UA Little Rock grads, students join Clinton School of Public Service

Student Government Association President Connor Donovan

University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduates and William H. Bowen Law School students are among the 43 new students entering the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Master of Public Service degree program this fall. 

The new Clinton School students include seven UA Little Rock graduates and three students who are earning a concurrent Juris Doctor degree at Bowen.

This fall, the new Clinton School students will begin team-based public service projects with partner organizations in communities across Arkansas. In the classroom, the students will complete core courses in professionalism, social change, and conflict resolution.

UA Little Rock graduates and Bowen students who will attend Clinton in the fall include Salina Adolph of Little Rock; Ganelle Blake of Little Rock; Megan Burrow of Hot Springs; Nathan Davis of Sherwood; Connor Donovan of Little Rock; Starre Haas of Little Rock; Mariella Hernandez of Guayaquil, Ecudor; John Jackson of Little Rock; Joseph Stepina of Coppell, Texas; and Allison Tschlemer of Dallas.

The students include Connor Donovan, former Student Government Association president who earned the 2017 Whitbeck Memorial Award, the university’s top honor for a graduating senior.

“I was most attracted to the Clinton School program due to its emphasis on taking action,” Donovan said. “Not only will I be getting a world-class education in the classroom, but we will also be required to use the knowledge we gain to carry out meaningful service projects.”

Donovan said participating in opportunities like the Donaghey Scholars Program, Student Government Association, and Beta Gamma Sigma honor society gave him valuable experience needed for his next step in life.

“I feel absolutely confident that UA Little Rock has prepared me for postgraduate education at the Clinton School,” Donovan said. “The rigorous yet intellectually stimulating Donaghey Scholars Program prepared me to synthesize vast amounts of information and to develop solutions to challenges ranging from promoting environmental sustainability in the business sector to planning and developing cities in a way that minimizes marginalization of and maximizes benefits to all members of its community over time.”

During their time at the Clinton School, students will work on three public service projects: a team-based practicum project, an international public service project, and their final capstone project.

“We’re very proud to welcome the new Clinton School class. As the nation’s first to offer a Master of Public Service degree, we continue to attract individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and interests, but with a common purpose to uplift others,” said Clinton School Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. “Over the next two years, the public service projects these students will complete in Arkansas and throughout the world will have a significant positive impact.”

More information about the new Clinton School students:

  • Salina Adolph – A graduate of John Brown University with a degree in family and human services, Adolph is pursuing a concurrent Juris Doctor at UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. Her work experience includes a clerkship at the Monterrey Law Firm. Additionally, Adolph planned and facilitated events, meetings, and discussions about multiculturalism at John Brown University. Her areas of public service interest include immigration law, multiculturalism, racial reconciliation, community development, and mental health.
  • Ganelle Blake – A graduate of UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and a master’s degree in secondary education, Blake boasts a variety of work experience. She is the owner and strategic consultant at The Giovanna Group and was a major gift officer at the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross. Her public service interests include fundraising and strategic planning. 
  • Megan Burrow – Burrow graduated from UA Little Rock with a degree in political science and a minor in secondary education. She worked in English education in the Republic of Georgia as a member of the Peace Corps. Burrow’s public service interests include education reform, civil rights, and social justice.
  • Nathan Davis – Davis is a graduate of UA Little Rock with a degree in philosophy and a minor in history. He served five years in the United States Coast Guard and has volunteered in numerous political campaigns. His public service areas of interest include Native American communities and encouraging engagement in the political process.
  • Connor Donovan – Donovan graduated from UA Little Rock with a degree in international business with a Chinese concentration. In addition to being voted Student Government Association president as a senior, Donovan was named the Whitbeck Memorial Award winner in May 2017 as the university’s top graduating senior. He helped establish the Arkansas Association of Students, an organization representing student government associations for public universities and community colleges in Arkansas. His public service interests include international relations, educational equity, and strategic urban planning.
  • Starre Haas – Haas graduated from UA Little Rock with degrees in finance and accounting. She is serving in leadership with the City Beautiful Commission of Little Rock  and is the former president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. Her volunteer experience includes time as a team member for the Food for Good program. Haas’ areas of public service interest include urban planning and development, social justice, civil rights, and youth empowerment.
  • Mariella Hernandez – A graduate of UA Little Rock, Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in philosophy and religious studies. In addition to her work as supervisor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Office of Translation and Interpreting Services, she has served as an advocate for the Hispanic community in Arkansas for more than 15 years. Hernandez’s public service interests include the rights of children and women, public health, social justice, food and housing accessibility, and international affairs.
  • John Jackson – Jackson graduated from UA Little Rock with a degree in anthropology and is pursuing a concurrent master’s degree in public health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science. A United States Marine Corps member, he participated in several humanitarian operations. Jackson also worked as an EMT-B/Medic providing field care and treatment to civilians and military personnel with the Arkansas Army National Guard. His areas of public service interest include international relations, access to healthcare, renewable energy, and access to safe drinking water.
  • Joseph Stepina – Stepina is a graduate of Hendrix College with a degree in politics and is currently pursuing a concurrent Juris Doctor at UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. He has worked as a deputy court clerk in the Faulkner County Court District. Stepina’s public service interests include criminal justice reform, education, and social justice.
  • Allison Tschiemer – Tschiemer, who graduated from Hendrix College with a degree in history, is pursuing a concurrent Juris Doctor at UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. She has worked with the Arkansas Municipal League, City Year of Little Rock, and Little Rock Parks and Recreation. Additionally, she served in Vinh Linh, Vietnam, while documenting the state of education, gender relations, and memories of the Vietnam War. Tschiemer’s public service interests include youth empowerment, education reform, historical representation, and reproductive rights.
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