Capstone Projects

Since 2017, the Emerging Leaders Academy has incorporated a Capstone Project component into the curriculum which allows participants to apply newly acquired leadership skills and knowledge to make an impact on campus.  ELA cohort members will work in designated teams to develop a project on which they will work throughout the curriculum year.  The team format will require planning, effective communication, collaboration, and partnership in order to achieve success.  The Capstone Projects must align with institutional values as embodied in the ISU Strategic Plan and Principles of Community.  While teams will have time during class sessions to work on their projects, participants are expected to devote some time outside of class to the completion of these projects.

  • Stories Abroad - The project provides students who have participated in a Study Abroad program to record a “story” about their abroad experiences. The stories will be video recorded and ultimately form a Story Abroad library. The stories students will share will consist of short, 3 to 5 minute story videos.
  • Iowa State University Principles of Community Banner Project – To create an ongoing presence on campus that brings awareness to the Iowa State Principles of Community through the creation and posting of eight light pole banners to be displayed along Morrill Road/Union Drive. The banners will help demonstrate an ongoing University commitment to the Principles, in addition to generating awareness of the Principles.
  • Helping Hand Mentoring Program - Develop a mentoring program model (such as “Gramma/Grampa”, Big Brother/Sister, etc.) for 1) ISU students in need of support/mentoring/or just a touch of caring, and 2) ISU staff and faculty (including emeriti) who want to be involved with student success beyond academics.
  • Veteran Support Coalition - Partner with the Veteran’s Center and veteran student alumni to provide connectivity opportunities with current students who are veterans.
  • Pop-Up Shop Sustainability Project - Worked with MLOs and other university staff to create a sustainable model that provides 1) professional dress and 2) winter wear for ISU students. This would consist of working to 1) research other university models, 2) evaluate/locate financial support, and 3) identify storage and/or a permanent room to hold shop hours.
  • Cyclones Forever - Remembering Iowa State students who have died and honoring their accomplishments by creating a website in conjunction with student assistance.
  • University Library Oral History Project - Worked with the University Library to develop an oral history project. Collecting oral histories will add value to the university.
  • Principles of Community Project – Work towards finding real stories on campus that reflect ISU’s Principles of Community.
  • E-book on ISU History through Diverse Lenses - Will not rewrite history but will tell comprehensive stories while not dishonoring ISU.
  • Capturing Institutional Knowledge - Establish best practices to capture institutional knowledge and a set of essential off-boarding tasks when an employee leaves their position or needs to have their job duties covered during an absence.
  • Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Student Innovation Center - Connect underrepresented students at Iowa State University through exploration, innovation, and entrepreneurship, facilitated by the Student Innovation Center (SIC).
  • ICON Conference - As a global campus, ISU’s community is made up of students, faculty, and staff from diverse international origins who are engaged in a wide range of exciting activities across the world. We propose a half-day event to celebrate this international diversity and enhance cross-cultural engagement.
  • How to Get Started as a New Supervisor – Our project helps the P&S Council better support supervisors with reference and leadership training resources. We became aware of the need for P&S Supervisors to provide additional training resources to replace previous in-person options that were lengthy and expensive. We found that ISU did have extensive on-demand online resources but finding and understanding the relevance of these options was somewhat difficult. Our final product was a Canvas course site with a curated list of resources and materials. We also commissioned student-created animations based on scripts designed that were integrated into the site to promote relevant resources in a relatable way.
  • Workflex at ISU:  The overall goal was to provide UHR with information that they will use to create a Virtual Flexible-Work Toolkit for the ISU community.  The toolkit will contain ideas, strategies & resources on flexible work arrangements (FWAs) for supervisors & employees and is expected to enhance connectedness and promote the culture shift towards FWAs.
  • Microaggressions in Higher Education: A White Paper to Improve Campus Climate – The goal of the project was to bring awareness to the topic of microaggressions in higher education and invite meaningful conversations between ISU faculty, staff, and university leadership. In the white paper, they shared their findings on existing campus practices to address microaggressions and recommend further data collection, more resources for victims and bystanders, and a campus-wide campaign. 
  • Support SHOP: Raising Awareness and Funding for Food Insecurity – This was a campaign to raise awareness and funding for food insecurity for ISU students. They started with a modest goal of $7000 and blew by that ending with a total of $11,300 raised that assisted with the upgrades to the SHOP space on campus.
  • Suicide Awareness and Support Decals were developed for restrooms and/or other locations with a QR Code with suicide prevention resources, such as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This team worked with students from the College of Design to design the decals.  The goal was to provide easy access to resources to help those in need.
  • ISU Best Kept SecretsWhile Iowa State University has numerous interesting places open to the public, this team agreed that many go underutilized because the information is housed on a number of different department and office websites, not compiled on a centralized visitor’s page. This team imagined a resource that featured these points of interest in one place and was easily available to students, staff, alumni, prospective students, donors, and the greater Ames community. The group started with establishing criteria for selecting campus locations, gathering location information, categorizing each location under an overarching theme, and then built out the website. The team collaborated with many campus partners to gather location information, and with University Communications to hand the project over upon completion for long-term management.

To be announced in April of 2023