SALT Scholar Capstone Project Descriptions

Civil Rights

Fifty Forward Adult Day Service: A Description Study
Evaluating descriptive data from Fifty Forward participants

This project sought to evaluate descriptive data from current FiftyForward participants to help the agency have a clearer understanding of its clients’ needs. Research was conducted with a 28 person sample and a 10 question survey that gathered quantitative demographic data and qualitative data concerning needs and goals for individuals in the program.

It was found that there was great diversity in the range of age groups participating in the program. There is a range of 50 years within this group of participants evenly dispersed between age 60 and 110, the mean age being 85.  This encompasses people from the “young old” ages 65-74, the “old” 74-84, and the “oldest old” who are those 85 and up (The Demographics of Aging, 2009). Each of these stages of aging represent different percentages of the population and vastly different physical and cognitive abilities as well as extraordinary differences in life experience between the youngest and oldest participants. Program coordinators could utilize this information to create curriculum to address each group’s abilities and needs, and possibly to create small groups based on this information to address the dissimilar issues that arise at these distinctly different stages. 

Nicole Yeater

?Social Work

May 2014

Affordable Housing
 

Austin Birge

Law, Justice, & Society

May 2014

Stigmatism of Obesity

Strategies for eliminating weight bias

 
 

This paper reviews information on discriminatory attitudes and behaviors against overweight individuals. It shows that systematic discrimination occurs and why. Clear and consistent stigmatization, and in some cases discrimination, is documented in three domains of living: employment, education, and health care. The findings are that physicians, nurses, teachers, employers, and even parents stigmatize obese individuals in the course of their interaction. Given the vast numbers of people potentially affected, it is important to consider the implications of these findings. Obese individuals are targets of bias and stigma which makes them vulnerable to negative attitudes in multiple domains of living, such as places of employment, education, medical facilities, and the mass media and inter- personal relationships. Very often, media coverage of obesity is biased with an over-emphasis on individual responsibility, ignoring important societal, economic, biological, and environmental contributors of obesity (Puhl & Brownell, 2001). This perception is seen in pictures that depict persons with excessive weight eating unhealthy food, engaging in sedentary behavior as well as being portrayed merely for the purpose of humor or ridicule. Negative portrayals of persons with excessive weight perpetuate damaging weight-based stereotypes and contribute to the pervasive bias and discrimination that, persons with excessive weight experience in everyday life. Weight bias is a penetrating issue affecting so many people in the country and the need to explain why it exists is absolutely crucial. Strategies for Intervention A number of steps can be taken to reduce weight bias. We need to provide accurate information about causes of obesity and encourage patients to seek support. Care providers for instance should reinforce health gains; emphasize small successes, not failures, and ways to become healthy, not thin. The objective is to see the person not the “pounds”.

Henry Agyemang

Law, Justice, & Society/ Conflict Management

December 2013

 

Homeowner Rights

Mediation between homeowners and municipalities

 

My research involved the rights of homeowners who are seeking remedies against a municipality. An analysis of this case demonstrates the powers that municipalities have over homeowners and the limited recourse allotted to homeowners who are fighting against a municipality for remedy. Mediation between homeowners and the municipalities would provide another avenue for resolving disputes quickly, with less expense, and with more creative solutions. My particular project focused on one case that my friend Bryan Tuttle brought before the Metro Nashville Traffic and Parking Commission. Metro Nashville Traffic and Parking Commission installed no parking signs on both sides of Cherokee Road in March 2011 without consent or support of the Cherokee Road homeowners. My friend Bryan Tuttle owns a home on Cherokee Road and has been in his home for over twelve years. The no parking signs infringe on his rights, and the rights of the other homeowners, to have visitors at their homes since the visitors cannot park on either side of the road. The homes in this area do have driveways that allow for parking of one or two vehicles. Metro traffic and parking codes allows for parking on both sides of a roadway with a width greater than 30’. Cherokee Road is 30’ at the most narrow point and wider than 30’ in width the entire length. My reason for taking on this particular project was to hopefully bring about change and also to highlight to a greater audience the lack of remedy allotted to homeowners and citizens in regards to public policies and administrative agencies. Homeowners seeking remedy have very limited options and then can only seek court remedy once administrative processes have been exhausted. Mounting a court action is costly and time consuming for all parties but especially for homeowners with limited resources. There is a great need for more administrative review and assistance for homeowners and citizens who are seeking to either change public policy or fight an administrative action. One appeal to a city board is not enough. A mediation process would allow for dialogue and more options for all parties.

Michelle Sanchez

Law, Justice, and Society

May 2013

Michelle Sanchez
 
Military Funeral Honors
Developing a new program to render official military funeral honors to all eligible Tennessee WWI veterans
 

Timothy Mathisen

Law, Justice, and Society

May 2013

Timothy Mathisen
 
Refugees in the Workforce
Exploring substantive career opportunities for refugees and newcomers to the U.S.
 

For my capstone project, I conducted research to help World Relief create a carrer manual for refugees who have a desire to become recertified in the United States. For every 200 refugees and imigrants that come to the United States,99 have professsional backgrounds.(The Geography of Immmigrant skiils:Educational Profiles of Metropolitan Areas)This guide is a detailed guide for refugees to use to know what steps have to be taken in order to be certified.

 

Tory Wolf

Social Work

May 2013

Tory Wolf
 
Criminalizing the Victim
 

Exploring legal solutions to forced prostituion and human trafficking.

 

Caitlin VanCuren

Law, Justice, and Society

May 2013

Caitlin VanCuren
 
Immigration Policies
A look at the poor implementation of immigration policies
 

I am doing my capstone project on the issue with the immigration policies, how they are not being well implemented. Also, how this affects the agriculture area both in Alabama and Georgia, and how despite all the hurdles the policies place on the illegal immigrants they are still an asset to the economy.

Diana Rivera

Law, Justice, and Society

May 2013

Diana Rivera
 
Workers Compensation for Student Athletes
Assisting students who are injured while playiing sports
 

I came up with a simple two step plan that would help athletes at big profit universities to be eligible to receive workers' compensation. I think that universities making millions and millions of dollars off of some of these athletic programs should provide athletes who sustain life changing injuries with workers' compensation. The service they provide earns schools so much revenue, but they are unable to see medical benefits in the future if they are seriously injured. It is a process that needs to be changed, and I think that the simple two step plan I put forth in this paper would be an effective way to create change for the better.

Parker Brown

Law, Justice, and Society

May 2013

Parker Brown
 
North Korean Human Rights
How to conduct a census in order to improve the living situation of North Korean refugees
 

I am researching how to perform a census, empower, and improve the living situation of North Korean refugees. The project will also include why the crisis of North Korean refugees is such  a pressing issue and both short and long term solutions.  It will include census methods used by the department of homeland security and encourage rehabilitation methods utilized by the New Zeeland and South Korean governments. This research will seek to be as neutral as possible while recognizing that most media outlets are biased. Thus, sources from North Korea will be utilized as many clearly biased books and articles against North Korea will also be used.

Tim Wills
Law, Justice & Society
May 2012

 

 
Tansportation for Seniors
Allowing the aging population to maintain idependence
 

We have an obligation to our parents, grandparents, and future aging population to ensure they get the best possible care and that they receive it at home. What we need is a national strategic plan, one that brings together leaders from industry, government, health care, research, and consumer advocacy; to prepare for the aging of our population. Living in the comfort of your own home is what we all look forward to when we retire but sometimes when aging and healthcare issues arise it can become increasingly difficult for them to maintain their independence without assistance.  The consequences of economic challenges we face today result in many older adults living at or below the poverty level. Can we as a country meet their healthcare and transportation needs?  Older adults are fiercely independent and many do not ask for help when problems arise for fear of being forced into an assisted living facility. Currently the United States has many issues with transportation and our aging population. According to a 2011 report by statisticians at Caregivers Library, “there are 8.4 million seniors in the United States who depend on other people for transportation." One of the most common miss conceptions is that elderly transportation is available and affordable but not in all areas. This is an ongoing problem for many who are living in rural areas and on a fixed income. In the absence of door-to-door assistance by other drivers, elderly people might be stopped even by low hills that are irrelevant to younger people... Numerous studies indicate many seniors began to suffer from a variety of complex issues due largely in part to “urban and rural isolation and inability to pay for multiple modes of transportation.We are obligated as Christians to reach out to those in need. 1st John 3:17 says that if any of you have material possession and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them how can you love God. We can do this by repaying our parents and fellow human beings by reaching out and getting involved in community programs that can increase mobility and independence with our aging population.

Venus Gresham
Law, Justice & Society
May 2012

 

Legal Needs
Needs assessment to determine the top legal needs of students, faculty, and staff at Lipscomb
 

The past four years at Lipscomb University has given me multiple opportunities to serve.  More importantly I have learned different avenues and ways of serving the community of Nashville.  Through the Law, Justice, and Society Program I have gained skills and experiences that gradually directed me to my senior project.  Lipscomb University is community that is intentional in the way lessons learned in the classroom can be applied to serving the community.  However, when I began to look for direction for my senior project I realized that instead of looking outside of Lipscomb, why not look for a way to serve my fellow students and our professors.  Thus began my senior project.I am conducting a needs assessment to determine the top legal needs of students, faculty, and staff at Lipscomb and to one day establish a low cost or free legal clinic to meet those legal needs.  So often people are not aware of legal needs of college students.  Once the conversation is introduced multiple legal needs are mentioned within seconds.  Along with listing those legal needs the lack of resources to help with those needs also comes up.  My project is a cross sectional study that involves surveying students, faculty, and staff on types of legal issues they have faced within the past year and if they knew where to local legal assistance to resolve that legal issue.  The ultimate goal of the needs assessment is to start the conversation about providing some type of legal assistance to the Lipscomb community and hopefully establish a way to meet those needs. 

Caroline Cook
Law, Justice & Society
May 2012

 

Supporting individuals as they transition from incarceration back into society
Lipscomb Initiative for Education
   
As a member of the Lipscomb community and an advocate of the Life Program, I have chosen to undertake this research in order to benefit the Life Program's growth. My project will propose establishing an educationally based, Tennessee approved, halfway house through Lipscomb University in order to offer the women of the Life Program a holistic and successful transition during their reentry to society. While the Life Program currently offers inmates incarcerated in the Tennessee Prison for Women an academic curriculum in preparation for more successful reentry, successful reentry programs do not end at the walls of the prison.
 
Taylor Sample
Law, Justice & Society
December 2011
 
 
 
 
   
Empowering Immigrant Youth in the Southeast
The DREAM Act
   
In 2008, I graduated from the Justice Project School at the Tennessee Immigrants & Refugee Rights Coalition. Because of my passion for immigrants, Jairo Robles and I founded the Nashville Dream Act Committee. The NDAC was primarily formed towards building momentum for the DREAM Act, a piece of legislation that would give access to higher education to undocumented youth. Thereafter, I also became President of the Lipscomb Chapter for the Dream Act and gradually Lipscomb, other universities and high-schools students joined.
 
Cinthia Padilla
Law, Justice and Society/Spanish
December 2011
 
 
 
Serving veterans through operation stand down
Researching methods for operating a non-profit organization serving veterans
   
For my capstone project I volunteered at Operation Stand Down Nashville (OSDN) to learn about and serve local honorably discharged veterans.  OSDN is a non-profit organization that provides services to veterans, including but not limited to: employment opportunities, housing aid, and social services. 
 
In addition to my volunteer work, I did research to understand how OSDN began and how it operates.  OSDN provides badly needed relief and seeks to provide aid to those who have served our country in the past. 
 
William Reed
Law, Justice & Society
May 2011
 
 
 
 
   
What are our rights as college students?
Researching students rights
   
My capstone project was focused on the contractual rights of public university students in Tennessee. I discovered that due to a policy approved by the legislature in the late 1980's the legislature stripped the contractual rights of public university students away with a piece of legislation relating to the States Sovereign Immunity.

My research discovered that in numerous cases public university students were dealt a severe injustice and were not able to redress the government pursuant to our US constitution. The research discovered that over 200,000 students per year spending over $1 billion in tuition had no protection in the courts. 
 
Aaron Rummage
Law, Justice & Society
December 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Over-incarceration and the healing power of restorative justice
Social Change –Alternatives to Incarceration
   
I chose to research alternatives to incarceration and their effectiveness, and I focused on drug court. There are six Criminal Courts in Nashville, Tennessee, each handling about 2000 cases per year. Research shows that approximately 80% of these cases will involve either drugs or alcohol, and 60% of the people charged in those cases have a chemical dependency problem. I am conducting research to show that drug court is more cost effective than prison, and has a lower recidivist rate. 
 
Emma Boyd
Law, Justice & Society
May 2010
 
 
   
A lawyer, an RV and a mission to reach out to the underserved
Legal Aid on Wheels
   
For my capstone project I developed the idea for a legal-based missions organization that would address the issue of equal access to justice, called Legal Assistance on Wheels. There are an overwhelming number of people in need of legal assistance who are unable to get it. The organization would confront this issue by addressing two of the major problems that interfere with justice: accessibility and affordability. The organization would make justice more accessible by traveling into areas of need to offer legal aid. Further, the organization would remove the economic hurdle for citizens seeking justice by offering all legal aid free of charge.
 
Amie Vague
Law, Justice & Society
December 2009