Dr. Barbara Clark has chosen to teach at Averett for the last 20 years because she values the relationships that the faculty members have with their students.
At Cornell University, where she taught for two years, it was assumed that all of the students would do well, both at the university and beyond, regardless of how they interacted with the faculty. "At Averett," Clark says, "we really have the chance to make a personal difference in their lives."
She adds that the Averett faculty members are very approachable, encouraging students to turn to them for help, and very aware of the fact that different students have different learning styles.
Clark also has taught at Washington and Lee University, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Wake Forest University … but she has chosen to stay at Averett, living in the appealing small town of Danville, since 1992.
That does not mean that she's always in town. Clark and her colleagues have been on multiple international trips with Averett students — including to Finland, Costa Rica and Russia — and her professional work has taken her to many cities in the U.S. and in other countries.
So far, Clark has studied and/or made academic presentations in Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, England, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Spain and Cuba.
"I have always been interested in other countries, other cultures," she says. "One of the appealing things about Averett is that our students come from all over the United States and all over the world. They often speak multiple languages, and they provide diversity to the campus."
Clark recalls one student who had been home-schooled in the mountains of Arkansas and had gone on a mission trip to Africa. "She came here for the aviation program, and she took a lot of Spanish courses. She met a student here from Finland, and they're married now — they've adopted kids from Brazil, and they're planning to take the whole family to live in Africa. She'll be a bush pilot and do missionary work."
The way Professor Clark says it, relishing the details, you wonder if she might not visit Africa herself someday.
Doctor of Philosophy, Latin American literature, minor in Brazilian language and literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Spanish and Latin American Literature, Spanish and Latin American History, Spanish and Latin American Film
Embassy of Spain Scholarship for post-doctoral study at the University of Granada, 2004
"Jorge Enrique Adoum," Dictionary of Literary Biography: Latin American Poets, Vol. 1, 2004