AcademicsUndergraduate AcademicsBA Capstone Projects

BA Capstone Projects

Undergraduates at Naropa University develop a comprehensive understanding of both foundational and advanced concepts and methods in their area of study. Students build awareness of contemporary issues, and demonstrate the ability to apply, synthesize, or create knowledge through a Capstone project or paper which culminates in a presentation of their discoveries at the Bachelor of Arts Capstone Festival.

Students deliver their thesis research, senior projects, culminating manuscripts, performances, and gallery presentations from all senior level capstone courses. The presentation of capstone work takes place each semester in a community-wide festival hosted throughout the school day and into the evening. Students enlist the skills and qualities of their Naropa education to deliver a 10-40 minute presentation, reading, performance, workshop, or business pitch to an audience of Naropa community members ranging from students and teachers, to alumni and community leaders. The Festival is a part of students final grade in the Capstone course.

In Spring 2018, Naropa College Curriculum and Assessment Committee approved the Capstone Festival as an undergraduate initiative for all BA Capstone courses as the completion of the undergraduate curricular arch and the shared Undergraduate Learning Objectives. The Capstone Festival promotes real world skills development and integrity across the curriculum. A primary objective of the Capstone Festival is to raise the expectations in how students’ engage and present in front of an authentic audience in preparation for career development.

Many of the Naropa College Core Seminar classes attend the Festival as audience members, an expectation of their final class of the term and to give students a sample of what the culmination of a Naropa degree requires, so as to create a through-line from orientation to graduation. Capstones are considered a high impact practice (joining ePortfolios, Living and Learning Communities, common intellectual experiences, and community-based research) meant to inspire and reconnect with the undergraduate student experience.

Play Video

Video created by Naropa student, Rachelle Storti.

BA Capstone Festival Spring 2020

This year BA Capstone Festival will be presented live streaming.  To join live on Zoom, please RSVP to Seann Goodman at for the zoom link and password.

April 28th 11:30-2:30

Marina Batah 
Embodied Beings

Molly Bremner 
Investigating the Intersection of Autism Development 

and the Polyvagal Nervous System Model

Devin Ratigan 
A Western Cultural Dilemma: 
The Importance of Human Connection, 
and Community for Mental Health 

Connor Heikkila 
The Diaspora of Disembodiment

Erika Feely 

Gillis Bratsch 
Reprogramming the Mind

Tanner Rauh 
The Way Out Is In: The Psychology of Jung and Indian Philosophies

Claire Connolly 
From Diet to Eating Disorder: The Argument for Ditching the Diet 

and the Body Mass Index

Shatasia Griffith 
Implications of Westernized views on Shame, Sex and STD’s


April 28th 3pm-6pm  

Johnna Grice 
onversation of Grief  

Madeline Manning 
Attached to Trauma: How Somatic Experiencing Targets the Healing of Trauma 

Through the Lens of Attachment Theory

Morgan Kusmer 
Kick, Pow, Punch: The Impact of Muay Thai on Trauma Recovery

Jacquelyn McIntosh 
Destroying Their Innocence: The Psychological Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Moonbeam Marie Gardebring
Weaving a Beautiful Death

Hannah Feely 
Stress Related Psychological Trauma and the Importance of
Mind and Body Connection

Zara Pines 
Know Thyself: Breaking Free of Superficial Self-Awareness

Jennacee Carsello
A New Type of Medicine; Yoga 
Benefitting the Mind and the Body  

Kenna Faust-Cavendish
The Universe as a Playground: Bridging Spirit & Matter, 

How Thoughts, Perception and Belief Shape Our Reality


May 5th 11:45am-2:45pm

Wenonah Electra Washington
Multicultural and Contemplative Pedagogy for 

Positive Psychoeducational Development

Tiffany Rudashevsky
Understanding Self- Sabotage: The Hidden Call behind Resistance

Matthew Paschich
A Dialogue with The Tao

Tara Blackburn
IntelligenceArtificial Intelligence and Quantum Theory: A Philosophical, Intersubjective Approach to Understanding How Humans and Machines Can Communicate Through Consciousness and Matter.

Mindfulness Implementation on Adolescent Population

Eshan Singh 
Reality Vs. The Brain: 

Exploring How Shifting Unconscious Personal Beliefs, Shift Perceptions of Reality

Bonny McWethy 
Into the Fire

Logan Porvaznik

Karem Smith Stone
ow Beauty and Reverence Awaken the Inner Artist

Visual Arts and Art Therapy
Friday May 1st 11:45am-245pm

Morgan Aynesworth 
Paintings and Drawings

Erica Brigger 
Fluid Art Portfolio
Poured Acrylic Paintings

Abigail Hofweber
Painting and Collage

Soren Holmgren 
Op Art Paintings

Elian Israely 
Fabric and Pattern Design

Christina Kaplan
Digital Art, 

Serra Kizar
Pottery as Politics
Ceramic Vessels

Randall Mauriocourt
Sacred Objects

Olivia Neumann 
Ceramic Hands and Paintings

Swechhya Rajbhandari 
Painted Figure

Lily Raznick 
Ethereal Reflections/Six Piece Portfolio
Mirrors and Tattoos

Diana Rodriguez 
Painting and Collage

The Fine Thread of Presence 
Ceramics and Sculpture

Michelle Wilim 
Poured Paintings


Interdisciplinary Studies
Wednesday May 6th 3-5pm

Audrey MeadowCroft 
Ecology and Object(
ification): As Sociopathy Loops Throughout the Anthropocene 

Lucy Heller 
Animal Oppression and Human Supremacy: What I’ve learned from 
Bearing Witness Outside of Slaughterhouses

Patrick McAuley 
Why Psychedelic Therapy Needs Mindfulness and Meditation 

Kara Ashley 
Natural Highs: A Climbing Empowerment Summer Program for Youth in Iqaluit

Idan Erez-Slott 
Humanizing Social Justice Activism: How to Bring our Full Selves into our
 WorldChanging Work and Why

Samantha Benowitz 
as Texture: A Creative Curiosity & Conversation on How to Communicate the Mystery within Everyday Life

Sylvia Snow 
The Anthropo-cosmic Body: Dancing the Five Acts of Shiva

Previous Capstone Projects Include:

  • “Illuminating Individuation” by Naomi Brodner

  • “Mediums of Language” by Andrew Hawes

  • “Death as Teacher:  Hiding in Plain Sight” by Seth Viddal

  • “Awakened Beauty: Happily Ever After is Within” by Mallory Bales

  • “A Cyber Realm: Conjuring Media Literacy and Conquering Technology Fatigue” by Monica DiCesare

  • “Bimanual Rhythmic Practices: A new form of Emotional Regulation and Cognitive Development for All Ages” by  Austin Lokey

  • “My Exploding Heart:  Investigating Ancestry for Global Holism” by Chelle Storti

  • “Mysticism: Queering Religion and Religious Queers” by Sasha Gaynor

  • “Wear the Veil, Know the Shadow” by Joshy Vang

  • “Light on At-Risk and Homeless Youth” by Emil Marz

  • “The Hallway: A Scene from Suicide Manifesto the Musical” by Becky Hunter

  • “The Philosopher (and the) King – a new musical in workshop” by Larkin Baron

  • “Reworking the Garment Industry: Slow Fashion and Social Enterprise” by Olivia Nielsen

  • “On Nights in the Starving Body: Deconstructing Eating Disorders through an Intersectional Lens” by Kailey Murphy

  • “Fractivation” by Kelly Emmanuella Bartell

  • “Trauma Exposure Response, Mindfulness, and the Path to Resilience: Naropa University Case Study” by Ayries Blanck

  • “Architects of Peace: Reconstructing Narratives from Either/Or to Both/And” by Jenna Corbin

  • “Cross-Cultural Reconciliation in the Classroom: Place, Identity and Youth Empowerment through an Indigenous Lens” by Cody Spyke (nominated for the Peace and Justice Studies Association Best Undergraduate Paper of the Year Award, 2011)

  • “The American Caste System: Mass Incarceration of African Americans” by Ebony Williams

  • “Understanding the Moral Imagination Through Waldorf Approaches To Education” by Julie Wood

  • “What Holds Up: A Feminist Coming of Age Story” by Julia Davis

Play Video

Complete Capstone Presentation by Christopher Rachal.

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