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A University Academic Preview - The Clark Experience

SAVE THE DATE: November 5, 2016

This fall, Clark is launching a new University Preview Program for college-bound high school juniors and seniors. This selective program is designed to give honors students the chance to engage with a small group of their peers from around the country who share an interest in one of the four topics we'll be exploring:

  • POLITICAL SCIENCE (U.S.): The 2016 Presidential Election: Electing a President or Choosing a Supreme Court?
  • POLITICAL SCIENCE (International): The Arab Spring
  • GEOGRAPHY: Geographical Perspectives on Climate Change
  • BIOLOGY: Assembling the Genome Puzzle
  • THEATER: How Does a Play Work? (Inside and Out)

Leading Clark faculty will conduct these day-long programs on campus on Saturday, November 5. The event will also include an overnight stay at Clark on the evening of Friday the 4th. While at Clark participating students will be hosted by Clark students for an overnight stay and will get a taste of college life (and college food!). This will also be an opportunity to meet a variety of Clark students who have similar interests and who will share their experiences at the university.

We've put together a brief description of each preview to help guide you in deciding which of your students to nominate:



In the winter of 2011, a series of dramatic protests unrolled across the Middle East. What were the main causes of the upheavals which have become known collectively as the Arab Spring? What did the participants in these protest movements hope to achieve? What accounts for the violent conflict that followed initially peaceful protests in countries like Libya, Syria, and Yemen? Why has Tunisia, alone among the Arab Spring nations, managed what appears to be a successful transition to democracy?

Join Professor Ora Szekely to engage with these questions and more, exploring the roots of the Arab Spring, how it unfolded, and what its aftermath has been across the region. We will begin with a general discussion of the Arab Spring, examining its causes and consequences, and then focus in on the experience of Egypt through a simulation modeling the events that took place during the Egyptian Revolution of February, 2011.

Visit Clark's website to learn more about Professor Szekely and Clark University's Department of Political Science.



The processes that generate climatic change and the outcomes of climate change can be found all around us. While working with faculty, you will have the opportunity to use geographical methods to study how aspects of climate change can be understood using Worcester's Main South neighborhood. This isn't 20th century geography — in fact, you may be surprised to learn that geography is about so much more than maps and state capitals!
Geography professors Mark Davidson and Chris Williams will engage students in Clark University's world-renowned School of Geography by exploring some of the ways in which we study the physical and human dimensions of climate change. You will analyze the causes of our changing climate, investigate its impacts, and examine options for mitigation and adaptation. At the end of the day's activities, you will have time to engage in small-group discussions to debate some of the solutions to climate change with which Clark University faculty are involved.

Visit Clark's website to learn more about Professor Mark Davidson and Professor Chris Williams as well as Clark University's Department of Geography.



"The play's the thing" — at least that's what Hamlet said! Whether you are planning to major in Theatre or if it's a passion that complements another academic interest you may have, join award-winning playwright and theatre program director Gino Diiorio for this interactive look at theatre.

In the morning session, we will study different media (television, film, internet, theatre) from the perspective of the dramaturge. What drives each medium and what makes them work? Specifically, we'll ask the question "What makes a play work?" Above all, we'll explore what makes theatre so vital and unique even today.

In the afternoon, we will be joined by members of Clark's award-winning improvisation troupes The Pea Pod Squad and Shenanigans. We'll be up on our feet performing basic and intermediate improv games, not only for laughs and performance, but also to discover how Improvisation informs the creative process for all artists.

Visit Clark's website to learn more about Professor Gino DiIorio as well as Clark University's Department of Visual & Performing Arts.

These sessions are now filled:



In this year's elections, the U.S. Supreme Court is a more important issue than usual. The next president could have as many as four or more vacancies on the Supreme Court to appoint. The U.S. Senate must confirm these appointees, so many voters this year may be linking their votes for the Senate with their votes for president — all with the makeup of the Supreme Court in mind.

Join Clark Professor Mark C. Miller, Professor of Political Science and Director of our interdisciplinary program in Law & Society, who will present a sample class dealing with the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the current and past elections. Then you will engage in a simulation that will give you the opportunity to role-play U.S. Senators who must vote on nominations to the Supreme Court.

Visit Clark's website to learn more about Professor Miller and Clark University's Department of Political Science.



The genome is a dynamic system that stores the genetic information responsible for the diversity of life. Recent technological advances have drastically reduced the cost of DNA sequencing, but have introduced new computational challenges.

Spend a day at Clark with Professor John Gibbons and use the most up-to-date tools and methods to construct a DNA blueprint. During your time at Clark, you will be introduced to the complexities of the genome, and the molecular biology behind modern DNA sequencing approaches. Using the Clark University Supercomputing Cluster, students will learn basic bioinformatic skills, and will piece together the entire DNA blueprint of a pathogenic bacteria.

Visit Clark's website to learn more about Professor John Gibbons as well as Clark University's Department of Biology.