By Zack Bennett
Marielle Fallon, of Woodruff, always knew she wanted to attend Lander University. “Lander was the only college I applied to,” she said. She first noticed the University while tagging along during her brother’s college tours.
“I immediately considered this as an option for myself,” said Fallon. “When I toured this school as a senior I was greeted with the same warm welcome I was given five years prior, and I knew that this would be my home.”
Fallon chose to study biology because it “provided me with not only a lot of my prerequisites for occupational therapy school, but also a hands-on learning approach which is something I was excited about.”
She would eventually see a job posting for a science lab assistant and apply, even though “I was not actively looking for a job.” Fallon loves the “hands-on” aspect of biology and the chance to help others and saw the perfect chance to do both with this role. Her responsibilities vary, but she’s often mixing chemicals, filling test tubes and “things of that nature.”
Fallon’s commitment to success was highlighted when she was nominated to serve as Lander University’s representative on the South Carolina Higher Education Student Advisory Committee. She had the opportunity to speak with students from across the state to learn about the adversities they faced on campus, especially during COVID-19. “When we were able to meet in person for the SCHE Day at the State House, I felt as if my voice was heard by our state representatives,” she said.
Her biggest focus during the meeting was mental health. “This was a common concern among several colleges and since then, Lander has had more opportunities to spread mental health awareness via the Wellness Center,” she said. “Knowing that the SCHE Committee stands for positive impacts on students’ experiences in South Carolina made me comfortable sharing issues.”
Back on campus, Fallon is a member of one of the University’s newest initiatives: the Student Liaison program. “Being a Student Liaison has been one of my favorite involvements on campus,” she said. Being a Liaison gives her a chance to be the voice for students who wish to be heard. “This position allows me to make intentional connections with students from all different walks of life and in all different disciplines of study, all while making sure that they are enjoying every second of their college experience.”
Prior to taking on the challenge of becoming a Liaison, Fallon spent her time as a Peer Leader through LINK 101. “I feel like being a Peer Leader has helped me transition into my role as a Liaison,” said Fallon. “I was able to connect with freshmen during my LINK section, so now I feel like I’m doing something similar with a bigger group.”
All of her time and effort have not gone unnoticed. Fallon has been the recipient of Student Life Awards in back-to-back years. “It was truly an honor to be recognized for my hard work, dedication to Lander and my passion for leading others,” she said. “I feel as though I am truly embracing civility, community and citizenship.”