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Graduating seniors perform capstone projects virtually to complete major requirements

The class of 2020 is the first to graduate remotely in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Westminster College’s class of 2020 is also the first to graduate under the school’s new curriculum: WCore. 

Westminster’s liberal arts curriculum WCore brought many changes to course structure, most notably a capstone project. This final project of a student’s undergraduate career is designed to showcase their skills to school faculty and community members before graduating. 

As classes moved online, so did these showcases — and Westminster’s students adapted to the best of their abilities.

Performing arts majors moved their recitals to Youtube Live, while communication majors presented their portfolios on Zoom. Science students had to forgo an in-person presentation to submit their work for NASA digitally and art students exchanged their gallery show for a website.

The largest event involved in these capstone projects is the Undergraduate Conference, which was planned to be a day-long presentation of posters and digital displays that would allow audience members to come and go as if walking through a gallery. Involved and dedicated faculty members moved the event online instead.  

This school-wide move to digital presentations, discussions and performances was undoubtedly a change of plans for the class of 2020, but students rose to the occasion.

“Moving our work online seemed like an obvious solution and we feel grateful that Westminster recognized our website as a qualifying capstone,” said Summer Huddleston, a graduating art major, in a statement on Westminster’s website. “We were able to pull it together and present a virtual experience that we are all proud of.” 

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Marisa Cooper is a senior communication major with a psychology minor. She hopes to find a career path within public relations or journalism with time for a mindful work/life balance. As of late, she’s been exploring passions for embroidery, hiking, house plants and podcasts. Marisa is thrilled to take on the role of managing editor this year.

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