Senior Capstone Projects 2021

2021 VPA Senior Capstone Projects

This year’s senior class of VPA majors has developed and completed their capstone projects showcasing their work in their major area of concentration. This is our second year sharing these projects on our website. See last year’s projects. We have also selected recipients of our 2021 VPA Awards to recognize students’ outstanding work in 2021.

What is a senior capstone project?

Senior capstone projects take place in the senior year of study. They are designed to explore a passion with intensity, take the shape of a large experiential project, or complete a research topic written thesis. Projects are designed to challenge and upend your comfort zone. They are publicly celebrated through performance, exhibition, publication, and oral presentation.

VPA Senior Capstone Projects 2021

VPA Student Awards 2021

Performing Artist of the Year-Theatre

Nicholas LaCroix (2021) wrote an original full-length play “Optimism” for his senior Theatre Arts capstone project. The play was written and developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Optimism” is the story of a man named Stanley, who we see growing up and meeting numerous challenges. Stanley’s journey involves a life-long connection with a supernatural figure whose mission is to ensure Stanley leads an optimistic and upbeat life despite his personal struggles.

A staged reading of “Optimism” was directed by senior Abbey Sigman and performed by students in March 2021. Nicholas is an Honors Program student, he was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication and Media Honors Society and is graduating as a Presidential Scholar.

Additional Nominees in this Category: Joshua Skalski and Julia Marcouiller

Performing Artist of the Year-Music

Derek Henry (2021) was nominated for his senior capstone project “Using Music as a Coping Mechanism: a Dive Into Music by Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Derek presented a lecture discussing the way women took charge of their lives and made music in response to COVID-19.

In Derek’s opinion, the music released was phenomenal and helped both women themselves and their audiences. Derek is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Music.

Additional Nominees in this Category: Caitlin Hogan, Kyle Erickson, and Jackie LaRivee.

David Raymond Visual Artist of the Year

Felicia Fishel (2021) was nominated for her senior capstone project “A Proposed Olympics: Puerto Rico 2032,” her extraordinary  work in the exhibition “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay,” and her stunningly beautiful work for the Austin Hall Chapel Banner project.

Felicia has always maintained her commitment to asking thoughtful questions, intersecting with both social justice and self-awareness, producing an exceptionally high standard of contextual design and professionalism.

In 2020, Felicia was accepted into Alpha Iota Sigma, the Interdisciplinary Institute’s Honor Society, and in her final semesters at the College assumed leadership roles among and with her peers. 

Additional Nominees in this Category: Harry Markowsky, David Andrighetti, and Lauren Pardue.

Arts Event of the Year

OnStagers Dramatic Society’s production of “Almost Maine.”

“Almost Maine,” written by John Cariani was a student-directed and student-produced production. Theatre Arts majors Joshua Skalski (2021) and Sarah Scougall (2022) co-directed the play and it featured student designers Michael Gravante (2023) – sound design and Josh Heath (2023) – lighting design. The play was performed for a limited student audience in late April 2021 and was the first live performance in the Rogers Center since February 2020. The cast, production team and crew met in early April with playwright John Cariani to talk about the play in a discussion facilitated by dramaturg, Julia Marcouiller (2021).

Additional Nominees in this Category: Virtual Exhibition “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay” and “Austin Hall Chapel Banner Project.”

VPA Outstanding Service Award

Benjamin Mendonça (2020), was nominated for exemplary service to the department in the areas of technical supervision and support, and production management.

During this last year, the VPA department faced unprecedented challenges in carrying out its educational and performative missions. Benjamin’s efforts and commitment during this past year to supporting the faculty, staff, and his peers, went beyond anything traditionally expected of a student.

Additional Nominees in this Category: Taylor Eriksen

Contact Us

Nancy Wynn
Department Chair and Associate Professor, Graphic Design
978-837-3433 | email

Dan Vlahos
Assistant Professor, Graphic Design
978-837-5952 | email