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One of the worst mass shootings in American history seems to have opened emotional fissures in a way other tragedies have not. Searing, heart-rending words pour from pens and keyboards across the country. At a time of such deep spiritual pain, we look to history for comfort. We also engage our communities in dialogue. How do we heal from this and move forward? What can be done, at long last, to prevent Orlando from ever occurring again? Fortunately, we have places we can go to heal, as well as to interact with history and community in meaningful and often transcendent ways — our national parks. At other times of great anguish, the parks have been there to free minds and comfort souls. They are our places of peace, understanding, learning and reconciliation.
Each year, the National Park Service holds events that engage communities and bridge sometimes bitter divides between citizens. I was fortunate to help organize such an event in November at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, the “Social Conscience Gathering.” There, before a packed audience, Minnejean Brown-Trickey, a strong-willed member of the Little Rock Nine, recalled what it was like being a child in the midst of a racial maelstrom. The fluorescent lights of the banquet hall dimmed as the spotlight focused on Brown-Trickey, her sister Phillis Brown and daughter Spirit Trickey. The three reminisced as they might around the Thanksgiving table. It was like we were extended members of their family, laughing and crying right along with them. The stage disappeared. History was healing all of us.
For three days, amid devastating news reports from Paris about terrorist attacks and the subsequent wave of disquieting xenophobia, the conscience of America found an outlet in the heartland. In addition to members of the Little Rock Nine, there were Native American leaders, pastors and youth from Ferguson, FBI agents and police officers from Arkansas, and LGBT activists from across the country. We talked and listened, laughed and cried, argued and suggested. We exchanged telephone numbers and email addresses. We empowered the youth present to channel their fears into action.
At the center of it all was Robin White, the park site’s superintendent. White is soft-spoken but strong-willed. She is a spiritual leader, like Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson and Dorothea Lange before her. Community engagement and historical reflection, she remarked, is the job of the National Park Service. So, she said, is engaging marginalized youth, who are often disconnected physically and intellectually from historical dialogue.
Both of these goals have been well articulated in park service documents, but there seem to be substantial hurdles in the way of achieving them. In its 2008-09 report on diversity, the park service emphasized that African Americans and Latinos were underrepresented in park attendance, followed by other ethnic groups. One of the biggest factors behind the attendance gap seems to be a perceived disconnect between the spiritual and practical needs of diverse communities and what the parks provide. So, at its 100th anniversary, the National Park Service continues to challenge itself to “connect all Americans to their heritage resources in a manner that resonates with their lives, legacies and dreams and tells the stories that make up America’s diverse national identity.”
The National Park Service is one of the most important resources we have for spiritual healing. It may just be our salvation. In 1908, Teddy Roosevelt wondered “what (would) happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.” A century later, we wonder what will happen when our public schools have been privatized, our communities are further ravaged by mass shootings and our planet is plagued by climate catastrophe. Hopefully, our national parks will be there to remind us that people like the Little Rock Nine were able to change the world, and that modern generations can do the same.
This post was originally published by Winrock International. It is written by Clinton School student Sarah Fowlkes.
Namaste! I just spent the last month in Nepal as a volunteer with the Farmer-to-Farmer program. My assignment was a little different than most F2F volunteers, as I did not travel to one location and provide technical training. Instead, I visited organizations around the country that hosted previous volunteers to follow up on how the assignment went and how we can make future volunteer assignments even more impactful.
While I only spent a short amount of time with each group, I was struck by how welcoming they all were to me. As a blonde, pale, woman, I could have easily been an outsider. My experience, however, was quite the opposite. Here is a story about one community we visited in the Syangja district.
After one and a half hours of our driver impressively navigating the muddy, steep, almost impassible road through the mountains we finally had to get out and walk. The green terraced rice fields were beautiful in the mid-morning sun. We tried not to slip in the mud as we climbed higher into the mountains, watched by the men and woman working in the fields. A truck approached us, with a cracked windshield and caked in mud. The community we were visiting had sent their only vehicle to come collect us. We climbed in, and the cheerful driver began bouncing along the road.
As we arrived, it seemed like the whole village had come to see us. I was welcomed by high school girls in traditional Gurung clothing with a garland of flowers, printed Stoll, and red powder pressed to my forehead to make a “tika,” or red spot traditionally worn by Hindu women and men.
Most of the 55-household community members sat with us in their community pavilion, and spoke about their experience with the American volunteer that had helped them improve their goat production. Both men and women shared what they had learned from the two community members they had sent to participate, and some of their continuing challenges as well. Some of the community members excitedly showed us the improvements they had made to the goat sheds, and proudly exhibited their breeding buck. The women made us traditional Gurung food and tea, which we shared with the community leaders.
Though it took us as long to get to the community as we stayed, I felt that, because of their openness and kindness, I had known the community members much longer. I was very sad to leave, and after taking several “selfies” with the high school girls on their phones, their arms linked with mine, the only vehicle prepared to take us back to our car. The girls piled in the back of the truck, wanting to spend as much time with us as possible.
This openness and sense of welcome I have felt on every community visit I have made in Nepal. The people here want to share their stories, successes, challenges, opinions, and culture. I very much enjoyed my time in Nepal, and hope to return again with the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program and Winrock International!
On June 19, 1865, two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender in Virginia, Union General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and enforce President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
General Granger read General Order No. 3, stating: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
That monumental day in U.S. history has became known as “Juneteenth,” and today, continues to commemorate and celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth transcends racial lines, ethnic differences, and generational divides to give all Americans an opportunity to understand and learn from our country’s history and to celebrate freedom for all people.
Right in the heart of downtown Little Rock stands the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a historic landmark, museum, and educational forum that collects, protects, and shares the accomplishments of black Arkansans. For the past six years, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center has hosted the city’s only large-scale Juneteenth observance, a daylong Celebration of Freedom.
The annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom block party-style event is free and open to the public, and it has something for everyone—live music, children’s activities, food trucks, and a bazaar of booths and vendors selling clothes, jewelry, and more! This year’s event is Saturday, June 18, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
During the Celebration of Freedom, the galleries at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will be open for the public to enjoy—including the African American Treasures from The Kinsey Collection, an exhibition of heirlooms, artifacts, documents, books, and art dating back nearly 400 years to trace the influence African Americans had in our country’s earliest beginnings, telling a more complete story of the black experience in America.
Shirley and Bernard Kinsey began collecting forty years ago. What started out as a personal assortment of African-American art has amassed a into an immense collection of authentic and rare pieces of African-American history, such as:
Don’t put off visiting The Kinsey Collection at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center! The exhibit closes July 2.
This article was written by Matthew Caston and published by Talk Business & Politics.
What happens when you give a child freedom? Choice? The power to pick their path and walk it? We’ve always relied on policy makers and school administrators to help define the role of education and shape our classrooms. What if, in addition to those voices, we add another voice to the conversation, one so important that we have no classroom without it: that of the student.
Student-focused education, where students guide curriculum alongside educators and administrators, is helping to reshape and improve the way we think about education and its role.
From generally educating the public, to attempting to improve the wellbeing of all American citizens, the role of education has gone through many changes since the development of this country. As an educator, I believe the role schools should play in our children’s lives is fairly simple. Schools should be a place where children are given the freedom to discover their talents, develop those talents and receive guidance in how to turn those talents into careers.
Schools should be thought of as a part of the family and community for children. According to the Pew Research Center, American middle schoolers spend an average of 925 hours in the classroom per year. In Arkansas public schools without waivers from seat time, students are promoted to the next grade by earning 6 hours of instructional seat time, which translate into “Carnegie Units.” Within this time, schools should strive to provide environments in which children feel comfortable, motivated and engaged. At the end of the day, schools and classrooms are huge social environments for students, environments in which they learn to make friends, develop personalities, learning styles, preferences, and talents.
Because of the social nature of classrooms, it is important that classrooms are open to new ideas, unique questions, innovation and change. As facilitators of classrooms, educators have a significant role not only in the academic development of children, but also in their social and emotional development.
At Future School, our educators are facilitators of the learning process, emboldening students with the power of choice in determining the purpose of their education. We realize that our students are not empty vessels. They come to school with their own ideas and impressions of the world. They come curious with millions of questions, questions that, in essence, are the root of education and self-actualization. Our classroom environments are created as spaces where these questions drive our learning. Rather than flat text on the pages of a book, curriculum and daily lesson plans are dynamic and are drawn directly from the questions of the students. Lessons are derived from the communities in which they live and grow. Lessons about them, their focus, their curiosities!
As educators, we must strive to create this community for our students through communication and trust. Explaining expectations, and giving our students freedom to create their own parameters and responsibilities and outline their own objectives, shows students that we know their potential. Given the freedom, our children can do truly amazing things.
Future School’s student focused approach empowers students while giving educators the freedom to try new, innovative techniques in and out of the classroom. Students build self-confidence when they see the power of their questions. They are more invested in learning when the assignment is of their own design. They are pushed to think critically about their own learning and how it applies to the rest of their class community.
In our classrooms, the student and the educator learn more about themselves by learning from others. But the learning doesn’t stop there. Take a look at our website and our Facebook page to see our list of community partners, as well as our outreach to families. Autonomy, self-actualization, compassion, innovation; these are our values. Coupled with student-focused education, these values build great leaders.
Student-focused education isn’t about teaching students to simply follow directions. It’s about freedom. Choice. It’s about giving students the power to pick their own path and walk it; cultivating their limitless potential.
Student-focused education is about inspiring each student to bring out the leader in themselves. It’s about rethinking and reshaping the old model of education together with the help of our students.
Public-service executives, both elected and appointed within the public and nonprofit sectors, are retiring at record levels, and the number of Americans reaching age sixty-five annually will continue to rise over the next decade and is expected to surpass four million in 2020. Finding qualified, motivated leaders to fill vital public-service positions will challenge the public and nonprofit sectors.
Unfortunately, recent studies show that few proactive steps are being taken by public-service organizations to plan for the next generation. Passing the Torch: Planning for the Next Generation of Leaders in Public Service provides an outline for those who will be facing and managing these looming changes.
In this valuable guide, the factors that influence selection of a career in public service are explored through the authors’ years of experience as leaders in public-service organizations and through interviews with other public-service professionals. Passing the Torch will be essential for leaders of nonprofit organizations, university faculty, researchers in the field of nonprofit management, and students in nonprofit management courses.
Karl Besel is dean and professor of public administration and health management at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Northwest. Charlotte Lewellen Williams is associate professor and director of the Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School of Public Service.
This article was originally published by Arkansas Money & Politics and written by Erica Sweeney
For an entrepreneur to be successful, he or she needs a champion. In the Mississippi Delta region, those champions are needed more than ever.
Enter the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, a program under the federal Delta Regional Authority’s Small Business & Entrepreneurship Initiative.
DEN, headquartered in Clarksdale, Mississippi, with a Washington, D.C. office, launched in 2015 to provide a variety of resources and support to entrepreneurs located in Arkansas and seven surrounding Delta states, as well as to organizations that provide free or low-cost help to entrepreneurs.
“One of the best ways to revitalize rural America is through entrepreneurship,” said Chris Masingill, DRA federal co-chair.
The Entrepreneurship Network also provides a competitive fellowship competition for entrepreneurs, said Katie Milligan, the agency’s director of small business and entrepreneurship.
“As we get together, we’re starting to see where the service gaps are in Arkansas and around the region,” she said. “I can’t brag enough on our support organizations that have stepped up to the plate. It’s that sense of wanting to help and continue to push Arkansas to be a very competitive state in this space.”
Masingill said DEN is about creating jobs, building communities and improving lives in the Delta, and helping female and minority entrepreneurs overcome barriers.
“We know we’re making a difference in people’s lives and communities,” he said. “We have the ability. This is about lifting up people and communities. It’s also about changing the dynamic. I will always be an advocate for rural America.”
Masingill and Milligan, both Arkansas natives and based in Little Rock, say they travel throughout the Delta about 75 percent of the time and enjoy meeting entrepreneurs passionate about their work.
AMP spoke to Masingill and Milligan about the Delta Entrepreneurship Network and how it is serving Arkansas and other parts of the Delta.
AMP: What is the Delta Entrepreneurship Network?
Masingill: It is our key program that touches small businesses and it’s under the Small Business and Entrepreneurship [Initiative]. For the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, it was our way of lifting up and highlighting the focus for the region for helping to build, to grow, to harness this entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. In rural America, in the Delta region particularly, we need to double down on helping existing small businesses grow. We also need to do more about building this support system, this ecosystem. When I say “ecosystem,” I’m talking about everything that it takes to take someone from A to Z in the course of this process.
Under [SB&E], we wanted to increase the number of skilled and educated entrepreneurs. Secondly, we wanted to leverage technology and innovation. How do we connect small businesses and entrepreneurs to that? We recognize that you have to get access to capital. We know that there are issues with accessing capital in rural America. We wanted to make sure we increase the awareness of market opportunities. How do we bring in more of the information for entrepreneurs to really understand the markets that they’re trying to tap into? Lastly, we know that there are regulatory barriers for [certain] small businesses.
Milligan: In a practical sense, we have the overall SB&E initiative. Within that, our entire branch of it is the Delta Entrepreneurship Network. Within that, we do have multiple things going on. One of which is a competitive fellowship program for entrepreneurs and ESOs [entrepreneurship support organizations]. Those support organizations are any nonprofit or individual that’s providing free or low-cost services for entrepreneurs. The fellowship runs from fall to spring and [we gave] these entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their companies as well as talk about the ecosystem at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week [March 11-18]. We have a three-year partnership with the Idea Village, which is an accelerator/incubator based in New Orleans.
It’s a way to build the ecosystem, but it’s also a celebration that innovation and entrepreneurship is happening here in the Delta. We want to talk about it and want to make sure other people know about it.
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is quickly becoming the premier place for entrepreneurs to talk about their ideas. Last year, they had more than 14,000 people at the event. What the DEN is really doing is providing an access point that these entrepreneurs wouldn’t get otherwise. Traditionally, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week has been closed to entrepreneurs outside Orleans Parish. So you have this incredible nationally recognized event, and there wasn’t a way to access it. That’s what the DEN aims to do. We have 22 entrepreneurs in this second cohort and 13 support organizations from around our eight states. We’ve served just over 50 entrepreneurs in the two years that we’ve been doing this.
AMP: Why is it so important for this program to exist in the Delta?
Masingill: The reason we’re doing this is to provide opportunities that people in our part of the world wouldn’t normally have access to. Let’s remember, the excitement that’s happening around entrepreneurship in Little Rock and central Arkansas is still very young. We’re still in the infancy stage of this. It is still extremely new. People say you can’t do that in rural America but you absolutely can. As an economic developer, we need to be integrating, building up entrepreneurship as a part of our economic development strategy. We need to be as aggressive with someone wanting to start a business as we are with recruiting a business.
It’s not about taking the same size pie and splitting it up into more slices. It’s about making the pie bigger. I believe, fundamentally, that innovation and entrepreneurship can be a key economic development strategy for our rural community, just like it can for Little Rock and central Arkansas.
Milligan: The Delta is inherently innovative. Entrepreneurs and small businesses have been overcoming struggles since people moved to the Mississippi River Valley. It’s a natural fit that entrepreneurs are coming out of the Delta because they’re looking at [how to solve a problem in the community]. They really want to solve problems that they’re facing, or overcome a challenge or provide a service or product that is going to do something. That’s important. What I’ve heard over and over with these entrepreneurs is “I would never have had this opportunity.” A lot of it is just about building confidence. One of the things that we can’t measure is the confidence that we instill in our entrepreneurs who then go on and do all of these other things because we have said, “You have a good idea and we’re going to help you get there,” wherever “there” is.
Masingill: This is a long game. We’re investing for the future. We’re investing for 10, 20, 30 years from now. We want to institutionalize the idea that entrepreneurship and innovation can be just as strong as traditional business retention and expansion projects right alongside the traditional economic development. This is how you keep your innovation; this is how you keep your young people. This is how you attract more because it is a place-based strategy.
AMP: What are some specific programs of the network that help entrepreneurs?
Masingill: Our No. 1 focus is to support, through investing in the infrastructure — the ecosystem. What that means is building the environment where this idea about entrepreneurship and innovation can grow and be supported and be anchored, such as investing in physical infrastructure, like we did with the Innovation Hub. They are providing services, programming, creating that onramp for the type of services that it takes to be successful. Everything from the initial vetting of your idea to technical assistance and mentorships and how do you get in front of investors. You’ve got to support those programs.
The Venture Center is another great partner. Supporting not only the physical infrastructure but also the programming that draws more entrepreneurs into the pipeline. That’s No. 1. No. 2 is actually creating opportunities for the ESOs because for us the ESOs are critical. We’ve got to support those; we’ve got to support the accelerators, the incubators, the shared workspaces. Then, it’s how can we link opportunities for entrepreneurs?
For us, it’s not investing in the actual business idea. We can’t necessarily do that. We create the environment for that. The fellowship is one specific example of how we do that. We’re looking to identify the entrepreneurs; we’re looking to connect the entrepreneurs; we’re looking to nurture the entrepreneurs and support organizations. We’re looking to grow the entrepreneurs.
Milligan: We’ve looked at branding and marketing, business development, investment — things like term sheet negotiations, investments, how much equity is too much to give up — getting pitches ready. Can you pitch in 60 sections? Can you pitch in three minutes? Can you pitch in seven minutes in a very formal setting?
What we saw is really good feedback. Even though we think these entrepreneurs are in a certain place, they’re all so willing to learn. That’s been one of the great things about both cohorts. None have typical founder syndrome where they’re too good to participate.
AMP: What are the criteria to take part in the fellowship?
Milligan: We identify the entrepreneurs through a three-minute pitch competition. Applications open up in the fall. We’ll host the pitch competitions in the fall throughout [the region]. Entrepreneurs have to have under $1 million in revenue, have five or less employees, and be living or working within the 252 counties and parishes in the DRA footprint. It’s not industry specific. For ESOs, it’s any individual or nonprofit that is providing free or low-cost services to entrepreneurs in the footprint.
AMP: How does Arkansas’ entrepreneurship ecosystem compare to the other states in the region?
Masingill: What’s happening in central Arkansas is extremely exciting. We’ve been building the foundation for that for the last decade and a half. This is not overnight. It takes a lot of resources up front. What we’re talking about is the ability for people to take risks without the fear of not being able to get back up and start again.
Arkansas is a great place to start a business. It’s a great place for business to thrive. The key to that is you have to continue to stoke the fire. We need more angel investors. We need more early-stage funding opportunities. Often, that requires public policymakers, elected officials and community leaders to step forward to see that because the private sector doesn’t always do the best upfront.
AMP: What is still needed in this region to continue the growth and development of entrepreneurship?
Masingill: Access to capital, especially early-stage capital.
Milligan: Education for both entrepreneurs and investors. Pitching to investors is really scary for a lot of entrepreneurs. How do we debunk the myths, and how do we make sure our entrepreneurs are educated and well-prepared? Developing that pipeline of very skilled entrepreneurs so when it’s time to pitch for that early stage capital, they’re really ready.
Masingill: There has to be a very intentional, elevated strategy to focus in on our women and minorities entrepreneurs. The fact of it is, there are additional barriers that they have to overcome. Part of that is financial literacy, understanding business in general, having access to those types of resources and recognizing that we have to do more to prepare them. This is also about revitalization. The [Delta region] is one of the most underserved impoverished regions in the country.
One of the best ways to revitalize rural America is through entrepreneurship. In order to do that, you’ve got to make sure people have hope, by creating opportunities.
The 36 credit-hour degree, which now goes before the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval at the July 29th meeting, is designed for mid-career professionals who have significant public service work experience. The program will be offered in collaboration with eVersity, the University of Arkansas System’s 100% online, independent university that offers career-ready degrees taught by UA System faculty.
Set to launch in the summer of 2017, the degree will be offered over a period of 24 consecutive months, with 12 eight-week semesters, at a total cost to students of $33,600.
“Based on the success of our Master of Public Service degree program, we are optimistic that this new executive online degree will attract professionals from all over the country and the world who are pursuing careers and can’t relocate to Little Rock,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School.
Anyone interested in pursuing an Executive Master of Public Service degree can contact the admissions office by emailing admissions@clintonschool.
Forty-one students will graduate with a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service (UACS) during the 2016 commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15th at 1:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock.
President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, will deliver the school’s 10th commencement address. Established in 2004, the Clinton School of Public Service was the first graduate school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service degree.
The 41 graduates are the 10th class to graduate from the Master of Public Service degree program. During the past two years in the program, the graduates completed a 40-hour curriculum, including three field service projects: a team-based project in Arkansas, an international public service project, and a final individual project.
The graduates also benefitted from participating in the Clinton School Speaker Series, which hosted more than 200 speakers during their two years in the program, including Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Patterson Hood, co-founder of the band Drive-By Truckers; and Dambisa Moyo, economist and author.
Attendees of the graduation ceremony are asked to consider bringing donations for the Arkansas Foodbank. To contribute to this effort, guests are asked to bring protein items, such as tuna fish, peanut butter, or bags of beans, to the May 15th ceremony. Giving at graduation has been a tradition at the Clinton School since 2010. Previous organizational recipients include Volunteers in Public Schools; Our House; Arkansas Children’s Hospital Mobile Dental Clinic; The Van; Jericho Way Resource Center; and Little Rock Children’s Library.
On Twitter, we will be using the hashtags #UACS2016 and #BuildingBridges from the @ClintonSchool Twitter account.
Press credentials are required to attend the ceremony and available upon request.
The Class of 2016:
Joyce Ajayi (Lagos, Nigeria)
Joyce Akidi (Pader, Uganda)
Nouroudine Alassane (Bassila, Benin)
Berkeley Anderson (Waco, Texas)
Kathryn Baxter (Glenside, Penn.)
Abigail Bi (Kunming, Yunnan Province, China)
Romerse Biddle (Magnolia, Ark.)
Katherine Brown (Canton, Mich.)
Jordan Butler (Jackson, Miss.)
Melvin Clayton (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
Amanda Cullen (Panama City, Fla.)
Andrew Forsman (Mobile, Ala.)
Sarah Fuchs (Hayward, Calif.)
Georgia Genoway (Maryland County, Liberia)
Jennifer Guzman (Hialeah, Fla.)
Anne Haley (Little Rock, Ark.)
Austin Hall (Hot Springs, Ark.)
Austin Harrison (Louisville, Miss.)
Caroline Head (Little Rock, Ark.)
Amber Jackson (Camden, Ark.)
LaKaija Johnson (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Akaylah Jones (Little Rock, Ark.)
Henry Karlin (Brooklyn, NY)
Helen Grace King (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
Alex Lanis (Ada, Okla.)
Coby MacMaster (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
Amanda Mathies (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Emma McAuley (Glenview, Ill.)
Molly Miller (Sand Springs, Okla.)
Ashley-Brooke Moses (Sharpsburg, Ga.)
Florence Mueni (Nairobi, Kenya)
Dariane Mull (Little Rock, Ark.)
Michelle Perez Ferrer (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
Shanell Ransom (Columbia, SC)
Maddy Salzman (Wellesley, Mass.)
Eddie Savala (Nairobi, Kenya)
Kat Short (Hot Springs, Ark.)
Dustin Smith (Jonesboro, Ark.)
Becky Twamley (Brainerd, Minn.)
Nathan Watson (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Nicholas Williams (Judsonia, Ark.)
“The International Public Service Project is a major component of the Clinton School curriculum,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School. “Our students take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in the field, immersing themselves in communities all around the world.”
Four students will be completing projects in three first-time countries for the Clinton School – United Arab Emirates, Mozambique, and Austria. This brings the total number to 78 nations where students have completed international projects since the school opened in 2005.
The International Public Service Project is one of three public service projects that make up a significant portion of the MPS degree. Students also complete a team-based project in Arkansas their first year and a final individual project that culminates their degree.
Projects and host organizations are selected collaboratively by Clinton School students and faculty.
2016 International Public Service Projects:
Khalid Ahmadzai – Heifer International (New Delhi, India) – Ahmadzai will conduct a final project evaluation for two of Heifer International projects in the Bihar and Rajasthan states of India. He will conduct on-site surveys using social network analysis to measure Heifer International’s impact on the development of social capital in the respective projects.
Kristen Alexander – Sarus (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – Alexander will assist Sarus in transitioning the management staff in Cambodia from foreigners to locals. She will conduct primary and secondary research to create a guide of best practices and recommendations for this process.
Nora Bouzihay – U.S. Department of State (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – Bouzihay will be working closely with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs on projects concerning women’s empowerment in Dubai. She will work closely with diplomats of UAE on various topics by doing extensive research in the field.
Stacy Cox – Heifer International (New Delhi, India) – Cox will conduct an evaluation of two of Heifer International’s projects in India. Her work will consist of performing a social network analysis to determine if Heifer’s interventions have contributed to the development of social capital.
Abigail Craig – Community and Family Services International (Manila, Philippines) – Craig will research and formulate a child protection policy.
Xochitl Delgado Solorzano – Junior Achievement in Africa (Accra, Ghana) – Delgado Solorzano will evaluate the initial implementation of the Cha-Ching program. She will make recommendations on ways to improve the implementation of the program and strategies for expanding the program into additional schools.
Sarah Fowlkes – Winrock International (Kathmandu, Nepal and Dhaka, Bangladesh) – Fowlkes will conduct a mid-term impact assessment of Winrock International’s implementation of USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program. She will use focus groups and surveys to determine recommendations for improving the project and success stories and help develop an evaluation tool and guidance for partner organizations.
Zachary Glembin – Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership (Bangkok, Thailand) – Glembin will conduct research to develop funding models and revenue streams that will give program applicants from the Least Developed Countries equal access and opportunity to participate in DSIL’s global leadership certificate program, further enabling those participants to become change agents in their communities.
Thurman Green – Marin Barleti University (Tirana, Albania) – Green will provide recommendations on further developing tourism in Tirana’s The Block district. He will facilitate discussions with locals, business owners, public officials and planners to determine effective methods to preserve historic significance of The Block as a tool for economic development and tourism.
Zachary Hale – U.S. Department of State (Vienna, Austria) – Hale will be working with the Public Affairs office of the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, which coordinates between the State Department, the United Nations, and other international bodies.
Mary Henthorn – New Horizons (Nampula, Mozambique) – Henthorn will work in conjunction with University of Arkansas Fayetteville faculty and honors students to address issues with computer systems used by Novos Horizontes (New Horizons), a commercial poultry operation outside of Nampula, Mozambique.
Claire Hodgson – Designing Social Innovation and Leadership (Bangkok, Thailand) – Hodgson will conduct market research for the startup alternative education executive program. She will produce a market research and analysis report, which will be used to guide the organization’s strategic marketing.
Salil Joshi – Bedrocan BV (Gronigen, The Netherlands) – Joshi will evaluate production and medical prescribing practices of medicinal cannabis to inform health policy and medical practices. Additionally, Joshi will profile medicinal cannabis patients and the physicians prescribing medicinal cannabis as well as provide a comprehensive understanding of the medicinal cannabis atmosphere in certain European regions.
Emily Kearns – Amherstburg Freedom Museum (Ontario, Canada) – Kearns will collect data on museum volunteers in order to make recommendations for improving volunteer recruitment and retention at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum.
Arjola Limani – Heifer International (Pichinaki and Cajamarca, Peru) – Limani will contribute to a final evaluation project focused on identifying the role of gender in two coffee projects, one in Pichinaki, Peru and one in Cajamarca, Peru. She will develop data collection processes and create measures to assess program experience.
Piper Meeks – Fundación Arte del Mundo (Baños, Ecuador) – Meeks will establish an evidence-based curriculum of yoga classes intended to increase the self-confidence of youth at Fundación Arte del Mundo. She will implement the curriculum and evaluate its effectiveness in order to ensure that the curriculum is achieving its goals.
Alexandre Meldem – Fundación Arte del Mundo (Baños, Ecuador) – Meldem will develop tools to enhance and strengthen the volunteer tourism program currently operated by Fundacion Arte del Mundo. He will also design an evaluation tool to assess the impact of his project.
Shem Ngwira – Heifer International (Noida City, India) – Ngwira will conduct a mid-term evaluation of the Community Agro-Veterinary Entrepreneurs (CAVE) training model. Ngwira will make recommendations for future implementation of the CAVE training by collecting and analyzing feedback from project beneficiaries, trainers, and recipients of the services provided by project beneficiaries.
Hunter Owen – New Horizons (Nampula, Mozambique) – Owen will create an evaluation tool to measure the service-learning opportunities available to undergraduate students through a partnership between the University of Arkansas and New Horizons Mozambique. In addition to this, he will assess the needs of the host organization as they relate to the students’ experiences.
Beau Papan – Computer Shiksha (Gurgaon, India) – Papan will work to develop a digital marketing strategy for Computer Shiksha. He will also use a variety of methods to help build corporate partnerships and spark increased organizational visibility.
Rob Pillow – Heifer International (Lilongwe, Malawi) – Pillow will develop a tool to measure the indirect economic effects of Heifer International’s project in Malawi. This tool will be used to collect data on indirect beneficiaries in country and the data will be analyzed to determine the economic multiplier of Heifer’s intervention.
Keith Preciados – Heifer International (Makati City, Philippines) – Preciados will conduct a midterm evaluation of the Community Agro-Vet Entrepreneur (CAVE) program, which trains community beneficiaries in agricultural and veterinary services as a means of livelihood. He will conduct primary research with stakeholders, analyze data, and report findings and recommendations to Heifer International.
Yvonne Quek – Awamaki (Ollantaytambo, Peru) – Quek will evaluate the social impact of Awamaki on the surrounding community. She will use the Social Return of Investment approach to measure the social value generated by Awamaki.
Heather Rossi – Building Tomorrow (Kampala, Uganda) – Rossi will develop a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) implementation plan. The program plan will serve as a model for implementing WASH programming in all Building Tomorrow schools and the communities that surround.
Merrill Schmidt – Habitat for Humanity Argentina (Santa Fe province, Argentina) – Schmidt will evaluate the impact of Habitat for Humanity Argentina’s Neighborhood Development program in the Santa Fe province. She will gather input about the program and information about its outcomes from participants using in-person surveys.
Marsha Scullark – Center for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (Liverpool, Australia) – Scullark will create an evaluation plan to analyze the impact and results of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement for Australia. She will collect data by conducting interviews and reviewing previous research to assess HIA’s ability to improve TPP provisions.
Jeremiah Sniffin – Marin Barleti University (Tirana, Albania) – Sniffin will be working with the University Marin Barleti’s Urban Planning Initiative to create a contact database of other Urban Planning teams from all over the world. The goal is to foster mutual information sharing relationships between these organizations and the University’s Planning Initiative.
Demas Soliman – Heifer International (Tacloban City, Philippines) – Soliman will evaluate Heifer’s Community Agro-Vet Entrepreneurship (CAVE) program, which was implemented in the Philippines by Heifer International in 2013.
Will Van Laningham – Fundación Arte del Mundo (Baños, Ecuador) – Van Laningham will develop the curriculum for a workshop that will work with the English teachers of the Baños region to strengthen their command of the language and help develop techniques for English instruction that will be most effective in that particular region. He will also implement the workshop in Baños over the summer and provide curriculum for Fundación Arte del Mundo to use in the future.
Mary Wolf – Community and Family Services International (Manila, Philippines) – Wolf will interview refugees with chronic illnesses to develop a situation report that will help CFSI better assist that population.