Mueller ’21 Explore COVID Impact in Capstone Project

By Caitlin T. Burns | May 5, 2021

In this series, the members of the Class of 2021 showcase their capstone and thesis projects. 

Media and Communications major Josephine Mueller ’21 dives into how COVID-19 has affected college students in a magazine she created for her senior capstone project.

Mueller always wanted to write. She took up her major to improve her writing and have a career in communications. Reading magazines and articles on important issues, she was also interested in how a story can be portrayed in writing and images. Taking inspiration from her favorite magazine, National Geographic, Mueller wanted to create a project that handles topics with research, interviews, and imagery. For her senior capstone project, Mueller decided to create a magazine to explore COVID-19 and its impact on college students.

So much has happened in COVID-19 with layoffs, supply shortages, and lockdowns, all of which impact college students in their academic objectives, personal lives, and professional endeavors. Students went virtual, learning in a variety of environments. The pandemic greatly affected students moving into the next phase of their collegiate experiences, whether starting college or graduating from it, and the fear of what lies ahead was especially daunting when starting a new chapter. These worries, as well as taking note of frustrations from classmates, made it clear to Mueller how this issue could impact their lives forever. 

To understand how the pandemic has affected college students, Mueller looked into how the change to virtual learning, being home with family, and how quarantine impacted the experiences for the Class of 2020 with job prospects, mental health, free time, hobbies, and more, and what it could mean for the Class of 2021. She interviewed several current students from various colleges and universities as well as recent graduates. 

The Capstone 2021 Series provides a platform for members of the Class to showcase their projects and share their expertise. Capstone is an opportunity for students to engage in an extended project that reflects their academic experiences. Projects combine their fields of study with personal interests. 

To view Mueller’s and other Media and Communications capstone projects, please visit the website that the department made to showcase 2021 capstone on May 7 when it goes live. For more on Capstone, go to