LEEP Center More

A former basketball star and Hall of Famer. An award-winning poet. A nationally-recognized career services office. A distinguished community engagement office. An internationally-recognized study abroad office. A top-ranked innovation and entrepreneurship program. Award-winning instructors and advisors. Experts in academic advising and student development. Dedicated professionals with advanced degrees and years of experience. We are the LEEP Center.

Read below for more information on our talented and accomplished staff.

LEEP Center Advisers


Michelle Bata -LEEPCenter- Clark UniversityMichelle Bata
Associate Dean and Director of the LEEP Center

As the inaugural director of the LEEP Center—home to academic advising, career services, community engagement, study abroad, and the writing center—Michelle is responsible for efforts to engage students in opportunities outside of the classroom as well as preparing them for life after Clark.

Prior to joining the Clark community, Michelle was assistant dean and director of undergraduate research and a member of the sociology faculty at Fordham University. Michelle's scholarly interests include the impact of advising and mentorship on student professional outcomes, and how engagement in experiential opportunities impacts student learning.

Michelle has been selected to participate in NACE's Leadership Advancement Program for 2015-6. She received the Excellence in Advising award from NACADA Region 1 in 2014. Michelle received both her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Arizona. She received her A.B. in sociology and Hispanic studies from Boston College.


Jessica Bane Robert - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityJessica Bane Robert
Assistant Director of the Writing Center and Writing Program
508 793-7392

Jessica has taught for the English and Interdisciplinary departments, as well as for the Higgins School of Humanities since 2007. She currently is the Acting Director of the Writing Center and a LEEP Center Advisor. Some of Professor Robert's course offerings include Expository Writing, Creative Writing, Sense of Place: Writings of Place and Nature, and Mindful Choices.

Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and have won prizes such as the Rita Dove International Poetry Prize and the International Merit Award from the Atlanta Review. Her first chap book of poems, Scarred Seasons, was published in 2009 by Finishing Line Press and was nominated for a Mass Book Award and a Pen New England Literary Award.

Bane Robert owns the Barred Owl Retreat: A Center for Writing and Learning in Leicester, MA that provides individual and group retreats for artists, educators, and students.

As the Acting Director of the Writing Center and a member of the LEEP Center Staff, Professor Bane Robert specializes in helping students craft personal statements for graduate school and competitive proposals for grants and fellowships.


Vickie Cox-Lanyon - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityVickie Cox-Lanyon
Assistant Director of the LEEP Center and Director of Career Services

Vickie oversees the career services office including the provision of individual career counseling, coordination of workshops and online resources, and collection and dissemination of career outcome data. As assistant director of the LEEP Center, she also assists with LEEP Center programming and activities, helping to coordinate efforts across the offices of the center.

Vickie provides career and graduate school advising to students and alumni throughout their career development process. She also serves as a LEEP Center Advisor to students majoring in Psychology.

Vickie has been in the field of career services since 1997 and is a member of the National Career Development Association, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the Liberal Arts Career Network, through which she participates in annual professional development activities. She holds an MS in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and a BA in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.


Micki Davis - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityMicki Davis
Director of Community Engagement and Volunteering

Micki is responsible for the overall management of the Community Engagement Office and its goals of building a campus culture that supports community engagement and socially responsible global citizenship, both inside and outside of the curriculum. Micki works with faculty to design and implement community-based learning courses and to promote community engagement in the curriculum. Micki also oversees the Local Knowledge repository for community-based research. Micki is also the primary LEEP Center administrator for developing and supporting partnerships with nonprofit organizations in Worcester. She also serves as a LEEP Center Advisor to students that have declared a major or minor in IDCE, Sociology, Women's and Gender Studies, and Education.

Micki received her M.P.A degree from Clark University and graduated from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA with a B.A. in history. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Micki currently serves as President-Elect of the Board of Directors at the YWCA of Central Massachusetts and recently joined the Steering Committee for the Worcester Women's History Project. Prior to coming to Clark, Micki served for three years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with Massachusetts Campus Compact.

Micki is an Associate Member of the AAC&U and the Council on Undergraduate Research.


Ben Gardner - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityBen Gardner
Assistant Director of Community Engagement and Volunteering

Ben works closely with students who are involved in service outside of the classroom. In this capacity, he manages Clark’s community work-study program, serves as advisor for service-oriented student groups, oversees the Community Engagement Office’s alternative spring break programming, and develops service-leadership programming. Ben also serves as a LEEP Center Advisor to students from Geography, Global Environmental Studies, and the Environmental Science tracks.

Ben holds his M.S. and B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy from Clark University.


Lee Goldstein - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityLee Goldstein
Associate Director of Career Services

Lee delivers career advice for students and alumni and also manages the college's Academic Internship program. Lee is a member of the National Career Development Association, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the New England Association of Cooperative Education and Field Experience, and the National Academic Advising Association.

Prior to coming to Clark in 2010, Lee worked in several areas of higher education including human resources, alumni and development, student research, and as an adjunct instructor.

Lee holds a B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Brian Hanna - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityBrian Hanna
Assistant Director of Career Services

Brian manages Clark's employer relations and on-campus recruiting efforts. In addition, he advises students on all aspects of career development and serves as liaison to the Athletics Department. He is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers, the Worcester Chamber of Commerce Career Services Committee, and the New England Employer Relations Committee.

Brian holds a B.A. degree in Communication and Culture from Clark University.


Jennifer Plante - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityJennifer Plante
Director of the Writing Center and Writing Program

Jennifer has been at Clark full time since 2007, when she became the Director of the Writing Center and Writing Program. During her time at Clark, Jennifer has taught a variety of courses, including Expository Writing, Introduction to Literature, Writing: The Beats, Difficult Dialogue courses for the Higgins School of Humanities, and she has taught Continuing Education courses in both literature and film.

As Acting Director of Academic Advising, Jennifer is responsible for assessing transfer and advanced standing credits; serving as College Board Chair; enforcing academic integrity policies; and more.

Jennifer comes to this position with a lengthy history in the Worcester area. She graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Humanities; after working as a technical writer in the area, Jennifer decided to pursue a Master's degree in English from Clark University.


Adriane van Gils Pierce - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityAdriane van Gils Pierce
Associate Director of the LEEP Center and Director of Study Abroad and Away Programs

Adriane has been Director of Study Abroad and Away Programs since 2005, and oversees all aspects of Clark’s abroad and domestic off-campus programs, working closely with relevant faculty, administrative staff and overseas partners. As such, she monitors academic quality and safety issues associated with existing programs; plans and implements new programs; manages affiliate agreements; plans and oversees the study abroad budget, and advises and supports students pre-departure, while abroad/away, and upon return to campus

As Associate Director of the LEEP Center, holds administrative responsibilities related to the daily management of the LEEP Center that includes working with the Director on budgetary matters, setting the professional development standard for the Center, and assisting other staff members. As a LEEP Center advisor, provides holistic advising to the undeclared student population. Prior to her current position at Clark, Adriane was Associate Director of Career Services, and Program Manager of Community Engagement and Volunteering. Prior to joining Clark in 1996, Adriane held various positions in Finance, Mental Health, and Secondary School Administration.

At Clark, Adriane Chairs the Study Abroad Faculty Advisory Committee; serves on the International Travel Crisis Response Committee, the Henry J. Leir Advisory Committee, and the Transfer Credit Evaluation Committee.

Adriane earned a BA degree in International and Comparative Studies from Clark University, as well as a MA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Intercultural Communication. She is a member of NAFSA (National Association of International Educators), Forum on Education Abroad, CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), and SAAG (Study Abroad Advisers Group of the Northeast). Adriane serves on the NAFSA Trainer Corps, and has presented at several national conferences. She earned recognition from NAFSA in 2014 as expert editor on revisions to their Standards for Education Abroad Programs and Services, as well as a national advising award from CIEE.



Evette Walters - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityEvette Walters
Coordinator of Academic Advising

She is responsible for providing academic support to students and also serves as a LEEP Center adviser.

Evette received her bachelor's degree in social services from Clark University, and is currently pursuing an M.P.A. at Clark University.


Constance (Connie) Whitehead Hanks - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityConstance (Connie) Whitehead Hanks
Associate Director of Study Abroad and Away Programs

As Associate Director of Study Abroad, Connie supports and assists the Director with coordinating and supervising on-campus programming and events related to the advising and selection of prospective study abroad applicants, safety abroad, cross-cultural adjustment, and the readjustment of students as they return to Clark. Connie also cultivates and maintains positive relationships with all of Clark's 50+ overseas study abroad programs and institutional partners. She also serves as a LEEP Center Advisor to students that have declared a major or minor in Foreign Languages and Asian Studies. Connie is a member of the following professional organizations: NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, and NACADA.

Connie received her M.S.P.C. degree from Clark University and graduated from Connecticut College in New London, CT with a B.A. in Child Development. Connie is currently on the Advisory Board of Directors and the Centers of Global Excellence for the YMCA of Central Massachusetts. She recently joined Building Committee for the Marion's Camp project in the town of Sutton, MA. She is also Co-Chair of the Prudential (Investments) Committee of her church and teaches in the youth programs.


Amy Whitney - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityAmy Whitney
Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program

Amy is the Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at Clark University. As Director, she is responsible for providing advising undergraduates interested in entrepreneurship courses, mentoring students working on business ideas, offering teaching guidance and classroom assistance to part-time entrepreneurship program faculty, managing overall daily department and budget operations, co-advising two campus-based student-run ventures, creating collaborations and partnerships with internal and external departments and agencies, and managing a campus-wide Big Idea challenge. Amy is also a LEEP Center Advisor for students who have declared a major in management or a minor in entrepreneurship or management.

Prior to Clark, Amy spent 11 years working for Mothers Against Drunk Driving working with community coalitions on evidence-based prevention strategies, public policy advocacy, enforcement training and planning statewide projects aimed at reducing underage drinking.

Amy holds a MBA and a BA from Clark University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. at Northeastern University with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Amy's dissertation thesis research is focused on creative collaboration and problem solving of college students and their transition and implementation of these skills in organizational settings. Her academic interests include entrepreneurship, creativity, problem solving, cultures of innovation, inquiry-based learning, and high-impact practice.


LEEP Center Staff

Alexis Bazoukas Halfmann - LEEP Center - Clark UniversityAlexis Bazoukas Halfmann
Marketing and Technology Coordinator for the LEEP Center

She provides marketing for all LEEP Center-related events through the use of social media, Web, and print materials. She also maintains the recruiting database and serves as the primary point person for the LEEP Center student information systems.

Alexis received her B.A. in Communications and Theatre from Roger Williams University and her M.S. in Professional Communications from Clark University.