Staff: Chastidy Clarke | Eastern North Carolina Now

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Ken Buday.

Photos: Cliff Hollis

    Chastidy Clarke had dreams of breaking the big story as a journalist. Now she handles big budgets and ever-changing duties as lead administrator in East Carolina University's Department of Political Science.

    "I wanted to always be on TV or in journalism," Clarke said. "When that didn't work out, I leveraged my experience working as a student office assistant to get my first job at ECU with the Department of Biology after undergrad. I was nervous because I had never done budget and administrative work, but I grew to love it and now I wish to move into higher level administrative work."

    Originally from Oak City and a graduate of North Pitt High School, Clarke graduated from ECU in 2014 with a degree in communication with a concentration in journalism. Throughout her four years, she worked as a federal work study student in various capacities, assisting administrators in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences (THCAS), the Graduate School and the payroll office. When given the opportunity for full-time work as an administrator in the Department of Biology, she took it and hasn't looked back.

    Clarke received her certification in public management and leadership in 2017 and obtained her master's in public administration from ECU this spring.

    "I love working with my faculty and staff," she said. "We have built a great team in my department and I have a very supportive work environment. I am pleased I can call my coworkers friends in the end."

Chastidy Clarke is the lead administrator in East Carolina University’s Department of Political Science.
    As lead administrator, she assists with hiring, travel, financial management and class registration in the Department of Political Science. In 2018, she earned the THCAS Junior Staff Excellence Award.

    As a lead administrator, she can receive some unique requests.

    "I always get asked about my hair by students. I love changing up my style," she said. "Also, most students always come in and ask to speak to Mrs. Clarke. I think sometimes they expect to see an older face."

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, she's been completing her work while at home.

    "I miss being in the office and having a regular routine," said Clarke, who admits she sometimes gets so involved in her work that she forgets to eat lunch. "I miss the interaction with students and being able to walk to a coworker's office to chat or just vent."

    When not working, Clarke enjoys exercising, cooking and playing with her two dogs. She relishes her eastern North Carolina roots and family ties, including an extended family that she became a part of when she decided to attend ECU as a student and continues today now that she works for the university."I think I was still nervous about moving too far from family and home, and ECU was a great school to attend. It was the acceptance letter I was happy to get," Clarke said. "The experience being an ECU student and a native of the Greenville area are two totally different experiences, and I enjoyed and still do enjoy being a member of Pirate Nation."
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