There is a new face of the Moody faculty, and his plans to inspire change have in turn inspired us all. His name is Kyle Clark, and he has been serving as Assistant Dean and Director of Student Support since December.
Kyle has been working at the University of Texas since he graduated from Oklahoma State, starting in Housing and Food, moving to Student Services, and then working with the University Leadership Network scholarship program. The Assistant Dean position opened up in Moody in December, and Kyle was selected to fill the role. His desire to find a new challenge professionally has manifested itself in his role, as he leads the advising team and personally assists students work through their degree plan.
Kyle has also taken on the role of advisor to the Communications Council. Part of his goal in assuming this position was two-fold: to support students and voice their goals to faculty directly, while also serving to develop future leaders within Moody. “We are so excited to have Dean Clark as our official advisor,” said Communications Councilwoman Victoria Stranczek. “In the short time I’ve known him, he has been committed to getting to know our organization and its processes. He has been very eager to discuss the organization’s plans for next year, and you can tell he cares a lot about student organizations. He has been a great resource.”
Just as he has proven in his role as advisor to the Communications Council, Kyle seeks to be as involved, available, and engaged as possible as Assistant Dean in Moody. He operates under what he calls a “Let’s Work” mentality. “You can’t own a McDonald’s if you don’t know how to drop the fries,” he laughed. “You need to know and understand all of the inner workings to make sure that the meal is delivered to the customer.” This translates to his role of advising students, especially those with deeper issues and concerns. He wants to always be in a position to be able to explain the “why” when advising students. His primary goal is to always be useful and helpful to others, whether that is by helping staff leverage knowledge, relationships, and resources to better serve students or by serving students directly.
Kyle’s new role is now of utmost importance as the university navigates the future beyond COVID-19. “I have been uniquely positioned to see how difficult the past year has been for both students and staff,” Kyle said. “The staff wished there was more they could do, and organizations like the Communications Council couldn’t do so much of what they normally do to create engagement, excitement, and a sense of belonging in Moody. I’m looking forward to bringing those things back and seeing how we can do things differently.” Kyle said that one of his main priorities in shifting to this “new normal” is to expand the college’s ability to be available. “This time has really shown all of us how busy and complex these students’ lives are. The residual from the pandemic is forcing the question for us as faculty to think deeply and be intentional about how we continue to provide services to students,” Kyle explained.
When asked what piece of advice he would give to all college students, Kyle noted that one of the most important aspects of life is being able to ask for help. “Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness,” he said. “No one person does anything great completely by themselves. Asking for help means we understand the importance of not being able to do everything on our own. It keeps us humble, and there are too many people and resources to make you feel alone.” We are abundantly thankful to have resources like Kyle Clark in our Moody community.