Scripps College Capstone Day 2014: Celebrating Student Research

The 80 Scripps College seniors selected to present at “Capstone Day” will whittle long hours of rigorous study and intense research into a talk or performance that will last only a few minutes.    Capstone-Day

At this culminating event, the soon-to-be alumnae will present their senior theses at Capstone Day on May 7, which provides the opportunity to showcase their scholarship and to contribute to the College’s intellectual life.

“Boiling a year’s worth of research down to minutes will be challenging,” says Paloma Medina ’14, a biology major from South Pasadena. “But, I am honored to have been chosen for such a special Scripps tradition.”

Since 2009, the Scripps community gathers together yearly on Capstone Day to celebrate the academic accomplishments of the senior class by highlighting the best senior theses from a range of disciplines.

The day-long event is intended to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty.

Reflecting the diversity of student academic endeavors and interests, graduating seniors will present their work in a variety of formats, including talks, poster sessions, art exhibitions, and performances.

After delving into a particular topic for the past year and working closely with a professor, students relish the opportunity to present their research to a wider audience. But, it comes with inherent challenges – and a time constraint is one of them.

“The benefit to presenting for only a few minutes is that you have to REALLY know the main points of your thesis,” says Medina, whose presentation is titled “Response of Flowering Time Genes, CONSTANS and FKF1, to Cold Temperature in Arabidopsis thaliana.”

“My thesis topic is pretty challenging to understand because there are a lot of moving parts when discussing circadian rhythm,” says Medina, who recently was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Max Planck Institute in Germany beginning this summer. “I will be presenting my experimental results showing that CONSTANS and FKF1 have increased expression in response to cold. I also will address what sorts of implications this may have in light of global climate change.”

Capstone Day activities are open to students, faculty, staff, family, alumnae, and friends of Scripps College. A tea will immediately follow the student presentations at 3:45 p.m. in the Margaret Fowler Garden. A student versus faculty/staff soccer game will cap off the day’s events at 5 p.m. on Alumnae Field, behind the Tiernan Field House.