(KATV, Source: Clinton School) Little
Rock - The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service will enroll
its largest class ever this fall when 50 students enter the school's Master of
Public Service degree program.
The students will come to Arkansas to study in the unique public service program from across the country and the world. They represent 20 states and seven countries, including Colombia, Greece, India, Jamaica, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Uganda. The class also includes 15 Arkansas natives and another seven students with previous ties to the state.
The new students come to the school with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, including service with organizations such as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and Teach for America. They also have strong academic credentials having previously attended schools such as Davidson College, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Rice University, Tulane University, the University of Chicago, the University of Florida, Vanderbilt University, Washington University in St. Louis and Wellesley College, among others.
"In our admissions process, we look for students who have excelled both in and out of the classroom," said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. "We find that well-rounded students do well in a program like ours that balances in-class study with in-the-field public service experiences. Clearly, the Class of 2014 comes to us with an array of academic and extracurricular experiences. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the Clinton School."
The Clinton School has grown steadily since it enrolled 16 students in its inaugural class in 2004. By far the largest class in Clinton School history, the 50 new students will join 36 second-year students to give the school a total enrollment of 86 students across two classes.
"We've seen not only a steady growth in the quantity of our student body but also an increase in the overall quality of our applicant pool. Each year, we continue to see high interest from prospective students and I'm excited to have another great class enter the program," said Alex Thomas, director of admissions and alumni services at the Clinton School.
The Clinton School is the first school in the nation to offer the MPS degree. The two-year program differs from traditional programs in public policy and public affairs because Clinton School students complete three for-credit field service projects, partnering with government, non-government and nonprofit organizations in Arkansas and around the world.
This summer, the Class of 2013 is completing 35 international projects in 21 countries. This fall, the new Clinton School students will begin group public service projects in partnership with organizations in communities across Arkansas. In the classroom, the students complete core courses in the areas of social change, decision-making, conflict resolution, ethics and professionalism. Along with elective courses, the field service projects allow students to tailor their Clinton School experiences to fit their public service interests.
The new students will arrive in Little Rock for orientation on August 19. The first day of classes is August 27.
The Class of 2014 includes:
Jessica Boyd (Little Rock, Ark.) - Boyd earned bachelor's degrees in anthropology, Spanish and Latin American studies from the University of Arkansas. She studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico and is now enrolled in the concurrent MBA/MPS program with the UA Walton College of Business. She has worked as a social research intern with the Walton College's Sustainability Consortium and has volunteered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the UA Volunteer Action Center.
Andre Breaux (Lafayette, La.) - A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans where he majored in mass communication and minored in English, Breaux spent a year with Teach for America as a geometry teacher at a New Orleans charter school. During college, he traveled on service-immersion trips to Belize and Jamaica with Ignacio Volunteers. He also spent 16 months studying and volunteering with various social ministries while discerning a religious vocation with the Jesuits.
Kayla Brooks (Memphis, Tenn.) - Brooks graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's in human and organizational development with a concentration in community leadership development. She interned with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tennessee and Tennessee Voices for Children. She volunteered as a high school math tutor and with the YMCA Black Achievers. Her public service interests include education, poverty and issues related to social justice.
Kathleen Brophy (Elliott City, Md.) - A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in international studies and anthropology, Brophy worked for a project focusing on the conflict minerals consumer campaign and human rights due diligence legislation in the Congo. She has worked with newly resettled refugees and victims of human trafficking at the International Rescue Committee in Baltimore and on refugee and international conflict policy at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in Washington, D.C.
Kent Broughton (Pine Bluff, Ark.) - Broughton is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where he served a president and vice president of the student government association. He is a former board member of Circle of Pride, a student-led philanthropy program that helps students pay for college. As SGA president, he addressed issues related to student involvement, technology, academics, diversity and community engagement. He is interested in initiatives to improve educational attainment.
Angela Bukenya (Kampala, Uganda) - Bukenya studied health services administration and business as an undergraduate and completed a master's degree in public administration at Eastern Washington University. She has worked in the home health care industry and owned a yard maintenance company. She served as the communications director for the Uganda American Adventist Association and is an advocate for immigrant populations and health care for those in need.
Matthew Caston (Jackson, Miss.) - Caston studied journalism and creative writing at Alcorn State University and Mississippi College, where he was editor of the student newspaper. He worked for the past five years as a writer for weekly and bi-weekly newspapers and completed an internship with Mississippi Public Broadcasting. He recently was an intern and later communications fellow with the Foundation for the Mid South. His public service interest is public education.
Sara Chapman (Bentonville, Ark.) - Chapman is a graduate of Wellesley College where she majored in peace and justice studies with a focus on ethnic and religious conflict in Africa. She is co-founder and executive director of Fistula Relief Foundation for Africa. Her public service interests include conflict resolution, health care and disaster relief.
Krystle Chipman (San Jose, Calif.) - A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in sociology, Chipman recently served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Eastern Kentucky with the Appalachian Coal Country Team, an organization that assists rural communities impoverished by environmental degradation. After college, she completed an internship with World Orphans in Nairobi, Kenya.
John Delurey (Winchester, Mass.) - Delurey is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he majored in international and area studies and environmental studies. He completed four months of environmental service in Zanzibar, Tanzania and one month of various service projects in Kenya. His public service interests include environmental issues and social enterprise solutions.
Calandra Davis (Brandon, Miss.) - A graduate of Alcorn State University with a degree in biochemistry, Davis completed a Minority Health International Research Training project in Bangalore, India, where she studied the correlation between muscle strength and obesity in urban school children. She is founder of L.I.V.E. Again, a nonprofit focused on eradicating poverty and increasing youth literacy in southern Mississippi.
Mara D'Amico (Grand Rapids, Mich.) - A graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in business administration, D'Amico served as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Center for Community Involvement at Miami Dade College and as an AmeriCorps Public Ally at the University of Miami Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Butler Center for Service and Leadership. Her public service interests include gender parity, civic engagement and active citizenship.
Charles Fleeman (Oceanside, Calif.) - Fleeman holds a BA in humanities from California State University Northridge and an MS in communication from Florida State University. He spent 18 years in legal affairs for companies in finance, technology and conservation, and served on a UCC Advisory Committee for the California Secretary of State. He volunteered in environmental education for a Florida wildlife refuge and as a coordinator for the Florida Government Technology Conference. He's interested in fundraising, grant writing and marketing for nonprofits.
Danae Halstead (Middletown, N.Y.) - A graduate of Livingstone College with a degree in sociology, Halstead established a landscaping company that provides service to residential customers and volunteer service to senior citizens. During college, he interned with Rowan Helping Ministry, which provides food, shelter, clothing and medical support to impoverished residents in the local community. His public service interest is international development.
Alex Handfinger (Holland, Pa.) - Handfinger is a graduate of the University of Florida where he majored in sociology with a minor in international development. He recently served as a Child Hunger Corps Representative at the Arkansas Foodbank. He has worked as a programs and client services intern with Greater DC Cares and on an organic farm with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms in Ghana. His public service interests include local food systems, hunger relief and economic empowerment.
Margaret Hobbs (El Dorado, Ark.) - A graduate of Hendrix College with a degree in political science, Hobbs is participating in the concurrent JD/MPS program with the UALR Bowen School of Law. She worked in the office of U.S. Congressman Vic Snyder and as a Spanish teacher at a school in Little Rock. During college, she received a fellowship to teach English in Quito, Ecuador. Before entering law school, she served as an interpreter for a local free medical clinic.
Foster Holcomb (Little Rock, Ark.) - A graduate of Tulane University with a degree in political science and history, Holcomb has served as an aide and volunteer on numerous political campaigns. He interned in the office of Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and with the Democratic Party of Arkansas. He also interned with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and cites food insecurity in Arkansas as his major public service interest.
Chet Howland (Asheville, N.C.) - A graduate of Davidson College with a degree in history, Howland spent two years serving with AmeriCorps' Project Conserve in western North Carolina. He was an outreach associate for the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and a volunteer track coach at Asheville High School. Howland's public service interests are centered on domestic income inequality.
Angela Jimenez-Leon, M.D. (Bogota, Colombia) - Jimenez-Leon completed medical school at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota and is currently completing a public health certificate at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Boozman College of Public Health. She worked as a hospitalist physician in Colombia and as a general practice physician for the Colombian Air Force. She has worked in emergency and clinical care at a Colombian military base and volunteered in community health clinics in Colombia and Little Rock.
Ashley Jones (Piedmont, S.C.) - A graduate of Rice University with a degree in sociology, Jones is completing the concurrent JD/MPS program with the UALR Bowen School of Law. She worked as an inquiry clerk with the Arkansas Municipal League and as a front desk clerk at the Bowen School. Before starting law school, she worked for a year with a landscaping firm in Greenville, S.C. She has volunteered with Legal Aid Road to Justice and Organizing for America. She's interested in environmental law, labor law and clean water issues.
Nate Kennedy (Poplar Bluff, Mo.) - A graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in sociology and a minor in political science, Kennedy was recently appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to serve on Missouri's state house redistricting commission. His volunteer experience includes serving as a high school tutor with AmeriCorps and leading a group of 45 students to help clean up New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Amy Lafont (New Orleans, La.) - Lafont studied sociology at Loyola University and philosophy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she entered law school. She is now pursuing the concurrent JD/MPS program with the UALR Bowen School of Law. In New Orleans, Lafont served with the New Orleans Youth Action Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA, and was a professional construction and brownfield cleanup project manager. She is interested in equitable education reform, environmental sustainability and increasing democratic participation.
Immaculee Kayitare (Kigali, Rwanda) - Kayitare graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance. She served as an intern with Heifer International in Rwanda and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Rescue Mission San Diego and EarthCare. Her service interests include humanitarian aid and social service.
Lindsay Kuehn (Minneapolis, Minn.) - Kuehn earned a bachelor's degree in American Studies at Northwestern University and is enrolled in the concurrent JD/MPS program with the UALR Bowen School of Law. She recently worked as education coordinator at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Ark., where she previously volunteered. She is an alum of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and has served as a Legal Aid intern in Helena, Ark.
Nicole Maddox (Pine Bluff, Ark.) – A graduate of Wellesley College with a degree in Africana Studies and a minor in biology, Maddox has worked as a cancer researcher at the National Center for Toxicology research, as a middle and high school teacher and as a healthcare analyst for the Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C., among other jobs. She is interested in public health issues including fighting childhood obesity and improving healthcare outcomes in minority populations.
Alex Mitchell (Littleton, Colo.) - Mitchell graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in art history with an emphasis on art theft investigation and a degree in fine art with an emphasis on social and political art. He founded Sauce for a Cause, an all-natural, gluten-free, gourmet sauce company that donates half of its profit to causes related to environmental protection and cancer prevention. His public service interests are social entrepreneurship and profit-for-a-purpose models.
Chris Morgan (El Dorado, Ark.) - Morgan holds bachelor's degrees in Spanish and international business from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and will enter the concurrent JD/MPS program with the UALR Bowen School of Law. He served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the UALR Children International program and as a school enrichment instructor at a Little Rock elementary school. He interned in the offices of U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln and Congressman Mike Ross. He is interested in sustainability and reducing the impact of climate change.
Marisa Nelson (Fort Smith, Ark.) - A graduate of the University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in environmental policy, Nelson interned with a nonprofit promoting literacy in west Dallas and was a volunteer coordinator at the San Lucas Mission, which supports human development programs in the San Lucas, Mexico, area. She volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and served as an interpreter for the YWCA of Tulsa. She's interested in promoting health and education opportunities in the Latin American population.
Roger Norman (Benton, Ark.) - Norman majored in history and political science with a minor in religious studies at Arkansas Tech University where he served as president of the student government association. He worked in the elections division of the Arkansas Secretary of State's Office and traveled on a food mission to South Africa. His public service interests include hunger relief, education and international development.
Sean O'Keefe (Seattle, Wash.) - A graduate of the University of Chicago where he studied Arabic and history, O'Keefe recently worked as an Arabic teacher with One World Now!, which works with underserved children in Seattle public schools. He has lived in Jordan, where he studied Arabic and taught English and in Morocco, where he was a youth group leader for American students studying abroad. He is interested in expanding opportunities for women and children in the Arab world.
Abby Olivier (Hattiesburg, Miss.) - Olivier majored in public policy leadership with a minor in southern studies at the University of Mississippi where she graduated from the honors college and the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. She recently worked for the Sunflower County Leadership Project in Sunflower, Miss. She has volunteered at an orphanage in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and with a farmer's market in Oxford, Miss. Her service interests are education policy and international aid.
Matt Orr (Texarkana, Texas) - A graduate of the University of North Texas with a bachelor's degree in English, Orr taught English as a Second Language for two years in Verknedneprovsk, Ukraine, with the Peace Corps. While there, he organized summer camps, implemented a creative writing competition and started a community English club. He recently returned home to Texas where he taught Russian to elementary students. He is interested in serving refugee communities and studying community farming.
Ann Owen (Little Rock, Ark.) - A graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in public relations, Owen worked as recycling coordinator for the City of Carrollton, Texas, and as the Arkansas representative for community relations at Heifer International. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and recently worked at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission nature center in Little Rock. Her service interests include sustainability, food security and gender equity.
Tyler Pearson (Conway, Ark.) - Pearson earned an associate's degree from the City College of San Francisco before completing a bachelor's in international studies at the University of Central Arkansas. He worked as an intern in the office of U.S. Congressman Vic Snyder and completed 450 hours as a literacy tutor with AmeriCorps. He is interested in politics, education, poverty reduction and health care.
Jacob Perry (Fayetteville, Ark.) - A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with bachelor's degrees in biology and Spanish, Perry worked for the past year as a personal aide for individuals with special needs. He founded an aid organization for an orphanage in Honduras and served as a volunteer teacher at an orphanage in Morocco. He completed four years as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He's interested in the issue of sustainable living.
Sophia Pinakidou (Thessaloniki, Greece) - Pinakidou earned bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in chemistry education from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She taught for 14 years at the School of Health Sciences of the Technological Institute of Thessaloniki and is currently completing a master's degree in infectious diseases with the London University External Program. She is interested in infectious disease prevention, public health and health education.
Nick Provencher (Calais, Maine) - Provencher recently earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Arkansas at Monticello where he served as a student mentor and organized fundraisers in support of a local domestic violence shelter. His public service interests include public education and supporting individuals through higher education.
Gregg Potter (Lyndon Station, Wis.) - A graduate of the University of Nevada - Las Vegas with a degree in theatre performance, Potter has worked in upper management of corporate restaurants and in emergency assistance with tornado survivors. He served on the board of the Foundation of Retaining Creative Energy in Madison, Wis., and created an online social network to promote community involvement through technology. His public service interest is promoting individual worth within communities.
Katie Powell (Jacksonville, Fla.) - A graduate of Rollins College with a bachelor's in sociology and a minor in women's studies, Powell recently served as an AmeriCorps Public Ally with an initiative to promote food stamp use in local farmer's markets in Miami, Fla. During college, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA working on service learning projects targeting homelessness and gender inequality. She is interested in gender equality and economic development.
Lauren Remedios (Bangalore, India) - Remedios earned a bachelor's degree in commerce in India before completing a master's in English literature with a minor in cultural studies at Henderson State University. She worked as a third grade teacher at Huda Academy in Little Rock and interned at the Literacy Action Council of Central Arkansas. She volunteers as a tutor in English as a Second Language and basic literacy and is interested in educational improvement and improving literacy rates.
Jenna Rhodes (Grandview, Mo.) - Rhodes earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Northwest Missouri State University before completing a master's 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. She has volunteered with the Humane Society, Adopt-A-Highway and Habitat for Humanity among other organizations. Her public service interests include food policy, sustainability and environmental literacy.
Alexandra "Allie" Rodery Rouse (Piggott, Ark.) - A graduate of Arkansas State University with a degree in English, Rouse enters the concurrent JD/MPS program with the UALR Bowen School of Law. She is a founding member of the board of directors of the Clay County Arts Council and has volunteered with numerous organizations including Make-A-Wish, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society. Her public service interest is public health.
Aliyah Sarkar (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) - A graduate of Agnes Scott College with a degree in international relations, Sarkar taught English to Arab women at the Berlitz English Institute in Jeddah. In college, she helped start an Up Til' Dawn program to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital. She has also tutored young Arab women for the SAT and TOFEL exams and taught refugee children in Decatur, Ga. She is interested in women's empowerment and working with disadvantaged women across the globe.
Katt Slee (Independence, Mo.) - A graduate of Georgetown University with a bachelor's degree in government, Slee has worked in the office of U.S. Senator James Talent and at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. An AmeriCorps alumnus, she was volunteer coordinator for Mary House, which provides housing for low-income families. She is interested in finding local and private sector solutions to community needs.
James Stephens (St. Louis, Mo.) - A graduate of Lindenwood University with a bachelor's in business management, Stephens has volunteered as an adolescent drug abuse counselor. He served as an assistant coach for a St. Louis semi-pro football team and started a food truck business to serve workers in an industrial section of St. Louis without many restaurants. Stephens' public service interests include environmental policy and community improvement.
Cathrine Schwader (Rogers, Ark.) - Schwader is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas where she majored in sociology and minored in anthropology and honors interdisciplinary studies. She interned at HAVEN House, a group home for girls in the foster care system, and volunteered with the Women's Shelter of Central Arkansas, Habitat for Humanity and the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project, among other organizations. Her public service interest is food security.
Neena Viel (Newburgh, N.Y.) - A graduate of Arkansas State University with a degree in communication studies, Viel is an internationally ranked debater who has competed in tournaments in Berlin and Rome. She researched the empowerment of at-risk youth for Upward Bound and helped launch the first Delta Debate League. She served as a scholarship mentor with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and interned at the Clinton Foundation. Her public interests are education policy and advocacy for the disadvantaged.
Josh Visnaw (Saginaw, Mich.) - A graduate of Central Michigan University where he studied photojournalism, Visnaw worked as program coordinator for Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans and interned with Detroit Lions NFL football team. He served as an AmeriCorps volunteer working on flood disaster relief in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and with Rebuilding Together New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. His public service interests are education and youth mentoring.
Emily Wernsdorfer (York, Pa.) - A graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in anthropology, Wernsdorfer has worked three summers as assistant program director at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center, a retreat facility with a focus on hospitality, sustainability and outreach. She volunteered as a youth ambassador for the Rotary Club in the Czech Republic and served with various youth events at Ferncliff Camp. She is interested in issue advocacy surrounding youth, women and families.
Christian Williams (Little Rock, Ark.) - Williams was a Donaghey Scholar at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She worked at a Sherwood, Ark., nursing home and as a literacy and creative writing instructor at the First Baptist Main St. Summer Camp. She has volunteered with the Arkansas Food Bank and the Toltec Mounds Experimental Archaeology Education Project. Her public service interests include sustainable agriculture, hunger relief and civic engagement.
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