Senior Capstones and Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

The Capstone is intended to summarize and synthesize the outcomes of the Drake experience. The Thesis is intended as the culmination of personal research.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 10
  • Item
    Bulldog Mural
    (Drake University, 2018) Bald, Elizabeth; Bowie, Carissa; Teufert, Christina; Jiel, Kual; Brautigam, Ryan; Cates, Devin; Bischel, Taylor
  • Item
    Des Moines Disconnected: Uniting the Metro Through Public Transportation Options
    (Drake University, 2014) Anderson, Sarah; Hadzisulejmanovic, Igor; Hoffmann, Annie; Rivera, Derma; Yashack, Ryan; Yin, Yue (Iris)
    Des Moines has become a city disconnected from its metropolitan suburbs. As the metro area has expanded, the growth has been limited primarily to the suburbs. While the downtown has experienced an “urban renaissance” in the past decade, citizens continue to report that they don’t go downtown because of parking issues and the fact that they can do or buy the same things more conveniently in their own suburb. This paper examines the history and economic conditions that led to this problem and seeks to propose a long-term option to address it: expanding the public transportation system and modifying it to incorporate the benefits of a hub-and-spoke model. In the course of this analysis, the authors conducted a survey of Des Moines and suburban residents to determine their attitudes regarding downtown and public transportation options. They also compared Des Moines to several other Midwestern cities with more mature transportation systems. The proposed changes to the system include designating High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on metro interstate highways and upgrades to the bus system that could be incorporated into the current Des Moines Area Regional Transportation (DART) authority’s long-term plan, DART Forward 2035. In addition, the team suggests that the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization should reassess the feasibility of a light rail system and/or an electric streetcar system.
  • Item
    Left Behind: An Evaluation of Mental Health Programming in Iowa
    (Drake University, 2014) Jarnagin, Erica; McKinney, Zacharie; Scavo, Joseph; Scott, Aaron
    The State of Iowa has made momentous changes to programing for individuals with mental health needs. Despite all of the changes to date, there is still significant room for improvement, especially in areas of funding and promoting psychiatrists to come to rural areas. Polk County has implemented jail diversion and crisis programing to reduce the recidivism rate of individuals with chronic mental health needs. A pilot mental health court has been established in Black Hawk County, but lacks support from crisis programing and jail diversion like that offered by Polk County. In order for a county to have successful mental health programing, a combination of crisis programing, jail diversion, mental health court and home based supports must work in tandem. Despite the efforts of State and Federal legislation, no programing can be successful if it is not properly funded through sustainable and expandable sources. Currently providers are not able to receive adequate reimbursement for the services they provide, creating a shortfall of available services. The true costs of the system are currently being shadowed by ineffective services, leading to incarceration and/or hospitalization of clients. Until a true holistic approach is adopted, marrying services and funding, individuals with mental health concerns will continue to be left behind.
  • Item
    Shining Light on Solar Energy Prospects in Iowa: Decorah & The Path to Iowa's Energy Future
    (Drake University, 2014) Keane, John; Khan, Sadia; Krieg, Jamie; Noonan, Daniel; Oster, Jordan
    The sun is our most impressive source of energy. More than one million times the earth’s size, every year the sun provides ten times more energy than is stored in all the world’s reserves of coal and oil. The amount and intensity of sunlight varies by location, climate conditions, as well as daily and seasonal trends. Although southern states such as Arizona, California, and New Mexico receive the most sunlight during the year, Iowa ranks among the top third in the United States in the technical potential for solar energy production. Iowa’s 16th-place ranking puts it ahead of many states to the south including Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Iowa’s rooftop solar energy potential alone could meet close to 20% of Iowa’s annual electric needs under optimal conditions. The decentralized approach to electricity generation through the creation of small-scale and distributed energy facilities has done wonders for solar proliferation in the state of Iowa as well as had a positive impact on the state’s economic development. Solar energy in Iowa now powers farms, businesses, universities, utilities, communities, and industries, as well as vehicles, and homes in the state. The purpose of this study is to analyze Iowa’s current solar energy blueprint by focusing on current practices, financial aspects, recent policy, and potential limitations. At the heart of this study is the examination of the northeast Iowa community of Decorah where renewable practices are epitomized with more than 50 solar projects found in a town of only 8,000 people. This study will correlate current policy and financial considerations to the case study of Decorah in order to help build a model for solar proliferation in the state of Iowa. It will show that although there may not be a perfect model for solar proliferation for each community in Iowa, there are many recommendations to help the process, including reauthorizing the state solar energy tax credit, cities creating community gardens, and electric utilities’ re-framing of the term “distributed generation” for becoming a comprehensible term which would boost understanding and awareness for potential ratepayers.
  • Item
    The Lost Ordinance: Creating a Viable Enforcement Plan for Apartment Recycling in the City of Des Moines
    (Drake University, 2014) Akright, Danny; Alliss, Justin; Douglas, Jodi; Goodin, Julia; Hines, Chris