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February 22, 2016

Student Success

Graduates receive capstone excellence award.

This month, 102 WGU Night Owls who completed their capstones in 2015 are being recognized for their outstanding work. 

To celebrate student excellence in the completion of this important endeavor, WGU grants Capstone Excellence Awards. On an on-going basis, capstone faculty nominate deserving individuals with whom they have worked on capstones. The finalists’ work is then reviewed and selected by the evaluation capstone supervisor and evaluation manager in each college. 

Often, students’ capstones are chosen because they provide an excellent example of  one of the following:

  1. Expressing ingenuity (creativity, originality, initiative, or resourcefulness).
  2. Exhibiting mastery (higher competency, true craftsmanship, or proficiency).
  3. Enabling synergy (creating greater value by serving individuals, an organization, or their community).

Besides the nominating statement and examination of the completed capstone project, the reviewers consider:

  • Did the candidate earn highest scores on most aspects of the final capstone rubric?
  • Was the candidate nominated for an Excellence Award for a prior capstone task?
  • Did the candidate average two submissions or less on all capstone tasks?
  • Were appropriate originality scores obtained?
  • Was the capstone completed within a reasonable amount of time?

Note: The importance and relevance of these criteria differ somewhat by degree program.

The capstone is the culminating degree project where WGU students integrate all of their program competencies. It represents our candidates’ best work, and most of their projects are archived with student permission, making them available to other students, graduates, mentors, and accreditors to view. See below for the list of WGU students (now graduates) who received the Capstone Excellence Award for their work during 2015. Links to their nomination statements, capstone work, and the Capstone Excellence Archive (which contains the work of former students) are accessible through WGU authentication.

This recognition is noted on the recipients’ WGU transcripts, and they receive a Capstone Excellence Award certificate. This achievement is also recognized in various university publications. For aspiring students seeking future Capstone Excellence Award recognition, please review the submissions in the Capstone Excellence Archive and discuss criteria with your student mentor, capstone facilitator, or capstone course mentor to guide your capstone efforts.

College of Business

Aspen White

MBA Information Technology

Strengthening the Autism Center [Not Archived]

Christopher Manwill

B.S. Business Sales Management

Blue Ridge Coffee: Critical Performance Changes

Emily Wadman

MBA Management and Strategy

Nursing Retention [Not Archived]

Juan Posada

MBA Management and Strategy

Electro-Engineering Process Improvements [Not Archived]

Joseph Schaefer

MBA Management and Strategy

Central University Bookstore, Improving the Student Experience [Not Archived]

Celena Mock

M.S. Management and Leadership Grow

Human Capital

David Williams

MBA Healthcare Management

University Medical Center: Managing Labor Cost  [Not Archived]

Jeffrey Gayon

B.S. Business Sales Management

Blue Ridge Coffee: Executive Sales Report

Matthew Loughmiller

B.S. Accounting

LEM Accounting, LLC [Not Archived]

Nicole Knodt

MBA Healthcare Management

Creating an Effective Antimicrobial Stewardship Team [Not Archived]

College of Health Professions

Amber Barrus


Self-Care in Nurses Capstone Task 1

Alan Day

MSN–Education (Legacy)

Horizontal Violence and Nursing Job Satisfaction

Angie Davis

MSN–Leadership and Management

Patient Discharge Checklist

Ashley Arias

MSN–Leadership and Management

Improving Nurse-Patient Communication

Betty Macdonald

MSN–Leadership and Management

Streamlining Documentation A Strategy to Enhance Staff Nurse Retention

Connie Thompson


Assessing Pain in Adult Patients

Donald Mabry

MSN–Leadership and Management

Implementation of Capnography in Non-Intubated Patients

Felicia Grant

MSN–Leadership and Management

How Does A Nurse Mentorship Program Impact Nurse Retention Rates?

Gabrielle Dunn

MSN–Leadership and Management

The Effect of Fatigue on Nurse and Patient Safety

James Minnick


The Early Identification and Treatment of Sepsis [Not Archived]

Janice Trump

MSN–Leadership and Management

Developing, Mentoring, and Empowering Clinical Supervisors to Build and Sustain a Culture of Teamwork and Quality Nursing Practice [Not Archived]

Katherine Stierwalt

MSN–Leadership and Management

Post-Insertion Protocol for Enteral Tubes Placed in Radiology

Katherine Feliciano-Nguyen


New Nursing Faculty Mentoring Program

Kimberly Kimball


Fall Prevention in Community Dwelling Older Adults

Kristie Earnhart

MSN–Leadership and Management

Skin to Skin Care Increases Breastfeeding [Not Archived]

Laura Blesi


Introducing Audience Response Systems to Nursing Faculty at Rasmussen College [Not Archived]

Lesley Zimkas

MSN–Leadership and Management

Standardization of Handover in the Perioperative Areas

LuGina Stephens


Dying to Talk about Death

Maria Varner

MSN–Leadership and Management

Conflict Management among Nursing Staff

Miriam Laffoon-Goings


Acquire ECGs Timelier to Improve ED Door-to-Balloon on STEMI Patients [Not Archived]

Stephanie DeSpain


Simulation Based Education for Obstetrical Emergencies [Not Archived]

Tamara Young


Heart Failure Education and Community Support

Tomiko Edmonds

MSN–Leadership and Management

Implementing Electronic Nursing Assessments in an EMR

Aimee Beasley

MSN–Leadership and Management

Bedside Handoff Implementation

Ammini Cherian


Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection Prevention [Not Archived]

Anna Zemble


Educating Nurses on Diabetes Management in Primary Care [Not Archived]

Athena Johnson


Teach Us How to Breastfeed [Not Archived]

Bambie Fontana

MSN–Leadership and Management

School Nurse-Led Skills Workshop for Unlicensed Assistive Personnel

Brenda Lee

MSN–Leadership and Management

Improving Patient Handoff Using a Standardized SBAR Reporting Tool

Christine Thompson

MSN–Leadership and Management

Implementation of a Triage System

Diana Henderson


Asthma: The School Nurse Perception

Donna Greive

MSN–Leadership and Management

Standardization of the Timeout Process-Capstone

James Wambolt


Capnography in the intubated trauma patient

Karolina Tabino


Clinical Alarms Management Project

Kathryn Callanan

MSN–Leadership and Management

Management of Latent Phase Labor to Facilitate Normal Physiologic Birth

Lauren Wisdom


Comprehensive End-Of-Life Care in the SICU [Not Archived]

Lisa Garvey

MSN–Leadership and Management

Creation of Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration Policy [Not Archived]

Margaret Ziminsky


Flipping a Nursing Curriculum

Megan Jensen

MSN–Leadership and Management

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Reducing Staff Burnout

Michelle Minor

MSN–Leadership and Management

Development and Implementation of Patient Bedside Shift Report

Michelle Pavano

MSN–Leadership and Management

From Orientation to On-boarding: Engagement, Satisfaction and Retention in a PACU [Not Archived]

Stacy Olinger

MSN–Leadership and Management

Hospice Pain Assessment

Tina Robins

MSN–Leadership and Management

The Golden Minute: Delayed Cord Clamping for the Preterm Neonate

Teachers College

Alyssa Miseveth

M.Ed. Instructional Design

The Integration of a STEAM Education

Blanca Gonzalez

M.A. Mathematics Education (K–6)

Metacognition in Mathematics

Edward Chapman

M.Ed. Learning and Technology

Establishing Pitch Awareness in the Sixth Grade Performance Class

Heather Georgi

M.S. Special Education

Teacher Work Sample Portfolio

Kasey Scott

M.S. Curriculum and Instruction

The Effectiveness of Student Centered Vocabulary

Kyle Cowan

M.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)

Teacher Work Sample Portfolio

Lori Gauthier

M.S. Curriculum and Instruction

Within-Class Ability Grouping

Renee Newman

M.Ed. Instructional Design

Dyscalculia Competencies for College Advisors

Tracy Tanwar

M.S. Curriculum and Instruction

The Effects of Differentiated Tutoring on Assessment Results

Amber Billman

M.Ed. Learning and Technology

The Effects of Advanced Teaching Strategies on Vocabulary Retention and Understandings [Not Archived]

Charlie Bruner

M.A. Science Education (5–12), Chemistry

Teacher Work Sample Portfolio

Dianne Parry

M.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)

Teacher Work Sample Portfolio [Not Archived]

Jessica Conlin

M.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)

Teacher Work Sample Portfolio

John Martin

M.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)

Professional Portfolio

Laura Krueger

M.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)

Teacher Work Sample Portfolio

Mark Anderson

M.Ed. Learning and Technology

The Effects of Hands-On and Project-Based Learning

Qaynen Utley

M.Ed. Instructional Design

Interactive Storytelling in Adult E-Learning

Sherrie Burgoyne

M.Ed. Learning and Technology

Learning Multiplication Facts and the Frustration Students Feel [Not Archived]

Stephanie Kitchens

M.S. Special Education

Geometry Unit for Special Education Students

College of Information Technology

Glen Gerber

B.S. Information Technology

Extract and Purge of Client History

John Paul Pascua

B.S. Information Technology

Network Implementation of a Branch Campus

John Smith

B.S. Information Technology

Website Redesign with SEO

Russell Thorup

B.S. Information Technology

Tech Widgets, Inc. Pilot for Desktop Virtualization

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