Who’s Who on Campus: Meet Provost Dr. Christina Clark


Briana Ryan, Editor-in-Chief

There’s a new face in the Academic Affairs department this year.

Over the summer, Marywood’s Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Christina Clark to the position of Provost formerly held by Dr. Susan Turell. Marywood President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D explained that it was Clark’s experience that stuck out to her during the search process.

“I’ve looked at her CV, and she has lots of experience,” said Persico. “She’s worked with faculty in several places and she’s been very successful in taking some initiatives from programs and following through on their implementation.”

Persico also noted that she believes Clark’s work as Dean of the School of Design, Arts and Humanities at Marymount University will help her at Marywood.

“She comes from Marymount, which is another school similar to ours, so she understands the culture that we have here of a small school that has a mission,” said Persico.

Clark explained that while working at Marymount, she began to seek out Provost roles because she felt it was the right time in her career. Clark said she was specifically interested in the role at Marywood because of the university’s mission.

“I was really drawn to Marywood because of its mission of holistic liberal arts education that empowers students and develops them so that they can live the best lives possible and also contribute to the common good in a time when there are so many problems affecting us,” said Clark. “I thought this is exactly the type of mission and institution that I want to help become even better at what it does.”

Clark’s road to Marywood began when she received her undergraduate degree in Classics from Georgetown University. After graduating she worked as a receptionist for a Washington D.C.-based company before moving to California to pursue a career in finance.

Clark said this early experience not only helped her to understand the merit of her education, but also helped her realize what she was truly passionate about.

“All of that proved the value of a liberal arts education. I was a Classics major and they hired me for my skills,” said Clark. “It allowed me the time to see that I could be very good in the business world, but it didn’t satisfy my soul. I didn’t want to spend my life in it.”

Clark went on to earn her master’s and doctorate degrees in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then decided to follow a career in higher education.

Clark said her desire to teach derived from the fact that she comes from a family of teachers. As a result of this experience Clark said she decided that she wanted to spend her life helping people through education.

Although Clark said she enjoyed teaching, she wanted to seek out roles that would allow her to leave a much larger impact.

“I wanted to be able to affect students, not just the ones in my classes, but on a more institutional level and so I moved into administration to allow me to do that,” said Clark. “I love to work together with my peers to improve the experience of students across the university.”

Clark explained that working as a team is a particularly important aspect to her leadership style.

“I bring a very transparent and collaborative leadership style,” said Clark. “That’s something very important to me, and I want to work at a place that wants that. I have a strong feeling of support for shared governance, working with faculty, staff and students.”

Clark also said she believes her education in the Classics will help her as Provost.

“To read Greek and Latin, you have to be very precise and logical and have a great attention to detail,” said Clark. “I can see the big picture because we studied the ancient Mediterranean world and how Greece and Rome integrated with Egypt and Mesopotamia.”

Clark said that her main goal her first year at Marywood is to learn as much as she can about the campus community.

“I want to learn the institution, the processes, the culture because I have seen over the course of my career people who come in and don’t take the time to do that and they start making decisions,” said Clark. “Before I change anything, it’s important for me to understand why a process is the way it is historically. Does it still work or should it be changed?”

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Twitter: @BrianaRyanTWW