Leadership Spotlight: Drs. Clarke and Moverley

Celebrating Women’s History Month 2024 with Featured Leaders Across Campus

March 14, 2024
Headshots of Drs. Clarke and Moverley for Women\'s History Month
(left to right: Dr. Karis Clarke, Dr. Joy Moverley)

Touro University California has many remarkable women in leadership roles, each with their own role models that inspired them.

To celebrate the month, we feature profiles to celebrate the diversity and strength of women at TUC to enrich our understanding of the past but also inspire us to carve out a more inclusive and empowered future.

Karis L. Clarke, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean, College of Education and Health Sciences; Director, Graduate School of Education; Professor

How long have you been at Touro?  8 months

Why do you feel it is it important to have women leaders on campus?

It is my belief women leaders make campuses better. Women leaders demonstrate more transformative leadership styles. They also help increase efficiency, enhance cooperation, inspire organizational commitment, and improve fairness.

What are your thoughts on Women's History Month?

Women's History Month is a time to reflect on and recognize the strength and accomplishments of women. Throughout history, women who played pivotal roles in innovation, government, and beyond have not been credited. Learning about women’s history is essential to a well-rounded education and can inspire change for the future.

Name a woman you consider a hero and why.

My mother is my hero! Bessie Clarke is the epitome of feminine strength. My mother is an inspiration in my family and my community. She is a beautiful, smart, loving, woman of faith. I am so proud to be her daughter.


Joy Moverley, DHSc, MPH, PA-C

Assistant Dean, College of Education and Health Sciences and PA Program Director for the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program

How long have you been at Touro?  12 years (+3 as a student)

Why do you feel it is it important to have women leaders on campus?

We currently have very strong female leadership in every program at TUC. As an alumna, it's great to see Touro trained women back in leadership positions. I am so excited to work with some notable alumni and female leaders including Dean Tami Hendriksz, Dr Elaine Ho, Dr May Lin from COM; Kasaundra Heiberger, Jennifer Pimentel, Josie Hunt and Darcie Larimore-Arenas who work in the Joint MSPAS/MPH program; and Terri Wong, PharmD in COP. I'm sure I'm missing some great alumni who work at TUC amongst this list but these individuals provide excellent mentorship to students, alumni, and other faculty.

What are your thoughts on Women's History Month?

I think it's a great opportunity to honor women of the present and past. I have two young daughters (almost 2 & 8) and believe it's a time to demonstrate to them what women can achieve. It's a time to encourage them to explore roles in society that until recently were prohibited to them based upon their gender. For example, in 2013, I was one of the first women to serve in a Combat Arms position as a PA in the California Army National Guard. It was a very exciting time to see women integrated into every element of the U.S. military. It's also a time to highlight some of the challenges women face in the workforce and think about how can we do better? A colleague recently published (Feb 2024) a study in the Journal of the American Academy of PAs. The article concluded that "PA mothers failed to meet their breastfeeding goals, despite high initiation rates. Dedicated time and... workplace support may significantly improve PA mothers' breastfeeding duration". Our policies and expectations for maternity leave in the U.S. are something I hope dramatically improves for the next generation of working mothers.

Name a woman you consider a hero and why.

I have many people I admire but one person I'd love to have tea with is Elizabeth Blackwell, MD. She was the first female to earn a medical degree in the United States in 1895. I would love to just hear her talk about her story and what practicing medicine was like for her in that time.


More in the 2024 Series:

Dr. Fraylanie Aglipay and Dr. Meiling Tang

Dr. Gayle Cummings and Dr. Lisa Norton

VP Andrea Garcia and Dr. Prabjot Sandhu