GLI Capstone Mentors
The purpose of the capstone projects is to combine students’ efforts across disciplinary boundaries to pose and make progress solving problems of a global nature (either of widespread application, or problems that literally affect a majority of humanity). The cohort of students is already engaged in the initial steps of outlining subgroups of common interest and possible themes for their eventual capstone projects.
The capstone project will occupy both semesters of a student’s senior year. The fall semester will be spent discussing the dimensions, resources, and approaches needed to tackle the problem, including the various individual contributions that students will bring to this collective effort. The spring semester will be spent in intensive development, research, and coordination to produce a final ‘product’. The product may be a paper, artistic presentation, documentary, or other communication that is a manifestation of the students’ research efforts. At the end of the spring semester, the group will participate in a public presentation of their capstone project.
The mentor’s role is to guide the students toward productive interaction during their class meetings, support or direct the students to appropriate research sources, and when relevant provide discipline-specific input to their projects. Mentors will be provided with a common syllabus as a framework, but will have the ability to customize parts of it. To succeed as a mentor, it will NOT need to be an expert in the question that the students have chosen – the GLI task force will help identify volunteer experts from departments across campus who can provide specific knowledge and perspectives of particular disciplines. It is more important that mentors encourage respectful discussion of different points of view within a group and are willing to invest the time to ensure that the students receive help when they need it during the course of the project, including how to communicate their results most effectively. Flexibility and creativity may be needed to help the group overcome hurdles in their process of bringing their capstone project to fruition. Mentors will receive training in how to foster group dynamics and generate ideas, discussion and consensus.
Mentors will be compensated at a rate commensurate with the 1-credit course load assigned to the GLI capstone project. Compensation of $2,000 per credit may be taken as extra compensation, summer stipend, or funds credited to the department and available for the instructor’s use for research or travel support.
For more information, please email Jeanne Loftus. Mentors will be selected by December 13, 2013.