Diversity of Senior Projects Shows Spectrum of Interests for Class of 2018

The senior projects for the Class of 2018 were vast in industry ranging from hospitality to biopharma, with aerospace, criminal justice, gaming, and law, among the mix. Five students worked in area elementary schools, while others elected to learn about nonprofit organizations including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, RISPCA and the Providence Presbyterian Church. "I now understand how nonprofits operate and have seen how impactful they can be in a community," said Jeremy Lutz of his time managing volunteer events with the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council. PCD students also led projects among signature Rhode Island brands including Water Fire, the Paw Sox and Hotel Providence.

Three students worked in the local media sector including Peder Schaefer. As a reporter for the Warwick Beacon, Schaefer published 14 articles and interviewed former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and Actor William Shatner, among others. Through the experience, he now knows he won't pursue a position with a small market newspaper, but firmly believes the ability to tell someone's story is a meaningful position.

Rachy Tovar pursued the STEM field and interned with Middletown-based MIKEL, an engineering company that develops innovative underwater technology for the U.S. Navy. She shadowed computer engineers and physicists and learned computer programming. "My project helped reinforce the idea that I want to go into STEM. I was surrounded by a group of people passionate about science and engineering and that's the type of environment I want to be in. They taught me very basic coding skills. I enjoyed it so much that I might even minor in it in college."

At the Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol, AJ Maio lived an authentic 1790's American farm life. He spent every day gardening, caring for farm animals, hearth cooking, and hand-sewing women's clothes including an apron, dress pocket, and modest cloth. He researched fabrics and experimented with natural dyes to create clothing that was historically accurate to women's wear in the 18th century. The pieces will now serve as part of the living history museum. "The work he did for us is outstanding. We've had a lot of women's garments hand sewn for the museum, but AJ's pieces stand out. He has done a phenomenal job," said Eleanor Langham, executive director for Coggeshall Farm Museum.

Collectively, the group of 42 seniors would agree with Schaefer's final presentation remarks, "School is way different than real life."

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