Zekis, 25, a graduate of the University of South Dakota with a dual degree in biology and social work, served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) coordinator with the Interdisciplinary Education and Action program at her alma mater. As a service-learning coordinator, she promoted and expanded the service-learning office, coordinated alternative weekends of service and national days of service celebrations, as well as campus and community service trainings.
Drawing on her experiences in the foster care system, Zekis has worked with the South Dakota Independent Living Services and the Orphan Foundation of America, an organization that works to increase post secondary educational opportunities for foster youth. Zekis' interests also include health care policy and reform, particularly in rural areas.
"South Dakota made me who I am today. Its landscape gave me character and its people gave me a sense of community," Zekis said. "Its large blue skies gave me hope. Its life lessons speak through me every day."
The Clinton School offers a Master of Public Service degree with a curriculum that includes conflict transformation, communication strategies, principles of global leadership, legal and ethical dimensions of public service, and social change. Students will complete public service field experiences in Arkansas and around the globe and will design and implement an individual public service initiative.
The Clinton School of Public Service is a component of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.