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GLI Juniors Prepare for Capstone

Three GLI Juniors listen intently to a discussionNow is the time when GLI juniors begin brainstorming their capstone projects, the culminating experience of their four years as GLI students, and the projects that they can take away as graduating seniors.  The Capstone Event is a place where these students can gather together and brainstorm big ideas.

“Tonight is like serious speed dating,” said Professor Dalenberg, a member of the GLI Task Force and Capstone subcommittee. He stood before five tables of students, grouped based on previously discussed interests on Moodle discussion boards. Other faculty, Professor Hubble of the Women’s and Gender Studies program and Professor Janson of the Division of Biological Sciences, helped students by entering the discussions themselves.

Each group started with a brainstorm, throwing ideas and themes onto the table. Discussions began that would eventually lead into the first drafts of Capstone project plans. The eclectic collection of majors in each group only added to the conversations, as each member tackled his or her topic from a unique perspective. In one group, Political Science, Journalism, and Sociology majors discussed making a magazine intended to make high school students aware of international issues. In another, English Education, Finance, Media Arts, and Anthropology majors communicated ways to reach out to international students. After coming up with some bare-bones ideas, groups pitched their projects to the room in simple keywords, such as Inform, Inequality, and Cultural Integration. Once these keywords were established, groups were reformed, and students could choose to move tables and join the deliberation in topics that interested them most.

Katheryn, a journalism major, plans on creating a magazine for high school students that focuses on international issues. “[We can] get high schoolers to think about where their passions are,” she said in a group discussion.

Cody wants to make a lasting impact on the topic of inequality in social and health issues. On the subject of ways children could be educated on such issues, he said, “I don’t want our project to get lost in all the other programs already available.”

Splinter groups formed as well, for those with varying subjects in mind. Emily and Hana Sara, students in English and Theater departments, discussed ways that the performing arts could be used as therapeutic or coping mechanisms. “Art therapy exists, and I think that dance can be just as therapeutic,” Emily said. “Even just improvisational dance.”

Then came the big question of the night: Who do we need to recruit? For example, Emily and Hana realized someone in the field of psychology would make a great contribution to their research. It was only a matter of finding the right person.

Groups brainstormed the various disciplines they would need to recruit in order for their projects to be successful. Some needed media arts specialists, in order to advertise their project, whether it culminated into a product or an event. Others needed journalists to chronicle their work to the public, in order to reach a broader audience.

After tonight, students will continue their project discussions on Facebook, in Moodle, and in person, as their passion grows for their chosen global issues.