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Forsman came to the Clinton School as a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in psychology. His public service experience, at that time, was limited to working as a mental health case manager in southern Mississippi.
Through his work with the Clinton School faculty and staff, Forsman was able to switch paths. His field work at UACS included time with the Arkansas Behavioral Health Planning Advisory Council, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and Belize Ministry of Education. While he came to Little Rock with a strong research background, his time with the Clinton School showed him how to use that research as a tool in public service.
Can you tell me about your background in public service before coming to the
Clinton School? How did you hear about the Clinton School?
One of the things that set me apart from most of the people at the Clinton School is that I really didn’t have much public service experience before I applied. The main piece of public service experience I had was working as a traveling community mental health case manager. Other than that, I mostly had a research background.
I was on a track to apply for traditional social psychology Ph.D. programs, but I wasn’t finding many programs that fit with my values and what I was looking for. I wanted something that was very hands-on and applied, and was looking for universities that weren’t necessarily afraid to take a stance or pick a side so to speak—to say these are our values and here’s how we practice them. More than anything, I wanted to go somewhere where the work was fueled by a strong sense of purpose.
I found out about the Clinton School from my research mentor. She told me that this wasn’t a Ph.D. program, and wasn’t necessarily what I had been looking at, but the way I talked about what I wanted sounded like what the Clinton School was doing. She told me to check it out.
Once I looked into it, I thought it looked great, and I had to visit. I had never been to Arkansas before. My sister and I made the trip, I did an interview with Alex Thomas, and I knew I wanted to go there.
The Clinton School is where I really found work that was hands-on, applied, service-minded, multi-disciplinary, and that fit what I wanted to do. I may not have had the same type of direct service experience as a lot of my classmates and a lot of the other alums, but I was interested in using research to help people, and this was a way that I found to do that.
How much of your work with the Arkansas Behavioral Health Planning Advisory Council (ABHPAC) and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital was done through the Clinton School? How much of that helped you with your program evaluation piece?
Everything I did from working with ABHPAC up until I came to UAMS was done during my time at the Clinton School. We did asset mapping for ABHPAC and some basic program evaluation to help the staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital create their own evaluation plan.
Then with Ministry of Education in Belize, I was doing evaluations of programs they have with financial literacy and evaluation capacity building work so they could bring themselves to a level where they could do more in the future. Similarly, with AmeriCorps and DHS I led a collaborative organizational change effort focused on building their evaluation capacity, trying to shore up some of their measures and making sure there are different evaluation processes for the different things that they do.
At the same time, I was there to do a case study of that whole process to inform the national AmeriCorps office. There are AmeriCorps offices across the country at the state level that are trying to upgrade their evaluation capacity, and some of them are having an easier time doing it than others. National was interested in using Arkansas as a test state, and while I am in there doing the capacity building, also do a case study of that change process to help other commissions in other states possibly learn from our experience.
All of this was done through the Clinton School. These were amazing opportunities, especially the work I did with AmeriCorps and the Ministry of Education in Belize, that I had never dreamed were possible for someone to do before I came to the Clinton School. I turned in that case study to the National Director of AmeriCorps, who I met at a speaker event—that’s kind of crazy to think about.
That was one of the things that I think is really unique about the program in comparison to others – you’re in this environment where if you work really hard and you’re dedicated, opportunities that don’t typically exist are found in abundance in the Clinton School environment. It feels like you’re standing next to a rocket ship and all you have to do is grab hold of the rocket ship and you’re gone. I’m glad I went. Those were hands down the greatest two years of my life.
Did your career path change after being in the Clinton School or were your interests upon leaving fairly consistent with those you had coming in?
Finding program evaluation as a branch of applied research, I didn’t really know that existed before I came to the Clinton School. Having such a hands-on, multi-disciplinary approach to research that was all about helping people learn and do good, better, was a perfect match for me.
Also, while at the Clinton School I really wanted to transition paths. I talked to the faculty and staff about how to do this successfully. Up until that point, I had a background and a degree in psychology. I had some experience working as a case manager, and my resume didn’t have much service experience. We would do resume workshops, and the staff told me my resume read like someone who wanted to do mental health research. I knew it read like that, but I wanted to switch. I wanted to do other things, so I asked how, and they helped me figure out how to make the switch, to start building a new “story” on my resume though actively shaping my fieldwork.
The way I look at my career now, rather than being an expert in any one content area or sector, I’m trying to perfect the same core set of evaluation skills while working with different organizations in different sectors. So I’m doing evaluation capacity-building and different types of evaluations, but I’m doing them with hospitals, nonprofits, nutrition education outreach programs, in national service settings, etc., and also doing them with government organizations in other countries. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m doing evaluation in early childhood education at UAMS.
Just being able to make that switch between feeling like I was not that far from becoming pigeon-holed as just a mental health researcher, to now where I feel like I can make the case in any job interview that I know how to do evaluation, and I can learn the content necessary around whatever sector I’m working in. Essentially, just being able to make that pivot and being able to make a unique sell for myself as a professional is very nice. Instead of “mental health researcher” my experience now reads “multi-sector evaluator” and that’s exactly the kind of career I want to have.
Can you explain what you’re doing at UAMS now?
I have a group of early childhood education programs that I am the Internal Evaluator for. I don’t do as many evaluations as I did in the past, because I also do a lot of research support for our faculty, but I’ve been working on finishing up creating a long-term evaluation framework for the main program I work with.
They are toward the end of their first grant cycle. They’ve tried a lot of different things, as programs do when getting off the ground and trying to get your service delivery perfected. Now they’re in a phase where they’re more stable, and they understand their market and how they need to approach what they’re doing. They really need help creating a stable evaluation framework for the future. So, it’s working with the trainers, and trying to create something that reflects the work that they do, and how to measure that, and tell that story.
One of the great things about where I’m at now is the faculty really encourage our people to develop their interests, even if it doesn’t fall strictly under what their job description is. I also do a lot of work with data visualization and making sure we are presenting our important work in ways that are visually and verbally compelling. I’ve also started going out and talking to people in my network and going to different events to sell some of my time as an evaluation contractor.
Is there anything you want to include from your time at the Clinton School?
The only thing I would add is I want to make sure I say that even though I put in a lot of work at the Clinton School, I had really great mentors too. Any time that I reached out to them, whether it be a problem I was having, or not knowing how to approach a certain situation, or even getting ready to go into a new situation that I think might be a problem, they would encourage me and help me think through how to deal with it. Having all of that support and having other people look out for you like that is great. It was one of the things that helped me be so successful at the Clinton School.
For the 11th consecutive year, students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service have compiled a list of books they recommend others read.
The books will be on display at a drop-in reception tonight at Wordsworth Bookstore (5920 R Street) in The Heights from 5-6:30 p.m. All are welcome to visit with the students and hear about their wide range of reading selections.
“This always interesting and diverse book list has become a much-anticipated tradition here at the Clinton School,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “We have requests for it from individuals, teachers, book clubs, libraries, and bookstores from all over the country.”
More than half of the book recommendations from the Class of 2019 are nonfiction, while nearly a third were written by women. The books range in date from Meno, written by Plato in the third century B.C., to Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, released in November 2016.
Of the 43 recommendations, 33 are first-time selections since students began recommending books in 2007. Nathan Davis chose A Pryor Commitment: The Autobiography of David Pryor, written by founding dean of the Clinton School David Pryor. Tiffany Phillips-Peters chose Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals, a member of the Little Rock Nine.
The books will be on display at Sturgis Hall throughout the 2017-18 school year and will be added to the school’s permanent collection. Printed lists will also be available at Wordsworth Books in Little Rock and at the Central Arkansas Library System’s main library.
Recommended Reading From The Class of 2019
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Flowers for Algernon
by Daniel Keyes
When and Where I Enter
by Paula Giddings
Narcissus and Goldmund
by Hermann Hesse
Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer
Blue Highways: A Journey Into America
By William Least Heat Moon
A Pryor Commitment: The Autobiography of David Pryor
by David Pryor with Don Harrell
Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013
by Noam Chomsky
by George Orwell
by Marcus Arelius
Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
by Thomas L. Friedman
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
by Gregory Boyle
How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life
by Geoffrey Lewis, Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston
Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert
A Message to Garcia
by Elbert Hubbard
Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst
The Skin I’m In
by Sharon G. Flake
Model Man: From Integrity to Legacy
by Larry Stockstill
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, An Inquiry Into Values
by Robert Pirsig
Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Cafe
by Fanny Flag
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality
by Anthony de Mello
New International Version
Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch Albom
Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
by Juan Gonzalez
by David Baldacci
Warriors Don’t Cry
by Melba Pattillo Beals
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
by J.D. Vance
Walk Across America
by Peter Jenkins
A Fine Balance
by Rohinton Mistry
Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It
by Shelly Tochluk
The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch
The Chosen Place, The Timeless People
by Paule Marshall
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
by Richard Bach
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
by James Joyce
Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
by Christopher R. Browning
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
No Future Without Forgiveness
by Desmond Tutu
Dispatches From Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta
by Richard Grant
The Worst Journey in the World
by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement
by Angela Y. Davis
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Clinton School alum Jenna Rhodes currently works as a program manager for the Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program and the program operations manager for Arkansas GardenCorps at the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute. As a UACS student, Rhodes was a member of the Practicum team assigned to Delta Garden Study which has since evolved into Arkansas Farm to School, a Practicum project she now helps supervise.
Rhodes and fellow Clinton School alum Emily English will lead a group of students looking to map existing assets that could potentially support farm-to-institution programs across Arkansas. Students will research and review other local food system statewide asset maps from across the nation, aggregate existing databases of assets from various organizations and agencies, and create new databases for currently missing information, all of which will inform the development of a searchable map to be housed online.
In addition to her time with the Clinton School, Rhodes earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Northwest Missouri State University before completing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She taught high school science for six years and served as the state coordinator of the Missouri Environmental Literacy Plan. In addition to her master’s degree in public service from the Clinton School, she earned a concurrent master’s degree in public health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science.
What do you remember most about your Practicum project?
It was with the Delta Garden Study, which provided schools with a 1 acre garden, a greenhouse, and a full-time garden manager who also offered nutrition education through a curriculum aligned to the state standards, in order to determine changes to fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, achievement, school bonding, and social risk behaviors. That was the first sort of foray into school gardens, and developing some of the background research that was missing in order to show the link between gardening and health and academic outcomes.
Did you enjoy the project overall?
I did. It was really interesting. I think that it was a great example of what the Clinton School offers in terms of real-world projects for students. My background was teaching high school science, and I knew I wanted a career change and to get into the nonprofit world. Originally, I thought I would end up doing something more technical in the environmental arena, but I fell in love with this work through the Clinton School. I think that working on a real-world project with a meaningful mission and learning the skills of qualitative and quantitative data collection, key informant interviews, and coding have become important to me. I have no idea where I would’ve learned those skills if it weren’t for the Clinton School. I use those skills all the time in my work, and they’re really important to what we do here with developing evidence and research.
Has the project changed at all since you were a student?
The Delta Garden Study was a time-bound grant. However, the Delta Garden Study is what led to the development and creation of Arkansas GardenCorps, which is now a program in its sixth year with the Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program. I think it’s really become a key asset in Arkansas for meeting the need and placing service members in community and school gardens all over the state, as well as offering nutrition education and access to healthy food for communities. I think it absolutely played a big role in the realization that there was a real need to provide assistance to school and community gardens all across the state.
What are your goals for the Clinton School students to take away from this Practicum project?
I think that we have been growing and building Farm to School and Farm to Institution with a ton of great partners all across the state. These include different agencies and organizations and different departments and stakeholders. Being able to bring together existing data from multiple partners and networks and get them all in one place and be able to look at an actual map to see what exists in the state, is going to be so important in us moving forward in terms of local and regional food system development. Also, being able to share that with our partners who are working on different pieces of the puzzle will help us focus and be really efficient in the way we work with one another. It’s going to be an incredible resource, and there’s no way we could do it without the Clinton School. We just don’t have the capacity to take on that project. It’s been something that we’ve wanted to do for a couple years, and until we were able to work with the Clinton School on it, we haven’t had the capacity to do it, so we are so thrilled.
Supervisors: James Hopper and Alicia Humbard
The EAST Initiative began in a single classroom of at-risk high school students and has expanded to serve more than 20,000 students annually, from elementary to college. The team will assist in conducting focus groups with stakeholders at elementary school EAST programs to better understand the unique opportunities and challenges of technology-focused, project-based learning at this age. The students will identify best practices that can be replicated throughout all of our elementary EAST programs.
Mission Statement: The EAST Initiative provides all learners with the opportunity to have relevant, individualized, life-changing educational experiences.
“We could not ask for better partners than the practicum students at the Clinton School of Public Service. We’ve seen tremendous things happening in our elementary school EAST programs and the opportunity to gain original insights from these bright, dedicated scholars will be of tremendous value to EAST’s mission of providing educational opportunities to all learners.” – Matt Dozier, President and CEO of the EAST Initiative
Supervisors: Emily English and Jenna Rhodes
The team will map existing assets that could potentially support farm-to-institution programs across Arkansas. Students will research and review other local food system statewide asset maps from across the nation, aggregate existing databases of assets from various organizations and agencies, and create new databases for currently missing information, all of which will inform the development of a searchable map to be housed online. As part of the process, students will develop a dissemination plan based on key informant interviews conducted with representatives of major stakeholders within the farm-to-institution community, such as the Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Agriculture Department, schools, and hospitals.
Mission Statement: To address the multi-faceted problem of childhood obesity through a coordinated, community-based approach targeting modifiable individual risk behaviors, environmental risk behaviors, and state and national risk reduction policies. The program’s approach is focused on food systems and sustainable agriculture strategies with the specific aim of reducing the number of obese children in the state through research, education and prevention.
“The Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute is thrilled to collaborate with another Clinton School Practicum team on mapping existing farm to institution assets across the state of Arkansas. This project will enable us and our partners to build on and enhance assets, address infrastructure gaps, and inform programming needs and future research questions.” – Dr. Judith Weber, Director, Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention; and Principle Investigator, Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program
American foreign correspondent Nick Schifrin, currently a special correspondent at PBS NewsHour, will be a visiting fellow for the second consecutive year at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service during the 2017-18 academic year.
Schifrin’s first campus visit is scheduled for September 10-11. He will lead one of the year’s first public programs – “Unwrapping the Russian Riddle” – in Sturgis Hall at noon on Monday, September 11 in an event that is free and open to the public.
Schifrin has reported from more than 35 countries. At NewsHour, he has covered foreign affairs from Washington, D.C., and created week-long, in-depth series from Russia, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Ukraine, Cuba, Mexico, and the Baltics. He has also served as the NPR Jerusalem correspondent, the ABC News Afghanistan/Pakistan correspondent, and the Al Jazeera America Middle East Correspondent. He has won Emmy, Overseas Press Club, National Headliners, and Edward R. Murrow awards.
Most recently, Schifrin offered an inside look at Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s influence with the week-long PBS NewsHour series “Inside Putin’s Russia.” Schifrin and producer Zach Fannin traveled to more than a dozen cities and conducted 40 interviews while reporting on Russian identity, propaganda, and opposition, among a range of other topics.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach and mentor the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service’s wonderful students,” Schifrin said. “And I am looking forward to bringing my overseas experience to the classroom, to Little Rock, and to the region.”
“We are excited to have Nick Schifrin back as a visiting fellow for a second year at the Clinton School,” Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III said. “His fellowship last year was very successful and popular among the students. We look forward to his special insight and expertise in the classroom again this year.”
Schifrin will visit the Clinton School every six to eight weeks to conduct a year-long student seminar. His time at the Clinton School will include working with faculty and staff while meeting with and mentoring students, both on campus and remotely. In addition to his public program on Sept. 11, he will speak at the Clinton School and other locations on the intersection of United States foreign policy, public diplomacy, and journalism.
Schifrin is a previous guest of the Clinton School Speaker Series. His lecture from March 2016 – “Understanding and Empathy Over Narrow-Mindedness and Fear” – can be viewed online. His interview with Director of Public Programs Nikolai DiPippa for NPR affiliate KUAR on Clinton School Presents, a weekly dialogue of distinguished guests that visit the Clinton School, can also be heard online.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy will host a reception on Thursday, September 7 at 5 p.m. in Sturgis Hall to release its first Researcher in Residence study, completed in partnership with Our House, Inc.
Our House is a local nonprofit that utilizes a multi-generational approach to assist homeless and near-homeless families transition into the workforce and civic life.
Dr. Muthusami Kumaran was the 2016 Center on Community Philanthropy’s Researcher in Residence. Our House Executive Director Georgia Mjartan and members of her staff worked with Dr. Kumaran in partnership with the Center on Community Philanthropy to craft a meaningful data project aimed to build capacity for innovative data collection and analysis as Our House continues its work toward its powerful mission.
“Strengthening capacity of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector is critical for communities across the state,” said Dr. Charlotte Williams, Associate Professor and Director of the Center on Community Philanthropy. “We are excited to share the findings from the project with our partners and cultivate more data driven practice within the field.”
Dr. Kumaran is currently an assistant professor of Nonprofit Management and Community Organizations in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences at the University of Florida. He received a Ph.D. in Urban and Public Affairs from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Madras, India, where he also earned two master’s degrees and a Bachelor of Science.
“Positioning our students to better understand assessment tools and compete in a data driven world was another benefit of hosting the Researcher in Residence here at our school,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “We look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.”
This project is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit wkkf.org.
About the Center on Community Philanthropy
Launched in 2007, the Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy was created to focus its teaching, research and policy-making exclusively on the emerging field of community philanthropy, the idea of giving and sharing time, talent, and treasure from within one’s own community. For further information, please visit the Center’s website.
Brandon Treviño, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, recently completed his International Public Service Project in Peru. Treviño worked with Awamaki, which helps women start and run their own businesses by investing in their skills and leadership and connecting them to global markets for their traditional hand-woven textiles.
A concurrent law degree student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, Treviño is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in political science.
What is the mission of Awamaki?
The mission of Awamaki is to increase the income for the indigenous women that live in Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley of Peru. Originally, when the organization I worked with started, they were involved in all services (health, etc.), and they decided that in order to be more effective, they should shift focus to a specific area where they excel. They looked into what they were doing best, and realized that it was increasing income for women. They did this through the women’s traditional textiles and giving them access to global markets in order to increase their income.
What are some specific examples of how Awamaki invested in women and connected them with different markets?
One of the biggest things we did was create weaving centers in two of the communities that we worked with. A perfect example is how Awamaki takes the funds from volunteers paying to be there and reinvests some of those funds into building these centers. Whether it’s through volunteers doing fundraising while they’re out there to get more money to invest back into the communities, or sales from the artisanal products, some of that money gets reinvested into the women to make the weaving centers.
These weaving centers are important because they provide the women with a centralized place to make products, collaborate on what products to sell, and explore how to make them better to sell, creating larger profits that go back into the community. Also, one of the projects I did that exemplifies how Awamaki invests in the women was empowerment workshops. We would help the women become better business leaders in the communities, and help them establish how to make high-quality products that cater to our clientele. Those are just a couple ways on how Awamaki reinvests in these women and tries to get them connected to the markets.
What were the challenges of Awamaki that you didn’t expect?
There were aspects of it that I anticipated through working with a nonprofit in such a rural part of Peru. The communication sometimes is very slow. The pace of life is very slow. A concrete example is how my team and I were charged with doing demographic surveys of all the women, and sometimes we would set it up with the Peruvian staff in a certain community, and they would plan on doing the interviews and demographic surveys on certain days, but once the day of the interviews came, the women weren’t there because they had forgotten it was that day. So, they’d have to push it back a day or two. This is just an example of how the pace of life there is a lot different.
Even just finding vehicles or finding enough space to take all of us to these communities was hard at times. Those are just a few examples of how different challenges would present themselves in a way that I didn’t expect, but that’s the nature with a nonprofit in that area of the world.
How did you spend free time?
Free time was spent going on hikes and going to different communities. Ollantaytambo is located between Cusco and Machu Picchu, and there were so many cool things between those places. Cusco was awesome and a really cool city. Machu Picchu was breathtaking and beautiful. On weekends, there were so many sites to see. Some of the things I enjoyed were the ancient Incan ruins, the salineras, which are salt mines you could visit, and free hikes all around Ollantaytambo.
I did one hike that lasted five hours. It was free, and it was up to the top of the mountain Inti Punko, which means sun gate in Quechua. We hiked up for five hours, then we came down and camped overnight, and it was just so fun.
There were so many cool things. There was even night life in the city called Urubamba. You could go there if you wanted to go to a disco techa, or find a really nice place to eat. Overall, there was a lot to do in Ollantaytambo.
How did this effect your long-term career goals?
I found out my niche probably isn’t in international global development. I was thinking about this a little before I left, that I could have the most impact in my own home and my own community. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy my time and I think that I could do it in the future, it just reassured me that my biggest impact would be at home where I have the most connections. I noticed that the women who worked in my organization had the most effect on the women we worked with. They were Peruvian staff. They had personal connections with all the women, and kind of connected with them on a different level than I or some of the other volunteers could. I feel like they reacted better to the Peruvian staff who have the same experiences and speak the same language.
This made me realize that that’s the way I can be in my community; I can be a leader in my community. I think people respond more to people who share a connection with them. I feel like that can make a bigger impact. That’s not to say that people can’t have an impact internationally and in places where people need help, because that is still needed. Personally, it really solidified for me that I will probably have the strongest impact back home.
You are a concurrent student at the Bowen School of Law. How did this experience fit with that side of your education?
As far as being a law student and a master’s student, I wanted to supplement my law degree with something that was relevant to public service. I have always wanted to be in public service, whether that was nonprofit work or governmental work. I knew I wanted to have more than just a law degree, and this was the perfect component for that. I feel like being a lawyer is a form of public service, especially if you’re trying to help others. I want to be the best public servant, whether that’s in law or other places, and I feel like the Clinton School has given me that extra education on how to be the most effective public servant.
Were there other aspects of the experience that stood out?
I had an overall positive experience. This is the perfect way to see your Clinton School work put to actual use in the field. Practicum is great, but after you’ve had that practicum experience and all the classes, when you go out and do your IPSP project, you really see how the Clinton School has led the way to a career in international development, or whatever area you want to do your project in. That was a cool experience for me.
I literally could tell you about specific skills from every class that I put to use in the field. In our field research methods class, we learned how to do interviews, surveys, and data collection. I did all of that with my surveys, and I did a couple of interviews. Also, when we talked about program planning and evaluation, we went over logic models and how to plan these programs. I set up empowerment workshops and created logic models for my organization to use after I left. I used sustainability plans that I learned in our program planning class with Dr. Bavon, and I actually made those for my organization. Those are just two that I can think of. Even some soft skills that I learned through our global development class and other courses applied in the field. So that was really cool to see.
Graduates of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, who live and work all over the world, participated in a Global Day of Service on Saturday, August 19, 2017 to commemorate President Bill Clinton’s 71st birthday.
Below are quotes from alums across the country who participated.
“I had just moved from Arkansas to Washington, D.C., the week before the Global Day of Service. To meet and unite with fellow alums through our service project made me feel part of community in my new city. I was proud to think that our common bond is a commitment to public service, and that we enjoyed our day of service with our classmates around the world who also share that bond.” – Nathan Watson (’16)
“Participating in Saturday’s Global Day of Service was a great way to reconnect with some of my classmates while also giving back to our D.C. community. It felt good to participate in a relatively easy way – donate a few hours to picking up trash in a park – and yet have it be part of a larger collective effort. As Clinton School alumni, many of us spend our days trying to solve big and complex problems. Saturday was a nice reminder about the impact small yet meaningful undertakings can have.” – Maddy Salzman (’16)
“An important part of my Clinton School experience was developing relationships. The friendships I made with my classmates, the partnerships with my field service organizations, and the people I met through my professional and personal networks were hugely important to me. Participating in the Global Day of Service was a reminder of that community spirit that the Clinton School fosters. I loved working alongside old friends and meeting new ones while doing some good for our shared community.” – Emily Wernsdorfer (’14)