CLEMSON – “I don’t even know how to put into words what a tremendous impact Clemson had on my life,” said Clarice Seifert Clemmens (B.S. 2005-Biochemistry), a successful pediatric otolaryngologist and faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston.
As a student, Clemmens played cello in the campus orchestra; participated in the Clemson National Scholars program, Calhoun Honors College, Dixon Fellows, and Genetics and Biochemistry Club; and was a member of the women’s varsity soccer team.
She also conducted research in the lab of Biochemistry professor Jim Morris, a leading expert on the Trypanosome parasite that causes African sleeping sickness, and she contributed to a chapter in the book , “Trypanosomes: After the Genome,” with Morris, biochemistry associate professor Meredith Morris, and others.
In fact, Clemmens considers the time she spent working with the Morrises a major highlight of her undergraduate career.
“The progress I made and techniques I learned from working with them were huge,” she said. “They were fabulous mentors, and this may sound cliché, but they changed my life.”
Clemmens’ positive experience at Clemson had a big impact on her younger brother Bryce Seifert, who followed in her footsteps, enrolling in 2003.
After graduating from Clemson, Clemmens enrolled in medical school at MUSC, graduating in 2009. She then completed an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) residency at the University of Pennsylvania followed by a one-year fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
In 2015, she and her husband Matthew ( BS 2006 – Mechanical Engineering), whom she’d met at Clemson, moved to Charleston, where she joined the faculty of MUSC and began practicing as a pediatric ENT doctor with an emphasis on neonatal airway disorders and thyroid disease.
“I really enjoy teaching and being a part of the academic medical environment,” she said. “When I went to medical school at MUSC, I dreamed of returning to Charleston to join the faculty at MUSC. I’m honored and proud to be where we are.”
She and her husband have three young children. In their spare time they enjoy outdoor activities, traveling, and the famous Charleston food scene.
Advice for current Clemson students
- Set goals early and take the appropriate steps academically to prepare yourself to be a competitive applicant for any sort of career.
- Get involved in extra-curricular activities. As a faculty member at MUSC, Clemmens interviews residency candidates. “On paper, everyone looks good academically, but we look for those things that set an applicant apart from the rest of the crowd,” she noted.
- Maintain balance in your life by doing things outside of academics to alleviate stress.
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