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Each student is the recipient of a $45,000 scholarship that can be used to cover academic, personal, and travel costs associated with the Clinton School program.
A graduate of the University of Cape Coast with a degree in social sciences, Mensah worked as an assistant field officer with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection. As a volunteer, he was as a liaison with the District Social Development Officers (DSDOs) helping to get low-income people enrolled onto social intervention plans in rural communities. Mensah’s public service interests include international politics, poverty reduction, and economic and community development.
Oriaghan is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University with a degree in international relations. Her work experience includes time as Senior Administrative Officer at the Lagos Waste Management Authority under the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment. Oriaghan also spent time volunteering as a development knowledge facilitator on the Millennium Development Goals Community Advocacy Project. Her public service interests include international development, international economics, and environmental politics.
“We are most grateful to Rotary for again awarding these prestigious scholarships to two outstanding Clinton School students,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “We also very much appreciate the work of Dr. Bob Warner of Jonesboro and others who are strong advocates of higher education.”
Mensah and Oriaghan join current students Darlynton Adegor (Delta, Nigeria) and Vinay Raj (Chennai, India) and graduates Demas Soliman (Alexandria, Egypt) and Arjola Limani (Tirana, Albania) as Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholars from the Clinton School.
The grant sponsor is Rotary District 6150, that includes parts of central and northeast Arkansas, and District Governor Nancy Leonhardt in cooperation with 12 Rotary Districts in the United States.
Kirby Richardson graduated from the University of Central Arkansas as a double major in history and religious studies. Richardson has collected a variety of volunteer and public service experience. In addition to his work with Habitat for Humanity, he has volunteered as a history and social studies tutor and writing editor for the University College Program. As an undergraduate at UCA, he spent time studying South Asian history and Buddhist religious traditions in India and Nepal.
Richardson is also a member of the ForwARd Arkansas practicum team, which works with area middle schools and community institutions to build partnerships for the benefit of students. His public service interests include social justice, prison reform, poverty relief, employment and housing non-discrimination, and equal access to quality education.
What are your interests in history and religious studies?
I’ve always been interested in history. History and social studies were my favorite subjects in school growing up, because I come from a family that has a very long history of tracking its genealogy. My mother and my grandmother were very interested in tracking family history. My aunt actually published a book of family history.
From a very young age, the idea that what came before would determine the range of possibilities that were open to you is something that became a fundamental tenant for my life and my family.
I always really loved history and social studies growing up and into high school, so it was just a natural progression to study it further in college. For religious studies, that was something that was a little more personal. I grew up in a predominantly Evangelical household. Religion was something that I always questioned a lot when I was younger, so I felt like it was the perfect opportunity, in college, to put some process to those questions instead of just kind of wondering on my own. I took religious studies more for personal questions than anything else.
How do you feel like these fit into a public service context?
Especially here in the South, we live in The Bible Belt. I think that religion and the church are things that, in a lot of communities, are the center for social life. If you try to separate peoples’ understanding of what public service is and what a good society is from their feelings about religion, you’re not going to be able to get the entire picture and you’re not going to be able to appeal to them on every level. If our goal is to create sustainable social change and to create a better life for all people, or as many people as possible, then we should work inside the spheres that people operate within in their everyday lives.
Religion is one of those for a lot of people. Having an understanding of different religious traditions and having an understanding of peoples’ local cultures as they interact with their religious beliefs is extremely necessary in public service. Now, with history, the idea of what a good society is and what constitutes public service, in service to that idea of good society, is something that has changed drastically over time. If you go back to ancient Greece, they’re going to have a very different idea of what constitutes a good society than what we have today. I think that being able to have the research methodology to be able to track that change over time is something that’s really going to help me in the future.
How did you get involved with Habitat for Humanity?
When I was in the eighth grade, my family and I moved to just outside Rogers, Arkansas. We’d been living in Rogers proper, but we decided that we wanted to move just outside of town. It was a relatively new area; there wasn’t a lot of housing out in this area, but it was under development. One of the biggest developments in this region, in this part of Rogers, was a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood.
Every day on the way to school I would see the Habitat for Humanity crews out there laying foundations and clearing brush and all sorts of stuff. My mother always told me this is where Habitat for Humanity is building houses for people that need help. It was just always an idea, something that was very foreign to me. I’d never had to worry about where we were going to live, whether or not we were going to be able to pay for rent, whether or not we were going to be able to pay for housing, so it caused me a lot of confusion when I was a child, but I really found myself drawn to the idea of building a home for somebody as an act of public service and an act of public good.
A home offers a sense of safety, a sense of security and without that sense of safety and security and belonging that a home provides, it’s so much harder to get through the rest of your life without someplace that you can call your own to go back to. It’s always going to be there waiting for you.
As far as how I got involved with Habitat for Humanity itself, when I graduated from college in 2015, I went back home to northwest Arkansas. I went to college at UCA. I moved back in with my mother and my father, who was very ill at the time, and I started working at the Walmart Home Office, just to make some money and save some money up before coming to grad school. But, I didn’t feel fulfilled sitting in a cubicle all day. So, I started looking for ways to volunteer in my local community.
I volunteered a little bit for the local humane society, but it wasn’t very long. I decided to dedicate my time to Habitat for Humanity. There was a field office right down the road from the Walmart Home Office, so on my way home from work one day I pulled in and volunteered my time. Every Saturday morning, I would go to Habitat for Humanity and do some work in the mornings and just volunteer my time in an effort to give back to the people that didn’t have, because I lived a life where I always did have.
Your public service interests all seem to fall under the umbrella of civil rights. Is that a strong interest of yours? What do they stem from?
That’s an interesting question, I’ve never thought about that before. I think it comes down to: What is a right and what is a privilege? Do people have a right to affordable housing or is it simply a privilege to have affordable housing? Same thing with healthcare, same thing with education. Should we have a fundamental right to basic necessities that improve quality of life or is that something that only people who can pay the price for deserve? I think that it does become an issue of civil rights, it does become an issue of: What does a functioning society owe to its citizens? So yes, I do think it all stems from civil rights.
Which, if any, interests came first?
I can track where my interest in education reform comes from, even though at the time that it was occurring I was only in the second grade. I wasn’t having any radical ideas about education in the second grade, but in looking back on that experience, it is what formed my interest in education reform. I went to a private school for second and third grade, because the local schools in Dallas, where I was living at the time, were not great. They were in severe academic distress. There was a large degree of violence at these institutions. My mother pulled me out of the school after there was a bomb threat at an elementary school.
She pulled me out and sent me to a private school. We had a socioeconomic situation that allowed me to go to private school. Do I think that I got a better education because I went to a private school? I can’t make that determination. I think I got a good education. But, there are plenty of people that don’t have the option not to go to public schools, regardless of how dangerous or ineffective they may be. There are kids who don’t have the option of going to school because their parents aren’t able to get them there. They aren’t able to get them the clothing that they need. They don’t have food. There are a multitude of different factors that go into this.
In 2014, I participated in a study abroad program in India and Nepal. It was called the Antioch Education Abroad Buddhist Studies in India program. We, 30 American students from various universities, partnered with Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and traveled to South Asia, lived in a Buddhist monastery, and studied South Asian history and Buddhist religious traditions. It was probably the most eye-opening experience of my entire life.
I had never been to that part of the world before and I’d never experienced poverty as intense as the poverty I experienced in India. I lived in the poorest part of the poorest region of India. Per capita, it had the lowest average household income.
I was already in a pretty raw moment in my life and I came across this book in a local library. It was basically a shack. People would leave used books, other people would come and pick them up, read them, then bring them back, and, if they could, contribute a book of their own. I have no idea who set it up. I have no idea where it came from, but I really loved it.
I was going through this little community library and I found this book. It was tattered and torn, a couple pages were missing. I picked it up and I think one of the reasons I chose it was because I read it during one of the most transformational parts of my life. It took on this special meaning, that every time I read it or think about it, it immediately takes me back to that time when I was living in India doing wacky things in Southeast Asia. I also picked it because it’s a story, fundamentally, about how people from different walks of life can meet each other, not trust each other, not particularly like each other, but through consistency and communication form, not just a friendship, but also a family unit – become so close that they consider each other family.
It inspires me to think that we live in an incredibly politically divided time right now, and the idea that people from completely different sides of the equation can sit down and have a conversation and actually leave thinking of each other as gifts rather than as enemies. That’s what the book means to me.
Did the religious or secular aspects of Buddhism have much experience on you or your attitudes toward public service?
I’ve been a practicing Buddhist for 10 years now, which is one of the factors that led me to go on the trip in the first place. My relationship to Buddhist philosophy definitely is a cornerstone to my interest in public service, and it all comes down to one idea. In Buddhism, everyone is innately equal — we are born equal, we die equal. In transgressing against someone else, it’s considered a transgression against yourself. That relationship that you have with another person flows both ways. If they benefit, you benefit, if they don’t benefit, you don’t benefit. If you injure them, you’re also injuring yourself. You’re injuring your future prospects. You’re injuring the relationship that could be. You’re injuring your ability to receive anything that you might have received as a part of that relationship. The idea of innate equality is something I take very seriously.
I’ll mention another one — nonviolence, pacifism is another thing I take very seriously in my promotion of public service. Tempering yourself and your anger, because we live in a time of extreme political and social anger. I think that nonviolence and pacifism do not necessarily translate into some of the social movements that we’re seeing.
When I think of the issue of non-self, I’m more interested in the side of it where everything is considered an aggregate of a set of pre-conditions. When we’re talking about this chair, we’ve got a bunch of wood, metal, and fabric. We call it a chair because we use it as a chair, but it’s really just a bunch of pieces of something that we have stuck together and called a chair. I think that that translates into the idea of public service in that we have to understand that every person we interact with is a culmination of a set of conditions they have experienced in the past. The household they lived in, their socioeconomic status growing up, their access to resources, their access to education, healthcare, and all of these things. They’re created by the situation they came out of. As much as I think it’s therapeutic to look at someone and say, “Oh, you’re just a bad person; I don’t like what you stand for.” It’s harder to take a deep look into what situation, what conditions gave rise to the ideals that they cling to.
Can you describe your experiences with ForwARd Arkansas?
First, I’m extremely excited to potentially have a positive impact on students. I think that for all the pros and cons, or vices, surrounding the Little Rock education system, especially since the state takeover, I think that we have a real opportunity here to make a lasting change that benefits students – I think the Little Rock School District does.
I think that ForwARd Arkansas is trying to nudge them in the right direction with the idea of community partnership. Superintendent Poore is also advocating for these community partnerships. But, I think it has to be done in a specific way. I think students have to be given a voice throughout this process. So, our work is going to be trying to provide a series of best practice recommendations to the Little Rock School District about how to implement an equitable and sustainable school partnership model that benefits students. It’s our hope that the recommendations allow for the universal benefit of all students.
We don’t want to offer recommendations that benefit Forrest Heights or STEM Academy but don’t benefit Mann Magnet or Henderson Middle School. I think that we have an excellent opportunity here to make a lasting change. I’m very thankful that we’ll be given the opportunity to work on this and to provide the much-needed research to the program that’s being implemented by the Little Rock School District. I think it’s going to be a good project. So far, it’s been very a good project. Stressful, but I think it should be, because we need to take everything we possibly can take into account so that we can do what’s best for students.
I think many times programs that are designed specifically for the benefitting of students don’t go far enough in making sure that all students are benefitted. There are people that fall through the cracks, and I really think that our practicum team is up to the task that making sure that net is cast widely enough so that we catch all students.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience at the Clinton School?
I had no idea what I was really getting into coming to the Clinton School. I have a friend, Colby Qualls who is in class 12, and he warned me about how rigorous the classwork would be, and he was right. It is. But it’s extremely rewarding and very valuable, and I’m just very honored and blessed to be here and very thankful to the Clinton School for offering this opportunity.
A first-year student at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Julie Joy earned an undergraduate degree in sociology from Clark University before earning her master’s degree in clinical social work from the Smith School for Social Work.
Joy spent the past three years as a behavioral health officer in the Maine Army National Guard, working with soldiers coping with mental health issues. As an M-Day officer, she was on site for National Guard weekends and training days. Her work experience also includes eight years with the Veterans Healthcare System in Arkansas and five years with the Maine Veterans Affairs. Additionally, Joy spent time as a relief house parent to adolescent mothers and adolescents in the Massachusetts welfare system.
Joy’s public service interests include combat veteran community reintegration and military family support to facilitate healing and recovery.
How did you find out about the Clinton School?
I lived in Little Rock from 2009 through 2012, right after I got a master’s degree in clinical social work. I came down here for a fellowship at the VA, and while I was working there I took a second job as a waitress at Forty Two, the restaurant in the Clinton Presidential Library. As part of that job we did catering events in Sturgis Hall.
We catered an event that was a reception for the Clinton School, and I ended up meeting a lot of the students and just chatting with them. I had just gotten a master’s degree, though, so school wasn’t really on my mind. Then, about one year ago, it kind of came back on my radar when I was here in Little Rock visiting friends, and the timing just seemed right.
How did you establish your public service interests?
For the last eight years, I’ve been working for the Veteran’s Healthcare Administration. Specifically, working with veterans who are receiving services in hospital settings and in clinic settings for mental health problems. After doing that for quite a while, I became frustrated with some of the gaps in connecting veterans to services that existed. There are a lot of great services, including services through the VA and services through community providers, but sometimes it’s difficult for veterans to get to those services, in part because it’s really difficult to talk about your combat situation with someone you don’t know.
Some of the barriers were internal barriers, barriers that people were grappling with in their head. Some of the barriers were that recently returned combat veterans didn’t know about all the services that were available. That became a bigger thing in my mind, and I became more interested in helping connect people to services, then actually providing the services myself. I came here to really learn more about developing programs and evaluating programs and to get kind of a bigger picture view so that I can better serve veterans and their families, too.
I think the hardest thing for me to deal with is the mental health stigma that still exists in the military setting and among veterans. Sometimes folks recognize that they need some help in their life but they’ve learned through their military experience that asking for help is viewed as a possible sign of weakness or not being a strong soldier, so that’s a difficulty I’ve seen many times over the course of my years at the VA and in the Army National Guard. The military is working on that, in lots of different ways, but it’s still a pretty serious problem.
Can you tell us a little about your experience so far with the Ronald McDonald Practicum team? What you are excited about moving forward?
The Ronald McDonald House partnership is exciting because we are the first team to work with that organization. The staff at the organization are very clear about what they’re looking for from us. We’ve been able to work closely with the supervisors there doing an organization needs assessment, and a kind of family needs assessment. Those are the pieces of the project we’re working on as graduate student consultants this academic year. We are assessing if and how the organization may choose to expand their reach to more families of critically-ill children. We’re just getting started with the research component of our project and we’re feeling good about the way it’s moving forward so far.
What does it mean to be a relief parent?
When I was in college at Clark University, in western Massachusetts, I got a scholarship called the Making a Difference Scholarship. Part of my scholarship was that I was to stay in western Massachusetts during one summer and do a community service project of my choosing. I partnered with an organization called YOU, Inc. — it stands for Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc., and it is a local social service provider. They work with kids in the foster care system, and one of the programs they have is a shelter program for teen mothers and their children.
I started working with them as a volunteer. After that summer volunteer commitment was up, I worked with them as a paid, part-time worker being a relief house parent. There were two shelter locations and each one had a houseparent – a grown-up person with experience as a mother who lived there and oversaw the care of the teenagers and their babies. One weekend every two months or so the houseparent would get the weekend off and go somewhere, and I would stay in their apartment unit and take care of the moms and the kids. I kind of filled in as a parent in that capacity. I would also do some overnight shifts here and there.
Why did you recommend Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?
It’s a story about a little boy who goes through a typical day in his life, but all day long things are going wrong for him. He doesn’t get the seat he wants going to school in the morning, he doesn’t get the lunch he wants, he doesn’t even get the cereal he wants. Everything goes wrong all day long, and he’s really negative about it and tells himself he’s going to move to Australia because things will be good in Australia.
Then, at the end of the day he comes to realize that some days are just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, and that even in Australia some days are like that. To me, it’s really about accepting things as they are, learning to cope with what life throws at you, and realizing that some days are like that. It doesn’t mean anything about your family, where you live, or who you are, but to kind of roll with the punches. Even though it’s a children’s book, probably intended for six-year-olds, I think it’s a good life lesson and a good reminder of how we can choose our attitudes every day.
You said you first moved to Little Rock in 2009. What did you know or expect at that time?
By the time I was 28, I had gone to college in Massachusetts, moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a year, started grad school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then moved again to Massachusetts for grad school. As part of grad school, I had a one-year internship in western Massachusetts and a one-year internship on Long Island, New York. Then I moved to Arkansas.
Arkansas was the first time I had lived in the South, but I had the advantage that my dad had been living in Eureka Springs for five years at the point that I moved to Little Rock. I had visited Eureka Springs in northwest Arkansas, but I hadn’t been to Little Rock before I interviewed here and moved here for that job at the VA.
I think that Arkansas and Little Rock are a lot like Maine in a lot of ways, actually. It’s beautiful here. It’s “The Natural State,” and we call ourselves “The Pine Tree State” in Maine, and we really try to capitalize on how beautiful it is there and to get people to vacation there because of that.
Arkansas, I think, is a big vacation spot for people all over this region – Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana. A lot of people come here because it’s beautiful and relaxing and green. But, certainly the politics are different down here, and that’s been an adjustment. Overall, I feel like people here are very genuine, like they are overall in Maine— really down-to-earth. I really identify a lot with people here, both people that come to Little Rock from other places but also people who are Arkansans. The adjustment hasn’t been too difficult, just a little bit humid in the summers.
Have you thought about your International Public Service Project?
I’m really interested in going to the Marshall Islands for my IPSP. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is located in Micronesia. The US has been involved in that country since just after World War II, since we decided to set up a nuclear testing plant. We have a big military presence there and there are a lot of different islands that make up the Marshall Islands. Some of them are very rural, and it sounds like a beautiful, unique place.
Unfortunately, it’s going to be one of the first countries that we lose to global warming, because it’s really low-lying and the sea rise is a big problem for them. I want to take this opportunity to go there and experience the culture and help in some way with the enormous obesity and diabetes problem that they have there. They have some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the whole world, so I want to learn what they’re doing and bring some of those programs here to the US where we have a growing problem.
Do you have anything else that you want to add about your Clinton School experience?
Just that I’m really thankful to be at the Clinton School, because there’s no other program that’s quite like this. Here we are able to be a part of a cohort of ambitious, intellectually-curious, like-minded people, and also have opportunities, through the experiential IPSP and Capstone, to grow our interests and expertise.
Clinton School alum Ryan Ubuntu Olson was one of 17 individuals recently named to the Clinton Global Initiative University Honor Roll, a roster of extraordinary alumni who over the past decade have made significant impacts through CGI U commitments to action and their careers.
The Honor Roll members were recognized at the 10th Annual CGI University Meeting in Boston, Mass., in October. The CGI U Honor Roll recognizes individuals dedicating their lives to taking on complex local and global challenges and finding new ways to make the world a better place. Olson was recognized for his decade of work surrounding global LGBTI human rights.
While at the Clinton School, Olson traveled to Kenya for his International Public Service Project developing LGBTI human rights training for CSOs, law enforcement officers, health care providers, and other LGBTI activists throughout the country. For his Capstone project, worked for a non-governmental organization doing advocacy work at the United Nations in New York around LGBTI human rights protections.
Since graduating in 2011, he has been a Senior Associate for Health, HIV, and Gender and Sexual Diversity at Palladium Group addressing health policy issues, working with civil society, governments, and international organizations to prevent stigma, discrimination, and violence against gender and sexual minorities and to build enabling environments in which people can fully realize their universal rights.
Most recently, Olson co-designed a gender and sexual diversity training program for the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that has been delivered to over 3,000 staff as well as implementing partners in 39 countries.
“My current role addresses these issues through a public health context in the field of international development which has served as another stepping stone to my global leadership in gender and sexual diversity since graduating from the Clinton School in 2011,” Olson said. “I have been able to take the skills and talents I developed while at UACS and apply them to the world around me while making a tangible and meaningful difference. I’m incredibly grateful to the Clinton School of Public Service for helping in part to launch me into my chosen profession.”
President Bill Clinton launched CGI U in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. CGI U is a growing community of young leaders who don’t just discuss global challenges, but take real, concrete steps toward solving them.
“Each of these alumni bring unique skills and experiences,” President Clinton said while recognizing the CGI U Honor Roll members. “Some have been working on this for almost as long as we’ve been having CGI U. We hope by letting you see them, and I hope you will learn about their commitments, but they really are admirable people because they’ve stayed at the task.
“In other words, being a social entrepreneur, being someone committed to the work we are doing here, is now an ordinary part of their lives. Whether they do it full-time or part-time, they do it all the time and that’s what the world needs. Every young person needs to make a commitment that in the 21st century, the definition of citizenship requires us all to do this kind of work.”
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service was announced as the recipient of the Institutional Health Partner Award at the Fifth Annual UAMS Community Partner Celebration Recognition Ceremony & Dinner on Friday, November 17.
The Institutional Health Partner Award recognizes an institutional partner (non-community based organization) that has provided invaluable expertise, guidance, and/or support on various projects.
The annual celebration honored the outstanding community partners that have helped make various endeavors possible at UAMS.
The Office of Community Engagement at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service recently hosted two alumni-led workshops at Sturgis Hall.
The recent workshops are the first in a series that utilizes the vast array of skills and talents of Clinton School alumni as resources for the school’s students and community partners.
“The Clinton School has a plethora of talented alumni working in many sectors all over the world,” Director of Local Programs and Regional Outreach Hilary Trudell said. “We thought, ‘Why not bring those resources to our community partners?’ It’s a great way to continue to engage our graduates while offering development opportunities to our network here in Little Rock.”
The first workshop was led by Cory Biggs, a Class 5 alum and current Associate Director at ForwARd Arkansas. Biggs’ workshop, “Creating Strategic Partnerships,” showed students how to refine their work field, strategically approach potential partners, engage in meaningful collaboration, and develop and maintain a broad base of support.
The second workshop, “Impact Reporting,” was led by Shenan Boit (Class 6) of ISOS Group. Students and community partners were taught how to align non-financial reports with users’ needs, showing how to highlight ways in which the public sector can maximize reporting features to expand the uses of Global Reporting Initiative’s Standards.
The next alumni-led workshop will be “Effective Communication in Program Management” and led by Jessie Rice, former Director of Academic Engagement at Peacework. The workshop is set for 2-4 p.m. on Friday, November 17.
Effective communication is a pillar for any organization in any sector. Small businesses and nonprofits, however, often have unique internal structures which make strong communication an essential practice. In this workshop, the facilitator will incorporate her work collaborating with organizations around the world to discuss successful internal and external strategies of communication.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy is committed to promoting racial equity across the Delta region. As a part of this effort, The Center is excited to announce the Community Philanthropy Advancing Equity Award.
This exciting opportunity is offered to nonprofits, individuals, or faith-based groups who demonstrate innovative ways to promote equity and inclusion in their communities. This award seeks to encourage those who, through committing time and resources to expand diverse leadership within their communities, recognize the struggles specific to marginalized populations – particularly children and youth.
The Center is looking for applicants who utilize resources in their community to foster racial healing and promote racial equity. This award aims to serve those who are using innovative solutions to address inequalities in their communities and advance progress towards inclusion. These solutions should encourage the development of a pro-equity culture within their communities, while also making incremental, measurable, and visible progress towards racial equity.
The Advancing Equity Award will range from $2,500 – $5,000.
HOW TO APPLY:
Submit a one-page letter of interest highlighting the following:
Applicants must submit the one-page letter of interest via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 20, 2017. All applicants will receive an email acknowledging receipt of their proposal.
Launched in 2007, the Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy was created to focus its teaching, research and leadership development exclusively on the emerging field of community philanthropy, the idea of giving time, talent and treasure to build stronger communities from within.
Ten first-year students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will travel to “The National Women’s Conference: Taking 1977 into the 21st Century” at the University of Houston starting Sunday, November 5.
In October, several Clinton School students had the opportunity to hear from author and historian Dr. Marjorie Spruill as part of the Clinton School Speaker Series. Dr. Spruill discussed her new book, “Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values that Polarized American Politics.” In her book and presentation, Dr. Spruill spoke about the 1977 National Women’s Convention as a little-known historical event that changed the course of American politics.
Dr. Spruill also spoke about the upcoming conference in Houston to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1977 conference, where she will serve as keynote speaker. The three-day conference provides an opportunity to engage a fresh conversation about U.S. politics and society in the final quarter of the 20th century.
This year’s event has attracted thousands of attendees and will be an excellent opportunity for students to network with and learn from many women who were on the front lines of the women’s movement in the 1970s.
This year’s event is expected to attract thousands of attendees and will be an excellent opportunity for students to network with and learn from many women who were on the front lines of the women’s movement in the 1970s. Clinton School volunteer Pat Youngdahl attended the 1977 conference.
Listed below are the 10 students attending the conference:
Marina Giannirakis (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Starre Haas (Little Rock, Ark.)
Julie Joy (Portland, Maine)
Nicole Kanu (Little Rock, Ark.)
Yaala Muller (Modi’in, Israel)
Izehi Oriaghan (Lagos, Nigeria)
Beth Quarles (Nashville, Tenn.)
Mallory Rusch (St. Louis, Mo.
Clay Turner (Leachville, Ark.)
Marquisa Wince (Milwaukee, Wisc.)
Supervisors: Janell Mason and Donna Csunyo
The team will explore opportunities for a nonprofit to expand services to area hospitals through program creation or expansion. It will identify each potential program’s goals and objectives, as well as potential for support from donors and the community. Deliverables include a community assessment, family needs survey, financial assessment, and medical feasibility study.
Mission: To provide a “home-away-from-home” that serves and sustains families of children being treated at area hospitals and supports community programs that serve the needs of children.
“We are so honored to utilize the broad-based skills and expertise of the Clinton School of Public Service practicum program. Our practicum team’s research will be instrumental in helping Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas determine the best focus for future program expansion in our region.” – Janell Mason, Executive Director