Psychology Students Create Online Magazine Featuring Senior Capstones

Champlain College Class of 2020 Psychology students transitioned their capstone projects into an online environment this year as they finished up their final semester from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are just a few samples of the excellent work our psychology seniors debuted in May.

Diamond Tuisano’s Unclassified: Gen Z Edition

As Diamond and her fellow seniors reached graduation season, soon to enter the “real world,” she wanted her capstone project to be a resource for all graduating college seniors as they transition from graduation into the workforce.

Her website, “Unclassified: Gen Z Edition,” was created with the intent to provide graduating college seniors with the information they need for the future without being overcomplicated and confusing. The site’s navigation is organized so viewers can explore each topic Diamond researched, including employability, basic finances, sustenance, living space, disaster preparedness, and mental health and wellness. While working on this project, she learned a variety of new concepts, and she hopes her site will help at least one graduate after they leave school.

Anna Bilotta’s Bellcate School Website

During her internship at the Bellcate School in Essex Junction, Anna knew she wanted to give back to the school community for all the opportunities and experiences she’s had while working there.

Bellcate is a school that focuses on helping students with special needs and tailors classes to each student. Anna spent her capstone time collecting information that would aid Bellcate’s graduating students in their transition from school into the working world.

First, Anna created a packet of information that would inform local business of Bellcate and its graduating students. She then sought out potential businesses that would be interested in hiring the students, and catalogued the businesses’ names for use on the Bellcate website. When COVID-19 altered her ability to communicate with companies in-person, Anna was still determined to help the students she’s been working with during her internship, and transitioned to an online form of communication.

“I will continue to work alongside the vocation team to help develop more content that explains the vocational program’s mission and to continue to expand on the opportunities available to the students at Bellcate,” writes Anna. For her, the journey doesn’t end here. She says she hopes to continue working for Bellcate post-graduation. Read more here.

Olivia Richer’s A Guide to S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Olivia Richer’s interactive book, A Guide to S.U.C.C.E.S.S., is for high-functioning young adults on the autism spectrum. It provides an overview of different coping strategies, including CBT/dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and expressive writing. The book features scannable QR codes that lead readers to videos and examples of social situations, and also provides contact information for the crisis text line, in case the reader needs immediate assistance.

An interactive book about skilled understanding and coping with complex experiences in social situations.

All she needs now is to find a publisher! Read more here.

Wyatt Kitchen-Goldgett’s Relationships: Cooked With Love

This capstone adds a fun spin to your traditional cookbook! Created to help couples enhance their communication, intimate awareness, intimate understanding, and gratitude toward each other, this cooking experiment is one-of-a-kind. “Each recipe in the cookbook has two equal roles in the cooking process that foster a teamwork environment in a couple’s very own kitchen. Each recipe is color-coded with gender-neutral binary colors with each step constructed to have equal collaboration between both partners,” Wyatt writes.

If the users want a challenge, the book includes “challenge cards,” which put a twist on regular cooking. These cards can be added to any recipe, chosen at random, or even chosen specifically for each couple. He hopes to one day expand the book to 60+ recipes, 30+ challenge cards, and blank challenge cards for an added spin. Read more here.

Catherine Taylor’s Winooski Transportation

Transportation is essential to everyday life. It’s used for shopping, work, school, and social interaction. In big cities like Burlington, there are transportation options like Green Mountain Transit or Uber. For smaller cities, as Catherine Taylor points out, travel options are limited.

Catherine set out during her internship with Winooski Community Services Department to propose an environmentally conscious shuttle system. Her system would lower the cost, allowing more residents the opportunity to take transportation for everyday needs, and provide service to Winoosk’s aging population. Accessibility is key, she explains. Read more here.

Christina Knaak’s Women’s Bible Study Online

Attending mass across the globe has become either difficult, or impossible. Christina’s initial capstone project was to launch a six-week bible study. When a global pandemic hit, she had to quickly pivot and figure out how to bring this experience to community members in an engaging and meaningful online environment. Christina came up with the idea to use Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Skype to hold Bible study in a virtual fashion.

At first, Christina set up meetings with five women at a time, three times a week, in order to allow each member the chance to talk. It was a huge success!

A screenshot of the many women who attend online bible studies through New King Church in Burlington.

Transitioning to an online Bible study allowed for people across the world to join in on the conversation and talk about their feelings or religious beliefs or even just have social interaction. With no real end in sight to when this social distancing will end, she hopes to keep using Bible study as an escape to talk to others and hold a sense of community. Read more about her project here.

Even though Champlain and other colleges across the globe have turned to remote instruction, nothing is going to stop these Psychology graduates from making their impact on the world.

Interested in creating projects that make an impact? Learn more about the Champlain College Psychology Program here.

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