By Rosemary Bennett ’21, Marketing & Communications
Recent graduates Carson Bergstrom ‘20 and Nate Sager ‘20 struggled with quarantine boredom and the bittersweet end of the school year when they thought of a cathartic project to help share the capstone projects of their peers and burn some creative energy. The series, titled “Capstonavirus” is hopefully the first of many on their new podcast The Carson and Nate Show.
“At the beginning of this (COVID-19), we realized quickly that there was probably zero chance we could present our capstones in a traditional way,” Bergstrom recounted. “We see the capstone as the culmination of four years of work and a celebration of your independent research.”
“We thought it was sad that nobody could share their project and their journey, and celebrate the end of this chapter. We thought one way to do that is a podcast.”
The two shortly found themselves quarantined together, and the idea continued to develop until they released their first episode in late April. “We haven’t really done anything like that before, and we had always kicked around the idea,” said Sager. “For us, it never really solidified until we realized the need, and how much time we have on our hands.”
The C apstonavirus series features students from many disciplines, including music, chemistry, history, geoscience, environmental studies, and communication.
Covering new fields of study was a particularly interesting part of the project Sager said, “It really speaks to the wide variety of work being done here at PLU, and how unique each Capstone experience is. You don’t realize how much of themselves people pour into these projects until you hear them discuss it so passionately.”
Bergstrom majored in chemistry and Nordic studies, and Sager majored in business with a concentration in marketing.
“Even if no one ended up listening to the show, we knew we could learn so much from listening to our peers. And we quickly found that it was very cathartic for them to celebrate their capstones on our show” said Bergstrom.
“When you’re in your degree path it’s obviously your entire focus especially as you put together and prepare your Capstone.” the two shared. “If you’re not careful you can lose the opportunity, to hear about all the great work going on across campus.”
Episode seven guest Kyle Siemers ‘20 shared how meaningful the opportunity to share her capstone was. “ When we switched to distanced/online learning, capstone became a completely different monster,” said Siemers. “For some, their capstones ended up completely different then what they expected, and for others, not getting to share their hard work in a symposium was the heartbreaking part.”
“I was thrilled when Carson and Nate reached out, and being on their show was not only a unique experience to share about my capstone with friends, but it was also kind of therapeutic to share and have that closure for my senior year.”
“Obviously, there is a lot going on in the world right now, with the pandemic and the protests,” said Sager. “These projects show our generation’s ability to make a difference and directly create change for the community.”
“We are big believers that learning doesn’t end with the flip of a tassel,” said Bergstrong. “Even after graduation, people want to share their capstone projects, and even more people want to listen to them.”
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