Thursday
May 21
2015
May 21, 2015

Clinton School Graduates Prepare to Change Communities

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The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service was the first graduate school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service degree. The two-year Master of Public Service degree provides students with hands-on learning experience ranging from local work in Arkansas to international projects. With graduation and job placement rates exceeding 85 percent, students graduate from the Clinton School with expertise to advance their careers towards public service. In celebration of graduation season, we’re featuring two Clinton School graduates and their public service goals.

Allison Meyer: Creating Education Opportunities for Others

“I was able to combine my passion for working with young students and my interest in data into one job. I am also incredibly grateful to my classmates who supported and helped me during my two years at the Clinton School. I am excited to return to Chicago and continue helping young students reach their full potential.”- Allison Meyer, 2015 Clinton School of Public Service Graduate

I am excited to return to Chicago and continue helping young students reach their full potential.

Allison Meyer is passionate for expanding opportunities to young students. Allison said, “When looking into graduate programs, the Clinton School seemed to allow for direct learning application with its field service projects. I also was interested in gaining more international experience, but I wanted to contribute in a more sustainable way than a short-term service trip.” Before starting the Clinton School in August 2013, Allison taught and mentored 9th grade students in Chicago, and knew that she wanted to return to the area after graduation to continue to help the community where she grew up. During her time at the Clinton School, Allison harnessed her passion for education and developed skills in monitoring and evaluation through field service experiences and graduate school courses. While at the Clinton School, Allison served as Hands-On Learning Program Coordinator and helped design an experiential learning program for 7th and 8th graders in Little Rock. Allison also spent six months in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, working for Sarus, a peace-building organization. She evaluated two service-learning programs and conducted a tri-nodal stakeholder analysis, in order to help Sarus grow its capacity.

In a few weeks, Allison will return to Chicago to work at City Year, an education-focused nonprofit, as the new Evaluation Manager, where she will be responsible for collecting and analyzing student data in order to help City Year Chicago achieve its goals more efficiently and effectively. As she enters this exciting chapter of her life, Allison is realizing the true value of her experience at the Clinton School: furthering her own education in order to strengthen education systems for others.

Brad Cameron: Addressing Challenges in Public Service

“My coursework at the Clinton School not only prepared me to work with others to take on challenges the public service sector faces, it also helped me identify and build upon my key strengths in monitoring and evaluation. Combining this improved understanding of my strengths with the global network the Clinton School helped me cultivate, I have been better prepared to support initiatives that address statewide issues.” – Brad Cameron, 2015 Clinton School of Public Service Graduate

My coursework at the Clinton School not only prepared me to work with others to take on challenges the public service sector faces, it also helped me identify and build upon my key strengths in monitoring and evaluation.

Brad graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2011 with a degree in psychology and joined Teach For America in St. Louis. While teaching, he began serving as the communications director for The Disruption Department, a startup nonprofit that provides opportunities for students, their families, and teachers in the community to learn about engineering and design. In St. Louis, Brad recognized the critical need to improve access to quality learning opportunities for students both in and out of the classroom in order to prepare them for rewarding careers and help communities break vicious cycles of poverty. He noticed that many programs needed informed program design and evaluation, which prompted him to attend the Clinton School. There, he has been able to develop relevant skills that allow him to support organizations that share his passion for improving academic opportunities through quality programs and innovation within education systems.

After graduating from the Clinton School, Brad will continue working at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF), where he has served as a program associate since January 2015. As an associate, Brad assists with grantmaking focused on increasing educational attainment and strengthening communities. One project Brad is currently involved in is the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (AR-GLR), which is working toward ensuring that every student in Arkansas can read at grade level by the end of third grade. Those working on this campaign are providing targeted resources to parents, educators, business leaders, and policymakers to increase parent engagement opportunities within schools, improve school readiness in students’ early years, increase school attendance, and prevent summer learning loss. 

Brad believes that his coursework at the Clinton School uniquely prepared him to collaborate with colleagues at WRF as well as nonprofit leaders throughout Arkansas to design, manage, and assess the progress of statewide initiatives to improve graduation rates and promote community-centered, resident-driven change throughout Arkansas. Through his work at WRF, Brad is proud to share what he has learned from the Clinton School. By leveraging support from the Clinton School alumni network, he will continue to lift up organizations dedicated to improving academic outcomes for students and strengthening communities in Arkansas.