12 Faculty Members Earned Tenure at Latest Trustees Meeting

Editors note: All biographical information was sourced from a Clark news release.

On March 10, Clark granted tenure to 12 instructors during a Board of Trustees meeting. 

Clark’s Board of Trustees grants tenure to faculty who have demonstrated professional excellence and outstanding abilities in their disciplines. 

The granting of tenure involves a three-year-long process of self-evaluations, tenure review committee evaluations, student evaluations, supervisory evaluations and peer evaluations. The final decision to award or withhold tenure rests with the Board of Trustees. 

“I appreciate the candidates who are looking beyond the classroom to the institution and how it best serves students as a system,” said Trustee Paul Speer.  “I think those characteristics that we saw in our candidates really exemplify what being tenured at a community college is all about.”

These 12 faculty members were granted tenure for their accomplishments during their time at Clark, as well as their commitment to students and the college.


Joseph Cavalli (History)

At Clark College, Cavalli has served as program director for the Model United Nations team since 2011. He is also a popular instructor in Clark’s non-credit Mature Learning program and in 2016 received the college’s prestigious Exceptional Faculty Award.  

“My approach to history is best summed up by the American historian John Tracy Ellis: ‘History is the rediscovery of the past in an enlightened manner,” said Cavalli. “I am always striving to make history applicable to my students’ everyday lives in a way that piques their interest and curiosity.” 


Mark Eddinger (Mathematics)

Eddinger began his career as a quality engineer at a manufacturer of lighting control systems, before spending a decade teaching English as a foreign language in Japan. 

At Clark College, Eddinger serves on the Math Events Committee, as well as on the team that has developed, improved and supported a new math pathway for non-STEM majors. He has also designed Canvas courses that promote inclusion and shares them with his colleagues. 

“I am committed to being a fellow journeyer with my students as we nurture our growth mindsets, as we learn how to make a more effective effort, and as we develop a passion for more thorough understanding of both math and the many academic disciplines that connect to math,” he said, adding, “They all connect.”


Amy Ewing Johnson (Dental Hygiene)

Ewing Johnson has more than 30 years of work experience in dental settings prior to her work at Clark College. 

At Clark College, Ewing Johnson serves as lead instructor and coordinator for all clinical and lab operations related to junior-year students. She is involved in dental hygiene study clubs and continues to improve her own learning by attending state and national conferences. 

My teaching philosophy is all about making students feel safe to learn through experimentation, question/answer, as well as confident enough to learn via discussions and active learning opportunities,” said Ewing Johnson. “I believe in creating a warm and relaxed classroom community and work to communicate an enthusiasm of support for every student, as they strive to complete their academic goals.” 


Melissa Favara (English)

Favara joined the faculty at Clark College in 2007, first as an adjunct and then as a full-time temporary instructor. 

She currently assists in training fellow English faculty members on the college’s new co-requisite teaching model to serve its most at-risk students. Favara has previously taught in the integrated basic education and skills training program and has presented at national conferences on Clark’s work in both practices. 

Favara described her teaching philosophy as, “I meet students where they are and engage them in learning opportunities that honor their experience while offering chances to gain and apply knowledge in ways that they can transfer to new school, work, and life challenges.”


Tyler Frank (Career and academic preparation)

Before joining Clark in 2018, Frank served as a youth development facilitator for the U.S. Peace Corp in Huallanca, Peru, and has previous teaching experience at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. 

Since then, Frank has involved himself deeply in the college’s work. He has developed a fully online version of the CAP 42 (Integrated Math and Science) course, developed Open Educational Resources (OER) and led the outcomes assessment for CAP mathematics faculty. He also leads the “Anti-Racists Curriculum and Instruction” subgroup of the college’s White Anti-Racism Education Employee Resource Group. 

“As a teacher, I prioritize creating a safe and welcoming environment for my students, where we all feel comfortable enough to explore new ideas, make mistakes and share our discoveries and confusions with one another,” said Frank in describing his teaching philosophy.


Doug Harris (Music)

Harris earned his Bachelors in music education from the University of Florida, after which he continued his education at the University of Northern Colorado, earning both his master’s and doctoral degrees in music there.

Since joining Clark College in 2018, Harris has led the college’s concert band, jazz and pep band, as well as directing the college’s annual Jazz Festival.

“I strive to help each student achieve their potential through positive reinforcement within a rigorous curriculum,” Harris said in describing his teaching philosophy.


Christina Howard (Biology)

Before joining Clark in 2018, Howard served as lead instructor of Human Anatomy and Physiology at the National College of Technical Instruction’s College of Emergency Services.

Howard now works as an event runner for the annual Science Olympiad, as well as the co-lead advisor for cadaver dissection at Clark.

“My teaching philosophy is to help students find wonder in the biological sciences, specifically the study of the human body,” she said. “I employ an evidence-based and applied-learning approach to engender deep learning and curiosity for the subject matter so that students can show mastery and better understand how biology applies to them.”


Dr. Sarah Kuzera (Medical assisting)

Dr. Sarah Kuzera earned her AAS in medical assisting from Springfield College, her bachelor’s degree in management from Everest College, her master of business admin. degree from Bryan University and her doctorate in education from Capella University. She holds certifications through the American Association of Medical Assistants and the American Medical Technologists.

Since joining the faculty, Clark College in 2017, Dr. Kuzera has served the college in many roles. She developed a Medical Assisting Club at the college and served on a Guided Pathways Pillar One workgroup. She has served on the Evergreen School District’s Medical Science Advisory Board and participated in Clark College’s Instructional Planning Team and Curriculum committees. 

“I believe that teaching should always be student-centered and I should facilitate the teaching environment,” Dr. Kuzera said. “My role as an instructor is to provide students, through my experiences and expertise, the necessary resources for them to produce learning and foster critical thinking. I have always been flexible in my teaching strategies to adapt to the needs of the adult learner.“


Dr. Michelle Mayer (Mathematics)

Mayer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. She continued her education at Texas Tech University, where she earned both a master’s and a doctorate degree in mathematics.

Dr. Mayer joined Clark College in 2018 and has become the course co-coordinator for the applied algebra courses MATH 092 and MATH 096. 

 “My approach to teaching is to present the material with clarity and accessibility; create an open environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and interacting with me, and to challenge my students to think critically while giving them the support they need to succeed,” said Dr. Mayer. 


Kristin Sherwood (College 101)

Sherwood began teaching in the human development department of Clark College in 2003. After 10 years, she began serving as the coordinator of the College 101 course, which provides guidance to incoming college students. 

At Clark College, Sherwood serves on the Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee, the MyPlan Work Group and the Guided Pathways Advisory Committee. She also regularly presents in the Student Success Workshops presented through Career Services.

Sherwood’s teaching philosophy aims to empower, engage and encourage students with knowledge and resources to support their academic success. 

“I do this by developing rapport, making sincere connections, providing timely and  thoughtful feedback and maintaining a genuine commitment to my classes.” 


Beth Slovic (Journalism)

Slovic joined Clark College in 2018 as a journalism instructor and advisor to the Independent, Clark’s student-run news organization. She also serves as president of the Pacific Northwest Association of Journalism Educators. 

Before joining Clark, she worked as an editorial assistant at a nonprofit book publisher and as a print journalist at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Willamette Week, the Oregonian, and the Portland Tribune

For the past 13 years, she has worked as a stringer for the New York Times, and as a regular freelancer at the Portland Monthly and PDX Parent magazines.

“I believe journalism is a framework for talking about skills and concepts that serve students in wider pursuits,” Slovic said of her teaching philosophy. “My students seek answers to questions and communicate across multiple platforms, making them the ‘communicorns’ of the future.” 


Christina Smith (English)

Since joining the Clark College faculty in 2015, Smith has served on several committees and workgroups. Such as the Vice President of Instruction Hiring Committee, the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Hiring Committee, the Tenure Review Equity Committee, the Women’s Studies Scholarship Review Committee, the Clark College Forms Committee and the Student Code of Conduct Policy and Training Work Group. 

Smith says her teaching approach is adaptive, holistic and rhetorical. 

“Adaptive teaching means discovering how each student learns and processes information, as this will let me find the appropriate teaching methods and tools to successfully communicate course content. This adaptability also speaks to my holistic approach to instruction. I believe it is important to engage the whole person, not just the student-mind that is present in my course; this means providing support that addresses their personal needs while simultaneously challenging them as learners,” she said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *