By Jalen O'Bannon, Class of 2017
Brian Clark is an assistant professor in the Department of Recreation & Park Administration at Eastern Kentucky University. He has a background in outdoor retail management, outdoor education, adventure programming, and environmental education. Before he was an assistant professor, Clark was the Assistant Director for Campus Recreation and Adventure Programs from 2007-2015. Clark describes his work as somewhat challenging. “Everything I do has a risk management component to it, and therefore is always in the back of my mind,” said Clark.
His motto is to “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” He measures his working success and accomplishments by seeing his former students take on his profession as theirs and obtaining great careers in the field. Clark said he loves hearing back from his former students, and their successes makes him feel very happy and accomplished.
Clark has multiple certificates as an outdoor educator, climbing facilitator, and aquatic wildlife trainer. Clark is working to develop fieldwork opportunities in the Promise Zone region for students in the summer and fall semesters. The work will focus on the areas of guiding, facilitating, management, and ecotourism entrepreneurism. Eastern Kentucky University's Department of Recreation and Park Administration has proposed a partnership with the City of Pineville, Bell County Tourism and Pine Mountain State Resort Park that would present students with the opportunity for civic engagement and service learning experience through a canopy zip line tour project. Department students will be introduced to the outdoor recreation industry, presented an opportunity to network with park employees, gain training and hands-on experience, and embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.
Clark adds that as a professor, he “[love(s)] getting the opportunity to educate young people on something that [he is] truly passionate about.” He sees his job as being the best in the world.