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The Conductor is a public-private partnership with the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie Consulting that is driving innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment in central Arkansas.
“As Program Manager, I will be leading the design and execution of The Conductor’s public programming,” Edgell said. “I will also be analyzing past data and developing a new framework for data collection and analysis for The Conductor.”
Edgell spent the summer of 2018 working in Ollantaytambo, Peru, with Awamaki, a nonprofit that helps Peruvian women start and run their own businesses, investing in their skills and leadership while connecting them to global markets. He was a part of a part of Awamaki’s monitoring and evaluation team, where he measured the social and economic impact of businesses on the community. He also analyzed sales data and helped the women develop business skills.
“There I had the opportunity to evaluate the economic impact of the organization on the women artisans that they work with and set up a sales analysis framework for Awamaki’s store in Ollantaytambo.”
Edgell is currently finishing his Capstone project with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. He is conducting a study on the experiences and outcomes of individuals participating in their collaborative programming.
Edgell graduated from Arkansas Tech University as a double major in economics and finance and management and marketing. He served as president of the largest student group on campus, Enactus, an entrepreneurial club organized through the university’s college of business.
Before enrolling at the Clinton School, Edgell was an Arkansas Fellow and worked at Dillard’s as a Corporate Assistant Buyer. He also interned with U.S. Representative Steve Womack of the third congressional district of Arkansas.
As part of the Clinton School’s ongoing commitment to public service and tradition of Giving at Graduation, the school will collect socks, checks, and cash for “A Bridge to Work,” at its 2019 Commencement Ceremony. This year’s commencement is set for Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center.
A City of Little Rock partnership with Canvas Community Church, “A Bridge to Work,” offers same-day work opportunities to individuals experiencing homelessness through a six-month pilot program with the goal of connecting participants to stable employment.
The program is being created in part due to the work of graduating student Brian Wegner (Saginaw, Mich.), whose survey on local homelessness was part of his project collaboration with City Director Kathy Webb. The participants will be assigned work through the City of Little Rock Public Works Department and will be offered opportunities to obtain case management services and career counseling in an effort to assist them in finding permanent employment and housing.
The partnership is modeled after Albuquerque’s “There’s a Better Way” program. The official who oversees the program, Alan Armijo, spoke in Little Rock as part of the Clinton School Speaker Series in September 2018.
For those unable to attend graduation, tax deductible checks can be made payable to Canvas Community Church and mailed to: Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201, Attn: Annette Gary.
Since 2010, Giving at Graduation has been a part of the Clinton School’s commencement. Each year, the school selects a local organization and encourages students, family, and graduation attendees to bring items for that organization. Thousands of items have been donated and thousands of dollars have been raised.
Previous organizational recipients include Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS); Our House; Arkansas Children’s Hospital Mobile Dental Clinic; the Van; Jericho Way Resource Center; Central Arkansas Library System’s Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library; the Arkansas Food Bank; UA Little Rock Trojan Campus Food Pantry; and Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduate Thurman Green was announced as the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Young Alumni Award at Philander Smith College’s National Alumni Association Convention banquet on Saturday.
Green, who graduated from the Clinton School in 2017, was his class’s recipient of the Shannon Butler Bridge Builder Award, recognized as the school’s top honor.
A native of Pine Bluff, Green currently works with ForwARd Arkansas as a Policy and Community Engagement Associate in Lee County (Marianna) and Crossett.
He graduated from Philander Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and UA Little Rock with a master’s degree in public administration.
Green currently serves on the following boards: Urban League Young Professionals-Central Arkansas (Advocacy Chair), University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Alumni Advisory Board (Chair-Elect), EyeStrong Board (Vice President) and Arkansas Local Food Network (At-Large Member).
LRSC was established in 2008 as a Mayoral appointed task force. In September of 2018 the Board of Directors approved an ordinance to transition the Sustainability Commission from a task force to an official City commission.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to be the Vice Chair of the commission,” Zuccardi said. “I have been part of the commission for about three years now and during this time, we have worked hard to have a more beautiful and sustainable Little Rock. I hope my new role helps me make a bigger and more meaningful impact in the city I so dearly love.”
The Sustainability Commission was created for the purpose of studying sustainability and providing policy and program advice to the governing body of the city. The mission of the Sustainability Commission is to help research and develop strategies and innovations to promote environmental and economic health and prosperity within the city without creating unnecessary competition between various aspects of development.
Last summer, Zuccardi traveled to Bali, Indonesia, to work with Avani Eco, an organization with the vision to become the nation’s leading pioneer in sustainable alternatives, offering eco-friendly packaging products ranging from shopping bags, F&B packaging, and hotel amenities.
Several University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students pursuing concurrent law degrees from the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law are taking on clerkships, fellowships, and externships with law firms and judges this spring and summer.
Below is a closer look at their work:
A team of Clinton School students has spent the academic year working with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, assisting the organization in its fundraising strategy by interviewing current and past donors – including corporations, foundations, and individuals – to discover the reasons behind their motivations to donate to RMHC.
“One of the key points this project will research is donor motivation,” said Janell Mason, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. “Many times we don’t have the opportunity to get to know every donor in a one-on-one setting, so we don’t have the opportunity to learn their ‘why.’”
The interviews will offer comprehensive data on the donor perceptions of RMHC. Additionally, it will help inform potential future capital campaigns and will build on the work of a previous Clinton School Practicum team that worked with RMHC in 2017-18.
“We want to know more about how we have communicated with donors, why they choose to give to Ronald McDonald House, what they know about the organization, and what their likelihood is to give again, with the potential for our program expansion in the future,” Mason said.
The team – Christian Scott (Mountain View, Ark.), Corinne Kwapis (Fairview Heights, Ill.), Alex Tingquist (Little Rock, Ark.), Zach Baumgarten (Monticello, Ark.) – has distributed hundreds of surveys to current and past donors that cover a wide range of giving levels. As the responses come in, the team sees trends in what motivates the organization’s donor base. Specifically, the team has noticed that the organization’s mission of “enhancing the lives of children and their families by supporting programs that directly improve the health of children” is a leading motivator.
“They find it really special,” said Tingquist of the RMHC mission. “And a lot of people that answered that they’re motivated by the mission are the ones that are consistently donating.”
The team’s research and deliverable will build on the efforts of the 2017-18 Clinton School Practicum team that worked with RMHC to explore opportunities and timelines for the nonprofit to expand the organization’s services to area hospitals.
“We thought there would be one answer,” Mason said of the 2017-18 team’s final report. “But they gave us a zero-to-six-month plan, six-to-18 months, and then a long-term plan. It was comprehensive and highly beneficial.”
This year’s group will present its findings to RMHC Arkansas’s board of directors on April 11.
“Ultimately, this team will provide us with a comprehensive snapshot of our donors’ perception and valuable feedback,” Mason said. “Are we providing meaningful information to our donors? We want to be sure we are doing it in a measurable way and that they receive it in the most functional format.”
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduate Burt Hicks has been appointed Director, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Capital Bancshares, Inc. and The Capital Bank.
Hicks’ appointment was announced in conjunction with changes in the executive leadership team, along with Chris Roberts (Chairman and CEO) and Phillip Jett (Vice Chairman & President).
In addition to graduating with his Master of Public Service in 2013, Hicks earned a concurrent law degree from the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Hicks earned his undergraduate degree from the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Hicks has completed the Darden/SNL Financial Executive Program in Bank Financial Leadership from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
He was selected by Arkansas Business for its “20 in Their Twenties” and “40 Under 40” list of business people in Arkansas in 2013 and 2018, respectively. He is Chair-Elect for the Walton College of Business’ Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council and is a board member of Arkansas Fellowship.
In 2018, he was 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 previously served as President and CEO of the Simmons First Investment Group.
“We are excited to announce our new executive leadership team and are grateful for the opportunity. Phillip, Burt and I share a vision of providing exceptional customer service while delivering banking products with purpose, passion and precision,” said Chris Roberts, Chairman and CEO of the Capital Bank.
The Capital Bank opened in 1997 with a goal to serve the Central Arkansas community. Today, the bank has assets of $160 million and offers a comprehensive line of banking products for individuals, businesses and the public sector. Additional information about the Capital Bank can be found at TheCapitalBank.com.
Last year, Mercer served as a voting member on the LFAR Board of Directors in a supportive and creative capacity to signature programming and key events in the community.
Mercer, who graduates this May from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and dance from UA Little Rock. She has worked for The National Park Service, the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
Last summer, she traveled to Accra, Ghana to spend seven months with the Nubuke Foundation. Mercer created a strategic plan for the use of creative mediums to fulfill the foundation’s commitment to recording and preserving Ghanaian culture. Additionally, she assisted in the implementation of artistic programming, including theatre and poetry.
In January 2018, Mercer became the first Clinton School student to take part in the school’s Speaker Series, reading excerpts from her book of poetry, “A Love Story Waiting to Happen.”
Chandle Carpenter (Class 2) is a Dyslexia Specialist with the Little Rock School District.
Fernando Cutz (Class 6) will join the Latin America Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center as a Global Fellow.
Nick Provencher (Class 8) has accepted a new position as program manager in the Office of Organizational Performance and Engagement with the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
John Spears (Class 1), a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist with USAID in Mexico City, will relocate to the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan this summer.
Tina Tian (Class 3) is now managing the China Services Group at Grant Thornton, LLP, an accounting firm where she deals with China-related clients.