Introducing Pamela Clark, the well-known and well-loved director of student services and admissions at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Educational background: B.A. Elementary Education, University of Evansville; M.S. Adult Education, Indiana University; Certificate of Distance Education, Indiana University
Work experience: 4-H, Ivy Tech Community College, various admissions and advising roles with IUPUI University College, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, and IU School of Dentistry
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college, so I ended up majoring in elementary education,” Clark said. “There were zero teaching jobs when I graduated, so I worked at 4-H. Then, I started working for Ivy Tech in admissions and high school relations. That was my introduction to higher education. I realized how much I enjoyed it, especially advising.”
Responsibilities: “Basically any student needs are handled through our department. I work with any kind of student event. Commencement, student competitions, mentoring events where we connect students with mentors, orientations. I do advising for the undergraduate program, graduate certificate, and master’s program. I manage the recruitment process and sit on the admissions committee for master’s and graduate certificate students. I meet with people interested in hosting our interns and who want to learn more about the internship program. I also work with organizations to match and place graduate assistants.”
Teaching role: In addition to her admissions and student services role, Clark also teaches two freshmen seminars to incoming IUPUI students.
“One of them is through a themed learning community, and it’s called ‘Philanthropy: It’s not just for Millionaires!’ Through this class, we want to raise awareness about the school and get people involved with philanthropy, as well as help them learn about campus resources and support them through their first semester in college.
“The other is one that all of the incoming philanthropic studies major students take, although students interested in community service can also take it. It’s called ‘Jags Give Back!’ We just had a really cool grant making project that we finished. We had $2,500 to award to student organizations on campus who are trying to do an activity or an event to build campus community. Those organizations had to apply for it and then our students reviewed the grant applications. Then, they selected three finalists and those finalists came to class to present. We had a very heated discussion about it and ended up awarding all three organizations a part of the grant. I enjoy teaching and being in the classroom.”
Best part of her job: “The students by far. Out of any part of my job, I enjoy advising the most because you really get to know the students well. You feel like you have a purpose and you’re helping and encouraging them.”
Hardest part: “Recruitment. We’re still a new school and the idea of a philanthropic studies major is new and different. However, that’s what also makes us so special. Our students make us stand out. Their whole purpose in life is to make the world a better place. They are the most positive group of students I’ve ever been around in my life, and they just radiate an outlook that’s different. They’re feel-good kind of students, and that’s true from the undergraduates all the way up through the Ph.D. candidates.”
School’s impact: “Sometimes, I come in and think ‘this is just routine work,’ but don’t think about the impact this school has. Students can take classes with top experts in the field who are researching the latest issues and advising top-level organizations and people. The work this school is doing is groundbreaking; there is nothing like it. We’re about the big picture and big ideas and innovating new kinds of approaches to teaching and learning. For example, Dr. Kathi Badertscher is teaching a class that is also happening in China at the same time and the students interact. That’s really incredible and unique. Sometimes I just think, ‘wow, I work here.’ ”
Fun fact: “My daughter Mady is the light of my life. I enjoy spending time with my family. I love my two dogs, Ozzy and Mr. Darcy, and I love to read, especially crime thrillers. I also enjoy doing Zumba.”
If you walk around the third floor of University Hall, you’ll see many students, faculty, and staff supporting Clark-made jewelry.
“I love jewelry-making – I have my own craft room for it!” She also hosts jewelry fundraisers that support local organizations.
Abby Rolland is the blog content coordinator for the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.