The Citadel recognizes Team of the Year and Employee of the Year, as well as spring 2023 Presidential Award Winners

parade awards 

Each year, The Citadel honors one team and one employee for their outstanding efforts and performance that goes above and beyond.

For the 2022-23 academic year, The Citadel recognized The Citadel Post Office as the 2023 Team of the Year, and 4th Battalion TAC Officer Lt. Col. Keith Brace, U.S. Army (Ret.), ’91, as the Employee of the Year.

Employees may be nominated for the award in writing by any member of the faculty or staff. The Citadel Staff Council reviews all nominations and selects the Employee and Team of the Year based on exceptional contributions to The Citadel, fellow employees and the community in the following areas:

  • Service and quality of work in performing “beyond the call of duty”
  • Impact of professionalism and dedication to excellence
  • Initiative and reliability beyond required assignments and expectations
  • Uniqueness of contributions

Here’s what set these employees apart:

The Citadel Post Office, 2023 Team of the Year

Mail service is an integral part of The Citadel as a business as an important link between the campus and the rest of the world. The Citadel Post Office is responsible for the delivery and collection of all United States Post Service, Inter-Agency and Intra-Campus mail. They provide professional and efficient mail service to The Citadel community, including cadets and faculty who live on campus. Their team is part of the Finance and Business department at The Citadel.

Members of the Post Office team include:

  • Ruthie Breland
  • Madeline Cardenas
  • Jason Dunne
  • Timothy McIntyre
  • Terrence Miller
  • Kalen Sierra

Their nomination letter reads in part:

Between housing deliveries made on behalf of students, faculty, and staff, and managing incoming and outgoing mail, their team routinely delivers great results, while taking the time to acknowledge the names of those they serve. In addition, the “community feel” they provide to their customers takes them to the next level. I can say, with confidence, a number of employees have communicated the high regard they hold for employees in the Post Office.

Their service has maintained a high quality of excellence, despite growing cadet numbers (with more cadets to come in future years). This does not even account for the effort it must have taken to remain highly functional through the pandemic.

These folks play a major role in employee retention and engagement, given their service to those living on our campus. On campus housing is a major benefit for faculty and staff. These folks ensure that the benefit of living on campus is not associated with the liability of unorganized mail, even with the shared responsibility of supporting cadets. Additionally, the post office’s support of out-of-state cadets and their families, via mail and packages to and from loved ones, is indirectly responsible for the success of a number of out-of-state cadets. The out-of-state cadets could easily feel a sense of “homesickness” if they could not receive packages from their families. The post office keeps all of these liabilities far from the minds of those living on our campus.

LTC. Keith Brace, 2023 Employee of the Year

LTC Keith Brace is the TAC Officer for both 4th Battalion and Tango Company. Brace, a member of the Class of 1991, is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. In his role as a TAC officer, Brace supervises the day-to-day military training of cadets and serves as a mentor for them. 

His nomination letter reads in part:

Lt. Col. Brace spearheaded our department’s effort to completely revamp the Principled Leadership Skills program with a new focus and numerous course rewrites. This was a huge undertaking done during our summer surge when we are simultaneously training cadre and new cadets.

When the decision was made to revamp the CSI program last summer, the commandant assigned Lt. Col. Brace to lead the department’s efforts. Lt. Col. Brace spent numerous hours designing new courses and training packages to set the correct environment and experience for the CSI students. He also diligently worked with the cadre and support staff to ensure they understood what was expected.

LTC Brace is a problem solver. In 2020, he developed, coordinated and executed a complex plan for the clearing of the barracks following the outbreak of the pandemic, ensuring the safety of each individual in the effort. Additionally, he ensured the barracks was properly prepared to support the U.S. Marine Corps operations on campus that summer.

Lt. Col. Brace’s selfless sense of service consistently demonstrates The Citadel’s core values of honor, duty and respect. He displays duty and principled leadership to all cadets daily by taking on more than his share of the task. He never compromises on standards, leads and coaches others with respect, compassion and professionalism.

Presidential Award Winners for spring 2023

Each semester, the Presidential Award Winners are announced. The three categories are: The Citadel Excellence in Customer Service Award, Rising Start of The Citadel and Spirit of The Citadel.

The Citadel Excellence in Customer Service Award

The Citadel Excellence in Customer Service Award goes to an employee who has represented The Citadel’s core values of duty and respect by serving others before themselves. This employee will exemplify honesty, integrity and respect in their approach with both internal and external customers. For the spring 2023 semester, The Citadel Excellence in Customer Service Award went to John Stabinger from the Office of Communications and Marketing.

His nomination letter reads in part:

John Stabinger unquestionably deserves the Excellence in Customer Service award. As the college’s webmaster, he embodies our core values of honor, duty and respect in all that he does. Since joining The Citadel, John has worked diligently to transform the school’s more than 50,000 page website into a modern and accessible platform, one that is up-to-date and user-friendly. Through this process, John works with individuals from every school, department and office on campus to instruct, support and collaborate — ensuring each division’s website is complete and meets their needs, as well as the needs of the college as a whole. In addition to this massive undertaking, John has created website solutions that replace previously used software, saving the college approximately $20,0000. In addition to his great contribution to the college, he also treats everyone with kindness and respect; it is very difficult to manage so many stakeholders with vastly different needs and expectations, but John does it daily while also promptly responding to any additional requests that come in throughout a day.

The Rising Star of The Citadel

The Rising Star of The Citadel goes to an employee who is within their first two years of employment at The Citadel, has demonstrated to others on campus that they exemplify the core values of honor, duty and respect in all interactions on campus, and has created or implemented a new procedure or product that resulted in personnel, budgets or office efficiencies. This award went to Jaydee Sipiorski from the Facilities and Engineering department.

His nomination letter reads in part:

Jaydee Sipiorski is in his second year of employment at The Citadel, arriving in September of 2021. From day one Jaydee hit the ground running as a highly skilled electrician and quickly fit in on campus as a valued asset. So much so, he was offered on-campus housing to be able to assist with any critical after-hours facilities situation. Proving his worth, Jaydee has shown his desire to assist anyone on campus with whatever their needs may be. Since Jaydee’s arrival in late 2021 he has assisted with the completion of over 850 Electric Shop work orders.

Jaydee has consistently demonstrated to his F&E Utilities Division Chief, his Electric Shop supervisor his shop teammates, and to campus faculty and staff that he exemplifies our core values of honor, duty and respect. He has always volunteered to cover F&E support for campus special events, and he does so with a smile. He’s also gone as far as changing a tire for a stranded motorist on campus! Jaydee is a great resource for F&E and The Citadel by completing over 450 work orders this year alone and is spoken of highly by everyone he comes into contact with on a daily basis.

The Spirit of The Citadel

The Spirit of The Citadel is awarded to an employee who has exemplified the spirit of The Citadel in all interactions on campus and with external customers. This employee also had a direct impact on achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders, as well as shown principled leadership in their employment with The Citadel and with volunteerism on or off campus. This award went to John Brush in Athletics.

His nomination letter reads in part:

John exemplifies the Spirit of The Citadel. He has been a one-man machine for athletics since he lost three staff members in September and October. Any releases, stats or promotion of our cadet-athletes has come through John’s hands. The word “no” does not exist in his vocabulary. John has been the lead comms person for every home and away football game, basketball game, wrestling match, rifle meet, volleyball match and more than 50 baseball games this academic year. John is a total professional and does what needs to be done regardless of the hours it takes to get things done. John helps to coordinate media availability with our teams especially with our new basketball coach.

John leads with humility. When John doesn’t know something or needs help, he asks. He embraces a true authentic self, by staying open with his coworkers and his boss. He is the definition of consistency. He acts and speaks with courage. When down a creative staff member, he worked to get an alternative solution passed. He respects others and builds trust. Lastly, he serves others before himself, by doing the job, no matter the hours it takes to complete.