Senior Project Overview

Every Alleghenian completes a Senior Comprehensive Project, or “Comp,” in his or her major field. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, seniors design their project, conduct research, and present drafts, all leading to the completion of a significant piece of original work. The final step in the comp process is to defend one’s project in front of an affiliated faculty panel.

This master’s thesis–level work demonstrates to employers and graduate schools the ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and speak persuasively.

Every GHS major is required to complete an original year-long senior thesis project that addresses the four foundational pillars, using evidence-based research.  Some sample projects are listed below:

Maternal and Child Health

  • Micronutrient deficiency and vitamin A and international rights and obligations
  • Pediatric asthma management in Meadville
  • Perceptions of prenatal health in Amish and Mennonite populations
  • Evaluating potential causes of low birth weight in Pennsylvania using GIS

Health Disparities and Vulnerable Populations

  • Causes of sex trafficking in South and Southeast Asia
  • Efficacy of Community empowerment as a means to reduce environmental health disparities
  • Household management strategies to reduce lead in household dust
  • Examining patient-physician dynamics in exacerbating Lupus outcomes in minority populations
  • Determining how fine particulate matter disperses within a home
  • Videography to encourage community water fluoridation

Community Health

  • Photovoice as a tool to understand 4th grade students views on physical activity
  • Integrating garden-based-learning into the 7th grade curriculum
  • Incorporating weekly nature field trips to improve mental health in college students
  • Reducing the deficit between targeted and actual physical activity in low-income preschoolers during winter months
  • Successful anti-smoking campaigns being applied to childhood obesity reduction and prevention efforts
  • Changing behaviors and attitudes about preparing healthy and sustainable meals