SALT Scholar Capstone Project Descriptions

Community Building Efforts

FiftyForward Supportive Care Services Event  

FiftyForward is a nonprofit that enriches the lives of adults age 50 and older in Middle Tennessee. The agency encourages independence of seniors through their Supportive Care services, which encompasses the Adult Day Services, Meals on Wheels, Care Management, Victory Over Crime, Conservatorship and Care Team programs. Each department of the Supportive Care unit works to assist older adults in the community and enhance their wellbeing. However, these programs only meet one or two primary needs, such as providing meals for Meals on Wheels clients. These programs are not helping seniors with one of the most threatening risk factors among older adults: social isolation. The purpose of this proposal is to outline the logistics of a quarterly Supportive Care services event that could potentially help address this need. The agency will use existing resources, such as transportation and community contacts, to provide an experience that will allow clients to connect and form relationships.

Malloree Grimes

Social Work

May 2016

Refugee Women's Empowerment Group  

Refugees are a part of the United States population and culture including here in Nashville, Tennessee. Many of these refugees may have experienced a wide range of things such as torture, loss of loved ones, violence, rape, and other traumatic events. These experiences combined with fleeing their home country and everything they know puts refugees in very vulnerable situations. It is in these vulnerable situations that refugees need assistance and empowerment to help them to become more self-sufficient. Of these refugees resettled in TN half of them are women and children. Particularly, refugee women are at risk of domestic violence, isolation, and inequality from their home culture. Thus, refugee women are in need of empowerment to help prevent these issues and promote their strengths, independence, and equality. Catholic Charities is a refugee resettlement agency in Nashville, Tennessee. My internship this semester has been with Catholic Charities, a agency that provides many essential services to the clients such as employment, youth, elders and core services. However, there is a need for a women's empowerment group to fulfill the specific needs of refugee women and best serve the agencies clients. Thus I created a proposal including a literature review about issues facing refugee women and research on similar programs created in other areas. I then created a specific proposal for implementing a refugee women's empowerment group along with pre/posttest surveys in order to assess the groups’ effectiveness. This proposal will be given to the agency upon completion to provide them with the information to begin to meet this need.

Kathryn Barnes

Social Work

May 2016

Employment Program for Senior Adults  

After interviewing some of the staff of FiftyForward, a non-profit agency that provides services for older adults, I found that the greatest gap the agency is not filling is not having a program for helping older adults find employment and job training. The need for this program is important because of the economic downturn that has affected all age groups and many older adults need to work to maintain their homes and lifestyle. Since a lot of older adults lack the knowledge of basic computer skills and today’s technology, it makes it harder for them to find employment. By implementing an employment program through FiftyForward, not only can seniors can get the training they need to qualify for a sustainable job, but also allows FiftyForward to grow and branch out to more of the community. I designed a four month employment program after researching successful like programs around the country and altering it to fit with FiftyForward’s mission and values. This program will give older adults the opportunity to learn computer, reading, writing, and communication skills, as well as working a part time job for 20 hours a week that the program helps set up for them. The program staff will consist of trained volunteers, paid employees, and FiftyForward staff. To help fund all of the expenses needed for this program FiftyForward will apply for grants and hold fundraising events. I also created a post-test survey to assess the program outcomes for the participants and for FiftyForward itself by collecting quantitative and qualitative data as well as including all four levels of data and identifying statistical tests to analyze the data.

Kayla Ramos

Social Work

May 2016

Conflict Management   

Families who know that a dispute is forth coming should mediate before will and trust litigation whether or not there is a will or inheritance plan in place. Mediation is the proper alternative to litigation in these instances because of the emphasis that is out on reaching the underlying interests and needs of each individual by allowing all parties a voice in the process. Mediation also allows all discussion to remain confidential and strives to preserve relationships. Preserving relationships is maintained through equal participation in a neutral environment as well as all parties brainstorming to reach creative solutions to the dispute in their own words. This mediation should occur before litigation when families who know that a dispute Will arise because of the heightened emotions and grief that will be experienced after a relative has passed. Conflict in these instances is best addressed and improved upon when emotions involving grief are minimal. The mediations taking place at this time and in this manner provide for the most effective risk management preparation for the developing and future conflict.

Elizabeth Greer 

Law, Justice, and Society

August 2016

Social Enterprise and Community Centers  

The Family Center is an independent non-profit that is located in Columbia, Tennessee. Its mission statement is: “To enrich and strengthen the quality of life for vulnerable Maury County residents in times of crisis, especially those stemming from poverty.” While The Family Center currently serves the community through income-based outreach programs, there is still a gap between needs-based charitable efforts and fostering workforce development that enhances upward mobility. Recently, The Family Center has proposed, and put into place, the plan for a thrift store, potentially opening in 2016. The thrift store would enable the center to provide jobs for local residents, through temporary part-time employment as well as, adding additional revenue streams to continue The Family Center’s current programming. Much of what the center does aligns with the traditional non-profit sector, becoming the primary benefactors for those they serve. The Family Center has created partnerships with individuals, businesses, and churches to sustain their outreach mission. The volunteer and financial support has remained consistent, but there is a vision to do more than continuing the cycle of poverty in the people that they serve. Partnering needs-based assistance with a workforce development effort provides a more holistic, economic development partnership between The Family Center and the thrift store. In order to embark on this next phase of growth, it would benefit the center to become educated on how others have successfully implemented the thrift store social enterprise model. My focus is to show The Family Center how to open an efficient and sustainable social enterprise presented through case studies; therefore, demonstrating how The Family Center can create job opportunities for local community members with employment barriers and generate revenue to support the centers existing programs.

Patricia Platt

Law, Justice, and Society

December 2015

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