SCICU Undergraduate Research Program Has Multi-Generational Impact Among Students and Faculty

Dr. Marlee Marsh (3rd from right) and Dr. Edna Steele (2nd from right) with student researchers at the SCICU 2017 Research Symposium

Dr. Marlee Marsh and Columbia College students Michaela McElveen, Peyton Lee, Anna Outlaw and Michelle Troup recently participated in the South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU) Research Symposium and were recognized for their student/faculty mentored research.

The SCICU Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program was started in 1995 to give students opportunities to participate in professional research projects.  However, the far-reaching impact of this program spans generations through both students and faculty at SCICU member colleges and universities.
Marlee Marsh was the first Converse College student to be awarded a research grant in SCICU’s Undergraduate Research Program.  At that time, Marsh conducted her research under the mentorship of Dr. Edna Steele, an assistant professor of biology and member of the Converse faculty since 1997.  Marsh graduated from Converse in 2002, earned her doctorate at Clemson, and joined the Columbia College faculty in 2012.
Fast forward to 2017, and Dr. Marsh and Dr. Steele meet again at the 2017 SCICU Research Symposium on February 23, 2017 at Milliken & Company in Spartanburg.  Both professors  sponsored and mentored students in the 2016 SCICU Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program and accompanied their students to the 2017 SCICU Research Symposium.
Dr. Marsh stated that “I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for [my undergraduate research with Dr. Steele]. I wasn’t considering being a college professor, but Dr. Steele encouraged me to research with her over the summer. Because of it I went to grad school and learned that I enjoyed teaching. I ended up doing what she’s doing, at a women’s college teaching and mentoring young scientists. I still consider her a mentor and we correspond regularly.”
Dr. Steele was proud to see her protégé’s students carrying on the lineage of mentored research.   “Alumnae like her are how I measure my success.”
In addition to sponsoring and mentoring students in research projects, Dr. Marsh was selected to receive Columbia College’s 2016 SCICU Excellence In Teaching Award.