College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Humanities and Communication

Spring 2017 Capstones

  • Professor Jennifer Fletcher

    Stories are everywhere; they’re important to all academic disciplines and discourses. Storytelling is a best practice in business, politics, law, the STEM fields, and, of course, in the arts and humanities. In Minds Made for Stories (2014), literacy scholar Thomas Newark argues that narrative is the primary way we understand ourselves and our world, observing that “as humans, we must tell stories.”

    HCOM students are particularly well prepared to investigate the impact of stories on our ways of knowing and being. Our interdisciplinary major includes the fields of literature, philosophy, journalism, history, ethnic studies, pre-law, communication, and creative writing and social action—fields all characterized by storytelling. In this Senior Capstone Seminar, we’ll examine digital stories, narrative as rhetoric, storytelling in the workplace, narrative and literacy, narrative and argument, and media filters that influence our access and response to stories. Drawing on Newark's scholarship, students will explore this uniquely human and compelling capacity from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and socio-cultural contexts on their way to telling their own research, creative, or project-based story.

    Senior Projects

    • Calcagno, Jennifer (Journalism and Media Studies).
    • Wick, Christian D. (Pre-Law), “The Power of Narrative in the Legal World”
    • Chavez, Jonathan J. (Pre-Law), “Telling a Story, Changing the World: California Rural Legal Assistance”
    • Corona, Elizabeth K. (Chicano Studies), “We are Chicanos”
    • Cummins, Dominic (Writing and Rhetoric), “Human Revolution”
    • Denevi, Anthony (Journalism and Media Studies), “ACL:”
    • Emanuel, Nick D. (Journalism & Media Studies), “The Communicative Aspect of Advising”
    • Espinosa, Sarah A. (Journalism and Media Studies), “Life in the System: Monterey County Public Defender Office”
    • Esquer, Joselyn (Chicano Studies), “Stop the Stigma”
    • Fender, Natalie R. (Multicultural Studies), “Becoming Professional”
    • Grazia, Giselle (Literary and Film Studies), “How To Trick People Into Thinking You Know What You’re Talking About: Literature and Film Edition”
    • Hernandez, Alma Haide (Pre-Law), “Make CalWorks Great”
    • Hernandez, Marcia (English Subject Matter Preparation), “The Voices That Remain Silent”
    • Leyva, Mirella (English Subject Matter Preparation), “Silenced Stories that Linger”
    • Lubke, Jessica (Literary and Film Studies), “Through the Abyss and Back”
    • May, Jessica (Journalism and Media Studies), “Shaping Our Youth”
    • Menard, Myka (Creative Writing and Social Action), “Coming into Understanding"
    • Montoya, Leah (Creative Writing and Social Action), “Life as I Know It: My Story Told through Poetry”
    • Poole, Taylor (English Subject Matter Preparation), “A Wall Turned On Its Side Is A Bridge”
    • Roessler, Karen E. (Creative Writing and Social Action).
    • Terry, Michael (Literary and Film Analysis), “True Form of Greatness”
    • Tertulien, Charlemagne Jr. (Journalism), “The Past’s Divide and the Future’s Uncertainty”
    • Trujillo, Jessica (English Subject Matter Preparation), “Does Building a Bridge Help Bridge the Gap?”
    • Tyler, Stefanie (Creative Writing and Social Action), “Sin and Forgiveness”
    • Wick, Christian (Concentration).
    • Williams, Gheorghe (English Literature and Theatre Studies), “Getting Somewhere: People vs. Turner (2016) and the Efficacy of Survivor Narratives”
    • Zavala, Crystal (English Subject Matter Preparation), “No Longer Frenemies in the Academic World”
  • Professor Patrick Belanger

    Haitian scholar Michel-Rolph Trouillot once wrote: “When reality does not coincide with deeply held beliefs, human beings tend to phrase interpretations that force reality within the scope of these beliefs.” This course explores the interface of rhetoric and ideology, and assesses the implications for social transformation. We take three steps. First, we track the rhetorical creation of inclusion/exclusion. Second, we explore theories and practices of public memory. Third, we evaluate narratives circulated through diverse media and cultural practices (e.g., museums, film, digital campaigns, journalism, visual art, religion, sport). Ultimately, we assess how stories about the past, present, and future fortify and/or transform society. Throughout, we learn to better: 1) interpret the communication around us, and 2) advocate for change in the world.

    Senior Projects

    • Achelle Reynoso, (Journalism/Media Studies), “The Power of Contrasting Rhetoric: An Analysis of the Rhetorical Styles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Movement”
    • Aquino, Nohami (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Two Sides of the Border: Overcoming Walls, Bans, Stereotypes and Everyday Struggles in a Divided Country”
    • Audyski, Heather (Practical and Professional Ethics), “The Power of a Woman’s Voice”
    • Bagno, Grace (Women’s Studies & PPE), “Quiet Brilliance in a Loud World”
    • Basso, Olivia (Literary and Film Studies; Journalism & Media Studies), “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See”
    • Bell, Duce (Pre-Law), “A Day in the Life of A Student Athlete”
    • Cnudde, Zeno (English Subject Matter Preparation), “Teaching Rhetoric and Grammar in Secondary Schools”
    • Cruz-Orduna, Karen (Media Studies and Journalism), “Rhetoric Within the News and Salinas, CA”
    • Devine, Roque (Media and Journalism Studies), “Damsels Not Distressed”
    • Diaz, Brenda (American Multicultural Studies), “Cultural Identity”
    • Duer, Hayden (Journalism and Media Studies), “A Voice for the Voiceless”
    • Fernandez, Belén (Journalism and Media Studies), “What News Programs Don’t Want Us to Know”
    • Garcia, Anthony (Pre-Law), “The sale of Happiness in Media”
    • Joseph, Kyra (Journalism and Media Studies), “Giving a Voice-Untold Tales of the Santa Cruz Homeless”
    • Katich, John (Professional and Practical Ethics), “Media Mania”
    • Leon, Stephanie (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Pop Culture + Gender Stereotypes = Rape Culture: How the oppression of Women in popular U.S. song lyrics perpetuates rape culture”
    • Martinez, Patricia (Journalism and Media Studies), “Fish Friendzy”
    • McCauley, Peter (Pre Law), “The New Exclusion Act”
    • Reyes, Hannah (Journalism/Media Studies), “Making the Cut: Deciding What is Newsworthy”
    • Sarakinis, Bobby (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Genocide and a Culture of Silence”
    • Stafford, Jessica (Journalism and Media Studies), “Hey, Those Are Mine!: Women’s Reproductive Rights and Abortion”
    • Weatherall, Roslyn (Pre-Law), “The Things We Carry: Memories from life as a child in Foster Care”
    • Wooten, Cambrey (Pre Law), “Coated In Her Resilience”
    • Zaragoza-Smith, Kathryn (Women’s Studies), “Fighting for the Mic: A Study of Carol Burnett’s Impact on Comedy”
  • Professor Debian Marty

    Nearly twenty years ago, an HCOM major asked her classmates, “How will you live it?” She wanted to know how other students would apply what they had learned about interracial communication to their everyday lives. What will you do with what you have learned in HCOM? We will study the art of leadership to help you take the next steps in your life and to make ethical and effective decisions amidst the rapid changes of the 21st century. Each capstone project will include an applied leadership section, with specific steps on how to enact your values, visions or goals.

    Senior Projects

    • Ahad, Aaisha (Pre-Law), “More to Love or More to Oppress?”
    • Alvarez, Di Anna Marie (Peace Studies), “Fixing a Problem, Serving a Solution”
    • Anderson, Kierstin R. C. (Pre-Law), “Dream Variations”
    • Avila, Kendall (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Growing Gardens, Growing Minds”
    • Brown, Kylie (Peace Studies), “Ups, Downs, and Mid-Devils”
    • Burrell, Breonna (Literary and Film Studies), “A Pathway To Peace”
    • Casto, Madison (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Inappropriate Media Exposure and Children’s Need for Media Literacy”
    • Clifford, Alyssa (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Empowering Children and Enacting Change”
    • Cline, Danté (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Fighting for Unity”
    • Cunha, Erin (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Allies for Transgender Youth”
    • Faris, Kaitlyn (Journalism and Media Studies), “Crushing Low Self-Esteem With Self-Compassion”
    • Fenton, Sydney (Journalism and Media Studies), “The Pursuit of Happiness: Texting and Romantic Relationships”
    • Garcia, Karen (Concentration Journalism and Media Studies).
    • Gomez, Juan (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Fighting Poverty: One Child at a Time”
    • Granata, Lina (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Compassionate Communication: Bridging the Gap between the Abled and Disabled”
    • Jimenez, Jonathan (Concentration/s: Practical and Professional Ethics), “ Trusting the Power of Democracy”
    • Johnson, Kyle (Practical and Professional Ethics), "The Greatest Essay Ever Written: An Analysis of Truthful Hyperbole"
    • Johnson, Samuel (Pre-Law), “Navigating the Monterey County Criminal Justice System: A Pocket Guide For What You Need to Know”
    • Juarez Lopez, Erica (Writing and Rhetoric), “Role Model- Stories That Unite Children of Oaxacan Immigrants”
    • Kemp, Matthew (Journalism and Media Studies), “Where Does the Money Go: The Exploitation of Collegiate Student-Athletes”
    • Lopez, Jasmine (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Planned Parenthood: Defend or Defund?”
    • Martinez, Pamela (Pre-Law), “Seeing the Border Wall through Family Life”
    • Patti, Angelo (Writing and Rhetoric), “Money Talks: Romantic Communication across Socioeconomic Differences”
    • Rangel, Samantha (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Millennial Communication in the Workplace: A Cautionary Tale about Social Media”
    • Stewart, D’Quan (Journalism and Media Studies), “R.B.I.: Ruining Black’s Interest”
    • Tanks, Jeena (Literary and Film Studies), “Legal Discrimination”