Clark, who is the director of academic advising at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, graduated Thursday with an associate's degree in general studies from the school where she works. She went back to earn this degree even though she already has a bachelor of arts degree, a master's degree and a doctorate degree.
"I love what I do; apparently, I really love it because I keep getting degrees," she said with a laugh in an interview with the Daiy Voice.
The native of Galveston, Texas, moved to Bridgeport 10 years ago, when she noticed a job opening in her field. She had been searching for jobs at Houston Community College, about an hour away from Galveston, when she came across Housatonic's website.
"There are a lot of HCC's out there," she joked. "I was looking for something different, and I had never been to New England."
Also, it was the lure of a full-time position as a director of academic advising that interested her. She had been working in Galveston on one-year contracts and never knew whether she would have a position the following school year.
Clark's educational odyssey began when she earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri in 1995. She then went on to get her master's degree in 1997 from New Mexico State University. She received her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Bridgeport in 2011.
"They were all so very serious," Clark said about the work that went into the degrees and the pressure to do well.
For her associate degree, it would be different. "I knew that this time was going to be a celebration," Clark said.
She completed the circle with this associate's degree: Clark had started out at a community college in Missouri but never completed the degree before moving on to a four-year university.
"My associate's degree was 26 years in the making," she said.
There are two teams from Housatonic Community College that are competing in this year’s United Healthcare Fitness Walk-A-Thon. When the competition gets underway here Sept. 16, last year’s fourth-place finisher will once again step up to the challenge.