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Clinton school student, Todun Afolabi (’13) partnered with the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support (DCSNS) to assist in the development of a four-year strategic plan to improve services the division delivers to organizations in Arkansas.
To help identify issues the plan should address, Afolabi conducted an internal assessment to gauge organizational capacity, an external assessment to determine customer needs and best practice research to identify growing trends of nonprofits.
In its mission to strengthen community resources, volunteerism and national service in Arkansas, the division’s program developers assist nonprofits by providing trainings, consultations and technical assistance. The division also serves as a conduit to administer federal funds through its AmeriCorps program, which has AmeriCorps members who serve in each of the state’s counties.
“All of us at DCSNS are pleased to have Todun working with us to identify strategic issue areas towards the development of the strategic plan. We anticipate the plan will provide us with even more opportunities to serve the citizens of Arkansas,” said Sherry Middleton, director of the Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support. (more…)
Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford penned an Op-Ed in today’s Dallas Morning News about the impact of the upcoming opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Rutherford, who led the planning and development of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, highlighted the bipartisan nature of presidential libraries and their positive impact on the communities where they are located:
Presidential libraries represent a post-presidential spirit that puts aside much of the politics involved in running for and holding our country’s highest elected office. This spirit is evidenced by the work of President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton after the 2004 Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as a similar partnership between President Clinton and President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Presidential libraries also represent a uniting symbol for the communities in which they are located. They generate new jobs and tourism, and they affect the intellectual and cultural dynamics of their regions. President Bush’s collection of head-of-state gifts alone could stock an art museum.
Hundreds of thousands of people tour presidential libraries every year. Many people across the country may never have the opportunity to visit Washington, but through the Presidential Library System, visitors get a close-up view of life and work in the White House. Special exhibits, programs, presentations, events, festivals and conferences hosted at presidential libraries provide city and campus enrichment.
“Death of a Salesman,” a panel discussion
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre
- Join us for a panel discussion on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of “Death of a Salesman,” starring renowned film and television actor Robert Walden as Willy Loman. Walden is best known for his three time Emmy-nominated role as Joe Rossi on “Lou Grant,” and as Joe Waters on “Brothers.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- The U.S. House Democratic leader, Pelosi, D-Calif., will visit the Clinton School to participate in a discussion of current affairs in American politics. Pelosi has represented San Francisco for 25 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. From 2007-2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history.
“Right To Be Free,” founder Eric Peasah
Monday, May 6, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Peasah is the founder of Right To Be Free (RTBF), a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing children and women who are victims of slavery, exploitation and other oppressive conditions. He also works closely with government, law enforcement and judiciary agencies, civil society organizations and NGOs to combat human trafficking in Ghana and the West African sub region.
“Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives,” author Amy Binder
Friday, May 10, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
- Acting provost at the Thurgood Marshall College at the University of California, San Diego, Binder’s new book, “Becoming Right,” looks at how today’s right-leaning college students experience life on two university campuses — one an elite private institution, the other a major public university — and how they belong to a web of conservative organizations that provide considerable resources to them. (more…)
A team of graduate students conducted a comprehensive statewide study to assist Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services to identify the most pressing legal needs of low-income Arkansans.
Clinton School students Margaret Hobbs of El Dorado, Ark., Mary Pitre of New Orleans, La., Tyler Pearson of Conway, Ark., and Gregg Potter of Lyndon Station, Wis., spent eight months collecting data from low-income Arkansans and the legal community to learn about the unmet legal needs of Arkansans and the perceptions of the legal community about which needs are the greatest.
The research has shown that the most prevalent legal issues faced by low-income Arkansans relate to family law, consumer matters and government benefits. The legal community consistently ranked family law, consumer, government benefits and juvenile issues as case types that were most prevalent. Focus group data showed that the cost of hiring a lawyer often precludes low-income Arkansans from accessing representation.
The students designed and distributed surveys across the state and conducted focus groups in each Congressional district. The method of surveying both the low-income population and the legal community provided for a particularly comprehensive assessment. With over 1,200 responses, the data maintained a confidence level of 95 percent with a 3.33 margin of error and the high response rate provided rich quantitative and qualitative data. (more…)
A Clinton School student completed a 17-week study to identify policies and procedures that encourage multicultural diversity at university Honors programs across the country.
Clinton School student Russell Carey of Little Rock, Ark., used the research to make recommendations for the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and to advise the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas. His research focused on diversity of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status among students and faculty.
The goal of the 17-week study is to help Honors programs develop more multicultural communities. Carey focused on identifying programs that have replicated successes, or have undergone evaluations. He made recommendations for 10 specific actions for the Schedler Honors College at UCA.
“Russell has prepared a road map to assist us in our quest to identify talented students and retain them over the long-haul as they develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities for a career in research or the professions,” said Phil Frana, director of undergraduate research at the Schedler Honors College.
Carey interviewed the staff and faculty of the Schedler Honors College and directors and participants of selective education programs. He conducted research, assessed recruiting and admissions. (more…)
A team of graduate students completed a study they hope will help connect organizations that provide services to ex-offenders as they return from incarceration to life in the Central Arkansas community.
In 2012, Arkansas welcomed 6,618 ex-offenders back into its communities. Formerly incarcerated individuals face a number of barriers as they re-enter society, which helps keep them and their communities thriving.
These barriers make it difficult for ex-offenders to successfully re-enter their environments and increase the chance that ex-offenders will return to jail or prison. A well-organized re-entry service community is critical to ensuring the successful rehabilitation of ex-offenders.
Clinton School students Kathleen Brophy of Baltimore, Md., Mara D’Amico of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Ashley Jones of Piedmont, S.C., have extensively studied this re-entry phenomenon in Little Rock.
Throughout two semesters, the team contacted more than 100 Little Rock-based organizations to identify those providing services to ex-offenders, including transitional housing, meals and food, job training, GED classes and substance abuse treatment.
The team has been working closely with local non-profit provider Lewis Burnett Employment Finders, Inc., city government officials, and the state and federal prison systems to create a resource directory connecting all of these entities to better serve ex-offenders in a coordinated effort.
Lewis-Burnett Employment Finders site supervisor Leta Anthony said this of the team’s work, “The work that has been performed in our community by Kathleen, Ashley and Mara is nothing short of amazing! The work with the directory, web-site and the white paper create the foundation for a re-entry model that is truly the best practice for Central Arkansas and those returning home from incarceration.” (more…)
At team of Clinton School students presented a report Monday to the Newport (Ark.) City Council on the possible adaptive reuses of the historic “Blue Bridge,” an iconic structure that crosses the White River in the city’s downtown.
Clinton School students Foster Holcomb of Little Rock, Ark., Abby Olivier of Hattiesburg, Miss., and James Stephens of St. Louis, Mo., studied community need through surveys and meetings, and researched possible uses of the aging bridge, which is set to be replaced by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.
The department has offered to donate the bridge to the City of Newport with about $1 million in reimbursement funds, the approximate cost of demolition, if the city chooses to preserve the bridge and adapt it to an alternate use.
The students surveyed opinions from community, business and government leaders in Newport and found that while there are mixed feelings about whether to keep the bridge for an alternate use or to tear it down, most respondents hoped to see it preserved.
They performed key informant interviews with leaders in Little Rock to gain knowledge from experts in the field of historic preservation, particularly historic bridges. The team also explored other examples of historic preservation projects across the country. (more…)
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – A team of graduate students who completed a marketing plan for the Honeycomb Restaurant and Bakery in Arkadelphia will have new day jobs at the restaurant on Tuesday, April 23rd.
Clinton School students Aliyah Sarkar of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Cathrine Schwader of Rogers, Ark., Jacob Perry of Fayetteville, Ark., and Nicholas Provencher of Calais, Maine will work at the restaurant for a day as wait staff and guest chefs.
The workday is a culmination of the students’ work this year to help market the restaurant, which employs adults with developmental disabilities in an effort to help them achieve independence in the community.
The lunch specials for the day feature the students’ own recipes including falafels with tzatziki sauce, roast beet salad, spinach and feta quiche, kale and white bean soup, Moroccan chickpea salad, Moroccan potato patty and pita. These specials, along with the Honeycomb’s regular menu, will be served during the restaurant’s business hours from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The students collaborated with Group Living, Inc. and Honeycomb Restaurant and Bakery during the past academic year to create a marketing campaign that highlights the Honeycomb’s food and social mission and increases revenue. The workday is one of many events at Honeycomb that engages the community and creates a fun and fresh atmosphere.
“Team Honeycomb, as the students have named themselves, have been great to work with and are inspiring us to really make Honeycomb the best it can be so that when people come in they can see the work we are doing to provide employment and independence for our clients with developmental disabilities,” said Jane Lucas, the executive director of Group Living, Inc. (more…)
Four graduate students are partnering with Literacy Action of Central Arkansas to create a strategic plan to increase awareness and volunteerism for adult literacy in Pulaski and Faulkner Counties.
Clinton School students Jessica Boyd of Little Rock, Ark., Matthew Caston of Jackson, Miss., Sean O’Keefe of Seattle, Wash., and Emily Wernsdorfer of York, Penn., have spent the past year assessing attitudes and perceptions about adult literacy in Central Arkansas through 60 interviews with key community leaders.
They have collected opinions about why many adults have low literacy skills, how it affects the community and the most effective ways to address the issue. This information will be used to create a plan for Literacy Action, a nonprofit that provides free one-on-one tutoring for adults, to increase their engagement with the community in order to recruit and retain more volunteer tutors.
“Literacy Action serves about 250 adults a year. But we’re reminded, almost at every turn, that that’s just scratching the surface. It’s important that the community leadership understands the big issue of adult literacy and how it affects our community,” said Neil Jones, executive director of Literacy Action.
Thirty thousand adults in Pulaski County alone read below a fifth-grade level. Adult literacy has an impact on other socioeconomic issues such as employment, crime and early childhood education. (more…)