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Senior Capstone Projects: A Bridge to Opportunity
The capstone project, completed by all Covenant seniors, provides students with the opportunity to focus on a specific area of interest related to their major and possibly their future careers. From brainstorming and researching to the final draft or project, the students are guided by a faculty advisor. While the capstone signifies the culmination of a student’s studies at Covenant, it can also serve as a bridge to future opportunities.
From College to Conference
Recently, two Covenant sociology majors, Jon Schimpf ’23 and Kimi Morris ’23, were accepted to present their capstone research at the Christian Sociological Association conference at Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania. Both students had graduated at the time of the summer conference, yet they were dedicated to presenting their studies and continuing to grow academically after Covenant.
Expanding an Academic Interest
These two students’ topics reflected their own academic interests, which is not unique to just these students. Across departments, capstones are an intersection of a student's passion and interest related to their field of study. These individual interests result in a variety of capstone projects, including topics such as, “The Breach in Sports Integrity and Fairness” by Harrison Adelgren ’24 studying sport management, “Gospel Hospitality: a Holistic Way of Doing Missions” by Isabel Gregoire ’23 in biblical and theological studies, and “The Role of Tchaikovsky in the Creation of a Russian National Identity” by Sara Rogers ’24, a music major.
In his capstone project, Jon Schimpf ’23 studied the correlation between language, artistic expression, and culture in his paper “Bridging Cultures Across Language Barriers: Role Taking with the Language of Art.” Part of his research was conducted through interviews with Covenant students whose first language was not English. While integrating his faith into this research, he discussed the command to love our neighbours and how this command is related to art and to understanding other cultures.
Regarding his project and future research on the topic, Jon said, “This study was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways art can bridge gaps, make people feel safe, and communicate important parts of people’s lives.”
Exploring a Personal Passion
Kimi Morris ’23 also utilized empirical research methods by interviewing Covenant students to understand her topic. Her project, titled “Her Body, His Choice: Perceptions of Bodily Autonomy among Young Christian Women,” contemplated female experiences that can challenge a woman’s ownership and sense of control of her own body. She also discussed how Jesus treats women in the Bible in relation to feminine identity.
“When searching for a proper biblical treatment of women with full acknowledgment of their bodily autonomy, it is no surprise that we look to Jesus,” Kimi writes. “His radical love and care for the marginalized stands out in the heavily patriarchal society of the time.” Describing how the gospels are filled with examples of Jesus’ counter-cultural care for women, Kimi focused her paper on specifically on the hemorrhaging woman and the samaritan woman at the well.
More than a Class Assignment
The senior capstone project is not just something to check off the list to graduate but a door to self-discovery and a key to unlocking further professional opportunities that will give students a leg up in the academic world. The faculty-guided research can serve, as seen here, as a topic for a conference presentation or possibly a writing sample submitted in a graduate school application or research that could serve as the foundation for a masters thesis or doctoral dissertation.