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“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.
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas partnered with four students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to strengthen relationships with the Latino community in Central Arkansas. The aim of the study is to determine effective strategies to connect with the Latino community in the area.
The lead researches for the study for this study were Nora Bouzihay of Jonesboro, Ark., Xochitl E. Delgado Solorzano of Springdale, Ark., Arijola Limani of Tirana, Albania, and Jeremiah Sniffin of Laramie, WY. Over the past five months, the student team interviewed leaders in the community and conducted focus groups with community members on strategies to do outreach to the Latino population. Their work involved providing recommendations to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas on creating a sustainable outreach strategy.
“Goodwill Industries of Arkansas would like to better serve the Latino community in Arkansas,” saidBrian Itzkowitz, Goodwill President and CEO. “The Clinton School of Public Service project has identified opportunities for us to increase awareness of our mission and connect these Arkansans with the services we provide. Working with the students on their project has been a wonderful experience for us. This project creates a foundation for Goodwill to broaden our community partnerships within the Latino community.”
This project is one of 10 to be completed by 37 Clinton School students across the state of Arkansas. These students are in their first semester of classes in the school’s Master of Public Service degree program.
About Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to the mission of providing education, training and employment services for people with disabilities and other special needs. Revenue generated through the sale of reusable donated goods at Goodwill retail stores is used to fund these critical programs for Arkansas. More information about Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is available at www.goodwillar.org
A team of University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students recently worked with the Centers for Youth and Families in Little Rock to create a garden therapy and evaluation plan.
Clinton School students Claire Hodgson of Russellville, Ark., Kristen Alexander of Little Rock, Ark., and Daniel Caruth of Morrilton, Ark., partnered with the Centers for Youth and Families to research therapy tools and evaluate measures for the organization’s new garden therapy program. The garden program will break ground in 2017 and compliment the Centers’ existing prevention, intervention and treatment programs, which serve more than 600 families throughout Arkansas.
The team of students researched the effects of garden therapy on wellbeing, mental, and behavioral health, and suggested ways to measure those for the Centers’ clients. The students also conducted interviews and focus groups with the Centers’ staff and clients, and eight national and international organizations.
“While many people are familiar with school gardens for educational purposes, our garden is unique in that it also provides an emotionally healing experience for our clients,” said JoBeth McElhanon, director of Prevention Services at the Centers for Youth and Families. “The benefits of the integrated therapy garden are far reaching and we are excited to plant these seeds of innovation and watch them grow.”
This is one of 10 projects completed by Clinton School students throughout the state of Arkansas as part of the field service component for their Master of Public Service degree program.
About the Centers for Youth and Families
The Centers for Youth and Families is a non-profit organization based in Little Rock, Ark. It has provided a continuum of care for children, ages 3 to 20, and families across the state of Arkansas for 130 years. They offer day-treatment, outpatient counseling, classroom-based therapy, an emergency shelter, independent living programs, therapeutic foster care and residential services for at-risk youth as well as resources for parents. The Centers is dedicated to building healthy children, families and communities. More information is available at: http://www.centersforyouthandfamilies.org/
The PEARLS (Promoting Education Achievement Resourcefulness Leadership & Scholarship) Foundation, in conjunction with Chi Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, honored women of color who have demonstrated a commitment to outstanding service and made significant contributions in the areas of educational enrichment, health promotion, family straightening, environmental ownership and global impact at a ceremony last weekend.
Dr. Charlotte Williams, professor at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the director of the Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School, was selected as the Global Impact Award recipient.
Other honoree include:
Educational Enrichment: Angela Webster, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Central Arkansas
Health Promotion: Kim Leverett, Owner and Certified Trainer, A Kick Above Personal Training Studio Family Strengthening: Rhonda Mattox, M.D., Arkansas Minority Health Commission Medical Director
Environmental Ownership: Tori B. Gordon, Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson
Ivy Excellence: Colette D. Honorable, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Last weekend, the Clinton School held the 2016 Clinton School Annual Cookoff. There were four categories of winners for the Cookoff: creativity, taste, presentation, and an overall winner. The results are as follows:
As part of their team-based project requirement, a team of students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service worked in partnership with The People Tree to research fresh food access and possible community-based solutions to food insecurity in Greater Little Rock.
Caitlin McAteer of Denver, Colo., Heather Rossi of Columbia, S.C., and Merrill Schmidt of Little Rock, Ark. conducted research regarding issues of fresh food access in the Baring Cross and Promise neighborhoods, including interviews, surveys, and fresh food resource mapping. This study aimed to proved The People Tree with necessary information to make a decision informed by the community on how to best alleviate problems of limited food access.
According to Feeding America, Arkansas ranks second for the highest rate of food insecurity in the country. People who participated in the Greater Little Rock study identified cost as the greatest barrier to fresh produce access while mobility presented a significant barrier for a segment of the population. Additionally, the study found a number of fresh food resources in existence in the Promise Neighborhood, while Baring Cross had limited resources. Lastly, interviewed food insecure populations favored mobile markets and community gardens as ideas for increasing food access in the future.
The student team produced a final report that included recommendations based on their findings. Recommendations included: collaborate with the target community when designing interventions, support existing community gardens and mobile market initiatives, tailor mobile market operations and produce selection to community needs and desires, and encourage increased coordination in food access initiatives.
This project is one of 10 team-based projects to be completed by 37 Clinton School students across the state of Arkansas this year. These students are in their first year of classes in the school’s Master of Public Service degree program.
About The People Tree
The People Tree is a nonprofit organization that works to transform community ideas into community action in Central Arkansas. In 2010, Josh Fendley established The People Tree with the intention of strengthening community and improving societal systems through local food initiatives. More information about The People Tree is available at www.thepeopletree.us
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Donate the Basics for Children in Foster Care Donation Drive
Monday, May 2, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with Arkansas Department of Human Services and Arkansas Creating Connections for Children
– Each year, thousands of children are rescued from dangerous situations and taken into the Arkansas foster care system. DHS caseworders find that children don’t even have the basics, like clean underwear, diapers, or a bag for their clothes, and they often haven’t eaten. Help us make that first night in foster care a little easier by participating in the Donate the Basics Donation Drive during the entire month of May. During the kickoff even on May 2nd, please bring your donations and learn more about the foster care system in Arkansas.
“Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America,” Douglas Brinkley
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
– Douglas Brinkley is an award-winning and New York Times best-selling author, a professor of history at Rice University, a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy, and an editor at Audubon Magazine. In his new book, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America, Brinkley focuses on FDR and his essential yet under-sung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps and premier protector of America’s public lands. FDR built from scratch dozens of State Park systems and scenic roadways. During his years as president, FDR established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges, spearheaded the modern endangered species movement, and positioned his conservation goals as economic policy to combat the severe unemployment of the Great Depression. Rightful Heritage chronicles both a portrait of FDR’s passion and skill to illuminate the tension between business and nature of both exploiting and conserving our national resources.
“Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations,” Ron Fournier
Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
– Ron Fournier is a national political journalist currently of the National Journal, a frequent contributor for political-themed TV shows, and has previously served as Washington bureau chief at the Associated Press. In his new book, Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations, Fournier explores ideas of what we want from our children – popularity, normalcy, achievement, genius – and what we truly need – grit, empathy, character. In Love That Boy, Fournier weaves through his journey as a parent to acceptance around the latest research on childhood development and stories of other loving-but-struggling parents.
Steven Barnett, Center on Community Philanthropy Scholar in Residence
Friday, May 6, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– Steven Barnett is Board of Governors professor of education and the director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, and has served as a consultant for early childhood policy for many states and national leaders around the world. His research includes wide ranging studies on early childhood policy and economics, including research on long-term effects of early education programs, benefit-cost analyses of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs, randomized trials of alternative approaches to educating bilingual/migrant populations and the Tools of the Mind curriculum, and the series of State Preschool Yearbooks providing annual state-by-state analyses of progress in public pre-K. Barnett’s recent publications include “Effectiveness of early educational intervention” in the journal Science.
“The Sustainable Development Goals and What They Mean for Africa,” Robin Sanders
Thursday, May 19, 2016 at TBA. (Sturgis Hall)
– Robin Sanders is the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and the Republic of Congo, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and former director of the Africa National Security Council at the White House. She currently serves as CEO of FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative, which focuses on food security, education, environment, economic development and self-help projects, particularly in Africa. An international lecturer, and writer on Africa, Sanders has lectured on international and African affairs, national security strategies, strategic and cultural communications, and conflict resolution. She also focuses on other areas of expertise, such as election and democratic processes, smart food security-environment systems, education and the environment.
“The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It,” Leonard Cassuto
Monday, May 23, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
– Leonard Cassuto is graduate education columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education and professor at Fordham University. In his new book, The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It, Cassuto explores the root of the problems in graduate education – students taking too long to complete their studies and facing a dismal academic job market if they succeed – and offers concrete solutions for revitalizing graduate education in the humanities. He argues that universities’ heavy emphasis on research comes at the expense of teaching and that graduate education must recover its mission of public service. He also argues that professors should revamp the graduate curriculum and broaden its narrow definition of success to allow students to create more fulfilling lives for themselves both inside and outside the academy. In The Graduate School Mess, Cassuto follows the graduate student from admissions to the dissertation and placement, and considers how each stage of graduate education is shape by unexamined assumptions and ancient prejudices that need to be critically confronted.
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A student team from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service worked alongside Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Service to research the needs of children and families in Drew County, Arkansas.
Abigail Craig of Little Rock, Ark., Demas Soliman of Alexandria, Egypt, Elena Perry of Slobozia, Romania, and Mary Wolf of Milwaukee, Wisc., conducted research regarding the needs of children and families in Drew County, including focus groups, surveys, and one-on-one interviews with community leaders. The student team carried out focus groups with healthcare workers, nonprofit representatives, teachers, and other community members.
People who participated in the research stated that poverty is often the cause of many of the needs of children and families. According to the latest U.S. Census, 41.3% of children in Drew County live below the poverty line. Some notable and highly mentioned needs were basic healthcare, substance abuse services, and transportation. The team produced an assessment that describes gaps in current services for children and families in the area.
The student team will present the findings of their research on Wednesday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m. in Williamson Hall on the Annie B. Wells children’s home campus at 745 Old Warren Road in Monticello. The presentation will be open to the public. Following the presentation, their research will be available at www.veralloyd.org.
About Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services
Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services’ corporate office is located in Little Rock and its children’s home is located in Monticello. The children’s home was established in 1923 through the dedication and monetary support of Lulu Williamson, Vera Lloyd and Annie B. Wells. Vera Lloyd provides residential housing for up to 42 youth at any one time and close to 200 youth every year. More information about Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family services at www.veralloyd.org.