The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

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Faculty News and Research

The Citadel is distinguished by its military culture and academic excellence. Increasingly, The Citadel’s faculty, cadets and students are recognized for their critical research projects and literary contributions. Many highly respected members of our faculty are among the top thought-leaders in their field, are leading community and industry initiatives and are sought after as experts by local and national media. (Scroll down to see all of the stories.)

Citadel professors W. Jeff Davis and Simon Ghanat to be co-principal investigators for coastal flood resiliency S.C. sea grant

A grant awarded to the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium (Consortium) on behalf of the Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) will help community leaders plan for and adapt to the area’s increasing flood challenges.

The $510,319 Regional Coastal Resilience Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the Consortium “will support the development of more robust and localized flooding models that can be used to plan infrastructure improvements in the Charleston, S.C. region,” according to Rick DeVoe, executive director of the Consortium and program manager of the award. Researchers from College of Charleston, University of South Carolina and The Citadel will partner with the CRN and the Consortium on the three-year project. The non-federal match of $255,569 brings the total grant award to $765,887.

SoCon's first All-Southern Faculty Team includes Department of Political Science leader

Dr. Scott Buchanan received the unusual honor of being named to the inauguaral All-Southern Conference Faculty Team by the Southern Conference. One faculty member from each college in the conference was named to the honorary "team" in January, 2016, for demonstrating service to the institutions, proven records of high scholastic achievement among their students, and for being leaders in thier area of interest. Buchanan teaches Southern politics, state and local government, political insittutions and elections. He is also the executive director of The Citadel Symposium on Southern Politics. Additionally he has receieved numerous recognitions from the college and is the author of several books and journals including Some of the People Who Ate My Barbeque Didn't Vote for Me.

Professor's book earns recognitions

Dr. Kyle Sinisi's highly-lauded 2015 release, The Last Hurrah: Sterling Price's Missiour Expedition of 1864, was named Best Book in 2015. The A.M.Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History will be presented to Sinisi January 12, 2016, by the Fort Worth Civil War Roundtable. Addtionally, The Last Hurrah was awarded an honorable mention, best Civil War Book of 2015, by The Civil War Monitor.

Faculty honored for excellence, innovation and service

Nine Citadel faculty members have been honored for their contributions to scholarship, teaching and service. The fourth annual event recognizing The Citadel’s Faculty Excellence Awards and Spotlight Awards highlights the accomplishments of The Citadel’s dedicated faculty. Click here to read the story.

Grant highlights

At any given time there are dozens of grant-funded projects underway at The Citadel supporting research, innovation and leadership opportunities for cadets and students. The grants are awarded to The Citadel, faculty, cadets and students by private foundations and government entities through highly competitive processes.

“At The Citadel there are many research and educational opportunities that are collaboratively funded through grants. These opportunities can enrich the college experience for cadets, and the graduate school experience for students, as they become directly involved in working beside a professor, developing new technologies or affecting change,” said Leigh Lipscomb, Director of Grants for The Citadel Foundation. “It’s exciting that the college has more than doubled the number of grants earned over the past decade thanks to the work of our distinguished faculty, combined with the addition of a fulltime grant writer at The Citadel.”

Examples of the colleges 2015-16 grant funded projects include:

Advancing proficiency in Chinese language, literature and culture

The primary focus of The Citadel’s Project GO Grant is to bolster the Chinese language program and to provide domestic and overseas instruction to qualified ROTC students.

Dr. Zane Segel professor, The Citadel Department of Modern Languages; Associate Dean for Student Engagement for The Citadel Graduate College


A sustainable design framework for developing and assessing engineering students’ cognitive flexibility

The goals of this NSF-sponsored project will be to (1) collect expert conceptions about sustainability and sustainable design, (2) create educational materials for undergraduate engineering students to incorporate concepts and skills deemed essential by experts, (3) implement educational materials into undergraduate engineering courses and (4) develop and apply assessment tools to quantify the effectiveness of educational interventions.

Dr. Mary Katherine Watson, professor, The Citadel Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in collaboration with James Madison University


Charleston promise neighborhood

1. CHEEFS: This program, for students in grades K-5, is guided by The Citadel Health, Exercise and Sports Science (HESS) faculty, graduate students and cadets. Cadets who are leading in fitness serve as role models by engaging students in neighborhood schools in physically active, goal-directed, fun fitness and health initiatives.

2. Young Authors. Young Authors engages students in exploring their lives and community through multi-media reviews of past, present and future in order to develop positive identities and writing skills. The process culminates in the creation of an autobiographical illustrated book which is professionally printed.

Dr. Conway Saylor, professor, The Citadel Department of Psychology; Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics Director of Service Learning


Drilled pier design guide and research

Provided by the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI), the purpose of this research is to create a new CRSI Design Guide on Drilled Piers and an associated user-friendly spreadsheet that designs drilled piers using the theory described within the design guide.

Dr. Timothy Mays, professor, The Citadel Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Palmetto Academy undergraduate research in physics

Provided by the South Carolina Space Consortium, this grant will provide funding for the continuing research on the development and testing of the Atsa Suborbital Observatory. (More than $100,000 in grants for this project to date).

Dr. Luke Sollitt, professor, with Dr. Russell Hilleke, professor, The Citadel Department of Physics


Asset management engineering research

Provided by the South Carolina Department of Transportation, this grant funds support for research in best-practices for roadway inventory development to support future planning, safety analysis and other enterprise data needs.

Dr. Jeff Davis, professor, The Citadel Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in collaboration with Clemson University


Lindera melissifolia research

Provided by Gulf South Research Corporation, this grant supports research about an endangered form of native Southeastern plant commonly called the pondberry or southern spice bush.

Dr. Joel Gramling


Wave dissipation system

One of multiple grants provided over several years for this ongoing research project. The research aids in the design and monitoring of an experimental investigation aimed at better understanding the overall performance of a wave dissipation system installed on several beaches in South Carolina.

Dr. Timothy Mays, professor, The Citadel Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Cross-slope verification research

Provided by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), this grant includes performing a comparison of the mobile scanning technology and conventional survey methods for cross slope verification. It will also be used to establish a validation site that contains tangent and curve sections using traditional survey methods that may then be used to qualify mobile scanning vendors. A third objective is to establish SCDOT guidelines for testing procedures and data delivery.

Dr. Jeff Davis, professor, The Citadel Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Bystanders to reduce sexual assault and dating abuse

This 2015 Avon Campus Grant provides funds to be used in the creation of an awareness campaign about bystanders getting involved in preventing and stopping sexual assault and dating abuse.

Linda Riedel, C.A.R.E assistant director, The Citadel


Latino American-500 years of history

Provided by the National Endowment of the Humanities and American Library Association. The program is designed to facilitate informed discussion in communities about Latino history in the United States.

Dr. Nancy Aguirre, professor, The Citadel Department of History


Citadel Faculty News and Recognition

Saul Adelman, Ph.D., professor, physics and stellar astronomy. Dr. Adelman becomes president of The International Astronomical Union in August of 2015. Previously, Adelman served as vice president for the Astronomical Photometry and Polarimetry Commission. He has published more than 350 papers and is a guest investigator on the Hubble Space Telescope project.

Holly Bevsek, Ph.D., professor and head of The Citadel Department of Chemistry. Dr. Bevsek was selected as a recipient of the Insight into Diversity magazine's 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. Bevsek's work at the college centers strongly on leading student research.

Kevin Bower, Ph.D., P.E., head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Bower received the D. Graham Copeland Professorship of Civil Engineering in 2015 for his outstanding commitment to the industry. The professorship was started in 2014 by Paola Copeland Groverman, in memory of her father, D. Graham Copeland, who is credited for building a portion of the Florida Everglades road called the Tamiami Trail which is still in use today. 

Timothy W. Mays, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering received three prestigious national awards in 2015. He was named the first recipient of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association’s Susan M. Frey Engineering Education Award. He also received the David L. Kelly Distinguished Engineer Award, a prestigious national honor given for “outstanding design contributions and leadership” in structural engineering by Tilt-Up Concrete. Mays also earned second place in the NCEES Engineering Award for connecting Professional Practice and Education for the incorporation of design activities into the classroom.

Johnston Peeples, Ph.D., PE, head of The Citadel Department Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Peeples was appointed to the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors by Governor Nikki Haley after being nominated by the South Carolina Council of Engineering and Surveying Societies (SCCESS) for the seat in 2015.

David L. Preston, Ph.D., Westvaco Professor of National Security Studies, Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Preston's most recent book, Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution (Pivotal Moments in American History) was released in July of 2015 byOxford University Press. Preston's book reveals new insights into the battle and establishes Braddock’s Defeat as a pivotal point for Indian, French, Canadian and British peoples in the eighteenth century.

F. Michelle Richardson, Ph.D., assistant professor, Citadel Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Science. Dr. Richardson was selected to attend the Summer Institute for the Development of Curriculum in Antisemitism Studies held at Hertford College, in Oxford. Participants will develop a course syllabus and curriculum in the interdisciplinary study of antisemitism to be taught in their home university upon completion. The event is sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy. 

Kyle S. Sinisi, Ph.D., Professor, Department of History. Dr. Sinisi's most recent book, The Last Hurrah: Sterling Price’s Missouri Expedition of 1864 (The American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era), was released in July 2015 by Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. It focuses on Confederate General Sterling Price and his attempt to liberate Missouri from Union occupation and guerilla warfare.

Charles O. Skipper, Ph.D., PE., PMP., chair of The Citadel Department of Engineering Leadership and Program Management, Col. United States marine Corps, (Ret.). Dr. Skipper was featured as the key interview in Civil Engineering magazine in June of 2015. The article was about his strategies for succession planning.

Mary Katherine Watson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was the 2015 recipient of the American Society of Engineering Education - Southeast Section's Outstanding New Teacher Award. The annual award is presented a faculty member who has less than four years of teaching experience and who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom.

Ronald W. Welch, Ph.D., PE., dean of The Citadel School of Engineering. Dr. Welch was designated an American Society for Engineering Education Fellow and a Society of American Military Engineers Fellow. He was also named engineer of the Year (2014-15) by the Charleston Engineers' Joint Council.

Research Project Examples

Physical Activity and National Security

Surface-electrode Ion Trap

Cooper River Bridge Run

Copidosoma Floridanum wasp

Black River Ecology

Atsa Suborbital Observatory

Laser Desorption Infrared Spectroscopy

Father of Silicene

Marine Plastic Debris in Charleston Harbor






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