UIW’s Capstone Experience: Graduating Students Present Final Projects

December 8, 2023

Before UIW graduates can officially move their tassels from one side of their mortarboard to the other, many must complete a final Capstone project requirement, putting what they learned over the entirety of their time in school on display and to the test. These students have worked diligently within their research to ensure that they could deliver the best quality presentation to their mentors, peers, and community.

For their capstone projects, students from the H-E-B School of Business and Administration (HEBSBA) were paired up with real corporations and nonprofits with the challenge of tackling a specific problem of strategic importance to the organization.

Dr. Taylor Collins, chair of Economics and Management, shared that the purpose of these final projects is to put together the four previous years of collective learning into action through hands-on experience. In addition, he explains that these presentations give students a preview of what the professional business world will really look like. Split into small groups, students in the HEBSBA Capstone class work directly with their assigned organization for months, conducting research and completing intricate financial models to assist the business – often a local one – with best practices and suggested courses of action. At the final presentation, representatives and leaders from the assigned organizations sit in the audience and test the strength of the groups’ projects by asking on-the-spot questions.

student presenter

“These classes bring application to the forefront of the student's focus and give the student the chance to see all the practical ways in which their newly acquired skills can be applied in the real world,” explained Collins. “This is why this type of experiential learning is a great supplement to cap off our students' educational experience.”

Students in the School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering (SMSE) Computer Information Systems (CIS) program also got to present their findings and demonstrate their skills through the presentation of their Capstone projects. In their Capstone class, students research, develop, exhibit and present an original individual project that demonstrates mastery of computer information systems technologies, usages and issues.

Dr. Sreedevi Ande, professor and chair of Engineering, was in attendance along with other colleagues in support of the presenting students. She explained that in addition to these presentations giving students the chance to showcase and apply what they’ve gained through the program, it also gives them a chance to enhance their communication skills.

“The successful completion of capstone presentations signifies a significant academic achievement for students,” she shared. “It is exciting to see students sharing innovative ideas, creative solutions, and the practical applications of their knowledge."  

Both professors – as well as all UIW faculty – are beyond proud of the progress of their students. As Collins and Ande prepare to send their most recent graduates out into their chosen professions, they share a bit of advice for their most recent graduates to carry with them.

Dr. Collins advises that although it is important to take the time to celebrate this accomplishment, it is also just as important to keep moving forward.  

“The completion of your degree is going to open all kinds of doors to opportunities you probably never even knew were out there. But seizing on those opportunities to the fullest extent is going to rely on the continual acquisition of more knowledge and more skills. In short, we are never done learning … don't quit striving for personal growth and development … use these degrees to catapult you forward to the next challenge in your lives, rather than as a laurel to rest on.”

Dr. Ande extends her heartfelt congratulations and acknowledges that her students’ hard work, dedication, and perseverance has brought them to such a significant moment.

“The knowledge they have acquired, the challenges they have overcome, and the relationships they have built at UIW have shaped them into concerned and enlightened citizens. Best wishes for a bright and fulfilling future to our Fall 2023 graduates. May their next chapter be filled with success, happiness, and continued learning.”