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 2023

This year, the BA Capstone Festival will take place May 2–4 and May 9–11, 2023. 

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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