Angela Atkinson graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in July 2019 with a concentration in Administrative Support and a minor in Communication. She originally graduated from Rick’s college in 1991 with an associate’s degree and came back to BYU-Idaho through the Pathway program.

“The IDS degree actually made [the most] sense to me when I was looking at the online degrees available,” said Angela. “Being able to build [my degree] and find a way to combine areas together was kind of fun.”

For her capstone project, she created a website for a school’s music association. Her idea sparked from the Communication 310, ‘Creating Online Media’ course she had taken prior to the capstone course.

“I was talking to some relatives and telling them everything I had learned in the class,” said Angela, “and one of them [told me I should] build a website for the music group.”

Angela is the music parent president of the Fultan Music Parents Association, a booster group for the music department at her kids’ high school. She used her knowledge from the web design course to begin building a basic website for the association to allow for more productive communication with the group.

“We do fundraising and buy things for the music department that the school budget doesn’t cover,” said Angela. “There wasn’t a lot of communication. We use Facebook, but not everyone is on Facebook to communicate things.”

Angela tells about some of the struggles she had when working on her project.

“I had put my plan together [and] as I was [working] I kept finding different things that would have been fun to add [to the website],” said Angela, “I had to keep with my plan just to get it done first.”

Even after she turned in the final project, she finds things to improve and continues to work on the website to make it better.

“My favorite part was doing something that was actually going to last,” said Angela. “It’s nice to have [created] something that [is useful] for others and something that’s going to benefit the community.”

Angela returned to BYU-Idaho to further her education in a field she was already in. She is currently the administrative assistant for McDonald’s in Washington and plans to use what she has learned from her new degree for that position.

“I’ve been doing that for the last 8 years [and] that’s why I decided to choose the major that I did”, said Angela. “I was given a new responsibility [working] with a programmer to build a website for our company. Actually building it on my own has given me a lot more of an understanding of what [the programmer] is going through.”

Angela offers students preparing for their capstone project some advice from her experience.

“At the beginning of the capstone class, we learned about project management and creating the work breakdown,” said Angela. “Sometimes the fun stuff can get you really distracted and off track of where you’re supposed to be heading. Plan it out and stick to it as much as you can.”