Sue Lasser, academic enhancement counselor for the PEER/WISE programs in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, is the staff award recipient of the 2020 Thomas Green Clemson Award for Excellence.
Presented to a staff member whose service is exemplary, the award includes a plaque and a cash award. Honorees’ names are recorded on a perpetual plaque in the R.M. Cooper Library. The library also receives money to be used to purchase books related to the recipient’s department.
Lasser co-founded PEER – Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention – in 1987 and served as its director for 28 years. The mission of PEER & WISE – Women in Science and Engineering – is to educate, recruit and retain underrepresented populations in STEM fields through mentoring, academic coaching, counseling and academic enrichment.
Lasser stepped down in July of 2015, but she continues to serve PEER & WISE on a part-time basis as a personal counselor and study coach.
In 1996, she was among the first winners of the national Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring; in 2005, she was honored by Clemson with the Martin Luther King Service Award.
Lasser is a National Certified Counselor and just ended a four-year term as co-faculty-in-residence with her husband, William Lasser, in the Clemson Honors Residential College.
“I am so honored to receive this award,” Lasser said. “My mentor and PEER co-founder, Dr. Bob Snelsire, and the students who helped me create PEER over nearly three decades were part of something revolutionary. Under [Director] Serita Acker’s leadership, it continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our students.”
Of Lasser, Acker said, “I think she is somebody that needs to go down in Clemson history for all the work she has done to support Clemson’s diversity and inclusion efforts.”
In her letter nominating Lasser for the award, Acker shared: “During her tenure at Clemson University she has transformed the lives of countless students, staff, and faculty. Lasser has created a safe space of community and care for our underrepresented student population. As the founder of Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention known as PEER, her legacy in the development and implementation of this mentor program will live on forever.”
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