Students, alumni, faculty, and staff of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service participated in Impact the Rock, a Day of Unity and Service on Saturday, November 16. Service efforts included volunteer work with the Little Rock Zoo, Tree Streets, St. Joseph Center of Arkansas, and the inaugural Public Service Academy.
In partnership with the Arkansas Bar Association, the Public Service Academy was established to provide service-minded lawyers the tools they need for service in both elected office and as volunteers. The academy is believed to be the third program sponsored by a bar association in the United States following North Carolina (2017) and Tennessee (2018). The academy’s first class included five Clinton School students and graduates: Jennifer Browne, Wesley Manus, Molly McGowan McNulty (’12), Madhav Shroff, and Connor Thompson.
Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III and Director of Public Programs and Strategic Partnerships Nikolai DiPippa participated in and helped coordinate the two-day event. Dean Rutherford participated in a discussion with Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics.
Additionally, the Public Service Academy was chaired by Maggie Benson and Nate Looney, lawyer member volunteers and graduates of the Clinton School of Public Service.
First-year student Lydia Grate and Academic Dean Dr. Susan Hoffpauir spent Saturday morning volunteering at the Little Rock Zoo. In total, nearly 100 volunteers helped with maintenance and beautification work around the zoo as part of the Impact the Rock efforts.
First-year student Amanda Richardson volunteered on Saturday with Tree Streets, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to benefit the public by planting trees in Little Rock’s urban neighborhoods and educating others on how trees benefit cities. Richardson and others walked neighborhoods near Little Rock Central High School Neighborhood and picked up litter while pruning and trimming trees planted by the organization.
A number of Clinton School students, alumni, and faculty spent time Saturday at St. Joseph Center of Arkansas, an independent nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve and restore this historic property though sustainable farming and food production, programs that educate and promote agritourism, and support community outreach.
The volunteers included Dr. Nichola Driver, Bailey Fohr, Grate, Nada Hamida, Michael Morrison, Justin Murdock, Adriana Ongay (’19), Leslie Parker, Samantha Sheffield, Alex Tingquist, and Rachel Villafane. Clinton School graduate Amy Stewart (’19) is a Program Director with St. Joseph Center FarmCorps and helped facilitate Saturday’s service efforts.
“We thought that it was important for the Clinton School student government to have a role in Saturday’s day of service and unity,” said Sheffield, who serves as SGA President. “Not only were we able to work in our community but we were able to support an alum, whose work is helping grow this organization.”
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.