Although members of the Class of 2020 were not able to complete the traditional Senior Project internships this spring due to the pandemic, they still engaged in a broad range of deeply engaging at-home “passion projects.” Some of these capstone experiences included collaborating with classmates on community service work, creating an art portfolio, learning a new language, creating a podcast, and becoming proficient in coding.
Three seniors — Thomas Sokolowski, Tommy Matthews, and Kyle Gonyea — teamed up to collect clothing for Market Street Mission, a men’s homeless shelter in Morristown. “I’m really glad this is what we ended up doing,” said Sokolowski. “We’ve all done volunteering before, but never anything on this scale. We were really happy to help — especially during the pandemic.”
Morgan Angelo and Sara Blanchard explored their love of cooking by putting together their own quarantine cookbook, while seniors Dominick Commesso and Evan Zakhary decided to create their own podcast together. “We wanted to figure out a good way to connect with people during quarantine, so we decided to create our own podcast,” explained Zakhary.
Many of the seniors engaged in artistic endeavors. Ian Cook presented music samples for his upcoming album; Sasha Berniker and Ashleigh Scully showed their photography portfolios created during quarantine; Rachael Kelson spoke about photo editing; and Nicole Westwood honed her graphic design skills and made a RedBubble store.
In a few cases, students were even able to continue with their original Senior Project idea in a modified version. Meg Karrat worked remotely with Boll & Branch, a luxury bedding company run by MBS alumnus and trustee Scott Tannen ’95, and helped formulate ideas. Similarly, senior Jessica Roitman was able to work virtually with the North Plainfield School District on a scaled-back project.