The thesis is the culmination of the Oakcrest liberal arts education. After entering into the intellectual conversations of the past through her reading of several different primary and secondary sources, the student forms her own idea on a subject and crafts it into a thesis. The thesis and accompanying public presentation provides the experience for Oakcrest seniors to reflect on their liberal arts education, and gives them the confidence to continue in their next heroic endeavor. With the guidance of a faculty member, students narrow a topic, and work closely with their advisers to complete research and an annotated bibliography before writing and presenting a formal thesis.
The Edwina Maksym Senior Thesis Award
The Edwina Maksym Senior Thesis Award is given to senior theses of exceptional scholarly quality. Below, watch the winners of the 2021 Edwina Maksym Senior Thesis Award give their presentations.
Annaliese A.: "Edifying or Simply Entertaining? The Power of Story to Transfer Wisdom to Humanity as Seen Through Dostoyevsky and Kreeft"
Catalina S-G.: "Being the Hero of One's Own Life: An Investigation into the Nature of Heroism in David Copperfield, Anna Karenina, and My Antonia"
2021 Senior Thesis Topics
Avoiding Dictatorship and Corruption: A Reflection on Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm
Kristin Lavransdatter's Journey from Eros to Agape
How Love in Childhood Leads to Success in Adulthood
What is True Love? The Struggle Between Agape and Eros in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina
The Genius of Comic Books: Telling the Complex Story of WWII and the Holocaust
Our Call to Love: The Importance of Community as Expressed Through Dante and Lewis
Our Only Certainty: Understanding Death, Suffering, Mortality and the Purpose of Life in the The Iliad and Anna Karenina
Without Beauty, Man Will Die
The Suicide of Russia: Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky's Prophetic Vision
Charity as Divine Love: Orual's Journey from Selfishness to Selflessness
The Influence of Suffering on the Human Soul: An Invitation to Participate in the Divine Nature
Functionalism and Technology: In an Age of Constant Communication, Why Is It So Hard to Connect?
The Tragic Effects of Interior Slavery Revealed in the Lives of Fitzgerald and Wharton's Protagonists
The Impact of Music on the Soul in Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby
The Key to a Beautiful Home: How a Person's Interiority Forms a Nourishing Home
Law from a Divine Source: A Female Embodiment of Justice in Antigone and The Merchant of Venice
The Secret to a Happy Life: An Analysis of Virtuous Friendships in My Antonia and The House of Mirth
Personhood and Justice: The Importance of Being Color Blind
The Dystopian Distortion of Human Nature
Daring to Hope in the Vale of Tears: What Dostoyevksy and Solzhenitsyn Can Teach Us About Pain and Suffering
How Works of Art Reveal Truth in The Picture of Dorian Gray and The House of Mirth
A Wise Man Begins with Wonder: Education in Frankenstein and Hard Times
The Struggle for Independence Given Societal Pressures on Women
"Straight and Narrow" or "Gentle and Gradual": Encountering Spiritual Sin in The Screwtape Letters and Inferno
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Pleasure: The Tragedy of the American Dream According to Fitzgerald
I Do: What Austen, Wharton, and Fitzgerald Reveal About a Good and Committed Marriage
Social Influence: The Conflict Between Conformity and Freedom
The Versatility of Fashion as Portrayed through the Flapper Girls of the 1920s
Philosophizing for Evil: The Rise of Modernism and Dostoyevksy's Chilling Prophecy
True Marital Love: An Analysis of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in Light of C.S. Lewis's Four Loves
An Examination of the Factors Leading to Dystopia and How to Prevent the Collapse of Society
Medea and Lily: Victors, Not Villains
Isolation through Culture: Young Goodman Brown and The Picture of Dorian Gray Leave No Room for Mercy or Mistakes