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University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service distinguished fellow Dr. Arvind Singhal will present the lecture “The Positive Deviance Approach: Solving Complex Problems from the Inside Out” as Hendrix College’s 2018 Mellon Scholar, on Thursday, October 4.
The event is set for Lecture Hall B of the Mills Center for Social Sciences on the Hendrix campus in Conway, Ark. The lecture begins at 4:15 p.m., with a reception to follow.
Singhal, a renowned communication and social change scholar from the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), has been a William J. Clinton Distinguished Fellow at the Clinton School since 2009. An endowed professor of communication and director of research and outreach for the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at UTEP, Singhal teaches Dynamics of Social Change, a required course dealing with the elements of social change in a democratic society.
Singhal’s research has been supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the U.N. Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UNICEF and others. He has served as an advisor to the World Bank, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, UNICEF, the U.N. Development Program, UNAIDS, the U.S. Department of State; USAID, Family Health International, Save the Children, the BBC World Service Trust and others.
Positive Deviance (PD) is a novel approach to individual, organizational, and social change based on the observation that in every community there exist certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing worse challenges.
A leading scholar of the PD approach, Singhal has taught courses and implemented workshops on the positive deviance approach for educators, health practitioners, government officials, and business leaders in some 40 countries of Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
He has written nearly 200 peer-reviewed essays in leading journals of communication, public health, and social change, and written or edited 13 books, including Inspiring Change and Saving Lives: The Positive Deviance Way (2014); Health Communication in the 21st Century (2014); Inviting Everyone: Healing Healthcare through Positive Deviance (2010); and Protecting Children from Exploitation and Trafficking: Using the Positive Deviance Approach (2009).
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Senior Expo, set for Saturday, September 15, will include a political discussion on “Arkansas Seniors and the Upcoming Election” with Clinton School of Public Service Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III along with John Brummett (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), Sylvester Smith (National Federation of Independent Business/Arkansas), and Bill Vickery (103.7 The Buzz). The panel will run from noon to 1 p.m.
This semester, Rutherford is teaching a Clinton School seminar, “The 2018 Elections: Midterm Madness.”
The expo, sponsored by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, offers seniors opportunities to learn and have fun. The all-day health and lifestyle expo will start at 9 a.m. and run until 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Statehouse Convention Center. It will be hosted by KARK meteorologist Pat Walker.
The event is free to the public and features local vendors, educational seminars, and entertainment geared toward Arkansans 55 and older, providing doctor panel Q&A sessions, free health screenings, and 15-minute private consultations.
For more information, visit ArkansasSeniorExpo.com or call 501-378-3807.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduates Burt Hicks and Hilary Trudell are among the more than 60 individuals from across Arkansas selected for Leadership Arkansas Class XIII, a program operated by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas.
Hicks, who currently serves as president and CEO of the Simmons First Investment Group, graduated from the Clinton School in 2013 and earned a concurrent juris doctor from the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. SFIG is a retail broker-dealer and investment adviser, and he immediately oversaw a restructuring of the growing operation that resulted in record revenue and profit. In June, Hicks was named to the Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 Class of 2018.
“I am honored to have been selected for this year’s Leadership Arkansas class, and am especially appreciative of my company (Simmons Bank) for supporting me and the individuals that wrote letters of recommendation on my behalf,” Hicks said. “The curriculum, alumni network and list of current class members make this an incredible opportunity to develop further as a leader and gain a better understanding of all that makes Arkansas a great place to live and work.
“I’m most looking forward to being exposed to the most important sectors of the Arkansas economy and developing relationships with such a distinguished group of Arkansas’ future leaders.”
Trudell graduated from the Clinton School in 2012 and has served as the director of local programs and outreach for UACS Office of Community Engagement since 2015. Her duties include oversight of the school’s Practicum projects, which are in partnership with public agencies, community initiatives, academic ventures, and nonprofit organizations across Arkansas. She is the founder and executive artistic director of The Yarn, a local nonprofit dedicated to storytelling that showcases Arkansans and promotes the understanding of others.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s Leadership Arkansas class,” Trudell said. “I look forward to learning about the different industries prevalent around the state and getting to know the amazing members of my cohort. Not to mention, I get the opportunity to re-connect with my classmate Burt Hicks. It’s sure to be an incredible eight months.”
The mission of Leadership Arkansas is to challenge, inform, inspire and engage current and future business and civic leaders to enhance the economies of – and the communities within – the state of Arkansas. The programs is comprised of a nine-month class program consisting of nine multi-day sessions held in different locations throughout the state. The sessions feature Arkansas leaders who represent a wide geographic base and who have diverse backgrounds and vocations.
The Citizens Bank of Batesville is the underwriting sponsor for the 2018-19 Leadership Arkansas program. The Presenting Sponsor is ARcare. Statewide Program Sponsors include Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, Farm Credit Services of Arkansas, Nucor Steel Arkansas, Southwest Power Pool, and Walmart.
Leadership Arkansas has educated and engaged over 600 alumni since its inception in 2005 and represents nearly every Arkansas county.
Nineteen Clinton School of Public Service students in the fall seminar, “The 2018 Elections: Midterm Madness,” taught by Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III have each selected a campaign to follow through the November elections.
The students selected 19 different campaigns from 14 states. The selections include six United States Senate campaigns; seven governor campaigns; and four campaigns for the United States House of Representatives. Two local government races were selected: The Little Rock Mayor’s race and the nine-person race for Little Rock City Board, Ward 1.
Five of the chosen campaigns are from Arkansas. Florida, with two, was the only other state with more than one race chosen.
“What’s very interesting about the student selections is the wide variety both in the offices themselves as well as their geographical locations from 14 different states,” Rutherford said. “They range from a city board race in Little Rock to Governor of Alaska to the Cruz-O’Rourke Senate election in Texas.”
The U.S. Senate race in Texas between incumbent Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke and the election for Arkansas’s Second Congressional District race between incumbent French Hill and Clarke Tucker drew the most student interest.
Students will provide updated briefings, analyses, and predictions throughout the semester.
Governor: Incumbent Bill Walker (I), Mike Dunleavy (R), Mark Begich (D)
U.S. Senate: Kyrsten Sinema (D), Martha McSally (R)
Governor: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson (R), Jared Henderson (D)
2nd Congressional District: Incumbent French Hill (R), Clarke Tucker (D)
4th Congressional District: Incumbent Bruce Westerman (R), Hayden Shamel (D)
Little Rock Mayor (Nonpartisan): Baker Kurrus, Warwick Sabin, Glen Schwarz, Frank Scott, Vincent Tolliver
Little Rock City Director Ward 1 (Nonpartisan): Incumbent Erma Hendrix, Michael Adkins, Herbert Broadway, Bryan Frazier, Greg Henderson, Ronnie Jackson, Curtis Johnson, Danny Lewis, Robert Webb
Governor: Andrew Gillum (D), Ron DeSantis (R)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Bill Nelson (D), Rick Scott (R)
Governor: Brian Kemp (R), Stacey Abrams (D)
Governor: Incumbent Bruce Rauner (R), J.B. Pritzker (D)
Governor: Incumbent Kim Reynolds (R), Fred Hubbell (D)
8th Congressional District: Incumbent Mike Bishop (R), Elissa Slotkin (D)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), Mike Espy (D), Chris McDaniel (R)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Claire McCaskill (D), Josh Hawley (R)
19th Congressional District: Incumbent John Faso (R), Antonio Delgado (D)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Ted Cruz (R), Beto O’Rourke (D)
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Joe Manchin (D), Patrick Morrisey (R)
Governor: Incumbent Scott Walker (R), Tony Evers (D)
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduate Derrick Rainey (Class 6) is the Academy Director for grades K-2 at ScholarMade Achievement Place of Arkansas, located at the Historic Mitchell Building in central Little Rock.
ScholarMade Achievement Place was founded by Dr. Phillis Nichols Anderson, a veteran educator, whose fundamental belief is that strong schools lift communities.
“Derrick has been key to the startup of the first school and brought a wealth of expertise and knowledge in community mobilizing and development,” Anderson said. “I was looking for an educational entrepreneur and Derrick’s experiences represented a good combination of education and community engagement.”
Built in 1908, the historic James Mitchell School sat unused for 15 years after it was closed by the Little Rock School District. Over the last year, ScholarMade Achievement Place, a public charter school system, completed multi-million-dollar renovations to restore the building to National Register of Historic Place standards. The 42,000-square-foot facility now includes cutting-edge teaching and learning spaces, state-of-the-art technology and spaces for future community partnerships.
ScholarMade Achievement Place is focused on preparing children to be self-confident, intellectually inquisitive, emotionally intelligent, and academically competent. It uses a personalized learning model with a strong emphasis on social and emotional intelligence. School Leaders including Rainey, have participated in intensive training from Yale University’ Ruler Program, Playworks, Academic Parent Teacher Teams and Conscious Discipline.
An accomplished cellist, Rainey attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and graduated with a degree in music performance in 2008. It was there that he met Desiree Ivey, director of the Teacher Training Course at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Mass., whose mentorship changed the trajectory of his career.
Ivey was meeting with college students at an education fair in Atlanta. Rainey, a freshman at the time, was interested in education, specifically in music. The two met and she asked if he was available for a mock interview – a first for Ivey with a freshman. She invited him to Cambridge for a week to visit the Teacher Training Course program.
Rainey spent the week before his second semester of college “in freezing Boston, first time shoveling snow – and it was amazing.” He returned the following summer to teach at Summerbridge Cambridge, a tutoring program for Cambridge public school students.
He moved back to Little Rock after graduation and served two years with City Year before enrolling at the Clinton School in 2010. Upon earning his Master of Public Service, Rainey taught in the Little Rock School District for 11 months before returning to Cambridge to enroll in Teacher Training Course’s program, immersing him in a classroom for a year in which he, an apprentice teacher, worked with a master teacher and mentor.
While attending the UAPB-Morehouse football game in 2015, Rainey crossed paths with Nichols-Anderson who mentioned she had plans to start a school. Almost three years later, he “reached out to Dr. Anderson, applied, and here we are.”
What were your biggest takeaways from the Clinton School?
Several classes were important. The leadership class with Dr. Charlotte Williams, and the democratic education study with Don Ernst, Pedagogy and Privilege. We went to Caguas, Puerto Rico, for the International Democratic Education Conference. That conference changed my life, seeing students at the center of the education system.
Another key takeaway was positive deviance education, looking at how our solutions can come from within. We have access to resources, we just have to find them. There are people succeeding without any additional resources or additional help, but they’re making it work. That was with Dr. Singhal. Of course, Program Evaluation, Law and Ethics, and Christy’s (Standerfer) classes on communication.
Where do you think your interest in education came from?
Honestly, it came from me getting in trouble in school – literally. In third grade, I was doing well in class but I was getting in trouble. My favorite teacher, Mr. White, was going to write me up for something I did. I was supposed to be sent home. But he got me in a conference with my mom and wrote the longest “long form” I had ever seen. A long form back then was a step toward expulsion. And in the conference, he tore the form up and said, “This should be the last time this happens.” And it almost was (laughs). But it opened my eyes.
In fifth grade, I was made a peer tutor to kindergarten students. I was going to classrooms, helping, reading to students. I did that through sixth grade, and honestly that was what fueled my interest in education. What stuck out to me, and this was reflective of my City Year experience as well, was tutoring kids who may be behind. It showed me the need for consistent education and teaching and investing in kids’ lives to be able to make a difference.
What are your goals for the first year at ScholarMade?
To see movement. Everything is new this year, so to build community with people who are looking for opportunities for change, looking for better or different education for their children, that’s all I can ask for.
I would drive past the school and I would tell my daughter, who was eight months old at the time, “There’s your future school.” Then the question was asked of me, “Why is it only her future school? Why isn’t it yours? Why isn’t it ours?”
It put into context for me that community should include me as well, and should include everyone who sees that school, everyone who was looking for another opportunity. It was a direct response from me on what I thought I could do to address issues in the community.
LaKaija Johnson (Class 9) is the recipient of a Community Liaison fellowship with Seventy-Five North Revitalization Corp. in Omaha, Neb. Johnson is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research.
Ross Owyoung (Class 12) was announced as an Event Fundraiser with the UA Little Rock Alumni and Development Office.
Jose Guzzardi (Class 3) accepted a new position with B Lab as its Multinational Account Manager in New York City.
Kent Broughton (Class 8) has been promoted to the position of Senior Community Relations Manager and Equity Analyst at the Clinton School of Public Service’s Center on Community Philanthropy.
Fernando Cutz (Class 6) has accepted a position with The Cohen Group, a global business consulting firm. Cutz has spent the majority of his career in government, including roles with the White House, USAID, and the National Security Council.
Nicholas Hall (Class 4) has been accepted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.
Lindsey Barnett (Class 4) has founded Advikit, a firm focused on delivering person-centered solutions for government agencies and their partners. Barnett started Advikit to leverage her expertise on IT projects developed from her work with state and federal agencies.
Natalie Ramm’s (Class 12) efforts in her Capstone project helped secure a major grant for Monroe County Children in Trust.
Alumni in the News
Clinton School graduate Nicky Hamilton (Class 6) is the senior associate director of civic engagement at Sewanee – The University of the South, and is currently working with the school’s new Philanthropy Internship Program.
Renee Tyler, a student in the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service’s Executive Master of Public Service degree program, graduated from the American Public Works Association Emerging Leaders Academy on Wednesday.
Tyler, who lives and works in Dubuque, Iowa, was chosen from a national pool to attend the 12-month academy. She and her cohorts worked on issues related to policy, administration, public perception, generational staff issues, and other subjects pertinent to the effective leadership of organizations.
The group presented its project, “Agents of Change,” at Wednesday’s graduation ceremony. The project identified four areas that public works and APWA must address moving forward: Perception, Culture, Technology, and Generational.
“It is difficult fighting the good fight but these experiences motivate me and allow me to get up, recharged every day in my quest to contribute to making my community and my world a more inclusive and equitable one for all,” Tyler said.
Tyler has served as the Assistant Public Works Director for the City of Dubuque, Iowa, since 2016. Previously, she worked for the City of Little Rock as a manager of fleet acquisitions, parts and special projects. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service faculty member Nichola Driver’s research article with Cynthia M. Cready from the University of North Texas titled, “Nativity/language, neighborhoods, and teen pregnancy norms among U.S. Hispanics,” will be published in the forthcoming peer-reviewed journal Women & Health.
Additionally, a recently published course reader, “Sociology of Health and Wellness: An Applied Approach,” was co-authored by Driver.
“The research article with Dr. Cready is the culmination of five years of work surrounding the immigrant health advantage and its applicability to reproductive health, which was a major focus of my dissertation,” Driver said. “With the course reader, Dr. Cheun and I aimed to provide something innovative for our own courses that we weren’t finding anywhere else. These two publications represent a piece of the research and publishing agenda that I am excited to bring to my new position at the Clinton School.”
Driver’s research with Cready for Women & Health examines the relation of nativity, language, and neighborhood context to pregnancy norms among Hispanic teens in the United States. The study uses data from a sample of 972 Hispanic females and 960 Hispanic males from Waves I and II (1994-1996) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health collected in 80 high schools and 52 middle schools across the country.
Women & Health is widely accepted as a standard reference for women’s health specialists and contains information useful to researchers, policy planners, and all providers of health care for women.
“Sociology of Health and Wellness: An Applied Approach” takes the study of sociology of health and illness to the next level by inspiring students to connect the dots between theory, policy, and practice. The anthology provides students with applied examples of theoretical concepts which encourages them to challenge the status quo and, in doing so, transform and advance the healthcare industry.
Driver, who earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Texas and master’s degree in sociology from UA Little Rock, teaches Field Research Methods and Program Evaluation at the Clinton School. Her research areas include reproductive health disparities, health policy, and program evaluation and methods.
In a report released on Monday, leaders under the age of 40 from across the state made recommendations to increase positive awareness about Arkansas to those within and outside the state. The report was presented to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and key staff by members of the Under 40 Forum and representatives from the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
The report is the result of the third annual Under 40 Forum, a two-day summit held April 5-6 by the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and the Clinton School of Public Service on the Institute’s campus atop Petit Jean Mountain. The summit brought together the 2017 Forty Under 40 honorees as designated by Arkansas Business and the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. More than 30 of the honorees attended and participated in facilitated discussions about “Building a Better Brand” for Arkansas.
Among the highlights of the report are recommendations for a public-private partnership to create an internal marketing campaign; adopting the hashtag #ARHome to highlight what Arkansans believe is unique and special about the state; and a commitment to increasing arts education in public schools to encourage future growth of the creative economy.
“The leaders who participated in the Forum compete with businesses in surrounding states for our region’s best talent,” said Dr. Marta Loyd, executive director of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. “The participants told us Arkansas can be a difficult sell, but as soon as people settle here and experience all our state has to offer, they become great ambassadors. During the Forum the Under 40 honorees identified ways Arkansas’s brand can be positive and motivating so young talent inside the state choose to stay, and those outside the state can’t wait to move here.”
Copies of the report are being sent to each member of the Legislature, as well as other government and business leaders across Arkansas.
“Every part of Arkansas, like every part of any state, encounters difficulties and challenges,” said Skip Rutherford, Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service. “The participants brought their criticisms of Arkansas’s current brand to the Forum, but also their ideas for how we can improve upon and possibly change the narrative of our state. Their recommendations touched upon government, private and public institutions, and it will be those far-reaching and collaborative initiatives that can move the needle for Arkansas.”
The report can be downloaded online. Plans for the fourth annual Under 40 Forum have been set for April 2019.