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Human Ecology MS Students Share Capstone Summer Projects

This summer graduates of the School of Human Ecology applied master’s degree in human ecology present capstone projects reflecting their wide-ranging professional skills and the human ecological approach to advancing well-being in society.  View these students’ project abstracts and links to their presentations below.

Ying Yang Youa Xiong: Community Engagement with HMoob American Entrepreneurs

With interest in fostering inclusive and meaningful community engagement with the HMoob American community, I helped develop an outreach and communications plan for the Hmong Economic Advancement and Capacity Building (HEACB) Project in partnership with the Hmong American Leadership and Economic Development (HALED) non-profit organization that is based in Eau Claire, WI. The internal outreach and communications plan is an outline that addresses the types of engagement and strategies of communications specific to the early phase of this capacity building project which wants to conduct a Wisconsin HMoob business needs assessment.

Lauren Swance: Donor Stewardship Strategies

I was able to collaborate on and lead a variety of projects with the Central Stewardship Team at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), concluding in a portfolio of my work within the donor stewardship field. While each of these projects was very different from the next, they all shared the commonality of engaging multiple stakeholder groups for a holistic perspective, as well as keeping the donor’s experience at top of mind. These projects did not focus on surface-level engagements like optional surveys or invites to events, but moments and things that would hopefully draw emotion to the donor’s overall experience at UW-Madison and encourage them to maintain their connection. Additionally, these projects support the research and evidence that segmentation of donors is important; there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stewarding donors, especially at various giving levels (Sims, 2020).

Joana Arengo: Exploring Sustainable Funding Opportunities and Partnerships to Combat Human Trafficking

ReGeneration International Philippines Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports those who are vulnerable to or are victims of human sex trafficking by providing multi-sector services, such as food, education, a safe environment, and health care access. The organization recently constructed a shelter called Regeneration Restoration Home, dedicated to young boy victims of trafficking and sexual abuse, a population that tends to receive fewer resources after being rescued. As they prepare for the upcoming arrival of their new residents, obtaining sustainable funding must be a priority for the organization to provide high-quality services to assist the victims during their healing process. Thus, this capstone project aimed to increase their funding opportunities through grants and restructure their current grant database for future efficiency and sustainability. Additionally, the project will work with the organization to develop plans in searching for potential partnerships with other local and international organizations fighting against human trafficking. Through our collaborative efforts, we hope to provide victims of trafficking a safe environment that encourages their recovery and restoration process while simultaneously gaining the necessary tools to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Kelly McClurg: “The Link” between Animal Cruelty & Violence against Humans: Raising Awareness with Teens and Education Professionals

The organization that I partnered with for my capstone project is called Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV), a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Madison, WI. My capstone project, in conjunction with the SAAV Teen program, was to research and write a guide targeted towards school-based education professionals, (teachers, counselors, social workers, school nurses, etc.), working with teens to increase their awareness of “the link” between animal cruelty and violence against humans and how it may impact teen students. The guide also provides information and support for education professionals to discuss “the link” with teen students as it may apply to their lives, encourages teens to report animal cruelty, and offers activities to build teens’ compassion for animals.

Learn more about our MS in Human Ecology program, including how to apply, and congratulations to our summer 2021 graduates!