The four-member graduate student team working to refine implementation of the public service curriculum at the Hope Academy of Public Service will explain its findings in a public presentation Tuesday, April 17.

The four-member graduate student team working to refine implementation of the public service curriculum at the Hope Academy of Public Service will explain its findings in a public presentation Tuesday, April 17.
The presentation, free to the public, is set for 6 p.m. in the Washington/Fulton Room at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana campus.
Team members represent a diverse set of backgrounds and applications of public service in their individual master’s degree study programs.
Marina Giannirakis, of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a graduate of John Carroll University with a degree in sociology and criminology and a minor in entrepreneurship. Giannirakis has interned at Legal Aid of Arkansas and the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration. She has volunteered in juvenile detention center work in Cleveland, Ohio, and her application interests include immigrant/refugee rights, criminal justice reform, and women’s rights.
Beth Quarles hails from Nasvhille, Tenn., and is a graduate of Lipscomb University with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in English language learner teaching and instructional leadership. She has taught English and American Culture at Three Gorges University in Yinchang, China, and has experience as a community organizer in northeast Arkansas. She plans on applying her master’s studies in education, women’s issues and social justice.
Joseph Stepina, of Coppell, Texas, is a graduate of Hendrix College in Conway with a degree in politics, and he is a concurrent juris doctor student at UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Stepina has served as a deputy court clerk in Faulkner County, and he intends to apply his studies in criminal justice reform, education and social justice.
Clay Turner, of Leachville, Ar., is a graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with a degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. Turner has served internships in the U. S. Congress and the office of the Arkansas Lieutenant Governor. He has worked to develop fine arts awareness in northeast Arkansas through the Foundation of Arts in Jonesboro; and, he intends to apply his studies in arts policy and human rights.
The team has spent the bulk of the 2017-2018 academic year working on research from which it will recommend how the public service curriculum at HAPS should be refined to better serve its mission.
Original research and curriculum development was presented to the Hope Public School District last year by the first of the two teams from the Clinton School, under the direction of Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III. That research produced the current program for the original grades 5-8 campus, the first of its kind in Arkansas.