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.

BA Capstone Festival Spring 2024

You can see presentations in person in the Performing Arts Center or via zoom: Each event also includes online-only presentations. 

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

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.