Campus & Community

The College of Arts and Letters’ Third Annual Senior Design Day

On April 30th 2014, the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) held its Third Annual Senior Design Day, the yearly event where graduating seniors showcase their theses and celebrate the culmination of their yearlong research projects.

CAL seniors—majoring in Literature, History, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Science & Technology Studies, Music & Technology, and Visual Arts & Technology—used the interdisciplinary nature of their programs to add to the campus-wide display of innovation.

Jesse House, a Music & Technology major, studied binaural beat entrainment and its potential to induce sleep. His project exemplifies the intersections of music, technology, and medicine.

Art & Technology major Rita Jackson investigated the future of photography by revisiting the past. She used primarily analog methods to explore photography in an increasingly digital world.

Heather Digrius, a Social Science (Psychology) major, examined changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) throughout the years, ultimately trying to show that in addition to scientific research, societal norms and acceptance play a role in defining mental illness.

Other students’ projects addressed topics from policy-making in Vietnam to the industry behind Electronic Dance Music (EDM) to Chaucer’s portrayal of women in the Canterbury Tales to programming a recording console that acts as an inanimate performer.

Not just during senior year but throughout the whole CAL experience, students develop and strengthen their ability to think outside the box. “Most important,” said Dean Lisa Dolling, “is the way they are able to take advantage of the atmosphere of technological innovation at Stevens to create works that are truly unique, oftentimes taking traditional disciplines in entirely new directions.”

In addition to showing their work on Senior Design Day, Visual Arts & Technology students had the opportunity to install and curate their own exhibits on the second floor of the Morton building.

“It was important that CAL students be given the chance to take center stage and make them feel part of a community within the community, so to speak” said Dolling. “It also provides a wonderful opportunity for the rest of Stevens to experience the uniqueness of CAL and the exciting things happening here. By also including the Creative Writing Contest, open to all Stevens students, we are able to show the ways we contribute to the success and creativity of the entire Stevens community.”

CAL Senior Design Day shows that innovation and creativity go hand in hand. This was a key theme that students displayed in their work, which contributed to the overall academic diversity at Stevens.

For more about the College of Arts and Letters, visit