New tenured professors

College welcomes newly tenured faculty members in chemistry, communication studies, health information management, and nursing      

Professor Olga Lyubar stands at a whiteboard, smiling, while two students sit in front of her at tablet computers, talking to each other
Professor Olga Lyubar, center, earned tenure in March 2022. Clark College/Jenny Shadley.

Four outstanding educators are the newest members of the tenured faculty at Clark College. Darcy Kennedy (chemistry), Nick Luisi (nursing), Olga Lyubar (health information management), and Richa Sharma (communication studies) were all granted tenure during the Clark College Board of Trustees meeting on March 9. They will be honored at a college reception later in the spring.

Tenure is awarded by the college’s Board of Trustees based on professional excellence and outstanding abilities in their disciplines. The granting of tenure is based on the recommendations of tenure review committees to the vice president of instruction, which are then forwarded to the president, who presents a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Recommendations are based on self-evaluations, tenure review committee evaluations, student evaluations, supervisory evaluations, and peer evaluations. The final decision to award or withhold tenure rests with the Board of Trustees.

About the faculty members

Darcy Kennedy, chemistry

Darcy Kennedy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, California) and her Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Washington. Before entering the teaching profession, she worked as a chemist and research technician at companies like Coffey Laboratories, TCI America, and Xerox. She has experience teaching at both Portland Community College and Clark College.

Kennedy began teaching at Clark College in 2012 as an adjunct, moving into a full-time position in 2014. She currently serves as representative for the college’s faculty union and on the college’s Social Equity Advisory Committee. Additionally, she was part of the first cohort of the college’s BUILD program, a yearlong employee development program providing intensive training in power, privilege, and inequity.

Kennedy described her teaching philosophy in the following terms: “Each student brings a different level of ability to the classroom community. Each student must then be provided with the level of support they require to be successful and accountable to themselves and the community.”

Nick Luisi, nursing

Nick Luisi earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing from Raritan Valley College in North Branch, New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and his Master of Science in Nursing online from Capella University; both these degrees were focused on nursing leadership. He achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, from which he retired in 2015. Additionally, he has more than 15 years of work experience as a nurse in private hospital settings.

Luisi has teaching experience at Raritan Valley Community College and at Clark College. Since coming to Clark in 2018, he has participated in the Instructional Planning Team, the Nursing Scholarship Committee, the Outcomes Assessment Committee, and the college’s Queer Employee Resource Group.

“My teaching philosophy is to offer a challenging and inclusive classroom setting to support the values, beliefs, and individual differences of our students to become compassionate and progressive advocates within nursing,” Luisi said. “I strive to appreciate and embrace the experiences, talent, and gifts of each student as they are guided along their journey to enter the field of nursing, through creating a safe environment free from judgment while helping them explore different views and beliefs to support personal and professional growth.”

Olga Lyubar, health information management

Olga Lyubar is a Clark College alumna who attended the college as a Running Start student. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Informatics and Health Information Management (HIHIM) from the University of Washington. After graduating, she worked for a company focused on sharing health information online. Later, she worked in multiple roles in a skilled nursing facility, serving as manager of the medical records department, responsible for staff development, and responsible for the podiatry and dental clinic, as well as the outpatient clinic.

In 2016, Lyubar returned to Vancouver and to Clark College, where she began teaching in what was then called the Business Medical program (now called Allied Health). She also has teaching experience at Portland Community College. At Clark, she currently serves as the director of the Health Information Management (HIM) program. She also serves on Evergreen Public Schools’ Medical Services Advisory Committee and on Washougal School District’s Health Sciences Advisory Committee.

Lyubar describes her teaching style as learner-centered and teaching-focused. “In my classroom, both the instructor and students are constantly learning from each other,” she said. “I believe that the best way to learn is by active learning.”

Richa Sharma, communication studies

Richa Sharma earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management in New Delhi, India. She earned her master’s degree in communication studies from Portland State University. She has teaching experience at both Portland State University and Clark College and has worked as a senior associate intercultural trainer for the Portland-based consultant agency TsaiComms.

Since joining Clark College in 2008, Sharma has worked to develop intercultural competence both within the Communication Studies Department and in the college. This work included a yearlong Intercultural Capacity Building Program that collaborated with speakers from across Clark College to support her department’s faculty, as well as work to build culturally responsive teaching models as part of the college’s move to a Guided Pathways model of higher education.

Sharma said that she strives to “provide all my students with a learning environment that not only opens their minds to new knowledge and skills in a particular field of study for economic vitality, but also encompasses a broader worldview to raise their awareness toward responsible global citizenship.”