Thirty-three students from the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas will complete International Public Service Projects this summer as part of the school’s Master of Public Service degree program.
For the first time since 2019, a number of the projects will be completed on location with international organizations, as 11 students will travel to eight different countries: Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines, and Romania. Six others will complete projects remotely with organizations based in Canada, France, Niger, and Sri Lanka, as well as U.S. territory Puerto Rico.
The COVID-19 pandemic has halted international travel for students each of the past two summers.
“The International Public Service Project is one of the most unique and exciting aspects of the Clinton School,” said Dean Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto. “These projects produce impacts for organizations across the world and create incredible experiences for our students.”
The IPSP is the second of three major field service projects for Clinton School MPS students. The project is designed to allow students to build on lessons learned during their first year, and to provide practical, hands-on experience with international organizations or with domestic organizations that have a global mission to their work. The international project exposes Clinton School students to unique challenges and creates both short and long-term impacts for students and their organizational partners.
"Students begin exploring potential IPSPs during the first semester," said Tiffany Jacob, Director of International Programs. "We encourage everyone to identify their career goals and seek projects that will allow them to build the skills and experiences needed to advance. We have an incredible range of interests and talents this year. It's exciting to see the students implementing projects and actively working towards their goals."
This summer’s international work includes a project evaluation of the ongoing efforts to assist those affected by Typhoon Rai in the Philippines, developing a human rights campaign to combat hate speech and discrimination in Romania, and a process evaluation to address the needs of undocumented community members in the Dominican Republic.
The domestic projects include work with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Secretary through the prestigious Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program, a program planning proposal to establish the Arkansas Black Chamber of Commerce, and research support for Winrock International’s efforts to counter human trafficking in Nepal.
Below is a closer look at each project.
Kwami Abdul-Bey – Advancing Black Entrepreneurship (Little Rock, Ark.)
Abdul-Bey will create a program planning proposal for the establishment of the Arkansas Black Chamber of Commerce. He will research best practices and interview national experts and Black entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the state to develop the most conducive model for the State of Arkansas.
Lydia Adusei – Heifer USA (Perryville, Ark.)
Adusei will conduct a landscape analysis of farmer incubator programs in different parts of the country. She will conduct best-practice research to identify other organizations and farms in the United States that have farmer incubator programs, explore the arrangements and methods they use, identify which aspects of their program is working or not working well, and based on her findings, make recommendations for a farmer incubator program structure for Heifer USA.
Tamara Bates – Tennessee Democratic Party (Nashville, Tenn.)
Bates will act as the main point of contact between political candidates, policymakers, and community organizations to manage and lead the Tennessee Democratic Party's state-wide community engagement and organizing team. She will develop a toolkit to provide candidates with many necessary tools to keep their campaigns on track and organized. The candidate toolkit will provide the formulas, skills, and context necessary to help first-time and experienced candidates build and execute their campaign plan from inception to conclusion.
Micah Beck – Heifer USA (Perryville, Ark.)
Beck will conduct a competitive analysis of market access platforms available to farmers, which will ultimately be used to inform future farm partnerships and marketing strategies.
Haoua Bello Barkire – Providence Chiloumaz (Niamey, Niger)
Bello Barkire will work with the newly formed NGO, Providence Chiloumaz, on several start-up projects. In addition to redesigning the website, she will conduct best-practice research to inform the development of a sewing apprenticeship program, and research the feasibility of constructing a center for orphans and street children in rural Niger.
Mia-angel Bennett – Arkansas Global Connect (Little Rock, Ark.)
Bennett will be working with Arkansas Global Connect to conduct H-2 visa market research that will drive social media content and promotional material. She will work alongside the operations manager to work on the logistics of recruiting, visa processing, and travel arrangements for workers from Honduras.
Derek Bixler – Clinton School of Public Service (Little Rock, Ark.)
Bixler will be studying best practices in higher education campus internationalization, particularly searching for programs and policies that could be implemented at the Clinton School. He will also be conducting an initial assessment of the current state of internationalization at the Clinton School.
Elizabeth Bloom – Arkansas Department of Health and Clinton School of Public Service (Little Rock, Ark.)
The Arkansas Department of Health is conducting a statewide needs assessment of resources and training to provide awareness and services related to Alzheimer’s and related dementias in Arkansas. Bloom will join as a research assistant working on this project, conducting literature reviews and coding qualitative interview and focus group data.
Becca Bona – International Development Enterprises (Denver, Colo.)
Bona will evaluate iDE’s newly created internal monitoring and evaluation support package. She will focus on making the tool more user-friendly and inclusive, and will also provide a process and timeline to collect feedback moving forward.
Ralph Bray – Gammadda (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Bray will conduct research on how to address the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka by interviewing wildlife experts, government officials, and individuals impacted by elephant encounters. Bray will deliver recommendations on how to co-exist with the elephants to Gammadda as well as the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation.
Lucy Burgess – Center for Legal Resources (Bucharest, Romania)
Burgess will be conducting best-practice research to help develop a human rights campaign that utilizes various art forms, which will aim to combat hate speech and discrimination.
Brooke Caraway – Girls Gearing Up (Berlin, Germany)
Caraway will assist in the operations and facilitation of GGU's International Summer Leadership Academy for young women. In addition, she will perform an evaluation of the academy and create a comprehensive social media campaign for the organization.
Malicat Chouyouti – WeGo Innovate (Accra, Ghana)
Chouyouti will create and conduct an evaluation plan for the organization's Senior Experimenters of Science Challenge (SENOS) initiative to measure the impact of the programing on student participants.
Brittany Chue – Awamaki (Ollantaytambo, Peru)
Chue will conduct monitoring and evaluation with Awamaki by completing an income analysis and impact interviews with Andean women artisans' businesses. She will deliver a written report, literature review, and communication pieces on significant findings from the evaluation.
Savannah Combs – CESI Engineering School, Angoulême (Angouleme, France)
Combs will be aiding the CESI School of Engineering in creating an international work study program. She will develop partnerships between CESI University and various organizations across the United States.
Hayley Cormican – Heifer USA (Perryville, Ark.)
Cormican will conduct best practice research on indigenous land reallocation and acknowledgement for Heifer USA. She will formulate recommendations based on her research on how Heifer can best recognize and honor the histories of the Indigenous peoples who once occupied the area.
Kate Deegan – The DREAM Project (Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic)
Deegan will complete a process evaluation on the adolescent empowerment program, Luchadores, which addresses pressing issues of teen males in the local community. She will monitor the day-to-day activities of the program, gather primary data from the participants, and create a comprehensive toolkit for ongoing program monitoring and evaluation.
Chase Encalade – African Institute for Children Studies (Nairobi, Kenya)
Encalade will conduct a process evaluation of the youth mental health initiative run by the African Institute for Children’s Studies. She will evaluate program effectiveness in the community. Encalade will also create an index of potential grants and assist with the grant writing process.
Araba Eshun – Syrian Emergency Task Force (Washington D.C.)
Eshun will create an executive summary for SETF based on a previous evaluation on the Wisdom House. Additionally, she will serve as the team leader of Wisdom House by organizing program data, communicating with the teachers in Syria, and providing content-worthy materials for the media team.
Benjamin Fray – Programme for Capacity Development in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya)
Fray will design a program plan that enables a youth exchange in nutrition and agricultural knowledge between the United States and Kenya, starting in Arkansas. He will develop a plan that creates an exchange of ideas that helps meet the nutritional needs of youth and allows youth from both countries to do so in a collaborative and meaningful way.
Mary Larkin Furlow – Girls Gearing Up (Berlin, Germany)
Furlow will assist in the operations and facilitation of GGU's International Summer Leadership Academy for young women. Additionally, she will perform an evaluation of the academy and create a comprehensive social media campaign for the organization.
Gillian Gullett – Winrock International (Washington, D.C.)
Gullett will support Hamro Samman's research and learning agenda. Hamro Samman is a USAID-funded Counter-Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) project implemented by Winrock International in Nepal.
Javier Hernandez – The DREAM Project (Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic)
Hernandez will be conducting an evaluation of The DREAM Project's processes and programming for their LUCEROS Program. The evaluation will help improve the program's ability to address the needs of undocumented community members in the Dominican Republic and advocate for the right to name and identity.
Demetrious Jordan – Legal Aid of Arkansas (Little Rock, Ark.)
Jordan will analyze mortgage data across Arkansas to determine whether there are patterns of housing discrimination in lending, especially against minorities. Based on an analysis of the data, Jordan will work with the Fair Housing Test Coordinator to develop a strategy for testing lenders and financial institutions for Fair Housing Act violations.
Hannah Lang – U.S. Department of Transportation (Washington, D.C.)
Lang will be completing her IPSP with the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. She will be working in the Office of the Secretary, specifically assisting with Scheduling & Advance.
Katie Matthews – Heifer USA/Heifer Ranch (Perryville, Ark.)
Matthews will support Heifer USA's Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) evaluation team to improve and optimize systems that will facilitate more efficient in-field testing and monitoring of agricultural land in Arkansas. She will assist the team in applying the EOV to farms participating in the Grass Roots Farmer Cooperative, demonstrating the benefit of regenerative land management techniques on the land, animals, and farmers.
Osaretin Omoregie – Centre for Grief and Healing (Halton/Peel, Canada)
Omoregie will carry out research to determine best-practice policies and procedures of bereavement programs, with a sub-interest in client and staff safety within bereavement programs.
Kelly Owen – Prison Yoga Project (Bolinas, Calif.)
Owen will create a comprehensive toolkit for the expansion of the Prison Yoga Project (PYP) program and curriculum into European countries. In addition, this toolkit will be a framework used to strengthen and standardize program execution in existing PYP programs in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Israel.
Sophie Rudder – Journeys Within Our Community (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Rudder will conduct a process and outcome evaluation on the College Scholarship program sponsored by Journeys within Our Community (JWOC). She will evaluate program efficiency in meeting the needs of current participants and work with program alumni to determine the impact on improving educational standards, career opportunities, and civic engagement mindsets. Her findings will help inform JWOC’s strategic plan for the next five years.
Camille Watson – Syrian Emergency Task Force (Washington, D.C.)
Watson will develop a sustainable and long-term version of the Key Witness Fund, an initiative supporting key witnesses of war crimes in Syria. Watson will also produce a public archive, "Voices from the Ground," comprised of important Syrian figures who represent freedom for the Syrian people.
Adam Williams – Gammadda (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Williams will work within rural districts in Sri Lanka to identify obstacles to clean water access and assess the needs of those communities to improve water quality and availability. He will develop a recommendation plan to then implement as a community project to address the water needs for the local population.
Nate Young – Community and Family Services International (Manila, Philippines)
Young will perform an evaluation of CFSI's ongoing project to assist those affected by Typhoon Rai. He will gather data by performing field research and interviewing those who have received aid from CFSI.
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