Clark College Faculty Speaker Series

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Clark College Faculty Speaker Series

Teaching Opportunities -- with an International Flavor

Coordinators Veronica Brock and Gail Liberman congratulate English professor Joe Pitkin, the first presenter in the college’s new Faculty Speaker Series.

Left to right:  Coordinators Veronica Brock and Gail Liberman congratulate English professor Joe Pitkin, the first presenter in the college’s new Faculty Speaker Series.

The focus was on teaching opportunities with an international flavor as English professor Joe Pitkin became the first presenter in the new Clark College Faculty Speaker Series.  Speaking in the Penguin Student Lounge on March 5, Pitkin shared memories and photos from his Fulbright teaching exchange experience in the Republic of Hungary.  

Student Laurel Hill said she “thoroughly enjoyed the event.”  English Professor Geneva Chao said, “In his talk on a Fulbright year in Hungary, Joe Pitkin underscored the importance of the program for the opportunities it offers us to be cultural ambassadors to other nations, while providing practical advice to faculty who are considering the program. Joe's engaging presentation highlighted the personal insight he gained during the experience of this ‘best year of my life,’ which he said was immeasurably valuable for his entire family. His talk truly opened up a world of possibility for other members of the Clark community.”

English Professor Geneva Chao (holding her child), Vice President of Instruction Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd, Executive Dean of Planning and Advancement Candy Bennett and Clark College President Bob Knight.

Left to right:  English Professor Geneva Chao (holding her child), Vice President of Instruction Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd, Executive Dean of Planning and Advancement Candy Bennett and Clark College President Bob Knight.

Gail Liberman, coordinator of the college’s Teaching and Learning Center, said, “The Faculty Speaker Series was designed to showcase faculty contributions to the college, community and the world. Joe’s presentation launching the Faculty Speaker Series was an impressive example of faculty reaching and exceeding this goal. As Joe talked about how this international experience transformed his teaching, I could see why he is held in high esteem by his colleagues and students.”

Health and Physical Education professor Veronica Brock, who partnered with Gail Liberman to establish the series, said “It’s exciting to see the faculty’s accomplishments showcased through this series.  I think Joe’s presentation did more than provide information about the Fulbright process and his experience in Hungary.  It opened another way to bring this college together and connect the people here.”

The Faculty Speaker Series was established by Clark College with support from the Clark College Foundation.  It honors individual faculty members and celebrates academic excellence.   

Dr. Sylvia Thornburg, interim Dean of Instructional Planning and Operations, and Miles Jackson, interim Dean of Social Sciences and Fine Arts, were among those attending the event.

Dr. Sylvia Thornburg, interim Dean of Instructional Planning and Operations, and Miles Jackson, interim Dean of Social Sciences and Fine Arts, were among those attending the event.

Each fall, winter and spring quarter, the Faculty Speaker Series will showcase recent experiences that have enriched both the life and teaching of a Clark faculty member.  Throughout the series, faculty members will share their developmental experiences with the college community – and members of the community at large – while addressing some of today’s most intriguing issues. 

Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd, Clark College Vice President of Instruction, said “The Clark College Faculty Speaker Series is a wonderful opportunity to share the expertise of our faculty members with our college and the greater community.”  

About Joe Pitkin and the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program  

English professor Joe PitkinJoe Pitkin joined the English department of Clark College in 2000. He holds degrees from Utah State University in liberal arts and from New Mexico State University in English.  He is presently completing a degree in environmental science from Washington State University Vancouver. In addition to his work as a teacher, Joe Pitkin is a poet, novelist, and member of the rock band The Gravitropes.

The Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program provides opportunities for qualified educators to participate in direct exchanges of positions with colleagues from other countries for six weeks, a semester, or a full academic year. In exchanging positions with foreign teachers or administrators, program participants have the opportunity to live and work in the cultures of their host countries, an experience which has benefits for the teachers, their schools, and their communities.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program has helped nearly 23,000 teachers and administrators contribute to mutual understanding between the United States and countries around the world.


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