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Meet the Deans

Betsy Huang

Betsy Huang

Associate Provost and Dean of the College

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Betsy Huang is associate provost and dean of the college, the Andrea B. and Peter D. Klein ’64 Distinguished Professor, and associate professor of English at Clark University. She was Clark’s inaugural chief officer of diversity and inclusion from 2013 to 2016, and also served as director of the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies from 2013 to 2016. As dean of the college, she is responsible for the development and implementation of undergraduate academic programs and policies toward ensuring the quality of Clark’s signature LEEP educational experience.

Huang first came to Clark in 2003 when she joined the English Department as its first specialist in American multiethnic literature. She teaches and researches in the overlapping spheres of ethnic American and Asian American literature, science fiction, genre theory, and critical race and ethnic studies. As a faculty member, her teaching was always focused on literatures on the margins: narratives of and by people living in spaces of cultural and historical invisibility. As dean, she follows the same lodestar of educational excellence for all: that all Clark students, no matter their background, receive the strongest education and preparation for the world beyond.

Courses taught by Dean Huang include Ethnic America: Literature, Theory, Politics; Fictions of Asian America; Major American Writers II; Studies in Contemporary Literature: Speculative Fiction; Science Fiction and the Mind of the Other (with Scott Hendricks, Philosophy); Race, Genre, and Autobiography (with Shelly Tenenbaum, Sociology); Speculative fiction: Ecologies and Technologies; and the English Senior Capstone.

Dean Huang has published three books — a monograph, “Contesting Genres in Contemporary Asian American Fiction” (2010), and two co-edited essay collections: “Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media” (2015) and “Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education and Societal Contexts” (2018). Her work has appeared in The Cambridge Companion to Asian American LiteratureJournal of Asian American Studies, and MELUS, among others. She is currently co-editing a volume in a new series commissioned by Cambridge University Press, “Asian American Literature in Transition,” forthcoming in 2020. When she is not deaning and researching, she is traveling, playing board games with her family, reading too much science fiction, and preparing for robot takeovers.

Nadja Johnson

Nadja Johnson

Senior Associate Dean of the College

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Nadja Johnson joined the Clark community in January 2016. In her current role as senior associate dean of the college, she has oversight of various departments in the LEEP Student Success Network, including the Academic Advising Center, Community Engagement and Volunteering, the Writing Center, Academic Support, Study Abroad and Away, Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships, and Student Accessibility Services. She also provides general support within the Dean of the College office, focusing on academic success, student persistence, and retention.

Prior to coming to Clark, Johnson was the director of diversity and student success at Valley City State University. She previously held leadership roles in multicultural programming and international student services, and served as an adjunct professor of sociology and psychology at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Central Florida.

Johnson received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fisk University, master’s in clinical psychology from the University of Central Florida, and doctorate in comparative studies from Florida Atlantic University. Her research focused on identity negotiation of immigrant populations and social activism of diaspora communities.

Johnson is involved in various community organizations in Worcester and loves exploring the city. A native of Jamaica, she is a devoted soccer, cricket, and track and field fan who enjoys spending extensive time in the sunshine, eating (especially mangoes), dancing, and laughing.

Jennifer Plante

Jennifer Plante

Assistant Dean

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Jennifer Plante has been working at Clark since 2000, and has been the director of the Writing Center and Writing Program since 2006. She has taught a variety of courses, including Expository Writing, Queer Horror, Writing: The Beats (a course that studies texts from Beat Generation writers), and has taught continuing education courses in both literature and film.

Plante 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 graduate degree in English from Clark University.

Contact Information

Dean of the College

  • Shaich Family Alumni and Student Engagement Center
    Room 229
    950 Main St.
    Worcester, MA 01610
Office Hours
  • To schedule an appointment with the Dean, please call 1-508-793-7671.