Forty students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will complete International Public Service Projects this summer with organizations domestic and abroad using a blend of in-person and remote work.
The IPSP, the second of three major field service projects as part of the Master of Public Service degree program at the Clinton School, is designed to give students practical, hands-on experience with international organizations, or with domestic organizations that have a global mission to their work.
"We have a great group of students this year who are committed to working hard and making positive social change around the world,” said Dr. Nichola Driver, who will advise students on their projects this summer as Faculty Director for the Office of Community Engagement. “Our field service projects, including IPSP, provide a win-win-win for partners, students, and communities."
This summer’s projects include public service partnerships with international organizations in Germany, Ghana, Israel, Kenya, Panama, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Other projects will be completed with local organizations demonstrating global missions such as Heifer International, Canopy Northwest Arkansas, and Arkansas Global Connect.
Nine students will complete projects remotely with organizations and government agencies based in Washington, D.C., including the Department of State, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and the Association of Albanian Girls and Women.
"As we planned for IPSP 2021, our students, partners, and administration maintained a mindset of flexibility and adaptability,” said Tiffany Jacob, Director of International Programs and Outreach. “We encouraged students to seek out organizations and projects that strongly aligned with their academic, professional, and personal goals. The projects this summer reflect the broad interests of the cohort and the work they have already done to explore their unique paths in public service."
Among the projects with international organizations is an initiative with The Asia Foundation to conduct a policy impact assessment of the carbon border tax on Vietnam. Another project will work with the African Institute for Children Studies to research the barriers to adequate public financing for mental health programs in Kenya.
A project with the Arkansas Department of Public Safety includes a review of the Arkansas Department of Public Safety’s trainings and policies and will provide recommendations as a continuation of Governor Asa Hutchison's 2020 Task Force to Advance the State of Law Enforcement in Arkansas.
Seven of this summer’s 40 projects are being supervised or co-supervised by Clinton School graduates, including projects at Heifer International, Arkansas United, Winrock International, Creative Institute of Central Arkansas, African Institute for Children Studies, City of Little Rock, and Paws in Prison.
“The International Public Service Project is one of the aspects that makes the Clinton School unique,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford. “This summer’s projects are exceptional.”
Below are descriptions of each project.
Ophelia Akoto (Washington, D.C.) | Vital Voices Global Partnership (Remote) – Akoto will work with one of the Vital Voices' signature programs called Vital Voices Grow. She will conduct an impact evaluation through in-depth interviews and surveys on the program's impact on businesses and women leaders before and after the outbreak of COVID-19.
Jackson Bittner (Little Rock, Ark.) | City of Little Rock – Bittner will be working on an evaluation plan and logic model to establish a system of monitoring and evaluation for the City's BUILD Academy program.
Samantha Black (Washington D.C.) | Heifer International (Remote) – Black will work with Heifer International's monitor, evaluation, research and learning team to create a literature review of Heifer's work around the world. She will compile reports of Heifer's efforts to help the team understand how their work is reflected in academic studies.
Madeline Burke (Little Rock, Ark.) | Heifer International (Remote) – Burke will be working with Heifer International as the marketing and resource development intern. She will help develop an online community by creating a platform for Heifer stakeholders to genuinely connect and interact with each other through regular updates about current projects around the world including the usage of photo, video, and story content.
Amanda Cady (Little Rock, Ark.) | City of Little Rock, Mayor's Office (Remote) – Cady will conduct a needs assessment and conduct outreach with stakeholders in the community including parents, teachers, and community members to determine key priorities for the school model.
Maria Calderon (Berlin, Germany) | Girls Gearing Up International Leadership Academy (Remote) – Calderon will create an evaluation plan to serve as the foundation for Girls Gearing Up’s comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program. She will develop data collection processes and create measures to assess program experience with past participants of the program.
Katelynn Caple (Conway, Ark.) | Creative Institute of Central Arkansas (Remote) – Caple will conduct several best practices research tasks for the Creative Institute of Central Arkansas. She will review current policies and procedures and compile recommendations.
Brenttia Clayton (Bocas del Toro, Panama) | Give and Surf (Remote) – Clayton will be working with Give and Surf as a program development specialist. Clayton will support the local staff at Give and Surf by expanding existing programs and curriculum, specifically in English/Language Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This project is designed to help teach children English and life skills at Give and Surf’s community centers.
Claire Cockrell (Conway, Ark.) | Arkansas Global Connect – Cockrell will aid in the establishment of a strategic roadmap for connecting thousands of marginalized Honduran workers to opportunities for legal, seasonal employment in the United States. Cockrell will research the H-2 visa market, develop web content, and prepare promotional materials to encourage U.S. employers to take advantage of this opportunity to meet labor needs in sectors with a shortage of U.S. workers.
Layne Coleman (Colombo, Sri Lanka) | Gammadda (Remote) – Coleman will create a program plan for Gammadda’s work with girls and women in Sri Lanka's rural villages. She will develop a program aimed to equip girls and women with skills and tools to combat stigmas of their menstrual cycles and the negative effects of period poverty.
Amanda Cruce (Little Rock, Ark.) | Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement – Cruce will conduct research on community policing and teen and community alternative courts. She will help produce a strategic plan for the future of the 12th Street Corridor Community.
Colton Denton (Washington D.C./Turkey) | Syrian Emergency Task Force (Remote) – Denton will utilize ESRI data mapping software to chart collected data points on the Syrian Emergency Task Force's Letters of Hope initiative.
Bethany Downs (Accra, Ghana) | WeGo Innovate (Remote) – Downs will create a handbook of digital strategies for WeGo Innovate’s social media platforms to provide a plan of action for maximizing engagement with stakeholders. She will also assist the organization in creating written and visual content for their website and social media accounts.
Emily Fendley (Little Rock, Ark./Dakar, Senegal) | Winrock International (Remote) – Fendley will act as a remote farmer-to-farmer (F2F) volunteer for an administrative volunteer assignment supporting Winrock West Africa F2F’s midterm impact survey process with special focus on assistance to the Regional MEL staff lead based in Dakar, Senegal. The main objectives are to assess what impact has been seen so far, including which sectors, types of assistance, etc., and to adjust implementation efforts accordingly.
Jeff Fetters (Berlin, Germany) | Girls Gearing Up International Leadership Academy (Remote) – Fetters will create a toolkit of practices, activities, and resources focused on girls' empowerment and leadership skills for Girls Gearing Up’s International Leadership Academy. The toolkit will enable the organization to expand its services and programs internationally.
Ashley Figueroa (Little Rock, Ark.) | Arkansas Department of Public Safety – Figueroa will review Arkansas Department of Public Safety trainings, policies and create a wellness program. She will develop recommendations based on local stakeholder, law enforcement, and best practice research. The recommendations will be a continuation of Governor Asa Hutchison's 2020 Task Force to Advance the State of Law Enforcement in Arkansas.
Steve Foster (Hanoi, Vietnam) | The Asia Project-Vietnam (Remote) – Foster will work with The Asia Foundation-Vietnam to conduct a policy impact assessment of the carbon border tax on Vietnam.
Haley Gilliam (Nairobi, Kenya) | African Institute for Children Studies (Remote) – Gilliam will conduct a research project on the barriers to adequate public financing for mental health programs in Kenya. From this research, she will produce a policy brief to assist stakeholders in formulating and influencing policy on the region’s mental health programs.
Camille Gilmore (Little Rock, Ark.) |City of Little Rock, Mayor's Office – Gilmore’s work will include data tracking, evaluation, research, and the implementation to launch BUILD Academy (Business United in Leader Development). She will evaluate barriers to wealth and business development in communities of color to provide the City of Little Rock with recommendations.
Lydia Grate (Washington, D.C.) | The Office of International Visitors, United States Department of State (Remote) – Grate will shadow a program officer and assist with the entire formulation of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) projects. She will develop an understanding of how the Department of State liaises with embassies to establish project themes, how IVLP cooperates with partner agencies in Washington and volunteer organizations throughout the United States, what elements are necessary for a successful project, and what impact IVLP has on local communities at home and abroad.
Liz Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) | World Services for the Blind – Hall will work with World Services for the Blind and the Marshallese community in Northwest Arkansas as a program planner. She will create and implement health care trainings for new mothers on pediatric dental care and its importance on overall health.
Demetrious Jordan (Little Rock, Ark.) | UA Little Rock Children International – Jordan will provide career preparedness skills, ensure resilience, and create a space for skills and support systems in order to support youth ages 16 and up with their ability to manage social and emotional stress imposed by the pandemic. Jordan will also lead outreach, communication, and recruitment efforts for the program throughout the summer.
Aaron Kennard (Little Rock, Ark.) | Arkansas United (Remote) – Kennard will work with Arkansas United, an immigrant rights and advocacy organization based in Arkansas, to conduct a review of their organizational procedures and policies to ensure that the organization continues to be inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community. He will work to determine how AU can remain in compliance as an organization maintains tax-exempt status and participates in advocacy.
Felicia Kennedy (Berlin, Germany) | Girls Gearing Up International Leadership Academy (Remote) – Kennedy will develop a strategy for long-term grant management. She will develop a grant proposal and set up a grant compliance and reporting strategy. She will conclude the project by preparing a grant management handbook that will include all the processes and relevant documents needed for continued funding for the organization.
Arianna Kiaei (Washington, D.C.) | Syrian Emergency Task Force (Remote) – Kiaei will create an evaluation plan to set forth the foundation for an ongoing monitoring and evaluation program. She will develop data collection processes and create measures for SETF to comprehensively assess the organization's political advocacy.
Randall King (Washington, D.C.) | Syrian Emergency Task Force (Remote) – King will work with Syrian Emergency Task Force to develop a position and volunteer management system that currently does not exist. He will create a database of contacts and use analytics in cooperation with fellow team members and advisors to create a new layer of public relations with supporters and donors.
Katie Knutter (Washington, D.C.) | Association of Albanian Girls and Women (Remote) – Knutter will create a usable development plan with recommendations for the best fundraising strategies for the organization’s resources and the current political and economic situation in the United States.
Dylan Lofton (Little Rock, Ark.) | City of Little Rock, Small Business Development Office – Lofton will identify barriers that minority and women-owned business enterprises face in the marketplace. He will be identifying best practices for overcoming these barriers and will publish a policy recommendations report.
Stevie Massey (Little Rock, Ark./Perryville, Ark.) | Heifer USA – Massey will conduct several research projects analyzing various aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion related to food systems and food production in the United States. She will conduct an analysis of organizations working in the food system sector engaging diverse farmers and conduct a landscape analysis of farmers utilizing regenerative agricultural practices.
Eleanor Miller (Little Rock, Ark.) | UA Little Rock Children International (Remote) – Miller will develop program planning documents essential for the launch of the HOPE Mentorship Program in the fall of 2021. She will conduct research on relevant program standards and mentorship models to inform program materials.
Oluwaseun Olaniyi (Jerusalem, Israel) | MassChallenge Israel (Remote) – Olaniyi will provide program support, program development, and program evaluation as community manager for the next accelerator program for start-ups. He will measure community management key performance indicators (KPI) as set by the organization and analyze data collected before, during, and after program implementation, and develop a comprehensive report at the end of the program to ascertain the accelerator’s program effectiveness.
Rodrigo Santos Legaspi (Colombo, Sri Lanka) | Gammadda Sri Lanka (Remote) – Legaspi will conduct best practice research on how to improve the education system in Sri Lanka and make it more efficient for the next decade, especially for children living in rural communities. He will provide recommendations for the Sri Lankan education system in the specific areas of career guidance, vocational and skill development, and creating a generation of students who are world ready.
Khloe Shuffield (North Little Rock, Ark.) | Arkansas Paws in Prison – Shuffield will create a training curriculum for the Arkansas Paws in Prison program, which pairs inmate trainers with rescue dogs for eight to ten weeks of obedience training and socialization in preparation for adoption.
Austin Slater (Accra, Ghana) | WeGo Innovate (Remote) – Slater will work with WeGo Innovate to monetize digital platforms to create another source of revenue that funds operations.
Dorothy Spector (Miami, Fla./Little Rock, Ark.) | Rockin' for the Cure (Remote) – Spector will create a program plan for an incubator program to aid innovation and development of medical technologies. She will conduct a needs assessment and best practices research to guide this process.
Bonnie Stribling (Washington, D.C.) | Faces and Voices of Recovery (Remote) – Stribling will work inside the public policy, advocacy, and outreach sector of Faces and Voices of Recovery, assisting in the development of subcommittees to enhance communication across the organization. She will assist in creating a more up-to-date way to inform the public on important updates coming from Capitol Hill and work on the planning committee of the organization’s 20-year anniversary.
Cecilia Trotter (Accra, Ghana) | WeGo Innovate (Remote) – Trotter will execute an analysis of current and future funding landscapes for WeGo Innovate. She will work on the organization’s grant initiatives and create a work action plan for building internal sources and best practices for fundraising.
Delaney Vogt (Washington, D.C./Little Rock, Ark.) | Syrian Emergency Task Force (Remote) – Vogt will create an evaluation plan for Syrian Emergency Task Force’s Wisdom House and Letters of Hope campaign. She will determine program outcomes, develop data collection processes, and design measures to assess the program outcomes.
Maya Williams (Fayetteville, Ark.) | Canopy Northwest Arkansas (Remote) – Williams will conduct an evaluation of Canopy Northwest Arkansas’ Long Welcome program, which aims to assist in the full integration of refugees in the community within a five-year period. She will analyze existing program data to assess program performance, client experience, and forecast program outcomes after its first year of implementation.
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