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Staff Spotlight

Jason Harmon

Jason Harmon

Vice President for Enrollment Management

Tell us a bit about your family.
My wife Jill and I are blessed to have three children. Matthew, age 12, Joshua, age 10, and Emma, age 6. We also have a 1-year old golden doodle, Winnie. My wife was an elementary school teacher for 15 years and volunteers in our children’s schools and our community organizations such as the food pantry. Our son Matthew loves theatre and music and has been fortunate to be in several productions. Our Joshua is a talented artist, mainly drawing and loves writing and drawing comic strips. Emma loves ballet and tap dance classes and is excited she was able to join her brothers in the church choir this year. As a family, we love road trip vacations.
Where did you attend school? What did you study?
I started my undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Stout my first two years. When I discovered that I was not going to be playing in the NBA, I transferred closer to home and attended Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois. I studied Business Administration. I also completed my MBA at Aurora, and I am currently enrolled in the EdD program at Creighton University.
Tell us about your career highlights before coming to Clarke.
I started my career as an assistant women’s basketball coach and an admission counselor at Aurora University. After spending ten years on the first-year (freshman) side, six of which included coaching as an assistant with the women’s and then men’s basketball teams, I was asked to take the lead getting a startup educational center started for AU. Around the same time, I was asked to also serve as the director of enrollment at AU’s George Williams College campus on the shores of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. After several years off-campus I was asked to come back to the main campus in Aurora, Illinois, to be the director of graduate enrollment. When we began to outgrow campus, we moved many of our adult and graduate programs off-campus. At that time, I served as the director of the off-site location and graduate enrollment. After over 17 years at AU, a former colleague became the president of Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. I was invited to apply to serve as the vice president of enrollment at Marian. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve in that role for just under three years before learning of the opportunity at Clarke and deciding to pursue it.
What brought you to Clarke?
I was contacted about the opportunity through a higher education hiring consultant. I was familiar with Clarke University and in speaking with the consultant, the opportunity and the mission of the school really resonated with me. When I spoke to the interview committee and then spent the day on campus as a part of the interview process, I was sold. The people and the mission of the university are what really made the difference for me. It is such an amazing place with a rich history of making a difference in the lives of students. As a plus, my parents grew up in Waterloo, Iowa and I have relatives that are in several towns in the state. Being close to family in Iowa and my wife and my family in the Chicago suburbs was icing on the cake.
What is your favorite part of your job so far? 
There are many. The few that stick out in my mind is having the opportunity to work with so many people that are dedicated to students and student success, the opportunity to work with many areas of the university, having the chance to attend one of the new student dinners and speaking with our newest additions to the Clarke family, and last, attending different homecoming events. It was incredible to hear firsthand from our alumni how Clarke has impacted their lives.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am an avid sports fan. I am a diehard Green Bay Packer and St. Louis Cardinal fan. I won’t share my favorite college team to follow (it is a Big Ten team that is not in the state)! I love attending baseball games with my family, whether it is major league games in different cities, minor league games, or Northwoods games. I love spending time with my family. We have a lot of fun together, and I look forward to having them join me in Dubuque soon.
If you weren’t in the field, you’re in now, what other field or career could you see yourself working in and why? 
I thought about becoming a teacher and a coach. I would probably be an elementary school teacher and coach middle school or high school basketball coach. I have always loved working with kids and young adults and helping them grow and develop.