November 8, 2022
MCLA announces that Dr. Jean Clarke-Mitchell ‘00, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Lesley University has been nominated to the MCLA Board of Trustees. She is also in her second term on the MCLA Foundation Board.
Dr. Clarke-Mitchell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), who served as the Clinical Director of the Elizabeth Freeman Center, and an Outpatient Clinician at The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. With over 20 years of experience in the clinical field and over 10 years in academia, Dr. Clarke-Mitchell looks forward to participating on the board.
“I am very excited and feel very privileged and honored to be chosen to not only represent my alma mater but also to represent future students. To be on the board is monumental to me,” she said. “I’m feeling there is a lot to be done and I’m hoping I can make an impact in so many ways. There are so many intersections to me and my experiences, and I want that to be something that I can bring to the table that will make a difference.”
Dr. Clarke-Mitchell has an extensive resume in social justice activism and working with community organizations including the Rights of Passage and Empowerment (R.O.P.E.) Program as a senior mentor. She serves as a board member on Rockfort Moving Forward, Leadership Councils of Western Massachusetts, Albany Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, and Massachusetts Women of Color Network.
“Having Dr. Jean Clarke-Mitchell on the Board of Trustees is a tremendous delight,” said MCLA President James F. Birge. “I’m confident that her experiences and education will expand the dynamics and work of the board.”
Dr. Clarke-Mitchell has invested many years in helping, advocating for, and educating others: trauma and sexual assault survivors, survivors of intimate partner violence, and adults struggling with substance use and mental health disorders.
“Just being a woman of color… I can bring a perspective that is not often considered. When I think of that, I think about how we can retain professors of color and welcome students of color,” she said. “How do we honor those people in our society? How do we manage the funds of the college and what we’re invested in? The perspectives which I bring are not always present.”
Prior to teaching at Lesley University, Dr. Clarke-Mitchell taught social work and psychology at Westfield State University, Smith College, Cambridge College, and College of Our Lady of the Elms.
Dr. Clarke-Mitchell has worked with groups in South Africa, taught students in Ghana, and conducted presentations on healthy relationships and self-care in Jamaica. She continues to affect positive change by teaching social work full-time and continuing to develop effective social work practitioners.
“When we consider different decisions that have to be made, I can have a voice at the table. I have a lot of appreciation and respect for people who felt they should nominate me,” she said.
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, leaders, and communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 128-year commitment to public education, we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For 10 of the last 12 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Since the list was created, MCLA has risen to #33 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and ranks first among all Massachusetts liberal arts schools, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants. Learn more at www.mcla.edu.