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A first-year student at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Marina Giannirakis was recognized for her exceptional service efforts as an undergraduate at John Carroll University.
Giannirakis was the recipient of JCU’s Campion Service Award as a junior in 2016. With service activities that included We the People – a program that taught fourth-grade students about the constitution and featured a mock congressional hearing – and the Carroll Reads Literacy Program – a tutoring program aimed at helping children refine reading and math skills – Giannirakis’ service experience was broad and unique.
“The Campion Award is given every year at JCU, usually to two students, and it’s for students that have been really involved in service projects or social action on campus,” Giannirakis said. “I was really excited to win.”
She was one of eight students selected to serve on the JCU Center for Service and Social Action Student Leadership Team. Her work with the Center for Service and Social Action afforded her a place on the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, which ultimately set her on her path to the Clinton School.
The Consortium placed her in the Arkansas Delta for an eight-week internship at a legal aid clinic. Based in Helena, Ark., the clinic worked to research cases on social security and disability issues for people living in impoverished areas. It was during this time in Arkansas that she first heard about the Clinton School.
“People always think it’s funny that I ended up back here in Arkansas,” Giannirakis said. “But I’m just very fortunate for the people I’ve had the chance to meet, including other students in class.”
Her interests in women’s rights connect her various service experiences, from working workshops in an adult women’s prison as an undergraduate to her upcoming International Public Service Project that will take her to Hanoi, Vietnam, to work with an organization whose efforts include female workers’ rights.
Additionally, Giannirakis was recently announced as one of two new McLarty Vital Voices Scholars from the Clinton School for the 2018-19 academic year. She will be in Washington, D.C., for a semester-long fellowship with Vital Voices Global Partnership, an organization that works with women leaders in the areas of economic empowerment, women’s political participation, and human rights.
“I’m super excited about it,” Giannirakis said. “I’ll be doing some work analyzing the connections between the different women leaders around the world and sort of highlighting their stories. I’m pumped about that.”
What brought you to the Clinton School?
About three years ago I was part of a poverty-based studies internship program at my university. You applied to the program and then you were randomly dispersed around the United States, and I was put in Helena, Arkansas. It was somewhere I had never been. I worked at a legal aid clinic there and it was an amazing experience.
One weekend, we came to Little Rock for a conference, we had some meetings, and one of the things we did was tour the Clinton School. We talked to Dean Rutherford and Alex Thomas. It had a very lasting impression on me. That was kind of my journey.
I was involved in a lot of social justice initiatives and projects in my undergrad, and I just kind of saw the Clinton School as a continuous next step.
Outside of work, one of the biggest things, at least for myself, was – we didn’t have WiFi or cable – so we would just walk around the town and try to find stuff to do. We found ways to get involved. There was a farmer’s market every Saturday. We started volunteering for the Helena Second Saturday festival.
One of the women who worked at the UAMS Delta Health Education Center, where two of my roommates were working, got us involved in going to their exercise classes where they had water aerobics classes at the community pool. It was just us and all these older women. We went to their Zumba classes. The women in the community were amazing when it came to getting us involved.
What do your public service interests stem from?
My service and my faith life have always been tied together. From a young age, my sister and I did small-scale things like volunteering at a food shelter or a food pantry, which were sometimes tied with our church, or just something our family did.
My sister and I went to John Carroll University. It’s a Jesuit Catholic University, so a large focus is social justice and human rights. That suddenly became a focus, and I was only looking at Jesuit schools.
There’s a specific scholars program at John Carroll that focuses on social justice. When I got into the program, that jumpstarted my interest and really let me dig deeper into why I wanted to do something with public service. I can’t talk enough about their Center for Service and Social Action. I worked there all four years. We had amazing partnerships with organizations in the Cleveland community, working on human rights issues, women’s issues, juvenile issues, refugee rights.
It just let me explore and see what I really wanted to focus on and what I was passionate about. That helped lead me to where I am now. I’m very fortunate for that.
Do you know what you want to do for your IPSP?
I’m going to Vietnam to work with The Asia Foundation. I’ll be in Hanoi, Vietnam. That’s going to fit really well within the social network analysis I’ll be doing with Vital Voices in the fall, making connections between the women fellows around the world. Are they connected? When? How? Why? And is the support Vital Voices has given these women making a difference? Are the women taking advantage of these connections?
It’s crazy, through my research, seeing who some of the current fellows are. President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, who came to speak at the Clinton School, is involved with their fellows, which I thought was really cool. They have so many amazing women around the world doing great, great work.
What’s been the most surprising thing about the Clinton School for you so far?
I would say the most surprising thing has been the connections within the Speaker Series. Before I came here, I knew a little bit about the Speaker Series, but I really didn’t know what it was. I started going and really realized how much of an influence it could have on my time here and how much I value those experiences, just as much as the academic part, but maybe a little more. It’s the people I’ve been able to talk to, if I’ve missed a speaker and really reached out.
One of the speakers I really wanted to go to – I was in Hope that day for Practicum – I followed up with over email and got to talk to her about her work. It was Dr. Baz Dreisinger, she wrote “Incarceration Nations.” I was mad that I missed that one. Her work is great. Being able to have those connections and seeing where that ties into what we’re learning in class is great.
Duff Campbell, a professor of mathematics at Hendrix College in Conway, won the 11th annual Arkansas State Crossword Puzzle Championship on Sunday afternoon at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
Beth Levi, a clinical professor at the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, won the Sudoku competition for the fourth straight year and ninth time overall. Greta Moore, an independent contractor in business development living in North Little Rock, was the runner-up in the Sudoku Competition.
Campbell, who had previously placed as high as third in 2016, secured his first championship with a perfect score of 500. Angelo Turturro, who is retired and lives in North Little Rock, was second. Turturro placed third in 2017. Glen Hooks of Little Rock, director of the Arkansas Sierra Club, placed third overall.
The championships were conducted by Little Rock District Judge Vic Fleming, who constructs puzzles for The New York Times and other major publications.
Matt Ginsberg, author of “Factor Man” and founder of Dr. Fill, a crossword-solving program better than all but a handful of humans, was the featured speaker. Ginsberg also delivered a program on his book before the Puzzle Championship.
The Clinton School has hosted the competition since its founding in 2007.
2007: Ellen Brantley
2008: Wes Lacewell
2009: Wes Lacewell
2010: Glenn Whaley
2011: Robin Morrissey
2012: Robin Morrissey
2013: No competition
2014: Robin Morrissey
2015: Ellen Brantley
2016: Glenn Whaley
2017: Wes Lacewell
2018: Duff Campbell
2007: Beth Levi
2008: Beth Levi
2009: Beth Levi
2010: John Matejka
2011: Beth Levi
2012: Beth Levi
2013: No competition
2014: Darren Morrissey
2015: Beth Levi
2016: Beth Levi
2017: Beth Levi
2018: Beth Levi
The Little Rock School District (LRSD) joined the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and ForwARd Arkansas Practicum partners on Friday to announce recommendations for a best-practices approach, introducing a new toolkit to support academic success for LRSD middle school students.
Katie Barnes (Atchison, Kan.), Rachel Cole (Bloomington, Ind.), Connor Donovan (Little Rock, Ark.) and Kirby Richardson (Rogers, Ark.) were the four students working with ForwARd Arkansas on the recommendations.
Since last September, the entities have been working with representatives from various agencies to develop a toolkit that would provide hands-on, project-based learning opportunities for students at each LRSD middle school. Specifically, the Practicum project focused on Cloverdale, Dunbar, Forest Heights STEM, Henderson, Mabelvale, Mann Magnet, Pinnacle View and Pulaski Heights – and what community partnerships will help them improve student achievement. The model created through these partnerships will foster teamwork and direct application of classroom skills.
While community-school partnerships have been identified districtwide, the relationship between Heifer International and Dunbar, as well as West Central Community Center and Henderson, were highlighted. In the 2018-19 school year, Dunbar students will familiarize themselves with the mission and work of Heifer International to study and address issues of poverty, hunger, and sustainability. Henderson students will take advantage of unique communication opportunities at West Central Community Center to develop programing support for the center’s new radio station.
“This toolkit will serve as a guiding mechanism for the future of project-based learning in the Little Rock School District – and I congratulate Clinton School of Public Service students on a job well done,” said Susan Harriman, executive director, ForwARd Arkansas. “ForwARd’s work will not stop here. We are committed to continuing a partnership with Little Rock School District to best serve its students, families and the community as a whole.”
“This is not a cookie-cutter approach, and we are excited about our next steps,” said LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore. “Community support is vital to the success of our public schools. We are grateful for the extensive commitment by our partners and the investment in our students by the Clinton School and ForwARd Arkansas.”
Research indicates that students earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school and are more motivated when schools, parents, families and communities work together. High quality schools have demonstrated track records connecting with community resources and families to improve student outcomes at elementary and secondary levels.
“We, at the Clinton School of Public Service, are thankful for ForwARd Arkansas’ support in our efforts to engage community partners with Little Rock School District middle schools,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School (UACS) of Public Service. “Through guidance from the toolkit and the adoption of hands-on, project-based learning, schools will be able to provide enriching experiences to support students’ academic growth at a crucial time in their development.”
List of School Partners
Cloverdale – Arkansas Space Grant Consortium · Dunbar – Heifer International
Forest Heights – Wings for Dreams · Henderson – West Central Community Center
Mabelvale – Philander Smith College · Mann – Arkansas State University
Pinnacle View – First Security · Pulaski Heights – UA Little Rock
McLarty Scholars has announced Christine McCall and Marina Giannirakis as the new recipients of its 2018 scholarships. McCall, a graduate of Boston University, and Giannirakis, who attended John Carroll University, will join 2017 scholar Yvonne Quek to round out the 2018 class.
During their semester-long fellowships at Vital Voices Global Partnership in Washington, D.C. McCall and Giannirakis will conduct research and present an impact evaluation on Vital Voices’ network of women leaders in the VVGROW and Global Freedom Exchange programs. Quek’s year-long fellowship at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) is focusing on researching issues related to the economic empowerment of women and the impact of climate change on women.
“Yvonne, Marina and Christine continue the tradition of accomplished and engaged graduate students from the Clinton School of Public Service who have participated in our Scholars program,” said Donna McLarty, co-founder of McLarty Scholars and co-founder of Vital Voices. “These women are true leaders who are passionately committed to both public service and women’s empowerment on their campuses, in their communities and on their international projects.”
A second-year graduate student at the Clinton School of Public Service, McCall received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. She has worked as a general assignment reporter for The Boston Globe, Bay State Banner and The Newport Daily News. Most recently, she worked as a grant writer at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago, Ill. McCall also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan for two years and an AmeriCorps Volunteer at Cradles to Crayons in Boston, Mass. Her areas of public service interest include women’s empowerment, higher education and access to health care. This summer she will be working with Wesley College in Mwanza, Tanzania on program design and implementation of a servant leadership curriculum.
Giannirakis earned her degree in sociology and criminology from John Carroll University with a minor in entrepreneurship. She interned with the Legal Aid of Arkansas and American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration. Additionally, she acquired volunteer experience at a juvenile detention center in Cleveland, Ohio. She is focused on public service, including immigrant and refugee rights, criminal justice system reform and women’s rights. This summer she will be working with The Asia Foundation in Hanoi, Vietnam, focusing on the protection of the rights of overseas migrant workers. Additionally, she will be working on a research report on women-led small and medium enterprise in Vietnam.
Quek, a graduate of the Clinton School who was born and raised in Singapore, is a repeat McLarty Scholar, having been a recipient in 2016 and 2017. She is currently conducting her research at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security on women’s economic empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Quek will attend the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University this fall, and her continued work at GIWPS will benefit from her ability to leverage an increased economic acumen. Quek had previously studied at the Clinton School, where she conducted field work on food insecurity with the Arkansas Food Bank and analyzed the social return of investment of a social enterprise empowering rural artisan women in Peru. She has also worked as a corporate attorney in Singapore and assisted with fundraising for Saigon’s Children Charity in Ho Chi Minh City while receiving her law degree from the National University of Singapore.
McLarty Scholars was established in 2011 by Donna and Mack McLarty and their sons Mark and Franklin, daughter-in-law Gabriella and granddaughter Brianna. This prestigious program provides students with substantive opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, research, international experience and cross cultural understanding.
“Gaining a world-perspective is one of the most valuable gifts to give a student,” said Mack McLarty. “We are very proud that McLarty Scholars continues to connect students studying in Arkansas with the professional and public service endeavors in Washington, D.C. and globally.”
The class of 2018 is the fifth class of McLarty Scholars, joining a list of accomplished graduates of the program who are making an impact on organizations around the globe. Past scholars include Anna Applebaum of California, Tshering Yudon of Bhutan, Mara D’Amico of Michigan, Jennifer Guzman of Arkansas, Michelle Perez of Venezuela and Arjola Limani of Albania, Mollie Henager and Emily Smith both of Arkansas.
For more information about the McLarty Scholars program visit McLartyScholars.com.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students Ganelle Blake, Nathan Davis, Allison Tschiemer and Brian Wegner created several educational frameworks that enhance learning initiatives and promote deliberative democracy at four institutions.
Since last September, the students have been working with representatives from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.; Delta Cultural Center in Helena-West Helena, Ark.; MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock, Ark.; and U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith, Ark.
“When museums engage in deliberative democracy, they become more valuable institutions,” said Wegner after working with the museums as part of a Clinton School Practicum project. “Instead of simply being a keeper of knowledge and artifacts, they become public spaces where history is just as alive as the present.”
The creation of the Arkansas Historic Decisions Learning Exchange (ARHDLE), a coalition of officials from local museums who seek to use public deliberation as a tool to enhance outreach programs, gave Clinton School students an opportunity to develop instructional materials that engage communities in substantive discussions about important historical issues and current events.
The materials include educational frameworks on: the Great Flood of 1927 (Delta Cultural Center), the trial of David O. Dodd (MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History), the integration of Ole Miss (U.S. Marshals Museum), and public concerns about controversial monuments (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art).
“Part of deliberative democracy, or the public deliberation process, is encouraging people to listen to one another, explore the unbiased facts of an issue, test ideas, weigh options and balance tradeoffs before making a joint decision,” said Kathleen Pate, project coordinator and past president of Arkansas Museums Association.
“The people who use these frameworks and participate in discussions will discover where their diverse interests overlap so that they can better understand each other and act together to confront social and economic ills,” said project supervisor Dr. Malcolm Glover.
The ARHDLE initiative was made possible by a research grant from the Kettering Foundation. A nonprofit operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research, Kettering’s primary research question is: What does it take to make democracy work as it should? Kettering’s research is distinctive because it is conducted from the perspective of citizens and focuses on what people can do collectively to address problems affecting their lives, their communities and their nation.
“I think this project [was] very important,” said Richard Spilman, the education coordinator for the Delta Cultural Center. “[These new educational frameworks help us] correlate past events with future events so we prevent the mistakes in the past from happening in the future.”
The Clinton School’s Practicum projects take student teams into Arkansas communities, including the impoverished Mississippi River Delta, to foster community development and social change in areas such as public education, economic development, environmental awareness, youth leadership development and health improvement. These projects foster teamwork and the direct application of classroom skills.
This summer, first-year student Starre Haas will travel to New York for an International Public Service Project with VoteRunLead, one of the largest and most diverse campaign leadership programs in the country.
Haas will work with the nonprofit to help develop its rural leadership training program. She will observe how the non-partisan nonprofit conducts its trainings both online and at in-person workshops throughout the United States.
“They notified me over spring break that I will be the Lead Project Manager for what we’re currently calling the Rural Women’s Initiative,” Haas said.
She attended a Plate to Politics meeting in April. The one-day workshop offered hands-on skills training to women in food justice and sustainable agriculture who want to play a critical role in transforming the nation’s food system.
“We are happy to have Starre on board for this fellowship,” noted Erin Vilardi, CEO and founder of VoteRunLead. “It is through programs like this that bring us women with different skill sets and life experiences that help broaden VoteRunLead’s appeal and reach more women that want to run for office.”
In addition to her summer work with VoteRunLead, Haas will attend Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, a non-partisan, issue-neutral campaign program with the mission to increase the number and influence of women in elected and appointed office in the United States and around the globe.
This summer, 43 students in the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Master of Public Service degree program will conduct International Public Service Projects. The students will travel 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 will be 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.
“Having the opportunity to participate in high quality international and related work helps make the Clinton School experience special for our students,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford. “The 2018 projects are exceptional.”
The international service component exposes the students to unique challenges around the globe. The IPSP provides immediate and long-term impacts for the students and their organizational partners.
Work sites and host organizations are selected collaboratively by Clinton School students and faculty.
2018 International Public Service Projects
Salina Adolph – American Bar Association Commission on Immigration (Washington, D.C.) – Adolph will create a comprehensive report of resources and support for immigrants in the United States who are victims of the fraudulent practice of immigration law, and this report will identify the gaps and needs of the issue based on the availability of resources in various jurisdictions. This project will begin the process to provide national coordination for immigration lawyers and advocates who seek to assist immigrants who are victims of the unauthorized practice of immigration law.
Katie Barnes – Peacework Vietnam/Teach for Vietnam (Hồ Chí Minh City and Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam) – Barnes will be assisting Nicole Hellthaler with teacher training during the Teach for Vietnam Summer Institute. Additionally, the two will join Nicole Kanu on a civic engagement program implementation for high school students.
Megan Burrow – Arthik Samanta Mandal (Vijayawada, India) – Burrow will be evaluating the organization’s education programs. She will also be conducting workshops at schools in the region.
Mark Cameron – Awamaki (Ollantaytambo, Peru) – Cameron will serve as Awamaki’s Coordinator of Monitoring and Evaluation. His role will include organizing and carrying out surveys and focus groups, as well as developing and implementing workshops for Awamaki’s women’s economic empowerment project.
Joshua DeBruyn – European Community Organizing Network (Romania, Hungary, Slovakia) – DeBruyn will be working to increase access to money for community organizing in central and eastern Europe through research, outreach, and concerted action.
Rachel Cole – Arkansas Teacher Corps (Arkansas) – Cole will create and facilitate cultural competence and critical consciousness for pre-service teachers. She will also develop a monitoring and evaluation plan for the program to understand the impact of the training.
Connor Donovan – CESi Engineering School, Angoulême – (Angoulême, France) – Donovan will be working with CESi staff and local business professionals to help plan for the creation of a technopole in the city of Angoulême. He will conduct research to identify useful resources and services that the technopole should offer individuals and businesses seeking to develop new technologies and get them to market.
Dylan Edgell – Awamaki (Ollantaytambo, Peru) – Edgell will join Awamaki’s monitoring and evaluation team to measure their economic and social impact on both the Quechua and larger Ollantaytambo community. He will also work with Awamaki’s sales team to analyze sales data and provide recommendations for the organization.
Connor Flocks – MassChallenge (Jerusalem, Israel) – Flocks will work with MassChallenge, a nonprofit startup accelerator, on programming, curriculum, and mentorship for 52 startups. He will also evaluate the success of the accelerator’s program in meeting the needs of the companies.
Marina Giannirakis – The Asia Foundation (Hanoi, Vietnam) – Giannirakis will work with the Asia Foundation’s Gender and Social Development Office to assist and finalize communication and development materials for various projects. She will assist in the development of an evaluation report for the project “Protection of the Rights of Overseas Migrant Workers,” will assist the team with a new mobile banking project, and will assist in the finalization of a research report on women-led small and medium enterprises in Vietnam.
Starre Haas – Vote Run Lead (New York, N.Y.) – Haas will serve as the lead project manager for the Rural Women’s Initiative which will conduct political training for women that reside in rural communities. Vote Run Lead has trained over 26,000 women to run for office.
Nicole Hellthaler – Peacework Vietnam/Teach for Vietnam (Hồ Chí Minh City and Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam) – Hellthaler will observe and train teachers at their Summer Institute to prepare them for classes in the fall. She will also help to develop a new program, “Design For Change,” which is intended to increase civic engagement among students.
Mariella Hernandez – Give & Surf (Bocas del Toro, Panama) – Hernandez will conduct a needs assessment to determine the health and nutritional inadequacies that impact the local population of Bocas del Toro. Based on this, she will create a program plan and develop and implement educational workshops to address these issues.
John Jackson – Novulis (Ecuador) – Jackson will be working with Novulis and Agora Water to develop a safer community water system to address heightened levels of minerals including fluoride and fecal coliforms in the current local water supply. John will be coordinating with Novulis, Agora Water, local communities and government entities to generate funding, and address the issues presented from the affected communities regarding this issue.
Julie Joy – Canvasback (Marshall Islands) – Joy will complete an evaluation of the Community Lifestyle (Diabetes) Program to serve as a guiding document as the organization continues to improve its monitoring and evaluation capacity and processes.
Nicole Kanu – Peacework Vietnam/Teach for Vietnam (Hồ Chí Minh City and Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam) – Kanu will be conducting an organizational needs assessment for the Teach for Vietnam program, along with researching participant recruitment strategies. In conjunction with the marketing team, Kanu’s assessment will work to restructure their current marketing plan and work to increase participant recruitment.
Eric Kouadio – Limited Resource Teacher Training (Kanunga, Uganda) – Kouadio will support the collection and analysis of data across 12 different cultures in Limited Resource Teacher Training’s service areas. He will also develop and review the organization’s monitoring and evaluation tools.
Jason Lochmann – Mercy Health (Huancabamba, Peru and Fort Smith, Ark.) – Lochmann will help expand the organization’s medical mission by assessing community health needs in Huancabamba, Peru. He will translate and analyze the data to inform Mercy’s program development in the Piura Region.
Wes Manus – Winrock International (Bangladesh and Nepal) – Manus will provide a final evaluation for the past five years of Winrock International’s efforts of promoting sustainable economic growth, food security and agricultural development in southeast Asia through USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program. Manus’ work will determine the efficacy of past intervention and help to guide future international development efforts in the region.
Patrick McBride – Journeys Within Our Community (Siem Reap, Cambodia) – McBride will be creating and conducting an evaluation of JWOC’s Scholarship Program, which has just completed its 10th year. Additionally, he will be assisting the organization in creating a skills database and conducting a social network mapping analysis of the program’s alumni.
Christine McCall – Wesley College (Mwanza, Tanzania) – McCall will research best practices for servant leadership programs and develop a curriculum for Wesley College’s Servant Leadership Center.
John Mensah – Canopy NWA (Fayetteville, Ark.) – Mensah will design a research methodology that combines both quantitative and qualitative methods, to furnish Canopy NWA with a well-rounded, holistic understanding of the community’s perceptions. Canopy is a refugee resettlement program specific to northwest Arkansas.
Crystal Mercer – The Nubuke Foundation (Accra, Ghana) – Mercer will create a strategic plan for the use of creative mediums to fulfill the mission of The Nubuke Foundation’s commitment to recording and preserving Ghanaian culture. She will also assist in implementing artistic programming, including theatre workshops and poetry, that serves the patrons of the foundation and connects them to culture parallels of Ghana’s rich history.
Yaala Muller – Vital Voices (Washington, D.C.) – Muller will assist in the incorporation of a new qualitative data analysis software into the organization’s monitoring and evaluation program.
Adriana Ongay – Give & Surf (Bocas del Toro, Panama) – Ongay will be assisting in launch a new community center in Bocas del Toro that will provide the local residents with resources and services to increase opportunity and access to education. She will be conducting a needs assessment and program development.
Izehi Oriaghan – Landesa (Washington, D.C.) – Oriaghan will support the development of Landesa’s emerging campaign on Women’s Land Rights by conducting background research and helping to develop messaging and other communication around the campaign. She will also support other regular global advocacy and communication activities of the organization.
Wesley Prewett – Zoona (Cape Town, South Africa) – Prewett will assist Zoona in planning and implementing a series of financial inclusion pilots across underbanked markets in southern Africa.
Beth Quarles – Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas (Little Rock, Ark.) – Quarles will focus on developing partnerships within the Hispanic community with the intention of recruiting volunteers and girls to springboard into a Girl Scout program in the Hispanic community. She will also be involved with direct programming for the girls, work on community cultivation, and provide support to current members.
Kirby Richardson – Winrock International (Yangon, Myanmar) – Richardson will be working in conjunction with Winrock’s Value Chains in Rural Development program in Myanmar in order to assist with conducting data analysis and program evaluation. In addition, Richardson will be responsible for assisting with methodology development and internal capacity building.
Mallory Rusch – Women Political Leaders Global Forum (Brussels, Belgium) – Rusch will be working on final preparations and execution of the organization’s annual Women Political Leaders Summit, which will be held this year in Vilnius, Lithuania on June 6-8, 2018. Lithuania is hosting the 2018 event in celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage in Lithuania.
Madhav Shroff – The Asia Foundation (Colombo, Sri Lanka) – Shroff will work with the Foundation’s Justice and Gender team and contribute to program development, program implementation, and documentation on commercial mediation. He will also assist with developing a proposal for fund raising to further develop the Asia Foundation’s work in Sri Lanka.
Joseph Stepina – Peacework/Vietnam Campus Coalition (Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam) Stepina will create a needs assessment for a civic engagement initiative. He will assist the Vietnam Campus Coalition determine how to increase civic engagement among Vietnam’s college students and universities.
Amy Stewart – Arkansas Community Organizations (Little Rock, Ark.) – Stewart will be organizing community members around the issue of renters’ rights in the state of Arkansas. The anticipated work will involve outreach, communication, and message development with diverse populations.
Sara Swisher – Awamaki (Ollantaytambo, Peru) – Along with two other classmates, Swisher will conduct interviews and focus groups to contribute to the organization’s yearly evaluation report.
Ravyn Towns – HIPPY Canada (Vancouver, Canada) – Towns will collect the stories of HIPPY Mothers detailing their experiences of familial and personal change they’ve experienced as a result of their participation in the program. She will systematize the findings from previous years and identify and publish findings on the emergent themes.
Allison Tschiemer – U.S. Department of State (Bern, Switzerland) – Tschiemer will serve in the public affairs division of the U.S. Embassy in Bern to enable the exchange of knowledge and values among Swiss and American citizens and to effectively advocate U.S. foreign policy interests and American democratic principles across various media platforms.
Clay Turner – LGBT Consortium (Exeter, England) – Turner will develop a map of LGBT organizations outside of London that will be used to identify potential members for the LGBT Consortium. He will gather data by conducting interviews.
Nora Viñas – Accenture (Washington, D.C.) – Viñas will be working with Accenture Consulting focusing on non-profit corporate citizenship strategy.
Brandon Wayerski – Ozark Natural Foods (Fayetteville, Ark.) – Wayerski is working to identify market opportunities for immigrant farmers who have difficulty selling their goods outside farmer’s market settings. He will interview farmers and local businesses to assess the feasibility of a food hub that would mitigate barriers these farmers must overcome to develop essential business relationships with local establishments.
Rebecca Webber – Kenya Relief (Migori, Kenya) – Webber will work in conjunction with the Kenya Relief staff to implement a new medical records system and create an evaluation plan which will serve as the foundation for a monitoring and evaluation program for Kenya Relief’s new clinic. She will train new staff on the medical records system, identify data collection processes, and create measures which will be used to assess the performance of the new clinic at Kenya Relief.
Brian Wegner – Cheetah Conservation Fund (Otjiwarongo, Namibia) – Wegner will create a comprehensive report spanning Cheetah Conservation Fund’s 25+ year history. He will also assist with evaluation of the organization’s guard dog and education programs. In addition, Brian will serve on the day-to-day operations to make the Cheetah Conservation Fund a safe and healthy environment for Cheetahs needing rehabilitation across Namibia and the African continent.
Marquisa Wince – Probation and Aftercare Services, Ministry of Interior and Coordination (Nairobi, Kenya) – Wince will work in partnership with the department to conduct an evaluation of the current treatment programs offered to youth offenders in Kenya. She will be supervised by Clinton School Alum, Florence Mueni, who currently serves as an officer in the department.
Karen Zuccardi – Avani Eco (Bali, Indonesia) – Zuccardi will conduct market analysis on North and South America for Avani, a social enterprise. She will also assist with road shows throughout Indonesia in key segment markets.
Mariella Hernandez was awarded the B.A. Rudolph Scholarship at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service on Friday. The B.A. Rudolph Foundation awards the $12,000 scholarship annually to a woman who is a rising second year at the school and who best embodies the mission and values of the Foundation. The B.A. Rudolph Foundation established the scholarship in 2015 in honor of the organization’s namesake, B.A. Rudolph, a 1978 graduate of the University of Arkansas and a member of Bill Clinton’s gubernatorial and presidential staffs.
“Like B.A., Mariella is strong, generous, passionate, and fully committed to helping others.” said Mary Bruce, Executive Director of the B.A. Rudolph Foundation. “We are proud to support Mariella as a student, a mother, and a change maker in her work to reduce healthcare disparities and increase access and provision of health services so that healthcare can be enjoyed by all as a human right.”
A graduate of UA Little Rock, Mariella Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in philosophy and religious studies. In addition to her work as supervisor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science Office of Translation and Interpreting Services, she has served as an advocate for the Hispanic community in Arkansas for more than 15 years. Hernandez’s public service interests include children and women’s rights, public health, social justice, food and housing accessibility, and international affairs.
“Thank you to the B.A. Rudolph Foundation for this generous support,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “B.A. was a friend of mine and her legacy of leadership and public service continues through the great work of the foundation which bears her name. I believe B.A. would be thrilled knowing Mariella received this noteworthy scholarship which bears her name. Mariella is most deserving and will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of many others.”
About the B. A. Rudolph Foundation
Established in 2011, the B.A. Rudolph Foundation champions the educational and professional development of progressive women for whom a small amount of support could make a significant difference. Currently, the B.A. Rudolph Foundation provides scholarships to women participating in unpaid or underpaid public service internships in the Washington, D.C. area as well as nationwide in STEM fields.
Serving Phillips County communities since 2009, Delta Circles is a nonprofit organization with the mission to support families, end poverty in those families’ lives, and inspire communities to commit to long-term solutions addressing poverty.
The Clinton School partners with Delta Circles in regard to strategic planning, organizational development, and the planning of its community gatherings, with the goal to better engage in community conversations with families and create additional partnerships with other organizations in the Delta.
Executive Director Patricia Ashanti, who is currently enrolled in the Clinton School’s first EMPS degree cohort, founded Delta Circles in 2009. A Helena native, Ashanti was inspired by the work of Dr. Ruby Payne, an expert in generational poverty best known for her book “A Framework for Understanding Poverty” and accompanying workshops.
“If it was not for the Center on Community Philanthropy, I don’t think we would be able to continue to serve the community the way we have,” Ashanti said. “Their partnership has been consistent and has helped us to make an impact.
With funding and support from the Clinton School of Public Service and Arkansas Community Foundation, Delta Circles runs free classes — “Getting Ahead” and “Financial Literacy” — to help people develop skills to tackle problems they may face as they try to lift themselves out of poverty.
Another example of Delta Circles’ work is its savings group, “Women Increasing Net-worth” (WIN). Started in 2017, WIN includes opening a savings account with Hope Credit Union and attending weekly meetings led by Ashanti to increase financial literacy, knowledge, and skills.
The first class saved almost $10,000, increased their credit scores by an average of 89 points, gained an additional income of over $6,000, and eliminated the debt of two credit cards.
“Although we don’t serve a large number of people at one time,” Ashanti said. “We are changing the lives of the people we do serve.”
How was Delta Circles initially connected with the Center on Community Philanthropy?
Initially, we were connected because we were, at that point, a community development organization. We were dealing with the issue of poverty and had started doing something that we continue to do today, classes called “Getting Ahead in a Just Get By World,” in which an individual looks at poverty, how it impacts their life, and how it impacts the community. At that time, I believe the Clinton School was focusing on the Move the Needle initiative which helps to move people in Arkansas out of poverty. Their community liaison was looking for community partners who were addressing the issue. They’d noticed that we were already doing similar work, and that’s how we connected.
How would you describe Delta Circles’ mission?
Our mission is simply to support families, to end poverty, and to do that by enhancing the community as we move forward. The way that plays out, we work with individuals primarily in small intimate groups. By working with individuals, we find that as they gain the knowledge to improve their lives, it transitions into improvements for their entire family.
It helps them to look at the issue of poverty differently for their family. After being introduced to concepts like generational poverty and situational poverty, they’re able to understand why they made decisions they’ve made in the past and how they might want to do things differently. We also help them to clarify their vision and plans for the future. We become a conduit for them and connect them to other partners, like the community college or the department of workforce services.
How did the Center on Community Philanthropy help with the mission?
Initially, they helped us by providing Clinton School staff that would come and facilitate our focus groups and community meetings. We were provided with a practicum team that helped us to create a stakeholder’s analysis which was a tremendous help. They continue to assist in our community conversations about poverty and workforce. Also, they are great sounding boards for me as I work through different concepts and ideas. Even though I’ve worked through them with our team, which is small, it’s nice to have another eye to look at our missions and goals for a particular project. They’ve been very helpful in that regard and in so many other ways
I have meetings with Kevin Hunt and Kent Broughton. I meet with them on a regular basis, and they really help me to better understand the meaning of community philanthropy. Since becoming connected with the Clinton School, it has helped me to understand and recognize how individuals in our community are philanthropists in the giving of their time, talents, and treasures. Just working with Kent and Kevin, they’re able to help me to see the value of what we’re doing on a larger scale.