Year Four

The Capstone

Leadership and teamwork throughout the last three years are brought to fruition during the capstone component of the Franke Global Leadership Initiative. This final phase takes place during year four when Fellows have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery through interdisciplinary capstone projects. In small, faculty-supported groups, Franke Fellows address crucial issues affecting the world community and propose new ideas and new solutions. 

Do you ever wonder where good ideas come from?

Each Franke Fellow chooses a Global Theme and Challenge to focus on throughout the program, but how do those turn into capstone projects? Good ideas, as shown in the video above, are not created in a vacuum, but are an accumulation or a collision of idea fragments. Starting in the spring semester of year two, Franke Fellows participate in capstone forums and capstone events based on their chosen themes. The forums are a place for ideas to collect and transform, as well as a way for Fellows to identify others who share their passions and are willing to work toward a shared goal. Fellows collaborate with a self-selected group of peers to determine a capstone project. Fellows also have access to a whole world of information, with hundreds of initiatives focused on proposing solutions to some of our most daunting societal, economic, environmental and technological issues.

For a look at what questions and challenges others are contemplating, visit the links below:

For more detailed information about the Franke GLI Capstone year, please visit the Capstone Resource Guide

Past Capstone Projects:

Bridging the Gap: Producing a play with the Congolese Refugees of Missoula

A group of students from above sitting around a table having a discussion

In today’s global culture amid the increasingly contentious debate about immigration, the topic of refugees is particularly relevant. This group determined that storytelling is one of the most effective means to create understanding between refugees and host communities. Facilitated by the group’s fundraising, logistic coordination and marketing, refugee families wrote and starred in a play aimed at showing Missoula, as well as Montana’s larger community, what the refugees experienced before coming to Missoula. Scenes from the play include living in a refugee camp, dealing with death and disease, encountering strict law enforcement at every step, and passing through a series of interrogations before coming to Missoula.

Combating Global Sex Trafficking: Addressing its Humanitarian Impact

Alarmed by the prevalence of sex trafficking in just Montana, this group was inspired to dig deeper into the causes of sex trafficking and its most vulnerable victims. By researching current legislation they found that many of the laws necessary to protect these victims are already in place. This research project focuses on the lack of enforcement of anti-trafficking laws. The group created two different plans to impact sex trafficking in Montana and abroad. First, they educated Missoula citizens about the complexities of sex trafficking through acting and storytelling. Second, they made existing resources more accessible to these victims by identifying the most prevalent nationalities of victims they created posters and with appropriate translations for established resources. To ensure the accessibility of these materials they partnered with the Department of Justice or an NGO.

A poster showing many female faces that explains how to recognize trafficking and the rights of victims

Mitigating the Global Issue of Food Waste Through Children's Literature

An illustration of several food items on the verge of going bad with a title of

Food waste is a global problem that can be greatly reduced through awareness and education. This group created an illustrated children’s book focusing on three main problems seen in global and domestic food waste. This approach presents young readers with a problem that inspires empathy, followed by solutions they can implement in their own homes. The goal is to raise awareness and interest in food waste and encourage behavioral change at an early age. Although, the environmental implications of food waste are global, the solution starts locally with individual action at the consumer level. If we can change simple behaviors in childhood, the impact will begin to spread globally.