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

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

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

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

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 Achievement First Amistad 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

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

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”