Congratulations to our December 2017 Graduates!

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The faculty and staff of the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership celebrate the accomplishments of the students that graduated December 16, 2017. Commencement means “a beginning,” and as we have said many times during the course of your matriculation, you are prepared, in some ways more than your counterparts, to implement change in the communities where you live, work, play, and serve. We hope that you will continue the work that you have started as well as get involved in new initiatives applying this lens of civic leadership to issues affecting the world. As written by the prophet Micah (6:8): “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”


Below are highlights of our graduates' work:


Kina Cleveland's project focused on empowering males to build opportunities for developing independence. She created a curriculum for the Nashville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.'s national mentorship program. This is a public-service sorority.


Keitorria Edmonds's project proposed methods to support Nashville’s efforts to reduce disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system.

Williams Hankal's proposal focused on identifying new potential partners and allies in the fight against hunger. He compiled diverse data and multiple perspectives to establish an agenda as well as a plan of attack on this very important issue.

Mohamed Hassan's project focused on immigrant entrepreneurs in Nashville and their influence in the economic system. The research explored how immigrant entrepreneurs have shaped Nashville's current economic boom.

Penny Howard created and implemented a pilot program focused on teaching inner-city adolescent black girls code switching. Code switching is the ability to adjusts one's formal and informal vernacular to successfully navigate one’s present environment. The skill was taught as a conflict management tool for girls in middle school in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

She’marica Jordan's research proposal sought to identify the key obstacles low-income students face during the school-to-work transition. The findings of her research were used to construct a community-based curriculum for students attending after-school programming at the Metro Parks Community Center.

Pamela Lee's work in the Civic Leadership program ultimately was presented differently than in capstone form. She wrote a book in an effort to share the struggles, successes, and strategies of her twenty-five years of experience with working in juvenile residential programs across the country. Pamela offered anecdotal stories of her experiences to help case managers identify the gaps in services and determine reasons for reduction in residential programs.

James Lomax's proposal examined what millennials seek to be connected to within their cities, what type of programs they prefer within their workplace, and what impacts those have on personal life satisfaction. Through qualitative interviews, focus groups, and surveys, this examination sought to research the desires of millennials when it comes to what they want out of a workplace. The information was shared with several interested organizations representing business, non-profit, and government.

Loran Long's project focused on the effects of virtual healthcare to solve access issues for patients in Nashville. Specifically, she sought to answer the question of telemedicine’s effect on solving healthcare access gaps within Nashville. Loran found that offering “direct to consumer” options for convenient care can help reduce healthcare access gaps.


Janalee Boroff Miller's project focused on exploring systematic inequalities within current food systems in two southern cities, and methods for addressing the inequalities. Her project took her to Atlanta to work with a co-op to evaluate their programming and offer solutions.


Morgan Turner's project focused on creating an “adverse childhood experiences” (ACES) informed curriculum for a faith-based organization, Christian Community Services, Inc., for which she volunteered. Morgan’s proposed changes were accepted for the organization's P.A.S.S. (Personal, Academic, Spiritual and Social) program, making the program ACES-informed.

Dawana Wade focused on the displacement of social services relevant to residents being affected and displaced by gentrification. Her project studied the effects of displacement on smaller, localized non-profits as a result of changing demographics in formerly low-income, underserved neighborhoods. Dawana’s work found these organizations were indeed being affected and offered solutions to help them move forward.

Cameron Walls's project proposed introducing the industry of the arts through exposure experiences for elementary-aged children. He found that children are often not introduced to careers in art. Therefore, the proposal shed light on the various opportunities that are available.


Each year we say this and will say it again. We are very proud of our students' work. Congratulations on this well-deserved accomplishment!