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Angela Toomer of Little Rock, Ark. completed her University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Capstone Project with Heifer International, conducting an impact evaluation of Heifer USA’s workplace Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.
The workplace CSA offers Heifer employees the opportunity to purchase a weekly box of produce grown by smallholder Arkansas farmers. The CSA project is designed to provide rural farmers with access to consistent and profitable markets, while strengthening the local economy by keeping Arkansas food dollars within the state.
Using interviews and a survey, Toomer measured changes in employee diet during CSA participation and found that employees participating in the CSA ate more fruits and vegetables during the CSA season. Fruit and vegetable consumption increased from 1-2 servings per day before the CSA season to 3-4 servings per day during the CSA season. Employees also tended to cook at home more often, as opposed to, for example, eating out at restaurants, while receiving the CSA boxes weekly.
In addition, Toomer measured baseline health biometrics for the first year of the study to learn whether CSA participation was correlated with improved health. Using anonymous data collected by Heifer’s wellness company, Toomer analyzed Body Mass Index (BMI), LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels before and after the first year of the workplace CSA. Though health changes have not yet been found, these initial measurements will be useful for Heifer in continuing to monitor health changes related to CSA participation.
“I am really excited about the study results. It helps Heifer USA staff to continue to refine the workplace CSA model for farmer groups to replicate not only here in Arkansas but also across the country,” said Ben Wihebrink, director of operations at Heifer USA. “Securing markets is one of the hardest parts of being a small-scale farmer. Helping farmers secure workplace markets and make a change in community food consumption is a wonderful thing.”
It is crucial to find creative and effective solutions to widespread health problems in both Arkansas and the nation. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, over half of Americans have one or more preventable diseases related to poor diet quality, such as obesity and heart disease. Companies and organizations can benefit from putting into place programs that make employees healthier and more productive. The results of this study suggest that workplaces should consider offering a CSA to employees alongside an effective wellness program.
About Heifer International
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For information, visit www.heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @Heifer or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Student Government Association would like to invite you to a Candlelight Vigil in remembrance of the students of Garissa University College.
The vigil will take place this Friday, April 17th, at 7PM at the Clinton School, 1200 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, AR 72201.
Jennifer Guzman will be working with the Human Rights Program Team on an evaluative research project to help Vital Voices learn more about the effectiveness of their “Institute Model” for training. Institutes bring together actors from across the criminal justice and service-provider communities of their countries to build a framework for coordinated response to these crimes and to improve victim services. The project will also look into how the Institute Model supports women leaders working to address gender-based violence in their countries.
Michelle Perez will be working with the Global Programs on an evaluative research project that will help Vital Voices learn more about the effectiveness of different types of mentoring programs, mainly for women in business.
The fellowship will begin in early September and continue through the Fall. It will take place in Washington, D.C.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall (1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201)
About our bell: Originally on “The Eagle,” a train that ran from St. Louis, Mo. to Mexico City, the bell was later displayed in the Missouri Pacific Station in Little Rock. After the restaurant in the Missouri Pacific Station closed, the bell was acquired by private owners and then later donated to the Clinton School of Public Service.
For more information and to see a full list of participants, visit http://www.
As part of his coursework, Brad Cameron from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service worked alongside Limited Resource Teacher Training (LRTT) to create a video-led teacher-training program to improve teachers’ classroom-based skills in Southwest Uganda.
Cameron of Conway, Ark., assessed a video-led teacher-training program over the summer and collaborated with videographers to improve the quality and accessibility of these videos. His work involved planning revisions to existing video footage, developing tools to continuously assess whether videos improve teachers’ skills, and creating a plan for providing ongoing support to teachers.
More than two million qualified teachers are needed to adequately teach children around the world, according to an UNESCO report. This need is especially pronounced in schools serving rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, where teachers have limited access to resources and few professional training opportunities. This video-led training program addresses this need by providing professional training and bringing teachers together to improve their efficacy in the classroom.
LRTT is leveraging the creativity, ingenuity, and dedication of teachers within Southwest Uganda and is providing them with a common language to improve their skills based on educational research. The organization provides training videos via battery-powered micro-projectors.
“At LRTT, we are committed to a future where every child receives a great education regardless of the context they are born into,” said Simon Graffy, founder and director of LRTT. “We meet this challenge head-on by leading transformational teacher-training projects in areas where such training is scarce.”
Cameron is in his second year of classes in the school’s Master of Public Service degree program. He completed this project as part of the degree program’s curricular requirements.
About Limited Resource Teacher Training
LRTT provides low-cost, high-quality teacher-training programs. They have provided 1,235 training sessions to teachers in 6 countries. LRTT employs a growing network of contributing teacher Fellows from the UK and US that has grown to include 130 teachers contributing a minimum of one month working with teachers around the world.
More information about Limited Resource Teacher Training is available at www.lrtt.org.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service invites non-profits, government agencies, businesses, foundations or other organizations working on issues of social change to submit ideas for field projects to be accomplished during the 2015-2016 academic year.
Clinton School students are working towards their Masters of Public Service degrees. In their field projects, they apply what they are learning in the classroom to real public service projects.
The Clinton School is currently accepting proposals for Practicum and Capstone field projects.
Practicum projects are selected by the Clinton School and accomplished by small teams of students from September 2015 through May 2016. Applications for Practicum projects are due on April 11, 2015.
Individual students select Capstone projects based on their career goals. Students devote over 250 hours to implementing their Capstones, which begin at different times of the year depending on student course schedules. Proposals for Capstone projects are accepted on a rolling basis through August 2015.
In addition to fulfilling degree requirements, the projects allow Clinton School students to add value to the organizations they partner with.
The school seeks field projects that meet an identified need of an organization or group of people. This allows for work to be accomplished that is beneficial to both the community and the student.
“Over the past six years our work with the students and faculty of the Clinton School of Public Service has been a great benefit to Newport and Jackson County,” said Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission. “The projects have helped our community provide better opportunities for our citizens and have allowed the students from the Clinton School to gain experience that will help them transform other communities in the future. It is one of the most mutually rewarding activities that we have undertaken for our town.”
Clinton School field projects include work such as:
• Facilitating discussions on social issues
• Conducting needs assessments to study a problem and determine a plan to implement solutions
• Identifying and developing community/organization assets
• Designing and implementing surveys to collect information about a problem
• Building or strengthening partnerships, coalitions and/or teams
• Conducting interviews and focus groups
• Mobilizing people to take action on social issues
• Researching best practices
“The students, the partner organizations, and the community have all benefited from the field service projects,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “We encourage interested organizations to submit proposals to work with us next year.”
Organizations interested in partnering with the Clinton School can submit a proposal online at: http://clintonschool.uasys.edu/academics/field-service-program/apply-to-be-a-field-service-partner/.
To obtain additional information about the application process, contact the Assistant of Field Service Education, Hilary Trudell, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-683-5200.
Clinton School alum and ISOS Co-Founder Nancy Mancilla will be awarded a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) of Southern California for her commitment to the advancement of sustainability practices as well as her professional accomplishments in the training of many Fortune 500 company sustainability leaders over the course of a decade.
The Award will be presented during a ceremony on Earth Day – Wednesday, April 22, at Lexus in Santa Monica. Mancilla will be joined by other award recipients including Jessica Alba, founder and chief creative officer, The Honest Company; Brian Lee, co-founder and chief executive officer, The Honest Company; Christopher Gavigan, co-founder and chief product officer, The Honest Company; and Sean Kane, co-founder and president, The Honest Company (“Pioneer in Sustainability”)
In addition to honoring individual leaders and impactful projects in sustainability, the annual event salutes Southern California companies working to support the mission of the SBC, which is to improve business operating efficiencies, profit margins and staff productivity while lowering the ecological impact of their products and services.
Mancilla and her fellow recipients will make brief remarks in a celebration that will feature a Restaurant Showcase with tastings from top vegan, vegetarian and sustainable chefs and restaurants. Attendees will have the opportunity to select the SBC Restaurant of the Year.
As Co-Founder of ISOS Group (http://isosgroup.com) and the ISOS Center for Social Responsibility (http://isoscsr.org), Nancy Mancilla was selected by the award committee for having become a game-changer and role model in sustainable business practices in addition to her achievement as a member of the inaugural graduating class of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas. ISOS was also called out in the award for being a company that continues to inspire business leaders from around Southern California to focus their efforts on solving the world’s challenges through the application of business solutions.
The “Lifetime Achievement in Sustainability”
The Sustainable Business Council (http://www.sustainablebc.org)
Tatiana Riddle of Guy, Ark. spent eight months completing her University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service final Capstone project with the Division of International Conservation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Division of International Conservation is responsible for facilitating grants and technical support to environmental conservation programs worldwide. Riddle’s efforts will contribute to the Division of International Conservation’s work by helping to improve the connection between legislators and environmental conservation.
Riddle developed a “lessons learned” guide to engage legislators in environmental conservation efforts. This is the first guide that helps to inform the establishment and development of mechanisms that engage legislators in environmental conservation. Often, natural resource management is not a legislator’s primary concern; legislators are focused more on issues such as managing economic crises or responding to daily constituent needs. Conversely, many environmental conservation organizations do not include legislators as one of their target audiences.
To collect the lessons learned, Riddle conducted interviews with individuals involved in engaging legislators in environmental conservation. Regions highlighted in the lessons learned guide include: Southeast Asia (Borneo, Indonesia), Sub-Saharan Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia), and Central and Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico). Riddle looked at various types of mechanisms including caucuses, networks, radio programs, and transdisciplinary groups.
“The lessons learned from this project are very valuable as they hit key points on planning, communications, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) that will be useful to USFWS and partners when considering support for conservation caucuses and engagement with legislators from around the world,” said Dirck Byler, Acting Africa Branch Chief of the USFWS Division of International Conservation.
Key lessons learned include: 1) Neutrality and lack of perception as lobbyists is key to successfully engaging with legislators on environmental issues, 2) In order to maintain continued legislator awareness and attention, providing consistent, high-quality information is vital, and, 3) working with legislators, either by building a caucus or simply disseminating information, takes an extraordinary amount of time and resources.
This lessons learned guide will be invaluable to future initiatives that work to inform and involve legislators in environmental conservation. With an increasing need to enact well-informed public policy, the connection between legislators and environmental conservation efforts is more vital than ever.
To complete this project, Riddle utilized relationships that she developed over the last few years. Riddle has been an intern in the Division of International Conservation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since May 2012. In 2014, she spent three months in Indonesia working on the Aceh Sustainable Development Caucus.
The Capstone Project is the third of three major field projects in the Clinton School curriculum. Riddle will graduate May 2015 after defending her capstone project to Clinton School faculty.
About the Division of International Conservation (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
The Division of International Conservation (DIC) is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Division of International Conservation is a governmental organization that collaborates with partners worldwide to conserve biodiversity for future generations by facilitating financial and technical support to environmental conservation projects and building the capacity of emerging wildlife conservationists.
More information about the Division of International Conservation is available at www.fws.gov/international.
Sylvia Tran of Fort Smith, Ark. spent five months in Siem Reap, Cambodia completing her University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service final Capstone project with the Lotus Kids’ Club (LKC), an early-intervention program for anti-human trafficking funded by the Senhoa Foundation (Senhoa) in partnership with the Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CCPCR).
Tran provided evidence-based guidance for improving LKC to ensure its sustainability and positive impact and conducted research to identify improvement areas, provided feasible recommendations, and guided the staff on how to carry out said recommendations. There were sixteen total results for this project including methods for creating a culture of feedback, recommendations on proper program planning, and efficient data collection.
LKC operates four main programs including a preschool, primary school sponsorship, the Family Development Program, and the Afternoon Community Program. It uses a comprehensive approach to address issues found in the Samaki community in Siem Reap including the lack of education, poverty, and human trafficking. Tran’s work helps LKC continue providing crucial services that assure appropriate, long-lasting community development practices.
“Sylvia is an extraordinary young woman with an unwavering commitment to helping underprivileged communities. She has dramatically changed and improved the landscape of Senhoa’s work in Cambodia” said Lisa Nguyen, executive director of the Senhoa Foundation. “With compassion as our guiding compass for the road ahead, we are looking forward to Sylvia’s leadership and skills.”
Tran will return to Cambodia as Country Director for Senhoa after graduation.
The capstone project is the last of three major field projects in the Clinton School curriculum. Tran will graduate May 2015 after defending her capstone project to Clinton School faculty.
About the Senhoa Foundation
Senhoa Foundation supports vulnerable persons and survivors of human trafficking through prevention, rehabilitation and advocacy programs. They provide funding and capacity building through long-lasting partnerships with local organizations to establish sustainable programs that serve underprivileged women and children.
More information about the Senhoa Foundation is available at www.senhoa.org