I’m happy to introduce my capstone project: iris. It has finally taken its final form of ten guidelines for mobile app design. These guidelines have been developed based on the broad themes I’ve noticed throughout the semester as I designed mockup screens for three apps: notes, music, and messaging.

I’ve attempted to make these guidelines as digestible as possible in order to a more general audience than merely other designers. You’ll notice short amount of text for each guideline, augmented by examples on the opposite side of the screen. You may also notice that many of the images on the site scroll at different speeds (parallax), for a more engaging experience.

As many of my peers would echo, this semester has been quite odd. Still, I am happy with the finalized version of my capstone project. The feedback I received throughout the semester was extremely informative and is what ultimately guided my decisions on how to present this project.

Now that the semester is almost over, I would like to take a moment to thank the folks I’ve encountered during my time in the Minor in Writing, especially T–who I had for both gateway and capstone. I will greatly miss T’s impressively consistent positive energy, encouragement, and flexibility, as I’m sure many of my peers will as well.

Speaking of my peers… thank you, too! Your feedback throughout the semester was helpful, but more importantly, seeing your projects come together during the semester was quite frankly inspiring.

Finally, in case you were looking for the link:

Intro to Feminist Evolutions

After a long semester of work, I’m so excited (and nervous!) to debut my capstone project to the world.

“Feminist Evolutions” explores how people come to be feminists and how they perceive feminism today. I really became passionate about feminism in college, and I wanted to explore why that might have happened. This project was also inspired by the different versions of feminism that I had seen manifesting on campus, and how people were sometimes in conflict with their ideals.

The first part of my project is a photo essay about my own journey to becoming a feminist. I juxtaposed text and photos that meant something for my journey to becoming a feminist. The second part of my project is a collection of photos and interviews with feminists from around the campus of the University of Michigan who I know from various organizations. I hope to update the second section as time goes on, so it is a work in progress!

To T, thank you so much for giving me the flexibility to do this project, and working with me when my original plans got upended by the COVID-19 crisis. To all of my classmates, thank you for your support, encouragement, and advice along the way – the project wouldn’t be as great without all of your help!

Here’s the link to my website:

Advice to Future Capstone Students

I began Capstone not knowing what to expect for my project. I wasn’t sure exactly what sort of topic to do, and I had done so many projects in so many other classes that I sort of thought what else can I do? It turned out that I followed something that I was passionate about and it turned out great in the end! 

I definitely didn’t envision spending the last day of class looking at my computer instead of in North Quad, but it actually turned out okay. As a graduate of online high school, I know that I prefer being in a classroom, but I also didn’t want to catch COVID-19. The transition for this class to online went pretty smoothly! We all shared our ideas in the same way that we would in the normal classroom, and class didn’t feel too different, other than my cat, Koa, coming to meow at me every so often. 

To future Capstone students: 

  • It might be overwhelming to have to jump right in to topics, but you will figure it out! 
  • Pick something that you’re passionate about or that you don’t get a chance to do a lot with in your other courses. I’m a Communication & Media major, so I’m constantly engaging with media in my courses. While I’ve done things with feminism and media, I rarely got to engage with only feminism. 
  • Change your project if you need to! While my topic stayed the same, I had to change the way I presented it due to COVID-19. I’m still proud of how it turned out. 
  • Get interviews done early if possible. I had a hard time getting people to respond to interviews, which might have had something to do with COVID-19, but it helped when I reached out to people early and gave them plenty of time. 
  • Don’t get overwhelmed — I know this is easier said than done, but it’s definitely easier to take a step back from your project and tackle one portion at a time than it is to try to tackle each part simultaneously. 
  • Most of all, try to enjoy creating your project! At the beginning, I felt like it would be so difficult, but I actually had a lot of fun putting time and effort into this project. 

Capstone is truly what you make it, and I know all incoming Capstone students can make it great! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! 

Skins of Dirt and Dust is now LIVE (get it?)

Hello, world.

I hope you’re having the best day possible, whenever and wherever you’re reading this. And if you’re not, I hope my project can help.

My Capstone project, titled Skins of Dirt and Dust, is a series of memoir essays (with cool pictures) that explore the muddled nature of life and how good and bad, beginning and end, life and death, etc. are all kind of wrapped up into one giant jumble that can be difficult to untangle. As such, I seek to work through what made certain bad times/endings difficult for me in my life, and then I seek to change my perspective on it – with you along for the ride.

So far, I’ve covered topics of grief and loss (the death of someone I loved), mortality and health (fearing for my life and struggling with ongoing health issues), disappointment and fear (COVID-19 and the end of my senior year of college – need I say more?), etc. I’m hoping to add another essay on hope and heartbreak (aka singleness) soon, but stay tuned. With any luck, this won’t be the last you’ll hear from me!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, my website:

If you don’t like it, thanks for giving it a peek anyway, and you can stop reading now.

But if you do like it, yay! That means all the hard work I and my classmates (through workshops and other feedback sessions) put in to making this website the best it can be paid off. And for that, I am glad.

See, all about perspective.

Now, because I am truly exhausted and more than slightly delirious (and the assignments for this class are the last things I have to turn in for the entirety of my college coursework), please indulge me in saying a few more things before I sign off:

I want to thank T, Louis, and all my classmates for helping me put this project together. I want to thank my mom for helping me find pictures, look up dates I’d forgotten, and for making me oatmeal when I was too tired to think about anything other than this project (aka this morning after 1 hour of sleep).

I want to thank my Gateway classmates for kicking things off right, and I want to thank my Capstone classmates (again) for wrapping things up fittingly. Y’all were (and still are) the best. Thank you for being bright spots in this whole online-class/shutdown/quarantine mess.

In short: Love y’all. Miss y’all. Need sleep. Enjoy website! Goodnight, America.

a small taste of: myclosetedthoughts.

the color of shadows.

everything under the sun has a shadow. and each shadow is more or less the same color.

while i’m aware a shadow on red velvet starkly contrasts a shadow on your yellow sundress, the “shade” is still the same.

there has been a grain of black paint mixed into its complexion––how does one mix colors to find a shadow?

the more i think of it, the more shadows fascinate me. they are what give our world perspective. we are naturally attracted to how shadows fall and grow tall.

they are visible in the day and night, forever attached to everything and everyone. the shadows are everywhere when one looks around, and yet we don’t take time to acknowledge or appreciate.

one fails to notice them anymore because we know the shadows are there, but they don’t catch our eye. however, without them, our world would look flat and fake.

anyway, what interests me in life is not what is easily shown in broad daylight but what those shapes and hues look like in the shadows. what do your shadows look like? 

i’m not asking for your biggest darkest deepest secret, although i’ll listen if you’d like to share. ​no, i speak of who you are in the realm between light and dark. the indescribable color you emanate when this shade of life is part of you.

i am opening “my closet” doors, for people to read some of my closeted thoughts, fears, and secrets. my motive behind creating this with such personal content is to “come out” with a lot of different discoveries and thoughts i’ve crossed during my undergraduate career. i feel as though young college students and young adults today take less time revealing who they really are inside. understandably, being vulnerable leaves an opportunity to be judged or abandoned. but i envision that my vulnerability and bravery to open up in this first collection may encourage others to relate and partake in conversations. click here to read more:

Chudley and Me

Hey friends,

I’m really excited to introduce my project today: On Dogs—a site reflecting on the value that our little (or medium-sized! or large!) friends confer to those around them. As I mention within, I think most folks tend to passively state (or think about) how much they love their dogs. Perhaps it’s self-evident. You don’t need a reminder. But in losing my own just a few months ago, I’ve realized the value in thinking deeply and out loud about my relationship with him. I’ve come to find that intentionally and thoughtfully reflecting is, well, really important. My aim is to inspire that sort of robust discussion, and hope to have my site serve as your own personal springboard.

This has been quite the ride—I’m really proud of the final product, and I hope to continue visiting and contributing to it over the next few months and years. So with that—as they say in my new favorite show of quarantine, Top Chef—I’ll pack my knives and go.

To T and all of my W20 classmates, thank you for such an enriching semester. It has really been a blast, and I will surely miss it. Congratulations to all of you.

To Michigan, thank you for a truly wonderful and formative four years. It’s been a pleasure.

And to Chudley, thank you for being the best dog, friend, and brother any boy could ask for.

here she is!!!

I am very excited and nervous to push out into the world my capstone project that I have been working on all semester!

My project begins as a reflection of a powerful experience that I have had with a group of intentional, smart, and passionate women and progresses into an exploration of the threads that connect us to other women and a larger conversation. Putting together this project was personal, fun, and surprising. The end result was different than what I was expecting when I first set out to start writing and I am really thankful for that. I tried my best to be honest, curious, and inviting and there was so much personal power and growth to gain from that experience for me.

In true girl’s club fashion I hope you grab yourself a glass of wine (if that’s your thing) and you find yourself relaxing and reading with curiosity. Like the subject manner of this project, I hope that this is just the beginning of another conversation to have and explore together. Check it out here:

Kickstarting my Project

I cannot believe I am actually here, turning in and completing my final project of undergrad. It’s been a long road, and yet I still feel as if these four years have flown by! But anyway, my project was a podcast with my best friend, also named Kayla, called K squared: Kickstart Kinship.

That’s her and I with one of her adorable dogs.

Doing this podcast was probably one of the funnest adventures I’ve embarked on and I also learned a lot about computers and audio editing. I also learned a lot about my best friend and myself and I think this was the perfect way to end my college career. I could probably go on about my project, but rather than do that I’ll just let it speak for itself: !

Advice to Future Capstoners

So, to say this isn’t how I pictured my last semester of college going would be an understatement. When it stated, everything seemed normal and then slowly I started to hear more and more about the coronavirus and by the time spring break rolled around, I knew it would come here to Michigan too. And not a week back from spring break, we were already being told to pack our bags. To go home, by any means necessary. It was weird to be away from campus and still taking classes, especially the Capstone. For classes like this, where participation is key, I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. What if people were in different time zones? What if their internet sucked at home? What if, what if, what if? That’s all these days seem to be about. But, miraculously, everything worked out pretty well. It was a bit weird at first, seeing a bunch of boxes with what seemed like headshots of everyone. It’s harder to read body language and keep everyone in focus. I think, though, that despite not being in person, this class had one of the easiest transitions to a virtual world for me. Though we weren’t in person, it was still easy to communicate and share ideas. I think the hardest part was staying on track when being surrounded by family and, in my case, my boyfriend. But T managed to keep us all on track and enthused about our projects, which in light of everything that was happening, was no small task. So, despite being a very different ending from what I expected, I still think I would count this semester as a success.

Some general advice for this course, is to change! Change your project halfway through the semester if you’re just not passionate about it. Sure, you’ll have to make up the time, but even so I think you’ll find it much easier to start a project from scratch than trying to force yourself to finish a project that’s already half done. And, honestly, your project will probably turn out way better because readers can tell when a writer is and is not passionate about their work. I would also say, that no matter what your semester looks like, whether it’s in person or not, to not stretch yourself  too thin or try to do too much. Your first priority should always be your own sanity. And, yes, I may be biased because I’m a psychology major, but even so mental health affects everything. It affects your sleep, affects your physical health, affects your relationships, affects your work. So, trust me, know your limits. And finally, ask for help. If you need to crowd-source an idea or need help troubleshooting technological problems, then don’t be shy. Everyone in your class is in the same position you are, and trust me they’re interested in what you’re doing, just like you’re interested in what they’re doing.

Okay, I lied about that last bit being my last piece of advice. But here it is and trust me it may seem silly and maybe even a bit obvious but it’s probably the most important. HAVE FUN!!!

I hope you get everything you dreamt of out of the minor and that you find yourself writing more and more, and about a broader range of topics. Good luck and happy writing!


Final Thoughts—And Insights?

Future Capstone Students,

I’m tasked with giving you some advice on the class (generally), and on transitioning to online learning (specifically). I feel ill-equipped—candidly, it still feels like I am still learning myself, even as I’m about to click send on my last project of undergraduate. In any event, I hope some of these thoughts prove useful . . . and also know that if you’d like to reach out and chat about the class, I am more than happy to do so.

  • By now, you know what the Minor is all about. It’s creative, introspective, and daring. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. Lean into that. It’s likely your last semester in college, and it would be all too easy to take a back seat. Don’t do that. View this project as a culmination of your time at Michigan—academic or otherwise—and commit yourself to it.
  • In that vein, don’t be afraid to try new things. I suppose that’s tired feedback, but seriously—this will feel the most rewarding, in my opinion, if you experiment a bit and use your creative muscles.
  • Try to be open—not only with yourself, but with your classmates too. One of the best things about this class is the sense of community that we developed. It was really a joy to walk into class every week; once we transitioned to online classes, I looked forward to our sessions more than any other. That’s in large part—if not entirely—because of the people that filled the room. Conversation was honest, fun, and at times cathartic.
  • Definitely consult with your peers, professor, and mentors. I’ve found that feedback has been very useful (more so than in any other class).
  • Budget your time, and know yourself. Make sure you dedicate time not only to your project, but to your classmates’ as well. Transitioning to online platforms hasn’t been terribly difficult, but you do need to make sure you’re staying on track, which is often made more difficult by not having the normal routine of going into North Quad every week.
  • Have fun . . . don’t take your time in class for granted. It’s been such a pleasure to spend the last semester in this class, and I’ll surely miss it. Do the 5-minute journaling, and throw yourself into it.

This can be daunting, sure. But all will be well—plan the work and work the plan. I can’t wait to check back here in a few months to see what brilliant pieces you create!