Prof. William Clark on Teaching Students How to Care About the World

April 27, 2023 Greti Georgieva
Prof. William Clark on Teaching Students How to Care About the World

Professor William Clark teaches Principles of Biology and Introduction to Environmental Science at AUBG. He loved the community so much that he gained his Ph.D. in Forest Science so that he could become a professor at the university. He is also an avid biker and even crossed Bulgaria to go to Burgas by bike a couple of years ago.

Listen or watch the interview with Prof. William Clark to learn more about his thoughts on climate change, love and marriage, and hear him talk in Bulgarian.

“We should live each day fully and that doesn’t mean just for pleasure, but live for what really matters.”

The journey to AUBG

Prof. William Clark’s first connection to Bulgaria was in 1992 when he and his family, his wife Lisa Clark, who works at the Writing Center at AUBG, and their two kids, moved to Sofia, Bulgaria because of their work with a Christian organization helping people in need.

One day in 1996, they received a request from an AUBG student to share some of their theological knowledge with the Christian students from the university.

“We got a knock on our door and there was an AUBG student there. […] They said: ‘There’s a group of us at AUBG who are reading the Bible together. Would you and your wife be willing to come down and just help us? Maybe give us some leadership?’”

For four years the Clarks were having these talks with the interested students and were impressed by their qualities. This made them want to become an integral part of the university.

There was a free position for a professor in the Environmental Science program, but Prof. Clark did not have a Ph.D. back then.

When he and his family went back to the USA in the year 2000, he used the time to earn his Ph.D. in Forest Science.

Back in Bulgaria in 2005, after teaching English and International Environmental Conventions at the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” in Blagoevgrad, he finally established himself as a professor of Biology and Environmental Science in AUBG.


In his youth, Prof. Clark was a runner, and while in college, if he was not spending time studying, he was running.

“I’ve always been active, I used to run a lot. Biking is easier on the body than running so getting older I did more biking.”

For his 60th birthday he wanted to do something special and that is when he rode his bike crossing the whole country from Blagoevgrad to Burgas.

He says that exercise is an inseparable part of his life and always finds the time to do something active. For example, he comes to the campus every day either walking or by bike.

When the weather is warm and he has free time, he likes to go on longer rides, and in the winter he does cross-country skiing.

“There is just something about my psyche that I have to keep active, or I feel like I’ve wasted the day.”

Philosophy on religion

Prof. Clark comes from a Christian background. For him, Christianity is a purpose and a direction in life.

He identifies himself as a Follower of Jesus and when people ask him what that means, he tells them that he is a Historical Orthodox Christian.

“I think what I believe and follow is what Christians have believed and followed for the last 2000 years. Going back to the original scriptures, going back to the Apostles, the, you know, historical Christianity.”

He pays great attention to how he treats other people and nature, because he believes that life is better when it is God-centered and others-centered.

“Life is not about myself, but it’s: Am I relating to God the way that He wants me to? Do I relate to other people the way God wants me to?”

Apart from that, his faith has given him courage and self-acceptance in times of insecurity.

“To know that I’m accepted by God, I’m accepted by him no matter what I do, He chooses to love me, because He finds value in me. […] When you’re loved by God, it doesn’t really matter what other people think.”