Reporting in Academia

Updated: Apr 19

Meet this week's Grad Chat guest, Dr Dessie Clark!

Graphic - text reads Reporting in Academia # Grad Chat from PhD Balance. There is two headshots one of Fay Lin, the host and one of Dessie Clark, this week's special guest.

My name is Dessie Clark (she/her/hers) and I am currently the Research Collaboration Coordinator for the University of Massachusetts’ ADVANCE Program. In this role, I am focused on institutional transformation by cultivating faculty equity, inclusion, and success, specifically for women and BIPOC faculty in STEM fields. My current job is different from my research background.


I completed my PhD in Community Sustainability at Michigan State University in 2020. My doctoral work focused on evaluating community-based programs and organizations that serve survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). As such, I am passionate about supporting those who have experienced discrimination, harassment, or abuse.


I will be joining you to talk about reporting discrimination, harassment, abuse, and misconduct in academia. This topic intersects with my research, but my passion for it comes largely from personal experience. During my PhD, I reported complaints against my advisor including discrimination and harassment based on my disability (ADHD), stalking, research misconduct, human-subjects noncompliance, financial misspending, retaliation, and violations of my right to privacy under FERPA. I spent quite a bit of time reporting these issues within my institution and to other oversight bodies within the federal government. I learned how to write and submit complaints, navigate various reporting mechanisms, and wield FOIA and FERPA to get access to various documents related to my cases. I ended up leaving my advisor, changing departments, and eventually graduating with my PhD, but not without learning a lot along the way. Since sharing my story, I often get a lot of messages and emails for help from graduate students who are navigating similar issues and are looking for advice.


I am excited to tune into Grad Chat to answer more questions and have important conversations around these topics!

You can find out more about Dessie on her Twitter (@dessielclark) and Instagram (@dessieleec) accounts.

Dessie will be taking over our Instagram account today, before being our Grad Chat tomorrow to talk about Reporting in Academia. You can join the Youtube Livestream Saturday (03/20) at 3 pm Eastern/12 pm Pacific using this link!

Alternatively, you'll be able to catch up on the episode on the NEW Grad Chat podcast published next Tuesday (03/23) here!