Senior projects provide ‘capstone’ experience

By Emily Rush

Many seniors must complete a project before they can graduate. Some give presentations, others a performance. The education department has to do student teaching.

There are countless versions of what must be done. Whatever it is, students must work hard and prepare themselves for what is coming after graduation.

For some departments, the work is more strenuous than others. For example, the music department requires a senior recital, which students start preparing months in advance, where as in the chemistry department, the requirements are a little more laid back.

“It’s not very taxing,” senior Edward Saliba said. His requirement is to be enrolled in Senior Seminar and do two scholarly research projects; one on campus and one off.

Saliba has also chosen to do some extra research on top of Senior Seminar. He is looking into physical chemistry in respect to a protein in the human eye. Saliba said he has learned a lot so far, and is excited to move forward with his research.

Alli Hill, a senior music ministry major recently finished her senior recital. For this, she had to prepare a half hours’ worth of music and perform it to an open audience.

“Senior Recital was way out of my comfort zone,” Hill said. “It was probably one of the hardest things I have had to do musically.”

Other departments, such as the art department, have similar senior projects. All seniors must participate in a Senior Art show, which is also a public event.

Bill Greiner, head of the art department said: “The senior shows are the big ta-da.” He shared how he enjoys being able celebrate each senior for their accomplishments and hard work.

Senior Bethany Meyers recently took her show off display. She started working on her show pieces in May of her junior year.

“It’s so weird that it’s over,” Meyers said. The experience for her was an enjoyable one, and she shared how through this project she was able to better develop her artistic style.

Departments, such as the math, and political science departments, do projects that are less publicly aired. Both departments require a research project, and some sort of paper or presentation to follow.

Jamison Burchfield, a senior math major, and Jake Ryan, a senior history and political science major, both agree the research they completed for this project gave them experience with the kind of work they would need to do for grad school, which is the primary nature their projects.

Departments such as the education and theology departments do not require a senior project out of students, but rather hands-on experience in the field.

Dr. Blanchette, in the theology department shared this type of learning puts a focus more on mentoring. He encourages his students to work hand in hand with their mentor.

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