CSP - Projects

As part of the College Scholars Program, each student is required to complete a final project with some experiential learning and/or service learning component. Please click here for a brochure detailing a number of previous projects or read below for a collection of current and recently completed projects.

Mustafa Ascha
Colors are often used to describe moods and emotions, but rarely strongly manipulated in photographs of our campus at Case Western Reserve University. As a photographer, I was sure that various times of day and the numerous different kinds of lighting around campus would offer stunning illumination to our everyday scenery. My project, therefore, was to explore the different ways that we can see CWRU's campus, with an emphasis on using color to arouse different emotions and moods. After obtaining interesting photos, I analyzed my photos using histograms generated using Adobe Photoshop with respect to studies of emotion as it relates to colors. The model of emotion that I used is called the Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance model, and the study that related colors to emotions was performed by Valdez and Mehrabian (1994).

Emily Hoffman
My project is a study on the quality control technique Six Sigma from an undergraduate perspective. Through experiencing a "Green Belt" training program, I was able to understand this management technique and its wide use in the business world. Six Sigma has become a major tool in corporate business, healthcare, and manufacturing. The goal of my project was to expose undergraduates in business and engineering to Six Sigma to prepare them for future careers that may incorporate the technique.

Bob Amico
Bob Amico is a senior undergraduate studying philosophy and economics. Bob's senior CSP project focuses on the history, aesthetics, and symbolism of drum corps performances and the experience of intense performance. The project draws upon Bob's two years of experience as a member of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps ( and a variety of relevant philosophical and historical literature. The project is further illuminated by Bob's service learning experience volunteering as a dance teacher. Ultimately, the project serves to frame performance experience as a phenomenon understood through the connections a performer establishes with others.

Laine Seliga
Today when people create music they are creating by standing on the shoulders of giants. To me, it only seems fair that people pay for music only if they like it after listening to it first; the present system does not allow for this for all forms of music. In order to prevent "illegal" copies from being made, a tremendous burden (restricting legitimate expression) must be placed on all individuals to circumvent what is human nature. This is a rather impossible task. Furthermore, legalities prevent the incorporation of your own ideas to enhance other people's expressions, and this suffocates the free exchange of ideas and information. Finally, the current practices of the recording industry, which exploit both artist and consumer in the interests of profit, are unethical, and one must take steps to enact changes. For my final project I will write and record a CD of original songs and make it available to the public at no cost in hopes that a few may like it, but all will have the means to listen. As a final cap to my project, I will play on Kent State University's "Do It Together" radio show on April 21st - a program dedicated to supporting local musicians and giving them an outlet to promote their music and musical activities.

For the research component I will explore the benefits of a "free music philosophy," which believes that the "creating, copying, and distributing music" must be unrestricted. I will focus on digital distribution in an increasingly digital age, and the notion that "free music" means that the individual has freedom to copy, distribute, and modify music for personal use.

Rebecca Carter
For this project I will serve as a volunteer at the Monarch School in Shaker Heights, OH. The goal is to become highly versed in teaching techniques for autistic children, as the school provides primarily safety and protocol training for their new volunteers. The age group I will be working with will be young and mainly non-verbal children. Consequently, these children will have the most behavioral problems out of all the students enrolled at the school. I will volunteer weekly and write a reflective diary entry after each session.

Canting Guo
For my CSP final project, I helped prepare junior/senior high school students from underserved areas for the science and math sections of the Ohio Graduation test. I tutored them in test taking skills as well as science and math concepts. For the research portion of my project I examined previous literature in science and math tutoring and the psychology behind motivating students to learn. Then I applied my readings to my tutoring experiences and evaluated their effectiveness. I plan to create a small booklet of my findings.

Joe Gigliotti
"Disseminating energy-efficient technologies, even when they may appear to be technically perfect, is always a tough task" - Energy Policy, 2003
Increased Compact Fluorescent Bulb costs are more than offset by longer life, reduced direct energy costs, reduced indirect energy costs (cooling), and reduced labor costs. Aside from the upfront cost, another reason for lack of market penetration is that consumers perceive a lack of guarantee from the upfront investment. Particularly in Cleveland, there is local need for a push toward CFL and other advanced (eg LED) lighting solutions, and as such I started a company that looked for high-ROI opportunities in the local area, determined the potential returns accurately, and proposed to clients that they ought to switch. Additionally, because clients were effectively losing money each week they did nothing, I suggested that it was advantageous for them to contract the work to my company, who could more expeditiously enact the change. Additionally, starting in 2012, traditional incandescent light bulbs will encounter nationally-mandated obsolescence. In short, although more efficient energy technologies may exist, they are not utilized to capacity, and my project was an attempt to counter this.

Greg Wu
My project was to improve the Case Western Reserve community's sense of the history of the campus. To do so, I researched the existing historical records and accounts, as well as sought out first-hand witnesses and experts on various aspects of Case Western Reserve's long history. I then used my research to form stories that were both accessible and easily retold, written in the form of a story. The ultimate goal has been to make the stories both interesting and compelling enough to be spread to others. I published these stories both in newspaper articles and blogs, both of which have gained the attention of the Case community. It is my hope that the project now continues through word of mouth.

James Carlson
My final project brought together three local high school music programs in an effort to showcase the outstanding talent of the students, the importance of music education, and the role Case Western and the community could play in fostering these programs. Called "Case for Music," the event took place in the Thwing Ballroom at Case and included performances by 75 students from Warrensville Heights, the Cleveland School of the Arts, and Cleveland Heights High School. We also had Merry Peckham, then of the Cleveland Institute of Music, introduce the event with words on the importance of music education.

Jeremy Safran
Under the guidance of CWRU's poet-in-residence Sarah Gridley, I wrote a manuscript of poems and had seven of them published in Case Reserve Review (Case Western's literary journal). Many of the poems were written while I was studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. When I returned, I continued writing and organized a poetry recital for the second semester of my senior year. The recital included readings from Forrest Gander, a noteworthy Brown University poet who was flown in for the event, Sarah Gridley (poet-in-residence), and six CWRU students including myself. A diverse group of faculty members and students attended. In doing this project, I gained a lifelong hobby of writing and reading poetry.