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.

First NameLast NameDegree programCapstone Title
College of Business  
AspenWhiteMBA Information TechnologyStrengthening the Autism Center
CelenaMockM.S. Management and LeadershipGrow Human Capital
ChristopherManwillB.S. Business Sales ManagementBlue Ridge Coffee: Critical Performance Changes
DavidWilliamsMBA Healthcare ManagementUniversity Medical Center: Managing Labor Cost
EmilyWadmanMBA Management and StrategyNursing Retention
JeffreyGayonB.S. Business Sales ManagementBlue Ridge Coffee: Executive Sales Report
JosephSchaeferMBA Management and StrategyCentral University Bookstore, Improving the Student Experience
JuanPosadaMBA Management and StrategyElectro-Engineering Process Improvements
MatthewLoughmillerB.S. AccountingLEM Accounting, LLC [Not Archived]
NicoleKnodtMBA Healthcare ManagementCreating an Effective Antimicrobial Stewardship Team
College of Health Professions  
AmberBarrusMSN–EducationSelf-Care in Nurses Capstone Task 1
AimeeBeasleyMSN–Leadership and ManagementBedside Handoff Implementation
AlanDayMSN–Education (Legacy)Horizontal Violence and Nursing Job Satisfaction
AmminiCherianMSN–EducationCatheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection Prevention
AngieDavisMSN–Leadership and ManagementPatient Discharge Checklist
AnnaZembleMSN–EducationEducating Nurses on Diabetes Management in Primary Care [Not Archived]
AshleyAriasMSN–Leadership and ManagementImproving Nurse-Patient Communication
AthenaJohnsonMSN–EducationTeach Us How to Breastfeed
BambieFontanaMSN–Leadership and ManagementSchool Nurse-Led Skills Workshop for Unlicensed Assistive Personnel
BetsyRiehlMSN–EducationThe Development of Hospital-Wide Education for Registered Nurses in the Acute Care Setting on Electrocardiographic (ECG) Monitoring, Knowledge, and Rhythm Interpretation
BettyMacdonaldMSN–Leadership and ManagementStreamlining Documentation A Strategy to Enhance Staff Nurse Retention
BrendaLeeMSN–Leadership and ManagementImproving Patient Handoff Using a Standardized SBAR Reporting Tool
CarolynYoungMSN–EducationThe Implementation of Mock Codes in Nursing Orientation
CherylDouglasMSN–Leadership and ManagementCome on In: Maximizing Patient Access to Clinic Appointments through Open Access Scheduling
ChristieMcVayMSN–Leadership and ManagementTimely Follow-Up Visits Is Key In Reducing High Risk 30-Day CHF Readmission Rates
ChristineThompsonMSN–Leadership and ManagementImplementation of a Triage System
ClintonGibsonMSN–Leadership and ManagementDeveloping a Patient Navigator Program Utilizing a Nurse Navigator to Coordinate Complex Episodes of Pediatric Outpatient Care
ConnieThompsonMSN–EducationAssessing Pain in Adult Patients
DianaHendersonMSN–EducationAsthma: The School Nurse Perception
DonaldMabryMSN–Leadership and ManagementImplementation of Capnography in Non-Intubated Patients
DonnaGreiveMSN–Leadership and ManagementStandardization of the Timeout Process-Capstone
FeliciaGrantMSN–Leadership and ManagementHow Does A Nurse Mentorship Program Impact Nurse Retention Rates?
GabrielleDunnMSN–Leadership and ManagementThe Effect of Fatigue on Nurse and Patient Safety
GrantAndresMSN–EducationAcute Infusion Reaction Management - Case-based Simulation Learning Experience
JamesMinnickMSN–EducationThe Early Identification and Treatment of Sepsis [Not Archived]
JamesWamboltMSN–EducationCapnography in the intubated trauma patient
JaniceTrumpMSN–Leadership and ManagementDeveloping, Mentoring, and Empowering Clinical Supervisors to Build and Sustain a Culture of Teamwork and Quality Nursing Practice
JoyLewisMSN–Leadership and ManagementImplementing a Nurse Navigator Program; Providing Guidance in a Changing Healthcare System
KarolinaTabinoMSN–EducationClinical Alarms Management Project
KatherineStierwaltMSN–Leadership and ManagementPost-Insertion Protocol for Enteral Tubes Placed in Radiology
KatherineFeliciano-NguyenMSN–EducationNew Nursing Faculty Mentoring Program
KathrynCallananMSN–Leadership and ManagementManagement of Latent Phase Labor to Facilitate Normal Physiologic Birth
KimberlyKimballMSN–EducationFall Prevention in Community Dwelling Older Adults
KristaJohnsMSN–EducationAcute Exacerbation of COPD: Meeting the Needs of our Patients
KristieEarnhartMSN–Leadership and ManagementSkin to Skin Care Increases Breastfeeding [Not Archived]
LaShawnOutlawMSN–Leadership and ManagementCapstone: An Examination of Job Satisfaction in Nurses Employed in the Managed Care Setting
LauraBlesiMSN–EducationIntroducing Audience Response Systems to Nursing Faculty at Rasmussen College
LaurenWisdomMSN–EducationComprehensive End-Of-Life Care in the SICU [Not Archived]
LesleyZimkasMSN–Leadership and ManagementStandardization of Handover in the Perioperative Areas
LisaGarveyMSN–Leadership and ManagementCreation of Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration Policy
LuGinaStephensMSN–EducationDying to Talk about Death
LyndaSkaggsMSN–EducationDevelopment of a Heart Failure Admission Risk Assessment Tool
MargaretZiminskyMSN–EducationFlipping a Nursing Curriculum
MargaretSmithMSN–EducationSepsis Alert: Rapidly Identifying and Treating Sepsis in the Emergency Department
MariaVarnerMSN–Leadership and ManagementConflict Management among Nursing Staff
MeganJensenMSN–Leadership and ManagementMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Reducing Staff Burnout
MelissaHersheyMSN–EducationDevelopment of an Orientation Checklist for New-Nurse Graduates
MichelleMinorMSN–Leadership and ManagementDevelopment and Implementation of Patient Bedside Shift Report
MichelleReigardMSN–EducationPre-warming Surgical Patients to Prevent Inadvertent Perioperative Hypothermia
MichellePavanoMSN–Leadership and ManagementFrom Orientation to On-boarding: Engagement, Satisfaction and Retention in a PACU
MiriamLaffoon-GoingsMSN–EducationAcquire ECGs Timelier to Improve ED Door-to-Balloon on STEMI Patients [Not Archived]
NancyDelmontMSN–EducationStandardizing the Post-Simulation Debriefing Process
PassapongSangkhasuwarnMSN–EducationRegistered Nurses' Barriers to Academic Progress: A Descriptive Quantitative Study
PatriciaBautistaMSN–Leadership and ManagementInvolving Frontline Nursing Staff to Develop Training Curriculum for Successful Electronic Medical Record Implementation
RachelRicchioMSN–Leadership and ManagementThe Implementation of a Readmission Risk Assessment Tool for the Care Transition Nurse
RebeccaCogburnMSN–Leadership and ManagementImproving Outcomes for Children with Asthma by Implementation of Asthma Action Plans in the Emergency Department and School Nurse Clinics and Improved Access to Follow up Care
SandraSalmonMSN–Leadership and ManagementDevelopment of Supplementation Guideline Algorithm for Healthy, Term Newborns in the Mom & Baby Care Center
SangyoungYu-ChoiMSN–EducationDevelopment of an Educational Module for Continuous ST-Segment Monitoring in the Intermediate Care Unit
ShannonRiderMSN–Leadership and ManagementImplementing a Women's Health Screening Tool to Improve Female Veteran Outcomes
StacyOlingerMSN–Leadership and ManagementHospice Pain Assessment
StephanieDeSpainMSN–EducationSimulation Based Education for Obstetrical Emergencies
SusanBourgeoisMSN–Leadership and ManagementDevelopment of a Quality Improvement Project for Verification of Intra-Operative ABO in Liver Transplant Recipients
SusanSchubertMSN–Leadership and ManagementReduction of Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers in Surgical Patients: A Perioperative Focus
SusanRaineyMSN–Leadership and ManagementImplementation of a Rapid Treatment Service to Improve Emergency Department Patient Flow
TamaraYoungMSN–EducationHeart Failure Education and Community Support
TinaRobinsMSN–Leadership and ManagementThe Golden Minute: Delayed Cord Clamping for the Preterm Neonate
TomikoEdmondsMSN–Leadership and ManagementImplementing Electronic Nursing Assessments in an EMR
Teachers College   
AlyssaMisevethM.Ed. Instructional DesignThe Integration of a STEAM Education
AmberBillmanM.Ed. Learning and TechnologyThe Effects of Advanced Teaching Strategies on Vocabulary Retention and Understandings
BlancaGonzalezM.A. Mathematics Education (K–6)Metacognition in Mathematics
CharlieBrunerM.A. Science Education (5–12), ChemistryTeacher Work Sample Portfolio
DianneParryM.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)Teacher Work Sample Portfolio
EdwardChapmanM.Ed. Learning and TechnologyEstablishing Pitch Awareness in the Sixth Grade Performance Class
HeatherGeorgiM.S. Special EducationTeacher Work Sample Portfolio
JessicaConlinM.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)Teacher Work Sample Portfolio
JohnMartinM.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)Professional Portfolio
KaseyScottM.S. Curriculum and InstructionThe Effectiveness of Student Centered Vocabulary
KyleCowanM.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)Teacher Work Sample Portfolio
LauraKruegerM.A. Mathematics Education (5–12)Teacher Work Sample Portfolio
LoriGauthierM.S. Curriculum and InstructionWithin-Class Ability Grouping
MarkAndersonM.Ed. Learning and TechnologyThe Effects of Hands-On and Project-Based Learning
MatthewFosterM.S. Curriculum and InstructionThe Perceived Impact of Principal Classroom Visits and Feedback on the Instructional Climate of Three Campuses
QaynenUtleyM.Ed. Instructional DesignInteractive Storytelling in Adult E-Learning
ReneeNewmanM.Ed. Instructional DesignDyscalculia Competencies for College Advisors
SherrieBurgoyneM.Ed. Learning and TechnologyLearning Multiplication Facts and the Frustration Students Feel
StephanieSchmitzM.S. Curriculum and InstructionWill Additional Technology Close The Gap For Students on an Individual Education Plan?
StephanieKitchensM.S. Special EducationGeometry Unit for Special Education Students
TracyTanwarM.S. Curriculum and InstructionThe Effects of Differentiated Tutoring on Assessment Results
College of Information Technology   
GlenGerberB.S. Information TechnologyExtract and Purge of Client History
JohnSmithB.S. Information TechnologyWebsite Redesign with SEO
John PaulPascuaB.S. Information TechnologyNetwork Implementation of a Branch Campus
RussellThorupB.S. Information TechnologyTech Widgets, Inc. Pilot for Desktop Virtualization

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