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Human Services Community Capstone Projects

2017 Capstone Project Newsletter

We are pleased to attach our 2017 Capstone Project Newsletter, which provides a brief description of the projects that our students engaged in the community this academic year.  We are privileged to work with such impressive students and are inspired by their visions for and energy around creating change in the community.


What If…

Saint Julie

I saw this sign posted today outside of the Registrar’s office and thought that it offered inspiration and a vision of hope.  Sister Julie Billiart founded the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who of course in turn founded our university.  She faced many challenges, but throughout her life spoke up for those who were fleeing persecution, ministered to those who were hungry, and created institutions by which education was made accessible to those who would otherwise have been excluded from such opportunities.

The social justice and community engagement mission of NDNU carries on this legacy though our many passionate and determined students who apply innovation,ethical action, intelligence, and compassion to serve others and bring justice to today’s world.

Just imagine what’s next!

Immigration Justice: Learn, Respond, Act


Felix Nussbaum, “The Refugee” (1939)

Please consider joining campus leaders, including our very own Daisy Marquez (Human Services, ’17) to learn more about individuals who are immigrants and refugees and to be part of NDNU’s efforts to respond to this crisis.

Those participating will encounter the stories of immigrants and refugees in various forms: at a monthly vigil at an immigration detention center, at the historical exhibit on Angel Island, at the courtrooms holding deportation hearings, from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and from the families and individuals themselves.

Students are invited to attend all OR some of the following events:

Saturday, March 4:  Meet at West County Detention Center in Richmond 1-12:30

Sunday, March 5:  Meet at Angel Island Ferry Terminal, SF Fisherman’s Wharf, 9-3

Monday, March 6:  Meet at Immigration District Court, Sansome Street, SF  8:30-5

Tuesday, March 7:  Meet at Immigration Courts, Montgomery St., SF 8:30-noon.


  • Daisy Marquez, Human Services, ’17
  • Dr. Stephen Cole, NDNU History Department
  • Jim McGarry, Sr. Dorothy Stang Center, NDNU
  • Fr. Ken Hamilton, NDNU Philosophy and Religious Studies Department

There is NO COST for this “Alternative Spring Break.”  For more information or to sign up, contact Jim McGarry at or (650) 508-4120

Happy Veteran’s Day


Thank you for your service!

Argo Spirit

One of our awesome Intensive Business students in Tracy had on this fabulous “Argo” bracelet; her girlfriend had given it to her to celebrate her success to date toward completing her bachelor’s degree at NDNU.  Beautiful bracelet, fabulous Argo spirit!


Human Services Senior Seminar

These fabulous people just presented their proposals for their Human Services capstone projects.  They impressed the faculty panel individually and as a group because they each tapped into their passions and have found ways to apply them within organizations where they are clearly going to make a difference.  Plus, they have been wonderfully supportive of one another, a fun and engaging group.

Can’t wait to see the results in December…

Well done (from left to right) Jessica, Carmen, Diego, Nica, and Joy!


THIS is Human Services

People sometimes ask, “What is Human Services?” THIS is Human Services – intelligence and compassion combined with pure determination to improve our world.

Meet Lisa Blanchard, who started The Grateful Garment Project in her capstone class at NDNU.  Last week, her video about her project, which has become a nonprofit serving a population of over 12 million people, “went viral” with over TWO MILLION views:

Kylie Hicks, a former Human Services student, commented, “yes, yes, a million times yes!” and also volunteered her own perspective about Human Services:  “I came to the NDNU Professional Studies Program after earning a bachelors degree in a discipline that was different than the field I ended up working in. I work in higher education and business, and enrolled in Human Services classes last year. What a valuable, wonderful program! The high-touch experience, welcoming administrators, and expert faculty make me glad that I chose Human Services. I began applying what I learned in the classroom to job in real time. I was also lucky to have the support of my teachers while applying to grad school. I begin the MPA program at NDNU later this month, and want to say THANK YOU to the Professional Studies Program, and the Human Services department in particular, for helping me to achieve my goals.”

This definition of Human Services – intelligence and compassion combined with pure determination to improve our world – applies to the work of so many of our students from the past 27 years of this program’s existence, individuals who are using their education to improve the lives of so many people and who bring their expertise to organizations and communities in ways that make a difference.  We’re proud of each and every one of you.  The work that you are doing, both when you are getting the attention that you deserve (like Lisa) and when you are toiling away to quietly provide essential support, is awe inspiring.  Thank you.