Global Studies Program

Experiential Learning

GLST 401 Capstone Seminar

The capstone seminar immerses students into varieties of immigrant and underserved communities in a global city, Los Angeles to assess community needs and resources and develop project proposals. Students visit ethnic enclaves, non-profit organizations and places for religious worship for ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews. The capstone course seeks to empower students to take leadership roles as they work to address global issues in immigrant and underserved communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The program is more than simple volunteering: it extends to students' exploration of their role in policy development, advocacy, action research and applied scholarship. The reflection papers required for project portfolios show significant personal growth in students' understanding of global issues. The best capstone projects are selected for the Pearson Scholar summer research program in which the students work on expanding their projects in sample and analysis full-time in 10 to 12 weeks during a summer break.

Global Studies Major
Class of 2011

"This capstone project has afforded me the opportunity to experience a kind of research I would not have had an opportunity to do otherwise. I feel that I have finally stumbled upon work that I would like to do in the graduate level and beyond. I have realized that I enjoy researching a subject on paper and being able to go out into the field and make real world connections to what has been written in books. Before completing this research I did not realize how much fulfillment I could get from synthesizing my education in such a way. Themes and ideas covered in classes I have taken throughout my CLU career floated up in my mind throughout this research process and it is apparent to me now that all of the knowledge I have gained is connected. … My research with Cambodian-Americans has inspired me to want to make a career out of research that may help communities better understand themselves and how to memorialize genocide in a way which is beneficial for them."

Global Studies Major
Class of 2011

"In doing the interviews and site visits in Los Angeles, I leaned that I enjoy doing ethnographic research. I knew that the work was going to be hard and I knew that I would have to overcome obstacles and be diligent to complete the field work but I did not realize how much I would enjoy conducting the interviews and doing the site visits. Knowing the interviewee's language and being able to connect with them and hear their stories was amazing. This was a great project to culminate my undergraduate work because four years ago I did not speak Spanish and did not have as much confidence as I do now. My goal has been to pursue a career in no-profit work and this project has reinforced that ambition and has inspired me to focus on advocacy. The project has also inspired me to focus on advocacy for the marginalized groups in society, namely in Latin America, as I go on to do my graduate work."

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