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Senior Thesis or Project

Since it became required in 1989, the Senior Thesis/Project has been the culmination of each Honors student's course of undergraduate study. It represents a significant individual endeavor that can be either creative, scholarly, pedagogical, or scientific. Whether applying to graduate schools or to possible employers, Honors students discover that their senior project is a distinctive addition to their professional portfolios.


Upon completion and advisor approval, the thesis is publicly presented to the college community at a ceremony at the end of the graduate's senior year. The final copy is then bound and catalogued in Western Oregon University's Hamersly Library. The students' theses titles are also listed on special pages of the graduation program.

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Spring term of sophomore year: narrow your choice of subjects and determine which faculty members you would hope to work with
  • Fall term of junior year: enroll in H 303, the Thesis Orientation seminar; complete thesis proposal
  • Winter term of junior year: thesis proposal submitted and evaluated by Honors Committee
  • Spring term of junior year: enroll in H 353, the Thesis Development seminar; also complete all research for the project and complete your outline and begin writing a key section of the thesis (usually the literature review)
  • Fall term of senior year: continue drafting your thesis chapters
  • Winter term of senior year: continue drafting; if possible, submit a first draft submitted to your thesis advisor(s)
  • April of senior year: draft submitted to thesis advisor(s), if not done sooner; revise, revise, revise
  • May of senior year: final draft submitted to thesis advisor(s)
  • May 15 of senior year: thesis title submitted to Honors Director for inclusion in Commencement Program
  • Late May or early June of senior year: Honors Thesis Presentations events
  • June 1 of senior year: camera-ready copy submitted to Honors Director for copying and binding

List of Past Honors Graduates and Thesis Titles


Past theses have ranged across numerous subjects in the humanities, sciences, and education. Some students have written creative works in fiction or that were performed on stage.


2014 Theses

  • Zander Albertson - Effects of Dams and Irrigation on the Deschutes River, Oregon
  • Sheridan Bailey - Bridging Generation Y: A Commentary on the Financial Development of Young Adults in the New Millennium
  • Katy Barlean - Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13): The Imminent Threat Inside Our Borders
  • Carolee Buck - Medical Botany in the Treatment of HIV and AIDS
  • Hayley Dickinson - Tobacco Use on College Campuses: Should Smoking be Banned?
  • Stephanie Eaton - Common Core Math: A Guide
  • Kayli Fisher - Understanding Heroin Addiction from the Life Course Perspective
  • Jose Garcia - Why College?: Making the Decision
  • Kelsey Gray - Study Abroad Reentry: Emotional Aspects
  • Bethany Haight - The Impact of World War I on American Women's Fashion
  • Chloe Hansen - Theatrical Interpreting: An Explanation of the Process
  • Jillian Johnson - Playing with Permutations: Examining Mathematics in Children's Toys
  • Zachary Jones - There is No Law Here: Vigilantism, Militarism and Metropolitanism in Coos County, Oregon 1912-1913
  • Annelise Marshall - Perón: the Ascent and Decline to Power
  • Alyssa Palmer - Cancer Research: A Quest for a Cure
  • Olivia Reed - Bullfighting: At What Cost Should Culture Be Preserved?
  • Trevor Ross - Queer (In)equality: An In-depth Look at Discrimination towards the LGBTQ Community
  • Daniel Tew - Pedagogy of Teaching History: Comparing the Chronologic and Thematic Approaches
  • Marissa Thompson - Julius: A Study of Hitchcockian Film
  • Bonnie Wells - More Than Human: A Critical Evaluation of the Intersection of Character and Theme in Mike Mignola's Hellboy

2013 Theses

  • Macy Bothman - Bilingual Physical Education
  • Rosie Brown - Dropping the Lowest Score: A Mathematical Analysis of a Common Grading Practice
  • Allason Fewx - The Arrow of Defiance
  • Merry Fuller - Writing a Novel: The Process and its Implications in Teaching
  • Tayleranne Gillespie - Celebrating a Centennial: The Design, Implementation and Evaluation of a Multi-Media Public Interest Campaign
  • Krista Harrington - Possible but Ethical? A bioethical investigation into medical manipulation, emerging technology and ethics
  • Angela Haslam - Literacy Support for Children with Autism
  • Bailey Hough - Highly Mobile Students in the Elementary Classroom
  • Amy Keithley - Experiential Education: Teaching Elementary Mathematics with a Deweyan Framework
  • Kristin Mahoney - Acculturation versus Assimilation: A Comparative Analysis of Standard Written English and ASL
  • Jenae Nelson - The Elementary School Classroom: Implementing Multiple Learning Styles
  • Emmy Olsen - An English Handbook for the Spanish Classroom: English to Spanish Grammar Clarification for Learners of Spanish
  • Jerielle Raibley - The Potential Conflict between Forensic Ethnic Identification and Societal Interpretation in America
  • Heidi Ramp - Pick Me, Pick Me: The Theory and Construction Behind the Conference Proposal
  • Lisa Rogers - Second Language Acquisition: An exploration of Effective Pedagogies
  • Trevor Roush - Pay for Performance on Quality of Healthcare: Justified Transition or Policy Fad?
  • Alyssa Schmidt - Answering the Question Why: The Theoretical Foundations to Instructional Choices in a Middle School Mathematics Class
  • Ariel Setniker - Linear Independence of Function Spaces
  • Mike Stevenson - Crime Analysis: Issues in the Field
  • Christopher Tasner - Permutations and Combination Locks
  • Sophia Wellons - Investigating the Gap Year
  • Joceline Wynn - Stage management: an artistic approach to the symbiotic relationships within a theatre

2012 Theses

  • Wendy Bryant - Sharing Stories: Insights on the Holistic Experiences of Latino ELLs
  • Diedra Cates - My Reflexive Journey: A Korean American Adoptee's Return to South Korea
  • Tabitha McAfee - Teaching Strategies for the High School Math Classroom
  • Chris McFetridge - Demystifying the Performance Authentic: Translation, Preference, and the New Aesthetic
  • David O'Rourke - Independent Game Development: The Making of Paze
  • Paige O'Rourke - The Search for Self: Childhood Interiors and Identity in Contemporary Young Adult Literature
  • Marina Sikora - Higher Education, Critical Pedagogy, and Non-Traditional Students
  • Nancy Sorensen - Delving into Dance and Gender
  • Steven Thomson - Detection Limits of Derivatized Methamphetamine Using Gold Nanoparticles and Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
  • Ermine Todd - Creative Synthesis: Collaborative Cross-Disciplinary Studies in the Arts
  • Karin Traweek - Oregon Gray Wolf Reintroduction, Conservation, and Management Evaluation
  • Melissa Wiener - Super Fish Quest -- A Video Game

2011 Theses

  • Rebekah Beyer - A Figure of Thought: Conceptual Metaphor in Children's Preschool Narrative Picture Books
  • Bryan Danaher - A Graphic Novelization: Coriolanus, Act 1
  • Aaron Dull - Tales of Ungdar: Prophecy of the Eldests [novel]
  • Sierra Durfee - A Modern Construction of a Corset and a Short Look at HIstorical and Social Aspects
  • Crystal Hanson - Working in Harmony: The Process of Writing Music and Lyrics for a Musical
  • Rachel Hermanson - Characterization of the Female Attractiveness Pheromone in the Red-Spotted Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis concinnus
  • Maria Hommes - A Knight of Fashion: Costuming an Amateur Musical
  • Kady Hossner - Extensions of Cayley-Sudoku Constructions
  • Joel Kobzeff - A Brief Disquisition on the Ethics Philosophy of Ayn Rand: The Objectivist Theory of Morality -- A Discourse on Value, Reality, the Virtue of Egoism, the Immorality of Sacrifice, and the Failure of Subjectivist Ethics
  • Nicole Miller - Community-Based Policing and the Mentally Ill
  • Alysse Parker - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Creating a New Musical
  • Michael Petrovich - Seasonal Effects on the White Blood Cell Percentages of Lower Invertebrates
  • Angelica Strickland - Benefits of Foreign Language Instruction

2010 Theses

  • Jenny Barnes - The Dancing Classroom: Benefits of Using Creative Dance and Movement to Increase Learning for Students with and without ADD/ADHD
  • Danielle Buffington-Tebon - Como Se What: The Importance of the Reading/Writing Connection for English Language Learners in the Middle School Language Arts Classroom
  • Tasha Burlison-Trump - A Qualitative Analysis of Student Motivations, Intentions, and Participation in a Breast Cancer Advocacy Internship
  • Allison Glasscock - The Complications of Philosophy: Fortune, Happiness, Evil, and Free Will in Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy
  • David Hawes - Beowulf the RPG
  • Justin Karr - Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Health, the Brain, and the Human Diet
  • Lisa Martini - The Influence of High Fructose Corn Syrup on the Diabetes Epidemic
  • Hillary K. Mills - The Theories Informing Literature Circle Implementation
  • Stephanie Shields - Developing Female Self-Efficacy for Middle School Mathematics
  • Evan Sorce - Increasing the Power: The Traditional Role of the Vice President Before and After Vice President Cheney
  • Nicole Teague - Movement in the Classroom: Integrating Movement into Elementary School Curriculum
  • Jaclyn Thompson - A Tale of Two American Cities: A Look at Lifestyles
  • Samuel Thompson - Retirement Investing Through Target Date Funds

2009 Theses

  • Dustin Byers - The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 and the Failure of the Political Process
  • Rebecca Chadd - Know Thyself: The Self-Revelatory Nature of the Creative Process
  • Ashley Kuehlwein - The Media Effects on the Perceptions and Foreign Policies Surrounding the Chechan Fight for Independence between 1985 and 1995
  • Betsy McDonald - Museums and National Identity: the Case of the Parthenon Sculptures
  • Chelsey Miller - Pheromone Specificity and Reproductive Isolation in Garter Snakes
  • Kimber Saville - Effects of Cognitive Inhibitory Abilities on Cortisol Responsiveness and Cognition
  • Annaka Wendt - Louisa: A Collection of Stories and Musings
  • Stephanie Woods - With this Ring: Religious Implications for Marital Horizons in Emerging Adulthood
  • Lauren Zegers - The State of Education: An Examination of No Child Left Behind

2008 Theses

  • Tricia Brigham - The Relationship between Patients' Self-Efficacy and their Effort Level and Improvement within a Physical Therapy Setting
  • Zachary Christopherson - Sexual Attractiveness between Garter Snakes
  • Kynzie Dalton - The Effects of Facial Cosmetics on Female Self-Perception
  • Samantha Ann Hafner - Arthur Rising (novel)
  • Brian Halverson - The Effect of the Weather on Retail Sales
  • Shane Hosea - Republic: A Graphic Adaptation (graphic novel)
  • Katherine Keetle - Signing for Education: The Benefits of Using American Sign Language in Hearing Classrooms
  • Melissa Ruth C. Scott - A Reason to Live (novel)
  • Joshua Nelsen Woods - Homeland Insecurity: Truman, Hoover, and Intelligence

2007 Theses

  • Mariko R. Chambers - A Study of Nursery Rhyme Adaptations
  • Katy Bradley Conner - Through Their Eyes: Style and Character in Roddy Doyle
  • Nicole Juergensen - Making Homes Out of RV's: Alternative Low-Income Housing in Rural Southern Oregon
  • Danielle Kuehnel - Hometown Pride: A Community's Cultural Identity Constructed through Publication
  • Tyler Laughlin - The Controversy of Constantine's Conversion to Christianity
  • Amanda Miles - An Examination of Stress and Illness Among College Students
  • Nicole Jesse Perry - Speaking with Images: How the addition of images to second generation Holocaust suvivor's memoirs improves the dialogue between author and reader
  • Jennifer Rosales - The Growth Pattern of Colorful Bacterial Mats in Hot Springs Water at Yellowstone National Park
  • Brian Smith - Exploring the Current 802.11 Security Landscape
  • Laura Soules - Rock Walls and Rusted Dreams: An Archaeological Examination of Homesteading on the Crooked River National Grassland, Oregon
  • Alaina Steiner - The Possibilites of Philosophies as Works of Visual Art

2006 Theses

  • Monica Fleener - The Coronation of Charlemagne: Causes and Consequences
  • Beth Marie Frohmader - Development of the Guide Dog: Changes in Types, Training, and Recruitment of the Dog Guide and Implications for the Future
  • Terry Manning - Attemps to Cultivate RLMO Bacteria Using Site-Specific Water Chemistry Data
  • Mary E. Steers - The Effects of Age on Accurate Age Estimation
  • Daniel Ryan Van Winkle - An Examination of the Use of History in the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism in the Former Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia

2005 Theses

  • Ashley Neonta Bell - Neolin and Tenskwatawa: A Comparison of Two Nativist Prophets
  • Amber R. Faw - Manipulation of Eyewitness Testimony: How Naivete, Leading Questioning and Initial Stimulus Environment Affect Recall
  • Heidi L. Kimberling - Effect of Relevant Shocking Material on Recall, Recognition, and Attitude of Advertisments
  • Jessica K. Prante - Exposure of Hearing Infants to Signing: Its Influence on Language and Communication Ease
  • Erin Shute - Thrice Lived: Moment, Memory, and Understanding
  • Holly Adelman - Assessment and Accountability: Impacts of Testing on Oregon's English Language Learners

2004 Theses

  • Christina M. Healy- Interpreting Shakespeare from English into American Sign Language
  • Stephanie R. Lewis De Ochoa - Study of the Choreographic Evolution of George Balanchine's Ballets from 1922-1983
  • Kalah A. Paisley - Beyond Original Intent: The Reinvention of the Everson Ruling by Constitutional Historians
  • Rebekah M Regan - Skipping or Tripping?

2003 Theses

  • Jill Bradley - Dual Language Education: Preparing Today's Youth for Tomorrow's Diverse Future
  • Jana K. Brooks - Techniques in Fish Immunology: Effects of Water Source on Immune Cells of Goldfish, Carassius Auratus
  • Ardyth DeBruyn - Culture in a Structure of Transition and Uncertainty: Liminality and Communitas Among Modern Pilgrams on the Camino De Santiago
  • Marika L. Schneider - Grief, Loss, and Death: A Guide for Educator's and Parents of Elementary School Children

2002 Theses

  • Roseanne Pascalette Caputi - Suicide Race
  • Shelley Dietrick - Beyond Family: Controversy Surrounding The Practice of Interracial Adoption within the American System.
  • Laura M. Howard - The Underrepresentation of Females in Computer Science.
  • Adrian C. Johanson - Wasted.
  • Cheyenne Lemmon - Gender: Dynamics, Identity and the University Setting.
  • Christina M. White - A Link to the Past, A Road to the Future: Bringing Family History into the Elementary Classroom.

2001 Theses

  • Thomas W. Bahde - I Fights Mit Sigel: Nativism and German American Soldiers in the Civil War.
  • Celeste D. Barker - Father, Word and Holy Breath: The Genesis and Revelations of Stephen Dedalus.
  • Brooke Gore - Mindful Communication: Strategies to Enhance Healthy Interactions.
  • Maren E. Greif - A Novel Approach.
  • Shannon M. Harvey - Implementing Creative Arts into the Elementary Classroom.
  • Christopher J. Hodnefield - Decoding the Golay Code by Hand.
  • Michelle Kennedy - The Use of Geographic Urban Models in Relation to the Development of Salem, Oregon.
  • Kirk Lemmon - The Creation of a Film: From Script to Finish.

2000 Theses

  • Ruth Ashton - Concentrations of Lead (Pb) in the Roots and Shoots of Sunflower (Helianthus annus): An Experiment in Phytoremediation.
  • Jessica Beach - Causes of Aggression: A Study of Biological Factors.
  • Tori Fornaciari - Painted Personalities: A study of the Female Figure.
  • Theresa A. Mecham - Anne, Farewell, Adieu: The Final Hours of Anne Boleyn.
  • Angela Siecinski - Attributional Styles, Moral Disengagement, and Self-Reported Delinquincy.
  • Jennifer Lynne Wolff - Sometimes Miracles Hide.

1999 Theses

  • Elizabeth Cole - Language and Identity: The Confessions of a Bilingual Cabeza De Chorlito in Ecuador.
  • Stephen Day - Personal Finance: The Forgotten Need of College Students.
  • Jennifer K. Gjesvold - Guilt and Shame: Moral Affects and Criminal Behavior.
  • Elaine M. Hart - "Genesis" And Other Poems.
  • Molly J. Judson French - The Scent of Water: A Naturalist's Guide to Small Streams of the Oregon Coast Range.
  • Nicole Y. Meeuwsen - Discovering Economics.
  • Noelle L. Pratt - Cami's Story.
  • Angela M. Quinby - Discovering Economics.
  • Erin E. Sullivan - Fantasia on Amazing Grace.

1998 Theses

  • Jaimie Suzan Bigelow - A Narrative of the Birth of Anabaptism: A Personal Exploration.
  • Michelle E. Bright - Insights into the Lives of Postsecondary Students with Learning Disabilites.
  • Erin K. Clinton - The Effects of Hair Color and Cosmetic Use on Male and Female Perceptions of a Female's Potential Job Performace.
  • Carrie L. Davis - Tripidia: A Novel Prospectus.
  • Chryste Lea Crivella Frauendiener - I Dance in Two Languages: A Creative Thesis on Bilingual Children's Literature.
  • Traci A. Hamer - Stressing Neisseria Gonorrhoeae: A Layman's Explanation.
  • Jane E. Hammill - Wicca.
  • Alicia J. Kleiman - "Data's My Comrade": A Journey of Associations.
  • Deborah F. Kropf - Disability is not Inability: The Deaf Community in Kenya.
  • Danielle D. Myers - Guests of the Gold Mountain: Chinese Vernecular Architecture and Two Dragon Camps.
  • Jennifer L Paulsen - The World Wide Web's Impact on the Field of Education: The Role it Plays and Examples of Usage.
  • Stephanie D.B. Sherwood - The Making of Martyrs: The Centralia Tragedy and Trial of 1919.

1997 Theses

  • Aimee Bruno - Let it be with me according to your word.
  • Holly M. Hatch - Themes and variations in the lives of Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

1996 Theses

  • Charles K. Bonville - The internet: a virtual library.
  • Stacey Brennan - Interdisciplinary education: an option for improving education.
  • Nicole L. Hayes - Successful mediation: a comparison of Leslie Marmon Silko's ceremony and Louise Erdrich's love medicine.
  • Thomas R. Hoffman - Mathematical chaos: development and applications.
  • Jana L. Mounts - Medieval European noble women and the power they possessed.
  • Cynthia L. Ussing - The multi-grade elementary classroom, a return to the past?
  • Cindy Wrey - Financial inequities in schools: do they exist?

1995 Theses

  • Elona M. Olson - Mixed-age grouping.
  • Kelly C. Schloer - Generation of a population of autotetraploid loium multiflorum plants for use in breeding new varieties of rye grass.

1994 Theses

  • Heather Boylan - The Historical Mexico as Seen by a Foreigner.
  • Rachel L. Fox - In Memoriam: Dan Lucas.
  • Shannon M. Gates - Messiah: A Personal Discovery.
  • Travis Giboney - True Blue.
  • Stacy Holloway - The Geomorphology of the Hood River Valley.
  • Thomas W. Hrabal - A European Experience.
  • Dawn Lingenfelter - Gender issues in computer-mediated communication: an exploratory analysis.
  • Wendy Sue Randolph Pankey - The Life You Save: A Soliloguy by Flannery O' Connor.
  • Evangeline Faith Pearson - Music in Worship in the Churches of Monmouth-Independence.
  • Danielle Spinella - Head Start
  • Jessica J. Wilkinson - Effective Interface Design: Increasing User Productivity.

1993 Theses

  • Michael C. Curry - Life Out There: Looking Beyond the Limits.
  • Leah Johnson - Ehpesian Memories.
  • Paul H. Potter - Fear and loathing of the self: gay protagonists in two post World War II American novels.
  • Tracie Toman - Germany: a hope for Oregon's educational future a study of Oregon and German educational systems.

1992 Theses

  • Daniel S. Kay - Zoo Story: A Study In Communication.
  • Rachel Starck - A Study of Three Grass Seed Mixes Used in the Restoration of Wetlands.

1991 Theses

  • Nicole A. Diederich - Thomas Wolfe's journey toward self-discovery: the search for meaning and identity in Look Homeward Angel and Of Time and the River.
  • Corey Johnson - Elsewhere: the reunification of mind and matter.

1990 Theses

  • Julie Ann Biddle - An historical perspective on six works from flute recital literature.

1989 Theses

  • Kalen Griffin - Theatre direction: a test in communication.




Honors Program

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