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For the 12th consecutive year, first-year students enrolled in the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service’s Master of Public Service degree program have compiled a list of books they recommend others to read.
The books will be on display at a drop-in reception on Thursday, September 20 at WordsWorth Books (5920 R Street) in The Heights from 5:15-6:30 p.m. All are welcome to visit to meet the students and hear about their wide range of reading selections.
“This always interesting and diverse book list has become a much-anticipated tradition here at the Clinton School,” said Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “We have requests for it from individuals, teachers, book clubs, libraries, and bookstores from all over the country.”
The Class of 2020 is charting its own course with its book selections. Ninety percent are new titles; only 10 percent have been recommended by previous classes. More than three quarters of the books are nonfiction, and nearly half of those are memoirs or biographies of women and men who are change-makers – from well-known politicians, such as Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened,” to Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie’s “Start Something That Matters,” to a soldier’s memoir, “It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace.”
Several books question common cultural practices, including “Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise of the Unruly Woman,” “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority,” and “Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder.”
“Overall, the theme of the books selected by the Class of 2020, both fiction and nonfiction, is one of questioning shared beliefs and making change at all levels – individual, community, national, and international,” said Lia Lent, WordsWorth Books co-owner.
The books will be on display at Sturgis Hall throughout the 2018-19 school year and will be added to the school’s permanent collection. Printed lists will also be available at WordsWorth Books in Little Rock and at the Central Arkansas Library System’s main library.
Recommended Reading from the Class of 2020
Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
by Gloria E. Anzaldúa
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solder
by Ishmael Beah
Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness
by Eric Metaxas
by Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
by Brené Brown
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor … and Yourself
by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach
by Martha C. Nussbaum
Start Something That Matters
by Blake Mycoskie
Finding George Orwell in Burma
by Emma Larkin
Chasing Chaos: My Decade in and Out of Humanitarian Aid
by Jessica Alexander
by Paulo Coelho
If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For
by Jamie Tworkowski
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson
A Colony in a Nation
by Chris Hayes
The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace
by John Paul Lederach
by Kahlil Gibran
by Keith Richards
Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
by Geneen Roth
Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning
by Leslie Odom, Jr.
by Richard Powers
Do What You Love! 6 Steps to Transforming Your Gifts into Wealth
by Ken Honda
The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority
by Tom Burrell
by Boniface Mwangi
Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
What to Expect the First Year
by Heidi Murkoff
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace
by Rye Barcott
So You Want to Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo
by Judah Smith
Seriously … I’m Kidding
by Ellen DeGeneres
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman
by Anne Helen Petersen
The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time
by Bob Harris
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Changes: A Love Story
by Ama Ata Aidoo
by Kurt Vonnegut
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
by Cheryl Strayed
Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party
by Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Jerome Wilson, Jr.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities
by Jane Jacobs
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduate Trish Flanagan (Class 7) is beginning her third year with the Future School of Fort Smith, a tuition-free public charter high school in Fort Smith, Ark.
“This year we’re really wrapped around focusing on academic performance,” Flanagan said. “We spent the first couple of years just getting the lights turned on and the internship program organized.”
Flanagan founded the Future School in 2016 and served as superintendent for the first two years. Its curriculum features personalized learning through student-designed internships, learning plans, and a dedicated advising team for each student. Enrollment has grown each year, rising to more than 250 students at the start of the 2018-19 academic year.
The intersection of education and entrepreneurship has played a consistent role in Flanagan’s career. Following several years abroad as a teacher in developing countries, she enrolled in the Clinton School’s concurrent MPS-MBA program in partnership with the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
She completed her UACS Capstone project in the UAF Office of Entrepreneurship, developing an education tool that facilitates a deeper understanding of social entrepreneurship. Flanagan’s graduate business plan competition team at UAF, Picasolar, won more than $300,000 in competitions for its plan built around a patent-pending process developed to improve the efficiency of solar cells. Upon graduation, she led UAF’s Social Entrepreneurship Pilot Initiative.
In 2013, she and fellow Clinton School alum Chad Williamson co-founded Noble Impact, a K-12 education initiative integrating public service with an entrepreneurial mindset.
“Just going through that program at the Clinton School and being a part of it has been helpful in so many ways,” Flanagan said. “One, it’s just the network of people. Before I graduated, it was the network of speakers, and now it has extended into the network of graduates, of alums, who I can call for anything and they’re all around the world doing these crazy, awesome, cool projects. To have that network globally is huge.”
What drew you to education?
Through social work. In college, I worked a lot in children’s shelters and halfway houses, and after I graduated from college I lived in San Francisco and did social work. I worked with homeless families, so I was looking at how to be more solutions-oriented rather than just putting out fires, and that was working with kids and school.
Is that what pushed you into entrepreneurship?
Same thing. I was always looking to see where there is system change that can take place rather than the individual.
What were your biggest takeaways from the Clinton School’s concurrent MPS-MBA program?
I think doing the concurrent program was a game-changer. You have completely different disciplines coming together. I think that having them in tandem is really important. After doing a lot of public service and social work and teaching, going through the business program my goal was to see what that thought process was like in terms of for-profit and growth and scale and all those business concepts.
I didn’t know what the entrepreneurship program was about but it ended up being the perfect fit because you apply that thought process of a startup, solving a problem via business. That was a big game-changer, just to have a few things, like tangible skills that I developed in the business program, developing a business plan and presenting or pitching to investors, just building every aspect of a business around a solution.
I think that’s a really strong piece to be able to have around any kind of social or public service work that you’d be doing as well.
This is your second time founding a school. How important was it to have gone through this process once before?
I think one of the few underlying components that I’ve seen, even in the solar company that we started, is dealing with uncertainty. You’re building something from scratch, so there really isn’t a road map. You can project certain things, but you’re just out on the open sea trying to figure it out as you go.
What that allows you, though, is the feeling that anything is possible. You look at every possible solution as a possibility instead of having assumptions about it. Because there is no road map and there is no precedent, it gives you the opportunity to look at things in ways you might not have thought of before.
One skill that I picked up at the Clinton School was from Dr. Singhal, who taught Liberating Structures. One of the practices he taught, the Troika Method, which we use all the time. I’ve used it with my students, with my team, to test our own assumptions. I love getting feedback from people on ideas in a different way.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service distinguished fellow Dr. Arvind Singhal will present the lecture “The Positive Deviance Approach: Solving Complex Problems from the Inside Out” as Hendrix College’s 2018 Mellon Scholar, on Thursday, October 4.
The event is set for Lecture Hall B of the Mills Center for Social Sciences on the Hendrix campus in Conway, Ark. The lecture begins at 4:15 p.m., with a reception to follow.
Singhal, a renowned communication and social change scholar from the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), has been a William J. Clinton Distinguished Fellow at the Clinton School since 2009. An endowed professor of communication and director of research and outreach for the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at UTEP, Singhal teaches Dynamics of Social Change, a required course dealing with the elements of social change in a democratic society.
Singhal’s research has been supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the U.N. Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UNICEF and others. He has served as an advisor to the World Bank, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, UNICEF, the U.N. Development Program, UNAIDS, the U.S. Department of State; USAID, Family Health International, Save the Children, the BBC World Service Trust and others.
Positive Deviance (PD) is a novel approach to individual, organizational, and social change based on the observation that in every community there exist certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing worse challenges.
A leading scholar of the PD approach, Singhal has taught courses and implemented workshops on the positive deviance approach for educators, health practitioners, government officials, and business leaders in some 40 countries of Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
He has written nearly 200 peer-reviewed essays in leading journals of communication, public health, and social change, and written or edited 13 books, including Inspiring Change and Saving Lives: The Positive Deviance Way (2014); Health Communication in the 21st Century (2014); Inviting Everyone: Healing Healthcare through Positive Deviance (2010); and Protecting Children from Exploitation and Trafficking: Using the Positive Deviance Approach (2009).
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Senior Expo, set for Saturday, September 15, will include a political discussion on “Arkansas Seniors and the Upcoming Election” with Clinton School of Public Service Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III along with John Brummett (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), Sylvester Smith (National Federation of Independent Business/Arkansas), and Bill Vickery (103.7 The Buzz). The panel will run from noon to 1 p.m.
This semester, Rutherford is teaching a Clinton School seminar, “The 2018 Elections: Midterm Madness.”
The expo, sponsored by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, offers seniors opportunities to learn and have fun. The all-day health and lifestyle expo will start at 9 a.m. and run until 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Statehouse Convention Center. It will be hosted by KARK meteorologist Pat Walker.
The event is free to the public and features local vendors, educational seminars, and entertainment geared toward Arkansans 55 and older, providing doctor panel Q&A sessions, free health screenings, and 15-minute private consultations.
For more information, visit ArkansasSeniorExpo.com or call 501-378-3807.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduates Burt Hicks and Hilary Trudell are among the more than 60 individuals from across Arkansas selected for Leadership Arkansas Class XIII, a program operated by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas.
Hicks, who currently serves as president and CEO of the Simmons First Investment Group, graduated from the Clinton School in 2013 and earned a concurrent juris doctor from the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. SFIG is a retail broker-dealer and investment adviser, and he immediately oversaw a restructuring of the growing operation that resulted in record revenue and profit. In June, Hicks was named to the Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 Class of 2018.
“I am honored to have been selected for this year’s Leadership Arkansas class, and am especially appreciative of my company (Simmons Bank) for supporting me and the individuals that wrote letters of recommendation on my behalf,” Hicks said. “The curriculum, alumni network and list of current class members make this an incredible opportunity to develop further as a leader and gain a better understanding of all that makes Arkansas a great place to live and work.
“I’m most looking forward to being exposed to the most important sectors of the Arkansas economy and developing relationships with such a distinguished group of Arkansas’ future leaders.”
Trudell graduated from the Clinton School in 2012 and has served as the director of local programs and outreach for UACS Office of Community Engagement since 2015. Her duties include oversight of the school’s Practicum projects, which are in partnership with public agencies, community initiatives, academic ventures, and nonprofit organizations across Arkansas. She is the founder and executive artistic director of The Yarn, a local nonprofit dedicated to storytelling that showcases Arkansans and promotes the understanding of others.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s Leadership Arkansas class,” Trudell said. “I look forward to learning about the different industries prevalent around the state and getting to know the amazing members of my cohort. Not to mention, I get the opportunity to re-connect with my classmate Burt Hicks. It’s sure to be an incredible eight months.”
The mission of Leadership Arkansas is to challenge, inform, inspire and engage current and future business and civic leaders to enhance the economies of – and the communities within – the state of Arkansas. The programs is comprised of a nine-month class program consisting of nine multi-day sessions held in different locations throughout the state. The sessions feature Arkansas leaders who represent a wide geographic base and who have diverse backgrounds and vocations.
The Citizens Bank of Batesville is the underwriting sponsor for the 2018-19 Leadership Arkansas program. The Presenting Sponsor is ARcare. Statewide Program Sponsors include Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, Farm Credit Services of Arkansas, Nucor Steel Arkansas, Southwest Power Pool, and Walmart.
Leadership Arkansas has educated and engaged over 600 alumni since its inception in 2005 and represents nearly every Arkansas county.
Nineteen Clinton School of Public Service students in the fall seminar, “The 2018 Elections: Midterm Madness,” taught by Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III have each selected a campaign to follow through the November elections.
The students selected 19 different campaigns from 14 states. The selections include six United States Senate campaigns; seven governor campaigns; and four campaigns for the United States House of Representatives. Two local government races were selected: The Little Rock Mayor’s race and the nine-person race for Little Rock City Board, Ward 1.
Five of the chosen campaigns are from Arkansas. Florida, with two, was the only other state with more than one race chosen.
“What’s very interesting about the student selections is the wide variety both in the offices themselves as well as their geographical locations from 14 different states,” Rutherford said. “They range from a city board race in Little Rock to Governor of Alaska to the Cruz-O’Rourke Senate election in Texas.”
The U.S. Senate race in Texas between incumbent Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke and the election for Arkansas’s Second Congressional District race between incumbent French Hill and Clarke Tucker drew the most student interest.
Students will provide updated briefings, analyses, and predictions throughout the semester.
Governor: Incumbent Bill Walker (I), Mike Dunleavy (R), Mark Begich (D)
U.S. Senate: Kyrsten Sinema (D), Martha McSally (R)
Governor: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson (R), Jared Henderson (D)
2nd Congressional District: Incumbent French Hill (R), Clarke Tucker (D)
4th Congressional District: Incumbent Bruce Westerman (R), Hayden Shamel (D)
Little Rock Mayor (Nonpartisan): Baker Kurrus, Warwick Sabin, Glen Schwarz, Frank Scott, Vincent Tolliver
Little Rock City Director Ward 1 (Nonpartisan): Incumbent Erma Hendrix, Michael Adkins, Herbert Broadway, Bryan Frazier, Greg Henderson, Ronnie Jackson, Curtis Johnson, Danny Lewis, Robert Webb
Governor: Andrew Gillum (D), Ron DeSantis (R)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Bill Nelson (D), Rick Scott (R)
Governor: Brian Kemp (R), Stacey Abrams (D)
Governor: Incumbent Bruce Rauner (R), J.B. Pritzker (D)
Governor: Incumbent Kim Reynolds (R), Fred Hubbell (D)
8th Congressional District: Incumbent Mike Bishop (R), Elissa Slotkin (D)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), Mike Espy (D), Chris McDaniel (R)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Claire McCaskill (D), Josh Hawley (R)
19th Congressional District: Incumbent John Faso (R), Antonio Delgado (D)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Ted Cruz (R), Beto O’Rourke (D)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Joe Manchin (D), Patrick Morrisey (R)
Governor: Incumbent Scott Walker (R), Tony Evers (D)
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduate Derrick Rainey (Class 6) is the Academy Director for grades K-2 at ScholarMade Achievement Place of Arkansas, located at the Historic Mitchell Building in central Little Rock.
ScholarMade Achievement Place was founded by Dr. Phillis Nichols Anderson, a veteran educator, whose fundamental belief is that strong schools lift communities.
“Derrick has been key to the startup of the first school and brought a wealth of expertise and knowledge in community mobilizing and development,” Anderson said. “I was looking for an educational entrepreneur and Derrick’s experiences represented a good combination of education and community engagement.”
Built in 1908, the historic James Mitchell School sat unused for 15 years after it was closed by the Little Rock School District. Over the last year, ScholarMade Achievement Place, a public charter school system, completed multi-million-dollar renovations to restore the building to National Register of Historic Place standards. The 42,000-square-foot facility now includes cutting-edge teaching and learning spaces, state-of-the-art technology and spaces for future community partnerships.
ScholarMade Achievement Place is focused on preparing children to be self-confident, intellectually inquisitive, emotionally intelligent, and academically competent. It uses a personalized learning model with a strong emphasis on social and emotional intelligence. School Leaders including Rainey, have participated in intensive training from Yale University’ Ruler Program, Playworks, Academic Parent Teacher Teams and Conscious Discipline.
An accomplished cellist, Rainey attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and graduated with a degree in music performance in 2008. It was there that he met Desiree Ivey, director of the Teacher Training Course at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Mass., whose mentorship changed the trajectory of his career.
Ivey was meeting with college students at an education fair in Atlanta. Rainey, a freshman at the time, was interested in education, specifically in music. The two met and she asked if he was available for a mock interview – a first for Ivey with a freshman. She invited him to Cambridge for a week to visit the Teacher Training Course program.
Rainey spent the week before his second semester of college “in freezing Boston, first time shoveling snow – and it was amazing.” He returned the following summer to teach at Summerbridge Cambridge, a tutoring program for Cambridge public school students.
He moved back to Little Rock after graduation and served two years with City Year before enrolling at the Clinton School in 2010. Upon earning his Master of Public Service, Rainey taught in the Little Rock School District for 11 months before returning to Cambridge to enroll in Teacher Training Course’s program, immersing him in a classroom for a year in which he, an apprentice teacher, worked with a master teacher and mentor.
While attending the UAPB-Morehouse football game in 2015, Rainey crossed paths with Nichols-Anderson who mentioned she had plans to start a school. Almost three years later, he “reached out to Dr. Anderson, applied, and here we are.”
What were your biggest takeaways from the Clinton School?
Several classes were important. The leadership class with Dr. Charlotte Williams, and the democratic education study with Don Ernst, Pedagogy and Privilege. We went to Caguas, Puerto Rico, for the International Democratic Education Conference. That conference changed my life, seeing students at the center of the education system.
Another key takeaway was positive deviance education, looking at how our solutions can come from within. We have access to resources, we just have to find them. There are people succeeding without any additional resources or additional help, but they’re making it work. That was with Dr. Singhal. Of course, Program Evaluation, Law and Ethics, and Christy’s (Standerfer) classes on communication.
Where do you think your interest in education came from?
Honestly, it came from me getting in trouble in school – literally. In third grade, I was doing well in class but I was getting in trouble. My favorite teacher, Mr. White, was going to write me up for something I did. I was supposed to be sent home. But he got me in a conference with my mom and wrote the longest “long form” I had ever seen. A long form back then was a step toward expulsion. And in the conference, he tore the form up and said, “This should be the last time this happens.” And it almost was (laughs). But it opened my eyes.
In fifth grade, I was made a peer tutor to kindergarten students. I was going to classrooms, helping, reading to students. I did that through sixth grade, and honestly that was what fueled my interest in education. What stuck out to me, and this was reflective of my City Year experience as well, was tutoring kids who may be behind. It showed me the need for consistent education and teaching and investing in kids’ lives to be able to make a difference.
What are your goals for the first year at ScholarMade?
To see movement. Everything is new this year, so to build community with people who are looking for opportunities for change, looking for better or different education for their children, that’s all I can ask for.
I would drive past the school and I would tell my daughter, who was eight months old at the time, “There’s your future school.” Then the question was asked of me, “Why is it only her future school? Why isn’t it yours? Why isn’t it ours?”
It put into context for me that community should include me as well, and should include everyone who sees that school, everyone who was looking for another opportunity. It was a direct response from me on what I thought I could do to address issues in the community.
LaKaija Johnson (Class 9) is the recipient of a Community Liaison fellowship with Seventy-Five North Revitalization Corp. in Omaha, Neb. Johnson is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research.
Ross Owyoung (Class 12) was announced as an Event Fundraiser with the UA Little Rock Alumni and Development Office.
Jose Guzzardi (Class 3) accepted a new position with B Lab as its Multinational Account Manager in New York City.
Kent Broughton (Class 8) has been promoted to the position of Senior Community Relations Manager and Equity Analyst at the Clinton School of Public Service’s Center on Community Philanthropy.
Fernando Cutz (Class 6) has accepted a position with The Cohen Group, a global business consulting firm. Cutz has spent the majority of his career in government, including roles with the White House, USAID, and the National Security Council.
Nicholas Hall (Class 4) has been accepted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.
Lindsey Barnett (Class 4) has founded Advikit, a firm focused on delivering person-centered solutions for government agencies and their partners. Barnett started Advikit to leverage her expertise on IT projects developed from her work with state and federal agencies.
Natalie Ramm’s (Class 12) efforts in her Capstone project helped secure a major grant for Monroe County Children in Trust.
Alumni in the News
Clinton School graduate Nicky Hamilton (Class 6) is the senior associate director of civic engagement at Sewanee – The University of the South, and is currently working with the school’s new Philanthropy Internship Program.
Renee Tyler, a student in the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service’s Executive Master of Public Service degree program, graduated from the American Public Works Association Emerging Leaders Academy on Wednesday.
Tyler, who lives and works in Dubuque, Iowa, was chosen from a national pool to attend the 12-month academy. She and her cohorts worked on issues related to policy, administration, public perception, generational staff issues, and other subjects pertinent to the effective leadership of organizations.
The group presented its project, “Agents of Change,” at Wednesday’s graduation ceremony. The project identified four areas that public works and APWA must address moving forward: Perception, Culture, Technology, and Generational.
“It is difficult fighting the good fight but these experiences motivate me and allow me to get up, recharged every day in my quest to contribute to making my community and my world a more inclusive and equitable one for all,” Tyler said.
Tyler has served as the Assistant Public Works Director for the City of Dubuque, Iowa, since 2016. Previously, she worked for the City of Little Rock as a manager of fleet acquisitions, parts and special projects. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville