Senior Seminars and Mentorships

Senior Seminars and Mentorships provide wonderful opportunities for students to explore areas of personal interest and complete their senior research requirement.

Whether participating in a seminar or a mentorship, students engage in field-based research, create a product, write a research paper, and present at Senior Showcase. Students earn two VCU credits (pass/fail) in Research Methods upon successful completion of all requirements of the Senior Seminar/Mentorship Program.


School-based research seminars are guided by a MLWGS faculty facilitator or a professional community facilitator, and are structured around a broad organizing theme of mutual interest. Seminar students undertake a research project and write a paper on a topic of interest related to the seminar theme and that is approved by the seminar instructor. Each seminar group also works together as a class to create a professional presentation for Showcase.

Seminar offerings for 2015 – 2016 include:

  • App Development
  • Books, Cooks & Culture
  • Digital Video
  • Italian & Mediterranean Foods
  • Military History
  • Music Seminar
  • Photojournalism in the Digital Age
  • Pop Religion: Exploring the Intersection of Religion and Modern American Culture, and
  • Relevance Rising (An Anagram for Service Learning)


Students desiring a more individual study of a field of interest may pursue a mentorship off of the MLWGS campus, meeting each Friday with the MLWGS Mentorship Coordinator to discuss their progress. Students electing this approach must complete a minimum of 115 hours of field experience with all documentation and assessments required for a passing mark in the Mentorship Program, complete a minimum of 25 hours meeting with the Mentorship Coordinator on Fridays to ensure all activities and assessments are completed, and complete a research project consisting of the research process, a product, research paper and professional presentation at Showcase. 

In recent years, mentorships have taken place at:

  • VCU Health System Neurosurgery Department
  • University of Richmond Department of History
  • Richmond City Circuit Court
  • Federal Public Defender’s Office
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Science Museum of Virginia
  • Greater Richmond Convention Center
  • HKS Architecture
  • Price Studio
  • Media General
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

For additional program information contact Mr. Les Cook, Coordinator of Mentorship and Seminar Programs.