Senior Project & Exit Interview

Senior projects were due the last week of April, causing a lot of stress around campus. Senior projects serve as a culminating task - project, paper, etc. - within a student's chosen discipline. The criteria for a senior project is set by each major - some are one credit hour, some two, and some four. Some majors require you do a very specific thing (for example, write a paper and then give a presentation on it), while other majors are much more flexible.

Because I'm a double major, I was able to select if I wanted to do my senior project in Dance or Psychology. Initially, I thought I was going to do a Psych project (writing a paper or conducting an experiment) because I thought doing something more "academic" would look good on my application for graduate school. My Dance professor, Jane Hawley, had a different idea, and proposed that she and I write a grant to bring alumni back to campus and to bring awareness to how dancers train at Luther. With her help, I wrote my first grant, and I started a year-long, $5000 senior project.

The project ended up being a good experience - grant writing is a constant part of working in the arts (or in Science), and I feel like I have a bit of a leg up having done already completed this task with the guidance of someone who has done it hundreds of times. I also (usually) enjoyed the (enormous amounts of) work that my project entailed. I was also able to help choreograph and to be a part of my friend James' senior project. We created and performed an 18-minute dance performance in April.

After Dance/Theatre shows are over (as most Dance and Theatre majors put up work as their senior projects, unlike what I did) and senior papers have been turned in, the Dance and Theatre majors do a really amazing thing where we have an "exit interview". The entire Theatre/Dance faculty sets aside an hour for each student to talk about their project, their experience in their major, and their future plans. That means that each soon-to-be graduate gets an hour with all six faculty members at the same time. I know of very few departments that take that much time to honor and celebrate its students.

I had my exit interview this week. My paper is turned in and the grant reflection has been written. It feels really strange to think about the fact that my entire Dance major is over. But, then again, three weeks from today I will be graduated!

An image from James' senior project
another shot from James' project

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