Class 2002B












Statement of the Problem

            Military public affairs is a fast-paced occupation, and many of the challenges facing the public affairs community revolve around the lack of time to research solutions to problems as they arise.  Public affairs professionals are in a constant cycle of reacting to sensitive and potentially volatile issues, and that only amplifies the need for them to be able to tap into as many sources of information as possible that can readily and quickly provide insight into the situations public affairs practitioners face.  One source of public affairs knowledge already exists, but has so far been largely untapped by Department of Defense public affairs professionals.  This source is the collection of Capstone Projects completed by students at the Department of Defense Joint Course in Communication at the University of Oklahoma.  Although the collection of projects is contained on the school’s website, the projects are only sorted by year and class, making the collection too unwieldy for practical use.  In addition, few people in the public affairs community know about the Capstone Projects or that they can tap into them as a knowledge resource for their own public affairs projects.  The challenge we face is to create a systems model of categorized and cataloged Capstone Projects to allow public affairs professionals to share valuable information and knowledge, thereby enhancing operational effectiveness of Department of Defense Public Affairs organizations.  A secondary challenge is to create awareness in the public affairs profession about this resource to foster its use.