COLUMBIA, S.C. — Undergraduate student researchers from South Carolina’s private colleges and universities showcased their 2022 project findings at the Feb. 16 SCICU Research Symposium hosted by Milliken & Company at their Spartanburg corporate headquarters.
Twenty-nine undergraduates representing 10 SCICU colleges and universities presented research findings at the 2023 symposium. Project topics ranged from the hard sciences of biology and chemistry to art history, interior design, and cultural heritage of Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown County, S.C. Students presented their findings via 10-minute multi-media presentations or four-minute poster presentations.
“The Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program and Symposium give students the rare opportunity to conduct graduate level research and present it in a professional setting,” said Jeff Perez, SCICU president and CEO. “We’re deeply grateful for the faculty members who work with the students and mentor them.”
2023 marked the eighth research symposium Milliken has hosted for SCICU, but the relationship between the two organizations is decades-long. Since SCICU’s founding in 1953, Milliken has supported South Carolina’s private college advocacy organization. Former president and CEO Roger Milliken was named a SCICU Life Trustee in 1991 commemorating his many years of service on the SCICU board. In recent years, Milliken’s support of SCICU aligns with the company’s core values of excellence, innovation, and people.
The special relationship between SCICU and Milliken is especially important in undergraduate research. The Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation provided the original $50,000 in seed money to start the SCICU Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research program in 1995.
“We at SCICU are grateful for our long relationship with Milliken & Company,” said Perez. “Over the years, Milliken has provided more than $4 million in support to SCICU for member colleges and universities. Milliken’s work with our undergraduate research program has helped many SCICU students gain their first exposure to professional research and presentations, experience which will serve them well in post-graduate career development.”
The February 2023 SCICU Research Symposium is the culmination of year-long research projects conducted during 2022 by SCICU students. Research project funding is awarded through a process very similar to that of professional grants. Students and their faculty mentors submit project proposals to a faculty subject-area expert panel, and the panel independently selects projects for funding by the SCICU Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program.
Milliken’s Chief Marketing Officer Danna Vetter welcomed SCICU students and faculty to the company’s Customer Center for the Feb. 16 symposium. Vetter also serves on the SCICU Board of Trustees.
“Our team at Milliken is fueled by the promise of delivering innovations that will make the world a better place,” said Vetter. “We’re proud to partner with SCICU in support of the next generation of researchers who are the future of our critical work.”
SCICU also thanks the following donors for their generous support of the 2022 Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Program and the 2023 Research Symposium:
- Allegiance Industries
- Belle W. Baruch Foundation
- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
- Lee Bryan
- Daniel-Mickel Foundation
- Milliken & Company
- Mills B. Lane Foundation
- SCICU Endowment Fund
- S.C. Student Loan Corporation
- Varsity Health
“Generous donors and supporters helped SCICU award more than $98,000 in support to student research projects conducted in 2022,” said Eddie Shannon, SCICU executive vice president.
SCICU also celebrated the 2023 Research Symposium via social media. Please click here to follow SCICU’s Twitter coverage of the presentations. Additional coverage for the Feb. 16 SCICU Research Symposium is also available on the SCICU Facebook page.
SCICU has already issued a call for grants for the 2023 research cycle. Students and faculty mentors seeking funding for research projects are required to submit proposals to SCICU by March 10. For additional information, please contact Brenda Torrence at SCICU (email@example.com, 803-799-7122).