Christl Caspar talks her plans for the Center for Inclusive Excellence

Written By Rachel Ross, Co-Features/A&E Editor

As the Coordinator for the Center for Inclusive Excellence, Christl Caspar acts as almost the common thread among tasks and projects, tying everything together and making sure the office stays well managed. 

“You can kind of think of me as half office manager and half connector in a way,” Caspar said.

She is responsible for keeping the center on track, while also contributing to tasks herself. Along with her own personal projects, Caspar helps her colleagues in the center- Michael Thornhill and Director Sarah Perrier, on their tasks and objectives when needed. 

Caspar’s ultimate goal for the center is to create a safe space for students, where they feel supported and advocated for through the plethora of projects being pursued there by herself and her colleagues. 

“It is my hope that the CIE will present itself as a space where students can come and trust that we will both listen to them and advocate for them where we can,” Caspar said.

She cited “advocacy” as being a word that she personally associates with her goals for the center. 

“The idea of being a space where students, particularly students who maybe feel more marginalized… and at times maybe struggle with their place in the university and not really sure where to go, I’m hoping the CIE can be a place for those students,” Caspar said. 

It is important to her that students have access to the “transformative experiences” that education can provide, as her undergraduate and graduate experiences made such a large impact on her. 

She received a BFA with a concentration in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA in fiction from West Virginia University after that. 

“For me, both my undergraduate education and my graduate education were both opportunities I didn’t think I was going to have, and they were really transformative experiences for me, and I think college, especially undergrad, is a really exciting time for that, and I want to be able to help other students experience that, even if it’s in indirect ways,” Caspar said. 

In addition to working as the CIE’s coordinator, Caspar also teaches a self directed honors course through the English department. She takes classes at the university as well when she has the opportunity, as she enjoys working with Point Park students. 

Outside of her work at the university, Caspar is also a fiction writer. She felt encouraged to continue working with students after receiving her MFA, as it had given her the opportunity to teach classes on major related topics such as fiction and creative writing. 

In her free time, Caspar loves to read, knit, cook and bake, and horseback ride.