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Editor's Note: Barbara Clark is the 2012-13 chair of the ASU Alumni Association's board of directors and National Alumni Council.
What personal qualities do you think were most strongly developed in you during your years as a Sun Devil?
I think my time at ASU honed my skill of persistence. I was a single mother, working part time and working on my master's degree, so school could not be like it was when I was an undergraduate. Staying focused on the outcome – completion – was critical. I was also most fortunate to have some extraordinary instructors, who taught me more about learning.
How did your education at ASU further your career/business?
I was most fortunate to be able to work on an "interdisciplinary" degree before they were even labeled as such. My advisor helped me develop a schedule that was tailored to the undergraduate degree I had (education) and the field I knew I had to move into (business). The degree program that resulted from that schedule was a combination of education and public relations, which was the exact skill set required for the work I subsequently did for Motorola as its education manager for Arizona.
How have you been involved with ASU since you graduated?
Prior to my involvement with the Alumni Association my involvement with ASU was primarily directed by my work. I was responsible for building relationships with education systems to help them know and understand the requirements of the business world. This was in the early ‘90s, before education and business were so involved in partnerships.
My work was primarily with the (at the time) College of Engineering, and we built and strengthened programs to attract students to the college. Much of the work was with underserved populations, so we frequently had our Motorola employees volunteer with students at ASU and students from high school and elementary schools that were involved in those programs.
Why have you chosen to be a member of the Alumni Association?
Actually, it was a work colleague of mine, Jeff Patrick, a past president of the Alumni Association, who talked to me about becoming a member of the Alumni Association’s board of directors. As part of that process, I became a member of the Alumni Association.
I think I am probably like a lot of graduates, who get so busy with their family and work life that, unless they are already involved in a specific area of the university (like sports or mentoring), just take for granted that we are "alums,” and neglect to seal the deal by actually joining. During my tenure on the Board I have come to value the commitment and attachment that members of the Alumni Association have for ASU.
Tell us about your involvement with the ASU Alumni Association board of directors.
I am very grateful that Jeff Patrick thought enough of me to believe I could add value to the work the board does. During my time on the Board I have read scholarship applications for the Medallion Scholarship program; served on the Advocacy Committee, Nominating Committee, and worked with the Committee on Alumni Constituencies, an inspiring group of people who stay attached to ASU from their diverse geographic locations.
Working on the Founders' Day committee while on the board is the activity that has probably brought me the most pleasure. Since 2006, the event has grown to become the Alumni Association’s signature spring event; it has benefitted from a partnership with the ASU Foundation; and the recognition the awards provide to faculty, staff, alumni, and community members has become quite prestigious. The remarkable work of those who are nominated for the awards makes it very difficult to select only one recipient per category. These awardees are a real credit to ASU and our community.
What advice would you give to today’s ASU students?
Stay authentic, act to your core values, and maintain your integrity at all costs.