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As part of their team-based project requirement, a team of students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service worked in partnership with The People Tree to research fresh food access and possible community-based solutions to food insecurity in Greater Little Rock.
Caitlin McAteer of Denver, Colo., Heather Rossi of Columbia, S.C., and Merrill Schmidt of Little Rock, Ark. conducted research regarding issues of fresh food access in the Baring Cross and Promise neighborhoods, including interviews, surveys, and fresh food resource mapping. This study aimed to proved The People Tree with necessary information to make a decision informed by the community on how to best alleviate problems of limited food access.
According to Feeding America, Arkansas ranks second for the highest rate of food insecurity in the country. People who participated in the Greater Little Rock study identified cost as the greatest barrier to fresh produce access while mobility presented a significant barrier for a segment of the population. Additionally, the study found a number of fresh food resources in existence in the Promise Neighborhood, while Baring Cross had limited resources. Lastly, interviewed food insecure populations favored mobile markets and community gardens as ideas for increasing food access in the future.
The student team produced a final report that included recommendations based on their findings. Recommendations included: collaborate with the target community when designing interventions, support existing community gardens and mobile market initiatives, tailor mobile market operations and produce selection to community needs and desires, and encourage increased coordination in food access initiatives.
This project is one of 10 team-based projects to be completed by 37 Clinton School students across the state of Arkansas this year. These students are in their first year of classes in the school’s Master of Public Service degree program.
About The People Tree
The People Tree is a nonprofit organization that works to transform community ideas into community action in Central Arkansas. In 2010, Josh Fendley established The People Tree with the intention of strengthening community and improving societal systems through local food initiatives. More information about The People Tree is available at www.thepeopletree.us
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Donate the Basics for Children in Foster Care Donation Drive
Monday, May 2, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with Arkansas Department of Human Services and Arkansas Creating Connections for Children
– Each year, thousands of children are rescued from dangerous situations and taken into the Arkansas foster care system. DHS caseworders find that children don’t even have the basics, like clean underwear, diapers, or a bag for their clothes, and they often haven’t eaten. Help us make that first night in foster care a little easier by participating in the Donate the Basics Donation Drive during the entire month of May. During the kickoff even on May 2nd, please bring your donations and learn more about the foster care system in Arkansas.
“Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America,” Douglas Brinkley
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
– Douglas Brinkley is an award-winning and New York Times best-selling author, a professor of history at Rice University, a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy, and an editor at Audubon Magazine. In his new book, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America, Brinkley focuses on FDR and his essential yet under-sung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps and premier protector of America’s public lands. FDR built from scratch dozens of State Park systems and scenic roadways. During his years as president, FDR established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges, spearheaded the modern endangered species movement, and positioned his conservation goals as economic policy to combat the severe unemployment of the Great Depression. Rightful Heritage chronicles both a portrait of FDR’s passion and skill to illuminate the tension between business and nature of both exploiting and conserving our national resources.
“Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations,” Ron Fournier
Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
– Ron Fournier is a national political journalist currently of the National Journal, a frequent contributor for political-themed TV shows, and has previously served as Washington bureau chief at the Associated Press. In his new book, Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations, Fournier explores ideas of what we want from our children – popularity, normalcy, achievement, genius – and what we truly need – grit, empathy, character. In Love That Boy, Fournier weaves through his journey as a parent to acceptance around the latest research on childhood development and stories of other loving-but-struggling parents.
Steven Barnett, Center on Community Philanthropy Scholar in Residence
Friday, May 6, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– Steven Barnett is Board of Governors professor of education and the director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, and has served as a consultant for early childhood policy for many states and national leaders around the world. His research includes wide ranging studies on early childhood policy and economics, including research on long-term effects of early education programs, benefit-cost analyses of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs, randomized trials of alternative approaches to educating bilingual/migrant populations and the Tools of the Mind curriculum, and the series of State Preschool Yearbooks providing annual state-by-state analyses of progress in public pre-K. Barnett’s recent publications include “Effectiveness of early educational intervention” in the journal Science.
“The Sustainable Development Goals and What They Mean for Africa,” Robin Sanders
Thursday, May 19, 2016 at TBA. (Sturgis Hall)
– Robin Sanders is the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and the Republic of Congo, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and former director of the Africa National Security Council at the White House. She currently serves as CEO of FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative, which focuses on food security, education, environment, economic development and self-help projects, particularly in Africa. An international lecturer, and writer on Africa, Sanders has lectured on international and African affairs, national security strategies, strategic and cultural communications, and conflict resolution. She also focuses on other areas of expertise, such as election and democratic processes, smart food security-environment systems, education and the environment.
“The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It,” Leonard Cassuto
Monday, May 23, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
– Leonard Cassuto is graduate education columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education and professor at Fordham University. In his new book, The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It, Cassuto explores the root of the problems in graduate education – students taking too long to complete their studies and facing a dismal academic job market if they succeed – and offers concrete solutions for revitalizing graduate education in the humanities. He argues that universities’ heavy emphasis on research comes at the expense of teaching and that graduate education must recover its mission of public service. He also argues that professors should revamp the graduate curriculum and broaden its narrow definition of success to allow students to create more fulfilling lives for themselves both inside and outside the academy. In The Graduate School Mess, Cassuto follows the graduate student from admissions to the dissertation and placement, and considers how each stage of graduate education is shape by unexamined assumptions and ancient prejudices that need to be critically confronted.
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A student team from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service worked alongside Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Service to research the needs of children and families in Drew County, Arkansas.
Abigail Craig of Little Rock, Ark., Demas Soliman of Alexandria, Egypt, Elena Perry of Slobozia, Romania, and Mary Wolf of Milwaukee, Wisc., conducted research regarding the needs of children and families in Drew County, including focus groups, surveys, and one-on-one interviews with community leaders. The student team carried out focus groups with healthcare workers, nonprofit representatives, teachers, and other community members.
People who participated in the research stated that poverty is often the cause of many of the needs of children and families. According to the latest U.S. Census, 41.3% of children in Drew County live below the poverty line. Some notable and highly mentioned needs were basic healthcare, substance abuse services, and transportation. The team produced an assessment that describes gaps in current services for children and families in the area.
The student team will present the findings of their research on Wednesday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m. in Williamson Hall on the Annie B. Wells children’s home campus at 745 Old Warren Road in Monticello. The presentation will be open to the public. Following the presentation, their research will be available at www.veralloyd.org.
About Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services
Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services’ corporate office is located in Little Rock and its children’s home is located in Monticello. The children’s home was established in 1923 through the dedication and monetary support of Lulu Williamson, Vera Lloyd and Annie B. Wells. Vera Lloyd provides residential housing for up to 42 youth at any one time and close to 200 youth every year. More information about Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family services at www.veralloyd.org.
A student team from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is working with Mid-Delta Community Consortium (MDCC) to assess food insecurity barriers in Phillips County, Arkansas.
Clinton School students Thurman Green of Pine Bluff, Ark., Hunter Owen of Conway, Ark., and Rob Pillow of Jackson, Miss. are assisting MDCC in identifying food insecurity characteristics and reasons for its growth in the Delta region. Their work is revealing particular barriers associated with food insecurity, collecting valuable data through surveys, and providing results to MDCC and other community leaders in the Delta.
The team will present their findings at the Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center in Marvell, Arkansas on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.
This project is one of 10 to be completed by 36 Clinton School students across the state of Arkansas. These students are in their second semester of classes in the school’s Master of Public Service degree program.
A team of University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students teamed up with the Newport Economic Development Commission (NEDC) and Downtown Revitalization Improvement Volunteer Effort (D.R.I.V.E.) to identify resources for the renovation of the historic Arkansas Bank and Trust building, known locally as the John Minor building.
Students Stacy Cox of Little Rock, Ark., Zachary Glembin of Milwaukee, Wisc., Beau Papan of Little Rock, Ark., and Keith Preciados of Miami, Fla. worked on the project, which teamed up with NEDC for a project for the seventh time in the past eight years. Plans are currently underway to construct a visual arts center in downtown Newport in an effort to enhance economic development. The proposed Blue Bridge Center for the Delta Arts will provide a unique space for patrons to refine their talent and create ample opportunities for art related education. The visual arts center project is part of a larger revitalization effort that aims to stimulate Newport’s downtown district, and this project will assist with that.
“Based on the sustained success over the last eight years, we believe that Arkansas Delta residents are yearning for a chance to participate and enjoy the arts on a year round basis,” said Jon Chadwell, Director of the NEDC. “The Blue Bridge Center for the Delta Arts will serve as a gateway for local citizens to participate in the Creative Economy and to be inspired by the works of the amazingly talented artists of our region.”
A public press conference and reception will be held Monday, April 25, 2015 starting at 2 p.m. at the Newport Business Resource Center, 201 Hazel Street in Newport, Arkansas to share the work conducted by the Clinton School students. For more information about the conference feel free to call (870) 523-1009.
The students completed the project as part of the Clinton School’s Practicum program, the first of three field service projects in the Master of Public Service degree program.
About Newport Economic Development Commission (NEDC)
The Newport Economic Development Commission (NEDC), created in 2002, is a government organization based in Newport, Arkansas that was started by a vote from Newport’s citizens. NEDC focuses on developing the community of Newport through various initiatives such as investing in infrastructure improvements and designing job-creation incentives for businesses. More information about the NEDC can be found at www.newportarcity.org.
About Downtown Revitalization and Improvement Volunteer Effort (D.R.I.V.E.)
The Downtown Revitalization and Improvement Volunteer Effort (D.R.I.V.E.) is a Newport-based non-profit effort dedicated to restoring the economic revitalization of the town’s downtown area. They focus on creating and maintaining a positive image of Newport in order to stimulate community development and expand economic activity. D.R.I.V.E. was developed by the Newport Downtown Revitalization Task Force, which was created by their mayor, David Stewart, in August 2004.More information about D.R.I.V.E. can be found either at www.newportaredc.org or https://www.facebook.com/DRIVENewport/info/.
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance No Kid Hungry Campaign and a team of students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service collaborated to research the effectiveness of the Arkansas Meals for Achievement pilot program.
Clinton School students Shem Ngwira of Malawi, Marsha Scullark of West Memphis, Ark., and Will Van Laningham of Fayetteville, Ark. examined a total of 23 schools that participated in the Arkansas Meals for Achievement program and researched their effectiveness in areas such as student behavior, academic test scores, and daily breakfast participation rates.
The team also compiled a reference tool to be used by the Hunger Relief Alliance in ongoing data collection going forward to help improve participation rates.
“Hungry kids cannot learn,” said Patty Barker, director of the Arkansas No Kid Hungry Campaign. “It’s imperative that students have access to a nutritious breakfast as part of the school day so they are focused and ready to learn.”
The students completed the project as part of the Clinton School’s Practicum program, the first of three field service projects in the Master of Public Service degree program.
About the No Kid Hungry Campaign
Initiated by the national nonprofit Share Our Strength in 2010, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance joined with Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to launch the No Kid Hungry campaign in Arkansas. The campaign works to end childhood hunger by connecting children to nutritious food and nutrition education programs where they live, learn, and play. Advocates working on the campaign help to develop breakfast programs in schools, bring summer meals programs to local communities, and create after school feeding programs. The campaign also empowers low-income families with the skills they need to shop for and prepare nutritious meals on tight food budgets through its Cooking Matters program.
– More information about the No Kid Hungry Campaign is available at www.nokidhungry.org
– More information about The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is available at www.arhungeralliance.org.
Social entrepreneurs in Arkansas and beyond have an opportunity to learn from some of the best entrepreneurial minds and change agents from around the world. The 2016 Social Entrepreneurship Boot Camp will be held Friday, July 15, through Sunday, July 17, at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute atop Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas. Along with the Institute, the Clinton School of Public Service, the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub have partnered to put on the boot camp after a successful pilot program in 2015.
Applications for the boot camp are due by Sunday, May 1. Instructions for application and the application form can be found at www.rockefellerinstitute.org/bootcamp. For more reading materials, including “Building Blocks of Social Enterprise,” click here. The boot camp is designed to assist aspiring social entrepreneurs in launching or growing their social enterprise. Each team at the boot camp will be assigned its own mentor. The mentors will coach and guide their teams through the three-day event. Topics that will be discussed include pitch training, scalability, identifying funding opportunities, measuring social metrics and ethics. “The teams that came to the boot camp last summer had a lot of enthusiasm for how they could make a difference in the world through their business concept,” said Dr. Marta Loyd, executive director of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. “They left the Institute with more confidence and poise, as well as a clearer sense of how to move their social enterprise forward.”
This year’s boot camp will see the return of some of last year’s mentors, such as Permjot Valia, a Canada-based entrepreneurial coach and angel investor; Jeff and Phyl Amerine, co-founders of Startup Junkie, a startup consulting firm in northwest Arkansas; and Dr. Carol Reeves, associate vice-provost for entrepreneurship at the University of Arkansas. Some new faces will also be present this year, including Adjoa Kusiwaa Boateng, regional director for West Africa at MicroEnsure; Jeff Stinson, director of entrepreneurship at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub; and David Moody, founder of Jacksson David and StartupDad.
A key addition to this year’s partnership has been Dr. Rogelio Garcia Contreras, director of social innovation at the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Contreras, founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, began his new post at the University of Arkansas in December and will serve as a mentor at the boot camp.
More information about the 2016 Social Entrepreneurship Boot Camp is available at www.rockefellerinstitute.org/bootcamp.
Glenn Whaley of Little Rock, operations manager with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, won the 9th annual Arkansas State Crossword Puzzle Championship this afternoon at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. It was her second time to win the title. Beth Levi of Little Rock, a clinical professor at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, won the Sudoku competition for the seventh time. She also won in 2015.
Defending champion and retired Judge Ellen Brantley of Little Rock was second in the crossword contest. She is a two-time winner and this year marks her third time to finish second. Duff Campbell of Little Rock, a professor of mathematics at Hendrix College in Conway, was third.
Clinton School student Kathryn Baxter of Glenside, Pennsylvania finished second in Sudoku. Baxter is the first Clinton School student to ever place in the top three finishers in either the Sudoku or crossword puzzle competition in the contest’s nine year history. Andrew McCauley, an architect and contractor from Little Rock, was third.
The championships were conducted by Little Rock District Judge Vic Fleming who constructs puzzles for the New York Times, USA Today and other major publications. Oliver Roeder of New York, senior writer and puzzle editor for FiveThirtyEight, spoke on “Gridgate” about alleged plagiarism in the crossword puzzle world. Roeder’s presentation will soon be posted on www.clintonschoolspeakers.com
The Clinton School has hosted the competition since its founding in 2007.
The Arkansas Foodbank and a team of students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service are collaborating with the community in White Country to improve food access and services for its seniors.
Arkansas is the number one state in the country for senior food insecurity, including nearly 25% of the approximate 600,000 seniors in Arkansas are food insecure, meaning that they do not have access to sufficient quantity of nutritious food. Roughly 3,000 seniors in White County are food insecure.
Students Mary Henthorn of Little Rock, Ark, Miki Kunishige of Rapid City, S.D., Piper Meeks of Nederland, Texas, Salil Joshi of Shreveport, La., and Yvonne Quek of Singapore, are facilitating concerned White County residents and service providers in forming a coalition that increases coordination between services and addresses the needs of hungry seniors. This community-based project replicates successful efforts conducted by the Arkansas Foodbank in other counties in Arkansas. Their work will also involve creating a resource list which sets out available services relevant to seniors throughout White County.
“Our goal at the Arkansas Foodbank is to serve more seniors and to serve them better,” said Jayne Ann Kita, Food For Families Chief Program Officer. “There are thousands of seniors who cannot afford something as basic as a warm meal.”
This project is one of ten projects to be completed by 36 Clinton School students across the state of Arkansas. These students are in their first year of the school’s Master of Public Service degree program.