Capstone Day celebrates student excellence

Molly Fraley explains her research project to  Vice President of Instruction John Martens at the Capstone event June 5.

DSC_6351Several students showcased their culminating academic projects at the Capstone Project Presentations on June 5 in the Walton Science Center.

“I was hugely impressed by the creativity, high quality, and large amount of work that went into the student research and the resulting posters, presentations, and projects,” said Pat Pringle, geology professor, participant and mentor to a few of the presenting students.

Chemistry professor Karen Goodwin, who initiated the event three years ago, originally designed the Capstone Project Presentations as an opportunity to showcase her organic chemistry student research projects. However, she quickly began to see Capstone as a wonderful opportunity to showcase student excellence in all areas—not just the sciences.

The event has grown each year. Although the majority of the projects this year were in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, two students from the speech department delivered prize-winning speeches during the Capstone Oral Presentations. In the coming years, Goodwin hopes students in English, art, health and fitness, and other fields will submit entries of their culminating academic projects, products, presentations, or performances.

The oral presentations, which began at noon in the lecture hall, featured prize-winning speeches by Emily Allen and Brandon James Marksell. These were followed by two PowerPoint presentations highlighting research projects – one of which was funded by the Centralia College Foundation.

Immediately afterwards, the third floor of the Walton Science Center was transformed into an exhibit area, where students displayed and explained their Capstone projects, many of which received generous funding from the Centralia College Foundation.

Glenn Emigh’s Six Axis Robot project received a $500 Capstone grant, covering a majority of his expenses.

Jordan Conner, Danielle Z’berg, and Pat Pringle used the Capstone money to pay for radio carbon dating of tree rings for their Lake Kapowsin project—something they could not have done without the funding.

Sania Marri, whose chemistry research project required expensive chemicals, at first wondered how she was going to pay for everything. When she found out she had received the Capstone funding, she said, “It was so helpful. I couldn’t have done it without the Foundation’s help!”

Several students expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Foundation for enabling them to pursue their research.

Associate Professor of English and Humanities Susanne Weil summed up the event well.

“The Capstone Research presentations were stunningly professional—the best of CC,” she said. “Thanks to Karen, the science faculty, all the staff who helped make this happen, the Foundation for supporting it, and, of course, the students whose hard work was so beautifully showcased.”

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