Senior Projects Day 2014

Justin Redona playing the viola.

Students present varied research and work on Senior Projects Day.

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Senior Projects Day has a certain energy in the air, a combination of nerves and excitement, curiosity and wonder.
For the better part of a year, seniors have been working diligently on astoundingly ambitious projects that allow them to lean into their subject of study and create something remarkable.
After countless long hours, late nights, caffeinated beverages and missed hours of sleep the seniors are finally able to present their final projects and research in 20-minute presentations. The dedication, talent, poise and articulation each of these students possesses is incredible.
We wish we were able to attend every single senior project, but unfortunately we were not able to make it to all of them. However, here is quick look at some of the fascinating work our students have done.
Riley Bowlregard
Riley Bowlregard sat, secluded in the Art Gallery covered in chains, and struggled to lift the heavy weight of “Hatred, Lust, and Sloth” as an audience eagerly watched. Bowlregard prepared a performance art piece for his senior project, symbolizing his struggle with three deadly sins.
After carving the sins into three individual stones, Bowlregard delved into a ritualistic lifestyle for 200 days and recorded his body. He exercised regularly, ate healthier and documented the changes and “growth” of his body by taking a Polaroid of himself every four days. The Polaroids began with him in the fetal position and progressed to display him sitting upright. As time passed, the Polaroids began to fade to a sepia tone, which Bowlregard said was intentional.“Polaroids will fade, just as we all fade as humans,” he said.
Along with systematic documentation, Bowlregard fashioned an intensive chain he used to pick up the stones as part of his performance. For him, the chain symbolizes growth and decision. He said he drew inspiration from Tenchig Hsieh and decided not to sign his work because he considers that it will always be in flux and should not be signed as a finished product. Bowlregard’s piece will be displayed in the Art Gallery along with the other art senior projects.

The Little Dog Laughed
The old adage says laughter is the best medicine, but the origin of that laughter is different for everyone. For the children at two local domestic violence shelters, their medicinal laughter is provided by dogs, and a group of Pacific University psychology majors- Seniors Colton Markham, Dakota Davison, Lori Engler, and Colin Kanewske, and junior Monique Slusher-  decided to evaluate just how effective these animal-assisted therapies are.
The Little Dog Laughed (TLDL), the program they were evaluating, according to their abstract, “is an animal-activity program that uses dog training as a form for non-violent problem solving and life skills training. In conjunction with behavioral therapy professionals, this program gives opportunities for children of domestic abuse to interact with the dogs in short, 20-minute training sessions once a week.”
Each group member took turns speaking, crowded together in their incredibly packed designated presentation room, and outlined how they spent their year visiting one of two domestic violence shelters once a week. During their visits, one group member would volunteer with the children while the other two kept detailed notes about the session, measuring six goals of TLDL throughout the 20 minute sessions, such as engagement (paying attention), instruction adherence, and attitude. What they found is that, even after just one session playing with the dog, there was a significantly positive correlation between the children's moods and ability to follow directions. Additionally, as Slusher and Markham explained towards the end of their presentation, they found that children initially scared of the dog managed to overcome that fear within a single 20 minute session.
Though more work, possibly by next year's seniors, will need to be done, the group concluded with smiles on their faces that The Little Dog Laughed was absolutely a program to be taken seriously, and many of them looked forward to volunteering with TLDL again in the future.
Coffee and a Bagel

Gavin Brown stood at the front of Taylor Auditorium dressed impeccably in a black suit and tie, his hand adorned with a heavy gold ring containing a glittering ruby set in the center. He looked the part of a poised filmmaker at a festival, preparing to introduce his film to the attentive crowd. Unsurprisingly, that could be in the future for him, as he is currently sending the animated short film he created for his senior project off to various film festivals.
In his film, “Coffee and a Bagel,” a lonely, older gentleman whose wife has passed away, searches for human connection and companionship in the form of an online dating site. He takes his dates to “Café Brun,” a place where they can chat over coffee and a bagel. Brown’s inspiration stems from a real-life event: while in an oft-attended Parisian Internet café, he stumbled upon an elderly Frenchman perusing a dating site. Though some may dub an old man on a dating site as “creepy” Brown emphasized that his intent was to instead convey the actions of the man as innocent, heartwarming and lighthearted.
Maya, the industry standard software used to create 3-D animations helped Brown create the film, which he has been working on since fall of 2013. As Brown learned, creating a 3-D animated film takes a great deal of time and various labor-intensive stages. After writing the script, Brown created a storyboard, followed by an animated storyboard for timing purposes and a playblast, which is an un-rendered version where changes can still be made. He collaborated with professors, students, alumni and professionals to pull the entire project together. About a month ago, with the help of his father, he began the last step of the process — rendering.  During rendering a computer program applies all the colors, shading, textures etc. to each and every frame. The four-minute long video took a whopping four weeks on three computers running 24/7 to render completely. His work was finally complete.
When asked if he saw himself doing another short film like this he chuckled and responded, “Not on my own again, but as part of a team? Definitely.” It takes a village to complete an animated short and Brown gave his thanks and appreciation to all those who assisted. Brown’s film, “Coffee and a Bagel” can be viewed on campus on May 10, at 7 p.m.
Karissa George
After aspiring to be a print editor her entire life, Karissa George stood in the middle of the Marsh Auditorium and argued why her dream of print media is not dead.
With so much of print media transitioning to the Internet, the argument has overwhelming been made that print newspapers are dying. As a result, reporters are expected to edit and publish their own work to the Internet. George said that this factor gives many the false idea that the job of the editor is dying as well. After interviewing two big time editors, including the executive editor of the Oregonian, George explained that this is all but true.
While she acknowledged that the role of the editor is shifting, the need for one is stronger than ever. Rather than reviewing stories for print, editors are now expected to sift through stories and decide which medium they deserve to be published as, handle business decisions, conduct and teach reporters how to successfully edit their stories, and continue to edit and check content.
As the executive editor for the Pacific Index, George said she is confident in her skills as an editor and her ability to manage and educate reporters. While she is still in the process of writing her thesis, the firm place of editors in the media is a strong cornerstone to her work.
JK Duncan's boldly-printed Aloha shirt hung off his thin frame proudly as the integrated media major displayed his senior project to the 9am crowd; a new website and brand design for Hawaiian clothing company Manuheali'i. Over the course of his senior year, Duncan designed a new logo and worked out typography and a matching color scheme to remain consistent across business cards, letterheads, and eventually, the website.
Originally from Honolulu, where one of Manuheali'i's physical storefronts stands, Duncan knew the owners as family friends even before starting his capstone. Nearly all of their progress meetings had to be done remotely, with Duncan building the website from Pacific and the owners still running their business from Hawai'i, but Duncan reveals they rarely had issues with scheduling. In fact, he admitted that his biggest challenge was not distance, but his own discomfort with website coding. He considers himself as much more of a graphic designer, mentioning that his eventual career goal is to design clothing for his own company.
Regardless, Duncan detailed how his advisor Mike Geraci and his fellow integrated media classmates helped him through the more technical aspects of the design process, coalescing into a complete brand makeover and a fully functioning website he can easily hand over to his clients at the end of May. Duncan's pride in his work was evident, and no one present could deny the successful design career he has ahead.
Tranquility Through Music
The talented and composed Justin Redona strode across the warmly lit stage with apparent ease as he approached the microphone. In a musical voice Redona explained that he is double-majoring in Biology and Music with the goal to one day become a doctor that helps injured musicians. In an innovative way to combine his two passions Redona’s senior project was a study of how live music performance may assist those suffering from poor health.
Redona, who plays viola, selected several pieces of music to play for patients at a hospital. He soon discovered that patients experienced a lowered heart rate, deeper breathing, emotional responses and some patients even managed to sway to the music. One patient in particular was groaning in pain when Redona entered the room, but as the music progressed the patient ceased groaning and visibly relaxed. Redona drew the conclusion that provided live music to patients was not only helpful, but also very important for their well-being.
Redona also showcased his incredible skill on the viola, producing a flawless sound and impeccable technique rendering the entire audience breathless. Redona’s first piece, “ Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major” by Johann Sebastian Bach was a solo performance that stunned the crowd with his abundance of talent. That was followed by an old Scottish border melody, “I’ll Bid My Heart Be Still,” accompanied by a pianist. The last piece was quite spectacular with an entire string quintet playing the “Phantasy String Quintet” piece composed by Ralph Vaughn Williams. The piece was selected by Redona for it’s otherworldly qualities and the ability it had to take patients minds to another, perhaps more tranquil, place.
The crowd gave an enthusiastic round of applause and Redona smiled widely, bowed and exited the stage. The amount of dedication and talent he has committed to his craft was evident, and his performance wholly enjoyable.