The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will enroll 39 new students in its Master of Public Service (MPS) degree program this fall. Located in downtown Little Rock, on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park, and in the River Market district, the Clinton School is the nation’s first to offer an MPS degree.
Since opening in 2004, the school has attracted students from around the world, from more than 40 countries and over 200 universities. The class of 2018 includes citizens of Ghana, India, Italy, and Nigeria; students from 15 states from all regions of the United States; universities such as Fordham University, Gonzaga University, Haverford College, the University of North Carolina, and Washington University at St. Louis; and from seven universities and colleges in Arkansas.
“We’re very proud to welcome the new Clinton School class. As the nation’s first to offer a Master of Public Service degree, we continue to attract individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and interests, but with a common purpose to uplift others,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “Over the next two years, the public service projects these students will complete in Arkansas and throughout the world will have a significant positive impact.”
This fall, the new Clinton School students will begin team-based public service projects with partner organizations in communities across Arkansas. In the classroom, the students will complete core courses in professionalism, social change, and conflict resolution. Throughout their time here, students will work on three public service projects within their particular public service interests: the team-based Practicum project, the International Public Service Project, and their final project that culminates their degree known as the Capstone.
Orientation for the new class begins August 14 and classes begin August 22.
The class of 2018 includes:
Darlynton Adegor (Delta, Nigeria) – Darlynton Adegor is a graduate of Lagos State University and the Nigerian Law School with a degree in law. He has worked as a lawyer for the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Administration General and Public Trustee Department of the Enugu Ministry of Justice, the Legal Aid Community Development, and at other various law firms and organizations, and volunteered as a project facilitator at School for Young Entrepreneurial Stakeholders. Adegor’s public service interests include rural economic development, youth empowerment, and social justice.
Rebecca Agyei (Kumasi, Ghana) – Rebecca Agyei is a graduate of Arkansas Baptist College with a degree in public administration and criminal justice. She has experience as an intern with Congressman French Hill and has volunteered with the Helping Hand of Little Rock. Agyei’s public service areas of interest include education of women and girls, hunger, and poverty.
Amie Alexander (Waldron, Ark.) – Amie Alexander is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in agricultural education. She is currently pursuing a concurrent law degree with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and has organized and facilitated youth leadership conferences in the past. Alexander’s personal public service interests include agriculture policy, rural development, and youth empowerment through education.
Hannah Bahn (Mercer Island, Wash.) – Hannah Bahn is a graduate of Haverford College with a degree in anthropology. She was previously a teacher at Pacific Ridge School where she taught multiple grades and led a social justice trip to Cambodia for senior high school students, has been the assistant program director at Hands of Peace, interned at Science Leadership Academy, and interned at Equal Education. Bahn’s public service areas of interest include social justice, social change and innovation, and education.
Reginald Ballard (Little Rock, Ark.) – Reginald Ballard is a graduate of the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff with a degree in political science and a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Master of Art in Teaching. He has previously served as a school operations manager at Luna Preparatory, external affairs coordinator with the office of Governor Mike Beebe, and has experience interning with the Clinton Foundation. Ballard’s public service interests include education, public policy, and underserved youth and communities.
Caitlin Campbell (Batesville, Ark.) – Caitlin Campbell is a graduate of Lyon College, where she was president of the student body, with a degree in political science. She is currently pursuing a concurrent law degree with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, has volunteered as a court appointed special advocate to protect the best interests of children in the foster care system, and has spent time conducting field research in urban slums of Mexico City surveying physical, mental, and civic health of individuals of underprivileged communities. Campbell’s public service interests include access to justice and education.
Catherine Campos (Miami, Fla.) – Catherine Campos is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in theater and sociology. She served two years with City Year Jacksonville as an AmeriCorps member, interned with the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, and volunteered with elementary, middle, and high school students in low income areas, working to improve literacy and social/emotional skills.
Madeleine Chaisson (Slidell, La.) – Madeleine Chaisson is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with degrees in international relations and French and Latin American studies and Spanish. She has previous experience with Dream B.I.G., Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry, and Razorback Food Recovery. Chaisson’s personal areas of interest include immigrants’ rights, women empowerment and equality, and food security.
Susanna Creed (Monrovia, Calif.) – Susanna Creed is a graduate of Towson University with a degree in kinesiology. She recently served as an AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA member and has volunteered as a staff facilitator with the Next Step – Social Justice Retreat at Chapman University. Creed’s public service areas of interest include youth empowerment, youth leadership development, community organizing, and education.
Brittney Dennis (Little Rock, Ark.) – Brittney Dennis is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in psychology and African/African American studies. She has been a youth care worker, mental health paraprofessional, a second grade teacher, an intern at Heifer International, and an AmeriCorps Vista member. Dennis’ public service interest areas include education, hunger alleviation, youth development, and social justice.
Caroline Dunlap (Brookline, Mass.) – Caroline Dunlap is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in environmental studies. She has served as an AmeriCorps member with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has worked in various roles at Heifer Ranch for Heifer International, and volunteered as an HIV test counselor and a community arts space collective member. Dunlap’s areas of public service interest include conservation and fostering connections to public lands, community development, public health, and LGBTQ advocacy.
Starre Haas (Little Rock, Ark.) – Starre Haas is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with degrees in finance and accounting. She is the founder of the Little Rock Community Alliance, the CEO and founder of My Historic Downtown, and the president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. Haas’ public service areas of interests include citizen empowerment, civil rights, and women’s rights.
Mollie Henager (Conway, Ark.) – Mollie Henager is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in psychology and Spanish. She has experience as a private Spanish tutor and as a UCA Centralized scheduling assistant, and has volunteered as an ESL tutor through Literacy Action of Central Arkansas. Henager’s public service areas of interests include international development, immigration, education, and gender equality.
Zack Huffman (Houston, Miss.) – Zach Huffman is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in public policy leadership. He has served as an elementary teacher of the past three years and, while he was an undergraduate, was the youngest elected school board member in Mississippi. Huffman’s public service areas of interest include education, food security, and U.S. politics.
Lucy Kagan (Fort Collins, Colo.) – Lucy Kagan is a graduate of the University of Denver with a degree in English. She is a former field manager with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and No Kid Hungry Campaign, a USDA commodities program supervisor with Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, Colo., former intern for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for two years in Northwest Arkansas where she spearheaded Fayetteville’s Farm to School program. Kagan’s public service interests include hunger alleviation, sustainable agriculture, and governmental welfare programs.
Megan Kurten (Little Rock, Ark.) – Megan Kurten is a graduate of Hendrix College with a degree in history and political science. She is currently enrolled as a concurrent law degree student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, has worked as a lab manager at Children’s Hospital, and has served as an AmeriCorps member at the Center for Arkansas Legal Services, and has volunteered with CALS to help transgender patients get correct IDs. Kurten’s public service interests include civil rights, discrimination, and social justice.
Steven Kwizera (Los Angeles, Calif.) – Steven Kwizera is a graduate of Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda with a degree in political science and social administration, and a graduate of Keller Graduate School of Management at Devry with a master’s in project management. He has worked as a public volunteer in Uganda in malaria sensitization annual drives, advocating for rights of children and political freedom. Kwizera’s public service interests include education and rights of vulnerable children in poor communities.
Domenick Lasorsa (Cape Cod, Mass.) – Domenick Lasorsa is a graduate of Fordham University with degrees in international political economy and Latin American and Latino studies. He has served as a City Year AmeriCorps member with City Year Little Rock, an intern for the city of Little Rock in Mayor Mark Stodola’s office, and has volunteered with at risk middle school and elementary students as an afterschool tutor and mentor. Lasorsa’s public service interests include international development, education, and social justice.
Jason Lochmann (Pine Bluff, Ark.) – Jason Lochmann is a graduate of Lyon College, where he was student body president, with a degree in biology. He previously served as an Arkansas Department of Health Stead Scholar, Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Summer Research Fellow, and volunteered as a White River Medical Center health coach. Lochmann’s public service interests include civil rights, public health with an emphasis in mental health, LGBTQ advocacy, and rural health matters.
Emily Loker (Madison, Wis.) – Emily Loker is a graduate of Northland College with a degree in English and writing. She served as an AmeriCorps member with Anti-Hunger Opportunity VISTA and Multilingual Leadership Corps. Loker’s public service areas of interest include youth empowerment, social justice, food security, and refugee and immigrant rights.
Crystal C. Mercer (Little Rock, Ark.) – Crystal C. Mercer is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in theatre arts and dance. She has worked with the National Park Service as park guide at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre as an actor, wardrobe assistant, and as part of the educational touring company, has volunteered with Our House Shelter to produce Shakespeare at the Shelter and the Youth Leadership Academy for the National Park Service. Mercer’s public service interests include youth empowerment, fusing arts and activism, education, and preservation of legacies.
Chelsea Miller (Hickory, N.C.) – Chelsea Miller is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with a degree in peace, war, and defense, and religious studies. She spent two years as a mobile outreach coordinator for 7hills Homeless Center, two years as victims services coordinator for Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis Center, is a lifelong Girl Scout, and the co-founder of Essentials Outreach in Fayetteville, Ark. Miller’s personal public service interests include women’s empowerment, gender equality, and the intersection of business, government, and nonprofit sectors.
Tony Nickerson (Richland Hills, Texas) – Tony Nickerson is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in political science. He has past experience serving as an intern with North American Missions Board Church Planting in Illinois. Nickerson’s public service interests include human rights, refugees, homelessness, and immigration.
Fiona O’Leary Sloan (Seattle, Wash.) – Fiona O’Leary Sloan is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in anthropology. She has spent time as a graphic designer, a consultant for an urban planning consulting firm, a public diplomacy intern with the U.S. Department of State, and an intern with the World Health Organization. Sloan’s public service interest areas include international relations and conflict resolution, women’s health, and socially conscious entrepreneurship.
Ross Owyoung (McGehee, Ark.) – Ross Owyoung is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in criminal justice. He has previous experience with Ozark Montessori Academy as a physical education teacher, an internship with Smith Hurst, and has volunteered with programs with the Department of Human Services and Boys and Girls Club to provide meals for school-aged children during the summer. Owyoung’s public service interests include poverty, education, government, and the environment.
Colby Qualls (Monette, Ark.) – Colby Qualls is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in political science and sociology. He is currently pursuing a concurrent law degree with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, is a former intern for U.S. Department of Interior, former intern for U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford, and has spent time volunteering for the Human Rights Campaign and various political efforts. Qualls’ public service interests include education, civil rights, and civil liberties.
Vinay Raj (Chennai, India) – Vinay Raj is a graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) with a master’s degree in public health and a graduate of University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) with a Ph.D. degree in Bioinformatics. He worked with UAMS as a Bioinformatics Analyst in the genomics core of the cancer institute and is a former chair of the Arkansas chapter of the MidSouth Bioinformatics Society. He is also the founder and past president of the Bioinformatics club at UALR. He has co-authored more than ten publications and has been a co-investigator in grants involving the NIH and other private entities. Raj’s public service interests include disease prevention, health care, economic development, education, global health and non-profit management.
Natalie Ramm (Little Rock, Ark.) – Natalie Ramm is a graduate of Hendrix College with a degree in English and studio art. She is currently pursuing a concurrent law degree with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, has previously served as a communications coordinator for the Maternal Health Task Force at Harvard School of Public Health, volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas, and previously with Center for Arkansas Legal Services. Ramm’s public service interests include the intersection between health and legal issues, especially for low-income women.
Liz Reich (Forest Park, Ill.) – Liz Reich is a graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in print and editorial journalism and Italian studies. She has served as a United Communities AmeriCorps member for Douglas County Mental Health in Oregon, an AmeriCorps HOPE member for Deschutes County Health Services, an English teacher in the Marshall Islands, a volunteer with Human Dignity Coalition, and a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Explore Austin. Reich’s public service areas of interest include youth development, education reform, reproductive health access, and Marshallese immigration.
Paxton Richardson (Fall City, Wash.) – Paxton Richardson is a graduate of Gonzaga University with degrees in communication and sociology. She has previous experience with Catholic Community Services as a Youth Partner in the Wraparound with Intensive Services program in Washington, with Zambia Gold as the manager of community outreach, and the YWCA as a Women’s Opportunity Center program assistant. Richardson’s public service areas of interest include international development, education, social change, conflict resolution, and immigration.
Emily Smith (Little Rock, Ark.) – Emily Smith is a graduate of Hendrix College with a degree in English, film studies and politics. She is a former City Year Little Rock AmeriCorps member and has worked to help coordinate City Year’s Summer Academy Experience for staff and senior AmeriCorps members, a former communications intern with the Clinton Foundation, and has volunteered with Heifer International. Smith’s public service interests include access to healthcare for rural communities, education reform and policy, and workers’ rights.
Thaddeus Smith (Little Rock, Ark.) – Thaddeus Smith is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in political science. He has served as an AmeriCorps member with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arkansas and has experience with the Love Your School gardening program with the Little Rock School District. Smith’s public service interests include gardening programs for children, outdoor classroom experience, and afterschool programs.
Joshua Snyder (Glendale, Ariz.) – Joshua Snyder is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in Journalism, and a graduate of St. John’s College with a master’s in liberal arts. He has been a program monitor for an afterschool reading program with the Sherman Independent School District, a youth adviser at an emergency shelter for teenage boys, and an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Snyder’s public service areas of interest include public education and youth development.
Nick Stevens (Jacksonville, Ark.) – Nick Stevens is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in economics. He has served as the U.S. office director at Life Child, interned with Zambia Project, and volunteered with Rally International in Goma, DRC. Stevens’ public service interests include sustainable economic development, faith-based community development, child welfare, education, excellence in social systems and services, and pan-African empowerment.
Emilie Street (Jackson, Miss.) – Emilie Street is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in public policy leadership and religious studies. She has been a member of the Young Adult Service Corps and volunteered as an English teacher at Holy Spirit Episcopal Bilingual School in Honduras. Street’s public service areas of interests include social justice, women’s rights, and equal access to education.
Andrew Treviño (Greeley, Colo.) – Andrew Treviño is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in political science. He is currently enrolled as a concurrent law degree student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and has previously formally worked for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in his Washington, D.C. office, and volunteered for the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences 12th Street Health Clinic providing pro bono legal services to low income and underserved communities in Little Rock. Treviño’s areas of interest in public service include access to education, economic and social justice, civil rights, and community empowerment.
Brandon Treviño (Greeley, Colo.) – Brandon Treviño is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in political science. He is currently enrolled as a concurrent law degree student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, he serves as a mentor to incoming law students as a Dean’s Fellow, is the secretary of the Bowen Hispanic Law Student Association, and has previously volunteered with Wills for Heroes where he helped draft wills and power of attorney for first responders and law enforcement. Treviño’s public service interests include community empowerment, access to education, racial and ethnic justice, and immigrant rights.
Ravyn Towns (Memphis, Tenn.) – Ravyn Towns is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in journalism and electronic media. She previously founded the non-profit Ray of Sunshine and has volunteered by serving as a mentor for at-risk youth. Towns’ public service areas of interest include assisting survivors of gun violence and the growth and development of underprivileged, female youth.