Senior projects show off years of learning

Campus Times
April 11, 1997


by Scott Harvey
Assistant Sports Editor


As April slowly crawls by at the University of La Verne, one question dominates the minds of both students and teachers-where are all the seniors? The answer is simple, they are either diligently working on their senior thesis, a paper or a project that takes up all of their time, or simply hiding from the advisers who are wondering how they are doing.

Although some students dread a senior project, knowing that a lengthy paper will be the major part of the process, other students are experiencing fun and learning at the same time as a variety of departments at ULV offer the most interesting of project ideas and institute both experience and creativity into the process.

Kieron Estrada, a senior and television broadcasting major, is a perfect example of a student who is experiencing a different level of work in his project.

Estrada began his project with a basic idea for a video, a dramatic piece about 30 minutes long that will showcase his talents as a camera man and director, but his idea has blossomed into a complicated process of editing and shooting schedules.

"I started shooting in early March and it has taken a lot of time to perfect everything," said Estrada.

The dramatic piece, according to Estrada, will be entitled "Prodigal" and is currently under work in the quiet corner of editing bay number one in the Student Center.

Estrada has been very active in the television and radio departments in his two years on campus and has gained vast experience in many different areas.

From manning the camera at La Verne football games to sharing his thoughts on a KULV radio spot, Estrada has loved every minute of it.

"Attending La Verne has been both a learning experience and a whole lot of fun at the same time," said Estrada.

Estrada sees his senior project as a major part of his experience at La Verne. When he began his project, Estrada placed an advertisement in the professional acting and performing magazine Dramaloge and received a very good response.

"I was unsure of how many people would actually see my ad, but I ended up having a lot of professional actors respond and show up at casting calls," said Estrada.

Once the process of choosing the actors was complete, Estrada began shooting his project. According to Estrada, it was hard trying to do everything himself including the shooting, directing and editing of the project.

Estrada is planning on possibly sending his video out to producers of several film-festivals and companies, but he is currently concentrating more on finishing the editing process. After graduating, Estrada plans to take a year off and then continue his career at a film school.

Estrada will show his final work on May 17, along with fellow classmate Luis Lua at the television projects showing in La Fetra Hall.

Another interesting and out-of-the-ordinary senior projects is currently being worked on by senior computer science major Kenneth Frank.

Frank has been diligently working for many months on his complicated project which includes a completely new system of scheduling students into classrooms by computer.

Frank is presently a staff member of ULV and intends to make his system fool proof enough to be placed into effect in the fall semester of 1998.

According to Seta Whitby, head of the computer science department, Frank's project is needed very badly.

"The system will maximize the way students are placed into classrooms on campus and will ensure less mistakes and make the process easier on everybody," said Whitby.

In the performing arts program at La Verne, Ray Garza is a senior who stands out and summons attention.

After already completing one senior project on March 16, which featured his tenor voice in a combination of classical and contemporary musical pieces, Garza is working to complete another project in which he will direct a 14 member cast in "This Is The Moment," a musical review featuring songs from "Les Miserables," "Miss Saigon" and "Phantom of the Opera."

"Ray is a very talented guy, both in singing and performing. He is a real stand out among our department," said Dr. Reed Gratz, professor of music at the University of La Verne.

Along with his senior projects, Garza has also performed with the Bakersfield Civic Light Opera in "Damn Yankees" and in the University of La Verne's production of "Awake!"

Garza currently sings in the ULV Chamber Singers and has been accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, where he plans to further pursue a career in musical theater.

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