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Capstone, in architecture, is the crowning piece of an arch, the center stone that holds the arch together, giving it shape and strength. Wagner’s Capstone pro- gram plays a similar role, by providing students with a centerpiece of their grad- uate experience whereby they are able to experience first-hand turning the theory of their studies into practice under the guidance of an experienced faculty member. Projects require students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific con- tent or issue area; enhance key process skills including project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. Capstone requires students to interweave their learning in all these areas, and to do so in real time, in an unpredictable, complex, real-world envi- ronment. 

As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportuni- ties for a client organization or conducting research on a pressing social question. 


Project: NYU Bookstore

Client: NYU Bookstore

Student: Faith Leah Brigham, Carmen Jordan Asensi, Nneoma Evon Kanu, Coby A Kalter, Pablo Villarreal

Semester Offered: Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

Problem: Helping NYU Bookstore improve financial viability and its role as a public space for the NYU community

Project Description: Involved designing a customer engagement challenge for the bookstore. Piloted a challenge designed to crowdsource the design of a new t-shirt. Experiment for the bookstore to learn how to engage with its customers

Project: Crowdsourcing

Client: NYU President’s office.

Student: Naomi Berlin, Dinorah Trinidad Guadalupe Cantu Pedraza, Hallie Abigail Martin, Chandan Sharma, Naomi Adland

Semester Offered: Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

Problem: Helping NYU move from closed to open governance.

Project Description: Producing a design guide, which includes case studies, primers, videos, and other components, to help decision makers grasp the opportunities and challenges of using crowdsourcing tool.

Project: Employee Engagement

Client: NYU Division of Operations

Student: Hortensia Perez Seldner, Elizabeth Martin-Craig Calmeyer, Sandra Kim, Theresa M Langley, Rachael A Young

Semester Offered: Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

Problem: DPS decided The Team should focus on the customer service role public safety officers play in serving their “clients” or members of the NYU community and other visitors on campus.

Project Description: Tapping into the experience of employees, DPS managers to solve public safety challenges at NYU.

Project: FTEE

Client: Future of Technology Enhanced Education Committee (FTEE) 

Student:Ashley Nichole Kolaya, Corey A. Blay, Laura Manley,Penny (Yiping) Wang, Damali Hicks Wynter, Jinny Jeong

Semester Offered: Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

Problem: University Governance is typically conducted by committees bhind closed door that lack access to a wdier ange of ideas and information.

Project Description: NYU’s Future of Technology Enhanced Education Committee (FTEE) is charged with guiding the University’s use of technology to support its academic mission and further its commitment to innovation in teaching, learning, and research. Working with FTEE-- whose membership includes a diverse group of faculty and staff from each school within the university as well as the Faculty Senators Council-- the Capstone Team analyzed how a university-wide committee with a broad directive might best utilize its resources for more effective decision-making.

The team examined theories of change and measures of success, as well as compared methods of other university-wide initiatives for identifying and engaging previously untapped experts and increasing buy-in from the community. This project aims to increase the value of participation in broadly defined decision-making and is intended to be transferable to multiple platforms and contexts. Conclusions gathered by the FTEE Committee, in conjunction with Capstone project results, may be used to support formal recommendations submitted to the university in the committee’s final report.

Project: Newsite

Client: Stern School and social enterprise association

Student: Ye Jin Chun, Michelle Tulino, Barrie Charney-Golden, Emily Clare  Thenhaus,Allison R. Whaley

Semester Offered: Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

Problem: Although University schools and departments regularly reach to alumni to make money, there is a for student groups to have a manageable way to tap the expertise of alumni without overwhelming them.

Project Description: Develop strategies for engaging alumni to help student groups.

Project: World Bank Project on Innovative Procurement

Client: The World Bank

Student Team:

Semester Offered: Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

Problem Statement: TWI is facing a number of different "new" issues in procurement: how to adapt the rules for Public Private Partnership (PPP) deals; how to do procurement in fast-evolving sectors such as water and ICT, and how to make sure tested but innovative technologies can compete for bids in "traditional" sectors such as water or ICT. TWI has number of experiences that provide insights on these issues (e.g. the just completed review of Output- and Performance- based Road (OPRC) contracts, apps challenges bringing project teams in traditional sectors into contact with ICT service providers in other countries who provide better services and lower costs) and the department is working with the Bank’s Global Partnership on Output-based Aid (GPOBA) on results based procurement issues in transport (roads) and water.

Project Description: Procurement policies are optimized around acquiring a hammer from Hammer Inc. rather than identifying the most effective solution for affixing a nail, which might come from an unexpected and nontraditional source. NYUWagner Capstone students will design the process, policy, and technology for an open and collaborative public procurement process that can be deployed and tested by the World Bank on itself.  The goal of the project will be to identify new, open and collaborative public procurement mechanisms or existing best practices to foster the identification, implementation and scaling of innovative solutions to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Project: Open Corporate Registration

Client: UK companies House/Cabinet Office; Delaware Secretary of State

Student: Deborah Burke, Brandon Greenberg, Alex Hatzakis, Michael Swigert

Semester Offered: Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

Problem Statement: Relationships between and within corporations, firms and other organizations (entities) have become increasingly complex. Doing business with and tracking companies for regulatory and research purposes is made more difficult by the lack of a single identifying number to facilitate an understanding of the relationships between subsidiaries and parent both within and between companies. This complexity has come into sharp focus during the most recent financial meltdown and its aftermath. Firms and transactions within this sector have grown so complex that it has become close to impossible to analyze individual trades and their impacts on a parent company, the industry, and as we have seen, the economy. 

Project Description: In order to develop a comprehensive and accurate global directory of information about public and private companies and organizations -- and to make that data freely accessible in order to promote good governance, corporate accountability, economic growth, research, and the public interest – this capstone team will identify business models, including fee arrangements, for corporate registration as an alternative to the revenue generated by the exclusive sale of data to business intelligence companies. The goal of the team will be to enable the free publication of machine-readable corporate registration data in both the United States and in the United Kingdom. 

Project: Rethinking Regulations

Client: OrgPedia

Student: Noah Sheroff, Tina Spaic, Elizabeth Ruth Buck. Tanja Hamilton, Vaughn T Mayers

Semester Offered: Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

Problem Statement: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) corporate reporting has become a major area of interest and concern for investors, social activists, and the leadership of corporations themselves. The last several years have seen a growing movement to include these factors as a form of reporting that is as relevant and significant as a company’s financial performance. Increasingly, however, ESG reporting is being seen not only as a tool for social responsibility, but as a key measure of corporate leadership that should concern even investors who are only interested in a company’s long-term performance. Corporate sustainability has become a critical concern in the wake of the financial crisis, and ESG measures are one way to assess the quality of corporate governance and whether a company is following sustainable practices. 

Project Description: This project will research, analyze, and make recommendations on the use of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) reporting as a tool to inform investors and consumers and to promote corporate accountability. It will result in a white paper and presentation that will be of interest to corporations, government regulators, and public-interest advocates. Its primary goal will be to advise OrgPedia, which is planning a major project based on ESG data.

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