Two Degrees, No Separation

Father and son graduate on the same day

A father and son graduated in May 2016 at Savannah State. And there’s a good chance that Marcelo Meis worked on the same robotic arm that captured his son Daniel’s biomedical research sent to the International Space Station (ISS).

Before moving to Savannah, Marcelo worked in aerospace engineering in their native Toronto, Canada. One of his projects was a space station remote manipular system that has numerous functions including work on the exterior of the ISS and to grab deliveries from Earth.

Twenty years later, Daniel signed up to work on genetic research that would be sent to the ISS. He helped synthesize the proteins that would be observed in the weightless environment and help NASA determine aspects of astronaut health during long missions.

“I wanted to do it anyway,” Daniel says, “but especially because dad worked on a NASA project.” The two have a friendly rivalry.

Daniel, a biology major, graduated with a 4.0 and headed to medical school. His father Marcelo, earned his MBA with a 4.0 as well. They joke that they are constantly comparing their grades, trying to outdo one another.


After graduating from college, Marcelo says, he got a job and started working. “When Daniel found out that I wanted to get an MBA he said, ‘Why are you making excuses?’ He said, ‘You can do it. It’s part time, after work.’ He was right.”

Marcelo enrolled in the pre-MBA program, which he says gave him a good understanding of what graduate school would be like. “I’d been out of school for awhile. It was a heavy workload but I learned how to manage time.”

He hopes the advanced degree will allow him to take on a project management role at Boeing where he currently works. He is an engineer in the tooling department where he devises ways to get the massive airplane parts around the plant.

As for Daniel, he is focused on medicine. “I interned at Gulfstream in flight control, so I gave engineering a try but when I shadowed a research project I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Biology came naturally to me.”