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Monday, May 16, 2022


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SSIR capstones share a semesters' worth of research

Weekend shuttles from campus to the James River and an improved system of campus green bikes were two of the many plans that were proposed by members of the Sophomore Scholars in Residence programs during their capstone project presentations.

Throughout the month of April, students from each of the nine SSIR communities presented their research and accomplishments from a semester of work. The communities include Science in Context, Global Health, Living a Life of Consequence, Children's Health, Social Entrepreneurship, History of Dance, Earth Lodge, Living in the Frontera and Post-Blackness in the UK.

The students in the SSIR programs spent most of the semester researching different topics pertaining to their course, and were able to present that research to the University of Richmond community as part of a capstone presentation, said Todd Lookingbill, faculty advisor for the Earth Lodge program.

"The public presentation is only one part of the final project," he said, "but it allows the students to showcase their achievements outside of the classroom."

Along with the exhibitions, students were assigned a term paper and were required to modify, create or improve a program in the Richmond community that dealt with their topic.

Sophomore George Appling and his group suggested the idea of having campus shuttles to the James River as a part of his capstone for the Earth Lodge program. As a result, in the fall, the university will provide weekend shuttles for students to visit the river.

"Our group focused on the James River and we wanted to incorporate it more with everyday Richmond life," Appling said. "Through this class, we have learned how incredible the river is, and we wanted to share that with other Richmond students."

The capstone presentations took a variety of different forms, which gave students a different outlet to display what they had learned throughout the semester than a typical final exam or paper, Lookingbill said.

"The capstone presentations allowed me to share a semester worth of hard work with friends and people outside of my class," said sophomore Mayer Rosso-Villar, a member of the Post-Blackness in the UK program. "Nobody but my professor would read my final paper, but people would be willing to come watch a presentation."

Contact reporter James Riddick at

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