Undergraduate Scholarly & Creative Capstone Projects

by Candace Walworth, PhD, Peace Studies Department Chair

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
—Howard Thurman, author, theologian, educator and civil rights leader

Interdisciplinary Studies and Peace Studies students presented their research, creative, and scholarly work to a full house at Naropa’s Center for Culture, Identity and Social Justice on December 14th, 2017.

capstone snow

From left to right:

  • Daniel Jubelirer—“Catalyzing Social Movements for Justice in the Unraveling of the Holocene: A Manifesto”
  • Willow Mackey—“Illuminating Rites-of-Passage through Traditional Chinese Medicine: Kite Model Action”
  • Kelsey Conger—“Healing Heritage: The Handbook for Personal and Planetary Well-Being”
  • Blake Gibbins—“Concealed Origins: Reframing a History of Modern Child Welfare”
    Faridah Ndiaye—“On Reflecting and Reclaiming the Black Body: Healing through Image and Storytelling”
  • Kelly Braun—“Restorative Justice and the Youth Corrections System”
  • Edie Angela Fuertes—“The Self in the Wordless Realm: Photo Conversations as a Tool for Individual and Social Healing”
  • Danika Tomchinsky-Holland—“Exploring Feminist & Queer Spiritualities through Arts-Based Inquiry”
  • Rayne Sofley—“Behind ‘Enemy’ Lines: Mapping Masculinity through Documentary Theater
  • Candace Walworth, Capstone faculty instructor and mentor
capstone LJ, DJ, KK, MC1
Lauren Jubelirer, Daniel Jubelirer, Kritee (Kanko), and Morgan Curtis

“During the presentations, my heart overflowed because I felt hopeful about the future for the first time in a very long time. I was inspired by the depth of knowledge, wisdom, and passion these students brought to their work. Their thesis projects reflect the kind of depth, compassion, and understanding needed to create the solutions our world desperately needs. What a remarkable job Naropa has done to prepare students to find their place, leading the way to a more beautiful and just world.” —Lauren Jubelirer, Acupuncturist, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

“I was delighted to witness the passion, energy and creativity of these young sacred warriors. I hope that next year the capstone student presentations take place at a larger venue so that we can connect the energy and passion of youth with the experience and financial resources of older generations in Boulder and beyond. I am confident that Boulder citizens, including many engaged Buddhists, will be inspired by and learn from—the scholarly, creative and active work of the current generation of Naropa students. It is the responsibility of older generations to make sure our youth have the chance to actualize their dreams of serving the planet and all beings.” – Kritee (Kanko), Zen priest, climate scientist and Director of Boulder Eco-Dharma Sangha

“Through the well-informed, warm-hearted faculty and students at Naropa, wisdom’s pilot light shines bright. Their passions are alive; lighting our way, inviting us, making our precious blue-green ball planet vibrate. This is how the world transforms for the greater good: our birthright. It was an honor to witness and to receive their expansive insight.”  –Dein Sofley, Writer, Editor of The Coachella Review


As part of her arts-based research, Danika Tomchinsky-Holland produced a zine (“Liberation Creations”). Copies are available. Contact the author: Danika.tomchinsky@gmail.com

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Danika Tomchinsky-Holland & Faridah Ndiaye

To request a copy of student theses, contact cwalworth@naropa.edu. I will forward your request to students.

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