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

Abigail Amato - Art/Art History Major

I’m Fine

This collection of works is designed to bring awareness to the feelings and reality that come with mental illness, especially depression and anxiety and get rid of the stigma around them.

See My Project

David Jarrett Andrighetti - Graphic Design Major

Hamel Health Revitalized

Designed and mocked up Supergraphics to be applied to the Hamel Health & Counseling Center building to promote the space.

See My Project

Jehan Bodden - Music Major

Music and Healing Within the Christian Science Religion

Music and religion in Christian Science and in relation to the science of spiritual healing. How music and Christian Science have evolved over time with the help of the metaphysics of healing people. 

See My Project

Kyle Erickson- Music & Theater Arts Major

Don Giovanni [For The Modern Times]

An Italian to English translation of the Opera scenes from “Don Giovanni” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to make the main character more understood.

See My Project

Felicia Fishel - Graphic Design Major

A Proposed Olympics: Puerto Rico 2032

A speculative 2032 Summer Games hosted by Puerto Rico to promote the concepts of statehood, culture, and life. Explores these concepts through identity development and branding.

See My Project

Derek Henry - Music Major

Using Music as a Coping Mechanism: a Dive Into Music by Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A lecture discussing the way women took charge and made music in response to COVID-19.

See My Project

Nicholas Lacroix - Communications & Media / Theatre Arts Major


An original stage play I wrote and filmed with the help of Abbey Sigman about a man named Stanley Lawson. 

See My Project

Julia Marcouiller - Theatre Arts & Marketing Major

“Almost, Maine:” A Dramaturgical Introduction

Dramaturgy provides cast, crew, and audiences with historical and social context of the play, and to further their understanding of the world of “Almost, Maine.”

See My Project

Harrison Markowsky - Graphic Design Major

“Hi, Mister Squirrel!” Children’s Book

Wrote, illustrated and published a children’s book that teaches children squirrels are silly, lovable creatures and should be treated with care.

See My Project

Kayla Pearson - Music and Psychology Major

The Effects of Music on Stress and Motivation

I wrote two original songs and connected them to stress reduction and motivation.

See My Project

Meghan Schweizer - Music and Communication & Media Major

Music, Hope and Healing, An Analysis on a Pandemic’s Impact on Music through Love and Loss

See My Project

Abbey Sigman - Theatre Arts Major


An original stage play that I filmed and directed that was written by fellow senior Nicholas Lacroix. The play revolves around the life and times of a man named Stanley Lawson.

See My Project

Joshua Skalski - Theatre Arts Major


Focusing on the themes clandestineness/secrecy, family conflict, and societal taboos, I have written multiple pieces strung together in a thematic narrative.

See My Project

VPA Student Awards 2021

Lacroix 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

Derek Henry

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.


Felicia Fishel

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.

OnStagers logo 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.”

Benjamin Mendonca 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