MINERVA VOICES

What was Minerva's Class of 2023 passionate about?

Learn more about Class of 2023's Capstone projects.

November 15, 2023

One of the most significant milestones for our students that marks the completion of their undergraduate journeys is the Capstone project, a testament to the synthesis of their diverse skills, rigorous studies, and unique perspectives.

These projects reflect not only the breadth of knowledge and competencies gained through Minerva's comprehensive education but also the students' creativity and commitment to making a tangible impact on their fields of interest. From groundbreaking historical reconstructions to innovative applications of computational science, these Capstones demonstrate the capabilities of our graduates to investigate, innovate, and instigate change.

As we applaud the efforts and achievements of the Class of 2023, let us delve into a few remarkable Capstones that highlight the essence of a Minerva education.

Meet Ujeza Ademi, an Arts and Humanities graduate from Minerva, who used her Capstone project to delve into uncharted territories of Illyrian mythology. Her passion and acquired critical thinking skills not only brought to life a novel visual representation of mythological creatures but also paved the way for her to apply for a National Geographic grant to continue her exploration post-graduation.

“Traveling so much over the past four years made me crave, acknowledge, and understand home more. I realized that the critical thinking acquired from my experiences with communities around the world could be used to uncover so much more about the past of my people. My Capstone not only serves as a protest art against Serbia keeping 2,000 artifacts hostage from Kosovo but also evokes feelings of obligation and responsibility at times, as well as occasional self-doubt at others – as an undergraduate female without a Ph.D., I am undertaking the groundbreaking task of documenting previously unexplored context about the Illyrians, including history's first-ever visual representation of Illyrian mythological creatures. I used the opportunity of creating my Capstone to connect with many mentors, including a National Geographic photographer who encouraged me to apply for a National Geographic grant to continue my project after graduation.“ – Ujeza, Class of 2023, College of Arts and Humanities

Meet Yutaro Shimizu, a Natural Sciences major from Minerva, who found fascination in the intersection of theories and computational tools. Through his capstone project, he not only pushed the boundaries of his learning but also equipped himself with the expertise to innovate in future scientific pursuits using AI, supercomputers, and machine learning models.

“During my summer research experience, I discovered the powerful combination of theories and computational tools in sparking innovation. This inspired me to pursue learning AI coding in my Capstone project, which effectively integrated Natural Sciences and Computational Sciences concepts. This Capstone was all about accepting failure as a learning opportunity – I got unexpected results making the interpretation challenging and producing models to implement new ideas uncertain. All these experiences prepared me to embrace the winding process of scientific methods. I'd like to pursue research, and this Capstone pushed me beyond my boundaries in so many directions which exposed me to the breadth and depth of scientific processes. From using supercomputers, generating evolution-inspired machine learning models to combining theories, I'd like to bring all these experiences with me when I take on new science projects after graduation.” – Yutaro, Class of 2023, College of Natural Sciences

Meet Makenzie Hanson, a Social Sciences major from Minerva, who embarked on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Her Capstone, a website documenting her personal exploration of societal norms and her journey to break free from them, serves as a beacon of empowerment for young women looking to critically examine their experiences with societal expectations.

“Over the last few years, I have decided to stop shaving and wearing bras less to reject objectification and create a more positive relationship with my body. Through my journey, I have become aware of the societal norms and stigma surrounding these decisions and have created this project to be intentionally disruptive. I aim to break down negative assumptions and challenge norms in a way that encourages my audience to do the same. My Capstone is an explorative website featuring my feminist journey to understanding my relationship with my body, the norms I have been socialized into, and how I am breaking free of the patriarchy. It is a resource for young women who want to examine their own experiences with shame critically — and includes historical research, guiding questions, and unique artwork. I believe that empowered women will change the world. This Capstone explores how I have become more empowered in my own life and is a resource for others to do the same. While it doesn’t directly relate to my career goals, it does align with my feminist values, which transcend individual career choices.” – Makenzie, Class of 2023, college of Social Sciences

Meet Elton Vargas Guerrero, a Business major, who has harnessed his Capstone project to bridge his professional interest in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and his passion for Development Economics in Latin America. His research serves as a stepping stone towards his ambition of founding a FinTech startup to tackle financial inclusion challenges in his Latino community.

“A Capstone Project is the most challenging academic project I have worked on since it gave me the greatest freedom to apply all of the acquired college skills to a problem relevant to me and my career. Yet, it was also one of the most enriching academic experiences, as I could see daily how my skills applied to tackling real-life problems and challenges. My Capstone intersects my professional interest and experience in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and my passion for Development Economics in Latin America. I wanted to contribute to potential alternative solutions for a real regional financial inclusion problem (lack of credit access) to make a tangible impact in my Latino community. My future career aspiration is to create a FinTech startup that targets Latin American financial inclusion problems through DeFi technologies. Hence, my Capstone serves as a core preliminary and supporting research for future DeFi products' development that are localized to these community problems.” – Elton, Class of 2023, College of Business

Meet Precious Ukaegbu, a dual major in Natural Sciences and Social Sciences at Minerva, who is passionate about the intersection of preventive medicine and public health. Her Capstone explores the biological and psychological factors of Lassa Fever disease in Nigeria, a project borne out of personal experience and driven by her ambition to create a tangible impact on global health issues.

“I am enthusiastic about the connection between preventive medicine and public health, and infectious diseases are an important part of this link. My Capstone is a multidisciplinary study of the biological and psychological factors contributing to the recurring spread of Lassa Fever disease in Nigeria. Having experienced this disease's outbreak, and seeing its ongoing significant negative effects, I was curious about how research could yield a holistic understanding of the disease and more effective solutions. It provided me with an opportunity to create a project with potential to make a tangible real-world impact.” – Precious, Class of 2023, College of Natural Sciences and Social Sciences

As we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2023, we stand in awe of their dedication, their diverse talents, and their capacity to blend disciplines and methodologies into truly unique and insightful Capstone projects. These students have not merely mastered their fields of study, but they've also wielded their knowledge with creativity, courage, and a genuine desire to make a difference in their communities and the world. Their journeys embody Minerva's core values, demonstrating that true education extends beyond the classroom and into a commitment to lifelong learning and global engagement. Our heartiest congratulations to the Class of 2023, and we eagerly await the numerous ways in which they will continue to shape the world with their knowledge, ingenuity, and passion.

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

One of the most significant milestones for our students that marks the completion of their undergraduate journeys is the Capstone project, a testament to the synthesis of their diverse skills, rigorous studies, and unique perspectives.

These projects reflect not only the breadth of knowledge and competencies gained through Minerva's comprehensive education but also the students' creativity and commitment to making a tangible impact on their fields of interest. From groundbreaking historical reconstructions to innovative applications of computational science, these Capstones demonstrate the capabilities of our graduates to investigate, innovate, and instigate change.

As we applaud the efforts and achievements of the Class of 2023, let us delve into a few remarkable Capstones that highlight the essence of a Minerva education.

Meet Ujeza Ademi, an Arts and Humanities graduate from Minerva, who used her Capstone project to delve into uncharted territories of Illyrian mythology. Her passion and acquired critical thinking skills not only brought to life a novel visual representation of mythological creatures but also paved the way for her to apply for a National Geographic grant to continue her exploration post-graduation.

“Traveling so much over the past four years made me crave, acknowledge, and understand home more. I realized that the critical thinking acquired from my experiences with communities around the world could be used to uncover so much more about the past of my people. My Capstone not only serves as a protest art against Serbia keeping 2,000 artifacts hostage from Kosovo but also evokes feelings of obligation and responsibility at times, as well as occasional self-doubt at others – as an undergraduate female without a Ph.D., I am undertaking the groundbreaking task of documenting previously unexplored context about the Illyrians, including history's first-ever visual representation of Illyrian mythological creatures. I used the opportunity of creating my Capstone to connect with many mentors, including a National Geographic photographer who encouraged me to apply for a National Geographic grant to continue my project after graduation.“ – Ujeza, Class of 2023, College of Arts and Humanities

Meet Yutaro Shimizu, a Natural Sciences major from Minerva, who found fascination in the intersection of theories and computational tools. Through his capstone project, he not only pushed the boundaries of his learning but also equipped himself with the expertise to innovate in future scientific pursuits using AI, supercomputers, and machine learning models.

“During my summer research experience, I discovered the powerful combination of theories and computational tools in sparking innovation. This inspired me to pursue learning AI coding in my Capstone project, which effectively integrated Natural Sciences and Computational Sciences concepts. This Capstone was all about accepting failure as a learning opportunity – I got unexpected results making the interpretation challenging and producing models to implement new ideas uncertain. All these experiences prepared me to embrace the winding process of scientific methods. I'd like to pursue research, and this Capstone pushed me beyond my boundaries in so many directions which exposed me to the breadth and depth of scientific processes. From using supercomputers, generating evolution-inspired machine learning models to combining theories, I'd like to bring all these experiences with me when I take on new science projects after graduation.” – Yutaro, Class of 2023, College of Natural Sciences

Meet Makenzie Hanson, a Social Sciences major from Minerva, who embarked on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Her Capstone, a website documenting her personal exploration of societal norms and her journey to break free from them, serves as a beacon of empowerment for young women looking to critically examine their experiences with societal expectations.

“Over the last few years, I have decided to stop shaving and wearing bras less to reject objectification and create a more positive relationship with my body. Through my journey, I have become aware of the societal norms and stigma surrounding these decisions and have created this project to be intentionally disruptive. I aim to break down negative assumptions and challenge norms in a way that encourages my audience to do the same. My Capstone is an explorative website featuring my feminist journey to understanding my relationship with my body, the norms I have been socialized into, and how I am breaking free of the patriarchy. It is a resource for young women who want to examine their own experiences with shame critically — and includes historical research, guiding questions, and unique artwork. I believe that empowered women will change the world. This Capstone explores how I have become more empowered in my own life and is a resource for others to do the same. While it doesn’t directly relate to my career goals, it does align with my feminist values, which transcend individual career choices.” – Makenzie, Class of 2023, college of Social Sciences

Meet Elton Vargas Guerrero, a Business major, who has harnessed his Capstone project to bridge his professional interest in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and his passion for Development Economics in Latin America. His research serves as a stepping stone towards his ambition of founding a FinTech startup to tackle financial inclusion challenges in his Latino community.

“A Capstone Project is the most challenging academic project I have worked on since it gave me the greatest freedom to apply all of the acquired college skills to a problem relevant to me and my career. Yet, it was also one of the most enriching academic experiences, as I could see daily how my skills applied to tackling real-life problems and challenges. My Capstone intersects my professional interest and experience in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and my passion for Development Economics in Latin America. I wanted to contribute to potential alternative solutions for a real regional financial inclusion problem (lack of credit access) to make a tangible impact in my Latino community. My future career aspiration is to create a FinTech startup that targets Latin American financial inclusion problems through DeFi technologies. Hence, my Capstone serves as a core preliminary and supporting research for future DeFi products' development that are localized to these community problems.” – Elton, Class of 2023, College of Business

Meet Precious Ukaegbu, a dual major in Natural Sciences and Social Sciences at Minerva, who is passionate about the intersection of preventive medicine and public health. Her Capstone explores the biological and psychological factors of Lassa Fever disease in Nigeria, a project borne out of personal experience and driven by her ambition to create a tangible impact on global health issues.

“I am enthusiastic about the connection between preventive medicine and public health, and infectious diseases are an important part of this link. My Capstone is a multidisciplinary study of the biological and psychological factors contributing to the recurring spread of Lassa Fever disease in Nigeria. Having experienced this disease's outbreak, and seeing its ongoing significant negative effects, I was curious about how research could yield a holistic understanding of the disease and more effective solutions. It provided me with an opportunity to create a project with potential to make a tangible real-world impact.” – Precious, Class of 2023, College of Natural Sciences and Social Sciences

As we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2023, we stand in awe of their dedication, their diverse talents, and their capacity to blend disciplines and methodologies into truly unique and insightful Capstone projects. These students have not merely mastered their fields of study, but they've also wielded their knowledge with creativity, courage, and a genuine desire to make a difference in their communities and the world. Their journeys embody Minerva's core values, demonstrating that true education extends beyond the classroom and into a commitment to lifelong learning and global engagement. Our heartiest congratulations to the Class of 2023, and we eagerly await the numerous ways in which they will continue to shape the world with their knowledge, ingenuity, and passion.