DMACC adds Community Engagement and Diversity coordinator

Holly Clark, Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives Program Coordinator. Photo courtesy DMACC.

Applying to college can be scary, especially when you have no guidance and you don’t even know where to start. 

Luckily, DMACC has people like Holly Clark set on making your transition to college as successful as possible, and help you feel secure along the way.

Holly is the new Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives Program Coordinator whose sole job is to help students on their path to college and to help them learn about DMACC.The main focus of her job is to set up events to bring in more students such as DMACC day, and creating a new video series showcasing DMACC’s diversity.

Daily life in the office was very hard for Holly to explain because each day is different. Some days she will be caught up in meetings, and others she will be out and about getting ready for the different events that the department has put together.

One example of her department’s work is a brand-new mentorship they have created with the direction of a college specialist to make students, specifically males of color, feel welcome and have a support system on campus. 

She said it was important for minority students to have a support system to help students navigate through some of the college’s challenges. Because they are just starting, they are inviting students to come and participate to help this mentorship grow.

As the semester goes by, more and more initiatives are being put into place to help everyone feel at home, which in turn makes DMACC feel much more like home. 

Holly is a DMACC alumni and attended the Ankeny campus, where she earned her associate’s degree in liberal arts. From there she went to the University of Iowa in 2013 and earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies and a minor in German. She then went on to gain a professional credential through the University of Northern Iowa. Her credential was earned by taking graduate-level courses where she would learn non-profit management, leadership and volunteer management.

After earning her credential, she struggled to find a job, so she worked at a Scooter’s coffee shop and did phlebotomy, but she did not enjoy her work and began working as program coordinator at a Refugee Rise program. She helped refugee students with self-advocacy, answered questions about college, and prepared them for interviews and jobs. 

Her next job was at AmeriCorps Vista in 2019 and she focused her work on economic equity work.

She works with DMACC’s marketing team to make sure diversity is fairly represented in the media. College enrollment specialist Kellen Zanders said, “there is a disconnect between what’s actually at DMACC vs what people think is at DMACC.” 

According to DMACC’s data, the public doesn’t see DMACC as diverse. Holly is working to break the stereotype and encourage students of color to explore all of the opportunities offered.

There is a lot of work to be done and Holly is ready to help DMACC become a friendlier and better campus for students to enjoy.

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