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Victoria Volkay Wins 2017 Horn Capstone Award

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Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017

Victoria Volkay, senior English major, won the 2017 Dr. Frederick Horn Capstone Award for her capstone project entitled “The Humanity in Holmes: A Character Study on the Personality and Relationships of Sherlock Holmes in Literature and Film.” Volkay’s capstone focuses on Sherlock Holmes’ personality and his relationships with various characters in the original stories, and how those relationships translated to several of the most famous film adaptations by Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch.

“I found that Holmes himself is intelligent and excitable, and that even though he would like everyone to believe that he is unemotional, this isn’t exactly the case,” says Volkay.

The creative portion of Volkay’s capstone was a one act murder mystery play she directed for her theater capstone this semester as well. She created the characters based on the Holmes archetypes she studied in her critical analysis.

Although Volkay admits capstone was definitely a lot of hard work, she says she always had people at her side reminding her that the situation really wasn’t as bad as she thought.

“Capstone is something you literally need to do every day (or near enough to it), especially if it ends up being a longer one like mine was (114 pages),” says Volkay. “It honestly feels amazing. It’s so wonderful to know that the hours I spent agonizing over even the most specific word choices paid off.”

Upon graduation, Volkay plans on getting both the critical and creative sections of her capstone published and working on some more of her own creative writing to have published. She aspires to be a fiction author.

The Horn Capstone Award was established in 2003 by Dr. Frederick Horn, professor of English emeritus. It recognizes the highest level of scholarship and imagination among senior English majors’ capstone projects. Professors supervising senior capstone select the recipient every year.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190.