Senior Capstone

During their senior year, Education Studies Scholars complete a year-long capstone project which enables them to conduct in-depth original research or develop an educational innovation. This is an opportunity for scholars to take what they have learned from the program, and decide how they want to make a contribution in the broader education field.

Scholar projects have included original quantitative and qualitative research, policy proposals for community organizations, children’s books and young adult novels, musicals co-written with New Haven high school students, photo essays, short films and more.  As Scholars prepare to graduate, they present at the Capstone Colloquium to fellow Scholars, faculty, mentors, community members, family and friends.  

The opinions and statements included in the projects below are the individual opinions and statements of Education Studies Scholars. They are not endorsed by Yale, and they are not official university positions or statements.

The projects listed below are available to the Yale community. View full-text Education Studies senior capstone projects here If you are outside of the Yale community and would like to consult a copy of a student capstone project, please email Education Studies Executive Director Dr. Mira Debs,

The opinions and statements included in the projects below are the individual opinions and statements of Education Studies Scholars. They are not endorsed by Yale, and they are not official university positions or statements.

Social Context of Education

Nora Faverzani (2023)Learning Dance: Reflections on the Relationships Between Intensive Dance Training and General Education for Pre-Professional Dance Students

Christian Robles (2023)Closing School Climate Gaps at Elm City Montessori School

Akio Tamura-Ho (2023), Zoom Affects: Discipline, Dislocation, and Digital Surveillance During COVID-19 Remote Learning 

Jennifer Tegegne (2023), The Chicago Youth Movements Oral History Project: Documenting Abolitionist Youth Resistance

Ajay Culhane-Husain (2022), Financial Education Best Practices for (Student) Athletes in Wake of Name, Image, and Likeness Legislation

Arya Singh (2022), ‘Making it work’ to leave home?: Students in wheelchairs’ experiences and decision making regarding the residential college experience

Durel Crosby Sankofa (2022), Hungry for More: Why Recognizing the Lunchroom as an Educational Space is Imperative for U.S. Public Schools

Phoebe Liu (2022), Sense or censorship: press freedom, high school journalism programs and democratic education

Rahshemah Wise (2022), What are our Schools Teaching?: A Narrative Analysis of Long Term Punitive Discipline and Mental Health

Sam Ryan (2022), Disparities in Autism Diagnoses: The Role of Physicians, Schools, and Families

Thuy Pham (2022), English Learning Language in Vietnam: The Role of English in the Course of Foreign Turmoil, Globalization, and National Policy

Ava Niknahad (2021), School Health: Analysis of Collaboration between the Medical and Educational Fields

Josh Diaz (2021), How Gender Formation Can Inform Best Practices for Combating Toxic Masculinity

Rayshawn Johnson (2021), The Histories, Presents, and Futures of a Black Education in the City of Philadelphia: A Story and a Dream

Sydney Terroso (2021), The Disabling Effects of Society: Approaching the Education of Autistic Students through a Social Model of Disability

Carrie Mannino (2020), Your Feelings, Your Family, and You: Forced Separation Trauma and Accessible Media Interventions for Children Aged 3-5

Chase Warren (2020), Subjugation Schooling on Standing Rock: Education, History, and Theories for Change

Donya Fegan (2020), Teaching Beings: Epistemicide and the Maintenance of Settler Colonialism in the Classroom

Jane Buckley (2020), Reimagining Consent Education in the United States:The Potential of a Children’s Book in Helping to Dismantle Rape Culture

Miriam Cohen (2020), “Interesting:” The Limits of Education for Social Change

Odette Wang (2020),  Invisible No Longer: Elevating Asian American Youth Voices in the New York City School Diversity Debate

Sidney Saint-Hilaire (2020), Misdiagnosis: Race-Conscious Approaches to Medical Education

Susannah Beyl  (2020), Questioning the Rule: The Civic Implications of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as a Pedagogy of Power

Sara Harris (2019), ‘At the Center of Everything:’ Understanding Rural Brain Drain Through the Perspectives of Educators

Colin Hill (2019), ‘Tread softly, because you tread on our dreams’: Parental advocacy in suburban school district restructuring

Tran Le (2019), The Post-Janus v. AFSCME World for Teachers’ Unions

Christian Rice (2018), Bridging the Social Gap: Recommendations for Building Bridging Social Capital in Schools

Fiona Riebeling (2018), From Concept to Classroom: Theoretical and Practical Approaches and Gaps to Multicultural Education in Chile

Veena Advani (2018), User Research in Online Education: The Challenges of Accurately Understanding Student Needs in a Global Classroom

Ana Barros (2018), Psychedelic Tongues: Storytelling and Unearthing the English Language Learner

Lucas Riccardi (2017), Attitudes Towards School Choice of Parents of LGBTQ Students

Israel Tovar (2017), Critical Race Education: Ethnic Studies as a Payment to the National Education Debt

Cindy Xue (2017) in collaboration with All our Kin, Caring 24/7: The Paradox of Nonstandard Work Schedules and Child Care (In)access in the Post-Welfare Reform Era

Cathy Zhu (2017), Evaluation of the Jones-Zimmerman Academic Mentoring Program (JZAMP)

Abigail Cobb (2016), A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Academic Performance

Erin Cofrancesco (2016), How to Get to Sesame Street: The Origins and Impact of Children’s Educational Television

Corinne Kentor (2016), Using Your Outside Voice: A Case Study Exploring the Politics of Bilingual School Leadership in Southern New Mexico

Marisol Dahl (2015)Early Literacy and the Publishing Industry

Educational Policy & Politics

Stephen Carrabino (2023), Community organization in opposition to anti-LGBTQ policies implemented by public school administrations and school boards in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Matt Post (2022), Reform On and From the Inside: Bureaucratic Mobilization in School District Central Offices

Samuel Grob (2021), Just for Fun? The Politics of Representation and Critical Education in High School Musical Theater

Sasha Lee (2021), Thinking Beyond Traditional Schooling: A Historical Case Study of Alternative Sites of Education”

Leila Murphy (2019), ‘Anti-Israel, and even Anti-American:’ The Politics of Teaching about Israel in American Schools

Markus Reneau (2019), Planned Failure: The Business and Politics Behind New Orleans Public Schools

Jaclyn Price (2019), Building a Brighter Future for Florida Pre-K: Recommendations for a more effective universal preschool program in the Sunshine State

William Roberts (2019), Understanding the Impact of School Finance Reforms: Where the Research Falls Short

Edgar Avina (2018), Using Guidance Counselors to Increase Enrollment of Houston High School Seniors in Postsecondary Vocational Programs

Caitlin Dermody (2018), For the Profession and For Ourselves

Sophie Paci (2016), Outside the Walls: Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor-Based Learning for Children’s Development

Diana Rosen (2016), Elm City Montessori: A Public Montessori Option for New Haven

Higher Education and Yale

Janice Dean (2023), Students’ Perceptions of Mattering in the Classroom

Eamon Goucher (2022), Students as Neighbors: Exploring Yale University Students’ Feelings of Connectedness with New Haven Community Members

Juliana Viola (2022), Understanding Yale Undergraduates’ Decisions to Enroll vs. Take a Leave of Absence During the 2020-2021 School Year

Laura Nicholas (2022), “It’s our life project”: Uncovering the motivations and social entrepreneurial spirit of Yale alumni school founders

Joy Qiu (2020),  Inductive Learning and Writing Proofs: Student Experiences in Advanced University Mathematics

Sarah Mele (2020), Beyond Inclusion: An In-Depth Analysis of Teaching of Audre Lorde, Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, and Adrienne Rich

Franklin Eccher (2019), Breaking the ‘Golden Cage’: Increasing College Access for Low-Income High-Achieving Rural Students Through the Selective College Admissions Process

Ben Wong (2019), Humanizing the ‘Nameless, Faceless Yellow Horde’: Chinese American Attitudes toward Affirmative Action

Laura Leon (2018), Higher Education Access for Undocumented Students in Connecticut

Jose López (2018), Not Made for ‘FGLIs’: Social Capital, Cultural Capital, and the First-Generation Low-Income Experience at Yale University

Shannon Flores (2018), Approaches to Discussing Controversial Issues in Higher Education

Mariano Miranda (2018), Latin American Students in the US: A Case Study of the Costa Rica and Why Does It Matter?

Kate O’Brien (2017), Yale Athletes in the New Haven Community: Learning from the Past in Building to the Future

Jessica Liang (2017), American Sign Language: Why It Has Become a Fallback Foreign Language Credit

Teaching & Teacher Education

Sélah Reid (2023), Navigating the Pandemic: The Experiences and Perceptions of Preschool Teachers and Directors Working During Covid-19

Maddie Whoriskey (2023), Advice from Early Childhood Educators: How to Speak with Parents about Discipline

Becca Rose (2022), How to Not Lose Your Mind When Reading Goodnight Moon for the Thirtieth Time: An Investigation into Shared Storybook Reading and Caregiver Emotional Intelligence

Edie Abraham-Macht (2022), The Critical Race Theory Debates Through History and Through Teachers’ Eyes

Mikah Covelli (2022), Trauma-Informed Education for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: Supporting Students Who Need It Most

Natalie Troy (2022), Teaching difficult history in middle school classrooms

Jessica Kong (2021), Inroads and Isolation: How Asian American Educators Work Toward Collective Liberation with Their Students and School Communities

Michael Martinez (2021), Disciple & Scandals: How the no-excuses disciplinary model of a No-Excuses High School created a toxic school culture and enabled disciplinary scandals

Emil Friedman (2020), Effective Principals, Effective Turnarounds: Considering the Role of the “Turnaround Principal” in Public School Transformation

Alexa Vaghenas (2020), Effectively Teaching for Self-Efficacy: Empowering Students through Mastery Learning, Trauma-Informed Teaching, and Anti-Racist Education

Jack Lattimore (2020), A Critique of Value-Added Modeling: A Mixed Methods Approach

Diana Woodward (2019), Teacher Perceptions of Mindfulness Implementation in Public Schools

Wayne Zhang (2018), ’Model Minority’ Classrooms: Arguments for and Strategies to Recruit and Retain Asian American Teachers in the Context of the Racial Achievement Gap

Tanner Allread (2016), The Current and Future Teacher Shortage: Teacher Recruitment and Retention Policy for Oklahoma’s Rural Schools

Proposal for an Education Innovation

Victor Torres (2022), Folklórico Pedagogy: Empowering Youth through Embodied & Counter-Hegemonic Practices of Danza Folklórica

Tahj Lakey (2021), 40 Acres and a School: Engaging Reparative Hybridity in Education Reform

Lana Apple (2020), “I am not a guinea pig”: An Analysis of Parental Advocacy in the German Detracking Movement

Max Solotar (2020), An Interdisciplinary Examination of U.S. Child Care and Suggested Federal Intervention

Nadia Balderas (2020), An Education of our Own: Designing a Latinx School for San Antonio, Texas”

Imani Butler (2020), Black Dreams Matter: An Experiment in Educational Possibilities

Annie Chen (2019), Choosing a Challenge: Building a Choice-Adaptive Points System for a Digital Game

Nathaly Basto Camargo (2017), ​Proposing an Intergenerational Interaction Space

Gabrielle Fong (2016), Warrior-Scholars at Yale: the process of seeking Yale credit for a Naval Science course

Daniel Rubins (2016), ‘The Central Nervous System of Their Character’: Teaching Extramusical Skills Through Choral Singing

Gavin Schiffres (2015)Student-Led Education: A New Public School Model

Curriculum Design & Curriculum Analysis

McKenna Christmas (2023), Facilitating Classroom Re-entry for Syrian Children of Refugee Status in Lebanon: Combatting Armed-Conflict Trauma with Resilience-Focused Psychosocial Education Interventions in a Country of Immediate Refuge

Saket Malhotra (2023), Exploring Approaches to Anti-Racist STEM Education

Katherine Matsukawa (2023), A Japanese American Curriculum for Connecticut Schools: Teaching Hard History With Narrative, Empathy, and Inquiry

Alexandra Contomichalos (2022), Promoting Healing of Syrian Refugee Children Enrolled in American Schools: Guidelines for a Supplemental Trauma-Informed Program

Grace Kim (2022), Culturally Sustaining Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Frameworks and Approaches

Christian Milian (2021), Teaching Taíno: An Interrogation of Puerto Rican Indigenous Education

Alexandra Weyerhaeuser (2020), Finding Common Ground: Environmental Justice Values and Academic Standards
Brian Dolan (2020), Teaching the Art of Physics: Rationalizing and Formulating an Aesthetically-Oriented Physics Curriculum
Mahima Kumara (2020), Choir as Community: An Inclusive, Anti-Racist High School Choral Curriculum
Selena Cho (2020), Teaching Local History is a Civics Education that Mobilizes
Jason Hu (2019), “Advocating for Self-Advocacy.” Guidebook.
Adam Michalowski (2019), What it Takes for Literature to Impact Student Attitudes
Ethan Young (2018), Metropolitan Business Academy: A Case Study in Performance-based Assessment
Hong Bui (2018), Without Walls: A Case Study of NatureYear
Katrina Garry (2018), High School Consent Education: Working to Eradicate Rape Culture

Edward Maza (2018), Visualizing the Invisible: Empowering Students Through Hidden Narratives in the Museum

Natalie Rose Schwartz (2017), Scaffolding Critical, Multicultural Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom

Pablo Uribe (2017), Common Ground: Current Practices Toward a Transformative Social Justice Education; Lessons from Critical Pedagogy and Strategies for the Future

Liza Rodler (2017), Sex Education in New Haven: Putting the City in the Context of a Century-Long Debate

Daniel Rietze (2016), ‘Oliver Button is a Sissy’: Integrating LGBTQ Literature into the Middle School English Language Arts Curriculum

Adriana Rodriguez (2016), Ethnicity & Me: Teaching Racial Tolerance in Early Childhood Education

Kelsey Annu-Essuman (2016), Hope Village Human Rights Curriculum                   

Mollie Korewa (2016), Teaching Anti-Racism to Upper Elementary School Students

Kaylyn Williams (2015), Culturally Responsive Early Childhood Education

Laura Brink (2015)5th Grade Technology Curriculum

Reilly Foote (2015)Physical Education in Elementary Education

Avery Jones (2015)8th Grade English Curriculum

Dominic Lounds (2015),  ‘My Stinky Little Brother Doesn’t Like to Read’: A Venture in Children’s Literature

Creative Project

Eda Uzunlar (2023), Learning Together Worlds Apart: On the Education of Students of Immigrant Backgrounds in Remote Pockets of the United States of America

Melia Young (2023), Hawaiian Names and the People Who Carry Them: An Exploration of Diasporic Hawaiians Navigating Yale University

Blanca Tallaj (2022), Self-Narrations as Survival for Queer Latinx People

Simone Koch Costa (2022), @why.schooled Questioning High School Practices and Purpose via Instagram

Courtney Nunley (2021), Dreaming Black Environmental Futures: A Middle Grade Graphic Novel on Black Communities’ Relationship to the Environment (graphic novel)

Jared Michaud (2019), Theatre of the Oppressed in Rural Education: An Applied Theatre Activity Teaching Social Empathy in Isolated, Homogenous Communities (theatre)

Emma Hathaway (2017), ‘The Things We Fight For’: Insider Reflections on the Next Great High School Musical (music)

Liliana Santos (2017), Bodies in a Classroom Space (photography)

Fortney Stark (2017), ‘Caitlin’s Big Idea’: Creating A New Social-Emotional Learning Video Series for Preschoolers (film)

Abdul-Razak Zachariah (2017), ‘Their Own Set of Wings’: Themes of Representation in Multicultural Children’s Literature (creative writing)

Victoria Campbell (2015), “Write like a Ninja: My Foray Into Creating a Young Adult Novel” (creative writing)

Education Theses by other Yale Seniors

Julia Butts, Sociology, 2017, Probing the Pattern of Asian American Underrepresentation in Special Education: Educator Perceptions of Students and Parents

Shoshana Davidoff-Gore, American Studies, 2017, Assessing School Choice as a Mechanism for Ethnic, Racial, and Socioeconomic Integration in New Haven Public Schools

Layla Treuhaft-Ali, History, 2017, ‘The Rich Implications of Everyday Things’: The Jeanes Teachers and Jim Crow, 1908–1968