SALT Scholar Capstone Project Descriptions

Economic/Marketing Development

Reducing Poverty  

I did a study of the current welfare population, found out some of the current issues with the system and learned about a couple of ways to help solve the issue. The issue I discovered was the rate at which people come out of the system to go right back in to it. I offered a solution where we change to an apprenticeship ran by company that need skilled workers. The goal would be to have the people employed with a skill that could be used in many places and make more than the minimum wage.

Stephen Fletcher

Law, Justice, and Society

December 2015

Increasing Social Impact of Nonprofit Organizations  

Around the world, people are suffering on all levels of poverty. Mission Lazarus is an organization that works to improve the lives of men and women in Honduras and Haiti through holistic approaches. However, with all the good work Mission Lazarus is doing, they lack the tools to properly measure the impact they are having in personal lives as well as poverty as a whole. Within the U.S. nonprofit sector, there has been increasing attention to questions of impact. While this can be a difficult task, it is beneficial to both the beneficiaries of the program, as well as the organization.

Madison Sudakoff

Law, Justice, & Society

May 2015

Marketing Campaign
Assiting a local non-profit in a marketing campaign

This year, I partnered with the Council on Aging of Greater Nashville, a community organization that works to meet needs for older adults and their caregivers through information, advocacy and education. Biannually, the Council produces a Directory of Services for Seniors as a resource for caregivers who have taken on the role of caring for their elderly family member. The Directory is produced entirely through advertising and is available to members of the community free of charge. To begin my work with the Council, I was able to merge multiple databases of contact information from the previous Directory and use color-coding to make it simple and easy-to-read. The bulk of my work consisted of placing marketing calls to begin seeking community partners for the 2015-2016 Directory. Using the compiled contact information from the latest Directory, I assisted the Council by reaching out through phone calls to over 350 organizations that will potentially buy advertisement space. In going through this process, I gained a new respect for those working the business world—especially those in marketing. The process can be tedious and discouraging, but the value of persistence and networking became incredibly clear to me. God has created us to live in a community and to rely on one another to do good works. When we take the time to form meaningful relationships with others, our endeavors will be more successful. Through working with the Council, I was able to see first-hand how a community united can accomplish more than any single person or organization could alone. Upon reflecting on the amount of time calling through a list of over 1000 organizations took compared to the productivity of those calls, I soon found that contacting the organizations through a phone call may not be the best way to reach out to potential advertisers in today’s society. With this realization, I suggested to my contact at the Council that an email campaign might provide a larger response from the community organizations. What I was finding through talking on the phone to many of these organizations was that they were specifically requesting that information be sent to them through email. The idea for an email campaign was well-received and will surely help to make the best usage of the Council’s time. It is my hope that mass-emailing will help them be able to expand the amount of community organizations they will be able to approach to ask about advertising in the Directory and will allow this resource to expand to have a maximum impact on community members seeking help caring for their loved ones.

Kendra Kelley

Nursing & Vocational Ministry

May 2014


Marketing Directory 

Creating a marketing database for a directory to assist seniors

My capstone project consisted of working alongside a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness of elder abuse and provide resources to assist seniors in the community. The Council on Aging has created a directory for seniors similar to our Yellowpages in the phone book. This directory is a resource for seniors that allows ready access to various services geared toward the elderly population. Part of my internship focused on creating a database for an upcoming marketing campaign by reviewing magazines for seniors and contacting the companies who advertised in them. The major focus of my work with the Council on Aging was reaching out to organizations currently listed in the directory as resources to update their contact information and determine their interest in advertising in the directory. This will make it easier for the Council on Aging to keep in contact with these partners and to maintain a working relationship for the future. In order for a community partner to be listed in the directory as a resource they must apply and be approved by the Council. In one of my meetings with my coordinator, I suggested a way for the Council on Aging to improve the way they approached advertising. Because each business has to complete an initial application, I suggested that they insert a section into their form including information about advertising and provide a way to indicate their interest in advertising. My goal is that this will provide a more efficient way to contact community partners and will allow community organizations to indicate their interest in advertising from the start. I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with this non-profit organization that is passionate about serving the elderly population. I hope that my efforts have helped the Council on Aging in their mission to provide resources for seniors.

Paige Pernell


May 2014

Non-Profit Communication
Developing a strategic communication plan for CASA

For my Senior PR class project, I strove to work with a non-profit that needed some direction for internal and external communication. My final project involved analyzing the company for problems or opportunities, and then working to create a strategic communication plan that can be used by the company. I researched, created timelines and budgets, as well as gave a layout to implement the plan. I ended up working with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). They are a non-profit organization that conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of children in family court cases.

Kara Philpot

Public Relations

May 2013

Kara Philpot
Global Economic Development
Looking at the numerous social justice issues plaguing the global community and providing a method of reducing them drastically across the board

My senior research project looks at the numerous social justice issues plaguing the global community and provides a method of reducing them drastically across the board.  The proposal will accomplish this by establishing a highly tailored and specifically detailed economic model that will be implemented at the heart of the most neglected regions of the planet, such as South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.  With the implementation of this economic model, jobs will be created and infrastructure will be developed.  With jobs comes a steady income.  With a steady income comes access to food, which removes the incentive of selling children into slavery and thus reduces the supply of children to traffic.  With infrastructure comes roads and clean water.  With roads comes access to food, resources, medicine, and the basis for an economy to be structured around.  With clean water comes a reduction of disease.  The ideas in my research project represent an utter and complete rejection of the notion that there will always be suffering and we must simply deal with it.  Justice is not an abstract and intangible dream; it can be achieved in a lasting and universal form.  Human trafficking, poverty, genocide, and every other form of injustice can not only be hampered, but sought out, drug into the light, and eradicated.  Such a goal is monolithic in scope and colossal in difficulty.  But such observations are mere distractions.  For this goal to be achieved, the global community and its many citizens must collectively labor towards the realization of a more perfect future.  What the project entails is the blueprint for erecting a stable framework for the protection of human rights in the most vulnerable parts of the global community. 

Eric Heath
Law, Justice, & Society
May 2012


Communication Strategies
Strategic Communication Campaign for Tokens

Tokens is a non-profit organization that provides, entertainment that
incorporates theological discussion, humor, music and interviews.
Tokens produces an opportunity for people within the community to
enjoy theological discussion, live music and a variety of cultural
analysis in the form of good conversation like an old time radio show.
 It is produced entirely by volunteers.  Each show features different
musical artists and occasional authors or other community figures for
interviews.   I worked with Tokens to develop a communication strategy
plan that helped Tokens to reach a new demographic of people. Our goal
was to create an increased attendance and awareness rate for the young
adult and young professional population in Nashville. I used a
nine-step process that identifies the company, situation, goals,
objectives, tactics to be used, budget, proactive strategies and
several other communication strategies to reach the specified public.

Amy Estepp
Public Relations
May 2012


Public Relations for a Non-Profit
Assisting NashvilleCARES with marketing strategies
I worked with Nashville Cares, an HIV/AIDS organization and developed a strategic communication plan for them to help in their marketing strategies. This plan included objective and goal setting, analyzing their key publics, etc. I also redesigned several logos for them and wrote a press release for an upcoming testing event they are sponsoring. This project was good for me to have a better understanding of how an organization operates and gave me "real world" experience that will be beneficial as I enter the next stage of my life.
Leah Raich
Public Relations
May 2012
Strategic Communication to Gain Support
Helping ThriftSmart to develop a strategic communication plan for their donors
For my capstone project, I worked with the non-profit thrift store, ThriftSmart to develop a strategic communication plan for their donors. is a thrift store that sells a large variety of donated items and uses 100% of the store’s profit as donated revenue for several local charities. Because of low in-store shopping rates among publics who donate items to ThriftSmart, ThriftSmart needed a strategic communication plan to generate stronger knowledge of the organization, increase item donation and expand their customer base. Through this project I was able to present ThriftSmart with a plan, which included key messages, message sources, ways to communicate the message and pieces I completed that solidified the message to the donors.
Madalyn Chaffin
Public Communication and Leadership
May 2012