DeMarquis Clarke likens the philosophy of the Department of Marriage
and Family Therapy (MFT) to his own view of the world. I believe
that problems in the world are based on peoples relationships
with one another, says the second-year doctoral student. No
one person is the problem. Clarke puts this ideology into
practice in the Syracuse community for 20 hours each week through
an assistantship funded by Catholic Charities. In an effort to reach
out to African American youth, he works with young boys in individual
therapy sessions at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.
He also helps children, adolescents, families, and job seekers at
Brighton Community Center. It has been extremely rewarding,
he says. This is the vehicle by which I can help change the
says the MFT program in the College of Human Services and Health
Professions gives him the opportunity to be a role model for a community
whose members see few African Americans with doctoral degrees. In
fact, the programs commitment to diversity helped convince
Clarkewho holds a bachelors degree from Tougaloo College
in Jackson, Mississippi, and a masters degree in MFT from
the University of Southern Mississippito move north and pursue
a Ph.D. degree at SU. The program teaches tolerance, understanding,
and difference, he says. It is a place where I can understand
more about my blackness, my maleness, my class, and my relationships
with other people.
Linda Stone Fish, MFT department chair, says issues of diversity
are taught in the curriculum and infused throughout the program.
The departments emphasis is on training therapists and
scholars to challenge themselves through fostering relationships
with others who hold various and diverse world views, she
says. According to Stone Fish, Clarke fits in well with this vision.
He is bright, curious, motivated, and passionate, which are
all necessary ingredients for traditional academic programs. He
is warm and emotionally present, which is necessary for practice,
she says. What makes DeMarquis such a unique combination is
his quest for knowledge about family therapy theory and about himself
in regard to relationships, which is the backdrop to his overarching
drive toward social justice. Clarke also has a genuine desire
to have an impact on the world, she says. He will make a difference.
is well on his way to fulfilling that prophecy. He expects to complete
the MFT program in four years, and has set ambitious goals for his
future. Building on his desire to be a role model for the black
community, Clarke wants to start a marriage and family therapy graduate
program at a historically black school. I believe one reason
there arent a lot of people of color in the field is because
there are no marriage and family therapy programs at our historically
black colleges and universities, he says. Clarke also plans
to establish a private practice and work at a Boys and Girls Club
of America, an organization that provides programs and services
for children, which he benefited from as a child. It was a
place where I could go and be with friends, he says. My
hope is to give back to the organization.
goals underscore his ultimate intention, which is to facilitate
change. Its a ripple effect, Clarke says. It
starts with personal relationships and ends with the world.
At Home in Rural India
year, anthropology professor Susan Wadley looks forward to spending
time at her second home in Karimpur, a rural village
in northern India. During a visit to India last fall, she treated
a group of Karimpurs young villagers to something they rarely
experiencecheese pizza smothered in hot peppers. I paid
for a taxi, had them come to New Delhi, and took them to Pizza Hut,
says Wadley, Ford Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies and director
of the South Asia Center at SU. They thought this was the
greatest thing. As village kids, they would never eat in a restaurant.
researched and studied social change in Karimpur for 30 years and
documented the experience in her most recent book, Struggling
with Destiny in Karimpur, 1925-1984. Much of her research focuses
on womens status issues and female neglect in rural India.
Wadley has witnessed Karimpur women shift their priorities from
marriage to education, resulting in a 10-year increase in the average
age of women getting married.
Western influences have introduced the villages people to
such offerings as birthday cake and pizza, many traditional customs
remain. Indian women, for instance, are encouraged to maintain a
healthy and somewhat chubby body type to successfully
bear children, Wadley says. One thing thats intriguing
about India is it has very different beliefs around a whole series
of things that America and the West oppose.
Wadley made her first research visit to Karimpur in 1967, the village
had a population of 1,400. Today the village has more than 3,000
inhabitants, but remains undeveloped in Western terms. For example,
the nearest bank is 10 miles away. Wadley has enjoyed watching the
village undergo various changes during subsequent visits, despite
its often primitive living conditions. I actually get along
really well in poverty-stricken India, Wadley says. It
is the misrepresentation of India that we find in the United States
that constantly challenges me.
misrepresentations, she says, often concern the role of women in
the household. Many Westerners assume that Indian women are oppressed
and that Indian societies are so controlled by the caste system
that individuals cannot act for themselves. Ive spent
a lot of my career disputing those ideas in one way or another,
Wadley became hooked on Indian culture in 1963 during a trip she
took as part of her undergraduate work at Carleton College in Minnesota.
Studying internationally is important because its too
easy for a person in any society to think that his or her way is
the only right way to live, she says. The experience
of seeing and living with people who have different lives and beliefs
helps you recognize they are entitled to those beliefs.
Wadley is primarily concerned with womens roles in Indian
culture, she has turned her attention toward oral traditions and
folklore. She recently finished another book, Raja Nal and the
Goddess: Inscribing Caste and Gender in a North Indian Epic,
which examines Dhola, an epic that is partially sung and
partially spoken by lower-caste, often illiterate men. The epic
takes up to 30 nights to perform and honors goddesses and women.
Wadley is the first scholar to write a book about Dhola.
The hero seems to be able to do nothing without his women,
she says. He sits and cries on battlefields until they come
and win his battles for him.
addition to writing about Dhola and teaching classes at SU,
Wadley organizes speakers for the South Asia Center, and advises
graduate students. Last fall she curated an exhibition at the Lowe
Art Gallery that included the work of two Indian artists. I
like the variety of my work, she says. I like being
able to focus on social change and rural economics one day and rural
tradition and popular arts the next.
Britt carries the concept of multitasking to the extreme. On top
of working in the Office of Human Resources, driving her young daughter
to dance classes and soccer games, and caring for her new baby,
she aspires to begin a masters degree program in public relations
at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. And, just
for fun, she works a few hours a week at a local clothing store.
I get antsy when I have too much free time on my hands,
in Philadelphia and raised in Colorado, Britt relocated to Syracuse
in 2000 with her husband, Dwayne, and 3-year-old daughter Essence.
However, before the family moved back East, Essence was diagnosed
with a malignant tumor, known as a neuroblastoma, when she was only
14 months old. Britt immediately immersed herself in exhaustive
medical research on this rare form of childhood cancer. Armed with
expert knowledge and a positive attitude, she relentlessly sought
appropriate treatment protocols, battled with doctors over risky
drug therapies, and helped her daughter fight back to a full recovery.
I prayed on it and then followed my instincts, Britt
says. Lifes hardships have strengthened me to be a person
who can take on many things.
ability to handle various responsibilities is a distinct advantage
in her work as a staff development specialist in the Office of Human
Resources. Among her duties, she administers the reward and recognition
program, coordinates career development and training workshops,
organizes the Corporate Challenge 3.5-mile run, and conducts monthly
orientation sessions for new employees. I enjoy staff orientation
in particular because it gives me a chance to help new employees
understand why Syracuse University is such a great place to work,
says Britt, a graduate of Regis University in Colorado Springs.
The best thing about working at SU is that you have an opportunity
to study whatever your heart desiresanything you can think
of is available at the University and attainable through remitted
Coldren, director of organizational development in the Office of
Human Resources, describes Britt as vivacious and driven. We
often tease her about being sassy, Coldren says.
When Eboni sets her sights on something, she goes out and
finds a way to get it. Ive been most impressed with her staff
orientation work. She is a natural in front of our new staff members
and provides a genuine enthusiasm as to what it means to come and
work at the University.
When Karma Parsons 03 first encountered chemistry in high
school, it proved to be a real challenge. But, like oppositely charged
particles that attract, Parsons and chemistry soon bonded, and today
she flourishes in the discipline as a scholar, tutor, and campus
leader. Chemistry was the first class in high school that
was a struggle for me, says Parsons, a chemistry major in
the College of Arts and Sciences. I had to get over several
hurdles. I worked really hard and finally it all clicked. I realized
chemistry wasnt just a bunch of random equations. I saw all
the connections and understood why it was relevant.
has been on the fast track to a career in chemistry ever since.
Last spring, the Montdale, Pennsylvania, native was selected from
among 1,155 students nationwide to receive a Goldwater Scholarship.
The $7,500 award, named in honor of the late Senator Barry M. Goldwater,
recognizes outstanding students in the fields of mathematics, the
natural sciences, and engineering.
isnt the first time Parsons has been recognized for her academic
excellence. The SU chemistry department faculty honored her with
the George A. Wiley Award for Organic Chemistry in her sophomore
year and the Willem Prins Award for Physical Chemistry last year.
She is one of the best students Ive had, says
chemistry professor Michael Sponsler, who recommended Parsons for
the Goldwater award. Although Parsons takes her studies and grades
seriously, Sponsler says she doesnt compete with classmates.
He has seen Parsons assist classmates informally during labs and
more formally through a tutoring program run by Alpha Chi Sigma,
the professional chemistry fraternity, of which she is vice president.
and fraternity president Ryan Lewis 03 says since Parsons
headed up the organizations recruitment process a year ago,
the club has grown from 12 to 32 members. Karmas very
enthusiastic about chemistry and Alpha Chi Sigma, and she spreads
that enthusiasm to everyone shes around, Lewis says.
Shes approachable and great at getting people involved.
Under Parsonss leadership, the organization has not only grown
in numbers, but has also become more active on and off campus and
has initiated such projects as establishing a chemistry program
for local Boy Scout troops, Lewis says.
Parsons says she is proud of winning academic awards, she gains
a greater sense of accomplishment from the personal growth she has
experienced at Syracuse. I have become more independent, more
willing to meet people and try new things, she says. Ive
become a campus leader, which I never thought possible at such a
big school. I have overcome my tendency to be shy. SU has really
allowed me to flourish. Parsons credits her success to the
outstanding support and training shes received from professors.
Theyre absolutely awesome, she says. Theyll
set up extra office hours or help the entire class with difficult
the Goldwater Scholarship has infused Parsonss already motivated
personality with even more enthusiasm and drive. My goals
for senior year are to finish my honors thesis and graduate summa
cum laude with all those nice acknowledgments next to my name,
Parsons says. Shed also like the campus community to recognize
the name and volunteer work of the chemistry fraternity. We
do a lot of science outreach with cool experiments to show local
kids that science is fun, she says.
encouraging youngsters, Parsons hopes to inspire them to pursue
a path similar to her own. Theres a massive shortage
of chemists, she says. There will always be a need for
them because the basis of everything in life is chemistry.
earning a Ph.D., she hopes to become a professional chemist and
someday tackle such major environmental problems as finding renewable
energy sources or creating materials that would safely store radioactive
waste while it disintegrates. I have my sights set high,