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A graduate student assisted The Beez Kneez, a Minneapolis small business, in its efforts to raise awareness about the importance of honey bees and pollinators to the health of our food system.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Lindsay Kuehn of Minneapolis, Minn., spent the past summer working in Minneapolis creating an interactive timeline to tell the story of how The Beez Kneez evolved from a business initially created to produce local honey and deliver it by bicycle, to a business that also educates the public through in-hive classes and has spearheaded an advocacy campaign to create positive legislation to improve the health of pollinators in Minnesota.
With one out of every three bites we eat resulting from the work that pollinators do on a daily basis, Kuehn’s project aimed to help The Beez Kneez convey the importance of honey bees to the health of our food system and our lives. Over 85% of Minnesotans are concerned about the recent disappearance of pollinator species. The Beez Kneez, itself, lost over 50,000 bees in a twenty-four-hour period in 2013 due to the application of a common pesticide near one of its hives.
The loss of that hive spurred The Beez Kneez to launch the Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives campaign, which has been working to change legislation in Minnesota so that it becomes more pollinator-friendly. Kuehn was tasked with telling the story of how—and why—the Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives campaign was developed. “The timeline was instrumental in translating this work to the public in a digestible way which will further strengthen and communicate our goals as beekeepers and educators,” said Kristy Allen, founder of The Beez Kneez.
Kuehn completed the project as part of the Clinton School Capstone program, which is the culminating project for students leading up to their Master of Public Service degree.
This article was written and produced by TalkBusiness.net
Paying college athletes a small stipend in addition to their scholarships is inevitable, the sports agent for former Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett said during a speech before the Clinton School of Public Service Monday.
J.R. Carroll, a partner at the Fayetteville office of the Kutak Rock law firm and one of two Arkansas-based agents representing NFL players, said the NCAA will no longer be able to rely on the justifications it has used in the past to avoid paying players. It calls players “student-athletes” when they really are college employees, and it uses their likenesses and names without compensating them. Meanwhile, the economics of college sports demands that the athletes be paid.
“The money has gotten to be so big and the pie has gotten to be so big that at some point, you’re going to have to give a piece of that pie to the individuals who are actually generating that income,” he said.
Carroll predicted that it will be commonplace for athletes to be paid small stipends to help them pay for college. Scholarships do not cover the full cost of college including incidentals, but practice demands preclude players from working paying jobs. However, he said stipends will remain relatively low because the universities will collude to prevent an “arms race.”
Carroll said schools will have to pay stipends to both male and female athletes to comply with Title IX, a federal law requiring gender equity in educational programs receiving federal funds.
Carroll traced the current situation back to the 1950s, when Walter Byers, the first NCAA president, coined the term “student-athlete” so the NCAA and its member schools could avoid paying for worker’s compensation. In a case involving a football player who died in a game, a judge ruled that players were not under contract, that universities are not in the football business, and that no university could profit from a football team – arguments that don’t apply now, he said.
Two legal decisions this year have weakened the NCAA’s case, Carroll said. When Northwestern University’s players asked to be allowed to unionize, a National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled that scholarships are a contract and athletes are employees. Then a judge ruled in a lawsuit brought by former basketball player Ed O’Bannon and others that the NCAA could not prohibit member schools from offering players a limited share of sports revenues.
The ruling in the Ed O’Bannon case will not apply until 2016, but Carroll said some schools have already begun to discuss the kinds of financial rewards they will offer.
Carroll pointed to the University of Alabama to show how athletics is tied to the overall operation of the university. Since Nick Saban became head football coach of the Crimson Tide in 2006 and began leading the team to three national championships, athletic department revenue has increased by 112 percent, the school has received more than $600 million in private donations, and the student population has increased by 51 percent. Sixty-two percent of the school’s students are from out of state, bringing in an extra $300 million just in out-of-state tuition. Meanwhile, the University of Florida, whose football team has been mediocre in recent years, has seen a one percent drop in its student population.
“Seven million dollars a year seems like a pretty good bargain for Nick Saban,” he said, referring to the coach’s salary.
- See more at: http://talkbusiness.net/2014/12/college-athletes-will-be-paid-agent-says/#sthash.EhZ1E3VI.dpuf
This op-ed was originally published in The Baines Report, an approved student organization composed of and governed by students of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
In the 2014 midterm elections, Americans sent a clear message—they are currently displeased with the liberal policies of the Obama Administration. Republicans, moderates, and independents overwhelmingly voted for Republicans in an attempt to reign in the administration and to prevent any further left wing legislation. Considering the imbalance of power before the elections, specifically the Democrat Senate majority and the Democrat Executive branch, the switch of controlling parties in the U.S. Senate after midterm elections is not a new phenomenon. Four influential Arkansans recently spoke on a panel at the Political Animals Club in Little Rock, Arkansas, about the midterm election and its implications for Arkansas and the nation. Skip Rutherford, former Chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas and current Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service (CSPS), said that the nationwide elections results are not indicative of a new, long-lasting national trend. (S. Rutherford, personal communication, November 13, 2014). Rutherford compared the 2014 midterm election to the midterm elections of 1958, 1972, and 1995. (S. Rutherford, personal communication, November 13, 2014). During these elections, Americans voted to change the controlling party of the U.S. legislative branch, creating a U.S. Senate and House that were not of the same party as the president. Therefore, midterm elections that create a legislative majority diverse from that of the executive branch are a normal occurrence in American politics. The 2014 national election results are politics as usual—voters retaliating against current national officeholders and unpopular policies.
While the elections do not herald a new trend nationally, they do represent a change in Arkansas (M. Brantley, R. Brock, J. Brummett, & S. Rutherford, personal communication, November 13, 2014). Once an established swing state, Arkansas is now a state whose voters toe the Republican Party line (M. Brantley, personal communication, November 13, 2014). As a former legislative staffer for Mike Ross, retired democratic Congressman for Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District and 2014 gubernatorial candidate in Arkansas, I thought Arkansans would choose Congressman Ross over his Republican opponent Asa Hutchinson. I believed Arkansans would set aside their personal views about President Obama and vote for Congressman Ross based on his former voting record—he opposed “Obamacare”—and their past support for conservative Democrats in the state. However, I was wrong, and I am beginning to understand why.
Arkansans primarily rejected Democrats in local elections because they equated Arkansas’s Democrats with the national Democratic Party. This is a significant divergence from the norm in Arkansas. Dr. Jay Barth, a political analyst in Arkansas and author of Ripe for Reform: Arkansas as a Model for Social Change, lectured to one of my CSPS classes on the nature of politics in Arkansas. He implied that while Arkansans generally supported Republican candidates in past national elections, Arkansans did not always apply the same reasoning to statewide elections. (J. Barth, personal communication, September 2013). Arkansas Democrats are traditionally more conservative than their national counterparts, which has appealed to voters in Arkansas and often resulted in voter support for statewide Democrats even when the state elected Republicans to national office. (J. Barth, personal communication, September 2013). Therefore, traditionally, Arkansans have supported candidates—regardless of party affiliation—who best aligned with Arkansas’s traditional and populist values. (J. Barth, personal communication, September 2013). The midterm elections represent a stark delineation from Arkansas’s past voting record. Statewide rejection of Democrats meant that Arkansas’s Democratic candidates’ unique policies and positions fell on deaf ears. Instead of considering state Democratic candidates’ positions on issues in the recent election, which—for the most part—were not considerably different from their Republican counterparts, Arkansans rejected conservative southern Democrats and toed the Republican Party line.
Arkansas’s transition from a swing state to an established Republican state is primarily due to President Obama and his liberal policies. Roby Brock, Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics and another panelist at the Political Animals Club, explained that Republicans progressively gained ground during the 2014 campaign season because of their anti-Obama rhetoric, as well as President Obama’s inaction on big issues, such as Ebola and ISIS (R. Brock, personal communication, November 13, 2014). President Obama’s inaction during the election cycle, coupled with the Republican campaign against him, resulted in Democrats losing support from Arkansas’s moderate, conservative, and independent voters (R. Brock, personal communication, November 13, 2014). According to Rutherford, “Big Republicans,” concerned with economics and taxes, voted with “Little Republicans,” concerned with Ebola, immigration, and guns. As a result, Democrats lost nearly all middle class and working class voters in Arkansas (S. Rutherford, personal communication, November 13, 2014). Brock echoed Rutherford and said Arkansas’s Democrats had truly lost the white, middle-class, and rural conservative votes, and it would be 30 to 40 years before the Democratic Party could appeal to these demographics again (R. Brock, personal communication, November 13, 2014). While President Obama and his policies may not have had an effect on voters nationwide, they have made a tremendous, lasting impact on voters and candidates in Arkansas.
While I do not think Americans, or more specifically Arkansans, were wise to reject everything “Democrat,” I do believe our country is best served by balanced legislative and executive branches. If the branches of government were balanced between a Democrat Executive branch and a Republican U.S. Senate before the elections, it is very probable that voters would have felt no need to retaliate at the polls; no one party’s policies would have reined, and Republicans and Democrats would have had a balance of representation and control in our national government. For instance, had a Republican Senate majority existed during the debate on the Affordable Care Act, the branches would have been balanced, and Republicans potentially would have had more influence on the individual nuances within the proposed healthcare legislative package. A balanced government could even have prevented the overwhelming loss for Democrats during the 2014 midterm elections; both Democrats and Republicans would have been clearly represented and none could say their position was not considered.
The combination of a Democratic executive branch, a Democratic Senate, and the passage of unpopular policies gave Republicans fuel to oust Democrats in the 2014 elections (M. Brantley & R. Brock, personal communication, November 13, 2014). While the election did not create a new national trend, it did change the dynamics of politics in Arkansas. Today, a moderate, unaffiliated candidate will have a much better chance of being elected to office if he/she chose to run as a Republican, whereas traditionally a moderate candidate could have good odds running as a Republican or a Democrat. The Democratic Party of Arkansas has much to do if it is to regain the demographics it has so obviously lost. The questions remain: what can the Democratic Party do to attract voters in Arkansas, and how long, if ever, will the party regain support in statewide elections? As a moderate Democrat—and a woman who believes everyone deserves a voice—I believe balance is key to the governing process. If balance is not maintained, elections result in “complete wipeout revolutions” and “political earthquakes” that can alter the established political dynamics of a state for a very long time. (J. Brummett and S. Rutherford, personal communication, November 13, 2014).
For his final capstone project, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and concurrent UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health student Alex Handfinger of Holland, PA partnered with the Arkansas Local Food Network (ALFN) to develop a strategic plan.
ALFN is a small, grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit with two part-time staff and a nine-member executive board that did not previously have a strategic plan in place. Like many non-profits, they have extremely limited resources and thus enlisted Handfinger, their Director of Operations, to develop a strategic plan to ensure those resources are being used effectively and efficiently.
Tasks performed included forming a strategic planning committee, re-clarifying ALFN’s mission and vision, performing a SWOT analysis, determining strategic priorities, and developing an action plan for implementation and review moving forward.
Handfinger worked with Round Table Consulting to develop participatory and inclusive facilitation techniques that ensured ALFN’s diverse stakeholders of board members, staff, volunteers, farmers, customers, funders, and partner organizations all had a voice throughout the planning process. Handfinger conducted the SWOT analysis by developing and conducting 109 surveys, three focus groups, and 20 qualitative interviews with these diverse stakeholders. He then analyzed this data and presented it to the board and strategic planning committee to determine their strategic priorities and then develop an action plan based on those priorities.
“With Alex’s help, we’ve been able to take into account multiple stakeholder perspectives while really bringing to light our priorities and clarifying our goals,” said Sarah Donaghy, ALFN Board member and project advisor.
The strategic plan will function as a guiding document for future decision-making at ALFN.
About the Arkansas Local Food Network (ALFN)
ALFN has spent the last eight years working to strengthen Arkansas farmers, promote the local food system, and support community food endeavors. They do this through a variety of programs including the Little Rock Local Food Club, their year-round, online farmer’s market; the Green Groceries food pantry that gets fresh, locally-produced food to low-income families through a partnership with Christ Episcopal Church; a FRESH comprehensive directory of the Central Arkansas local food system; and through community fund grants for small farms and gardens.
This essay was produced by the Clinton Foundation and written by Clinton School alum Mara D’Amico. For more essays on public service, click here.
As millions around the world can attest, the legacy of President Clinton has been both far-reaching and profound. Like many millennials, I came to understand what leadership through public service looked like while President Clinton was in office, and was fortunate to be a child during a period of relative peace and prosperity while he was President. Although I couldn’t fully understand at the time, he was crafting policy and creating programs that would shape the course of my life. As a young person who served two terms as an AmeriCorps member, graduated from the Clinton School of Public Service, and was awarded a fellowship in Secretary Clinton’s name to continue her work supporting women’s rights around the globe, I can say with certainty that my life would be completely different without the influence of President Clinton. My classmates from the Clinton School and I are now part of his ever-growing legacy.
In 2011, I was serving as an AmeriCorps Public Ally in Miami, and was looking for a graduate program that would embody the philosophy of public service that I had come to value. During a conversation about graduate programs, a close friend suggested I look into the Clinton School, as it seemed to be a good fit for me. I wanted a program that was firmly grounded in community-based work. That paired academic rigor with real-world application. That cultivated a diverse and tight-knit group of classmates with a wide range of public service interest areas and proven leadership. That gave students the opportunity to do international fieldwork. That didn’t burden graduates with excessive levels of student loan debt. That gave access to some of the best thought leaders and public servants in the world. And that didn’t shy away from working to address the toughest social issues facing our world today. I found all of those things and more at the Clinton School of Public Service. Although it was hard to say goodbye to Miami, Florida, I knew that the Clinton School was the right fit for me.
The mission of the Clinton School is “to educate and prepare professionals in public service who understand, engage and transform complex social, cultural, 13 economic and political systems to ensure equity, challenge oppression and effect positive social change.” At the Clinton School, we learn theory and concepts in the classroom—ranging from program planning and evaluation to research methods to ethics of public service—and apply that knowledge through three major field service projects. The first is a team public service project called Practicum, in which students work to address a need in the state of Arkansas. The second is the International Public Service Project, in which students spend a minimum of ten weeks abroad working to solve problems or build the capacity of an organization or community. Finally, students complete a culminating Capstone project in their second year of the program, which can be completed anywhere in the world, from Little Rock to Lagos to Lima. For me, this was the main draw of the program—to be able to directly apply the concepts that I learned in the classroom.
I completed my Practicum project with Lewis-Burnett Employment Finders in Little Rock, working with a team of classmates to survey the Little Rock service community about their capacity to meet the needs of formerly incarcerated individuals, create a service directory specifically for that population, and write a white paper of analysis and recommendations for how the service community could be better organized to meet the needs of those individuals. For my International project, I travelled to Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, where I worked with a health clinic to create a curriculum of educational and support groups to start discussions in the communities there about topics related to violence against women. For my Capstone project, I worked with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas to research and author a strategic plan for its Policy and Research Committee so it could be better positioned to create research and effect change for women and girls in Arkansas. These field service experiences gave me a more intimate look at the issues impacting the lives of people across the state of Arkansas and around the world. I gained new skills, learned a great deal, and made real contributions to the organizations where I worked. All of these experiences taught me skills and knowledge that I continue to apply on a regular basis.
Students at the Clinton School have numerous opportunities to be involved in a variety of academic and leadership pursuits. We can listen to countless speakers at the renowned public program series, learning from leaders like Al Gore, Buzz Aldrin and Rachel Maddow. Because the Clinton School is located on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center, we also have the chance to become engaged in the vibrant community that Little Rock offers. I enjoyed taking full advantage of my time there, getting to know the Natural State through the Hope Watermelon Festival, trips with classmates to the Buffalo River and Pinnacle Mountain, and finding the best pie from Helena to Hot Springs, and from Eureka Springs to El Dorado. I also found some truly incredible friends in my classmates. I learned more than I could have imagined from classmates who were working to address climate change through training women to install solar panels, others who were focused on improving health through walkability, and still more who worked with women seeking refuge from the conflict in Syria. At the Clinton School, you are surrounded by true public servants who are passionate about and committed to cultivating positive social change. I look forward to seeing the collective impact my classmates will have over the course of our lives.
Upon graduation from the Clinton School in May 2014, I was named the Hillary Rodham Clinton Communications Fellow for the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security in Washington, D.C. My time and experiences at the Clinton School directly prepared me for the work I’m doing now, and I am thrilled to have the chance to build upon the legacy started by Secretary Clinton in working for the world to see women’s rights as human rights, once and for all. My life has been shaped by the work and legacy of President Clinton. I have directly benefitted from the policies and programs he has shaped and implemented, which are represented at the Center in the Library, the Archives, and at the School, and it is my responsibility to pay that forward. I have committed to a life of public service—a life of working to find community-based 15 solutions to pervasive social problems, of fostering inclusivity and thoughtfulness, and of operating at the intersection of theory and practice. I look forward to the bridges I will continue to build through the legacy of President Clinton.
“Nothing is certain except for death and taxes… and paying student-athletes,” J.R. Carroll
Monday, December 1, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
In 2011, J.R. Carroll became a Certified Contract Advisor with the National Football League Players Association. He is one of two agents in Arkansas currently representing players in the NFL. Carroll is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he teaches in the field of sports law. He will discuss “the inevitable march of universities to provide compensation outside the scope of a traditional scholarship to student-athletes.”
“The Toughest Job: William Winter’s Mississippi,” A Documentary Screening
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Ron Robinson Theater) *In partnership with the Little Rock Film Festival
“The Toughest Job” focuses on the life and career of Mississippi’s 57th Governor William Winter and his fight to reform education in the state. The movie addresses the mechanics of Mississippi state government, the political climate for education reform, and the decision-making of Governor Winter.
“Elf: The Musical,” A Panel Discussion
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre
“Elf” is the story of a young orphan who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag of gifts and is raised in the North Pole. He eventually learns that he is a human and embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father. While trying to win over his new family, he strives to remind the city of the true meaning of Christmas. Adapted by Thomas Meehan (The Producers) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) from the popular 2003 film starring Will Ferrell, with a score by Tony-nominated songwriting team of Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), “Elf” turns one of Hollywood’s most beloved holiday hits into a hilarious and heartwarming musical.
Nassir Al-Nasser, former ambassador from Qatar
Friday, December 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
Nassir Al-Nasser was the president of the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly and is a former ambassador from Qatar. He is currently the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Al-Nasser’s new book, “A Year at the Helm of the United Nations General Assembly,” goes into detail about the four main pillars of his leadership (mediation, UN reform, natural disaster prevention, and response), and also addresses the shortcomings of the United Nations. Al-Nasser shares his thoughts on restructuring the Security Council and on how best to implement changes to the General Assembly to make it as effective as intended.
“Amendment 3: It Passed. Now What?”
Monday, December 8, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
In partnership with the Political Animals Club, the Clinton School will host a panel to analyze Amendment 3 and its major sections such as campaign finance, lobbyists gifts, revolving door issues, the Citizens Salary Commission, and term limits. Moderated by Rex Nelson, the panel will include Amendment 3’s co-authors, Senator Jon Woods and Representative Warwick Sabin, Little Rock attorney Scott Trotter, and Randy Zook, CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.
“Next Generation Science Standards: A Key to the Next Generation of American Jobs,” Dr. S. James Gates, Jr., Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory at the University of Maryland and Member of the Maryland State Board of Education
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas State Board of Education
Through a multi-year process in which Arkansas was one of 26 lead states, new K–12 science standards have been developed and are now moving towards adoption in states across the country, including Arkansas. Under the new standards, science education will begin earlier, will focus more on application, and will be benchmarked to international standards. The ultimate goal is to prepare American students for the next generation of economic opportunities. Dr. Gates, a member of the President’s Council of Advisors of Science and Technology and a chief advocate of revisions to science education, will make the case for these new standards and the promise they have to produce transformative educational and economic outcomes for students in Arkansas and across the nation.
“Don’t Wait for the Next War,” General Wesley Clark, USA , Retired
Friday, December 12, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Clinton Foundation
General Wesley Clark recently published a book “Don’t Wait for the Next War: A Strategy for American Growth and Leadership,” about the global challenges America faces and how to develop a strategy that involves both private and public actors. A 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, General Clark served in the U.S. Army for 34 years, becoming NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom after leading NATO troops during the Kosovo War from 1997 to 2000. A Little Rock native, he is also author of the best selling books “Waging Modern War” and “Winning Modern War.”
The projects are part of the school’s Capstone program, which is the final of three public service projects and requires individual students to work with community leaders to help build healthy, engaged and vibrant communities and demonstrate their ability to work effectively in public service.
Through this experience, students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired through their coursework at the Clinton School. Students select their own Capstone projects and devote at least 250 hours of time to them.
“Field service is a major component of our program and the Capstone is the culminating project of the students’ experiences here at the Clinton School,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the school. “Each project reflects on the individual skills and interests of our students. Capstone projects often lead students into jobs following graduation.”
The Capstone is the third public service project students complete during the two year MPS program. A faculty advisor oversees each project and the students are required to create a final deliverable and present their results to the Clinton School community upon completion of their project.
A complete list of projects will be released in early 2015.
Some student projects and project locations include:
Anna Applebaum (Washington D.C.)
Organization: Vital Voices Global Partnership (http://www.vitalvoices.org/)
Applebaum is working with Vital Voices Global Partnership to conduct a review on the effectiveness of peer-peer exchange programs for women leaders around the world. Vital Voices’s mission is to identify, invest in, and bring visibility to women leaders by unleashing their leadership potential. Applebaum will analyze the use of peer-peer exchange as a tool for learning, network building and informal mentoring. She is a McLarty Global Fellow at Vital Voices.
Brad Cameron (Uganda)
Organization: Limited Resource Teacher Training (www.lrtt.org)
Cameron is creating a video-led teacher-training program to improve teachers’ classroom-based skills in Southwest Uganda. His work will be based on the assessment he completed during his international summer project of the video-led teacher-training program. He will work with Ugandan and British videographers to improve the quality and accessibility of these videos and his work will involve editing existing footage, developing tools to continuously assess whether videos improve teachers’ skills, and creating a plan for providing ongoing support to teachers.
Benjamin Croner (Conway, Ark.)
Organization: Arkansas Governor’s School (https://hendrix.edu/ags/)
Croner is working to update the School’s alumni database and survey former students about their educational and professional achievements since participating in the six-week, summer enrichment program. The survey results will be included in a stakeholder report to help show the impact that Arkansas Governor’s School has on the lives of its students and how this has benefited the state.
Matthew Devlin (India)
Organization: SAMPDA Network
Devlin is completing his capstone with the SAMPDA Network, a membership of 24 NGOs across India working in community development. Devlin is creating an assessment tool to measure the capacity resources and needs for each member organization. He is also identifying specific ways that multiple organizations and the network as a whole can coordinate efforts that increase impact and sustain program delivery. Devlin will pilot this tool for four of the 24 SAMPDA organizations and is creating training guides for member organizations to continue to assess themselves in the future.
Christian Eddings (Little Rock, Ark)
Organization: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (https://www.arkansassymphony.
Eddings is conducting research on effective marketing techniques for raising awareness about the organization in order to shift the demographic range that attends concerts and supports the organization. He will also be working with the Education and Outreach Program to use film and video production for the promotion of the program and to raise awareness about the importance of music education.
Haylee Rae Fletcher (Glendale, Ariz.)
Organization: International Rescue Committee (http://www.rescue.org/)
Fletcher is developing a geographic information systems (GIS) map of medical and behavioral health care facilities in relation to housing for newly arrived refugees. By examining barriers to providing services, Fletcher will generate recommendations and strategic action steps to increase access to high-quality medical and behavioral health care. The report will be used by the International Rescue Committee to ensure that refugees are able to navigate a complex health care system and have access to necessary medical and behavioral health care.
Dani Folks (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Kiva Zip (www.zip.kiva.org)
Folks is expanding the Kiva Zip pilot program throughout the state of Arkansas, while improving its effectiveness and efficiency. Kiva Zip is an online microfinance organization that uses the concept of social underwriting to endorse zero percent interest loans for entrepreneurs who cannot access capital through traditional methods. Findings from Folks’ work will be used to develop long-term strategies and partnerships in the region.
Katy Grennier (Bangkok, Thailand and Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Organization: Sarus (http://sarusprogram.org/) and Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership (http://www.dsilglobal.com/)
Grennier is co-leading and designing curriculum for the Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership Program, which is currently completing its pilot year. The Leadership Program brings over 30 change makers from 17 countries to learn more about emerging 21st century tools intended to create innovative solutions for communities. The resulting course will focus on inclusive principles in defining root problems and in designing sustainable and scalable change.
Brenda Hernandez (Cabarete, Dominican Republic)
Organization: The DREAM Project (www.dominicandream.org/)
Hernandez is conducting an impact evaluation of the youth workforce development program, A Ganar. She will be assessing how the program has affected the lives of graduates personally, professionally, and economically. Through a series of surveys and interviews with program stakeholders, DREAM hopes the impact evaluation will help them understand the factors that have influenced graduates. Hernandez’s findings will be used to improve program curriculum and secure additional funds for the A Ganar program.
Tiffany Jacob (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Junior Achievement of Arkansas (www.juniorachievement.org/
Jacob is conducting best practices research to inform the program design of a pilot youth entrepreneurship program to be launched in Summer 2015. The pilot program is a collaborative effort between Junior Achievement of Arkansas and the City of Little Rock Department of Community Programs. Jacob’s report will provide foundational research and an evaluation plan with the ultimate goal of supporting a sustainable, year-round youth entrepreneurship program.
Traci Johnson (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Center for Women in Transition (http://www.cwitlr.org/)
Johnson is studying both the impact of current programs and methods for improving relationships between the Center for Women in Transition and the justice system in Little Rock. The project will also work to collect information concerning the impact programming has on participants and the best tactics for merging this information with building relationships.
Andy Lovley (Bocas del Toro, Panama)
Organization: Give & Surf, Inc.
Lovley is partnering with Give & Surf to design a monitoring and evaluation framework that will assess program impact and efficacy. The framework will be developed from recommendations of organizational staff, community leaders, and program participants and will ultimately be used to generate financial and in-kind support by outlining community need along with documented program results. This project will assist Give & Surf in their effort to provide an underserved indigenous population with grassroots-driven, sustainable access to educational facilities and programs.
Brandon Mathews (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Arkansas Foodbank (http://www.arkansasfoodbank.
Mathews is developing a manual for establishing and operating food pantries on college and university campuses in Arkansas. Mathews will also evaluate Pulaski Tech’s campus food pantry and will oversee the emergence of two other campus food pantries through joint efforts of the Arkansas Foodbank and cooperating campuses.
Allison Meyer (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Organization: Sarus (http://sarusprogram.org/)
Meyer is conducting a tri-nodal stakeholder analysis for Sarus participants, partner organizations, and partner communities in order to best help Sarus achieve its theory of change. Sarus works to create a network of future leaders who can foster open, inclusive, and resilient communities in Southeast Asia. Her analysis will also inform the future of Sarus programming as the organization expands in the next few years.
Hunter Mullins (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Campus Election Engagement Project (http://www.campuselect.org/)
Mullins is conducting a national baseline evaluation of the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) in promoting student voter registration and engagement at the university level. His work will serve to inform CEEP on how to better prepare their trainings and resources to potentially create greater student voter involvement nationwide.
Tatiana Riddle (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of International Conservation (www.fws.gov/international)
Riddle is gathering lessons learned from those involved in environmental conservation caucuses in Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She will develop recommendations for establishing similar initiatives in African nations or other biodiversity-rich countries. Riddle’s work will contribute to engaging decision makers in dialogue about environmental and wildlife conservation issues, promoting laws that effectively manage natural resources, and enhancing mechanisms for information to be shared amongst decision makers.
Angela Toomer (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Heifer International (http://www.heifer.org/)
Toomer is conducting an evaluation of Heifer USA’s Workplace CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project to determine how participation affects employee health and wellbeing. The Workplace CSA offers Heifer employees the opportunity to purchase a weekly box of fresh produce grown by smallholder Arkansas farmers. The Workplace CSA is designed to provide rural farmers with access to consistent and profitable markets, while strengthening the local economy by keeping Arkansas food dollars within the state. The study conducted by Toomer will help Heifer USA develop a model program that can be replicated and offered to other workplaces in Central Arkansas.
Laetitia Tokplo (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Pulaski Technical College (http://www.pulaskitech.edu/
Tokplo is creating a monitoring and evaluation plan for the Network for Student Success program. The program provides supportive relationships for African American males, enabling them to overcome the barriers to college graduation. The program offers tutoring, leadership programs and events, mentorship and other related activities
Tshering Yudon (Washington D.C.)
Organization: Vital Voices Global Partnership (http://www.vitalvoices.org/)
Yudon is working with Vital Voices Global Partnership to conduct a review on the benefits of international networking for women business owners around the world. Vital Voices’s mission is to identify, invest in, and bring visibility to women leaders by unleashing their leadership potential. Yudon will map out and analyze the value of business networking and its potential to improve program design and implementation. She is a McLarty Global Fellow at Vital Voices.
Rebecca Zimmermann (Little Rock, Ark.)
Organization: Audubon Arkansas (http://ar.audubon.org/)
Zimmermann is conducting an assessment of current and potential Audubon members and partners throughout Arkansas to determine how the organization can work with them in future efforts to protect birds. Zimmermann’s findings will be used to create an outreach plan focused around Audubon Society’s 2014 Birds and Climate Change Report that outlines the 314 birds species in North America threatened by climate change.
This article was originally produced and published by the Log Cabin Democrat. The original article can be found here.
The University of Central Arkansas will host the 49th Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference on Friday and Saturday.
About 425 delegates and faculty advisers from 24 high schools throughout Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee will participate in the opening session of the AMUN Conference in Ida Waldran Auditorium at 1 p.m. Friday.
UCA President Tom Courtway will welcome the delegates to UCA during the opening session. Committee sessions, involving simulations of the Security Council, Economic & Social Council, Human Rights Council and League of Arab States, will be held on Friday afternoon and Saturday.
The Plenary Session of the General Assembly, including three committees of the General Assembly, will convene in Ida Waldran at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The closing session, including the awards ceremony, will take place in the auditorium at 4 p.m. Saturday.
This year’s keynote speaker during the opening session will be Jose Guzzardi, a 2007 graduate of UCA with a B.A. degree in international studies.
Guzzardi, who served as Secretary-General of the AMUN in 2006, is currently employed as a sourcing manager for Walmart e-commerce in São Paulo, Brazil. Previously, he worked as manager of institutional relations for Walmart in Brazil from January 2011 to August 2014. In 2009, Guzzardi earned a master’s degree in public service at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock.
The AMUN program was established by professor Simms McClintock, who taught political science at Arkansas State Teachers College (ASTC), in fall 1966. The first AMUN conference was held at renamed State College of Arkansas (SCA) in Conway in January 1967. Mark Mullenbach, an associate professor of political science at UCA, has served as coordinator of the AMUN since August 2001.
Next year, UCA will host the 50th AMUN conference on Nov. 20-21, 2015. A reception and planning session for the 50th anniversary will be held Friday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in UCA Student Center room 205A. Former AMUN secretaries-general and others who were involved in AMUN are invited to attend the reception and planning session.
For more information about AMUN, please contact Mullenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 804-0618.
This article was written and produced by Burt Hicks, Clinton School alum.
November 11th. Veterans Day. Though many people believe that Memorial Day and Veterans Day are observed for the same reason, there is a subtle yet important distinction between the two. While both holidays honor military personnel, Memorial Day pays tribute to the brave men and women who died while serving our nation in war. Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors the men and women – both living and dead – who have served in the armed forces at any time – during peace or war.
But honor them how? And honor them for what? As to these questions, we lack a clear national answer. I believe that the demographic and socioeconomic division between the less than 1 percent that serve and the more than 99 percent that enjoy the benefits that are protected by those who serve is, in large part, to blame for the lack of a clear understanding of the purpose, and, in turn, proper celebration, of this important federal holiday.
To be clear, I am among the 99 percent. However, my father and two brothers are among the 1 percent. My father, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, passed away last December. His birthday was November 11th. Perhaps this is why I’ve taken more time this year to pause and consider how I can better honor his legacy and service, and I challenge each of you to do the same.
The lack of conscription (the draft ended in December 1972) and the deep military-civilian divide within our population (not only do the 99 percent not serve, many do not personally know anyone who does) means, among other things, that the many must make a conscious effort to even begin to understand the unique and remarkable service of and sacrifice made by the few. After all, we are not the ones standing guard, pursuing our country’s enemies and looking danger and adversity square in the eye, without blinking or backing down, to fulfill a sworn duty to protect others and the sacred American way of life. No, that job description belongs to our veterans. And that is heroic service.
So today, on Veterans Day, let us, the 99 percent, properly honor the service of our country’s heroes, those courageous men and women that have willingly and knowingly accepted not only the possible loss of life and limb but also the soul-changing burden of taking up arms and possibly taking the life of another so that we can continue to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is our call to action.
Burt Hicks is Manager of Corporate Responsibility at Simmons First National Corporation. Burt’s father, Jimmy, was a veteran of the Vietnam War (U.S. Army) and received the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medals for his distinguished service. Burt’s older brother, Eric, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served 5 years in the U.S. Navy. Burt’s younger brother, Jacob, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, has served two tours in Afghanistan and is currently stationed in Ansbach, Germany.