McPherson College Graduates Complete Senior Capstones

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
May 18, 2016

McPherson College this past Sunday recognized one of the largest group of graduating students that it’s seen in recent years. This month 153 master’s and bachelor’s students earned their degrees at McPherson College, a 20 percent increase from last year alone.

McPherson College is unique in that it also requires undergraduates to complete a “senior capstone” in the form of senior projects, presentations, shows or other final assignments, before receiving their diplomas. These projects provide a great experience for undergraduates that will benefit them as they embark on their future graduate work or careers.

The final assignments of seniors graduating in the class of 2016 were as follows:


Senior Exhibition

Bailley McKinley, Derby Kan. – Studio

Michael Ramos, Sachse, Texas – Art Education

Jasmine Regehr, McPherson, Kan. – Graphic Design & Studio

Melicia Foster-Evans, McPherson, Kan. – Graphic Design & Studio

Nathan Holthus, McPherson, Kan. – Graphic Design

Ste’fon Walker, Mendenhall, Miss. – Graphic Design

Automotive Restoration 

Senior Presentations

Jake O’Gorman, Ennismore, Ontario, and Travis Gleich, Elkhorn, Wis. – 1940 Cadillac/LaSalle V8

Zach Oller, Newton, Kan. – 1929 Stutz Blackhawk

Eric Youvan, McPherson, Kan. – 1929 Model A Sedan Delivery Body

Robert Kliewer, Perry, Iowa – 1926 Dodge Engine

Collin Howard, Carlisle, Penn. – 1925 Rolls-Royce

Bob Hespen, McPherson, Kan. – Vehicle Driving Log Books

Michael Cosby, Rockwall, Texas – 1954 Ferrari Monza 750

Andy Lindstrom, Vulcan, Mich. – 1929 Model A Sedan Delivery Engine

Behavioral Sciences   Senior Research Symposium

Nadine L Baquiran, Garden Grove, Calif. – Green-Eyed Monster

Kenneth Berry, Lee’s Summit, Mo. – “You Are So Immature”

Miranda Clark Ulrich, Russell, Kan. – Age at Marriage:  Effects on Marital Satisfaction

Amanda Darrow, Jasper, Mo. – Eye of the Tiger: Differences between Genders, Athletes and Non-Athletes as Eyewitnesses

Simone Donaldson, Halstead, Kan. – Happy People: The Halo Effect and Emotion Perception

Cora Gouldner, Andover, Kan. – Sexual Assault and Personal Safety Perception

Shannon L Popp, Galva, Kan. – The Effects of Mental Illness on the Likelihood of Self-Medication

Rea Samuels, Williston, Fla. – Color Blind

MaKenzie S Smith, Augusta, Kan. – College Students and Overall Psychological Well-Being Based on Sexual Orientation

Kayla R Snead, Las Animas, Colo. – Academic Behaviors and Stress Among College Students

Elizabeth Anne Stein, Spearville, Kan. – America Divided

Amy M Stockton, Manhattan, Kan. – Who Needs a Mentor?

Corey Taylor, Iola, Kan. – How Much Can Change in a Year?

Sierra Lynn Ulrich, Salina, Kan. – “I Hate My Life”

Aaron Vaughan, Salinas, Calif. – Consumer Behavior: “Why we want, what we want”

Jennifer Zavala, McPherson, Kan. – I Know What You Did Last Summer: The Deviant Among Us


Marketing Research Presentations

Samantha Harrity, Saint Paul, Minn. – Assessing McPherson College students  pricing preferences for the purchase of alcohol to develop pricing strategies for local retailers

Georgia Smart, Ormond, Australia – Determining the suitable target market for the Bookshelf, the Hidden Closet: High school and college students or other?

Jmoi Penn, Road Town, British Virgin Islands – Evaluating the factors that influence retention and acquisition of new customers at a local gym

Louis K Ndongo, Mobile, Ala. – Analyzing the viability of a formal men clothing store in McPherson, Kansas.

Laura Puente, Scott City, Kan. – Evaluating the ideal target market and effective promotional tools for the Marigold restaurant

Brant Rhoades, Burlington, Colo. – Assessing the likelihood that local farmers will utilize drone technology in their operations

Darrian Moss, Lancaster, Texas – Analyzing the feasibility of satellite coffee shops at McPherson College: Students Desirability and Fresh Ideas Capability

Nikki Taylor Vorhees, Riverside, Calif. – A case study exploring the problem with members’ retention and satisfaction at Canyon Crest Country Club

Jacob Weigel, Berryton, Kan. – Analyzing customers’ desirability and the potential impact on market share for the new product line at Network Computing Solutions


Senior Oral History Project

Seniors in the communication major at McPherson College have spent the semester collecting the life stories of people in our community. They spent five weeks interviewing their subjects and then wrote stories learned during the interview process. These nine students will present parts of the legacy stories that they have written as a celebration of the work done for this project:

Adrian Carson, McPherson, Kan.

T.J. Grant, South Bend, Ind.

Aly Hennager, Elizabeth, Colo.

Alaina Johnson, McPherson, Kan.

Lora Kirmer, Holly, Colo.

Rissa McNichols, Olathe, Kan.

Marissa Patton, Tribune, Kan.

Austin Schad, Valley Center, Kan.

Seth Sterling, McPherson, Kan.


Thesis Presentations

Christian Johnston, Lyons, Kan. – End of Byzantium: A Look at the Primary Causes of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453

Curtis Mullins, Hutchinson, Kan. – The Marias Massacre of Piegan Indians in 1870

Michael Kokmeyer, McPherson, Kan. – The Story of the Checker Cab

James Covel, Wichita, Kan. – Coup Development: The Upsides of Thailand’s Constant Coups


Senior Presentations

Dixon Cooney, Loveland, Colo.:  Monte Carlo Methods for Estimating Option Prices

Michael Barrett, La Mirada, Calif.:  Trinomial Expansions and Pascal’s Tetrahedron

Modern Languages 

Senior Presentations

Cecilia Cross, Hutchinson, Kan.

Lisa Goering, McPherson, Kan.

Rebekah James, Moundridge, Kan.

Natural Sciences 

The 33rd Annual Science Research Forum

Kylan Bennett, Healy, Kan.: Crotalus atrox Venom Tolerance through Parental Envenomation in Mus musculus

Andrea Falk, Cheyenne, Wyo.: Cathepsin K Knockout Mice do not Exhibit Mechanical Hypersensitivity after Injection of an Inflammatory Insult

Levi Fleming, McPherson, Kan.: The Effects of Elevated Levels of Calcium and Turbidity on Freshwater Mussel Growth

Tiffany Fraser, Georgetown, Texas: Osmotic Stress Survival and Thermal Tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Alia Khalidi, Augusta, Kan.: The effect of light environment on the development of eye pigments in Drosophila melanogaster

Ashley Long, McPherson, Kan.: The Effect of Protective Agents on the Demineralization of Human Tooth Enamel

Geoff Pugh, Ventura, Calif.: Analysis of the Fungicidal Nature of ZnS on Sordaria fimicola

Sophie Simon, McPherson, Kan.: Effects of Female Mating Status on the Expression and Success of Male Mating Tactic in the Wolf Spider Rabidosa punctulata

Collin Wright, Montezuma, Kan.: Isolation and Characterization of Antimicrobial Microorganisms in McPherson County Soil

Whitney Zimmerman, Valley Center, Kan.: Cell Toxicity Studies to Understand Neurodegenerative Parkinson’s Disease

Kaley Kinnamon, McPherson, Kan.: Phenolic content and antioxidant activity in Kansas-grown Vitis vinifera and associated wines

Sabrina Washington, Salinas, Calif.: The Amount of Total Dissolved Solids in Coffee Made by 6 Different Brewing Methods

Teacher Education 

Student Teaching placements:

Rachael Anderson, McPherson, Kan., 4th/ELED Eisenhower ES, USD 418

Kayla Burke, Derby, Kan., ESOL Colvin ES, USD 259; 2nd/ELED Allen ES, USD 259

Cecilia Cross, Hutchinson, Kan., Spanish Buhler HS, USD 313

Emily Davis, McPherson, Kan.,  4th/ELED  Roosevelt ES, USD 418

Cami Engelbert, Beloit, Kan.,  4th/SPED  Beloit ES, USD 273

Rebekah Gallegos-Romero, Colorado Springs, Colo.,  3rd/ELED  Lincoln ES, USD 418

Maci Grimes, Andale, Kan.,  K/ELED/SPED  Andale ES, USD 267

Addie Johnson, McPherson, Kan., Speech/Theatre Salina South HS, USD 305

Leslie Kagle. McPherson, Kan., 4th/ELED Lincoln ES, USD 418

Gail Malaby, McPherson, Kan.,  3rd/ELED  Soderstrom ES, USD 400

Christopher Newell, Salem, Ore., SS Chicago

Michael Ramos, Sachse, Texas, Art Smoky Valley HS, USD 400; Art Lincoln ES, USD 418

Kelcie Scott, McPherson, Kan., 2nd/ELED Lincoln ES, USD 418

Sunny Smart, South Coffeyville, Okla.., SPED

Brooke Vorhees, Riverside, Calif., 1st/ELED/SPED  Washington ES, USD 418

Mariah Wedel, McPherson, Kan.,  K/ELED  McCandless ES, USD 308

Douglas Williamson, Long Beach, Calif.,  PE  Inman ES & JR/SR HS, USD 448


Addie Johnson, McPherson, Kan.– “The Taming of the Shrew,” senior project in performance, September 2015

Josh Hall, Tonganoxie, Kan – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, senior project in musical theatre, October 2015

Crystal Osner, Conway Springs, Kan. – The Great Cross Country Race, senior project in costume design, November 2015

Whitney Jefferson, Houston, Texas – Hotel Paradiso, senior project in performance, April 2016

McPherson College, located in central Kansas, is a four-year private liberal arts college offering more than 20 bachelor’s and pre-professional programs, as well as an experiential master of education degree. Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to explore their ideas, to learn through doing and to make a difference in the world.  McPherson College, affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, is committed to the ideals of scholarship, participation, and service – developing whole persons, prepared for fulfilling life vocations.

Visitwww.mcpherson.edufor more information about McPherson College.