This is Ed Clarke. When he isn’t working, he enjoys cycling with his wife and cooking. His favorite dish to make is a maple-glazed salmon with either ghost pepper or jalapeno on a bed of wild rice and seasonal vegetables. He tries to stay active and eat as healthy as possible.
Growing up, his family moved around at least 15 times, living in different cities and states. His dad, George, was a World War 2 army enlistee that helped move the remaining German corpses off the battlefield. He describes his dad as someone who seemed like he was always running away from the war and his family would later discover that his dad had symptoms of post-traumatic syndrome. Ed grew up with two older sisters and one younger. He looks back and sees it as a privilege of being able to grow up with a stay at home mom and many siblings. When he was not studying, Ed would spend time competing in athletics as a wrestler in the 125 lb. category in high school. He still wears the same pant size today.
"I come from a working class family. My family did not grow up with a lot of money. I don't quite remember which one of my older sisters graduated from high school because they were busy working. I didn't end up going to college until my 30s and started working as a bricklayer."
Ed spent his young adulthood working different jobs before committing to Vanguard University for his undergraduate as a sociology major. He can lay his own housing foundation and can rebuild old car engines like the 1960's Mustang. His church had the opportunity to build new houses for the unsheltered where they built everything from scratch using raw materials.
After completing his Bachelor of Arts, Ed heeded some advice from his professors at the time and attended University of Southern California’s graduate school under a full-ride scholarship. There, he received a master’s in sociology and family marriage therapy. Later, he would finish with a doctorate in sociology as well. He is a first-generation college graduate and is the only one in his family holding a doctorate degree. His professors advised Ed of an open position as a sociology professor at Vanguard after he graduated from school and was teaching at California State University, Los Angeles.
"I specialize in inequality, deviance and juvenile delinquency. I think when you grow up poor it makes a lot of sense why people gravitate towards sociology. With deviance, it's interesting because with deviant behavior you see that it stems from what your family teaches you when you are young. Some behavior parents see as okay while others don't."
Ed started his own family with his high school sweetheart, "Cricket," which was her nickname growing up, short for her real name, Christine. Their first date was a burger and steak dive that is no longer around. They got married when Ed was 21 years old and Cricket was 19. Together, they have two boys and grandchildren. They all live a few blocks apart from each other in Lakewood, CA. In the future, he hopes to work with a construction team and build a three room house with wooden floors. He already has the design drawn out.
Ed has been at Vanguard for the past 20 years teaching and serving in the sociology department. We’re so thankful for Ed's heart to serve our students and his longevity on campus.
- university news