- Prospective Students
- Faculty & Staff
- Make a Gift
James L. Skip Rutherford III, Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, will speak at the monthly Mayor’s Community Meeting in Batesville, Ark., on Thursday. The meeting will start at 5 p.m. at the Best Dam Steakhouse.
Rutherford, a Batesville native, is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He received the Journalism Department’s first Distinguished Alumnus Award. He has an extensive private sector background in communications and public relations and has served as a visiting professor at the University of Arkansas; Lyon College; the University of the Ozarks; the University of Central Arkansas; and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
He serves on the Board of Trustees at Lyon College, the Health Policy Board for the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, and the Board of Directors of Arkansas Children’s Inc. where he has promoted statewide children’s health advocacy. He served as the first president of the advisory board for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and Arts and is a past president of the Little Rock School Board.
Since September, a Clinton School team has been assisting the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in exploring opportunities to repurpose two large mobile trailers previously used in energy-efficiency education.
The students – Caleb Denton (Booneville, Ark.), Molly Emerson (Astoria, N.Y.), Christopher Ogom (Marsabit, Kenya), Damien Powell (Sparta, Mich.), Samantha Sheffield (Austin, Texas) – have spent the year identifying new uses for the trailers and determining communities that may be served. The group first conducted needs assessment – a systematic process for determining and addressing needs or gaps between current conditions and desired conditions – of the organization itself, ADEQ, as well as the potential communities.
The group has worked closely with project supervisors Audree Miller and Andrea Hopkins, who have an extensive background in environmental outreach and programming.
In the initial talks with ADEQ, the team said a small group of potentials uses for the trailers – which were originally a part of the Weatherization Training Center at UA Pulaski Technical College and the Arkansas Energy Office – continued to come up.
“The four uses that repeatedly came up were using the trailers as an education unit for small businesses to talk about environmental regulation, education units for children, a mobile lab, and a mobile command unit to go out for disaster responses,” Sheffield said.
Those potential uses formed the basis of the questions for the team’s interviews. Between needs assessment and the team’s best practices research, the team interviewed roughly 50 representatives.
“As we started our best practices research, we realized there was not much written information on mobile units,” Sheffield said. “There weren’t many best practices that said ‘here’s what mobile trailers have done before.’ We realized we were going to have to go out and find organizations to interview.”
For the team’s best practices research, the organizations interviewed included the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, Arkansas Game and Fish, Carroll County Solid Waste Authority, and the Arkansas Baptist Relief Command Center. The team worked to find different groups that represented each of the four potential uses for ADEQ’s mobile trailers. The interviewees offered a number of unique uses for the mobile units.
“The Arkansas Arts Center, they have a mobile education unit,” Sheffield said. “We found a group of dairy farmers who have a mobile education unit where they actually have two cows on the unit and they do a milking demonstration to teach kids about dairy farming.”
With interviews wrapping up in the coming weeks, the team will compile its findings and submit a proposal to ADEQ in April. The proposal will be a part of a presentation to ADEQ directors.
“This has been a really interesting project to start my Clinton School experience because there is so much data to gather and so much to learn about the environmental needs of the state,” said Sheffield. “Our team is really excited to finally put everything together to present as a proposal that can be used by ADEQ to aid in the protection of the Natural State’s resources.”
Second-year Executive Master of Public Service student Melissa Dixon recently attended the 2019 UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Dixon attended as a member of the United Nations Association’s Houston Chapter.
The Global Engagement Summit allows UN advocates to participate in a day of dynamic and informative discussions on the most pressing issues facing the United Nations. The event unites world leaders with the nation’s top grassroots change-makers.
“The overall theme this year was Shared Partnerships-Shared Responsibilities with the goal of learning more about the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and what actions the UN and partners are taking to meet the 2030 goal,” Dixon said.
Dixon attended several breakout sessions throughout the day, including #LeaveNoGirlBehind: Changing the World to Empower Girls; Shared Action for Human Rights: The UN and Partners on the Ground; Issue Track: Cities and the Sustainable Development Goals; and Global Goals, Local Leadership: The SDGs and You.
“For me the most impactful breakout session was the Shared Action for Human Rights: The UN and Partners on the Ground,” Dixon said. “As an advocate for refugees, I loved hearing from panelist Kelly Razzouk, the Director of Policy and Advocacy at International Rescue Committee. Panelist Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs at the Trevor Project moved the room to tears and standing ovation.”
Dixon lives and works in Houston, Texas, as the owner of Prospect Bluff Properties. She was previously the Executive Director at Children’s Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent in Victoria, Texas.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will enroll 23 students in the second class of its Executive Master of Public Service (EMPS) online degree program. Classes for the new cohort begin Monday, March 4.
The 23 new students bring the total number enrolled in the EMPS program to 52.
Grounded in critical analysis and the formulation of program and policy options, the EMPS teaches students to build strong communities and organizations. The EMPS builds on the success of the school’s traditional Master of Public Service (MPS) degree, which graduated its first class in 2006 and enrolled its 14th class in August 2018.
“We were at 38 total students through the first two years of the MPS, and we are now at more than 50 at the same point for the EMPS,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “We are excited to watch this program continue to grow and develop.”
The two-year program is offered entirely online and built for working professionals. The program offers the enhanced knowledge, and skills needed to advance without relocating or giving up your current employment.
This year’s class includes representatives from Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., as well as South Africa and Nigeria. The numerous career fields and industries represented include education, healthcare, business, research, architecture, economic development, and telecommunications.
For more information on the EMPS, visit ClintonSchool.uasys.edu/EMPS.
The students are conducting best practices research on existing, successful farmers markets serving food insecure areas, as well as primary research to determine need and fit for the Argenta community.
“The team has basically collected data on best practices for farmers markets in the region and beyond, actually,” said Chris Kent, ADC Executive Director and project supervisor. “A couple of the international students have looked at this from the standpoint of their countries of origin, Japan and Ghana.”
Shelby Morrow (Dallas, Texas), Reiko Muranaka (Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa, Japan), Eric Osei (Nkawkaw, Ghana), and Sean Street (Hot Springs, Ark.) have spoken with individuals from numerous existing markets. In the coming weeks, the team will survey members of the North Little Rock community to collect their insight.
“We have heard everything from advice on encouraging farmers to grow a variety of vegetables to understanding the need for social space at a farmers market,” Muranaka said.
Speaking with representatives from successful markets, the team has received feedback noting the importance of creating a community within the market and, specifically, appreciating the relationships between market vendors and customers.
“So many of the consumers at farmers markets are repeat customers,” Muranaka said.
Other early feedback includes the importance of patience – understanding the time it takes to build a sustainable market. Additionally, several experienced vendors have noted that farmers markets are much more than place to buy food, that they are a space for the community to grow in size and strength through social interaction.
The team will present its findings to the Argenta Downtown Council in April. Representatives from the City of North Little Rock, North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, and North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce will also be in attendance.
“Their eyes keep getting more and more open as they talk to more people, especially at the larger farmers markets,” Kent said. “We’d like to bring in all the stakeholders in the area to hear what they are talking about.”
With the goal of collecting warm winter items – blankets, jackets, scarves, gloves, etc. – McBride’s efforts led to more than 400 items being donated and distributed. Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers contributed to the collection.
McBride distributed some of the items directly, making trips to the River Market to hand out the cold-weather items in addition to toiletries, snacks, and water.
“These folks took enough items for themselves and also took things for others they tend to spend a lot of time with,” McBride said. “Many of the folks experiencing homelessness in Little Rock find groups that become like families – they share spaces, resources, and stick together because it provides for more safety.”
Many of the clothing items that were not one-size-fits-all were delivered to The Van’s donation bin in North Little Rock. The Van is a visible piece of The One, Inc., a nonprofit founded in 2011 whose mission is to locate and love unsheltered homeless.
“I know they (The Van) serve more of the population in need and would have an easier time distributing items that were specific sizes,” McBride said.
Even before moving to Little Rock in 2017, McBride made regular organizing efforts for local homeless populations. While living in Washington, D.C., he packaged food and water and delivered them to homeless camps and gathering spots.
“I wanted to give back,” he said. “I ordered lunch bags, snacks, and waters and I started going out every couple of weeks around 11 p.m. to the church awnings and other spaces I knew folks gathered overnight.”
One of the reasons McBride takes such initiative to help homeless populations is a personal one. His father, who suffers from addiction and mental illness, is homeless.
“It is a hard spot to be in to have someone you care about experiencing homelessness, but who is unable and unwilling to receive help,” McBride said. “I go extended periods of time not knowing if he is still alive. Every couple of years, I actually get him on the phone, but he is always so out of it and unwilling to accept help.”
Addiction and mental illness are closely tied to homelessness in the United States, with nearly one in three chronically homeless people suffering from mental illness, and two in three suffering from substance abuse.
McBride says he will continue to distribute snacks and bottled water from his car and will continue to collect items for distribution. He still has a small supply of hats and gloves to distribute this winter.
“I, unfortunately, cannot help my father,” McBride said. “But I can do my best to help the people I come across in my daily life. This is one of the ways I try to do that.”
The Office of Community Engagement at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will host its third annual Partner Fair for nonprofits, government agencies, businesses and other organizations interested in becoming a field service partner for the 2019-20 academic year.
The Partner Fair will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8 at Sturgis Hall (1200 President Clinton Avenue).
The event is designed to allow community partners and students opportunities to network and discuss potential Practicum and Capstone projects.
Practicum projects, selected by the Clinton School, take student teams into Arkansas communities to foster teamwork and direct application of classroom skills, while also adding tremendous value to the partner organization.
The Capstone (final) project is the Clinton School’s culminating field service project, challenging students to put their learned skills into action by completing an in-depth public service project to benefit a government or nonprofit agency.
OCE is accepting field service project proposals for the 2019-20 academic year through March 18. Questions can be directed to Beth Quarles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two research articles co-written by University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service assistant professor Nichola Driver have been accepted for publication. Both were completed in collaboration with UA Little Rock assistant professor Dr. Neveen Shafeek Amin.
“Both papers contribute to the literature on the ‘immigrant health advantage,’ particularly in the area of mental health,” Driver said.
The first article, “Acculturation, Social Support, and Maternal Parenting Stress among U.S. Hispanic Mothers,” examines ethnic and nativity differences in maternal parenting stress, exploring whether Hispanic mothers experience different levels of parenting stress than black mothers, as well as how factors such as nativity, social support, and levels of cultural adaptation influence these differences.
The article is available online and will be published in the forthcoming Journal of Child & Family Studies.
The second article, “Sex Differences, Duration of Stay in the U.S., and Serious Psychological Distress: The Case of Middle Eastern Immigrants in the United States,” examines the association between duration of stay in the U.S. and serious psychological distress (SPD) among Middle Eastern immigrants and whether that relationship varies by gender.
“Broken down by gender, we find that Middle Eastern immigrant women report higher odds of serious psychological distress compared to their male counterparts,” Driver said. “Furthermore, while Middle Eastern immigrant women who have been in the U.S. for less than 10 years are less likely to report SPD than U.S.-born whites, Middle Eastern immigrant women who have been in the U.S. for 10-plus years are significantly more likely to report SPD compared to U.S.-born whites.”
The article is available online will be published in the April/June 2019 edition of the Family & Community Health.
Friday, March 1 at Noon (Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site)
*In partnership with Oxford American
A panel discussion presented in collaboration with the National Park Service and Clinton School of Public Service will be held at Central High School National Historic Site. Featuring Rufus Reid and Bobby LaVell, the panel will be moderated by composer Chris Parker. The goal is to facilitate discussion on the ongoing work of social equity in the United States from the perspectives of people living in different communities and what role music and the arts play in affecting change in our society today.
Additional partners on the project include University of Central Arkansas College of Fine Arts & Communication, Central High National Historic Site, Kay Kelley Arnold, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Arkansas Arts Council, and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.
This project is generously funded by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
Monday, March 4 at Noon (Sturgis Hall)
*In partnership with The Venture Center
From a pool of applicants from 32 countries, six continents and 24 states, eight entrepreneurs were chosen to participate in an accelerator program in Little Rock.
In this panel, you will hear the candid stories of five entrepreneurs and their journey towards pivoting, taking risks, and challenging the status quo to make a meaningful impact in the world. Join us as we hear inspiring stories from the entrepreneurs participating in the ICBA ThinkTech Accelerator program at the Venture Center.
Wednesday, March 6 at 6 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
In January, Frank Scott, Jr. was sworn in as the City of Little Rock’s first elected African-American mayor after running on a campaign that promised unity and change.
Previously, Scott was an executive with First Security Bank and spent five years in leadership in the Office of Governor Mike Beebe, first serving as deputy policy director and later as director of intergovernmental affairs. Prior to his work on state issues, Frank was a distribution operations manager for Target’s Central Arkansas distribution center.
Scott served as a state highway commissioner and on the board of directors for both the Little Rock Port Authority and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Arkansas. Scott has focused his professional career on giving back to the community, city, and state that has invested so much in him.
Monday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
*In partnership with Rock Region Metro
Public transit is a powerful tool for addressing a huge range of urban problems, including traffic congestion and economic development as well as climate change. But while many people support transit in the abstract, it’s often hard to channel that support into good transit investments. Part of the problem is that transit debates attract many kinds of experts, who often talk past each other. Ordinary people listen to a little of this and decide that transit is impossible to figure out.
Jarrett Walker believes that transit can be simple, if we focus first on the underlying geometry that all transit technologies share. In Human Transit, Walker supplies the basic tools, the critical questions, and the means to make smarter decisions about designing and implementing transit services.
“Human Transit” explains the fundamental geometry of transit that shapes successful systems; the process for fitting technology to a particular community; and the local choices that lead to transit-friendly development. Whether you are in the field or simply a concerned citizen, here is an accessible guide to achieving successful public transit that will enrich any community.
Tuesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
Social entrepreneurship is one of many pathways to sustainable social change. In this talk, Dr. Chahine shares her experience building a social enterprise ecosystem in her home country of Lebanon, and building a social entrepreneurship curriculum at her alma mater, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her central thesis is that if we are to reach our public health goals, we need to strengthen our entrepreneurial mindsets and skillsets as public health practitioners. Today, Dr. Chahine is the Sheila and Ron ’92 BA Marcelo Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship at Yale, where she holds a joint appointment at the School of Management and the School of Public Health.
She started her career at the Ministry of Social Affairs in Lebanon working on reproductive health with the UNFPA, and went on to develop interactive web-based tools for community-based risk assessment with the U.S.EPA. Most recently, she helped launch Alfanar Lebanon, a venture philanthropy organization providing support to grassroots organizations serving marginalized populations in the Arab countries. Dr. Chahine is the author of “Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship,” a 12-step framework to building impactful ventures within new and existing organizations.
Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
*In partnership with Clinton Foundation
*Book signing to follow
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Clinton Foundation and University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will host Remembering Betty Ford, a conversation about the woman who made a positive and lasting impact on our country. The conversation will include Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford, and Lisa McCubbin, author of Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer, an intimate and insightful biography of Betty Ford, the groundbreaking, candid, and resilient First Lady and wife of President Gerald Ford. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa McCubbin – with foreword by Susan Ford Bales – the book tells the inspiring story of an ordinary Midwestern girl thrust onto the world stage and into the White House under extraordinary circumstances.
Setting a precedent as First Lady, Betty Ford refused to be silenced by her critics as she publicly championed equal rights for women, and spoke out about issues that had previously been taboo—breast cancer, depression, abortion, and sexuality. Privately, there were signs something was wrong. After a painful intervention by her family, she admitted to an addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. Her courageous decision to speak out publicly sparked a national dialogue, and in 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center, which revolutionized treatment for alcoholism and inspired the modern concept of recovery.
Monday, March 25 at Noon (Sturgis Hall)
John Dacey, founder and Executive Director of the Arizona nonprofit Abolish
Private Prisons, recently left a full-time law practice at the prestigious Phoenix firm of Gammage & Burnham to focus his full effort on criminal justice reform work.
He will be joined by UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law Professor Andre Cummings, who is president of the board of directors of Abolish Private Prisons, which challenges the constitutionality of private prisons in federal court.
Friday, March 29 at 6 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
A conversation with Will Rockefeller and Adams Pryor moderated by Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. Will Rockefeller works for Winrock Group Inc. in Little Rock and served on the staff of United States Senator John Boozman from 2011-2016. He earned his B.A. in History from Rhodes College and an MBA from the University of Arkansas. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Real Estate Development from Georgetown University. He is the son of the late Arkansas Lt. Gov Win Rockefeller and the grandson of the late Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller.
Adams Pryor graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and is currently a third-year law student at UAF. Following his law school graduation, he hopes to work for an international development NGO. He is the son of Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor and the grandson of Arkansas Governor and Senator David Pryor.