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:

Culture Connect

There is room for everyone in our country.

Missoula is home to a number of refugee families from around the world. As this capstone project highlights, refugee children enter an entirely new culture which requires a reconstruction of their habits and norms. To ease this transition, schools need to foster inclusivity and intercultural competence. By creating a diversity education toolkit, this group confronts possible intolerance early and prevents cultural friction as young students learn interculturalism. Their main objectives include reducing prejudice, enhancing cultural representation, supplementing language support, improving introductory lessons, and designing resources for teachers. Their project certainly makes classrooms everywhere more inclusive.


It became apparent that eating insects is the future after two capstone teams worked independently on the integration of entomophagy. They acknowledge that other cultures regularly implement insect ingredients into their diet, but the United States has very little regulation or recognition of insect-based foods. By redefining how food is interpreted, they seek to provide sustainable alternatives to traditional farming. One group created a toolkit that comprises a resolution, food safety regulations, recipes and videos, which helps to encourage communities to build their awareness of entomophagy. The other formulated lesson plans for grades three through five to educate and reform the understanding of insect consumption.

Entomophogy is the practice of eating bugs.