Example Capstone Projects

Current Projects

Blair Armstrong (Hamid Ghandehari, Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry): Evaluation of Elastinlike Fusion Proteins to serve as Drug Free Macromolecular Therapeutics

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is a traumatic and common form of cancer that represents over 4% of all cancers. In 2020, in the United States, it is projected that over 74,000 cases will be diagnosed and nearly 20,000 people will die. Traditional cancers suffer from a lack in efficacy resulting in immunotherapies that target upregulated receptors, such as CD20 to fight diseases like NHL. However, many patients either don’t respond or develop resistance to treatment. Thus, new treatment methods are needed. The aim of this project is to continue creation and characterization of new monomers of ELP-CCE fusion proteins to determine their potential to serve as drug free macromolecular therapeutics.

Alec Bang (Paul Stout, Art & Art History): Alienated

Alienated is an event exhibiting the amalgamation of the conceptual and physical knowledge I have been pursuing through my studies inside and outside the University of Utah. All visitors will be welcome to an immersive pop-up exhibit including contemporary conceptual furniture, intermedia sculpture and painting work, collaborative installation, and performative video encouraging community discourse and discussion. I am currently producing a body of work addressing ideas of feeling completely alienated from my heritage and ancestors, living on land which was wrongfully taken from indigenous natives who had been living here for millennia. The goal of this exhibition is to discuss the effects of colonization and industrialization on a landscape which is rapidly being fenced off to any but those who buy rights to extract profit from it.

Kristen Bennett (Laurel Caryn, Art & Art History): Utah's Disappearing Natural World

For my capstone project, I will be photographing endangered animals that are native to Utah. These animals that will be photographed have gone through the taxidermy process because it is currently nearly impossible to find them in the wild. Some of these animals include the black-footed ferret, grizzly bear, prairie dog, and spotted owl. I will be creating a large scale 3-D fragmented collage of these animals with elements showing their disappearance as well as why they are going extinct. It is important to understand how different species depend on their ecosystems and how outside environmental, agricultural, and human influences affect them. Through this understanding, people will become more aware of how to protect wildlife and the natural world around us for not only our benefit but for future generations as well.

TeMerae Blackwater, Emily Clissold, Jayne Hansen, Haylee Osgood (Anita Leopardi, Health Promotion & Education): Grow Together - A Resilience-Based Program for Families

Based on the research we conducted, the families housed at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area (RMHC) need a resilience-based program tied with proper coping skills and therapeutic techniques. Families with seriously ill or injured children are affected by stress from the various issues that come with the illness itself. It is important to address this because seriously ill or injured children cope better with their situation when surrounded by a supportive family that can help them cope with this life-altering event. Our proposed resilience-based program will introduce activities that the parents and siblings of the injured or seriously ill child will participate in to develop and increase resiliency. This invites the family unit as a whole to become resilient in coping with the emotional and physical trauma so that they may tend to the seriously ill or injured loved one.

Nathan Caines (David Strayer, Psychology): EEG study of glucose's effect on cognitive control

Research suggests that both cognitive control and self-regulation share glucose as a common limiting factor, which we elucidate through a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover experiment. We theorized that the application of glucose may prevent the peaks from ERN from shrinking with fatigue related with cognitively strenuous tasks. Therefore, we can detect if glucose and not the placebo, is able to “restore” the error monitoring system of cognitive control, which will raise the amplitude of ERN signals.

Erica Emery (Melissa Zahl, Occupational and Recreational Therapies): Pedal Away Parkinson's Program for Skaggs Wellness Center

To create a recreational therapy program for the participants at the Skaggs Wellness Center that is designed to facilitate inclusion in the Pedal Away Parkinson’s event. It is important for the participants at the Wellness Center to have a program that will allow them to feel confident in their biking skills and be aware of the different adaptations they can use when riding a bike. It is also a great way for the participants to get out into the community and be involved with others in and out of their social circle.

Braden Fallon, Valeria Delgadillo (Melodie Weller, Dentistry): Dual Reporter Plasmid System for Characterization of HDV Genomic Promoter Sequence

The Hepatitis delta virus (HDV), once thought to be variant of the Hepatitis B virus, has been shown to be a defective virus that relies on a helper virus for packaging and transmission (Wang et al., 1986). Through the sequencing of the virus, it was determined that HDV is a unique RNA virus with no shared homology to other viruses, thus resulting in classification in the genus Deltavirus (Casey, 2006; Homs et al., 2014). While a specific location of the promoter region of this virus is still under debate, a region at the end of the rod structure has been accepted within the research community as a likely promoter region due to its conservation among variants of HDV (Beard et al., 1996; Macnaughton et al., 1993). Within this promoter region exist binding domains and hormonal responsive elements, whose effect on the virus replication and antigen expression have not been fully studied (Zhou, Corden, & Brown, 1997). This study aims to evaluate the impact of hormones and transcription factors on HDV promoter activity utilizing the genomic promoter sequence in a plasmid reporter system.

Amy Folsom, Ashlee Crabtree, Jeni Eyre, Hannah Powell (Anita Leopardi, Health Promotion & Education): Coping with ME/CFS

Our health program addresses multiple facets of wellness that are necessary for people living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) to function in their activities of daily living. We will conduct six weekly virtual sessions covering topics such as meditation, mindfulness, pacing, coping techniques, etc, through our partnered agency, The Bateman Horne Center.

Robert Keaney (Elizabeth Archuleta, Ethnic Studies): Creating Women Worriers

Every year, violence impacts approximately 730,000 American Indian and Alaska Native women. It has become a public health emergency that encompasses verbal, domestic, physical, and sexual violence, all of which have lifelong effects on women and their extended Native community. Last semester, the Skull Valley Band of Goshutes opened up Warrior Spirit Wellbreity Center to serve clients dealing with, not only substance abuse and mental health issues, but also histories of sexual and domestic violence. I began to design a combat sports program designed to help Native women rebuild their lives and look at their bodies as powerful and capable of incredible athletic feats. My project is specifically designed to benefit Warrior Spirit’s female clients, but workshops will also be offered to male clients, many of whom have also suffered abuse from historical trauma.

Rachel Roser (Laurel Caryn, Art & Art History): Blue is Human

My subject matter is photographing the hands of all different cultural backgrounds. When using cyanotypes as my chemical process, all hands will turn blue, and you wouldn't be able to see the differences in a race. We, as humans, are all the experiencing the same conditions of life. My work will focus on compassion, collaboration, cooperation, and altruism.

Walllis Scholl, Trevor Williams, Carolina Castro, Benjamin Arce (Tony Butterfield, Chemical Engineering): Evaluating Role of Triton-X in Tunability of Gold Nanostars

Nanostars have applications in photodynamic therapy, catalysis, sensing, and electronics. Because there is a strong correlation between nanoparticle morphology and optical properties, tunability of nanoparticle shape is important to the field of nanomaterials. The growth mechanism of branched gold “nanostars” is not very well understood, which limits reproducibility when researchers cannot explain the effects of various materials and methods.

Dinorah Segovia Galicia (Heayoung Yoon, Electrical & Computer Engineering): Fabrication and Characterization of Si Nanowire Plasmonic Sensors

There has been a continuous push to create more reliable and high-performance micro- or nano-structured devices for a wide range of electronics, optoelectronic devices, and bio-medical systems. One of the promising device architectures is three-dimensional (3D) micro- or nano-wire arrays that can provide superior optical sensitivity to those in conventional thick and bulk structures. My project will focus on the design, fabrication, and characterization of silicon (Si) microwires and nanowires using cost-effective chemical etching and thermal oxidation processes.

Douglas Tolman (Laurel Caryn, Art & Art History): Deseret Industria

Deseret Industria is an interdisciplinary art exhibition which integrates all of the conceptual and practical knowledge I have gained during my studies at the University of Utah. Visitors to the exhibition will be immersed in a cohesive display of large-scale photography, performance video and contemporary sculpture which encourages community-based discourse. This exhibition sets out to acknowledge the consequences of colonization on Utah's land, opening a community discourse on how we can repair past mistakes and prevent future ones.

Merosa Uiagalelei (Hokulani K. Aikau, Ethnic Studies): Pacific Islander Women In the Diaspora

Pacific Islander experiences as an underrepresented and marginalized community are often misunderstood. With this in mind I plan to attend and follow a PI women's writing group that meets bi- weekly here in Salt Lake City, UT whose mission is to provide healing through different writing processes and prompts that focus on the common matters particular to PI women over the course of this semester. I plan to conduct an event by the end of the semester to highlight the work of participants of this PI women's writing group through a facilitated workshop by a PI community activist who features her advocacy through poetry and is an award winning spoken word artist named, Terisa Siagatonu.

Jasmin Velazquez, Angie Camposano, Brenda Sanchez (Anita Leopardi, Health Promotion & Education): Seeds that Succeed

The program aims to teach adolescents how to cope with the obstacles they are faced with, how to improve their overall health and emotional well-being in order for them to grow into their most successful selves. Seeds that succeed will create a foundation of knowledge and skills all “seeds” need: Water (recognizing and learning to deal with emotions in a healthy way), Soil (good nutrition and physical activity habits), Sun (Individual skill building i.e. time management, locating resources), and Care (building strong and healthy relationships with people they can trust, who they can talk to and who will keep them accountable). The program will give students the strategies, knowledge and resources they need to maintain a positive outlook through hardship.

Past Projects

Shaela Adams, Madison Skinner, Aubrilyn Guevara, Hannah Nelson (Maximillian Werner, Writing & Rhetoric Studies): Earth Tones Journal

We will publish a literary magazine, Earth Tones Journal: Our Environment,Our Lives, Our Inspiration, featuring University of Utah student work depicting how individual's lives are affected by their surrounding environment. This journal will serve as a collective and lasting testimony of the human experience in Utah, as well as a productive outlet for students to express their experiences in a creative form. Such forms will include poetry,photography, art, prose, both nonfiction and fiction.

Braden Fallon (Melodie Weller, Dentistry): Dual Reporter Plasmid System for Characterization of HDV Promoter Sequence in HEK 293 Cells

The Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) was originally thought to be a variant of the Hepatitis B virus when it was originally discovered. Since then, research has shown that it is a defective virus, relying on a helper virus for packaging and transmission. HDV shares no homology to other viruses, making it a unique RNA virus and earning it its own genus classification of Deltavirus. A general promoter region for the virus has been accepted within the research community but binding domains within this region including their effect on viral replication and antigen expression have not been fully analyzed. The aim of this project is to characterize the promoter region of HDV and the role of hormone-responsive elements (HRE) in transcriptional regulation.

Alex Farley (Jan Kubanek, Biomedical Engineering): Ultrasonic neuromodulation of single neurons in human brain tissue

Noninvasive neural therapy has a bright future as a legitimate treatment option for neural disorders. One form of noninvasive neural therapy is the use of ultrasonic pulses to activate or inhibit neurons. Some research has been done with this specific form of therapy on anesthetized rodents. However, anesthesia largely reduces the effects of the ultrasonic pulses, and there are also confounding variable present that affects the recorded data with auditory, vestibular, and tactile artifacts. To counter this, we will use human brain organoids to test the effects of ultrasound neuromodulation therapies.

Elena Foley (Jennifer Lehmbeck, Health Promotion & Education): Health Program for Young Women of the Volunteers of America Transitional Home

The program planners will be engaging with homeless adolescent women in the Salt Lake Area at the Volunteers of America Young Women's Transitional Home. The six-week program will focus on risky health behaviors that are associated with unstable living conditions for adolescents. Risky health behaviors for our population of homeless adolescents include decreased knowledge of "safe" sexual practices, binge drinking, lack of healthy relationships, and decreased body satisfaction in relation to low self-esteem.

Joshua Graber (Andrew Merryweather, Physical Therapy & Athletic Training): Adaptive Mountain Bike Support Brace for the Upper Extremities

This project aims to design and develop a system to allow individuals with partial paralysis of their upper extremities the ability to support their upper body weight while riding a mountain bike. We are focused on developing technology to enable freedom and independence to an adult male with partial paralysis on the right side due to a spinal cord injury.

Hannah Karmondy, Meesh Gapinski, Emma Peterson (Anita Leopardi, Health Promotion & Education): Mind and Movement: A Wellness Program for Older Adults

We are creating a physical and cognitive health program for elderly adults at the Sarah Daft Home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our program will focus on improving activities of daily living through increasing physical movement.Additionally, our program will focus on improving and maintaining cognitive function by hands on learning experiences and mind exercises.

Alexa Knutzen (Pablo Piantino, School of Dance): Silenced

With my project, my goal is that the dance on film I create will be able to touch the hearts of those individuals who feel silenced and give them the courage to be triumphant. The choreography and music will be hopeful and light. The filming will take place in a lavender/flower field in southern Utah and will be focused on one dancer. The atmosphere will be peaceful. The dance style will be a fusion of classical ballet movements and modern dance. The dancer will progress throughout the piece into strong and persistent woman despite the fact that she started off broken.

Kayley Meden, Elizabeth Kingston, Maria-Elena Maddocks (Martin Novak, Art & Art History): Synthetic Spotlight

Our project will be exploring the effects that the social media "highlight reel" has on our mental and emotional health and well-being as individuals. By being so bombarded with all the amazing, glamorous, and noteworthy parts of people's lives, we've become programmed to pay attention to and interact with only the highs, not the lows. This project will force the audience to be faced with real and raw information and images of their peer's struggles juxtaposed with the "highlight reel" they are familiar with.

Taylor Mott (Sonia Albert-Sobrino, Film & Media Arts): The Guest

The Guest is a 12 minute comedic narrative film, accompanied by a written thesis of my research. There are three components to this project: the short film itself, research on using metaphors as a form of protest in Spanish cinema, and research on family separation at the US/Mexico border. I will be applying my research on metaphors in Spanish cinema to make apolitical commentary on the family separation through means of my own film.

Maureen Mullen, Ruby Barrett (Carol Sogard, Art & Art History): A Graphic Exploration of Digital Surveillance

We feel that freedom and privacy are core values of a democratic society, and have discovered through research that these values are being compromised without notice. The primary purpose of this project is to bring awareness about this issue to our peers. In order to do this, we want to explore the topic with a graphic approach. The creative objective is to create a publication that communicates about the realities of surveillance and marketing in our modern world.

Mariah Paul, Breanna West, Odalys Leyva, Aseeya Grant-Aitahmad (Jennifer Lehmbeck, Health Promotion & Education): Be Well With You

The proposed program will focus on the wellness of homeless youth attending the Volunteers of America, Utah, Youth Resource Center, located in downtown Salt Lake City. After conducting a needs assessment (through surveys and focus groups) with the population at the Youth Resource Center, the most important health issues for this population appear to be: poor stress management/coping skills, lack of social support or connectedness with peers or family, poor communication skills, as well as lack of proper understanding about nutrition, physical activity, and healthy sexual relationships.

JoCee Porter, Mohit Chaudhary, Zane Yarbrough, Donovan Bidlack (Erik Brunvand, School of Computing): FPGA implementation of Machine Learning in Real World Application

Design a machine learning algorithm that runs on an FPGA to perform high frequency stock market trading. This system will require a front end device that receives and interprets API data from the different data streams that the machine learning algorithm requires to run. The front end device will run on an embedded system with a Python Linux environment first to confirm the viability of the machine learning algorithm. Once the back end system has been verified viable, the front end system will be built in a custom real time operating system.

Sarah Richards, Callie Durham, Hafsa Zahid, Rachel Haslam (Anita Leopardi, Health Promotion & Education): Stress Less with SUPeRAD

After conducting a needs assessment, we found a need in managing stress for pregnant mothers who are dealing with drug addictions. We will be working with the SUPeRAD clinic in providing a stress management program to help these women. We will be covering topics such as self-care, body image, physical exercise, nutrition and healthy coping mechanisms in regards to stress management.

Steen Sia, Stephan Stankovic, Jon Pilling, Jeremy Wu (Erik Brunvand, School of Computing): Audio Mesh

Our project is to create a wireless ad hoc mesh audio system. Moreover, we want to give users control over our mesh audio system so we will create a mobile application for iOS and Android devices. We want the users to be able to name and adjust volume for each individual receiver using their phone. We will aim to support multi-room audio by also giving users the ability to group receivers together.

Gabriela Silva, Marisa Lucerno, Alix Ford, Marissa Hesterman, Jorlin Sumner
(Jennifer Lehmbeck, Health Promotion & Education): Teacher Burnout Prevention and Stress Reduction through a Stress Management Program for Teachers K-8 at Monticello Academy

Program planners will be creating a stress management program for teachers and staff at Monticello Academy in an effort to reduce teacher burnout and turnover rates. Monticello Academy is a charter school that teaches grades kindergarten through eighth, located in West Valley City,Utah.

Andrew Stevenson, Lauren Leydsman, Leota Coyne, Tyffanae Simonsen, Ian Bunker, Michael Makris (Stephen Goldsmith, City & Metropolitan Planning): Listening to Escalante

This capstone project teaches students how to collaboratively construct a city plan. The city of Escalante, Utah has been kind enough to welcome the class and has provided the students with real-world planning experience. Students will spend the semester gathering data for the final "Listening to Escalante" book. The collaborative process will peak with the construction of the booklet, which will require each student to showcase their strengths with their contributions.

Cole Velders, Milan Cucuk, Aura Martinez, Alex Schvaneveldt (Sarah Sinwell, Film & Media Arts): Lali

This project is a unique one-of-a-kind experience at the University of Utah. While acquiring knowledge in a classroom is helpful, it is equally if not more important that students work on films within the industry during their academic career to learn how to apply that knowledge. Another important aspect of this project is the diverse story we seek to tell: the director and writer of the project wrote the script based on growing up Latina in East LA. Through this film we hope to provide a voice for a traditionally marginalized community and tell a story that many people may not have heard before.

Julia Vonessen (Rachel Hayes-Harb, Linguistics): The relationship between listener attitudes and the comprehension of nonnative-accented speech

The traditional view that the responsibility for the intelligibility of nonnative speech rests solely with the nonnative speaker is challenged by studies demonstrating the contribution of listener factors to nonnative speech intelligibility. Ingvalson, Lansford, Federova & Fernandez (2017) demonstrated that native English speakers with more negative attitudes toward specific nonnative talkers exhibited a reduced ability to understand those talkers. However, their study involved only one talker for each native language, conflating talker and native language. We are conducting an adaptation of Ingvalson et al.’s work.

Hannah Gay, Ryan Summerhays, Alexandros Koloveas (Swomitra Mohanty, Chemical Engineering): H2Drone Sensing Platform

The objective of this project is to develop a low-cost autonomous water drone with integrated sensors to sample bodies of water for potential contaminants such as those produced in an algae bloom. Our project has two main parts. The drone itself and the sensors to gather information. We want our drone to be controlled remotely which is why the drone will have the capability to be coded with python. With python we will program the drone to travel to a designated location, return for analysis, and charge. There will be two different drones one for surface and a second for submerged detection. Currently a design for the surface drone is being tested in water.

Madison Gray (Thomas Zangle, Chemical Engineering): UV Photolithography

Our project is to create a UV photolithography system. This type of system is used in the semiconductor industry, which makes computer chips such as flash memory. We will construct our apparatus out of acrylic cut with a laser cutter, then put together using freshman assistance. We shine an LED through a collimator, which directs our light source, then the focused light hits a mask we create. The mask will be created with a normal inkjet printer on a plastic sheet, then directly attached to the photosensitive workpiece. The light will go through the design on our mask and cure the exposed photoresist. The photosensitive workpiece will be fabricated by attach a dry negative photoresist to a glass square by use of a vacuum oven. The photoresist is worn down to the glass by the light. After this point, the etching or deposition techniques could be applied to the substrate for further applications.

Alex Jensen (Kam Leang, Mechanical Engineering): Search and Rescue Quadcopter

A search and rescue (SAR) drone is intended to be used by all backcountry skiers to reduce the time needed to search for buried avalanche victims. It is intended to replace current avalanche beacons by having the same transmitting and receiving functionality, but also be able to locate a victim through an autonomous flight. From take-off to landing, the drone will be able to locate a victim in two minutes. It will do this with the same accuracy as traditional beacons. A backcountry skier will be able to strap this device to their chest, manually search with it until a transmitting signal is received, start the drone's flight sequence, and then ski to the drone's landing position. The scope of the project is to construct a drone, interface it with a beacon, and program it to follow the beacon's readings. This would have all the same functionality of a traditional beacon and decrease SAR time by being about to quickly navigate over the snow, following the flux lines of the transmitting beacon. This allows the user can prepare other materials and take a direct route to the victim.

Alexandros Koloveas (Swomitra Mohanty, Chemical Engineering): Waste Process Plastics Using a Waxworm Bioreactor

Recent research suggests Waxworms may have the ability to process waste plastics into value added products. However, while this has been demonstrated from a life science perspective, applying chemical engineering principles would help quantify and engineer a bioreactor that may take advantage of wax worms' ability. This project has three main goals (1) determine what type of plastics larvae will eat and at what rate they consume it, (2) determining a feasible method for collecting ethylene glycol, and (3) determining if there is a way to increase the rate of consumption.

Mercedes Maestras, Racheal Holiday, Ashley Swain, Karen Borg (Jennifer Lehmbeck, Health Promotion & Education): Stress Management for Parents in Substance Abuse Recovery

In working with the Odyssey House, we will be planning, implementing and evaluating a health promotion program to address the stress management needs of the residents. We will be conducting a six-week program with different modules covering the topics surrounding parentings stressors, stresses of being a parent in recovery, how to manage everyday stress and providing the residents with resources that will promote positive coping skills. We will then evaluate the effectiveness of the program through pretest/posttest surveys, and verbal feedback from the participants.

Raj Patel, Jake Maschoff, Blaze Kotsenburg (Eric Brunvand, School of Computing): Magic Drawing

The project is a visual and interactive art piece implemented with Computer and Mechanical Engineering. The art piece is a white canvas that is back lit by an array of LED's (1,080 needed) and two linear tracks with motors. Users connect to the canvas via tablet and can draw images. The canvas draws out the image from the tablet with a 3D effect using the LEDs and the actuator.

Emily Reese (Anita Leopardi, Health Promotion & Education): Get Fit Fridays: A Healthy Lifestyles Program for Hispanic Adults

Our project will be to implement a healthy lifestyles program to improve the overall health and wellness of Hispanic adults in the neighborhood of Glendale in Salt Lake City, Utah. The program will consist of six one-hour class sessions held at the Glendale-Mountain View Community Learning Center. The curriculum for each class session will be based upon community health needs that we identified while gathering primary and secondary data about the target population. The curriculum will address physical activity, nutrition and stress management. During the class sessions, participants will learn skills for healthy meal preparation, different forms of physical activity, stress management techniques, and additional prevention practices.

Michelle Teachout (Anita Leopardi, Jennifer Lehmbeck, Health Promotion & Education): Mentoring for the Future: A Program for Inter-tribal Leaders

We will be working with the Native American population for our project. The age group we will be working with is young adult (mostly college-aged) Native American mentors. These mentors work closely with Native American high school students to support them in staying on track to graduate from high school, as well as help them pursue higher education. We are in the process of creating a curriculum that works to create strong mentorship skills that may help to reduce the high rates of suicide within the Native American adolescent population. These skills may include mandated reporting and confidentiality, communication and listening skills, and building mentor self-efficacy to increase the likelihood that they feel confident in utilizing the skills they learn to be able to discuss suicide.

James Carrington (Rachel Dentinger, Philosophy): Exhibit on Race

My group of four students will be constructing part of an exhibit in the Marriot Library that will be on display from April 14th to June 26th. The exhibit will be on the second floor of the library and will be focusing on how the concept of race, which is rooted in many social constructs, affects the way individuals label themselves and others. The display will consist of a title panel and an intro panel introducing how the concept of race has emerged in the US and how based on current research there are no genetic identifiers for race. There will be two other posters designed to focus on racial health disparities to help inform visitors that many racial disparities are not based on race, but that there is a strong connection to social economic status. To appeal to the pathos of visitors there will be four pictures that will show different races throughout US History and emphasize that we are all human. A central focus to the exhibit will be six 3-D hearts which will be printed identically. They will be labeled with the six basic races identified by most professionals who argue that there is such a thing as race. There will also be a timeline at the top of the exhibit space which will illustrate how long each race has been identified on the US Census.

Alicia Dibble (Jeff Bates, Materials Science & Engineering): Degradation Testing for Biodegradable Feminine Hygiene Products

This project seeks to address two problems: (1) accessibility to effective feminine hygiene products for women in developing nations, and (2) the lack of sustainable feminine hygiene options in the US and developing nations. Women in developing countries miss 20% of school or work days a year due to ineffective feminine hygiene products during menstruation. This leads to large educational and economic disparities between men and women. This project aims to provide women with an effective, affordable, and environmentally-responsible feminine hygiene option so they can complete their education and financially support themselves and their families.

Sage Holman (Anita Leopardi, Jennifer Lehmbeck, Health Promotion & Education): Nutrition is Our Mission

Our program is focused on meeting the needs of refugees living in Utah, specifically refugees from Africa. Refugees come to the United States for a variety of reasons. They are seeking asylum from war or religious or political conflict. They are fleeing their country to escape danger or persecution. The change of culture due to displacement, creates barriers to accessing nutritious food and understanding their new food environment. The Refugee and Immigrant Center - Asian Association of Utah (RIC-AAU) is devoted to helping refugees become more self-sufficient in their daily lives, and aims to reduce the barriers that refugees and immigrants face when adapting to life in the U.S. Through the Social Services Department of RIC-AAU program planners can most efficiently reach the target population. After reviewing data, and meeting with RIC-AAU, a need for a nutrition program was identified. Our program will focus on the following topics: main macro and micro nutrients of food, increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains, how to properly use food stamps, incorporating exercise into daily life, and the effects of sugar, and proper dental hygiene.

Christine Kannapel (Katharine Coles, English): Cairns: A Place by the Tay

In this new work, I will be infusing all that I have learned from “A Place by the Tay”, from my life, and what I know. This collection of poetry will be a cairn ( “cairn” usage credited to Professor Goldsmith), a moment in which trails meet before growing into an unknown distance. It will represent the moment of when all the stones I have learned and reflected upon so far- all the stones I have gathered- pile upon each other, indicating the next part of my journey. For the film piece, I would like to include images of landscapes that have contributed to my sense of origin. For the images of landscapes, I plan on traveling to places my family has lived- Logan and Moab- and documenting them. Rather than music, I would like to read my poems over the scenes of the passing landscapes.

Colton Liu (Rachel Dentinger, Philosophy): The Possibilities and Problems of Genetic Engineering

We desire to provide an exhibit allowing visitors to explore the current and future ethical boundaries of genetic engineering. We plan to accomplish this through informative text panels and interactive elements that will enable guests to have an immersive learning experience. Our exhibit will challenge the ethical norms within our society and enhance our community’s desire to learn more. In our module of genetic engineering, we will address controversial topics such as xenotransplantation and future applications of genetic modification. As participants interact with our with our exhibit they will be asked to make their own decisions on where the ethical boundaries must be made with the future of this technology. It is our goal that as participants take in this information they will discuss these controversial topics amongst themselves and build a desire to learn more.

Richard Otero (Feng Liu, Materials Science & Engineering): Arthritis Thermotherapy with Nanoxene™

The proposed technology would be a tunable, thin and wearable heating band with the capability of heating a local area, such as an area of 5mm by 3 mm, to alleviate pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions ranging from arthritis to endometriosis. The proposed device has materials and design requirements. This device has to be elastic so that one size fits all, such as wrist bands that athletes wear. The elasticity is proposed by either using spandex, polyester or rayon as the base material. The battery which will power Nanoxene(™) has to be small enough to be integrated into the band without limiting flexibility and comfort. Additionally, the power consumption of the device has to be low enough so that it could ideally last a full work day. Creating a device that can last approximately 8 hours would had value to the technology. It would be great if the device was rechargeable via USB for reusability. Another critical requirement that will separate this technology from the competitors is the ability to locally heat a specific area around the wrist. Nanoxene(™) has the capability to selectively heat a 5 mm by 3 mm area within a larger area through a change in current. The calculated wattage needed approximately is 4.3 watts. Additionally, next gen models of this device would come equipped with a microcontroller and temperature sensor to limit temperature decay with use.

Sarah Pinnock (Molly Heller, School of Dance): Dance, Photography and Service Artist in Residence in Latacunga, Ecuador

The Falling Up Project (found at thefallingupproject.org) is a self-developed dance journalism project that studies and captures the lives of diverse dancers. The purpose of the project is to capture, build, and share positive life stories through dance teaching, studying, and documenting. The studies are specifically tailored to combat negative or derogatory dance trends by focusing on the dance process and how it uplifts everyday people and their communities. Our studies in Ecuador will focus on the utilization of dance through teaching academic subjects such as math, storytelling, verbs, adverbs, while building communication, creativity, and teamwork skills. We will also take time to study local dances through interviewing Ecuadorian dancers.

Braley Bullard (Stephen Goldsmith, City & Metropolitan Planning): Listening to Bluff

Listening to Bluff is a collaborative listening process designed to understand the community vision and suggest means to achieve that vision in Bluff, Utah. The project includes collaboration between roughly twenty undergraduate seniors from the urban ecology program at the University of Utah. The town is at a critical point in their history where they are concerned about the future of their community and are looking to develop a cohesive vision to guide community development. To aid in the creation of a cohesive community vision, our project is designed to listen to community voices and interpret those voices into suggestions for action. This process involves developing a website, designing and administering a community survey, analyzing and interpreting survey results, then finally producing a document the community can use to shape and develop their own vision.

Miranda Castillo, Hector Castillo, Annie Keller,  Shanna O'Neill (Jennifer Watt, Environmental & Sustainability Studies): Centennial Valley Wildlife Corridor Survey

The Centennial Valley is facing threats from habitat loss and fragmentation that comes with development. The area is occupied by generations of farmers, who are increasingly under pressure to sell out for development. However, the valley is also home to species that require large areas for survival, including the migrating pronghorn. Structures such as buildings and fences pose significant threats to these migrating species. Because the Centennial Valley is a critical migration route that connects Yellowstone to other forests throughout the Northern Rockies, it is critically important that the area is protected from further development that would hinder migration routes. I would like to study wildlife usage of the Centennial Valley Wildlife Corridor.

Caden Gregoire: Foster the Children

Foster the Children is a non-profit startup with a concept to create an awareness campaign that gives a voice to these lost children. We are doing so through a simple, yet innovative clothing line and method of marketing. We believe we can touch the lives of those around us by sharing these kids' stories. 10 groups met with the CEO of Zions Bank, and showed a very viable interest in us, and we also have a partnership with the nonprofit Utah Foster Care Foundation. We are hoping to receive the tools we need to help restore these children's lives.

Alexis Kaili

My senior capstone project is to create a short film made up of individual stories regarding gender roles from past to present in the Sill Family Home Living Center. My project will ultimately be a documentary film that utilizes digital storytelling to showcase the importance of learning home economic skills and how valuable these skills are across the lifespan. The handful of former residents that I will be interviewing each represent different time periods ranging from the 1950's through the 1980's. Assuming that only women were enrolled in the program, my questions will be directed toward understanding how these distinctions and in some ways exclusions have changed over time. Dr. Virginia Cutler was the driving force behind the Home Economics program in the Sill Center and having a strong presence during this time, I would like to cultivate a sense of how her ideas have been transposed through the program onto the residents. My interest in harvesting and preserving these stories comes from my curiosity to understand our changing gender roles presently.