RENCI People Interview with Allison Clark

[youtube E92w7xg69oA]

Watch entire video or click on any question below:

Q: You career has spanned many fields and taken many turns. Describe the career path that led to where you are now.

Q: You do not have a computing background, but were at NCSA for many years. How did that come about?

Q: Are there people who helped and mentored you? Were there events along the way that helped you clearly see your career path?

Q: What do you see as the challenges to providing universal access to new technologies and diversifying science and technology fields?

Q: Why is it important to have programs that bring together artists and scientists?

Q: Tell us about AMedia1, LLC and its purpose.

Q: What advice do you have for young people who are just starting out in science or technology careers?


Alison Clark, Ph.D., is a research scientist, social entrepreneur and founder and president of, LLC, an organization that creates interactive educational content aimed at students and teachers in underserved public schools. Dr. Clark has studied, written, and presented extensively on digital inequalities in computing, education, and community engagement.

Before launching in 2010, Clark was co-directoro of the Seedbed Initiative for Transdomain Creativity at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a project that explored the feasibility of using technology to create self-sustained collaborations between artists, humanists, social scientists and technologists from around the world. Clark also spent more than a decade at UIUC’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and became NCSA’s first Director of Digital Equity Initiatives, responsible for programs that disseminated new technologies across racial, ethnic and cultural lines. In 2008 Clark was awarded a grant by the state of Illinois through the University of Illinois to conduct a study of Illinois Community Technology Centers. A year later, she was named a Distinguished HASTAC Scholar in Residence at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute on the campus of Duke University. It was while at Duke that she launched the Access + Digital Literacy Project, examining the implementation of digital technologies in communities affected by poverty, unemployment, and underfunded schools.

As Clark says, “My work on the Access + Digital Literacy Project highlighted the present and increasing need for curricula that encourages students to make connections between the lessons of formal education and the experiences of daily life outside the classroom. I founded AMedia1 to meet this need by providing educational content at the crossroads of art, science, media, and pop culture.”