Junior / Senior Year

Choose Your Direction, We’ll Help You Get There

By your third year at McDaniel, you will have selected at least one major, if not more. Your Junior Writing Experience will serve as a springboard into your profession and in to your senior year when immerse in a Capstone project in your major.

You’ll have at least one writing-intensive course in your major and you’ll learn the specifics of communicating with your peers, whether in biochemistry or psychology, literature or sociology, music or theatre.

You’ll be more than ready to tackle your Senior Capstone project—your in-depth investigation of a topic in each major you have chosen and the crowning feature of McDaniel’s curriculum.  Your capstone will be your first opportunity to express yourself as a professional. Music majors may create an original composition. Biology majors often contribute to a national research initiative in anything from genomics to cancer research. Across all disciplines, students top off their educations with original work in their field—and use this experience as a passport to both career and graduate school.

A Sample of Capstone Projects From 2012 - 2013


  • Mike Hill – Memes in Politics: The Role of Social Media in the 2012 Elections
  • Jess Hague – Elie Wiesel’s and Primo Levi’s Holocaust Memoirs: Contrasting Styles Telling Similar Stories
  • Mara Seibert – Translation into English of a book on the current condition of women in Burkina Faso
  • Ashley Conroy – U.S. Propaganda during the Cuban Missile Crisis: A Study of Television News Broadcasts
  • Earl Crown – When Dissent Isn’t Dissent: Madisonian Federalism and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1966
  • Joanna Hamburg – Examining How Recent Award-Winnng Children’s Literature Reflects Current Racial Issues in the U.S.

Science and Mathematics

  • Jeffrey Kane – Topological Properties of Common Knowledge
  • Ethan Wilson – The effects of ebb and flood tides on zooplankton distribution in estuarine environments of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Leigh Blohm – Luminescence studies of fluorescent crystals
  • Ashlynn Parker – Cardiovascular response to high-intensity aerobic and anaerobic exercise
  • Holland Brown, Adam Greenhaus, S. Mariel Ramey, Randolph Varga – Viticulture and Wine Chemistry
  • Paula Senff – The Ecological and Socio-Economic Impact of Fish Fences in Kaledupa, Indonesia
  • Margaret Protzman – Conditional Interchangeability in Strategic Games
  • Kristin Beil – Comparison of Oxygen Utilization in High Intensity Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise
  • Jaina Maultsby – The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function

Social Sciences

  • P.J. Anderson – First Years and Baseball: A comprehensive study on the dynamics of a college baseball team
  • Morgan Koopman – Giving a Facelift to our Facebooks: Identity and Self-presentation on Social Media
  • Ryan Spicer – Cursing a Dysfunctional Congress
  • Jasmine McCormick – An Examination of Gender Differences in Negotiation
  • Stephanie Akoto, Kaitlin Atkinson, Elise O’Meara – Stories from the Streets: Understanding Homelessness in Westminster
  • Clara Burgess – Building a Global Campus: Influences on Study Abroad Participation

Performing and Fine Arts

  • Philippe Serra – Dragons and their Mystical Influence on Humanity
  • Lisa Staples – Prepared and conducted Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom”
  • Yi Chong Li and Rosalie Edelson – “Between the Lines” directed by student Yi Chong Li and lights designed by Rosalie Edelson
  • Jessica Anderson and Kyla Greenhorn – “Intimate Portraits” lights designed by Jessica Anderson, stage managed by Kyla Greenhorn
Junior/Senior year a picture of a McDaniel student
Diving into Research

For her capstone research project, senior Rachel Walega combined her academic interests with her “second family” here at McDaniel—the swim team.
Walega, an Exercise Science and Physical Education major built her project around the concept of tapering, or decreasing the intensity of training a few weeks before a big competition, in this case, the championship swim meet.

In the Human Performance Lab, Walega measured the hemoglobin levels of swimmers before they began tapering, when their body had endured extensive physical training. She then tested one day before the championship meet, after the swimmers were well rested from tapering.
In conjunction with her hypothesis, she recorded increased levels of hemoglobin on the day before the meet. According to Walega, the more hemoglobin you have, the more oxygen is carried to your muscles, strengthening physical performance levels.

“I’ve always liked sports, but before coming here I didn’t know I could make a career out of it,” she said.