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2020 Edition

Black cover of The 2020 Gold Star Journal


  • Jake Norris, 2022, Computer Science Major.

Assistant Editor-in-Chiefs

  • Taylor Diggs, 2022, Political Science Major.
  • Carleton Bailiff III, 2021, Psychology Major.
Photograph of President Glenn M. Walters reviewing the Corps of Cadets on board a Jeep at His Inaugural Parade

The Editors

  • Daniel Wilkes, 2021, Political Science and History Double Major.
  • Steven Jones, 2022, Mechanical Engineering Major.
  • Ashley Ruiz, 2022, Political Science and Intelligence Double Major.

"The 24th edition of The Gold Star Journal is dedicated to John Whiten in honor of his nine years of education, assistance, and encouragement.  Mr.Whiten is an essential member of The Citadel Family, and also an honorary member of The Gold Star Journal team.  Thank you and we look forward to many more editions with you!


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

To view the entire 2020 edition, click this link or the cover above.

To view the abstract of a paper, click on the associated link in the listing below.

Defining the Gap between Reality and the Fantastic in E.T.A. Hoffman's Romantic Literature

Kennedy Fravel

German Romanticism was a cultural movement that took place in Germanophone countries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Intellectuals of this movement, known as naturphilosophers, valued the study of the natural world with an emphasis on the spirit while trying to merge the disciplines of science and literature. “The Golden Pot” and “The Mines of Falun,” both by German naturphilosopher E.T.A. Hoffman, illuminate the desire of German Romantic writers to amalgamate the seemingly polar specialties of scientific research and artistic development.

Best Photograph

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $400.

Both the front and back cover photographs of The 2020 Edition were taken by

Zachary Adkins, Class of 2021, Mechanical Engineering Major.

Photograph of President Glenn M. Walters reviewing the Corps of Cadets on board a Jeep at His Inaugural Parade

blue ribbon for best photograph submission

Photograph of President Glenn M. Walters reviewing the Corps of Cadets as they pass at his Inaugural Parade

Best Graduate Submission

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $500.

Rwandan Domestic Counterinsurgency Strategy: Iron First with International Indifference

Blake Harllee

This article analyzes the domestic counterinsurgency police of the Kagame Regime in Rwanda during the late 1990s. Drawing upon firsthand accounts, journal articles, governmental investigations, and the reports of Human Rights groups, it will be shown that the Rwandan domestic counterinsurgency policy was extremely brutal. Far from being the “city upon a hill” that African nations should emulate, modern Rwanda is a totalitarian police state whose government has brutally repressed all opposition, perceived and imagined. Ranging from targeted assassinations and political arrests to massacres that killed thousands of civilians, the Rwandan program was unique in that it was exceptionally cruel while also accepted by the international community at large. This paper corrects the historiography of Post-Genocide Rwanda, which has been largely ignored or even justified the crimes against humanity committed by Paul Kagame’s regime in Kigali.

trophy for best graduate submission

Best Undergraduate Submission

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $600.

The Wisdom of the Crowd

Matthew Blair

Wisdom of the crowd is the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than that of a single expert. This paper will address why this phenomenon occurs, its strategic implications, and how companies use this area of mathematics to do many things, including predicting the future with extreme accuracy.

trophy for best undergraduate submission

Identifying the Impacts Due to the Correlation Between Charleston's Crime Rate and Gentrification

Harrison Wedgeworth

As Charleston has expanded over the past 50 years, the issue of gentrification, the preservation of Charlestonian culture and what some consider “Old Charleston” has arisen. This paper will analyze this cultural loss and the long-term effects on the crime rate and the city itself as a whole. 

American Nuclear Energy in the Twenty-First Century

Luke Timmerman

Nuclear power’s viability as a safe mainstream power source for the American people has been subject to contentious debate and speculation since its invention during the Second World War. Today, we face the worldwide threat of global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases, pollution and energy demands. Nations are laboring to find a sustainable, low-carbon energy option that can be implemented now - and nuclear power meets the criteria. As the original pioneers of nuclear energy, we as Americans must use our technical know-how to expand this vital power source to benefit us all and combat the climate crisis.

blue ribbon for The GSJ Distinction in Photography

The GSJ Distinction in Photography

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $400.

These four photographs were taken by

Dashawn Costley, Class of 2022, Psychology Major.

  • A photograph of Carleton Bailiff III on a mountain in Machu Pichu.
  • A photograph of  a butterfly.
  • A photograph of a sloth.
  • A photograph of Machu Picchu.
Carleton Bailiff studying broad in Fall 2019. 
 He is pictured in Machu Picchu Mountains.  A photograph of a butterfly. 
 A photograph of a sloth.  A photograph of Machu Picchu.

Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

Elizabeth Spoehel

This paper will begin to answer the question of whether it is ethical to try and match machine intelligence to that of human intelligence. Everyone has seen dystopian movies where AI (artificial intelligence) or robots have gone against their intended purpose. Will that be the end result no matter what is done to try and combat it? Are humans destined to create their own ruin? What steps can be taken to prevent the doomsday scenarios played out in fiction from becoming reality? By answering these questions, the ethical nature of AI research will become clearer.

 Antarctica: Continued Cooperation?

Grant Speer

Often times, when we hear mention of Antarctica, we think of a desolate, freezing environment at the bottom of the world. In reality, Antarctica has a rich history of exploration and science. It even was on the brink of becoming a war zone in the 1950s due to its location and resources. A treaty, that is still in effect today, was signed and thus prevented a war. As the world around us is evolving with the resurgence of Russia and rise of China, the peace of Antarctica is threatened. The uncertain road ahead for Antarctica will surely be of extreme importance in the near future and will likely have lasting global affects.

Best Overall Submission

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $800.

Human Trafficking: A Major Issue for the US

Mark Vowels II

Human trafficking is a serious problem in the United States. The U.S. ranks within the top three for countries of origin for victims of human trafficking (U.S. Department of State, 2019). Alarmingly, 85% of victims in the U.S. are American born citizens (Keiper & Chiaramonte, 2019). While public awareness of the issue increases, less action is being taken by the government to stop it. In 2018, there were fewer investigations started or prosecuted than in years past. Furthermore, federal aid to victims of sex and labor trafficking also seemed to decline (U.S. Department of State, 2019). Offenders of human trafficking are able to exploit poor communication between law enforcement agencies and a lack of education on the subject to avoid arrest and prosecution (Desilet, 2019). Human trafficking threatens vital domestic institutions, such as the foster care system, provides a large source of income to cartels, and further complicates the immigration crisis.

trophy for best overall submission

The 2020 Gold Star Journal features beautiful photographs taken by the following students:

  • Shiloh Brooks, 2020, History Major.
  • James Jeffcoat, 2022, Mechanical Engineering Major.
  • Garrett Saylor, 2022, Mechanical Engineering Major.
  • Taylor Sterba, 2022, Political Science and Spanish Major.

 The 2020 edition was made possible by donations from the following individuals and groups:

  • The Daniel Library
  • Dr. and Mrs. Samuel M. Hines, Jr., Emeritus Provost and Dean of The College.
  • Dr. Suzanne T. Mabrouk and Mr. Stephen S. Jones.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Phillip V. Manning, Class of 1958.

The Gold Star Journal Excellence Award, which provides funds towards to the Student Awards, was made possible by donations from:

Dr. and Mrs. James F. Boyd, Class of 1971.

GSJ donation button

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