The Military College of South Carolina
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GSJ Awards

The Gold Star Journal Excellence Award was established by 

Dr. and Mrs. James F. Boyd, Class of 1971, in Fall 2019.

This award provides funds towards the Student Awards listed below.

trophy for GSJ best overall paper submissions

The Boyd Family Distinction Award

(previously The Best Overall Submission Recipients)

  • 2022: Charles Geiger, Class of 2024, "Carbon Nanotube Types and Application."
  • 2021: Nicholas Fricchione, Class of 2021, "German War Graves: A Tragic and Somber Reminder of Cost of War."
  • 2020: Mark Vowels II, Class of 2020, "Human Trafficking: A Major Issue for the US."
  • 2019:  Joshua Malott, Class of 2019, "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder."
  • 2018: D. Todd Truesdale, Class of 2018, "Morocco - Slow, Steady, and Setting the Example : An Analysis of Democritization in the Kingdom of Morocco."
  • 2017:  Monica Paulk, Class of 2017, "A Journey:  From Being Muslims  in China to Becoming Chinese Muslims."
  • 2016: Matthew Scalise, Class of 2016, "Homosexuality and Religion: Can Jewish and Christian Dogma Reconcile the Actions of the LGBT Community?"
  • 2015: McKenzie Pepper, Class of 2015, "Women in Tanakh."
  • 2014: Jane Ma, Class of 2015, "From Satanic to Sublime: Marlowe's Faustus and Milton's Satan as Protypes of the Romantic Hero."
  • 2013: Thomas A. Gorman, Jr., MBA Graduate Student, "Capitalism: If History Has Taught U.S. Anything..."
  • 2012: Robert P. Keener, III, Class of 2014, "Dark Themes In 'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place."
  • 2011: Devon C. Smith, Class of 2012, "The Method Behind His Madness."

trophy for GSJ best undergraduate paper submissions

The Best Undergraduate Submission


  • 2022: Harry Charles, 2023, "The Opioid Crisis and its Connection to Dentistry."
  • 2021: Thomas Kyte, Class of 2022, "One Belt and one Road Right Through Ethiopia?"
  • 2020: Matthew Blair, Class of 2020, "The Wisdom of The Crowd."
  • 2019:  William Hope, Class of 2020, "Small Modular Reactors: An Emerging Technology."
  • 2018: Grant Miller, Class of 2018, "The Enduring Reality of Violence as seen in McCarthy's Blood Meridian."
  • 2017: Todd Truesdale, Class of 2018, "Extractive Institutions and the Arab Spring." 
  • 2016: John Hope, Class of 2016, "Progressive and Conservative Understandings of the American Political Tradition."
  • 2015: Erik Usher, Class of 2015, "Perceived Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease Among African Americans."
  • 2014: Sarah Katchen, Class of 2014, "Use of Percoll Gradient for Purifying Mitochondria Preparation in Brassica Olerace with Histone H3 Implications."

trophy for GSJ best graduate paper submissions

The Best Graduate Submission


  • 2021: Frank Hoffman, "Engaged Containment: A Viable Solution to the North Korea Problem"
  • 2020: Blake Harllee, "Rwandan Domestic Counterinsurgency Strategy: Iron First with International Indifference."
  • 2019: Sarah Walker, "ADHD and Romantic Relationships."

trophy for GSJ best oral presentation

The Best Oral Presentation


  • 2021: Joseph Field, Class of 2021, "The Importance of Military Discipline in the 17th Century Manchu Army as Seen in Dsengseo's 'Diary of my Service in the Army.'"
  • 2020: Mark Vowels II, Class of 2020, "Human Trafficking: A Major Issue for the US."
  • 2019:  Hannah Dion, Class of 2022, "Grendel: The Face of a Nation."
  • 2018: Charles L. Turner, Class of 2018, "Religious Freedoms in the Criminal Justice System."
  • 2017: John H. Reynolds, Class of 2018, "The Annexation of Crimea: Intelligence Shortcomings and Successes."

blue ribbon for GSJ best photograph

The Best Photograph


  • 2022, Eric Wilson, Jr. Class of 2023, "Flag Bearer."
  • 2021: Jacob McKewn Williams, Class of 2022, "Abandoned Chair."
  • 2020: Zachary Adkins, Class of 2021.
  • 2019: Samuel Abernathy, Class of 2019 and Ian Taylor, Class of 2019, "Elvis."
  • 2018: Morgan A. Meredith, Class of 2018, "Ring and Champagne."
  • 2017:  Michael J. Kecken, Class of 2017.
  • 2016: Joseph Federico, Class of 2016.
  • 2015: James McManus, Class of 2016.
  • 2014: Nick Pinelli, Class of 2016.
  • 2013: Ryan J. Boodee, Class of 2014.
  • 2012: Matthew L. Herold, Class of 2012.

blue ribbon for GSJ distinction in photography

The GSJ Distinction in Photography


  • 2022: Matthew Smith, Class of 2022, "Lunar Winter."
  • 2021: Chase Robert Ervin, Class of 2022.
  • 2020: Dashawn Costley, Class of 2022.
  • 2019: William Rasberry, Class of 2019, "A Study in Wildlife Photography."



trophy for Athens Paper PICA Award

Athens Paper Award

Most Creative Use of Paper


Special Judges Award for

Soft Cover Booklet

Printing Industry of The Carolinas Awards (PICA)

Awarded April 14, 2021

Certificate for Special Judges PICA Award

THE 2004, 2003, and 2002

Special Merit Award

The Case District III Advanvement Awards Program

Awarded 2005

blue ribbon for GSJ distinction in photography
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