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Meet the Team

Kamala Kiem

Kamala C. Kiem

Associate Provost for Student Success and Dean of Students

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Kamala C. Kiem (she/her/hers) joined Clark in January 2022. She has a portfolio of more than 20-years of accomplishments in student affairs. Since 2008, she has held several leadership positions within student affairs at Fairfield University, serving as Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Engagement for the past six years. Early in her career at Fairfield and previously at Smith College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kamala directed residence life activities.

At Fairfield, Kamala created holistic experiences for students to discover themselves and their calling. She established tighter synergy between student development areas including student activities, leadership development, international student life, and graduate student life — and improved engagement with and support for the entire student body. She innovated a robust onboarding, orientation, and transition process for first-year students; co-created new and enhanced living and learning communities; strengthened training and development of student leaders to create an influential peer leadership culture; and created social justice mediation and dialogue programs. Importantly, Kamala served as Co-Chair of the President’s Institutional Diversity Council and the Co-Lead of the Diversity Leadership Team — both instrumental in driving diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. In those capacities, Kamala led the development of a roadmap for addressing campus climate, including core recommendations for a university-wide diversity strategic plan.

Kamala earned her bachelor’s degree at Florida International University; master’s in student affairs administration at Michigan State University; and master’s in social justice education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is pursuing her doctorate in higher education (expected in December 2022) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where her research focuses on how the influences of the market and the demanding pressure for higher education to serve the public good have shaped enrollment management leadership teams’ decisions, actions, and practices to recruit and admit students. One of her most memorable educational and transformative experiences was her South Africa study abroad program. The courses centered on engaging in a comparative analysis regarding race relations in South Africa and the United States.

Kamala’s Clifton Strengths are Connectedness, Relator, Learner, Restorative, and Context.

For fun, Kamala loves playing strategic board games such as Catan, Pandemic, Castles, Dominion, and Agricola!

Kamaro Abubakar

Kamaro Abubakar

Associate Dean of Students, Community Living

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Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Kamaro joined the Dean of Student Affairs Office in June after holding positions as the Assistant Dean of Students, Assistant Director of campus life, Residence Coordinator, Leadership Educator, and Assistant Resident Director. Kamaro earned his BS at the University of Vermont, his MEd at Loyola University in Chicago, and MBA from Clark University. He holds a certificate as a diversity trainer from the Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI, 2015).

Kamaro currently serves as the Associate Dean of Students. He supervises and provides strategic direction and leadership for a comprehensive residential system. Kamaro is a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion, and social justice. He is committed to ensuring that all students find community and meaningful connection at Clark University.

Danielle Morgan Acosta

Danielle Morgan Acosta

Associate Dean of Students

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Danielle Morgan Acosta (she/her/hers) returned to Clark University in July 2020 and currently serves as the Associate Dean of Students for Student Engagement. Previously, Danielle served as the Interim-Director of Student Engagement, Director of Student Governance & Advocacy at Florida State University, where she supported student government, the six largest identity-based student unions, the Allies & Safe Zones program, and the strategic vision and crafting of a vibrant and inclusive undergraduate student experience. Before moving to Florida, Danielle worked for Residence Life at Salem State University, supporting RHA, student leadership development, weekend programming, and the first-year experience.

Danielle received her Ph.D from Florida State University, where she conducted a phenomenological exploration of how undergraduate student leadership is influenced by divorce during childhood. Danielle received her M.Ed. from Salem State University. A two-time, first-generation Clark alum, Danielle received her B.A. in History with a concentration in Law & Society, and MAT as part of the 5th Year free program, completing her student-teaching at South High. Danielle has taught undergraduate courses in leadership and change, prepared dozens of trainings regarding leadership, inclusion, systemic change, student voice, and serves as faculty for the ACPA Emerging Leaders Institute.

Danielle is an active leader in ACPA, a professional association committed to racial justice, decolonization, and boldly transforming higher education, in which she will serve as President in 2021-2022. Originally from California, she is passionate about leadership, equity, the student experience, cooking, coffee, the ocean, exploring new places, eating local, and taking her dog on walks around Worcester.

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Lamara Burgess

Lamara J. Burgess

Director of Student Support Management

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Lamara J. Burgess joined Clark University in May of 2020 and currently serves as the Director of Student Support Management within the Dean of Students Office. Lamara’s primary role on campus is to connect and engage students to supportive resources on and off campus. In addition to serving as a liaison between students and support services, Lamara also meets with students directly to develop individualized success plans that help students become more engaged in and outside of the classroom.

Prior to coming to Clark, Lamara served as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Coordinator of Conflict Mediation at The College of Saint Rose, where she directed a peer mentoring program for marginalized students and allies, and held cultural events and programming for the greater campus community. She also serves as a Board Director and volunteer for Mediation Matters, a non-profit organization that helps to empower individuals and communities to manage and resolve conflicts. In addition, Lamara has held leadership positions at Siena College and served 2 years in the national AmeriCorps VISTA program. Lamara earned a B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University as well as a Master of Science in Education from The College of Saint Rose, where she studied College Student Services Administration.

Originally from the Bronx, NY, and most recently from Albany, NY where she spent over 8 years, Lamara enjoys reading, playing word games, drinking tea, watching Netflix, and catching up with family and friends.

Contact Information

Dean of Students

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  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed from noon-1 p.m.)