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Capstone Projects at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University are integrative, team-based, applied research projects required of all students. Led by a faculty member on behalf of a client agency, these projects require students to think independently, frame and analyze issues, and apply their academic knowledge and skills.

Capstone students have broad discretion in defining the project, allocating tasks, communicating with the client, and establishing and ensuring deadlines using effective communication, teamwork, and collaborative learning strategies. The projects fully prepare students to supervise, conduct, and evaluate large-scale public policy research and culminate in a formal, written report and oral presentation to the client.

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Recent Submissions

  • Do NGOs Deliver? The Role of NGOs in Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan 

    Fierros, Carlos; Jaloway, Kristian; Jones, Alissa; Mason, Mary Margaret; Shtepani, Christine; Shuler, Mariah; Spiva, Rainie; Ward, Jerica; Weir, Caroline (2017-03-06)
    Eleven million Syrians have fled their homes or have been killed as a result of the Syrian Civil War that began in 2011 (Mercy Corps, 2016). The violence, destruction of homes, human rights violations, and lack of access ...
  • Conflict, Earthquakes, and School Outcomes: Two Studies on Nepal 

    Brewer, Levi; Crowder, Leah; Lee, Minseok; Mikayilov, Elshad; Nepal, Sanmita; Perl, Alexandra; Hardin Tanguay, Brittany; Wendelbo, Morten (2017-03-06)
    The increased frequency of natural disasters globally has prioritized the need for a broader understanding of disaster resilience. More recently, on April 25 and May 12 of 2015, two major earthquakes devastated many ...
  • The 25th Anniversary of the Liberation of Kuwait: A Look at the History, Evolution, and Future of the US-Kuwaiti Relationship 

    Babcock, Evon; Best, Sara; Karle, Joseph; Knight, Sarah; Lattier, Brian; Moore, Katelyn; Nowicky, Mathue; Wilbur, Grant (2017-03-06)
    On August 2, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The subsequent liberation by a US-led coalition served as a watershed moment in US-Kuwaiti relations. The Gulf War is often viewed as the onset of the close relationship ...
  • Strengthening Ukraine: Policy Recommendations for the New Administration 

    Antonidis, Anthony; Berry, Chelsea; Cooper, Maddison; Dirksen, Meaghan; Dobbins, Cassidy; Hopkins, Danelle; Leon, Anthony; Rodriguez, Joe IV (2017-03-06)
    This project comprises four sections exploring how to strengthen Ukrainian institutions, the Ukrainian military, the Ukrainian economy, and how to assist the Ukrainians in countering Russian propaganda. Within each section ...
  • Framing the Next Nuclear Posture Review: A State-Centric, Strategic Approach 

    Karrlsson-Willis, Charlotte; Moss, Russell; Zakrevska, Tetiana; Cleckner, Anna; Sparks, Ruth; Kannuthurai, Vinod (2017-03-06)
    The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), released by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2010, announced an unprecedented shift in the U.S. nuclear policy away from state-based threats to nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism ...
  • The Foundations of Judicial Legitimacy: Experimental Evidence from across Contexts 

    Barber, Jennifer; Höcker, Koen; Hoorwitz, Rachel; Taylor, Andrew; Walker, William (2017-03-06)
    In functioning states, despite a lack of authoritative power, judiciaries are respected and their rulings are adhered to by their respective citizens. This is known as judicial legitimacy. Popular support of the court ...
  • Exercises and Adversaries: The Risks of Military Exercises 

    Garrett, Alaina; Ford, Kerrie; Grimm, Matt; Haight, Nathaniel; Allison, Robert (2017-03-06)
    We argue that military exercises can create four types of risk—accidents, hostility, reciprocity, and crises. The level of risk an exercise creates is determined by two factors. The first factor is the political environment ...
  • Youth Employment in Ghana: Conditions and Determinants 

    Barrett, Zachary; Berrios, Andrea; He, Yukuai; Larsen, Sean; Novoa, Miguel; Twumasi-Ankrah, Kwame; Vega, Camille (2015-06-11)
    Youth employment, and its limitations, is a pertinent problem that most developing nations face. “Youth Employment in Ghana: Conditions and Determinants” is a student-led research project that summarizes and analyzes the ...
  • China's Pathways to Energy Security 

    Beard, Steven; Caruana, Craig; Coats, Charles; Haguewood, Robert; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Morgan, Broderick; Murray, Joshua; Riedell, Michael (2010)
    This project explores the growing web of connections - specifically, in the area of energy interdependence among the East Asian states and India with oil producing states in the Persian Gulf region. These relations are ...
  • Improving health conditions in conflict-affected Liberia: A community-based approach 

    Achgill, Dustin; Geray, Jacob; El Hachimi, Hafid; Jadhav, Vaibhavi; Mullins, Emily; Reddy, Himani; Sparks, Trey; Valdez-Vivas, Natalia; Walker, Erik; Ali, Nida; Beaugh, Kristina; Caldwell, Megan; Darkhalil, Ahmad; Gray, Cole; Hirase, Takashi; Mahmoud, Noor; Mueller, Brendan; Poland, Bill; Stewart, Chelsea (2015-06-03)
    Many countries receiving development assistance are in the midst of economic transitions and will become increasingly able to fund their own response. However, transitions to country owned, managed and eventually financed ...
  • What to Cut and How to Cut? Historical Lessons from Past Reductions in the Intelligence Community 

    Cook, Austin; Edmiston, William; Glenn, Stuart; Goodwin, Derek; Kaehr, Matthew; Nebl, James; Phares, Benjamin; Yang, Elizabeth; Yeo, Jessica (2012)
    Under what conditions can the Intelligence Community cut its resources while still maintaining their effectiveness? What do past eras of reduction suggest about what to cut and how best to cut? The United States Government ...
  • Emerging Trends with a Significant Impact on the U.S. Intelligence Community 

    Stubblefield, Amber; Stockstill, Leah; Westerhof, Emily; Hopper, Eric; Pinones, Zach; Niegelsky, Mark; Mickle, Devon; Davis, Cristina; Rothrock, Caroline (2014)
    How has current culture affected the thinking of college age students who constitute the potential future work force. We need to know how they think for a number of reasons. Specifically, recruiters need to know how to ...
  • Too Hot To Handle: Climate Change, Geopolitics, and U.S. National Security in 2025 

    Boggs, Jay W.; Chellinsky, Andrew; Ege, David; Hodges, Allen; Reynolds, Tripp; Williams, Adam (2007)
    Looking ahead to 2025, what policies should future US administrations consider as appropriate responses to climate change, and what level of commitment should be devoted to addressing global climate change by the US ...
  • Envisioning a Bright Future for New Braunfels Children: A Community-Based Approach to School Readiness 

    Fanomezantsoa, Herilala; Hopkins, Elizabeth; Tooley, Kathryn (2015-05-20)
    This report provides an overview of a qualitative, participatory study conducted by a capstone team from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. The McKenna Foundation of New Braunfels, ...
  • Social Service Availability & Proximity And The Over-Representation Of Minority Children in Child Welfare 

    Bathman, Jake; Foster, David; Ingels, Laura; Lee, Chongmyoung; Miramontes, Claudia; Youngblood, Jo (2010)
    The capstone group assessed whether child welfare services were available and proximal in predominantly low income, black areas with high foster care rates in three southern cities. GIS mapping of services contained in a ...
  • Integrated Risk Management at the Local Level: The Gap between Theory and Practice 

    An, Seung-Ho; Carchidi, Arielle; Johnson, Eric; Lester, Sean; Liversidge, Jeremy; Mathis, Lindsey; Vannerson, Andrew (2014)
  • Dallas Challenge Final Report 

    Medina, Gabriella; Leichtle, Stephanie; Garraway, Charlotte (2015-05-20)
    The project is an analysis of Dallas Challenge’s current image through a stakeholder assessment. Following the assessment, we will provide strategies and tactics that Dallas Challenge can incorporate in order to successfully ...
  • Evaluating the Implementation of the National Strategy for Biosurveillance 

    Armstrong, Iain; Berry, Erin; Bitter, Alexander; Colburn, Leland; Karika, Kathleen; Paulino, Jose; Redden, Rebekah; Vien, Thomas "Tex"; Williams, Lodrick (2015-05-20)
    Biological incidents, both man-made and naturally occurring, represent a significant threat to the national security of the United States. Identifying these crises begins with the detection and reporting of essential ...
  • U.S. Strategic Options towards Iran: Understanding the U.S.–Iranian Relations through Iranian Domestic Politics 

    Abernathy, Jacob; Blanco, David; Kingsley, Marlee; Kramer, Michael; Lopacka, Karolina; Mauel, Heather; Peacock, Mike; Stotts, Katherine; Varela, Marques; Young, Krysten (2014)
    The ongoing nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran have made greater progress on more substantial issues than any previous talks. This report argues that Iran’s unprecedented willingness to negotiate is strongly ...
  • CEFADES: An impact evaluation of a vocational and rehabilitation program for at-­‐risk youth in Eastern DRC 

    Chen, Zike; Finnegan, Gavin; Hobson, David; Pinzon, Diego; Vander Hey, Gabriel (2013)
    In the fall of 2013, a group of students at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University were approached to design and implement a survey to gauge the effectiveness of a youth employment program ...

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