It was a real achievement when student Andrew Falendysz graduated from the Clemson University Honors College — an achievement that was made even better when he watched his mother earn that same honor. As an honors graduate and the mother of an honors graduate, this Tiger is uniquely positioned to give students the encouragement, advice and guidance they need to excel in this prestigious program.
Meet Susan Falendysz.
Title: Honors admissions coordinator and interim director of the EUREKA! program
Years at Clemson: 14.5
What I do at Clemson: I manage student admissions for the Clemson University Honors College, mostly on the technical side. I have a lot of contact with prospective students, parents and high school administrators. I also serve as the director of the EUREKA! program, which is a residential, early-start research program for rising first-year students.
What I love about Clemson: Clemson has allowed me to stretch my wings and expand my career more than I ever dreamed I could. I love that this is a place I can be proud of when people ask me where I work. We have amazing students who accomplish so much while they are here and once they leave. We have caring administrators, faculty and staff members who strive to see others succeed and to keep the Clemson spirit alive.
My defining moment at Clemson: Honestly, I’ve had several of these moments over the last 14 years, but the one that stands out is when the former director of the Honors College came to me and asked if I would be interested in helping to develop an honors application and admissions process. More than a decade later, I still manage the technical side of the Honors College application and admissions review process, which now involves an evaluation team of roughly 50 people. The Honors College is currently boasting its strongest first-year student class ever enrolled, with an average SAT score of over 1480 and a high school unweighted GPA of 3.94. It’s so rewarding to be just a small part of what makes Clemson strong and special.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I like to think of it as grateful rather than proud. I’m grateful that my life’s path has given me a husband of 39 years and two children who are gainfully employed and living on their own. I’m also grateful that my destiny included moving from Wisconsin to South Carolina in 1996 (I’d never even heard of Clemson until moving here). That leads me to my final point of gratefulness: without the encouragement and inspiration from those around me in the Honors College, I never would have been brave enough to pursue and complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree as a non-traditional student.
Where I see myself in five years: I’m sure I’ll still be working in the Honors College and enjoying working with prospective students and their families, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about December 2027, which is when I plan to retire.
Last thing I watched on TV: I don’t often watch live TV, but record Dateline NBC, 48 Hours, and the Chicago series (Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD).
Guilty pleasure: Heading to Atlanta to attend machine embroidery events with my tribe of Atlanta friends.
One thing most people don’t know about me: I’m uniquely qualified to speak to prospective students and their families because I have been a parent of a Clemson honors student (admitted before I was hired), an honors employee, and, later, an honors student! I know what it’s like to watch a child progress through everything honors, from move-in day to the honors award ceremony. As an honors employee, I can provide prospective students and families “insider” resources to help them navigate the Clemson undergraduate experience. Finally, as a former honors student, I’ve actually enrolled in honors coursework, and have personally experienced the challenges and benefits available to honors students.
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