If you would like to see more senior capstone projects please visit our searchable database to find an abstract for specific presentations.

Place: The American Japanese Garden

Angelica Rockquemore found Japanese gardens to be not only beautiful physical places, but also a representation of "a connection people have to their selves and their countries."Rockquermore's senior project, titled "Re-finding Place: The American Japanese Garden." drew upon phenomenology - a philosophical concept relating to the experience of place and space. "In the beginning...I really didn't have a sense of place, and it was through this project that I came to find one about my history and my identity," she notes. Originally from Hawaii, Rockquemore sees Japanese gardens as gathering places, a representation of communities. Her hope is to one day see a Japanese garden built at Pacific University. A triple major in anthropology, international studies and Japanese, Rockquemore graduated with honors and will study Japanese gardens as a Fulbright Scholar in Kyoto, Japan.

The Muslim Mother in Contemporary American Culture and her Role in the Family

This is an ethnographic research project designed to investigate and shed light upon hardships that Muslim American mothers face while trying to establish a strong family bond in the home and raising "Mu'Miniyn children". Mu'Miniyn is the term used to define true believers of Islam.

Recidivism in Inmates with Drug Related Crimes

To learn more about incarceration and the need for drug and alcohol treatment for inmates, anthropology major Heidi Cupp interviewed prisoners and counselors at a Oregon medium security prison for her senior project. She talked to five prisoners and three counselors in both structured and open-ended interviews. One of the concerns she came away with is that she felt once prisoners go free, they are in need of transition services to enable them to return to life outside prison. The project, she says, "was important to me because I do believe inmates are multi-layere...They aren't just a number; they're people, too. They need to be treated as people but they also need treatment." Of her visit to the prison, Cupp says, "It was scary at first because I was unsure about the inmates, but once I got in there and talked to them one-on-one, it made me realize even more that they were people and they weren't scary."

Naked Protest: Manipulating the Erotic

The power of naked protest, or the use of the body as a vehicle for social change, is done as an act of transgression against social norms that transcend any particular culture. The naked body is not inherently erotic but when the privatized body is placed naked in the public arena for the purpose to protest between the intention of the protestor and the interpretation of the viewer there is a manipulation between the simply naked and the erotic nude that takes place to create more attention for the cause.


Art Tourism: An Ethnographic View

Katie Petcoff combined her love of art, photography and travel to do two senior projects. One involved viewing the world through a camera's lens. The other - visualizing art through the design of museums. A double major in anthropology and art, Petcoff presented two views of London museums: The National Gallery, which houses Western European painting from 13th to 19th centuries; and Tate: Modern, which holds a collection of contemporary art. Her study on "Art Tourism: An Ethnographic View," involved showing how individuals are influenced by a museum's design, both exterior and interior.She also showed off her photographs from travels throughout the world for her project, "An Eye on the World and A Camera in Hand" at the Katrin Cawein Gallery."I really wanted to talk about my photography and related travel and how it is important to people," she said. "I want to encourage people to travel and get out there."

An Iranian in the American Kitchen

Growing up in a dual-culture home in Nevada-her mother is Iranian and her father American-anthropology major Rhonda Sheen choose perhaps one of most basic elements of culture for her senior project: Food. Her theme: "An Iranian in the American Kitchen," focused on the impact culture, geography, religion, even food color, has on how immigrants have to change their long-held eating habits to fit their new home. For instance, she discovered that the Iranian immigrants she interviewed switched from using lamb for main dishes to beef, because they didn't like the look of the lamb meat in local grocery stores. Some other dishes, such as desserts with certain fruit, taste different because the exact fruit isn't grown in the U.S. Her project, Sheen said, "was very useful because it helped me connect to my own personal heritage. I learned more about my culture as well as learned about my family members and got to talk to them about stories of their childhood."