Student Master's Projects

Master Projects Homepage

The master’s projects of the inaugural class of the Master of Arts in Civic Leadership represented the span of issues facing leaders today. The students, in varied and creative ways, met the challenge to bring business, government and nonprofit leaders together to find common ground for the common good.

Meeting the challenges and opportunities for ethical leaders in a Multicultural Society

Cristina Allen
Nashville Global Business Network
Lipscomb University’s College of Business supported Cristina in the development of Nashville’s Global Business Network as a signature project of its new Center for Global Connectedness and Collaboration. The Network grew out of Cristina’s regional contacts in Nashville’s multicultural community. She met the need for networking and seminars in cross-cultural understanding for a growing population of global business professionals that strengthen our region’s economy.

John Arriola
Dreamers: Immigration’s 1.5 Generation and the Response of Tennessee’s Faith-Based Universities John reviewed the policies of Tennessee faith-based institutions and examines Lipscomb University model for welcoming, enrolling and graduating the 1.5 Generation, undocumented young people brought to this country as children who would be covered by the Dream Act.

Abby Sasser
Domestic Abuse Among Immigrants and Refugees: A Community-Based Approach to Awareness, Response and Support
Abby’s project was developed with the YWCA, NICE, and Bridges as a Collaboration Prize finalist. She built on her experience with the ONE campaign in Africa to reach the existing leadership in immigrant and refugee communities, to build support for women who experience abuse, and to raise awareness of American laws among the entire population.


Strengthening our community through developing and mentoring young people from elementary school through college

Anthony Johnson
Alpha Nashville Leader/Leadership Development Institute
Anthony used the Social Change Model to develop the Nashville Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Alpha Nashville) and their members for transformational community engagement. Over several months in 2012 he led chapter leadership workshops, brother-to-brother workshops, community conversations related to health and voting rights and responsibilities, and group voting on Election Day 2012. He created a seven-module curriculum for this leadership training and delivered the final module at Lipscomb University in late October. The curriculum will continue to be used by the fraternity as it works with the Nashville community.

John Kirk
Lessons from the Steps Memoir and Workbook for Intergenerational Mentoring
We heard the story first in class of how John sat on the steps of his neighbors in Cleveland, and learned from the wisdom of his elders. Now, with the resources at the Center for Entrepreneurship introduced in the graduate program, he brings his story to life in “Lessons from the Steps,” with its guide for intergenerational mentoring. Believing that the most important lessons aren’t the most complicated, John has formalized the ideas and wisdom he shared with us from his military life and church experiences into 11 Simple Lessons.

Ryan Havice
SLIES (Service Learning in Elementary Schools)
A committed volunteer who worked for AmeriCorps after Hurricane Katrina, Ryan chose to address a demographic often left out of volunteering opportunities: those under age 12 who are not covered by nonprofit liability insurance. Ryan worked with Alignment Nashville and Hands On Nashville to develop a pilot program of elementary school volunteer and service modules delivered by teachers in the schools. In 2013 his “Volunteer and Service Treasure Trunk” will be used in several of Nashville’s public schools in a program that nonprofit leaders believe can be a model for how to reach these youngest volunteers.


Strengthening our community through service

Lori Corley
Faith Care Connections
Lori nurtured the idea of connecting caregivers and family members with dementia with their faith communities for ten years before bringing it to life as her Master’s Project. Launched in September with a coalition of Madison churches, Faith Care Connections offers monthly times of sharing, caring and education for Alzheimer’s/dementia families; the family member with the disease can participate or be cared for by trained volunteers. In October, Lori received a $1,000 Caregiving Grant from the United Methodist Church to help fund the organization’s work “This is one of the very best projects for ministry I have seen,” said Dr. Rick Gentzler, director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the United Methodist Church, and Lori’s advisor for the project.

Quiana Jimerson
Case Management for Female Veterans/Operation Stand Down
Quiana, a veteran and Yellow Ribbon student, conceived and implemented a case management system that trained and utilized college students and volunteers to maintain consistent and documented follow-up to the female veterans served by Operation Stand Down. This approach to the time and labor-intensive follow-up required in case management could prove a model for other nonprofits and their use of volunteers.


Strengthening our community through a focus on women and girls

Hope Howell
Athena Leadership Academy for High School Female Athletes
A star college athlete and scholar, Hope responded to a need identified by her teammates—female high school athletes were taught athletic skills and not much else in preparation to be recruited with college scholarships. With encouragement from her own high school coaches and a home at a local training facility, she launched the Athena Leadership Academy for female high school athletes in summer 2012 near Atlanta, Georgia, with her outstanding network of female players as mentors and speakers. Response from the students and their parents was so positive there is a waiting list for summer 2013. National experts in the sports leadership field advised Hope, whose project led to a new position at Ohio University in fall 2012.

Maura Cunningham
Rock the Street Wall Street
Wall Street and a career in finance can be tough, but it also can be fun and financially rewarding. Maura knows because she’s spent 25 years in the financial services industry, 10 on Wall Street, and now she wants middle and high school girls to see these possibilities. Through her financial literacy program, now offered in several Nashville public schools and private schools in Middle Tennessee, she is inspiring girls and young women to have fun with math by applying it to everyday situations. Through her network of colleagues, she is exposing them to female role models in the financial industry and taking them to site visits to spark their interest in careers in finance.

Susan Huggins
CABLE - New Ways to Connect More Women with Opportunity
As CABLE’s first executive director, Susan, the 2012-2013 president of Downtown Rotary, knew her first year was crucial in moving the organization from a 35-year-old volunteer-run organization to one with paid professional management. Focusing on its 35-year history of connecting women with opportunity in Middle Tennessee, she chose one existing program—CABLE’s Women on Corporate Boards Initiative Center and created a new one—the CABLE Leadership Academy Center to address the leadership development of women at any stage of their careers. WOCB was relaunched with a focused plan of work in fall 2012. CABLE Leadership Academy awarded leadership certificates to its first students in fall 2012. With both she developed and used a process that made the most of the organization’s assets of women leaders: volunteer steering committees to set vision, volunteer committee chairs to oversee strategy, and volunteer work stream chairs to implement.

Julie Hamilton
Julie’s Village/Giving Women Voice and Choice in Breastfeeding through education and preparation.
Julie’s nonprofit, Julie’s Village, partnered with Whole Foods, Pottery Barn Kids, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and other sponsors in support of the event culminating Julie’s master project—Best Baby Shower and Breastfeeding Presentation. Proving the naysayers wrong, Julie brought business, government and nonprofit leaders together to host 350 mothers-to-be in Allen Arena for a two-hour education and preparation seminar which she expertly delivered and punctuated with gifts to the audience from the sponsors. Whole Foods and Pottery Barn Kids are on board for repeats in other southern cities, giving Julie the opportunity to expand her model for sharing the benefits to mother and child of breastfeeding and helping mothers to be prepared. Julie also raised funding through telling her story on Indiegogo.


Strengthening community with new ways of finding common ground and building leaders in the professions

Lee Anne Bruce Boone
Leading in the Law CLE
Lee Anne, an attorney and former assistant commissioner of human services for the state of Tennessee, identified a growing belief among legal educators and the legal profession that leadership skills have been missing from law school curricula and continuing legal education (CLE). Encouraged by participants at a conference she attended at Elon University in 2011 on Leadership and the Law, she involved law firms, community leaders and the dean of the University of Tennessee Law School in creating and winning approval to offer a leadership-focused CLE for attorneys in fall 2012. Based upon results of that pilot, she will offer the CLE twice in 2013 and has been invited to speak to a conference of attorneys in the Southeast on her work.

Hannah Parker
Who knew that Jon Meacham would make dinner and diplomacy the idea of 2012 through his book on Jefferson? Long before Meacham, Hannah instinctively knew the connection between food, ideas and finding common ground. She’ll combine them all through a collection of her essays discussed, where else, over dinner in 2013.


Technology as a tool for collaboration and building community

Kyle Williams
Nashville Neighbor Project
Kyle entered the master’s program with the idea of building on the success of technology in matching Nashville’s needs with goods and services during the 2010 flood. He created an online platform to match neighbors with needs to providers with goods and services. Encouraged by Andrews Leadership Council member Charles McGowan, Kyle met with ThriftSmart founder Dick Gygi who signed on as a partner and the first home of a Nashville Neighbor Project computer kiosk. Beginning in 2013, the Nolensville Road ThriftSmart staff will help customers from that community post needs to be met by members of churches Kyle has engaged to participate. Kyle raised his goal of $6,000 with his engaging video and creative incentives on Indiegogo. In addition, his own church donated $3,000 to Nashville Neighbor Project.

Stephanie McCullough
Finding Common Ground through Technology: Textizen and Neighborland Launched in Nashville
Stephanie is a great example of the immediate impact a student’s work can have. She has been asked to be the expert resource to the 2040 Metro Planning community outreach committee, in part because of her innovation and persistence in bringing both Textizen and Neighborland to Nashville. Throughout the year, Stephanie used her role at the Nashville Design Center to test these emerging technologies and benchmarked how other cities were using them to engage a larger and more diverse group of citizens in community decisions.

Abby Guasti
Building Community Through Technology: in Madison, Alabama
Abby identified a need in her own community and a new resource in Next Door, offering neighbors an online platform to safely get to know each other and to identify neighborhood assets and strengthen relationships. Leadership Huntsville supported her efforts and offered a home for her presentation on the six-month pilot; at least one other neighborhood in Huntsville/Madison County will be using Next Door as a model and elected officials there are looking at the metro version of Next Door available to cities.

Laini Brown
Laini benchmarked a program in her hometown of New York City and made it even better. Find out how in spring 2013 when she will make the arts more accessible and user-friendly in Nashville.


Strengthening community through asset-based neighborhood development

Colby Sledge
Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Identifying Assets Within An Urban Community
Colby applied the theories and practices of asset-based community development within Wedgewood-Houston, an urban South Nashville neighborhood, to create a more engaged community and a sustainable neighborhood organization. Based on best practices among regional, national and international communities, he conducted asset inventories and designed a course of action to increase neighbors’ participation in community meetings and events, as well as residents’ willingness to serve on the organization’s board of directors by year’s end. As chair of SNAP, the neighborhood organization, he was successful in improving relationships through improved response time from Metro on issues of codes, housing and public safety. He engaged the support of businesses and churches moving into the neighborhood, The result is a newly composed board that reflects economic and racial diversity, a part-time executive director for SNAP, an active neighborhood that seeks out and creates community initiatives and a roadmap for similar neighborhoods to empower their own residents.

Christopher Garrett
CNAP Anti-Litter Initiative in Antioch
Christopher surprised us with a focus on litter—and then convinced us all that we did not fix this problem in the ’70s. Despite a lack of information available from Metro, he persevered. His work applying the “broken window” theory to Antioch engaged the leaders of CNAP (Crossings Nashville Action Partnership) and leading business people focused on revitalizing the area. CNAP, the neighborhood association focused on these revitalization efforts, is the home for Christopher’s communication and advocacy campaign, which includes long-term partnering with Watkins School of Art film students to document the Antioch story.

Phyllis Sutton
A film on grandparents raising grandchildren was Phyllis’ goal from day one. We will see the resulting film and how it can engage a community to action in 2013.

Jane Andrews

Professional Development Programs by CASA

Scott Broyles

A Vision for Community Schools:  Knox County, TN

Dorinda Carter

Reentry Services for Women Leaving Prison

Katie Culp

A Curated News Site for Millennials (YNNCASE)

Jamie Dent

VOLUME Project: Volunteer Organization Utilizing Management and Engagement

Jessica Duty

First Generation College Student Program at Lipscomb University

Rachel Dyer

Increasing Financial Literacy Among the Refugee Population in Nashville

Andrea Hayes

Leading Through Crisis: A Model for Education Collaboration

Sheila Hubbard

Reducing Recidivism and Developing Re-entry Programs for Mentally Diagnosed Offenders from Confinement to Community

Lindsi Mayfield 

Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership Leaders Collective

Linda Nelson

"United to Serve" A Project to Build Online Resources for a Nonprofit

Andie Scott

College and Career Readiness:Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Jennifer Weller

Disaster Plans: A Core Competency Approach