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Successful Biology Graduates

Thomas H. Blackwell, MD, FACEP
1981 Graduate, Band Company
Clinical Professor, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
& Chief Executive Officer, MED-1 Partners

Dr. Blackwell has practiced academic emergency medicine for the past 25 years and specializes in prehospital medicine (emergency medical services), disaster medicine, and terrorism preparedness. He served as the physician medical director for Mecklenburg EMS Agency in Charlotte from 1992-2010 and recently accepted a position to teach in the new medical school at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. Dr. Blackwell actually delivered the first lecture to the Charter Class! He is teaching several courses in the medical school, working with Greenville Hospital System in their preparedness activities, and is working with Greenville County EMS. As part of his preparedness interests, he received a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to design and construct the world’s first mobile hospital. This state-of-the art healthcare facility is built on a 53-foot tractor-trailer and includes 2 operating room tables, 4 intensive care beds, 7 emergency or acute care beds, and has an environmentally-controlled awning expansion system that will accommodate an additional 200 beds. Dr. Blackwell deployed this facility to Waveland and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. The team from North Carolina treated over 7,500 patients during the 6-week deployment. Multiple deployments have occurred since and this unique facility is now patented and being distributed to developing and developed countries throughout the world to provide additional and mobile access to healthcare services. Over 250,000 patients have been served across Ecuador in 2011 alone. For these activities, Dr. Blackwell was inducted into The Citadel’s Arland D. Williams Society in 2010.

"One of the highlights of my tenure at The Citadel was the time I was cussed out by Major General George S. Patton IV, son of the famous General George Patton from WWII. While he was on campus my senior year, all senior army military science cadets were required to attend one of his lectures. At the end of this session, he asked if there were any final questions at which time 50 or so hands went up, including mine. He actually called on me, so I stood and introduced myself. Before I could get my question out, he asked what company I was in. I explained the concept of Regimental Band and he asked me if playing the trumpet entitled me to have long hair! Referring to me thereafter as “Al Hirt,” he asked what my question was. My inquiry related to his father (not one single mention of General Patton throughout the entire 1 ½ hour session). Specifically, I asked whether the movie “Patton” depicted his father accurately. He sat back, removed his cigar, and said “^%%^$*&&^%..... this comes up every *(&_(*^$%$*&^ time.” I thanked the General and quickly took my seat. I learned later, he hated discussing his father."

Sarah Rachel V. Deptula
2008 Graduate, Mike Company
Student (PharmD/MBA), South University School of Pharmacy

Sarah Deptula was born in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated from The Citadel in 2008, earning a BS in biology with a minor concentration in psychology. As a cadet, Sarah was appointed the ranks of Company Corporal, BN Recruiting NCO, and Company Human Affairs Officer. She was also elected and served as Class Vice-President, Tri-Beta National Biological Society President, and BioCid Club President. Following graduation, she became a resident of South Carolina and worked as a research specialist at the Medical University of South Carolina in the departments of neurosciences and regenerative medicine, while gaining experience for graduate school. She is currently a graduate student enrolled in a 3-year accelerated dual degree Doctorate of Pharmacy/Master of Business Administration program at South University. She is expected to graduate in the summer of 2013.

"The Citadel provided an environment that afforded me the opportunity to develop the foundation I needed to conduct myself as a leader and a professional. The Biology Department professors and staff truly cared about my education, and provided mentoring that was specific to my future goals. Through my experiences specific to The Citadel, studying abroad, and performing student research, I am fully prepared for anything that lies ahead!"


Benjamin Ingram, MD, The Citadel

Benjamin J. Ingram, MD
1999 Graduate, Band Company
Chief of Sports Medicine, Womack Family Medicine Clinic/Womack Army Medical Center (US Army)

Dr. Ingram graduated Cum Laude from the Citadel in 1999 with a B.S. in Biology. He began his medical training at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Upon completion of medical school in 2005, Dr. Ingram entered active duty service in the US Army and moved to Augusta, GA. There he completed Family Medicine residency training at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Ft. Gordon, GA. His next assignment took him to Vilseck Germany where he became the medical director of the third largest Army Health Clinic in Germany at that time. During his two years in Germany, Dr. Ingram deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2010, he moved to the Washington, DC area to complete the military’s prestigious Tri-Service Sports Medicine Fellowship, being the only US Army physician selected in his year group. In the summer of 2011 he was appointed Chief of Sports Medicine at Womack Army Medical Center, Ft. Bragg, NC. He is also full time residency teaching faculty at the Army’s largest Family Medicine Residency where he was selected as the Teacher of the Year 2011-2012. Dr. Ingram is an assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He is currently a Major in the US Army and lives in Fayetteville, NC with his wife Patricia.

"The Citadel is the single most forming experience in my life. Anyone who knows me for more than a week will know where I went to college and that I’m very proud of that achievement. I have many diplomas and awards at this point in my life, but my Citadel diploma is always hung first and in the center. Books have been written about the Citadel experience and documentaries have attempted to explain it to outsiders. I can’t pretend that I could capture in a paragraph what is means to be a Citadel graduate. I can say, however, that the Citadel is not simply a college; it is an experience that becomes a part of you. The cadet honor code, cast in bronze inside every cadet barracks, states “a cadet does not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.” This is so important for cadets that the brass is shined every morning. I still look back to this plaque, now only in my mind’s eye, as a focus point for integrity during times when the easy path may not line up with the right path. For men and women who desire to lead our nation, the Citadel is the right path."

Nicole Martinoli
2011 Graduate, Papa Company
Physician Assistant Student, Drexel University

Nicole graduated from The Citadel in 2011 with a Bachelors in Biology and a minor in Spanish. She began working full time as an operating room assistant at Central Florida Regional Hospital before applying to physician assistant school for her masters. She was accepted at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Nicole will begin the 27 month program in September, with hopes of pursuing a career in pediatrics and neonatal medicine.

"The Citadel experience has opened doors I never thought possible. From the leadership qualities the Corps taught me to the drive and passion for school that my professors gave me, The Citadel has helped me pursue a dream that one only dreams about. As a part of the Corps of Cadets and athletics at The Citadel, it was difficult to balance responsibilities along with the stringency a Biology major brings. With the drive of the entire Biology department, they challenged me intellectually and created an environment to help me develop as a student and prepare myself for the professional world that set me apart from the rest. The best memory, however, is not one in particular but that all the professors in the Biology department had a refreshing energy that they incorporate to their classes that made me want to continue to pursue a degree in Biology. They pushed me past what I thought were my limits, and that made all the difference."

Brent McCarragher
2008 Graduate, Alpha Company
Medical Student, University of South Carolina

Brent McCarragher graduated in 2008, majoring in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Following graduation he worked at the Medical University of South Carolina studying the molecular mechanisms of metastasis, which is highlighted by authorship of peer-reviewed articles in “Genes and Cancer” and the “Journal of Cellular Biochemistry.” In 2010, Brent began pursuing his Doctorate in Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He was also awarded a United States Army, Health Professions Scholarship and is a Commissioned Officer in the Individual Ready Reserve. Recently he has moved to Greenville, South Carolina to begin his clinical requirements for medical school at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

"Much of my success has been through sheer determination and hard work, both of which I attained while at The Citadel. The Biology Department faculty were critical in providing the information and support to achieve an excellent educational foundation in the Biological Sciences. I encourage all students to place their academics first and to explore the various research opportunities available at The Citadel."

Trey Williams
2010 Graduate, F-Troop Company
Medical Student, Medical University of South Carolina

Trey Williams graduated from The Citadel in 2010 majoring in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. As a cadet, he held various positions in the Corps and in the BioCid club, Tri-Beta, and helped found the Pre-Health Professionals Society in 2008. After graduating, he accepted a job at MUSC as a Patient Care Technician and gained valuable experience with patients at the bedside. After a year of working, he was accepted into medical school at MUSC and started in the Fall of 2011. Now finishing his first year, he is a member of the Admissions Committee and has enjoyed the challenge that MUSC has provided. He plans to pursue a career in Pediatrics with the intent of sub-specializing.

"I showed up at The Citadel with a goal in mind: Get into medical school. I had no idea what I had to do or how, but The Citadel was instrumental in getting me here. The biology department faculty was supportive and they always challenged me to work harder and smarter by encouraging me to ask questions and then showing me how to research the answers. Without their guidance, I wouldn’t be who I am today. In addition, The Citadel taught me the discipline and provided me the motivation I needed to get through my first year, and will need to continue my medical education."