Seniors show off unique Capstone projects

By Owen Auch, ’15

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.01.27 AMPayton Warner

Payton Warner always dreamed of doing stand-up comedy, but couldn’t find an opportunity until this year when capstone allowed him to pair with a mentor to study the science of humor.

Warner said his research gave him the confidence to refine his comedic style in the form of a stand-up comedy show.

“Every comedian has their own niche, and my niche is filmmaking. So I’m mixing stand-up with videos,” Warner said.

At his comedy show on April 17 in the Little Theatre, Warner finally performed his unique stand-up comedy to a live audience.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.01.41 AMAustin Serif

Austin Serif decided to use his capstone to pursue one of his passions: literature. Serif is writing a novella, a literary form shorter than a novel but longer than a short story.

“I began the process over winter break. I think I wrote five or ten thousand words and then deleted them and started again,” Serif said. “I decided I really wanted to understand my story before I got into it. I didn’t want to just write something.”

Serif’s story is a first-person narrative set after World War II.

“It’s about these people who I kind of idealize as the last of a bygone era of people who were really exploring and seeking something bigger than themselves,” said Serif.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.01.57 AMJulia Anderson, Liam Campbell & Cole Hendrix

There’s been a film festival in Upper Arlington for years, but this year a group of students revamped it for their capstone. Previously held in the Little Theatre, the renamed Northam Film and Music Festival had over 300 attendees at its new location, Northam Park. The festival featured three bands—Folks, the Candescents, and Midnight Coast—and 25 films from both local and international filmmakers.

The festival received over 1500 international film submissions from places as far-flung as Iran and Europe. Northam Film and Music Festival was ranked in the top 15 must-see film and music festivals in the world, according to

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.02.07 AMMonnett Hamilton

Monnett Hamilton, for her capstone, worked to support a cause close to her family. Hamilton’s mother was involved in a severe car accident last year, and was pronounced paralyzed at the scene of the accident. However, doctors later realized that her spinal cord was just severely bruised, so she would be able to regain movement. Hamilton hosted a dinner event for adults to fundraise for the purchase of special spinal cord rehabilitation equipment at Martha Morehouse Medical Plaza.

“[The equipment is] a bodyweight support system in the form of a treadmill,” Hamilton said. “They’re harnessed, and … the support system takes some weight off of [their legs] so they can relearn to walk … like a normal person instead of struggling the rest of their life.”

Hamilton has raised almost $50,000 for the equipment so far.