By Jackie Todd, University Relations
“Excited” and “honored.”
That’s the way Lili Klar and Matthew T.J. Brownlee and described their experiences last Saturday as the Clemson Tigers took on – and took out – the Furman Paladins. Klar and Brownlee not only watched the game, they were part of it.
The pair were the first among Clemson faculty and staff members who were recognized in front of a packed stadium as part of the Professor of the Game and Staff Member of the Game program. Initiated in 2014 by President Jim Clements, the annual program honors faculty and staff – an important group of individuals who Clements says works hard to make a difference for the university and its students.
Klar works as a library specialist across Clemson’s four-location library system. She coordinates logistics for the Instruction Team, which provides general instruction to teach users how to locate, use, and think critically about information resources. Klar answers informational and research questions at the library services desk and supervises student workers participating in outreach activities. In 2017, she was named the Clemson University Libraries’ Employee of the Year.
As Klar made her appearance on the field, along with her husband, Hans, a faculty member in the College of Education, and Provost Bob Jones, she was humbled by the recognition.
“It is always nice to be recognized for the work that we do,” she explained. “This is a wonderful opportunity to be acknowledged in front of our colleagues, family and friends.”
Brownlee is an assistant professor of Parks and Conservation Area Management in Clemson’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. In addition to teaching topics like research methods and environmental interpretation, Brownlee conducts research on how to manage visitor experiences in parks and protected areas while considering the impact of those visitors on the environment.
Brownlee’s wife, Mindy, joined him on the field during the ceremony. Brownlee said that while he and his wife had been to Memorial Stadium in the past, nothing matched the feeling that he got as he was cheered on by more than 80,000 people.
“Recognizing faculty in front of the largest gatherings of the Clemson Family is an incredible honor and demonstrates that our administrative leadership at the highest level truly cares about and recognizes the efforts of faculty and staff,” he said. “Their involvement is critically important and is one example of what makes Clemson a very special place.”
–with Haley Barinowski