Capstone Awards

For their Capstone project, Alana King (’16, CAS’18) (from left), Katelin Lawrence (’16, CAS’18), Stefanie Rubin (’16, COM’18), and Emily Wiens (’16, Questrom’18) proposed a program to address food insecurity in Guatemala’s Western Highlands region. They received a 2016 Capstone Award, presented by John Mackey, associate chair and senior lecturer of social sciences at CGS (center). Photo by Alisa Harris

In fall 2016, the College of General Studies continued its annual tradition of recognizing outstanding Capstone projects. Award-winning teams tackled problems that have challenged US and international leaders: the defeat of ISIS, policy in the South China Sea, global food insecurity, and MBTA improvements.

A CGS institution since 1977, Capstone requires students to work in a team and act as experts or advocates as they develop a plan to solve a real-world problem. Camilla Kemppainen (’16, SAR’18) was among this year’s award winners. She worked on a team tasked with designing a plan to reform the T. “Being able to come up with a solution to something so vital to Boston…was pretty amazing alone,” she says, “but being able to do it as an undergraduate made it even more rewarding.”

For Stefanie Rubin (’16, COM’18), part of a team recognized for its study of farming and safe environmental practices, the project was a chance to tie in knowledge from the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences, “which is the point of Capstone,” she says.

Students find the experience challenging and deeply satisfying, according to Dan Erdman (’16, SAR’18). Like many others recognized at the fall awards event, he cites teamwork as one of Capstone’s central lessons. “Everyone relies on you and you have to pull your own weight,” he says.

Emma Rinaldi (’16, CAS’18), who admits she usually prefers to work by herself, agrees: “You gain so much working with other people.”

–Alisa Harris