Focus at Four: Indigenous Artisan Capstone Project at Texas A&M University

The project is working to bring an indigenous group of women shoemakers from Mexico to College Station to help build their business.
KBTX First News at Four EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 4:08 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Graduate students at Texas A&M University are having an international impact through their Capstone Project.

Capstone Projects at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University are integrative, team-based, applied research projects required of all students, according to Texas A&M.

The students are working in conjunction with the Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropy and have teamed up with an Indigenous group of women shoemakers from Oaxaca, Mexico and their business DAVA.

Jaclyn McJunkin is a Candidate Master of Public Service and Administration at the Bush School and is one of the graduate students taking part in the project.

“The effort started in 2021 and in 2022 we brought another Indigenous artisan group called Vida Nueva,” said McJunkin. “They make rugs, pillowcases and things like that.”

Dava Artisan Designs makes intricate shoes that celebrate their culture, and the purpose of the project is to help bridge together the market in the United States and their products in Mexico.

The Capstone Project is meant as an idea of transforming poverty to prosperity by working with artisans so they can sustain their communities and employment.

“They employ mostly Indigenous women within their shop and that sustains their community and continues to preserve their traditions and cultural artists and crafts,” said McJunkin.

McJunkin said Texas A&M is working to bring the group of women to College Station for a week in March and will be hosting pop-up markets sales across Bryan/College Station.

“The designs are colors that are representative of various things from their culture, designs that are from the archaeological sites and they have traditions and meanings. We’re just so blessed to bring them,” said McJunkin.

A&M says Capstone students have broad discretion in defining the project, allocating tasks, communicating with the client and establishing and ensuring deadlines using effective communication, teamwork and collaborative learning strategies. You can learn more about the project here.

DAVA Artisan Design Event Schedule

  • Lake Walk in Bryan on Sunday, March 19 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Bush School Atrium on Monday, March 20 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on Tuesday, March 21 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Arts Council of the Brazos Valley on Wednesday, March 22 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • MSC Forsyth Gallery on Thursday, March 23 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Downtown Bryan Farmer’s Market on Saturday, March 25 from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.