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Allison Meyer of Strongsville, Ohio spent seven months in Phnom Penh, Cambodia completing her University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service International Public Service Project and final Capstone Project. Meyer worked with Sarus, a non-profit specializing in peace-building and service-learning programs. Meyer’s efforts for her Capstone Project were successful in developing an organizational theory of change for Sarus, evaluating stakeholder relationships, and ultimately improving stakeholder involvement to help the organization more efficiently and effectively achieve its goals.
Allison created an organizational theory of change, which outlines the results an organization must achieve to be successful, and how it, working alone or with others, will achieve them. Then she conducted a descriptive analysis of the relationship Sarus has with its key stakeholders outlined in the theory of change: participants, partners, and organizational staff. In order to analyze Sarus’s three key stakeholders quantitative and qualitative data were gathered to determine the interests of designated parties, and how those interests should be taken into consideration as Sarus moves forward.
The results show the strengths and weaknesses of Sarus’s participant selection process, partner management methods, and staff recruitment and retention strategies. In order to help Sarus better align its stakeholder involvement with its theory of change Meyer developed action steps for Sarus, supplemented by an asset map displaying Sarus partner organizations as well as a memorandum of understanding template to strengthen partnerships.
“Allison was a tremendous asset to Sarus. During her seven months working with us, Allison created a groundbreaking and exhaustive impact assessment of our Cambodia-Vietnam peace-building programs, undertook a detailed stakeholder analysis, and facilitated our development of an organizational theory of change,” said Wesley Hedden, Founder and CEO of Sarus. “Allison’s work has helped us to more clearly understand our impact and our relationships with stakeholders and will help guide our work for years to come.”
Sarus was founded in 2010 and currently operates five different programs, each with community service activities, working with university students throughout Asia. The long-term goal of Sarus is to create a diverse international network of adaptive leaders whoact as catalysts of change to foster open, inclusive, and resilient communities in Asia. Sarus believes investing in young leaders will help neighboring countries in Asia emerge from their turbulent pasts and experience social and economic growth.
More information about Sarus is available at http://sarusprogram.org/
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Ann Applebaum has been awarded the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace.
Established in 2007 by the late Kathryn Wasserman Davis, The Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace is a competitive, merit-based award to study a language in an immersion environment or policy studies at Middlebury College Language Schools or the Monterey Institute of International Studies, respectively. Each year, the fellowship provides funding of $8,000-$10,000 for 100 aspiring and experienced peacemakers to spend a summer at one of the two schools.
Kathryn Davis Fellows for Peace receive the very best training in foreign language or policy studies and go on to use their skills for the greater good – in peace-related professions and initiatives all around the world.
For her final capstone project, Rebecca Zimmermann from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service worked with Audubon Arkansas to create an outreach plan for Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report.
Zimmermann, of Jacksonville, Ark., surveyed 136 Audubon members and supporters around the state to determine how to best protect birds from the threats of a changing climate. The National Audubon Society’s groundbreaking study, Birds and Climate Change Report, was released last fall and highlighted the 314 species of North American birds threatened by climate change. Zimmermann’s research of both Audubon members and partners will assist Audubon Arkansas in implementing outreach efforts that will protect the future of Arkansas’s birds.
Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report utilized data based on over three decades of citizen science to create climate suitability models. Among the 314 species at risk are some of Arkansas’s most beloved birds including the bald eagle, the wild turkey, and the mallard.
As the state office of The National Audubon Society, Audubon Arkansas works to protect birds from the numerous threats they face, including the dangers of climate change. Working effectively with members, supporters, and partners is critical to the success of these efforts.
“The science tells us birds face great peril because of climate change,” said Brett Kincaid, Audubon Arkansas’s executive director. “Our challenge now is to take that message and bring it to life to a broad audience. Rebecca has helped us develop a plan to share our findings and to motivate people to take action on climate change.”
The capstone is the final of three field service projects required at the Clinton School.
About Audubon Arkansas
Audubon Arkansas’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. They are the state office of The National Audubon Society.
More information about Audubon Arkansas is available at http://ar.audubon.org/
In partnership with Vital Voices Global Partnership, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduate student Anna Applebaum researched the effectiveness of peer-to-peer exchange as a tool for women’s leadership development.
Applebaum spent four months as a McLarty Global Fellow, working in concert with Vital Voices’ Impact, Evaluation and Research Department and the VVLead Fellowship Program team. In this role, she conducted extensive research on women’s leadership development practices and the value of peer learning and peer-to-peer exchanges. Following a thorough literature review, Applebaum analyzed survey data and conducted in-depth interviews with VVLead participants to understand the effectiveness of the program’s peer-to-peer exchange methodology.
Applebaum developed a white paper on VVLead’s peer-to-peer exchange strategy, filling a gap in existing scholarship on such exchanges used specifically for women leaders. Her review focused on peer-to-peer exchanges’ value in developing leadership identity, role models, and networks. Additionally, Applebaum helped create a set of practice notes for planning and implementing peer-to-peer exchange to share with other practitioners. She also developed recommendations for future VVLead programming as well as established protocols for future research.
“Anna has served as an invaluable member of the VVLead Fellowship Program team,” said Emma Hersh, Senior Program Manager, Department of Global Programs at Vital Voices Global Partnership. “Her diligence, work ethic and academic rigor when researching and evaluating the peer-to-peer exchange methodology have strengthened VVLead’s model and the impact of the program going forward.”
Applebaum completed the project as part of her capstone project, the final of three major field service projects completed during the Clinton School Masters of Public Service degree program. Her other field service work includes a project with the East Arkansas Planning and Development District (EAPDD) and work with the Rwandan Orphans Project in Kigali, Rwanda.
About Vital Voices
Vital Voices Global Partnership is the preeminent non-governmental organization (NGO) that identifies, trains and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world for us all. Their mission is to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.
More information about Vital Voices Global Partnership can be found at http://www.vitalvoices.org/
The VVLead Fellowship Program supports a global network of emerging and established women leaders who provide unusual and sustainable solutions to pressing problems that have impeded women and girls’ progress to participate fully in society and the economy.
More information about VVLead can be found at http://www.vitalvoices.org/VVLeadFellowship
Working in collaboration, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the Arkansas Community Organization presented the results of surveys and focus groups conducted in Fall of 2014 of residents living in central, east, and south Little Rock last night at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library.
Arkansas Community Organizations and their partner organization, the Arkansas Community Institute, worked with Dr. Warigia Bowman and forty-eight students from the Clinton School of Public Service to conduct twelve focus groups and over four hundred surveys of residents living in neighborhoods south of I-630 and east of University Avenue about their views of Little Rock city government and concerns about their communities.
The study found that I-630 represents an unspoken physical and psychological barrier in Little Rock. Read the entire report and survey findings, along with survey methodology and proposed solutions, by clicking here.
Clinton School students are working towards their Masters of Public Service degrees. In their field projects, they apply what they are learning in the classroom to real public service projects.
The Clinton School is currently accepting proposals for Practicum and Capstone field projects.
Practicum projects are selected by the Clinton School and accomplished by small teams of students from September 2015 through May 2016. Applications for Practicum projects are due on April 10, 2015.
Individual students select Capstone projects based on their career goals. Students devote over 250 hours to implementing their Capstones, which begin at different times of the year depending on student course schedules. Proposals for Capstone projects are accepted on a rolling basis through August 2015.
In addition to fulfilling degree requirements, the projects allow Clinton School students to add value to the organizations they partner with.
The school seeks field projects that meet an identified need of an organization or group of people. This allows for work to be accomplished that is beneficial to both the community and the student.
“Over the past six years our work with the students and faculty of the Clinton School of Public Service has been a great benefit to Newport and Jackson County,” said Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission. “The projects have helped our community provide better opportunities for our citizens and have allowed the students from the Clinton School to gain experience that will help them transform other communities in the future. It is one of the most mutually rewarding activities that we have undertaken for our town.”
Clinton School field projects include work such as:
“The students, the partner organizations, and the community have all benefited from the field service projects,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “We encourage interested organizations to submit proposals to work with us next year.”
Organizations interested in partnering with the Clinton School can submit a proposal online at:http://clintonschool.uasys.
An information session for interested organizations will be held on Thursday, March 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Sturgis Hall. To attend, click here.
To obtain additional information about the application process, contact Hilary Trudell at fieldservice@clintonschool.
Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will host CGI U 2015 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The meeting will bring together more than 1,100 students to make a difference in CGI U’s five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.
Admire’s project rEvolution is a proposed composting/education service. He has partnered with a team of local urban farmers and Little Rock Parks and Recreation in order to collect and compost local food waste at various sites around Central Arkansas. Compost produced will be used to supplement other natural fertilizers in the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance/Western Hills Park Gleaning Garden.
Butler, Haley, and Salzman’s project Clinton Cycles is a proposed bike share program dedicated to providing cheaper, easier, and more environmentally friendly transportation options for the Clinton School community. It will include a fleet of 12 bicycles with three docking stations in the downtown Little Rock area.
Admire and Haley are from Little Rock, Ark.; Butler is from Jackson, Miss.; and Salzman is from Wellesley, Mass.
For more information, visit http://www.cgiu.org/
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host the 2015 Gulf-South Summit on service-learning and civic engagement through higher education March 11-13, 2015 at the Little Rock Marriott downtown. There will be over 250 attendees and over 100 programs ranging from keynote speeches to roundtable discussions and interactive workshops and presentations.
Entitled “Building Bridges Between Education and Engagement,” this year’s Gulf-South Summit keynote speakers will include Mary Alice Morgan (Macon, Ga.), Senior Vice Provost for Service-Learning at Mercer University, and Hannah Vann (Macon, Ga.), former president of STOP and Coordinator of Community Engagement at Mercer University, presenting their case study on ending sex trafficking in Macon, Ga.; Minnijean Brown-Trickey (Vancouver, formerly of Little Rock, Ark.), a member of the Little Rock Nine, will discuss her on-going activism to end social injustices; and Tania Mitchell (Minneapolis, Minn.), an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, who will discuss her study of alumni and the effect community engagement experiences have on their lives. For more information on the keynote speakers, click here.
Since 2003, the Gulf-South Summit has provided a forum to discuss the challenges and successes of higher education’s drive toward true community engagement by facilitating discussions on best practices, sharing research, and fostering a professional network of engaged scholars, students, and practitioners.
Participants are coming from 20 different U.S. States ranging from the east to the west coast and over 70 different higher education institutions and service-learning organizations, including the University of Chicago, Georgia Tech, Rhodes College, Spelman College, and Tulane University. In addition to UALR and the Clinton School, universities from Arkansas including University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Arkansas at Monticello, and the University of Central Arkansas will participate. SEC schools represented include Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, and Tennessee.
Being held in Arkansas for the first time, the Gulf-South Summit is co-hosted by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, with sponsorship from the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and Westrock Coffee.
For a full list of events scheduled, to register as a participant, or for other information, visit www.gulfsouthsummit.org/
Arkansas Community Organizations and their partner organization, the Arkansas Community Institute, worked with Dr. Warigia Bowman and forty-eight students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to conduct twelve focus groups and over four hundred surveys of residents living in neighborhoods south of I-630 and east of University Avenue about their views of Little Rock city government and concerns about their communities.
The research aimed to listen to community voices, collect data on community perceptions, and offer solutions to improve local governance. Participants in the focus groups were recruited from organizations and institutions in the neighborhoods south of the interstate. The surveys were conducted at stores and other locations in the same geographical area. The students led the focus groups and gathered the surveys. The study also examined previous work by scholars from across the city and state.
The school will release a paper containing the final results of an analysis of both focus group and survey findings.
The research found that Interstate 630 represents an unspoken physical and psychological barrier in Little Rock. The study also found that many citizens living south of I-630 were not familiar with the Mayor or the City Board of Directors. Other matters of concern to the community were the inequity of resource allocation compared to wealthier neighborhoods. Participants indicated a high level of concern regarding a lack of access to public services, street maintenance, and traffic safety. The study also raised issues regarding economic development, investment in infrastructure, and vacant housing. On the positive side, citizens offered a variety of constructive suggestions for community improvement, including the use of vacant lots for community gardens and soccer fields.