MCCC Grad To Speak About Civil Strife in Africa Feb. 8


MCCC grad Emmanuel Clarke ('02) of Lawrenceville will present a lecture on his experiences growing up in war-torn Africa, a time he vividly recalls in his recently published novel, "In Tears and Blood." The lecture, entitled "Beating the Odds," takes place at MCCC on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 12 noon. It is offered free to the public as part of Mercer's Distinguished Lecture Series and will be held on the college's West Windsor campus in the Communications Building, CM110, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Clarke is a true citizen of the world. Now 29, he was born in Liberia and lived in several countries while escaping civil strife. He and his family spent time in a Sierra Leone refugee camp, fled to Guinea, and eventually made their way to America in 1999. On the long and arduous road to this country, Clarke learned French, and eight different African dialects. "You have to program your brain to adapt; that is the only way you survive as a refugee," he said.

Clarke's father died young; his mother advised him to get a good education in America. "When we came here, Mom said, 'I don't have money to give you; the only thing you can do is get yourself educated,'" he recalled. His first choice was Mercer County Community College, where he found the help he needed to adjust to a new language and a new country. "I loved it the moment I saw Mercer. The staff is awesome, friendly." Clarke majored in Information Technology and earned a certificate in Project Management as well. "Everything I ever learned at Mercer has been useful."

Author and MCCC grad Emmanuel Clarke will discuss his experiences in war-torn Africa on Feb. 8. He is pictured with his recently published book "In Blood and Tears."

After transferring almost 70 Mercer credits to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Clarke earned his bachelor's degree, and is now taking classes toward his M.B.A. He works as a management information specialist for a large nonprofit organization, with responsibilities including programming, website and database management, and security. He has also started an information technology consulting business called ATEC Microsystems. He offers web applications, networking and security.

Clarke has returned to Mercer as an adjunct instructor. He also serves on an MCCC advisory commission for information technology, offering advice about workplace needs and trends. "I love the teaching environment. I always encourage students to cultivate their own sense of balance and have a good work ethic," Clarke said. He tells his students what he himself now knows: "What they learn today will take them a long way. All knowledge you gain is useful in one way or another."

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