class of 1963
inducted in 1987
Doris Reitinger Helms
Biologist & Educator
Dr. Helms graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1963, having become the Girl
Finalist in the Montgomery County Science Fair and a competitor at the
national level. Her interest in science took her to Bucknell University where she received her B.S. in biology
in 1967. She returned to Cheltenham for one semester to teach biology, before continuing her
education and earning a Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Georgia in 1973. It was at this time that Dr.
Helms began her long association with Clemson University in South Carolina. During her years as a Professor of
Biology and head of the Biology Program, the enrollment increased from 400 to
1500 students. Although promoted to Associate Dean of Instruction in 1988,
she still teaches biology.
Helms has used her knowledge not only to continue
biological research, but also to develop realistic learning aids for science
teachers at all levels. In 1982, in honor of her efforts in science
education, the South Carolina Science Council developed the Doris Reitinger Helms Award for Exceptional Service to Science
Dr. Helms is now a member of the College Board Science Advisory Committee and
serves as a Chief Reader in Advanced Placement Biology for the Educational
Testing Service. She now lives in Clemson, South Carolina with her husband and two children.