The undergraduate capstone for the International Studies major is the Task Force (JSIS 495). In Task Force our students take a fresh, wide-eyed perspective on a challenging, contemporary global or international policy. In groups of 15-17 individuals, students experience a simulated version of an international expert commission tasked with providing a research brief and policy recommendations. The experience culminates with an in-person briefing to a leading expert. These experts are usually representatives of real world clients. For our students it is the most memorable experience of their entire academic career.
Task Force students bring fresh new perspectives and insights on international and global affairs, because of their comprehensive view on history, culture, geography, economics and policy. They sharpen their research, analysis, and writing with in-depth attention to each component of the entire project. They practice the art of scoping very complex situations from multiple vantage points and distilling findings that are sensitive to both global and local conditions. And, they gain valuable collaborative work experience on a project in which academic rigor, real-world relevance, and writing skills are combined to produce a polished and presentable report.
The skills acquired and applied inTask Force help our students stand out as they step outside UW and towards the jobs and activities they are passionate about. At the end of the Task Force experience successful students have the ability to locate, compile, synthesize, evaluate and compellingly present complex and up-to-date information on rapidly changing global issues and to do so in a team-based environment. These abilities are highly valued in the worlds of policy-making, research, and enterprise.