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October 18, 2017—LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—McLarty Scholars is pleased to announce its 2017 recipients—Mollie Henager and Emily Smith, two University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students, and Yvonne Quek, a graduate of the Clinton School. During their semester-long fellowships at Vital Voices Global Partnership in Washington, D.C. Henager and Smith are conducting research and will present an impact evaluation on Vital Voices’ network of women leaders in their VVGROW and Global Freedom Exchange programs. Quek’s year-long fellowship at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) is focusing on researching issue areas related to the economic empowerment of women and the impact of climate change on women.

“Mollie, Yvonne and Emily continue the tradition of accomplished and engaged graduate students from the Clinton School of Public Service who have participated in our Scholars program,” said Donna McLarty, co-founder of McLarty Scholars and co-founder of Vital Voices. “These women are true leaders who are passionately committed to both public service and women’s empowerment on their campuses, in their communities and on their international projects.”

A second-year graduate student at the Clinton School of Public Service, Mollie Henager received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in psychology and Spanish, was a consultant for the Centers for Youth and Families and worked as a medical interpreter for the Westside Free Medical Clinic.  She also served as an English teacher and independent researcher in Guatemala.  This past summer, Henager worked in Peru as a monitoring and evaluation coordinator for Awamaki, a nonprofit organization that provides local businesswomen with professional skills and access to new markets.

Yvonne Quek, a graduate of the Clinton School who was born and raised in Singapore, recently worked in Peru at a project related to the social return on investment. She is a graduate of the National University of Singapore with a law degree. Before heading to the Clinton School, Quek was a corporate attorney in Singapore and also assisted with fundraising for Saigon’s Children Charity in Ho Chi Minh City. Quek was also a McLarty Scholar recipient in 2016 and helped assess the impact of the Vital Voices GROW Fellowship.

Emily Smith, also a second-year graduate student at the Clinton School, received her undergraduate degree from Hendrix University in Conway, Arkansas.  She has served as a project consultant on rural issues for Arkansas Electric Cooperative and as a team leader for AmeriCorps in Little Rock and Boston. Smith has also worked as an onsite researcher in Bengalaura, India for MYRADA, a non-governmental organization dedicated to developing programs to empower women in small, tribal communities. Smith spent the past summer in Uganda, collecting data on how the Limited Resource Teacher Training program provides opportunities for teachers.

McLarty Scholars was established in 2011 by Donna and Mack McLarty and their sons Mark and Franklin, daughter-in-law Gabriella and granddaughter Brianna. This prestigious program provides students with substantive opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, research, international experience and cross cultural understanding.

“Gaining a world-perspective is one of the most valuable gifts to give a student,” said Mack McLarty.  “We are very proud that McLarty Scholars continues to connect students studying in Arkansas with the professional and public service endeavors in Washington, D.C. and globally.”

Henager, Quek and Smith are the fourth class of McLarty Scholars granted fellowships.  Past McLarty Scholars include Anna Applebaum of California, Tshering Yudon of Bhutan, Mara D’Amico of Michigan, Jennifer Guzman of Arkansas, Michelle Perez of Venezuela and Arjola Limani of Albania.


For more information about the McLarty Scholars program visit