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Arnold School of Public Health

Staff Spotlight: Chase Ferch

May 12, 2023 | Erin Bluvas,

“I’ve always loved learning and being in an educational setting, and I’ve prided myself in being an excellent student no matter where I went,” says Chase Ferch, grant administrator for the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a USC alumnus. “I knew I wanted to stay in the world of academia and what better place to do it other than my alma mater.”

Originally from South Florida, Ferch finished high school in Hilton Head and studied business at nearby USC Beaufort. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Ferch and some friends moved to Columbia in 2015 for a fresh start in a new city.

He quickly found a position at South Carolina, managing the SmartState Center for Rational Catalyst Synthesis in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He spent five years in the role, completing the university’s GRANT Certificate Program along the way.

“The Center grew leaps and bounds while I was employed there,” Ferch says. “Now well into Phase 2 and beginning Phase 3, it is a thriving source of knowledge and funding due to a great foundation and management.” 

Leaving the Center in good hands, he made the move to the Arnold School in late 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, and it was an unusual environment for starting a new job.

I knew I wanted to stay in the world of academia and what better place to do it other than my alma mater.

Chase Ferch

“It was definitely an interesting transition into the job when I hadn’t met any of the faculty in the department in person until well within eight months after being hired,” Ferch says. “Learning through a computer monitor can be quite a challenge compared to learning on the job in an office environment.”

Perseverance and a collegial atmosphere carried the department through the remaining mitigation measures, and everyone was back together by mid-2021. Over the past three years, he has become an integral part of the team.

"We are so fortunate to have Chase as key member of our department’s team," says chair Anthony Alberg. "He has been right at the center of things, staying steady and calm, overseeing grant submissions during a time when we experienced unprecedented growth in our research funding. Further, Chase was invaluable during this semester when we were short staffed, cheerfully performing 'other duties as needed' to help us make it through.”

As the department’s grant administrator, Ferch oversees the pre-award and post-award management for all grant funding. He also handles logistics such as travel assistance, reimbursement, purchasing, and other daily activities.

“I’ve truly enjoyed being a part of the USC family during my time here, especially here at the Arnold School,” Ferch says. “Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful to my personal and professional growth. I look forward to many more years of continued success for the department, school and university as a whole. As everyone says, ‘Forever to Thee.’”

The Staff Spotlight Series is sponsored by the Arnold School's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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