News - Magazine Features Innovation in the Sciences at Greenville College

Magazine Features Innovation in the Sciences at Greenville College

By Carla Morris

The innovative efforts of professors Hyung Choi and Dongxue Zhao to build and restore equipment in science labs on campus were recently featured in the August issue of Private University Products and News (PUPN).

The article titled “Do-It-Yourself Instruments Enable Top-Flight Research by Undergrads” spotlights the cost savings of rescuing castoff equipment and building as an alternative, in some cases, to buying. It also highlights the extraordinary benefits for students who engage in the process.

Putting advanced instruments in the hands of students is a hallmark of science education at Greenville College thanks to innovative thinking, plus generous donations from supporters for the purchase of new equipment, and donations as well of new equipment from businesses.


Innovation Worth Repeating

The article comes on the heels of encouraging numbers for this fall’s enrollment in GC’s newly expanded engineering program, another innovative enterprise. Twenty-three freshman have enrolled.

“That is more than twice the size we had last year,” observes Choi, program director. He reports that the program is also attracting top caliber students. For example, a good number of the 23 enrollees are McAllaster Honors Scholars.

Engineering students in prior years studied under partnerships that GC maintains with University of Illinois-Urbana and Washington University-St. Louis. While these very successful dual degree programs continue, this fall, GC has added another option with its own program leading to a bachelor of science in engineering.

Delivering What Students Want – A Team Effort

While the PUPN article focuses on innovation, the real star according to Choi is collaboration from the far reaches of our college community. He is grateful for:

  • donors like alumnus Charles McPherson ’85, who fully engaged in creating a strategic initiative fund for engineering that made lab renovations possible and provided for staffing;
  • partners like Newport Corporation that supplied new lab equipment, and
  • collaborators from across campus including the College’s Briner School of Business, University Pathways English learning program and staff in the College's facilities, information technology, athletics and admissions offices.

Creative Reconfiguration

Just as Choi and Zhao found creative ways to put advanced instruments in the hands of undergraduates, they also borrowed elements and teaching talent from existing programs to build marketable majors like environmental engineering and engineering management.

The result? A show of do-it-yourself ingenuity that warrants applause not just from folks who value innovation, but from today's engineering students who reap the benefits of all that creativity and collaboration.

Read the full PUPN article here and more about the sciences at GC here:

Expanding Our Heritage of Scientific Exploration & Innovation

Quantum Leap

Elle Shaw Claims Top Honors at Commencement

Kirk Pearce Awarded With 2015 President’s Citation

With your gift today, you too can collaborate with professors Choi and Zhao and their entire assembly of engineering champions to deliver learning experiences that enrich, empower and endure. Click here to give.

This story was published on September 12, 2016

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