Senior Projects on Public Display at Library Through May 7

RSU Liberal Arts Seniors Complete Capstone Projects

Defending a dissertation has long been a rite of passage for students in graduate school. In the spirit of this tradition, liberal arts undergraduates at Rogers State University go through a similar academic process that is both rigorous and rewarding.

During their final semester, seniors enrolled in the RSU School of Liberal Arts are required to complete a senior capstone class, which emphasizes their cumulative academic experience.

“The faculty members attempt to pull together all of the student’s studies in liberal arts into one whole to help them understand how all of the disciplines are interrelated,” said Gary Moeller, professor and head of the RSU Department of Communications and Fine Arts.

To fulfill the requirements of the class, students must complete a research project, a series of essays or artwork that is the “capstone” of their academic experience. At the end of the semester, they present their project to a faculty committee. During the presentations, students have seven minutes to present an overview of their project, and then answer questions about their project from faculty, which can take up to one to two hours.

“The process is much like presenting and defending a thesis in graduate school,” said Moeller. “It provides them with valuable research experience and a preview of graduate school.”

Students must successfully complete the senior capstone class to receive the bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts and the bachelor of science in social science.

More than 40 seniors are enrolled in the senior capstone classes this spring and several of them plan to attend graduate school in the fall at institutions such as the University of Tulsa, University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

Senior capstone projects by students in the Department of Communications and Fine Arts will be on display through May 7 in the Stratton Taylor Library on the RSU campus in Claremore. The exhibition is free and open to the public during library hours. Projects by students enrolled in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences will be on display April 27-29 with students making public presentations from 2-4 p.m. on April 29.

Students completing projects include:


Amber McCarty, group project, “Body Image.”
Michael Mitchell, a procedure manual for RSU Radio FM 91.3.


Sherry Alexander, “The Art of Communications.”
Shannon Cox-MacPherson, a paper and accompanying objects on “Liberal Arts and Its Impact.”
Tosha Downing, drawings and an artist’s statement on the art of healing and writing provided after the death of her brother.

Broken Arrow

Marion Bausch, “A Collection of Essays, Poems, and Short Stories Inspired by the Graffiti on the Berlin Wall.”
Brandon Bickle, focus on John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty.”
Nathan Bryson, group project, “Body Image: Teens’ Hidden Secrets.”


Stephen Ryan, narrative statement titled “A Life Shaped” and essay titled “Looking Within: Introspection Inspired by Art.”


Yaakov Ben Yosef, “Socio-Historical Perspective of the Kansas City Massacre.”
Damesha Brown, group project, “Body Image: Teens’ Hidden Secrets.”
Ashley Bruce, “The Modern Romance Novel Critical Analysis.”
Jean Cousins, “Women and Online Pop Culture Fandom.”
Amy Henderson, “Discovering Discrimination.”
Rebecca Hull, “group project, “High School Teachers’ Perception of Violence in Public Schools.”
Sherri Hunter, group project, “Body Image.”
Grace Meier, short story titled “Dueling With the Devil.”
Jody Roses, triptych of female martyrs and artist’s statement on discovering creative individuality.
Patricia Sanders, “Elitism: Conscription Laws and Social Effects.”
Les Scheer II, “Smoking in Public Restaurants.”
Loren Sells, group project, “Attractiveness and Pro-Social Behavior.”

Fayetteville, Ark.

Abbie Martin, “Research and Creative Products of Art and Literature.”


Ronald Roberts, “Speech Anxiety.”


George Drywater, “Oklahoma Drug Courts.”

Oklahoma City

Erin Bixler, “Oklahoma Drug Courts.”


Dianna Ward, group project, “Incidents Stressors and Effects on Emergency Workers.”


Jerri Lyons, drawings and paintings using Renaissance techniques applied to personal religious subjects.
Pam McCormack, group project, “Incidents Stressors and Effects on Emergency Workers.”
Jennifer Parks, “Women’s First Blood Experience: A Social Construction.”
Michael Ridenour, graphic art pieces titled “The Fragmentation of Society Through Mechanization.”


Karen Boyd, group project, “Incidents Stressors and Effects on Emergency Workers.”


ReAnne Ashlock, “Bullying.”


Holly Cornwell, Talala, research paper titled “Witchcraft, Women, and Power in Seventeenth Century New England.”


Amber Birlew, “Women’s Perceptions of Childbirth.”
Mark Black, group project, “Attractiveness and Pro-Social Behavior.”
Jessica Clark, paper and video presentation titled “Personal Benefits of a Liberal Arts Degree.”
Johnny Kirk, “Toward a Bio-Physio-Social Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment.” (One of four statewide research award winners.)
Tami Manz, group project, “High School Teachers’ Perception of Violence in Public Schools.”

Sand Springs

William Toliver, “Gender Difference in Moving Violations and Driving Habits.”


John Hathcoat, “Infant Caregiver Attachment in Relation to Explanatory Style.”

White Oak

Shawnee Davis, group project, “High School Teachers’ Perception of Violence in Public Schools.”

For more information on RSU liberal arts programs, call (918) 343-7740.