Providence Hall’s Senior Thesis project allows students to complete research under a faculty mentor on a topic of their choice. The program culminates with a final paper that is presented and defended before a faculty panel. The top papers are presented orally before invited members of the Santa Barbara community. Three finalists are chosen and receive recognition and a token award honoring their research and presentation.
Three Class of 2013 projects stood apart for their depth, presentation, and overall excellence and were selected as finalists.
- Elizabeth Beebe’s research on how spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation affect the brain, titled “The Science of God”
- Tenley Force’s paper, Pre-implantation Genetic Disorder: The Facts and Moral Implications” on the morality of genetic selection for gender and for birth defect avoidance
- Ben LaBarge’s project, “The Relevance of Beowulf Today,” exploring the virtues, such as courage, expressed in the Old English heroic epic poem and the relevance of those timeless virtues to Christians today
Past projects of particular merit include the three winners selected in 2012:
- Kai Sheets’s project, “Seeds of a Generation,” a compelling and informative ethical discussion of stem cell research
- Hannah Sommers’s paper, “Social Landslide,” an intriguing economic and political discussion concerning how currency instability and inflation helped give rise to Hitler’s Nazism
- Austin Harris’s project, “Photography’s Impact on the World,” an examination of several well-known war photographs and an analysis of their impact on social justice and public opinion
Others notable past projects include:
- “St. Augustine, Why Confess?” a comparative analysis of the practice of confession between Catholicism and Protestantism
- “The Elusive Beauty of Existence,” a discussion of psychological disorders and their cures
- “Choral Music of the Renaissance,” an examination of historical changes in music and the role of women
- “The Crusades and Their Impact on Modern Palestine,” a discussion of peace in the Middle East
- “The Christian Church and Today’s Artists,” an examination of the role and function of a Christian artist