Mark Small appointed chair of Clemson youth, family and community studies
CLEMSON — Mark Small has been named chair of the Clemson University youth, family and community studies department in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. Small previously served as professor in the department and associate director of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, which he helped establish in 1999.
Small has been a part of the department since its inception in 2013 when he and other Clemson faculty established it as an extension of the work initiated by the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life. Small said he looks forward to continuing the department’s already impressive work, whether that is a few miles down the road or on the other side of the world.
“Our department enjoys connections all over the world and support from diverse sources because of our unique research mission and objectives,” Small said. “I look forward to building upon this strong foundation for the benefit of our students and those we serve.”
The reach of the department of youth, family and community studies has extended beyond the Upstate for well over a decade now. Small said the department’s blended use of physical and virtual methods have driven innovations in providing graduate doctoral education to developing countries.
The department’s unique interdisciplinary doctoral program in international family and community studies blends the humanities, social sciences, law and professional disciplines to prepare students for work in academic and nonprofit work here and abroad. This signature doctoral program is international by design and started accepting students in 2006.
“We are very proud of our 24 doctoral graduates who have found jobs in academic and nonprofit work around the world,” Small said. “They validate our approach to creating a one-of-a-kind graduate program that is responsive to challenging, real-world problems.”
To date, the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life has garnered $49 million in external funding, mostly focused on projects serving the citizens of South Carolina, but the institute also shares its expertise with other countries. The department’s current international partnerships have allowed it to offer the only graduate program from an accredited U.S. university to students in Albania.
Small said he foresees that the department’s international connections will only grow and deepen in the future. Those connections are a high priority for the department, and Small believes that its focus on serving a global community of students and pursuing research interests on a similar scale are very much in line with the mission of the university.
“To be a world-class university means being engaged in the world,” Small said. “Through our international teaching and research, our department embraces the university’s ClemsonForward plan to achieve national and international prominence in graduate education.”
Brett Wright, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, said Small’s history at Clemson University and past contributions to the department and the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life made him a natural fit to the lead the department going forward.
“The department of youth, family and community studies’ international presence has always set it apart even among larger departments,” Wright said. “Dr. Small has been a driving force behind those impressive achievements, and our college and university should be excited to see what the department can achieve under his leadership.”
Small has served as a Fulbright scholar and Fulbright senior specialist in the Czech Republic and currently serves as a Fulbright scholar in Albania. He organized the Balkan-American Network of Social Science Researchers and the first Balkan-American Conference on Social Research and Evaluation.
Small received his Ph.D. in social psychology and his Doctor of Law degree from the University of Nebraska. He received a master’s degree in clinical psychology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.