Saturday, June 23 is United Nations Public Service Day. Highlighted by the United Nations Public Service Awards, the day celebrates the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlights the contribution of public service in the development process; recognizes the work of public servants; and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector.
Since opening its doors in 2004, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service has strived to make every day Public Service Day. The Clinton School’s mission is to educate and prepare professionals in public service who understand, engage, and transform complex social, cultural, economic, and political systems to ensure equity, challenge oppression, and effect positive social change.
The school’s dedication to public service has yielded 867 service projects, totaling more than 315,000 hours, equaling more than 36 years of direct field service work.
In Arkansas alone, Clinton School students have completed 329 field service projects.
The various team-based Practicum projects take student teams into Arkansas communities to foster community development and social change in areas such as economic development, environmental awareness, public education, youth leadership development, and health improvement. This field service project fosters teamwork and direct application of classroom skills.
This year, Clinton School students completed 11 field service projects in Arkansas, working in partnership with public agencies, community initiatives, academic ventures, and nonprofit organizations across the state. The 2017-18 Practicum projects’ work included creating economic opportunities in southeast Arkansas, assisting Arkansas museums with a historic decision on their institutional mission, and enhancing adult literacy programs in several Arkansas counties.
This summer, 44 students who recently completed their first year at the school begin work on International Public Service Projects (IPSP). The students are traveling to 28 different countries on six continents.
The Clinton School has now placed students in 89 countries since 2006 – 46 percent of the State Department’s 195 recognized independent states. This includes Namibia, France, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, three countries that are new IPSP host locations in 2018.
The Clinton School is working with 22 new partner organizations this summer, including The Asia Foundation, American Bar Association, and Women Political Leaders Global Forum. There will be 12 returning partners, including Winrock International, Vital Voices, MassChallenge Israel, and Landesa.
Since the school’s inception, students have completed 384 international projects totaling more than 117,000 service hours.
Learn more about this summer’s IPSPs through Connor Flocks and Dylan Edgell, two students traveling to Israel and Peru, respectively. Marquisa Wince is working with Probation and Aftercare Services in Kenya, a government department under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination.