SALT Scholar Capstone Project Descriptions

Community Building Efforts

A Post-racial Campus:
How does diversity in higher education foster growth and development for all students through programs of engagement that lead to higher academic success.

The United States has been described as a melting pot of ethnicities and that diversity can be seen in Nashville Tennessee. Nashville is known for its large immigrant population with a large representation of Somalis, Latinos, Egyptians, and the largest community of Kurds outside of Kurdistan. However, such high numbers of diversity are not reflected on Lipscomb’s campus. Diversity in higher education fosters growth and development for all students through programs of engagement that lead to higher academic success. Unfortunately, with the underrepresentation
amongst students and faculty on college campuses the opportunity for growth and development is often missed. This is not just a problem on Lipscomb’s campus but a problem within higher education everywhere. However, there is a way to engage the broader community surrounding universities like Lipscomb to increase representation.

Hayat Abudiab 

Law, Justice, and Society

August 2015
Finding Solutions for Nashville Public Transit
Looking at transportation options for a rapidly growing city

Nashville, Tennessee is a city that is growing rapidly. According to its Mayor, Karl Dean, Nashville will show a population growth of one million by the year 2035. The city currently lacks the mass transit system needed to accommodate such a growth, however. In an effort to better serve the current population, prepare for coming growth, and be competitive in the national scene, the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has sought out solutions to the transit issues. Currently, the city is proposing the project, AMP, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. The proposal has garnered support from the mayor and citizens alike, but has also been met by much opposition from the population. Issues raised include funding, space for the system, impact on traffic, adequate ridership, and overall effectiveness of the proposal. The purpose of my project will be to identify, research, and bring to light the transit issues in Nashville, specifically with the AMP project. I will then propose practical solutions in an effort to build social value for Nashville and its citizens.

Brandon Shaw

Law, Justice & Society and Philosophy

August 2014

Non-profit for Working Adults with Special Needs
Adults with special needs and their right to work

My capstone project was focused on adults with special needs and their right to work. I based a lot of my research on a workshop called the Sheltered Valley Workshop, in Batavia, Illinois where special needs adults go and work with other adults like them and do piecework for companies. While doing research I learned that the adults had to pay in order to work. I wanted to have a program in Middle Tennessee that will help make it more accessible and affordable for adults with special needs to go and work. I focused on partnering up with Easter Seals, who has a Day Center out in West Tennessee that is similar to the SVW. The goal would be to bring another Day Center closer to Nashville and the long term goal would be having a place where the special needs adults can work without having to pay.

Katherine Herrera

Law, Justice, & Society

August 2014

Law Enforcement and Community Impact  

For my senior project I looked at and gained an understanding of reasons why there is a distrust of law enforcement and implemented a way for local citizens and law enforcement to have a better relationship to make the community not only safer but a more pleasant place to work and live.

Brandon Sandrell

Law, Justice, and Society

May 2013

Brandon Sandrell

Comparing Cognitive-Behavioral Thoery and the Self-Determination Theory


The purpose of this research study is to compare and contrast the Cognitive-­-Behavior Theory and the Self-­-Determination Theory Portell 2 ? based on their effectiveness to address students in Kindergarten through 8th grade with behavioral and emotional problem behavior. By interviewing professionals who have experience with this specific population, the study will be able to recognize the most effective theory to implement for students in the Harvest Hands CDC programs.

Brittany Eagleman

Social Work

May 2013

Brittany Eagleman
Non-Profit Programs
Creating a social enterprise for one and researching the effectiveness of another

I have worked on two major projects focusing on non-profit organizations. The first non-profit program I worked with was the Nashville Food Project. My first was an in class project. My class was broken up into three groups and we were given the job of coming up with an idea for a social enterprise that would help the Nashville Food Project sustain their organization financially. Between three groups, my class created three completely different social enterprise ideas that the organization could use and potentially launch their own social enterprise.  The second project I worked on was my senior thesis paper. The focus of my research was on after school programs and the affects they have on juvenile delinquency. I chose this focus because of my passion for children and my concern with the increasing number of juvenile delinquents. As a result of my research I found flaws in the current structure of after school programs and found several components that could drastically improve their affect on preventing juvenile delinquency.

Tashi McClain
Law, Justice & Society
May 2012


Refugee Case Workers
A look at policies in place that are helping the case managers and what policies can be put in place to address problems that are still present

Social workers are the kind of people who live for the people they serve. A nine- to-five job is not typical for many social workers. When it comes to a majority of the social workers at Catholic Charities, their lives often revolve around their clients’ lives, schedules, and needs. Several of the case workers at Catholic Charities were refuges themselves and have since become case workers. Because of this, they are personally and professionally involved in the cultures of their clients. Their personal involvement may range from holding a position of leadership, such as president to just being a vocal and active member in their community. This is both a great advantage and disadvantage to Catholic Charities. One of the strengths of current case workers is that many of them can speak multiple languages. Another great advantage is that they know from a personal and intimate viewpoint what it is like to start over in a new country. The transition to life in America can be very scary and difficult for the refugees.  Knowing someone personally that has done this successfully and can communicate with them in their own language assists in putting them at ease. It is critical that when a refugee is given the chance to leave whatever strife their country is suffering from, the first people they meet in their new homeland must be nonjudgemental and ready to help.  Catholic Charities has taken many strides to help the case workers find a balance between work and private life. This is an obstacle for many of the case workers because some of them live in the same communities as their clients. Refugees have many questions and concerns daily. When they know that there is a case worker living in their community that they can go and ask at any time it can lead to a lack of separation of private and work life. There are times when a case worker will come home only to find a line of people waiting outside of their apartment door with questions and concerns.  Being a prominent member of their community automatically puts them in places of leadership that the people of their community look up to. The line can get blurry when a refugee comes to a social worker that holds a position of leadership within their personal community to discuss aid or assistance they need from Catholic Charities.  The social worker must maintain the boundary of being sympathetic to listen to the member of their community and his or her issues without making comments that would disregard, criticize, or pledge assistance on behalf of their own employer.

Lauren Patternson
Social Work
May 2012


Infrastructure Improvement
Building a bridge in Guatemala

My SALT Capstone Project doubled as my Civil Engineering Capstone Design Project. My team and I designed a 75-foot, rural pedestrian bridge for Project Ulpan (a non-profit working in community development in Guatemala). The bridge will be implemented by the Lipscomb Engineering Mission team in May 2012. This bridge will provide better access to health care, education, and economy to the people of the Ulpan Valley.

Luke Burris
Civil Engineering
May 2012


Orchestra Club
Creating a group that nurtures talent as well as promotes service

Over the past number of years, I established a community orchestra compromised of children from the ages of eight until their twenties. Not only was I responsible for teaching them how to play various instruments, but also served as a spiritual leader. Foundational to the group was our love for one another and the relationships formed over the past number of years. Beyond our own performances and the growth experienced in our community, we were able to establish an annual fund-raising event to raise money for orphans in Romania. Over the past four years, we have raised over $8,000.00 through Christmas concerts. I am blessed beyond measure by the work that I was granted to do in this community and now as my time to move on fast approaches, I am overjoyed to see a moving, growing body of people that will continue strong years after I have left.

Kenneth Coca
May 2012