Our Staff

Michelle Smith
Executive Director of Institutional Research 

Michelle Smith

Michelle Eleazer Smith joined the Office of Institutional Research in January 1994 as a Statistician. She is now the Executive Director of Institutional Research. She has established extensive OIR data marts needed for decision support and for official unit-record reporting to the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. Michelle produces financial and enrollment projection models, and serves as a campus resource for data integrity, data standards and reporting solutions. She is a SAS programming expert and experienced Tableau dashboard developer.

Michelle is a College of Charleston alumnus, receiving her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Mathematics in 1991 and 1992, respectively, with emphases in computer programming, accounting, and statistics. Her first position at the College after graduating was the Budget Analyst for the Dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics, which she held until hired in OIR in 1994.  Michelle received the ExCEL President Alex Sanders Outstanding Public Service Award in 2013.

Contact Information

E-mail: smithm@cofc.edu
Office Location: Randolph Hall, Room 106E


Marissa Wheeler
Assistant Director, Reporting and Data Management photo

Marissa came to IR after demonstrating her skill in reporting applications in the Office of Admissions. She has developed quickly to become the lead for regulatory reporting and data integrity tasks. She collaborates across the institution to grow the College’s self-service reporting capabilities, putting data directly into the hands of consumers.

Marissa graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Economics. After working in nonprofit fundraising in DC, Marissa came to Charleston in 2019 as an AmeriCorps volunteer serving the homeless. She is interested in data for impactful philanthropy. Marissa enjoys reading, cooking, and playing with her mini Australian Shepherd Coco.

Contact Information

Email:  wheelermg@cofc.edu
Office Location: Randolph Hall, Room 106B

Kate Anderson
Institutional Research Data Architectcoming soon

Kate joined the office in July 2023, coming from Towson University in Maryland. She graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s in Communications, and received a Master’s degree in Applied Information Technology, focusing on Database Administration, from Towson University. Kate started in institutional research at Towson in 2013 and worked her way up to Senior Research Analyst being responsible for various regulatory requests, as well as assisting with enrollment planning and capturing data for official reporting. Prior to TU, Kate had gotten started in data analysis at Arbitron, which handled radio ratings data.

Kate was born and raised in Maryland and relocated to South Carolina with her husband and 2 children, as well as their black lab Maggie. In her spare time she enjoys beach visits, reading, and exploring the historic sites of South Carolina.

Contact Information

Email:  andersonk10@cofc.edu
Office Location: Randolph Hall, Room 106F


Susanne Nelson
Data and Reporting Analystsusanne nelson

Susanne has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. She has been working in higher education since 1997.  During that time, she has worked at the University of South Carolina, Piedmont Technical College and Newberry College.  She has experience with working in Financial Aid, Human Resources, and the Business/Finance office but has spent over the last 13 years in Institutional Research and Effectiveness. 

Susanne has extensive experience in data research, data mining, and data analysis. She has worked with IPEDS reporting, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education-CHEMIS reporting, the National Post-Secondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), and Anthology (formerly Campus Labs). She has worked with multiple external survey reports, such as US News and World Report. In the last few years, she worked at Newberry, she researched and analyzed the methodology each year for US News Best Colleges and helped them stay at #10 for Best College-Regional South.

Contact Information

Email:  nelsons3@cofc.edu
Office Location: Randolph Hall, Room 106A

Vacant -

Senior Statistician and Data Analyst