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Emily Wernsdorfer of York, Penn. spent the past six months completing her University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service final Capstone project with Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center, a nonprofit camp in Little Rock specializing in hospitality, outreach, and sustainability. The project entailed creating an environmental education program for Ferncliff’s new Eco Center.
Emily’s project is the first program developed specifically for use in the Eco Center. The project includes a comprehensive environmental education curriculum with 24 interactive activities. Groups that visit Ferncliff, such as church youth groups and classes on school field trips, can use this curriculum to learn more about environmental education.
Emily compiled suggestions for the curriculum and activities through research on existing environmental programs and through surveys, interviews, and focus groups with a variety of stakeholders who may be interested in visiting the Eco Center in the future. These stakeholders include teachers, environmental educators, church employees from several denominations, and camp professionals.
“Emily’s project gathered insights from a variety of constituencies so that we could better invest our time developing the environmental education programs most wanted by our user groups,” said David Gill, Executive Director of Ferncliff. “We are now in a much better position to invest our limited resources in environmental sustainability programs that will bring maximum benefit to campers, students, and guests.”
The Eco Center at Ferncliff is the perfect location for adults and youth alike to learn more about the environment and how to live more sustainable lifestyles. It is a 5,300 square foot structure, built almost entirely through volunteer labor and locally available materials. Its walls are made up of 1,200 bales of straw covered with three coats of natural hydraulic lime, inside and out, making it the largest straw bale walled structure in the country. Among its numerous green features are a dozen 250W solar panels that power the building, solar chimneys for ventilation, rice hull insulation in the walls and attic, and a wood-fired furnace that pumps hot water through tubing under the floor to heat the building.
“We built one of the most creatively green buildings in the country, but needed a curriculum so it could become a fantastic classroom for school groups and summer campers,” said Gill. “Emily’s project is exactly the resource our church and school leaders were requesting.”
The Capstone project is the third of three major field projects in the Clinton School curriculum. Emily graduated in May 2014 and is finishing her Capstone project to fulfill her graduation requirements.
About Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center
Ferncliff is a nonprofit Presbyterian-related summer camp and retreat facility located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since 1937 Ferncliff has provided programming and lodging for summer camps, meetings, workshops, retreats, and conferences. Ferncliff accommodates groups of all sizes and affiliations, as its mission includes a dedicated interest in hospitality, outreach, and sustainability. Ferncliff strives to be as environmentally friendly as possible, including dozens of green initiatives in construction, building maintenance, and programming.
More information about Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center can be found at www.ferncliff.org
For the first time, the Gulf South-Summit is being held in Arkansas form March 11-13 at the Little Rock Marriott. Co-hosted by the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Summit will attract over 300 faculty, staff, community partners, and students from over 100 higher education institutions. The Summit provides a dynamic forum to discuss the challenges and successes of higher education’s drive towards true community engagement by facilitating discussions on best practices, sharing research, and fostering a professional network of engaged scholars, students, and practitioners.
“Legacies and Lunch: Black History Month,” a panel discussion
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (CALS Ron Robinson Theater) *In partnership with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
- In honor of Black History Month, Legacies and Lunch will feature Henderson State University history professor John Graves, Arkansas State University history professor Cherisse Jones-Branch, community leader Freeman McKindra Sr., and Butler Center staff member Rhonda Stewart on the benefits and detriments of denoting a specific month for African American history. The panel will explore ideas of the promotion of Black History Month, building commitment to the history of African Americans, and even the idea of leading to decreased attention to this topic in other months.
“Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Greatest Ideas,” author John Pollack
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- A former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, John Pollack has spent more than a decade as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and public sector leaders. Throughout his career, he has pursued insight and understanding by venturing off the beaten path, intellectually and otherwise. In this spirit, his worldview has been informed by living and working in Africa and Europe, installing seismometers in Antarctica, hitchhiking across Australia, exploring the Caucasus and skippering a boat he built of 165,321 corks down Portugal’s Douro River. In “Shortcut,” Pollack reveals just how pervasive analogies really are — and how powerful. He also explains how to evaluate the “truth” of any analogy, and how people can hone their ability with analogy to become more creative, perceptive and persuasive.
“Reinventing the Classroom, Rethinking Education,” Interim Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Harry Lewis
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Harry Lewis, the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, is the author of numerous books and articles, including his celebrated book on higher education, “Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future?” A member of the Harvard faculty since 1974 and as the former Dean of Harvard College, he has helped launch thousands of Harvard undergraduates, including both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, into careers in computer science. With “Reinventing the Classroom, Rethinking Education,” Lewis will explore the movement of information online and how it challenges the old rule of the lecture hall as the place where information from the professor is passed on to the students, while also exploring the emergence of mass online education and rethinking how faculty use classroom time. He argues that the real purpose of undergraduate education was never about the mere information transfer in the first place.
“Teacher Retention and Recruitment to Influence Educational Equity,” former Arkansas Teacher of the Year, Jonathan Crossley
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Jonathan Crossley, who teaches at Palestine Wheatley High School in Palestine, Arkansas, was selected as the 2014 Arkansas Teacher of the Year in November 2013. In addition to teaching 11th and 12th-grade English and oral communication and serving as the drama director, Crossley is the literacy coach for grades six through 12. His students were recognized for the most improved literacy scores in the state of Arkansas, improving from 36% to 92% proficient or advanced. Furthermore, Crossley tracks ACT score growth where his students improved an average of 5.6 points (17.6-23.2). He was recently selected as a national honor roll teacher for the Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice and the Lowell Milken Fellowship for Unsung Heroes.
Dan Schnur, executive director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Dan Schnur is the executive director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, where he works to motivate students to become involved in politics, government, and public service and teaches popular classes in politics, communications and leadership. In 2010, Schnur was appointed Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). During his tenure, he implemented groundbreaking campaign finance disclosure requirements for independent committees, appointed a bipartisan task force to update California’s 1978 Political Reform Act, and worked to assure the disclosure of campaign finance and spending practices, fair elections, and government transparency. For years, Schnur was one of California’s leading political and media strategists, whose record includes work on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns.
“Pathways to Public Service for Young Women”
Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- The B.A. Rudolph Foundation is a charitable nonprofit started by women, for women, to honor the founders’ godmother, B.A. Rudolph. Rudolph, a native Arkansan and University of Arkansas alumna, was a lifelong public servant who supported young women who wanted to make a difference in the world. The B.A. Rudolph Foundation’s mission is to advance and benefit young women through educational and general support for whom a small amount of support could make a significant difference by providing financial and professional support to young women with internships in public service and the sciences. During this program, the co-founders of the B.A. Rudolph Foundation will discuss why they created the organization and the lessons they’ve learned in running a small foundation created to “pay it forward.”
Joan Wages, president and CEO, National Women’s History Museum
Monday, February 23, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- As president and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum, Joan Wages leads the nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. In addition to overseeing the museum’s development, she has been lobbying Congress to pass legislation, which would establish a bipartisan Congressional Commission to produce a feasible plan for the Museum. Prior to joining the National Women’s History Museum, Wages served as president of Cash, Smith & Wages, a government affairs consulting firm. With proven expertise in state and federal legislation, Wages’ legislative accomplishments include passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as the smoking ban on aircraft, numerous aviation security measures, and Delaware legislation to prevent the takeover of corporations by corporate raiders.
*Reserve your seats by emailing email@example.com or calling (501) 683-5239.
To commemorate 10 years of International Public Service Projects, alumni are celebrating in true Clinton School fashion – by serving for social change. This summer, the Clinton School will partner with Peacework to organize a short-term public service project in Dangriga, Belize. We invite all alumni, volunteers, faculty, and staff, along with their family members, to join us!
For a decade, Clinton School students have worked alongside global community partners, including Peacework, to establish alliances for social research and community development. Impact made in key areas such as financial literacy and entrepreneurship, youth empowerment, women’s health, and water and sanitation is founded in the long-term commitment fostered over many consecutive years in Belize. To celebrate 10 years of public service, alumni from Class 1 to the graduating Class 9 are invited to reunite in 2015 to continue the legacy of bridging cultures, values, and best practices for social change.
Nearly 20 UACS students and alumni have contributed to these efforts in Belize over the last 10 years. Many have worked alongside Peacework and its Belizean community partners, building on 15 years of collaboration for community development.
Malcolm Glover, Class of 2007 (Project)
Gary Wheeler, Class of 2008 (IPSP)
Emily English, Class of 2009 (PW Field Manager)
James Mitchell, Class of 2009 (PW Field Manager)
Hunter Riley, Class of 2009 (PW Field Manager)
Idonia Trotter, Class of 2009 (IPSP)
Lindsey Barnett, Class of 2010 (IPSP)
Jonathan Dunkley, Class of 2010 (IPSP & PW Field Manager)
Julianne Dunn, Class of 2010 (IPSP)
Kohl Fallin, Class of 2010 (IPSP)
Lisa Porterfield Thompson, Class of 2010 (IPSP)
Olivia Wilmot, Class of 2010 (IPSP)
Kate Raum, Class of 2011 (PW Field Manager)
Jessi Rice, Class of 2012 (PW Field Manager)
Andrea Price, Class of 2013 (IPSP)
Krystal Chipman, Class of 2014 (IPSP)
Josh Visnaw, Class of 2014 (IPSP & PW Field Manager)
Quiana Brown, Class of 2015 (IPSP)
Lucas Hunt, Class of 2015 (IPSP)
Angela Toomer, Class of 2015 (IPSP)
To learn more about the Legacy Project and join the movement, please visit http://uacslegacyproject.weebly.com/
Clinton School student Tshering Yudon from Thimpu, Bhutan, is collaborating with local visual and graphic artists in Bhutan to create a children’s picture book based on traditional Bhutanese fables. The project is an artistic endeavor to preserve and sustain local stories by sharing them with elementary school children in a fun and creative manner. Yudon made this commitment at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative-University (CGI-U). She is a graduate of Middlebury College in Middlebruy, Vermont and was a McLarty Global Fellow with Vital Voices in Washington D.C.
Haylee Fletcher of Prescott Valley, Ariz., spent four months completing her University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service final Capstone project with the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit resettlement agency that works to serve refugee populations from around the world. Fletcher’s efforts were successful in identifying barriers that refugees face in accessing and understanding health care in Arizona.
In order to create, distribute and collect a medical provider survey, Fletcher first designed and conducted interviews with members from the IRC staff in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. These interviews were critical in the development of the medical provider survey, which was completed by 18 providers with a total of 60 individual responses. Through the survey, barriers to service delivery were made clear, and IRC can now begin to partner with and provide additional support to the high-quality medical providers in the community.
“Although Haylee’s project started out with a different design, she was also able to deliver a high quality set of recommendations to improve health service delivery in the office. These recommendations have already proven to be insightful and valuable and the health and direct service teams are committed to making changes that will positively impact our clients,” said Elisabeth Williams, Health Services Manager of IRC. “Haylee was an invaluable member of our team and able to integrate herself into the daily processes of the office.”
Fletcher was able to dedicate her time to improving internal and external systems and structures during her time with IRC. The capstone project is the third of three major field projects in the Clinton School curriculum. Fletcher will graduate May 2015 after defending her capstone project to Clinton School faculty.
About the International Rescue Committee
A global leader in humanitarian assistance, the International Rescue Committee works in more than 40 countries offering help and hope to refugees and others impacted by violent conflict and disaster. During crises, IRC teams provide health care, shelter, clean water, sanitation, learning programs for children and special aid for women. As emergencies subside, the IRC stays to revive livelihoods and help shattered communities recover and rebuild. Every year, the IRC also helps resettle thousands of refugees admitted into the United States, in 22 cities across the country. A tireless advocate for the most vulnerable, the IRC is committed to restoring hope, dignity and opportunity.
For more information, visit www.rescue.org.
Class 8 Alum launches Project Kinect, a social change firm that assists people and organizations in creating the positive social change they wish to see. Project Kinect will be officially launching in Madison, WI Monday, February 23rd. The week will be filled with events, Meet Ups, and community engagement activities. The culmination of the week will be the first annual Social Change Forum that will be held Thursday, February 26th, at the Goodman Community Foundation.
The Social Change Forum’s theme this year is ‘Using Privilege to Become More Inclusive’. The goal is to better develop advocacy skills to make room for everyone’s voice and bring a more inclusive community to the table when planning and developing. This one-day event will bring together interested parties in Madison to openly discuss and articulate how we can empower people region-wide, thus creating the most impactful community possible.
Currently Gregg Potter is working with Kiva Zip to obtain a micro-finance loan for all startup costs. If you would like to lend to this and learn more about Kiva Zip, check out http://zip.kiva.org/loans/10227/i/5mk.
About Project Kinect: Project Kinect can be accessed and contracted anywhere. Project Kinect works in three ways. First, the website works as an online catalogue of tools and social change endeavors to generate ideas and share best practices. Second, services can be contracted individually for short-term assistance. This could be grant writing, asset mapping, evaluation, and many more. Third, Project Kinect can be hired as a project manager and oversee an operation.
For more information about Project Kinect, go to projectkinect.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, the Clinton School of Public Service, the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship are proud to announce a Social Entrepreneurship Boot Camp to be held July 17-19, 2015, at the Institute on Petit Jean Mountain. Applications for the boot camp will be accepted now through Jan. 31 and can be found at www.rockefellerinstitute.org/SEbootcamp.
The boot camp will provide training for new and aspiring social entrepreneurs, focusing on such topics as business skills, legal issues, scalability, measuring impact, ethics and benefit corporations. Participants will also receive one-on-one mentoring from established business leaders and social enterprise experts.
Those interested are encouraged to submit an application through the website. Applicants are encouraged to apply in teams, though individual applications will also be accepted. Applications will be judged by representatives from each partner organization, and the selectees for the boot camp will be notified by March 30. The selected attendees will then be required to complete a “lean canvas,” a particularly accessible model for describing and organizing business ventures. Each team/participant’s lean canvas will be developed throughout the boot camp, and the end result will be a solid business plan for each social enterprise.
Steve Clark, founder of Propak Logistics and co-founder of Rockfish and Noble Impact, will serve as the boot camp’s keynote speaker. Also confirmed to serve as a speaker and mentor is Trish Flanagan, founder of Picasolar and Show Me Solar Power, and co-founder of Noble Impact.
“In Arkansas and around the world, young people are gravitating toward social entrepreneurship as a pathway to pursue the aspirations of their generation,” Clark said.
The boot camp follows in the success of the 2013 panel discussion on social entrepreneurship developed by the Institute and the Clinton School.
“This concept of doing well by doing good, of businesses designed to have a positive social impact, has the potential to be an important part of our state’s future,” said Dr. Marta Loyd, executive director of the Institute. “Our partners bring immense practical experience and intellectual resources to the table. With their help, we look forward to the new enterprises that will surely be launched as a result of this program.”
About the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
In 2005, the University of Arkansas System established the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute with a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. By integrating the resources and expertise of the University of Arkansas System with the legacy and ideas of Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, this educational institute and conference center creates an atmosphere where collaboration and change can thrive.
Program areas include Agriculture, Arts and Humanities, Civic Engagement, Economic Development, and Health. To learn more, call 501-727-5435, visit the website at www.rockefellerinstitute.org, or stay connected through Twitter and Facebook.
About the Clinton School of Public Service
The first school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service gives students the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private sector service.
A two-year graduate program with a real-world curriculum, the Clinton School is located on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Ark. The school embodies former President Clinton’s vision of building leadership in civic engagement and enhancing people’s capacity to work across disciplinary, racial, ethnic and geographical boundaries. For more information, visit www.clintonschool.uasys.edu.
About the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship
The mission of the University of Arkansas’ Office of Entrepreneurship is to catalyze entrepreneurial activities and innovation across the university and throughout the state in order to build Arkansas’ knowledge-based economy. Established in 2011, the Office of Entrepreneurship has led commercialization retreats for faculty from the research universities in the state, supported student and faculty commercialization activities, integrated University of Arkansas research with demand-driven innovation needs in the state through the IGNITE program, and hosted several social entrepreneurship events.
University of Arkansas students have led the world in national and international business plan competitions since 2009, winning almost twice as many competitions as the next closest competitor. Students have won over $2.3 million in prize money, established 13 high-growth businesses, and raised almost $30 million to build their companies. Visit. http://entrepreneurship.uark.edu for more information.
About the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub (www.arhub.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing innovative and entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas by creating a collaborative ecosystem and pipelines that mobilize the resources, programs and educational opportunities necessary to develop, attract and retain talent and to build the state’s economy.
This article originally appeared on www.ArkansasBusiness.com
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have named J.D. Lowery as manager of community and economic development.
He previously served as director of the Arkansas Energy Office for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
“[Lowery] has a wealth of knowledge and experience involving energy industry issues, including the many opportunities and innovations that are evolving and on the immediate horizon,” Kirkley Thomas, vice president of governmental affairs, said in a news release.
Lowery has a master’s in public service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and is an LEED accredited professional in building design and construction. He’s also certified in global reporting and initiative sustainability reporting.
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprises 17 distribution cooperatives that provide electricity to about 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas.