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Art Research

Research, senior thesis show


Senior Thesis Exhibition

Research for our art students culminates in our Senior Thesis Exhibition, which emphasizes the rigorous, intense nature of an art practice. Our seniors delve deeply into their chosen field, whether creating an entire body of studio work along with a supporting 15-20 page thesis paper, working in the field at an internship while creating their final portfolio for graphic and interactive design, conducting art history research, or student teaching full-time during their last semester. Displaying their work in Payne Gallery at the conclusion of their final semester is an exciting opportunity for our seniors.

Shamus Matthews speaking about his Senior Thesis work in Payne Gallery


SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) provides stipends and support for students in any major who is engaged in scholarly research or creative activity in collaboration with a faculty member. And since the idea of “scholarship” can take on a seemingly-infinite number of forms, this faculty-student research pairing program is designed to be as inclusive as possible. For more information about the SOAR program, click here.

Recent SOAR Projects

Shadows Searching for Light: The Learning Experience of Being a Studio Assistant for Three Large Projects

Erika Salus, Class of 2019, Studio Art BFA / Peace and Justice Studies

Jillian McLuhan, Class of 2020, Studio Art BFA

Project Mentor: Angela Fraleigh

Erica Salus, Jillian McLuhan SOAR

Teaching Philosophy and Leadership through Children's Literature and Puppetry

Melissa Walko, Class of 2017, Art Education

Renee Leidig, Class of 2017, Art Education

Project Mentor: Dr. Kristin Baxter


Partnering in Research: Dynamic Interplays of Context and Leadership: History of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association

Sabrina Signorelli, Class of 2017, Graphic Design Major, with a concentration in Art History
Project mentor: Dr. Kristin Baxter

Sculpting in Our Community: Working Three-Dimensionally with Elementary School Children Through a Summer Art Camp Curriculum

Abby Jeffries, Class of 2017, Early Childhood Education and Psychology
Colleen Hait, Class of 2015, Art Education
Project mentor: Dr. Kristin Baxter

Working from Life: Investigating best practices for teaching children to construct their own drawing and painting strategies in a summer art camp 

Caitlyn Heil, Class of 2016, Art Education/Graphic Design:
Project mentor: Dr. Kristin Baxter

How Do Teachers Define Their Values & Virtues? An Examination of Moravian University Teacher Action Research Studies 2003-2013 and Teachers’ Reflective Responses 

Brianne Schoolcraft, Class of 2015, Studio Art/English
Project mentor: Joseph Shosh

Using A Children’s Art Exhibit As A Curriculum Strategy 

Kelsey King, Class of 2014, Art Education/French and English
Project mentor: Kristin Baxter

An Exploration of Social Class in the Context of Historic and Contemporary American Portraiture

Aisling Housel, Class of 2014, Studio Art
Tanner Apple, Studio Art/English
Project mentor: Aron Johnston

Constructivist Theories in Practice: Art Camp for Children

Colleen Hait, Class of 2015, Art Education
Nicole Clark, Class of 2014, Art Education/Spanish
Project mentor: Kristin Baxter

Creative Expression for the Rural Youth in India

Melissa Marazas, Class of 2013, English with Elementary Education Certification
Nokukhanya Langa, Class of 2013, Studio Art
Project mentor: Kristin Baxter

After: A series of paintings questioning issues of gender power and identity

Stephanie Mount & Nicole Shamy
Project mentor: Angela Fraleigh

Honors Program

Honors research programs allow students to delve deeply into areas of personal interest. Such programs also give students the chance to work closely on research projects with senior faculty members—an unusual opportunity at the undergraduate level. Some independent study and Honors students have been awarded scholarships and fellowships—including Woodrow Wilson, Goldwater, and Mellon fellowships and Fulbright scholarships—to continue their academic and professional work.

For more information about the Honors program, including policies, procedures, and calendar, see:, and speak to your advisor for information about honors eligibility.

Recent Honors Projects

(Student Name – Major  Honors Adviser – Year)

Katie Lynskey – Graphic & Interactive Design – C. Murphy – 2018

Disrupted: Shatter Your Perceptions – The Portrayal of Women and Minorities in Video Games

Sarah Atwood – Art History – M. Kearns – 2017

Vulva: Female Sexuality in Interwar American Artwork

Rowan Laitila – Art History – D. Radycki – 2017

Women in Art: Exploring the Role of Feminism for American Women

Matthew Pring – Studio Art – A. Fraleigh – 2017

Color of Law: The Complexities of Power; A Case Study of Police Brutality Against African-Americans

Emily Marchello – Art History – K. Baxter – 2016

The Landscape Paintings of Gustavus Grunewald: The Role of Romantic Nationalism in Documenting Historic Bethlehem

Colleen Hait – Art Education – K. Baxter – 2015

Understanding the Mechanics of the Ceramics Studio using Teacher Action Research and Art-Practice As Research Methods

(Student Name – Honors Adviser – Year)

Elise Bremer – D. Radycki – 2013

Images of Women in Late 19th Century Paris

Miranda Cooper – D. Radycki – 2012

Femme Savante or Leisure Painter: Translating the Text of Catherine Perrot

Shannon Casey – J. Bell and A. Fraleigh – 2007

Synesthesia: The Unification of the Senses through Painting and Music

Chelsea Shepherd – D. Radycki – 2007

Contemporary Challenges to the Modernist Canon

Heather McGarvie – D. Zucco – 2005

Contemporary Paper Art: Integrating Raw Botanical Fibers and Experimenting with Collage

Erica Heusser – A. Dutlinger and J. Hinnefeld – 2004

Correspondences: Visual Analogies and Poetic Imagery

Nicole Casola – D. Radycki – 2004

Beauty and American Women Artists

Colleen Brand - C. Lalin and A. Dutlinger - 2001

Children's Book Illustration

Elizabeth DiFebo - D. Schattschneider - 2000

Geometry and the Golden Section in Art and Architecture

Christie J. Jacobsen - A. Dutlinger and C. Brown - 2000

Web Information Design and Architecture

Michael Babwahsingh - A. Dutlinger - 1999

An Investigation of Signage in the New York Subway System

Kathryn Fiandaca - A. Dutlinger - 1999

Design at Harper's Bazaar

Katrina Heebner - J. Hurwitz - 1998

Photographic Imagery as a Tool of Introspection

Cheryl A. Dougan - L. Reker - 1996

In-Vision: Revealing the Unconscious in Art

Stephanie Czyryca - R. Ackerman - 1995

Visual Arts and Literature: A New Connection with an Ancient Tradition-- An Analysis of Anselm Kiefer's Integration of Word and Imagery

Kovalchick - L. Reker - 1995

Chevreul's Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and Their Application to the arts as They Relate to the Color of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists

Christine Funk - R. Ackerman - 1992

A New Medium for the Imagination: The Computer as a Tool in Children's Book Illustration

Sherry Lyn Osmun - J. Franki - 1990

The Portrayal of Women in American Print Media Advertising from 1950-1989