Keystone Project

The Keystone Project is a substantial work of research, scholarship, creation, or invention in a student’s chosen field. Its primary purpose is to provide students with a sustained experience of intellectual discovery and an opportunity to share their work with a broader audience. The Keystone project begins in the junior year, when students learn to balance the excitement of imaginative approaches to their intellectual interests with the rigor of field-specific methodologies and begin to work on the design of their project. The process continues in the senior year, as students conduct their research, create their artwork, or invent their devices, and assess the significance of the work they have done. Although the Keystone Project originates in and is supported by Kilachand Honors College, students will undertake their research with a faculty advisor in their chosen field of study.

The Keystone Project might take a variety of forms, but students must aim for the highest standards of the discipline or interdisciplinary area they select. Students of international relations might write a policy paper; biomedical engineers might invent a device; stage designers might create a set for a specific play; ecologists might design a study of the urban heat environment; journalism majors might create a portfolio of articles; a business student might plan (and launch) a new enterprise; a future teacher might design a curriculum for special needs children.

Kilachand Honors College has designed courses for students to help them choose, research, and complete their keystone projects.

All Kilachand Honors College students are required take the seminar, KHC HC 401: The Process of Discovery, aimed at helping them identify the question they wish to investigate, find the appropriate sources and methods they will use to answer that question, and then construct a research project around that question that is both imaginative yet feasible.

All Kilachand Honors College seniors take KHC 501-502: Innovation, Culture, and Society, which examines the process and impact of innovation in a variety of spheres. Students also take enroll in a directed study in which they work on and complete their keystone projects in close conjunction with their faculty advisers.