Mount Saint Dominic Academy


Senior Capstone Project 2019 and Academic Symposium

The MSDA Senior Capstone in Directed Research is an innovative program open to Mount seniors. The partnership between Mount seniors and MSDA alumnae mentors is a unique opportunity. Students have the opportunity to delve into an area of passion, performing research and hands-on work associated with their project. Mount alumnae partner with a student and give back to the Mount with their time and talents. 

Deep exploration of an academic topic, problem, issue, or idea of individual interest

The Capstone course, an elective offering for seniors, allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue, or idea of individual interest, possibly tied to a future major or career interest, and design, plan, and implement a yearlong investigation to address student-developed research questions. Capstone was designed as a culminating experience where students can delve into an area of passion, performing research and any hands-on work associated with their project. Research topics typically build off academic courses already completed. This capstone experience requires students to make connections across disciplines, bridges theory with practice, and promotes the development of higher-order thinking. Students work with a faculty mentor as well as an alumna mentor to help guide them.

Prepare our young women to hit the ground running

Dean of Academics, Marissa Muoio ’08, Ed. D., who developed and teaches the course, recognizes the need for students to have opportunities to pursue personal interests in relation to research. Muoio stated, “Undergraduate research opportunities are on the rise. Our belief is that this course will prepare our young women to hit the ground running when they attend their respective universities. We want them to have a head start on identifying their interests and feel comfortable jumping at the opportunities that will present themselves in their future education.” Student final products will be presented to a panel of faculty members at an Academic Symposium inviting students, parents, faculty, board members and the greater school community to attend. The following are topics addressed in this year’s projects:

  • The Changing Relationship Between Social Media and Politics and Its Impact on the Political Involvement of Young Adults
  • The Differences Between Core Values at All-Boys and All-Girls Catholic High Schools as Reflected through their English Language Arts Curriculums
  • The medical applications and moral solutions of human induced pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine
  • The short term and long term physical and psychological effects of watching television on children and adolescents
  • The history of felon disenfranchisement in the United States and the effect these laws have on national elections.
  • The Reasons for and the Effects that Stem from Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Discrimination against those with developmental disabilities in the workplace
  • The effect of dental care on low-income people
  • The social, mental, and lifelong differences between typical siblings and siblings of those with a brother or sister with autism?
  • Premature babies, pre/post natal care and public health
  • Gender inequality in the Workplace
  • The lack of assistance and knowledge given to American immigrants and population

Mount’s distinguished alumnae play a significant role

One of the exciting elements of this course is the key role that some of the Mount’s distinguished alumnae will play in the development of the current students’ topics as alumnae mentors. Looping Mount alumnae into the community of educators that fosters the growth and empowerment of the young women that attend Mount St. Dominic Academy immeasurably expands the learning opportunities provided to them, and provides enhanced social interaction on a more adult-level, critical to future success in higher education and other professional arenas.

Alumnae expertise spans areas including:

  • communications and media
  • government
  • public policy
  • disabilities
  • education
  • healthcare
  • and much more!

Last school year, students embarked on a field trip to Tozuda, LLC, where alumna Jessie Garcia ’08 is the founder and CEO. Jessie and her company make helmet sensors to detect concussion strength hits and is mentoring Mount senior Sarah in her Capstone project. Read more about the trip and what the students learned about linear and rotational forces in concussion detection.

Academic Symposium featuring Capstone Projects, Journalism Podcast Projects, Robotics, Economics and Visual Arts

The Academic Symposium took place Thursday, May 2, 2019 at Mount St. Dominic Academy and featured Capstone Project Presentations as well as samples of the Journalism Podcasts, Robotics, and Economics Projects. A sampling of Visual Arts projects by our AP Studio Art students were also on display. Capstone Presentations ran through the school day in the Athletic Center for the student body, faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae. The evening Reception was open to the greater Mount community and the public.

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