Incoming first-years come to DePauw eager to be involved on campus, make friends, join Greek life, and succeed in classes. However, as the years go by and the semester's speed by in a flash, senior year becomes their present. 

For the Class of 2024, that present is now as various seniors nearing graduation are currently working on or have finished their senior thesis. Seniors from a variety of majors, including Kyungmin Lee, Morgan Witt, and Luis Avila, spoke to The DePauw on their senior theses, explaining their chosen topics and processes.

Film Studies major Kyungmin Lee ‘24 described his short film, which explores the pressure of wanting to be great, along withone’s conflicting desires. 

“This film requires heavy composing as it is about a pianist, so I am excited to take on this challenge and think critically about music and how it portrays itself,” Lee said. “I am also excited to be working with my friend Enoch, who is my favorite music artist. At the moment, I feel the stress of having to deliver a great film, but at the same time, I am excited to thrive under the pressure of potentially failing and suffering because that is the place where I thrive. I get canceled and mess up every day, but I know that is okay because I get to constantly learn. Some people call me a masochist. I think I'm a crazy rascal.”

Communications major Morgan Witt ‘24 explained that her senior thesis was about the significance of women portrayed in the film, focusing on the first “final girl” in the film, Laurie Strode.

“[My thesis] about the creation of the final girl in slashers through the context of women, the history of horror films, and gender in films. The first true final girl stereotype came from Halloween’s Laurie Strode,” Witt said. “She was the first one to be a leading woman in a film but also portrayed as a pure woman who doesn’t act upon bad actions.”

Economics major Minh T. Nguyen ‘24 explained that his senior thesis involved writing five empirical research papers based on what he’s learned in previous classes and how each approached a different concept. Nguyen will do this with support from a variety of rigorous empirical evidence. 

“I’d say that these presentations prepare us for our future endeavors in many ways, including honing our speaking and presentation skills, as well as debating and sending constructive feedback,” Nguyen shared. “I enjoy my senior seminar as Professor Qu challenges us to go the extra mile on our work. I also appreciate the seminar structure, allowing us to freely but carefully choose and develop our research topic. At the same time, it is helpful to realize at an early stage that the coursework will be challenging and time-consuming. I spent more time working on papers than in any other classes I’ve taken at DePauw, but it is a rewarding experience as I understand more about contemporary socio-economic issues from an analytical perspective.”

Lastly, Theatre major Luis Avila ‘24 said that he was doing a presentation discussing the relationship between football and soccer in the U.S. and how it relates to corruption, as well as how that corruption affects identity and patriotism. 

“I have interviewed people who are from a country that is a big fan of the sport and just fans of the sport in general, as well as looking at documentaries, videos, and articles. Interviews have been done with people from all over the world including England, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, and here in the US,” Avila shared. 

Various seniors are hard at work completing and finalizing their senior thesis and presentations, while others have already finished. Seniors are eager to graduate and finish strong in their academic careers before walking off that stage at graduation and entering the professional workspace.