Law Students Support Tennessee Justice Center

Left to right: Franklin Graves (3L), Callie Hinson (3L), Nate Drake (3L), TN Justice Center Executive Director Michele Johnson, Doug Russo (3L), and Molly Shehan (3L) (Photo credit: Chris Steer Photography)

Pictured left to right are Franklin Graves, Callie Hinson, Nate Drake, Michele Johnson, Doug Russo and Molly Shehan. (Photo credit: Chris Steer Photography)

The College of Law’s Student Bar Association presented $5,000 to the Tennessee Justice Center during its Second Annual Barristers’ Ball on April 12. Student Bar Association President Nate Drake presented the check to center’s Executive Director Michele Johnson. The donation will support the center’s pro bono events and legal internships for law students.


Treybig Presents at Music Education Association Conference

Treybig (left) with senior music education major Melissa Meyers at the conference.

Carolyn Treybig (left) with senior music education major Melissa Meyers at the conference.

On April 11, Dr. Carolyn Treybig, of the Belmont University School of Music, presented a clinic session at the Tennessee Music Education Association conference held from April 9 to 12 in Memphis, Tenn. In her clinic session, entitled “Adapting Flute Tone techniques to Other Woodwinds,” Treybig explored and explained the methods and techniques of French flute pedagogue Marcel Moyse and adapted his exercises from De La Sonorite into studies to help develop tone, intonation, phrasing and vibrato on other woodwind instruments, including oboe, clarinet, saxophone and bassoon.



Nursing Students, Faculty Support March of Dimes

 Nursing students pictured left to right are Tiffany Jenkins, Erin Pettepher, Patrick Haltom, Emily Graehler and Elaine Seneff.

Nursing students pictured left to right are Tiffany Jenkins, Erin Pettepher, Patrick Haltom, Emily Graehler and Elaine Seneff.

Belmont School of Nursing students and faculty participated in the March of Dimes March for Babies on April 13 at LP Field. The walk raises awareness and funding for the March of Dimes work to support community programs that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. The March of Dimes  also funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies. The March for Babies has been going since 1970 and raised over $2 billion.

Nine nursing students and two faculty members participated in the walk. The students were led by senior Patrick Haltom and were sponsored by Assistant Professor of Nursing Angela Lane and Instructor of Nursing Barb Padovich. The Belmont Nursing team raised $1,160 for March of Dimes.

Slay Carr President at Music Educators Conference

imagesAssociate Professor Cheryl Slay Carr presented “What’s Wrong With Making Music for…Money? Cultural and Business Implications of the Jazz ‘Purist’ vs. The Perception of the ‘Sellout’ in the Business of Jazz” at the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association Annual Summit during the week of March 21.

Asian Studies Student Presents at Conference


ryan_pinoRyan Pino, a Belmont senior majoring in Asian Studies and minoring in Chinese and Comparative Philosophy, recently participated in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Ninth Annual Philosophy Conference and Inaugural Ethics Center Convocation. This international event took place from March 27 to 29 and featured undergraduates, graduate students and professors from various countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and China. The theme of the conference was “Living Ethically in the Global World,” and the keynote address, which was given by renowned scholar of Chinese philosophy Dr. Roger Ames, was titled “Confucian Role Ethics.”

Each conference participant was invited to give a 15-minute presentation on an original paper addressing the issue of living ethically in the modern, globalized world. Ryan presented a paper titled “Confucian Revivalism in Contemporary Chinese Society and Education.” This paper discussed the ramifications Confucianism’s recent revival in Mainland China for contemporary Chinese society and education, as well as for the rest of the world. Ryan argued that a reevaluation of ancient Confucian teachings to fit contemporary realities has had a profound influence on China and that a Confucian perspective should be part of the global dialogue on ethics.

Biology Students Present at Association of Southeastern Biologists Meeting

Biology department faculty members Dr. Nick Ragsdale, Dr. Jennifer Thomas, Dr. Darlene Panvini and Dr. Chris Barton and communications studies department faculty member Dr. Jimmy Davis, along with 17 biology undergraduate research students, attended the 2014 Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) Meeting on April 2 through 5 in Spartanburg, S.C.  ASB strives to provide an atmosphere that is collaborative, collegial and open to all disciplines. They welcome scholarly and applied work from the many diverse disciplines of the biological sciences. Subject areas include, but are not limited to, floristic and plant systematics, entomology, invertebrate zoology, community and population ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, microbiology, genetics, cell and molecular biology as well as scientific pedagogy.

ASB2014_GroupThere were over 400 posters and presentations at the meeting by undergraduate and graduate students from Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee and other Southeastern states. Belmont students presented posters and talks at the meeting, attended presentations, symposiums and workshops. They also had the opportunity to see and discuss research with students from many universities in the Southeast area. Haley Ellison received honorable mention in Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society paper presentations and John Gossen received third place in the poster presentations.

Giordano Appointed Consulting Editor of College Teaching Journal

pete_giordanoCollege Teaching appointed Dr. Pete Giordano, professor of psychological science as a consulting editor to its journal. According to the journal’s website, College Teaching “publishes peer-reviewed articles on how instructors across all academic disciplines can improve student learning. Each issue includes practical ideas and new strategies for successful teaching. Topics may range from research on teaching methods, educational technologies, classroom management, and assessment and grading, to faculty development, course design and interdisciplinary teaching.”

Neurobiology Class Visits Vanderbilt Primate Lab

neurobiology_classDr. Lori McGrew, associate professor of biology, recently had her neurobiology class visit a nonhuman primate lab at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Jeff Schall, a neuroscientist who uses macaque monkeys to study brain regions involved in controlling eye movements, provided the class with a tour of the facilities and the opportunity to watch some of the monkeys performing their visual discrimination tasks.  The group also discussed important ethical considerations of working with primates as well as the sort of information that can only be obtained by using primates or humans.  Michelle Howell-Young, a Belmont alumna, is Schall’s lab manager and works extensively with the macaques. 

Sport Administration Program Hosts 10th Annual Southern Sport Management Conference

Southern Sport Management ConferenceThe Master of Sport Administration program hosted the 10th Southern Sport Management Conference at Bridgestone Arena on March 26 through 28. The conference was the first in the organization’s history to be held outside of its founding institution’s campus at Troy University. There were two primary audiences for this conference: the emerging scholar and the future sport practitioner. It is a premier educational event that aims to provide sport management scholars, practitioners, and students with current knowledge on industry trends and issues via academic and professional presentations. Sport Management faculty Dr. Amy Baker, Dr. Ted Peetz and Dr. Stephen Shin, along with Belmont Master of Sport Administration students, helped to organize and run the three-day event that included presentations from students, practitioners and academics from across the Southeast. 

Phil and MattDuring the conference, Phil Mosley and Matt Jones, students in the Sport Administration Program, presented research on March 26. The students presentation was entitled “The CrossFit Influence: Persuasion Strategies in the Fitness Industry,” which examined the six basic tendencies of human behavior as outlined by Robert Cialdini’s weapons of influence and how CrossFit gyms use these influencers in their marketing strategies.

Sport Administration Students Present at Graduate Education Day

Matt and JustinSport Administration students Matthew Cox and Justin McQuistan represented Belmont University as part of Graduate Education Week on March 26 at the Legislative Plaza. They displayed their research, which was an extension of a study conducted by The Wall Street Journal that investigated major college football teams on two axes: projected athletic success and how shameful their activities have been off the field. The students modified this report to examine men’s college basketball programs and explore the concepts of fame and shame within intercollegiate athletics. The Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools hosted Graduate Education Week to celebrate graduate research in Tennessee.

Mathematical Association of America President Visits Belmont

Su with MAA officersDr. Francis Su, president-elect of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, was on campus April 7 to speak on “Grace in Learning and Teaching” in the University’s chapel service. Due to many requests for the text of this talk, Su created a blog on this topic.  His Math Fun Facts website receives a million hits each year. While  Su was at Belmont, he also met informally with Mathematics and Computer Science faculty and student members of the Belmont MAA student chapter.

Established in 1915, the Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Members include university, college and high school teachers, graduate and undergraduate students, pure and applied mathematicians, computer scientists, statisticians, and many others in academia, government, business and industry.

Students STAND Against Human Trafficking

STAND-9-LBelmont University hosted Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker on campus April 9 as he stood with students against human trafficking and spoke about issues surrounding its 29.8 million victims as well as how he became involved with the International Justice Mission. Belmont students began a 24-hour stand Tuesday evening and continued Wednesday with an awareness event near the Bell Tower with stations set up to make STAND for Freedom signs, sign a petition and educate their peers on issues regarding human trafficking.

Buckner Appointed to Haslam’s State Board of Nursing


Belmont Associate Dean of Nursing Dr. Martha Buckner has been appointed to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s State Board of Nursing.

Buckner serves as executive director of Partners in Nursing at Belmont University and has a wide range of clinical experience with adult post-operative and nutrition support patients. She also has teaching experience in nursing pharmacology, nutrition and adult health.

“We appreciate Gov. Haslam’s recognition of Dr. Buckner’s expertise and her steadfast commitment to the highest professional nursing standards. I know she will work tirelessly to promote and protect the health of Tennesseans,” said Belmont Dean of College of Health Sciences and Nursing Cathy Taylor.

Established in 1911 by the Tennessee Legislature, the Board of Nursing’s mission is to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of Tennesseans by requiring that all who practice nursing within this state are qualified and licensed to practice. The board consists of 11 members appointed by the governor for four-year terms, and responsibilities center around three broad functions: licensure, education and practice.

Belmont’s Alpha Chi Chapter Celebrates Newest Inductees

Belmont inducted new members last week into its chapter of Alpha Chi, which is the highest academic honor awarded by Belmont University. Its requirements are to be in the top 10 percent academically of all students, and to be of junior or senior class rank.  Alpha Chi members are nominated by the faculty and must have “outstanding moral character” and display leadership, integrity and service.  Belmont University is the Eta Chapter of Alpha Chi in Region III.  Alpha Chi was founded in 1922 and has chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities in 45 states.  Alpha Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.  The name of Alpha Chi derives from the initial letters of the Greek words meaning “Truth” and “Character.”

Associate Professor of Math Dr. Sarah Ann Fleming, who co-sponsors the Belmont chapter with Assistant Professor of English Dr. Caresse John, said, “Each semester Belmont University inducts around 60students in the TN Eta Chapter of Alpha Chi. Our induction ceremony is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of these talented students. Each inductee chooses a faculty sponsor who has been particularly influential to them during their time at Belmont to ‘pin’ them during the ceremony. Professors, families and friends honor the students being inducted into our group. Our members are the top students in all majors across the university.  It is truly an honor to be invited to join this honor society.”

Belmont’s Chapter of Alpha Chi sponsors campus events related to scholarship and service, provides leadership opportunities, attends the Alpha Chi conventions and encourages members to apply for the national scholarships awarded each year.  More information is available at

Spring 2014 Belmont Alpha Chi Inductees included:

Alessandra Alegre In Absentia

Shelby Blalock Sponsor – Nathan Adam

Jesse Bobick Sponsor – Deen Entsminger

Morgan Bryant Sponsor – Joyce Crowell

Kolton Bullard Sponsor – John Gonas

Mallory Bulkley Sponsor – Cheryl Slay

Sarah Burnette Sponsor –

Jared Conrad Sponsor – Larry Wacholtz

Justin Cutler Sponsor – Sehyun Yoo

Corbin Davidson In Absentia

Lauren Dekleva Sponsor – Deen Entsminger

Amy Draper In Absentia

Sofia El Maliki Sponsor – Kim Daus

Kristina Escue In Absentia

Stephen Fralick Sponsor – Denise Scott

Samuel Frawley Sponsor – Andrew Johnston

Kurtis Gibson In Absentia

Alison Gorrie Sponsor – Nancy Allen

Aaron Gosnell Sponsor – Alex Graham

Aubrie Grimes Sponsor – Jocelyn Fisher

William Griswold In Absentia

Kelsey Hawkins Sponsor – Sally Barton-Arwood

Jane Hefferan In Absentia

Summer Herzfeldt Sponsor – Henry Smiley

Seth Hewson Sponsor – Bonnie Smith Whitehouse

Abbey Hull Sponsor – Annette Sisson

Juliana Ireland In Absentia

Heidi Jallouk Sponsor – Beverley Alleyne

Adam James Sponsor – Rachel Rigsby

Peter Johnson Sponsor – Cheryl Slay

Jasmine Johnson Sponsor – Beverley Alleyne

James Kelley Sponsor – Steve Guthrie

Joseph Kenkel Sponsor – Pete Giordano

Tedi Knaak Sponsor – Jonathan Thorndike

Perry Lines Sponsor – Steve Guthrie

Sydney Mathieu Sponsor – Jonathan Thorndike

Madison McIntyre Sponsor – Madeline Bridges

Ian Miller Sponsor – Jeff Cornwall

Jared Mitchell Sponsor – Sandra Dudley

Casey Mueller Sponsor – Del DeVries

Cailey Norris Sponsor – Regine Schwarzmeier

Victoria Perry Sponsor – Jon Roebuck

Lisa Peterson Sponsor – Marieta Velikova

Mary Ritchea Sponsor – Deen Entsminger

Skyler Schmanski In Absentia

Natalie Seale In Absentia

Bethany Seifert Sponsor – Beverley Alleyne

Tessa Shupe Sponsor – Kim Daus

Samantha Sieks Sponsor – Beverley Alleyne

Mitchell Steele In Absentia

Sarah Terning Sponsor – Robert Gregg

Alexandria Threet Sponsor – Stephanie Adlington

Michelle Walker Sponsor – Suzanne Lindsey

Savannah Weeks Sponsor – Jocelyn Fisher

Miranda West Sponsor – Glenn Acree

Mallory White Sponsor – Daniel Biles

Ashley Wilson Sponsor – Mark Maxwell

Kelsey Wise Sponsor – Jonathan Thorndike

Nine Students Present Research at National Alpha Chi Convention

AX convention 2014In March, nine students from Belmont University presented their research at the Alpha Chi National Honor Society Convention at the Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. Faculty advisor Dr. Sarah Ann Fleming (Mathematics) also attended the convention.  The annual Alpha Chi convention is organized around student presentations by juniors and seniors from their respective chapters.

Membership in Alpha Chi is the highest academic honor awarded by Belmont University.  Its members are invited based on their academic standing in the top 10 percent of the junior and senior classes within any academic major.  Belmont has had an active chapter of Alpha Chi for over 25 years. Dr. Fleming and Dr. Caresse John are the current Belmont Alpha Chi faculty sponsors.

Belmont student presentations at the national convention:

  • In the Art section, Sam Frawley presented his work on “North Dakota Parks and Recreation Rebranding.”
  • In the Political Science section, John Thomas (J. T.) Faircloth presented “Race and Rhetoric: How Obama’s 2008 Race Speech Sought to Build a ‘More Perfect Union.’”
  •  In Music, Jesse Peck presented his composition “Tunnel Tonicization.”
  • In World History, Christy Vitkus discussed “Lithuania: The Road to Freedom and Independence.”
  • In the Sociology section, Emily Snyder presented “Things that I Learned from My Mother: The Impact of Family Narratives on Resilience.”
  • Also in the Sociology section, Miranda West presented her work on “Exploiting the Homeless.”
  • In the Psychology section, Savannah Ladage and Elizabeth Wilson presented their research on “The Effect of Positive Training on Attention to Negative Stimuli in Anxious Individuals.”
  • In the Nutrition section, Sofia Elmaliki discussed “Oh, Sugar. Oh, Sweet, Sweet Drug.”

Murray Presents Papers at Conference

ASECS Doody PanelDr. Douglas Murray, professor of English, presented two papers at the American Society for 18th-Century Studies in Williamsburg, Va. on March 22. The first paper was entitled “Truths Universally Acknowledged?:  Jane Austen in the Gen Ed Curriculum,” and the second paper was entitled “‘Feast of Reason and Flow of Soul’:  Hospitality in the Life and Work of Margaret Doody.”

English Graduate Students Present Papers

Pictured from left to right are Hodge, Curtis, Kelly and Ayres-Miranda.

Pictured from left to right are Hodge, Curtis, Kelly and Ayres-Miranda.

Three current Belmont English students and one recent graduate of the master’s program had papers accepted at the 109th Meeting of the Tennessee Philological Association on Feb. 20 through 22 at Lipscomb University. Dana Perry, a December Master of Arts alumna, delivered a paper called “Shattering the Myth: Lorraine Hansberry’s The Drinking Gourd.” Cathy Kelly presented “Nabokov, O’Neill, and the Pathos of Place.” Will Hodge presented “REMYTHX: Adaptation as Remix in Eugene O’Neill’s Desire under the Elms and Mourning Becomes Electra.” Misty Ayres-Miranda presented “Electra’s Release in Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra.” Dr. David Curtis, professor of English and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, moderated the session and presented another paper at the conference.


Faculty Present at Conference on College Teaching and Learning

Longard_Lunsford_WhitehouseDr. Shelby Longard of Sociology, Lauren Lunsford of Education and Bonnie Smith Whitehouse of English presented papers at the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Their presentation was entitled “Exploring the Reading Motivation of Bridges Students During Their First-Year Experience.” The conference was held in Ponte Vedre, Fla. on March 26.

English Faculty Present at Conference on College Composition, Communication

Blomeley_Hamilton_LovvornOn March 20, three Belmont Department of English faculty presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication held in Indianapolis, Ind.  Dr. Sarah Blomeley and Dr. Amy Hodges Hamilton presented together on a panel entitled “Open(ing) Wounds: Accessing Trauma in the Classroom and Community.”  Blomeley’s talk was titled “In Loving Memory: Public Grief and the Future of Mourning in America,” and Hodges Hamilton’s talk was titled, “When Access to the Personal Becomes Pedagogical: Childhood Cancer and the Composition Classroom.”  In addition, Dr. Jason Lovvorn gave a talk called, “Open Sourcing the College Composition Teacher: Using MOOCs for Professional Development and Pedagogical Improvement.”

Niedzwiecki Receives Evolutionary Biology Education, Outreach Grant

john_niedzwieckiThe Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) awarded Associate Professor of Biology John Niedzwiecki with an Education and Outreach Grant. The grant is provided for  Local and Regional Outreach Promoting the Understanding of Evolutionary Biology. Niedzwiecki also received an SSE grant in 2009. The successful grant proposal was developed with the help of Dr. Lauren Lunsford in Education, Dr. Noel Boyle in Philosophy and Drs. Judy Skeen and Mark McEntire in the School of Religion. The grant was matched by the Middle Tennessee STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Innovation Hub. The STEM Hub provides a valuable exchange network of ideas and resources for K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and network partners to serve the STEM needs of Middle Tennessee.

The grant, titled “Teaching Through Touchy Topics, Not Around Them: Evolution, Religion, and Evolving Standards for Teaching,” will fund a workshop hosted by Belmont biology, religion, education and philosophy faculty. This free workshop will help K-12 Science teachers in Middle Tennessee teach this keystone science concept correctly within the preview of science using the latest findings in biology and pedagogy but with sensitivity to and appreciation of the different religious perspectives of their students, including the incorporation of information and evidence of the material world into their spiritual worldview. Evolution is the foundational theory of the science of biology. Understanding evolution and natural selection is essential to understanding all aspects of biology, and to make connections across biology. The day-long workshop will be held on April 26 at Belmont University.

Belmont Faculty, Staff Present at Gulf South Summit Conference

Gulf South Summitt Pic

Pictured from left to right are McAbee, Holt, Lovvorn and Gustke.

Four Belmont faculty members delivered a presentation entitled “Transformational Community Partnerships: Examining the Components of a Reciprocal Relationship” at the Gulf South Summit On Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in Higher Education held March 26 through 28 at Auburn University. Dr. Linda Holt, Dr. Jason Lovvorn and Dr. Charmion Gustke of the English Department along with Dr. Donovan McAbee of the School of Religion presented on the theory and practice of successful, service-learning partnerships, including ideas about reciprocity, trust and assessment.

Director of Service-Learning Tim Stewart, served on this year’s Executive Committee for the conference. Stewart served as co-chairman of the Evaluation sub-committee and also co-presented “Service-Learning Administration 101” at a pre-conference workshop with other service-learning directors from the College of Coastal Georgia, Birmingham-Southern College and the University of Georgia.

Psychology Faculty, Students Present at Psychological Association Meeting

EPA group 2014Psychological Science faculty and students attended the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in Boston, Mass. on March 13 through 16. Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) was founded in 1896 and is the oldest of the regional Psychological Associations in the United States. Its sole purpose is to advance the science and profession of psychology through the dissemination of professional information about the field. Those attending were, pictured left to right, Dr. Lonnie Yandell, Savannah Ladage, Antario Jones, Caroline Baumgartner, Breanna Wood, Monica Roufael, Savannah Johnson, Jasmine Jarupat, Jade Tucker, Stephanie Seeley, Shelby Wall, Melanie Chinsoon, Dr. Pete Giordano and Dr. Linda Jones.

For the second year in a row, a Belmont student won a research award for research presented at the conference. Jasmine Jarupat’s psychology senior capstone study titled “Prosocial Behavior and Just World Belief Predicted by Mortality Salience and Religiosity,” supervised by Shen-Miller and Giordano, received the sixth place award out of 100 competitors. The award was given in a graduate student competition, and Jarupat’s poster was inadvertently considered even though she is an undergraduate. The award citation indicated to her that “you have been recognized for your excellence in presentation, research methodology and research idea,” she said. (more…)

Smith Presents Paper

Clancy_SmithClancy Smith, instructor of philosophy, presented a paper on March 21 entitled “Being-Out-of-Step: Peirce, Dubois, and Yancy on Otherness and the Socio-political Dimension of ‘Feeling’” at the American Comparative Literature Association’s annual conference at New York University in Manhattan.

Bennett Honored with Journalism Achiever Award

Bennett_NBJC_AwardDr. Sybril Bennett, professor of journalism, was one of two recipients of the 2014 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Achiever Award at the Region Three conference held in Charleston, S.C. She was recognized with Don Griffin, retired consumer reporter from Action 9 in Charlotte, N.C. She has been a member of NABJ as long as she has been a journalist, celebrating 25 years this year.

Bennett was also on The Black Beat: Making Connections and Telling Our Stories panel.


Belmont Seniors Present at Computing Sciences Conference

image ­ trask_gilmore

Pictured are Andrew Trask, left, and David Gilmore, right.

Belmont seniors Andrew Trask and David Gilmore had their papers accepted independently to the 12th Annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Mid-South Conference. They presented their papers at The LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn. on April 5. CCSC Mid-South conference seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of information on computing and computing education.

Trask graduates in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Bachelor of Science in Applied Discrete Mathematics. His paper, “Distributing a Fully Connected Neural Network: A Novel Approach,” describes a novel approach to distributing artificial neural networks, which reduces their evaluation time by an order of magnitude.

Gilmore graduates in May with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. His paper, “Online-analytical processing: RDBMS vs. Hadoop,” describes a way to speed up a common business query task from seven hours to 12 minutes.

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