The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will enroll 43 new students in its Master of Public Service (MPS) degree program this fall. Located in downtown Little Rock on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park and in the River Market District, the Clinton School is the nation’s first to offer an MPS degree.
Since opening in 2004, the school has attracted students from more than 40 countries and over 200 universities.
Six countries and 13 states are represented in the Class of 2019. Students with armed service experience in the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard join those who have volunteered with The Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America.
Among the many select national colleges and universities represented are Bates College, Carnegie Mellon University, Michigan State University, Smith College, Sewanee: The University of the South, and Washington University in St. Louis.
“We’re very proud to welcome the new Clinton School class. As the nation’s first to offer a Master of Public Service degree, we continue to attract individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and interests, but with a common purpose to uplift others,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “Over the next two years, the public service projects these students will complete in Arkansas and throughout the world will have a significant positive impact.”
This fall, the new Clinton School students will begin team-based public service projects with partner organizations in communities across Arkansas. In the classroom, the students will complete core courses in professionalism, social change, and conflict resolution. Throughout their time at the Clinton School, students will work on three public service projects within their particular public service interests: the team-based Practicum project, the International Public Service Project, and their final project that culminates their degree known as the Capstone.
Orientation for the new class begins August 13 and classes begin August 21.
Salina Adolph (Little Rock, Ark.) – A graduate of John Brown University with a degree in family and human services, Adolph is pursuing a concurrent juris doctor at UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. Her work experience includes a clerkship at the Monterrey Law Firm. Additionally, Adolph volunteered while planning and facilitating events, meetings, and discussions about multiculturalism at JBU. Her areas of public service interest include immigration law, multiculturalism, racial reconciliation, community development, and mental health.
Katie Barnes (Atchison, Kan.) – Barnes graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University with a degree in business administration and minor in social justice. Her work experience includes a stint as an AmeriCorps VISTA public relations coordinator at Origin SC in North Charleston, S.C. Her public service interests are financial stability, youth empowerment, and youth access to enrichment activities.
Ganelle Blake (Little Rock, Ark.) – A graduate of UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and a master’s degree in secondary education, Blake boasts a variety of work experience. She is the owner and strategic consultant at The Giovanna Group and was a major gift officer at the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross. Her public service interests include fundraising and strategic planning.
Megan Burrow (Hot Springs, Ark.) – Burrow graduated from UA Little Rock with a degree in political science and minor in secondary education. She worked in English education in the Republic of Georgia as a member of the Peace Corps. Burrow’s public service interests include education reform, civil rights, and social justice.
Mark Cameron (Fayetteville, Ark.) – A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Cameron majored in international relations and Latin American studies with a minor in Spanish. He worked on the Council of Hemispheric Affairs and was an English teacher in the Heart For Change Colombia Bilingüe English program. Cameron was a senator for the UA Fayetteville Associated Student Government and a youth leader at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. His areas of public service interest include equal and equitable access to education both in the United States and abroad, youth development, and immigrant rights.
Rachel Cole (Bloomington, Ind.) – A graduate of Smith College, Cole majored in art history. Her work experience includes multiple positions with Teach For America in Arkansas. As a volunteer, she has worked with GLSEN Southeast Arkansas, Friends of Ouachita Trail and Smith College. Cole’s areas of public service interest include conservation, empowerment and leadership of young women, educational equity, and social justice.
Nathan Davis (Sherwood, Ark.) – Davis is a graduate of UA Little Rock with a degree in philosophy and minor in history. He served five years in the United States Coast Guard and has volunteered in numerous political campaigns. His public service areas of interest include Native American communities and encouraging engagement in the political process.
Joshua DeBruyn (Grand Rapids, Mich.) – A graduate of Grand Valley State University, DeBruyn holds a degree in psychology. His volunteer work includes time with AmeriCorps Austin, specializing in English/Spanish literacy for elementary school children, and working with refugees and irregular immigrants. His public service interests include international relations, foreign policy, and civil rights.
Connor Donovan (Little Rock, Ark.) – Donovan graduated from UA Little Rock with a degree in international business with a Chinese concentration. In addition to being voted Student Government Association President as a senior, Donovan was named the Whitbeck Memorial Award winner in May 2017 as the university’s top graduating senior. He helped to establish the Arkansas Association of Students, an organization representing SGAs for public universities and community colleges in Arkansas. His public service interests include international relations, educational equity, and strategic urban planning.
Dylan Edgell (Pottsville, Ark.) – Edgell graduated from Arkansas Tech University as a double major in economics and finance and management and marketing. He was an Arkansas Fellow and corporate assistant buyer with Dillard’s Inc. Additionally, he interned in the United States House of Representatives. His areas of interest in public service include economic development, poverty, and education.
Connor Flocks (Greenwood, Ark.) – A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Flocks earned a degree in marketing with a minor in economics while being voted Student Body President. The Arkansas Alumni Association announced Flocks as a winner of the Senior Honor Citation in May 2017, given annually to the top two seniors on UA Fayetteville’s campus. He was a strong advocate for college student voting rights in Washington County and implemented the first Color Those Hogs 5K, a homecoming color run benefiting Full Circle Campus Food Pantry. Flocks’ public service interests include economic development, voter rights, and mental health.
Marina Giannirakis (Pittsburgh, Pa.) – A graduate of John Carroll University, Giannirakis earned her degree in sociology and criminology while minoring in entrepreneurship. She interned with the Legal Aid of Arkansas and American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration. Additionally, she acquired volunteer experience at a juvenile detention center in Cleveland, Ohio. Her public service interests include immigrant and refugee rights, criminal justice system reform, and women’s rights.
Starre Haas (Little Rock, Ark.) – Haas graduated from UA Little Rock with degrees in finance and accounting. She is currently serving in leadership with the Little Rock Beautiful Commission and is the former president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. Her volunteer experience includes time as a team member for the Food for Good program. Haas’s areas of public service interest include urban planning and development, social justice, civil rights, and youth empowerment.
Nicole Hellthaler (Trumbull, Conn.) – A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a degree in speech therapy, Hellthaler is an alum of Teach For America and has worked as a high school teacher and After School Community Service Director. She created Serve El Dorado, which helped organize volunteer work for more than 150 students around the Arkansas town. Her areas of public service interest include civic education and participation, food security, and women’s rights.
Mariella Hernandez (Guayaquil, Ecuador) – A graduate of UA Little Rock, Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in philosophy and religious studies. In addition to her work as supervisor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science Office of Translation and Interpreting Services, she has served as an advocate for the Hispanic community in Arkansas for more than 15 years. Hernandez’s public service interests include children and women’s rights, public health, social justice, food and housing accessibility, and international affairs.
John Jackson (Little Rock, Ark.) – Jackson graduated from UA Little Rock with a degree in anthropology and is pursuing a concurrent master’s degree in public health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science. A United States Marine Corps member, he participated in several humanitarian operations. Jackson also worked as an EMT-B/Medic providing field care and treatment to civilians and military personnel with the Arkansas Army National Guard. His areas of public service interest include international relations, access to healthcare, renewable energy, and access to safe drinking water.
Julie Joy (Portland, Maine) – Joy earned an undergraduate degree in sociology from Clark University before earning her master’s degree in social work from the Smith School for Social Work. Her work experience includes eight years in the Veterans Healthcare System in Arkansas and Maine. Additionally, Joy spent time as a relief house parent to adolescent mothers and adolescents in the Massachusetts welfare system. Joy’s public service interests include combat veteran community reintegration and military family support to facilitate healing and recovery.
Nicole Kanu (Little Rock, Ark.) – A graduate of Bates College with a degree in rhetoric, Kanu is the founder of the Share a Smile Box initiative, a project dedicated to putting smiles on unsuspecting faces by sharing boxes full of gifts. Her first project took place in Eastern Nigeria. Kanu’s areas of interest in public service include hunger relief solutions and rural development.
Eric Kouadio (Dabou, Côte D’Ivoire) – A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Kouadio earned a degree in political science. While at UCA, he was involved in Model United Nations and served at the Arkansas Dream Center in Conway. His areas of public service interest include economic development, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, and social justice.
Wes Manus (Little Rock, Ark.) – A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and the University of Oklahoma, Manus holds a bachelor’s degree in political science (UA Fayetteville) and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in international relations (OU). He is currently pursuing a concurrent juris doctor at William H. Bowen School of Law. Manus also worked as an intelligence officer and strategic planner in the United States Air Force. Manus’s areas of public service interest include access to justice, humanitarian and disaster relief, international development and entrepreneurship, and economic development.
Patrick Allen McBride (Washington, D.C.) – A graduate of Christopher Newport University, McBride graduated with an interdisciplinary degree in psychology, sociology, and leadership studies. His work experience includes eight years with various nonprofits. As a volunteer, he has 16 years of experience working in various capacities with LGBTQIA+ serving non-profits, advocacy coalitions, and community groups. McBride’s areas of public service interest include queer/LGBTQIA+ communities, health, empowerment, and rights; substance abuse, addiction, and recovery; and social justice.
Christine McCall (Chicago, Ill.) – A graduate of Boston University with a degree in journalism, McCall worked as a general assignment reporter for The Boston Globe, Bay State Banner and The Newport Daily News. Most recently, she worked as a grant writer at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago, Ill. McCall served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan from 2012-13. Her areas of public service interest include women empowerment, higher education, and healthcare access.
John Mensah (Accra, Ghana) – A graduate of the University of Cape Coast with a degree in social sciences, Nsaman has worked as an assistant field officer with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection. As a volunteer, he was as a liaison with the District Social Development Officers (DSDOs) to get low-income people enrolled onto social intervention plans in rural communities. Nsaman’s public service interests include international politics, poverty reduction, and economic and community development.
Yaala Muller (Modi’in, Israel) – Muller is a graduate of the Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in international and area studies and women, gender, and sexuality studies. She spent the summer of 2016 as an intern at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. Muller brings volunteer experience with Seeds of Peace, an organization that brings Israeli and Palestinian youth together to engage in dialogue. Muller’s areas of public service interest include conflict mediation between disparate groups, women’s rights, social justice, and equal representation in government.
Adriana Isabel Ongay (Philadelphia, Pa.) – Ongay is a graduate of Millersville University with a degree in government and political affairs with a minor in Latino studies. She was the vice president of the student-run organization Society On Latino Affairs, which held workshops, lectures, and hosted speakers focusing on the Latino community. Additionally, she was the peer leader for the Latino Student Leadership Institute at Millersville. Ongay’s areas of public service interest include civil rights, women’s rights, and issues facing the Latino community.
Izehi Oriaghan (Lagos, Nigeria) – Oriaghan is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University with a degree in international relations. Her work experience includes time as Senior Administrative Officer at the Lagos Waste Management Authority under the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment. Oriaghan also spent time volunteering as a development knowledge facilitator on the Millennium Development Goals Community Advocacy Project. Her public service interests include international development, international economics, and environmental politics.
Tiffany Phillips-Peters (Detroit, Mich.) – A graduate of Philander Smith College with a degree in political science, Phillips-Peters served internships with the Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association and the Young People’s Project in Boston, Mass. Her public service volunteer experience includes assisting students in Philander Smith’s Academic Success Achievement Program. Phillips-Peters’s areas of public service interest are at-risk youth, civil rights, education reform, and social justice.
Wesley Prewett (Russellville, Ark.) – A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Prewett earned undergraduate degrees in economics and finance. In addition to an internship with Southern Bancorp Community Partners, he was the director of campus sustainability for Associated Student Government and acquired valuable public service experience with the University of Arkansas Community Development in Mozambique. Prewett’s public service interests include international development, economic growth, financial inclusion, sustainability, and food security.
Beth Quarles (Nashville, Tenn.) – Quarles is a graduate of Lipscomb University with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in teaching English language learners and instructional leadership. She spent time as an English and American Culture instructor at Three Gorges University in Yinchang, China. Additionally, Quarles has experience as a community organizer in northeast Arkansas. Her areas of public service interest include education, women’s issues, and social justice.
Kirby Richardson (Rogers, Ark.) – A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas as a double major in history and religious studies, Richardson has collected a variety of volunteer and public service experience. In addition to his time with Habitat for Humanity, he has volunteered as a history and social studies tutor and writing editor for University College Program. Richardson’s public service interests include social justice, prison reform, poverty relief, employment and housing non-discrimination, and equal access to quality education.
Mallory Rusch (St. Louis, Mo.) – A graduate of Bradley University with a degree in communications, Rusch has worked as a senior consultant for Gladiator Consulting, a managing director for leadership and community for Teach For America—St. Louis, and communications director for The Mission Continues. She founded the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of St. Louis and has volunteered with local political campaigns. Rusch’s areas of public service interest include racial and gender equity, criminal justice reform, and public education.
Madhav Shroff (Hot Springs, Ark.) – Shroff graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences before earning his master’s in biomedical sciences at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science. He is currently pursuing a concurrent juris doctor at William H. Bowen School of Law. Shroff’s work experience includes time as a team leader and AmeriCorps member for City Year of Little Rock. Additionally, he was a legal fellow for Hillary For America. His areas of public service interest include access to healthcare, education reform, public interest law, and access to justice.
Joseph Stepina (Coppell, Texas) – Stepina is a graduate of Hendrix College with a degree in politics and is currently pursuing a concurrent juris doctor at UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. He has worked as a deputy court clerk in the Faulkner County Court District. Stepina’s public service interests include criminal justice reform, education, and social justice.
Amy B. Stewart (Lancaster, Pa.) – Stewart graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., with a degree in liberal arts. She worked as a team leader with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and as a site coordinator with Chestnut Housing Corporation. Additionally, she has worked with the Mennonite Disaster Service in Mississippi and Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP) in Kentucky. Stewart’s public service interests include accessible food, affordable housing, sustainability, education, and community building.
Alex Stradal (St. Louis, Mo.) – A graduate of Truman State University, Stradal earned a degree in philosophy and religion while minoring in English. Over the past two years, Stradal has served as a team leader with the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, leading crews in response to natural disasters and overseeing conservation projects. Stradal’s public service interests include disaster preparation and response, water accessibility and conservation.
Sara Swisher (Memphis, Tenn.) – A graduate of Christian Brothers University, Swisher earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in sustainability. She has worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and Food Policy Coordinator at Memphis Tilth. As a student at Christian Brothers University, she founded and coordinated a food pantry for students, faculty, and staff. Swisher was also president of Student Sustainability at CBU. Her areas of public service interest include food systems change, nutrition, public health, and education.
Allison Tschiemer (Dallas, Texas) – Tschiemer, who graduated from Hendrix College with a degree in history, is pursuing a concurrent juris doctor at UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. She has worked with the Arkansas Municipal League, City Year of Little Rock, and Little Rock Parks and Recreation. Additionally, she served in Vinh Linh, Vietnam, while documenting the state of education, gender relations, and memories of the Vietnam War. Tschiemer’s public service interests include youth empowerment, education reform, historical representation, and reproductive rights.
Clay Turner (Leachville, Ark.) – Turner graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. In addition to internships with United States Congressman and the Arkansas Lieutenant Governor, he has worked to bring attention to the arts in northeast Arkansas through the Foundation of Arts in Jonesboro. Turner’s public service interests include arts policy and human rights.
Brian Wegner (Saginaw, Mich.) – A graduate of Michigan State University, Wegner earned his bachelor’s degree in physiology. His AmeriCorps NCCC team leadership experience includes renovating a veterans therapy center in New Mexico and restoring woodland areas of Wildwood Park for the Arts in Little Rock. His public service interests include affordable housing, local food access, public health, and environmental sustainability.
Nora Viñas (Miami, Fla.) – A graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, Viñas majored in psychology with a minor in international and global studies. Her experience includes time as a clinician working with children to improve reading and comprehension at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes. Viñas was a Bonner Leader, a four-year service internship at Sewanee. Her public service interests include immigration, youth empowerment, civic engagement, and women’s rights.
Rebecca Bryan Webber (Little Rock, Ark.) – Webber graduated from Ouachita Baptist University as a double major in music and business administration with an emphasis in management. Her work experience includes time as a recruitment specialist with the Girl Scouts and an internship in Senator Mark Pryor’s office in Washington D.C. Webber brings volunteer experience with STEP Ministries and the ACANSA Arts Festival – Avant Garde Committee. Her areas of interest in public service include community asset building and economic development.
Marquisa Wince (Milwaukee, Wisc.) – Wince graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a double major in economics and sociology. Her work experience includes time as a legal advocate at Legal Action of Wisconsin. Wince’s public service and volunteer experience includes UW-Oshkosh Social Justice Club, UW-Oshkosh Rainbow Alliance for HOPE, UW-Milwaukee University Legal Clinic, AmeriCorps–Public Allies of Milwaukee, and Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Eviction Defense Project. Her areas of public service interest include economic development of communities of color, poverty and homelessness, prison work, and LGBT rights.
Karen Zuccardi (Bogotá, Colombia) – A graduate of Lafayette College with a degree in international economics and commerce, Zuccardi worked in international order management with Georg Fischer Harvel LLC. Her volunteer experience includes serving on the board of directors at Firehouse Hostel and Museum and working with the City of Little Rock’s Sustainability Commission. Zuccardi’s areas of public service interest include sustainability, community education, and civil rights.