Campus Closeup: Lara Clisch

Hired by the political science department in 2005, Lara Clisch has since expanded her role. She serves as senior secretary for four departments—political science, philosophy, history and economics—and about 30 professors. She shares the duties, or as she puts it, “tag teams,” with senior secretary April Bertucci.

Clisch’s many tasks include e-mailing, working on announcements and upcoming events, putting students in touch with faculty and budgeting for the department.

“I like working with numbers; I don’t know why,” she said. “But my favorite part of the job is the students, whether it’s helping those who walk through the door or working with our student employees. We have anywhere from three to 10 student employees at a given time, depending on the upcoming projects. One of them has even been here longer than I have.”

Since joining the department, Clisch said she has become more familiar with politics, especially during this year’s elections.

“Being in the office I was more attuned to this election than others before because there was so much action in the political science department. Everyone was fired up. It was nice to be a part of that,” she said. 

The Ishpeming native previously worked six years at a local law firm and another six at the Marquette County Courthouse. “It is nice to have a job with good benefits and not have to move. I have been fortunate,” she added.

Clisch has been married to her husband, Michael, for 23 years. They have three daughters: Amy, 22, and Keri, 21, both of whom will attend NMU in the fall; and Toni, 17, a junior at Westwood High School who keeps the family busy with basketball and softball. Clisch is most proud of her new title, “grandma,” to newborn Michaela Ann (whose picture is her computer wallpaper).

“I plan to just spoil her rotten,” Clisch said, adding, “My family is my number one hobby. We spend a lot of time together doing everything from dinner to movies to bowling. And we watch a lot of sports. We are a big hockey family and like to watch NMU, the Red Wings and my younger nephew’s games.”

Clisch hopes to return to Maui after a 10-day Hawaiian adventure a few years back. It marked the first time she had ever been away from her family. She went with a friend on a spur-of-the-moment decision after finding a good deal.  “I would like to get back in the next year or two. I want to go there again just to make sure it really happened the first time because I keep pinching myself.”           

She also has one more thing she would like to do for herself: “I have always wanted to take classes. I always put it aside because of family. But now that my children are older I think I’ll just start with some fun classes. I’m always amazed how students can pick a major. I tell my kids I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”


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Updated: March 12, 2009

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