Vocation Projects

Civitas Vocation projects serve as an honors thesis that also speaks to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ideal of “vocation:” the calling not merely to a profession but to a life of responsibility and deputyship to others and our surroundings.  While your project will likely be done in your major, it should also address the role of deputyship, pertinence, justice and freedom in responsible citizenship. 

There are three required elements to a Vocation project:

  • An Independent Learning Experience: Your project should represent independent and professional work in the specific discipline in which you are studying.  This could include the typical researched thesis or report, but might also comprise an artistic exhibition, curricular development, policy analysis, or musical score.  You will work with a faculty advisor who will help you establish the nature of the project and guide you through its completion.
  • A Public Presentation:  Vocation projects must be presented in a public forum.  This could range from a professional academic conference to an invited lecture.  Civitas students are encouraged to present their project at the Augustana Symposium, an on-campus opportunity for students to present their research or creative work held each April.
  • The Civitas Essay: the finished project should be accompanied by an essay of 3-5 pages that address how the independent learning experience speaks to the mission and goals of the Civitas program (deputyship, pertinence, justice, and freedom as discussed by Bonhoeffer).

The following is a list of 2013 Vocation projects completed by graduates of the Civitas program. 

Student Project Title Advisor
Jennifer Benoy

Synthesis and Click Chemistry of Alkynyl 7-Dehydrocholesterol

Jetty Duffy-Matzner (chemistry)
John Detlie Rise of the Leviathans: The British Shipbuilding Industry, 1870-1916 Peg Preston (history)
Nicole Ensz Exogenous Modification of Platelet Membranes with the Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA Mark Larson (biology)
Sam Evenson An Investigation of the Immune Modulatory Properties of SUSD2 and Galectin-1 Protein Expression in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Jenny Gubbels (biology)
Jesse Goodwin The Question of Felon Disenfranchisemet: Challenges to the Purity of the Ballot Box Joel Johnson (government)
Alaina Heiskary More Than a Band-Aid: Fighting Food Insecurity in Sioux Falls, SD Susan Schrader (sociology)
Katie Hjerpe Deeper Healing, Fewer Band-Aids: A Case for the Prioritization of Dialogue in Intercultural Reconciliation Bill Swart (sociology)
Scott Hofer The Millenial Generation Tax Code: A Proposal for a More Practical and Ethical Tax Code Joel Johnson (government)
Spencer Hopewell Manifest Destiny: Chasing the Western Muse Darcie Rives-East (English)
Sabrina Johnson Mon Cadran Solaire: An Analemmatic Sundial Steve Thomas (art)
Marissa Knaak Congress Shall Make No Law: Governmental Suppression of the Freedom of the Press During World War I Peg Preston (history)
Molly Kokesh Exploring "Waste Reduction" Techniques in Sustainable Development Policy: A Case Study in Sioux Falls, SD Joel Johnson (government)
Carmen Mercy Babydom: A Business Plan Shelly Gardner (business administration)
Alison Peymann Lines Along the Landscape: Understanding Midwestern Poetry through Joyce Sutphen Patrick Hicks (English)
Anne Pfiefle Evaluating the Backgrounds of DarkSide Drew Alton (physics)
Marni Shoemaker Gylcemic Control in DM1 Adolescents: Moderate Intensity Exercise in Hot and Cool Environments Mark Larson (biology)
Maddie Spalding Subversive Children's Literature Sandra Looney (English)
Ezra Thompson Analyzing Activity Use at Three Minnesota State Parks: Sibley, Lake Shetek and Lake Carlos Craig Spencer/Steven Matzner (biology)
Hal Thompson The Evolution of Satan Sandra Looney (English)
Thad Titze The Flexibility and Challenges of the Scandinavian Welfare System Joel Johnson (government)
Kadyn Wittman The Northern Irish Conflict: A Comparative Study of Catholic-Protestant Relations in Northern and Southern Ireland Susan Schrader (sociology)
Kelly Wong Investigating Epigenetic Regulation of Water-Use Related Genes in Tomato Steven Matzner (biology)

View the 2012 projects.
View the 2011 projects.