification is an evidence-based affirmation of best institutional practices earned through years of accountability and the presentation of that work. The Citadel and its South Carolina Corps of Cadets provide approximately 30,000 hours of community service annually, organized through the college’s Krause Center of Leadership and Ethics.

For more information about the Mama Kim’s fundraiser, see the news coverage below.

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Katie Turner

Kim Onam Brown is known around the Lowcountry as “Mama Kim.” Her beloved Korean restaurant, “Mama Kim’s,” was recently damaged in Saturday’s riots.

When the community caught wind of what happened, many stepped in to help. Her shattered windows are now boarded up; covered with messages of hope and love.

“I feel like it’s my job to take care of everybody. But of course, they’re my heart, and I love them,” says Mama Kim.

She treats her customers as members of her family. Joking that some have called her “a computer” because she is a whiz at remembering names and details of the people she meets.

Her walls are covered in hundreds, if not thousands, of photos. A testament to the people that mean the most to her, and nearly 50 years in the restaurant business.

Mama Kim is especially known for taking care of students at The Citadel. Citadel Cadet Jackson Jenkins says she’s “an absolute saint to so many of us.”

Cadet Jenkins decided to start a GoFundMe for Mama Kim’s repair costs. In just 2 days, the community raised over $16,000.

The number has now reached over $17,000. Mama Kim is absolutely floored. She plans to give part of the money to her favorite people and places in the community to say ‘thank you.’

“I think Charleston is all sweet people, I really do. I’m going to give back part of it, I’m going to give it to some scholarship, to College of Charleston, a part to The Citadel, to the church. I’m going to fix up the windows and fix up the floors,” she says.

Coming up, Mama Kim will be celebrating her 50th year in the restaurant business. She has no plans to retire anytime soon!

“One thing that I always talk about is people asking ‘Mama when are you going to retire?’ I say, ‘I love people, and social, you know that’s why I cannot retire,’” she says.

For more on Mama Kim’s, click here.