SALT Scholar Capstone Project Descriptions

Health and Wellness

Pediatric Community Nutrition
Creating a nutrition curriculum for deaf and hard of hearing youth
 
   

This year, I have worked closely with Bridges, a Nashville based organization that provides after school care for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in Nashville and surrounding areas. For my project, I helped Bridges prove eligibility for a wellness grant by writing, compiling, and administering pre and post tests. With the pre-test data I was able to guage where students currently were in their knowledge of nutrition. After this, I began writing nutrition curriculum and teaching on Monday afternoons to three separate classes grouped into elementary, middle, and high school levels. Lastly, I compiled a notebook of exercises as materials so that a counselor at Bridges will be able to teach the same course. This way Bridges will be able to provide nutrition classes every year, help parents with nutrition tips in the form of newsletters, and sustain their wellness grant annually. This education, class, and materials will also open the door for them to be able to apply for additional nutrition related grants.

Dolci Sanders

Dietetics

December 2013

 
Health Law and Ethics
Examining the consequences of specific regulations
 
   

My senior capstone project looks at the fundamental question: As the medical system and Federal Regulations slowly make adjustments to reduce the potential for prescribing abuse is there a proper line society is drawing with regards to the doctor-patient relationship? Through analyzing a medical versus legislative view of the issue at hand an evaluation of the positive and negative factors of limiting physician prescribing can be determined. Clearly there is an issue, but what is considered to be the proper legal and ethical way to fix the problem still needs to be determined, and further scrutinized. While contrasting the American Medical Association’s code of ethics, against what bills are being proposed and enacted, and against a physician’s personal ethical code when dealing with the doctor-patient relationship and the potential for prescription abuse it is to an extent apparent where each ethical line crosses. With variations of resolutions being proposed for the devastating situation, that has grown tremendously in Tennessee and various other states, the question still stands: is this how we fix the problem and is there truly a solution for completely fixing the problem; or is there merely antidotes that can be adopted that would lessen the negative outcomes? The Controlled Substance Monitoring Database and Prescription Safety Act, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Panel recommendation and various other bills, from either Tennessee or other states, that have be proposed and either enacted or failed are examined in order to evaluate what the “solution” should be in order to reduce the potential for abuse and create the proper line that must be drawn with the doctor-patient relationship

Rebekah Raymond

Law, Justice, and Society

May 2013

Rebekah Raymond
   
Transition Homes for Women
Identifying best practices for maintaining employment and sobriety for women in transition homes
 
   

My project compared the outcomes of Root of Recovery clients located at The Next Door in Nashville. The clients who stayed in the program four weeks and successfully graduated in 2012 were compared to the clients who stayed in the program six weeks and successfully graduated in 2012. The comparisons were made in terms of incarceration, maintained sobriety, and stable employment upon completion of the ROR program. The outcome suggested that The Next Door is providing comparable services in terms of the outcome of the clients who stay either four or six weeks.

Ashleigh Rakestraw

Social Work

May 2013

Ashleigh Rakestraw
   
Oral Hygiene
Providing Oral Hygiene Instruction and Resources for Children in Low-Income Communities
 
   

The organization is called Miles for Smiles. Our mission is to raise oral hygiene awareness at an early age and teach children how to properly brush their teeth. This project targets elementary schools, mostly kindergarten but we also have talked to 1st grade. Miles for Smiles brings the tooth fairy as a surprise guest speaker that takes volunteers and turns them into teeth (and a tongue), to illustrate how to properly brush and what to do about a cavity! As an incentive for children to go home and practice what they learned, they are provided with a new toothbrush. An important aspect of this project, aside from teaching kids how to properly take care of their teeth, is to also encouraging them to take what they learned home. Not only do they go home with toothbrushes, but also with contact information for affordable dental care. Because of the high Spanish speaking population in most of these schools, Miles for Smiles also provides this information in Spanish. This project is really neat because most of it runs on time, not money. Time is spent by Miles for Smiles members/volunteers contacting schools and teaching. School teachers and students also give us time by listening to the program. Where does money for the toothbrushes come from? So far, they have been donations by local dentists. The current work in progress is to get bigger stores involved. Alongside of the teaching aspect of the project, the gathering of supplies is also a huge time investment; this is also my focus. To provide the toothbrush (incentives) for the project. This is done by contacting local dentists/other potential providers, informing them about the need, and getting people on board. A key donator for this project was the Health Department, which provided 400+ toothbrushes and suggestions for target schools. This is what jumpstarted the first school season for Miles for Smiles, which is projected to expand to summer seasons at churches.

Cindy Loyola

Biology

May 2013

Cindy Loyola
   
Children's Dental Hygiene
Helping low-income families receive dental care
 
   

Children from families without medical insurance are 2.5 times less likely than insured children to receive dental care. Children from families without dental insurance are 3 times more likely than insured children to have unmet dental needs. My capstone project started with my passion in the dental field. I wanted to incorporate my interest in dentistry with my love for helping others. This is how “Miles for smiles” got started, an organization that goes around elementary schools and speaks to kindergarten to first grade students about proper oral hygiene. The goal is to aid kids in avoiding the need for dental treatment later in their life, because of preventable causes like not brushing or flossing right. The schools that were chosen consisted of children who most likely come from low-income homes and would not otherwise have this knowledge taught to them. In order to make this a more enjoyable experience for the children, the teaching is presented in a play format, revolving around me dressed up as the tooth fairy. A giant toothbrush and teeth costume outfits are utilized to dress four kids up with, and use to teach the rest of the children how to properly brush. At the end of the show, tooth paste, toothbrush and floss is provided to each kid. Also information about affordable dental clinics is sent in Spanish and in English, so that their parents can have and be more informed about the different choices that they have for dental care, even if they do not have money and/or dental insurance.

Maria Asencio

Biology

May 2013

Maria Asencio
   
Drug Addiction/Rehabilitation
Research on the success of Drug Court
 

My capstone project relied heavily on my internship experience with the 23rd Judicial District Drug Court Program. There are approximately 2500 drug courts that represent all 50 states and US territories. Drug courts take non-violent offenders out of incarceration and put them through a 4 phase judicially supervised program to rehabilitate them and place them on a clean, sober, and productive lifestyle. My capstone project was research based into the idea that "Drug Courts Work!". Through my research and experience with a drug court I have learned that indeed drug courts are cost effective, reduce crime and drug use, and are overall successful in their endeavor. More specifically, for every dollar drug courts spend, they provide two dollars and twenty- one cents back in money saved as opposed to incarceration and/or the offender being processed through the judicial process. The average recidivism rate for those who participate in drug court: 4%-29% as opposed to 48%, which is the rate for those who serve their time instead of doing drug court. I have worked up close with 50 felons who opted for treatment and drug court. These folks are some of the nicest, grateful, and spiritual people I have ever met. They work hard each and every day to stay clean, grow in their faith, and help themselves. Anyone who takes time to work with them will be amazed at the work God is doing in their lives.  I was extremely blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to work this internship and experience the things I experienced as a result.

Michael Marshall
Law, Justice & Society
May 2012

 

 
Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication
How justice is served in these instances
 

“Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and other impairing substances is an epidemic in our society that doesn't appear to be going away in the near future” (“Dui foundation,” 2008). This statement is sadly becoming a stronger truth as time goes on, and even more disturbingly, more people are losing their lives as a result. Families are being destroyed, futures are being denied, and memories with loved ones are being taken away all because of people choosing to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. At the District Attorney’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee, Victim Witness Services has created its own division for cases in vehicular homicide.  The goal of Victim Witness Services is to “treat all violent crime victims with compassion, dignity and understanding…as [victims] make [their] way through the criminal justice system” (Shearon, 2012). This issue has become so magnificent that victims of these crimes are becoming too numerous, and oftentimes need more understanding and perspective when their love ones are denied their own rights of life because of one person’s decision to drink and drive. The question that arises from these instances with families of victims is whether or not justice is ever served. The purpose of this research is to attempt to answer this difficult question in a two-fold process: examining the penalty laws for offenses regarding driving under the influence and vehicular homicide, and then by interviewing families who have lost loved ones who have fallen victim to an impaired driver. Hopefully the research gathered will shed some light to the reality of vehicular homicide caused by driving under the influence, as well as expose the effects that derive from the sentencing laws within our local legislature on the family members of the victims of these crimes.

Emily Sullivan
Social Work
May 2012

 

 
Support Groups
Efficacy of Providing Support Groups for Female TeensWho Are Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Assault
 

As an active member of the Board of Directors of a local not-for-profit counseling center, I am often made aware of increasing need for specific mental health services for the communities in which we serve.  Mental health group therapy for female teens who are victims of childhood sexual abuse and assault is not offered in our area, which personally motivated me to study more closely the efficacy of providing support group therapy to female teens who have suffered childhood sexual abuse and assault.  The research will be utilized for a grant proposal to develop a program which solicits teen members and focuses on their issues, enabling intervention in the teen’s life before she is faced with serious decisions such as higher education or career path, and relational decisions such as choosing friends, dating, sex, and marriage.     Current statistics indicate that one (1) in four (4) females in the United States have been victims of childhood sexual abuse and assault.  Yet, counselors acknowledge that many instances of childhood sexual abuse and assault go unreported due to various factors, including the victim’s young age, fear of consequences, or the shame of sexual crime.  My SALT Capstone project surveyed a diverse group of females and tested the published statistics, revealing that the current numbers are significantly underreported.  Also, research confirmed that teenage girls who receive group counseling are psychologically better equipped to make healthy decisions and an increased chance for stability in relationships, career choices, or other major life choices necessary in later stages of life.   The public must become better educated about childhood sexual abuse and assault, and the issues must be clearly addressed early on so that victims will be empowered to overcome the trauma.  Society must recognize that victims of childhood sexual abuse and assault require full assurance that Tennessee law supports them and that their community has ample mental health counseling in place for their care.

Melanie Reeves
Law, Justice & Society
May 2012

 

 
Lifetime Recovery Management
 Determining the most effective method of achieving and sustaining recovery
 

As quoted by Ramona L. Anderson, “People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, and even other people hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is that the only place they ever needed to search was within.” Addiction and substance abuse is an ever-present issue among society. Approximately 10% of any population is addicted to drugs or alcohol, which is more common than diabetes (Recovery 2011).Experts define drug addiction as a strong, unceasing craving for a drug, even when the individual is aware of the risks and potential harm that the drug can bring about. Addiction devastates relationships, careers and the health of the individual struggling with the disease. According to Michael’s House, a treatment facility in California, “Over six million children in America live with at least one parent who has a drug addiction.” It also stated, “In the past twenty years, the number of people living with drug addictions in the United Sates has increased by 500 percent.” With the ongoing societal epidemic of alcohol and drug addiction, the need for recovery support programs certainly cannot be disregarded. There are numerous programs and services available to assist individuals overcome the struggle with addiction and/or substance abuse. Naturally, there are countless views regarding which aspects of an addict’s life make recovery attainable and successful. Therefore, it is inevitable that organizations targeting the substance abuse population differ drastically in processes and types of services offered.The Next Door is a six-month residential transitional living program that provides recovery support services for women coming from incarceration who also have a history of addiction to alcohol and drugs. The Next Door offers a variety of structured programs designed to provide assistance with re-entering society including: the Residential Transitional Center, Workforce Development, Family Enrichment Program, Freedom Recovery Community, and treatment services, and Lifetime Recovery Management. Lifetime Recovery Management (LRM) program is led by Ramie Siler. She completed The Next Door program herself and is currently the case manager over treatment services at The Next Door. The Lifetime Recovery Management program offers women who have completed the program the opportunity to receive ongoing support. Members meet for educational and community activities. Meditations are often read during Lifetime Recovery Management meetings. One meditation stated, “No matter how painful our life may have been, we always have the internal resources to heal and grow into happiness. We now have the strength, insight, and spiritual tools. This combination teaches us that there is no unhappiness too great to be made better. Opening ourselves up to the miracles of recovery, we step from the dark of negativity into the light of possibility and abundance. It doesn’t happen all at once, but it does happen – one day at a time.” (Body 1990).Individuals who struggle with addiction all have different stories as well as a vast range of needs. Thus, it is essential for such needs to be addressed in order to determine the most effective method of achieving and sustaining recovery. The purpose of this project is to explore the components that active members of The Next Door’s Lifetime Recovery Management program consider to be crucial for maintaining sober lifestyles.

Andrea Webb
Social Work
May 2012

 

 
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Outcomes
Setting up data collection for Mending Hearts, Inc.
 

Mending Hearts, Inc. is a treatment facility for women with drug/alcohol and co-occurring mental health disorders.  The agency has never procured outcomes data of former clients.  As a treatment facility that depends on grants and eligibility for Medicaid funds, outcomes data to support the effectiveness of the program, as well as improve the effectiveness of the treatment plans, is vital to the success and growth of the agency and the population it serves.Through extensive research of client records, a client sample was identified based on former clients who were three months post-discharge, six months post-discharge, and one year post-discharge as of March, 2012.  The agency currently has an outcomes questionnaire in place that is completed by clients when they enter the treatment program and again when they discharge from the treatment program.  This outcomes questionnaire was utilized for data collection from the sample of former clients.When the client sample was identified, the last known contact information for each client was recorded, including contact information for family members and/or friends.  A minimum of three attempts to contact each former client and/or other persons connected to former clients via telephone were made.   For clients where none of the telephone contacts were accurate, the surveys were mailed to the last address on file.  Each sample client was also identified by their type of treatment program while a client of Mending Hearts:  residential inpatient only, transitional intensive outpatient only, or both.  As future data is collected, comparisons of the outcomes in relation to the treatment program will be valuable in the development of the treatment plans.The outcomes survey asked participating former clients to rate twelve areas of their lives based on a scale of very poor, poor, average/good, very good, or excellent.  Areas included financial status, legal status, employment status, ability to remain abstinent from drugs/alcohol, and outlook for the future among other areas.Given the transient nature of the population, there were many challenges and limitations to the outcomes results.  With the research legwork and data that was collected, a foundation was set for future data collection and longitudinal comparison.

Allison French
Social Work
May 2012

 

 
Healthcare - Both a cause and effect of homelessness
Exploring the Issue of Healthcare for the Homeless
   
My capstone project sought to evaluate the realities of the health care system as it pertains to the homeless population.  As a part of my study I interviewed several homeless and formerly homeless people to get a better understanding of their perspective, as well as influential community development leaders from various facets of the healthcare system.

Health concerns are both a cause and an effect of homelessness.  The very nature of homelessness means elevated exposure to the elements, disease, violence, unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, stress, and addictive substances.  Without proper medical care, the issues tied to homelessness become exponentially more complex.  Using Nashville to reflect America’s situation, we are desperately in need of accessible and affordable preventative and respite care for the un-housed. 
 
Shanley Deignan
Law, Justice & Society
May 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS
Creating a guide for HIV testing events in the community
   
During my senior year, I began interning at a local service organization who's focus is on the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Nashville CARES works to provide resources, education and services that relate to HIV/AIDS to members of the Nashville community.
 
My SALT Scholar capstone project consisted of the creation of a handbook that would contain guidelines on how to set up, operate and manage an HIV testing event at a new location in the community.  This handbook gives new staff and volunteers at Nashville CARES an easy guide in the future to setting up a testing event.  I also included facts and information about HIV and AIDS, allowing staff or volunteers to be able to present an HIV 101 class at a testing event or at other venues thoughout the area. 
 
 
Amanda Bowers
Biology
May 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Increasing service opportunities for Lipscomb's future medical professionals
MED Club
   
My capstone project is designed to help MED club students earn their Tier III SALT service-learning credit by immersing them in individual, small group, and club service opportunities. Each participating student must meet the following qualifications: 1. They must participate in an individual project of their choice for a least 15-20 hours over the course of one semester. 2. Each student must attend at least 3 speaker meetings. Each speaker meeting last about an hour and a half. 3. Each student must dedicate at least six hours to MED club group service projects. 4. Each student must attend at least two small group discussions over the course of one semester so that they may share their experiences while volunteering and learn from other students experiences. 
 
Holly Wolfe
Biology
December 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Sewing Therapy
Using sewing as a creative outlet for women recovering from drug addiction & prostitution
   
My SALT capstone project was done in conjunction with Mending Hearts, a rehabilitation program for women who are recovering from drug addiction and prostitution. I started a sewing class that meets once a week for the women who are participating in the program. Through gracious donations from the Nashville community, I was able to collect adequate supplies in order to successfully conduct this class. 
 
Molly Newman
Mathematics
December 2010
 
 
 
Helping non-violent offenders with a chemical dependency re-enter society
Proposal for a residential drug court program
   
Through my volunteer work at Davidson County Drug Court Residential Program I saw a need for change. My capstone project was a proposal to implement an intensive and residential drug court program for non-violent offenders who have a chemical dependency. 
 
Johna Miller
Law, Justice & Society
December 2010
 
   
Diabetes CARE Program
Building awareness about Diabetes in Tennessee schools
   
Diabetes is one of the leading diseases in the world today, and is now one of the top ten cause of death. For my capstone project, I have chosen to create a Diabetes awareness program. My hope is to help raise awareness about the disease starting with 5th grade school children. My goal is to implement this awareness program throughout Tennessee public and private schools.  Educating children is one of the most effective methods in preventing the disease. 
 
Diana Khan
Law, Justice & Society
December 2010
 
 
   
Healthcare & Immigration: How to engage Hispanic immigrants
How non-governmental groups are reaching out to immigrants
   
Healthcare has been a buzz word in the United States for the past several years, and many individuals and groups are invested in its discussion. Non-profits can provide healthcare of some kind to the people in Nashville who are in desperate need of primary care. Organizations like Catholic Charities Hispanic Family Services reach out to these groups in real ways. In my research, I look at some ways that Catholic Charities engages the Hispanic population with regards to healthcare, both primary and preventative. 
 
Catherine Lynn
Law, Justice & Society, Spanish
May 2010