This fall, Camille Gilmore-Clinton will enroll in the Ph.D. program for public policy at the University of Arkansas, specializing in social justice.
“This research will allow me to develop and implement policies that will improve lives equitably,” said Gilmore-Clinton, who will officially earn her Master of Public Service at Saturday’s Commencement Ceremony.
The University of Arkansas’s public policy program focuses on training leaders who will directly affect issues relevant to the people of Arkansas, the region, and the nation. The specialization in social justice enables students to assess the impact of public policies on members of traditionally marginalized and underrepresented groups, as well as on the larger society.
Gilmore-Clinton, who also holds degrees from UA Little Rock in economics and Finance, said that she wants to use her education to begin a career in academia.
“The career path I plan to take is teaching,” Gilmore-Clinton said. “There is a dire need for Ph.Ds. of color with the increase in diversity of students.”
Experiences at the Clinton School are what steered her into UAF’s program for public policy, she explained. Specifically, her three field service projects working with the City of Little Rock and the Mayor’s Office impacted her decision to pursue a Ph.D. in public policy.
“My experience completing all three Clinton School field projects with the City of Little Rock's Small Business Development Office and Mayor's Office steered me into the public policy realm after working with women minority business entrepreneurs,” Gilmore-Clinton said.
Gilmore-Clinton’s first year at the Clinton School included a team-based Practicum project that partnered with the City of Little Rock to research best practices for increasing women-owned or minority-owned business enterprises (WMBE) vendor participation and contract spending. The team presented its findings at the Southwestern Social Science Association Annual Meeting in April.
In the summer of 2021, Gilmore-Clinton again partnered with the City of Little Rock. Working with the city’s Small Business Development Office, she researched barriers to business development and wealth for traditionally underserved communities. Her research included data analysis and assisted in the implementation of Little Rock’s Businesses United in Leadership Development (BUILD) Academy, a 12-week business development initiative that walks local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs through topics pertaining to business essentials.
Most recently, Gilmore-Clinton’s Capstone project created a system of metrics and measures to evaluate the success of BUILD Academy and to identify areas of improvement for future cohorts.
Gilmore-Clinton said that, for her, two of the most impactful courses at the Clinton School were Communication and Social (Ex)Change and Philanthropy Leadership and the Nonprofit Sector.
“One of my favorite courses at the Clinton School was Communication and Social (Ex)Change with Robert Richards,” Gilmore-Clinton said. “Communication is one of the most important life skills you can utilize. I enjoyed learning about how communication is guided by race, ethnicity, and culture. Effective communication is mandatory in public service. The course enabled and enhanced my communication skills to be heard and to hear what others have to say overall.”
“Another one of my favorite courses was Philanthropy Leadership and the Nonprofit Sector. I love learning all of the components of community philanthropy such as capacity building, the research aspect, and how effective you can be locally.”
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.