Senior projects show off years of learning
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
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
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,"
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.