Jeff Clark, professor of geology, and Brigetta Miller, professor of music education, were recently awarded tenure. Both Clark and Miller are also recent winners of Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award, an award “given annually to untenured faculty who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth,” according to the university’s website. Miller was the 2000 recipient and Clark won the award in 2001.Clark, whose classes include Intro to Geology, Intro to Environmental Sciences, and Watershed Hydrology, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1998. Clark, a fluvial geomorphologist, studies the way river processes work and how human activities have impacted those processes. He has done much work in Puerto Rico investigating the way indigenous peoples affected the river and how the river affected the people. He has also studied the impact on the rivers after the settlement of the Caribbean island. More recently, Clark and his students have been investigating the urban impact on waterways, looking specifically at Apple Creek, a stream that flows into the Fox River.
Clark received his undergraduate degree in 1992 from Middlebury College in Vermont, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1997, writing his dissertation on the “Effects of Land Use on Northeastern Puerto Rican Rivers.”
Clark is also quite an athlete, competing in triathlons – he has run the Ironman twice -adventure races, and ultimate Frisbee, even acting as the coach for the ultimate team here at Lawrence.
Brigetta Miller, director of music education, joined the conservatory faculty in 1996, returning to her alma mater – she graduated in 1989. Miller is trained as a flutist and her academic focus is on music education, particularly early childhood music curriculum and pedagogy. Her duties include music education advising, placement, and overseeing student teaching and other administrative details for the music education department, a department that services approximately one third of the conservatory population.
Miller is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe, a band of the Mohicans, and her American Indian heritage has greatly impacted her personal and academic interests. Born and raised on a reservation, her first extended experience off the reservation was when she came to Lawrence. She said that the transition from being among an entirely American Indian population, to being nearly the only American Indian, was an experience that has stayed with her. She has a book to be published soon for music educators dealing with “Native American lullabies that have been passed through the oral tradition for generations but have never before been written in standard musical notation.” The book will include excerpts from interviews with women singing these lullabies. Miller said that walking between two worlds, the prevailing American and the indigenous American Indian, has helped shape her identity.