Graduate Profile: Geoff Clark
A music teacher in Alaska, Geoff Clark is a 2010 graduate who already recognizes the many ways his Alma College education has benefited him both inside and outside the classroom.
“Alma pushed me to think beyond the box, and I learned the value of being on top of your subject,” he says. “The music department pushes students to do their best and expects nothing less of them, much like my job. Thanks to Alma, I was more prepared to adapt to living in Alaska and teaching in a state that I had never been to.”
Fulfilling his grandmother’s last wish for someone in his family to learn how to play the bagpipes, Clark has been playing for more than 10 years. He says piping allows him to reach out to other people.
“Bagpipes are a great teaching tool because so many people want to know about them and the history behind them,” he says. “You’re always able to go somewhere, perform and have people come up to you and talk about them.”
Clark also likes the sense of camaraderie that goes hand-in-hand with music. As a music education major at Alma, he was a member of the choir, marching band and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the music fraternity. Through each experience, he made lifelong friends.
“Every band member feels a sense of belonging to a tradition of excellence, and it was a great way for me to meet people,” he says. “I also owe so much to Dr. Nichols for allowing me to join the choir and travel around the world. I know my Alma experience has shaped me into the man I’ve become.”
Though Clark has always had a passion for helping and teaching people, he says his involvement in these organizations wasn’t just a social success. It also helped his career path take shape.
“When I joined band and later choir, I knew that I wanted to somehow expand and teach others my love and enjoyment in music,” he says. “My greatest joy is watching my students learn and how they light up when what I’m talking about ‘clicks’ in their head.”