The Clark University School of Professional Studies (SPS) focuses on practical education, delivering an academic experience grounded in the professional world. Strong belief in the power of leadership and effective practice has earned the school a reputation for providing excellent professional preparation to students at all stages in their careers.
The outcomes of these graduates are testament to how the School of Professional Studies prepares its students for professional careers and how its commitment to deep and relevant experience creates positive results.
After nearly a decade working in marketing and communications for social impact organizations, Jennifer Ingham, MSC ’20, made the decision to launch her own consulting company, WordSpark Digital Consulting, after earning her master’s in communication through SPS. Her Clark coursework helped focus her skills and experience to meet the business goals of others.
“Returning to the classroom after so long and being an active student at Clark University was such a valuable experience. I learned so much through getting to know and collaborate with students of all ages, backgrounds, and experience, and found immense value in the academic aspects of the program,” she says.
Ingham continues to work with local, regional, and national organizations that work to solve social challenges with innovative approaches, and praises Clark’s inclusive environment. “I felt like I belonged here, from the moment I started talking with the admissions team and throughout my year as a full-time graduate student. I am SO proud to have been part of the Clark community as a student, and now as an alumna — forever a Clarkie!”
At 70, Ron Pawelski, MPA ’20, is this year’s oldest graduate, proving that it’s never too late to finish your degree. He has been an elder care advocate for more than 15 years and is currently the president of the Massachusetts Association of Residential Care Homes (MARCH), where he focuses on legislative advocacy as a lobbyist, sets strategic direction, and develops public awareness of the industry.
“I guess you could say that I believe in delayed gratification,” he says about returning to Clark after more than 30 years to finish his master’s in public administration. “Getting my degree represented a second chance to do something — almost a bucket list opportunity for me.”
Pawelski praises Clark’s faculty and staff for providing the opportunity and encouragement he needed to complete his degree. “Clark’s program had a huge ‘wow’ factor associated with it — it introduced me to current and up-and-coming leaders in the community. It was great to be in a team setting where I was the oldest person in the class, working with people at the beginning of their careers,” he says.
Tianbao Mei, MPA ’20, believes the leadership skills he learned while at SPS provided the management experience he needed to succeed. Mei returned to China and secured a position as a production manager trainee with Everbright Bank in Beijing.
“During my time at SPS I learned how to be a good leader — and what a good leader means to a team,” he says. “The SPS program gave me the knowledge and courage I needed to get this job.”
Read more graduate student success stories from Clark’s class of 2020: