‘Belmont and Beyond’ Program Kicks Off with Raise the Roof Founder

David SsebulimeThe Belmont and Beyond Kickoff event Monday offered an inspirational program and speaker, David Ssebulime, a native of Uganda and the ninth of 14 children. Ssebulime’s childhood was deeply shaped by Sunday school and playing drums in his father’s church. When his father passed away, he was taken to a village orphanage, and at the age of 9, he joined the African Children’s Choir and toured Europe and North America. Feeling called to service and Christian ministry, Ssebulime dedicated his life to the many African orphaned and at-risk children. He is the founder and development director of Raise the Roof, Inc., a non-profit organization whose goal is to establish, outfit and resource permanent village schools that will educate and nurture leaders to shape Africa and the world.

During Monday’s event, Ssebulime encouraged students to ask themselves three questions: Which path do I take and where is my heart?; Is this something I really care about, and I’m passionate about?; and Is it big enough that I can invite others to help me? A graduate of Vanderbilt University Divinity School, he currently serves as director of missions and outreach at Brentwood United Methodist Church. Monday’s program was sponsored by the Office of Career and Professional Development and the Belmont and Beyond Advisory Board in conjunction with the campus theme, “Living in a Global Community.”

‘Massey Machine’ Finishes Second in Dragon Boat Festival

Massey Dragonboat Team“The Massey Machine,” a team comprised of Belmont Massey Graduate School of Business alumni and current students, raced on the Cumberland River this past Saturday as one of 44 boats in the Eighth Annual Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival.  The event is sponsored by The Cumberland River Pact, which exists to help restore and clean-up the river.

Saturday’s event was a fundraiser with both corporate and nonprofit teams participating from as far south as Chattanooga and north up to Bowling Green.  The Massey team  made it to the Championship A bracket and finished 2nd overall. This marks the sixth year that Massey has fielded a team in the race.

Williamson Opens New Art Exhibit at Nashville Airport

Todd WilliamsonTodd Williamson, class of 1988, will be doing a large installation at the Nashville Airport Ticketing Lobby that will remain up for the better part of a year.  The project is part of a juried exhibition Williamson won.  The opening artists’ reception will be September 23 at the airport, and the day before the reception, Sept. 22, Williamson will be speaking to Belmont art students about managing an arts business, developing contacts, creating public art and more. Samples of Williamson’s work can be seen at www.ToddWilliamson.com..

Alumnus Starts T-Shirt Line Based on Iconic Photos of Musicians

Alumnus Ross Riddle recently launched his own T-shirt line, based on music photographer William “PoPsie” Randolph’s work, which spanned more than 30 years from the 1940s through the ’70s. Riddle moved to New York after graduation to pursue his love of music and fashion and stumbled upon Popsie’s photos. After meeting the photographer’s son Mike, who manages his father’s collections and estate, Riddle was granted access to PoPsie’s archives which include authentic, raw portraits of iconic musicians. Riddle was inspired to match these images with high quality, ultra soft T-shirts using a unique printing technique.  The result is Rosser Riddle’s First Collection now available at Saks both in-store and online.

Faculty Contribute Article About Online Discussion Boards

This week Exploring the Effectiveness of Online Education in K-12 Environments was published by IGI Global. Drs. Lauren Lunsford (Education), Bonnie Smith Whitehouse (English) and Jason Lovvorn (English) contributed an article, “Online Discussion Boards in the Constructivist Classroom.”

Mathematics Major Receives Actuary Scholarship, Job Offer

Annie BrunelleSenior mathematics major Annie Brunelle, Mathematics major was recently awarded a $1,500 scholarship for this year by the Casualty Actuaries of the Southeast (CASE).  CASE offers two scholarships per year to college students in the southeastern states. The scholarship program’s mission is to encourage students who reside in a southeastern state to become future working members of the Casualty Actuarial Society. The actuarial profession is usually ranked in the top five of career choices.  Actuaries work in the insurance and financial sectors and specialize in analyzing the financial impact of risk and uncertainty.

Brunelle has completed the Actuarial Exam P/1, the first of a series of nine exams which are required for full status as an actuary. She also completed an internship this past summer at UNUM Group in Chattanooga, working as an actuary in the A&H VB Pricing Department. UNUM is ranked within Fortune 500′s top companies. Her work consisted of data analysis, model creation and prediction of policy persistency rates. She also worked under her manager, again using data analysis, to find key drivers of policy lapse trends. At the end of her internship, UNUM flew the actuarial interns to Portland, Maine, and after a grueling day of interviews with senior vice presidents, CEOs and influential company leaders, Brunelle was awarded a full-time position within their Actuarial Development Program (ADP). Her position as an actuary with UNUM will begin next June after she graduates from Belmont.

Belmont Recognized on the Top 100 Most Beautiful Colleges List

Belmont MansionBelmont University has been recognized at No. 61 on Best College Review’s 100 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America. Nominations for this list were selected based on inclusion in dozens of comparable “most beautiful college campuses” list articles and an informal survey of friends and colleagues both in and out of academia.

Picturesque natural features such as green spaces, bodies of water and arboretums were the key criteria, as was elegant architecture. Specific buildings and areas were then singled out for their outstanding looks. The article stated, “Aesthetically, perhaps the most glorious main campus building of all is still Belmont Mansion which earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Upon completion in 1853, this edifice was among the most opulent antebellum residences in the Southern U.S., and to this day it boasts lovely Greek revival and Italianate elements, with a pair of central columns instantly catching the eye. In its current role as a museum, Belmont Mansion remains a showpiece of the 75-acre campus. Also built in 1853, Belmont’s 105-foot Tower and Carillon is another historic highlight.”

Belmont Senior Selected as One of 20 ‘Women Who Make a Difference’

image001Belmont senior and musical theatre major, Alie B. Gorrie, was recently selected as one of 20 Women Who Make a Difference for 2014, an initiative of Birmingham magazine and Alabama Media Group to honor women who are making a difference in business, philanthropy, the arts and other areas. She will be recognized at a luncheon in Birmingham, Ala. on Oct. 22.

The list of honorees includes such luminaries as celebrities, CEOs, presidents and philanthropists. Gorrie is being recognized for founding Songs for Sight, a nonprofit organization that benefits teens with low vision, a challenge she has faced herself since birth.

As a teenager growing up with limited vision, Gorrie was thrilled to learn that with the proper training and technology, driving would be a possibility for her. Her excitement for the promise of future independence was dampened by the thought that many other teens with low vision could not afford these resources. At age 16, she founded Songs for Sight, combining her music industry connections with her passion for helping others. Since the, the organization has raised more $840,000 for the purpose of raising awareness and providing equipment and vision rehabilitation services for her fellow teens and young adults.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Gorrie will be playing the role of Ado Annie in the Musical Theatre Departments’s fall production of “Oklahoma.”




International Organization Cites Cannonier’s Work

Cannonier-colinThe United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recently released a report that cites “Empowering Women Through Education: Evidence from Sierra Leone,” the work of Belmont Assistant Professor of Economics Colin Cannonier and colleague Naci Mocan. The report is titled “Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All,” and their work was highlighted in the report’s third chapter, Schooling Can Save the Planet: Higher levels of education lead to more concern for the environment.

Cannonier and Mocan issued their working paper through the National Bureau of Economic Research in April 2012. NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes. They have not been peer-reviewed or been subject to the review by the NBER Board of Directors that accompanies official NBER publications. In their paper, Mocan and Cannonier used data from Sierra Leone “where a substantial education program provided increased access to education for primary-school age children but did not benefit children who were older.” They found that the program has increased educational attainment and that an increase in education has changed women’s preferences and had an impact on their attitudes toward matters that impact women’s health and violence against women.

Yeo Presents at Humanities Summer Institute

Dr. Jayme Yeo, assistant professor of English, participated in the 2014 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, Problems in the Study of Religion, hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from July 7-25. Designed to “introduce scholars . . . to the enormously productive re-thinking of the idea of ‘religion’ that has happened in recent years,” the institute hosted three visiting scholars and featured daily discussions on research and pedagogy. While there, Yeo presented in a round-table discussion on insider/outsider perspectives in the study of religion.

Mathematics Major Passes First Actuarial Exam

white_mMallory White, a class of 2016 mathematics major, passed Actuarial Exam P/1 on her first try on May 24.  This is the first of a series of nine exams which are required for full status as an actuary.  Exam P/1 only has a 30 to 40 percent pass rate.  The actuarial profession is usually ranked in the top five of career choices.  Actuaries work in the insurance and financial sectors and specialize in analyzing the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Belmont University’s Belmont Actuarial Students Society is an organization for students interested in pursuing the Actuarial profession.  Dr. Daniel Biles is the faculty adviser for this student organization.

Smith Presents Paper Accepted for Publication

Clancy Smith, of the Department of Philosophy, presented a paper entitled “The Gospel of Greed: Ruminations on a Possible Peircean Critical Theory” at the 2014 Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress hosted by the University of Massachusetts on July 18.  The paper has subsequently been accepted for publication in an upcoming edition of the International Journal for Transformative Research.

Belmont Alumni Named to Best Lawyers in America 2015 List

Belmont alumni Tiffany Dunn and David Crow were among 20 Nashville attorneys named to the Best Lawyers in America 2015 list in the Entertainment Law—Music category. According to BestLawyers.com, there are only 117 lawyers in the nation to hold this distinction.

Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 36,000 leading attorneys cast almost 4.4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Adding to the list’s reliability, lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed in the rankings. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become a definitive guide to legal excellence.

Dunn, of Loeb & Loeb, and Crow, of Milom Horsnell Crow Rose Kelley PLC, both graduated from the music business program at Belmont University in 1996. 

Marsha Blackburn Attends Pipeline Copyright Presentation

PipelineAIMPCongressman Marsha Blackburn joined Belmont’s Pipeline Project students earlier this month in historical Columbia Studio A to hear about their summer research and suggestions regarding licensing reform.  Marc Driskill, general manager of Sea Gayle Music and chair of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), and Brad Peterson of 5/3 Bank engaged Belmont and the nine Pipeline students this summer to take a deeper dive into the current copyright conversations that will shape these students’ futures. The students shared their research of identifying common patterns between stakeholders and expressed what they thought to be the ‘three keys to licensing reform’:  efficiency, fair compensation and understanding.  The students will be submitting a full proposal to the copyright office regarding their recommendations in addition to presenting at an open forum to students and the music industry in late September.

Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business Dean Wesley Bulla said, “The opportunity that Marc Driskill, AIMP, Brad Peterson and 5/3 Bank provided for the Pipeline students is once in a lifetime.  Their generosity with time and expertise gave these students a new understanding of a complex landscape.  The students have shared that they are committed to continuing the conversation to help shape the future they’ll live in.”

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to see these brilliant young minds engage in this discussion,” said Driskill. “The current system is based on a music distribution model that has been dead for decades. New, relevant systems are on the horizon, and I believe the Nashville music community will be a significant influence to the way we will do business in the future, the future in which these students will no doubt be leaders.”

Additional attendees to the early August conversation included Troy Tomlinson, Sony ATV; Darcy Anderson, District Director for Rep. Blackburn; Vincent Candilora, ASCAP; Tim Fink, SESAC; Denise Nichols, The Primacy Firm; Kari Barnhart, 5/3 Bank; Trina Smith, AIMP; Beth Laird, Creative Nation; Kella Stephenson Farris, The Kella Stephenson Company; Jennifer Turnbow, NSAI; Michael Martin, ASCAP; Ree Guyer Buchanan, Wrensong Publishing; John Barker, Clearbox Rights; Wesley Bulla, Belmont University; and Jody Williams, BMI.

The Pipeline Project is a summer think tank dedicated to illuminating the problems currently facing the music industry and charged with exploring possible solutions through research, collaboration, and innovation.

Belmont Alumnae Named as Honorees at Inaugural Women in Music City Awards

Three Belmont alumnae were recently named as honorees at the Nashville Business Journal’s inaugural 2014 Women in Music City Awards taking place on Sept. 15 at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Tiffany Dunn of Loeb & Loeb LLP, Cindy Mabe of Universal Music Group and Erika Wollam Nichols of the Bluebird Café are among the women to be honored at the red-carpet awards dinner recognizing the women who are helping shape Nashville’s $9.8 billion music industry. Nominations were taken from the public, and the final selection of honorees were determined by a group of female music business executives. Dunn graduated from Belmont in 1996 with a music business degree. Mabe, another music business major, graduated in 1995. Nichols graduated in 1998 with a degree in philosophy.

Alumnus Named General Manager of Sinclair Broadcast Group in Birmingham

Belmont alumnus Mike Murphy has been named General Manager of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.’s WBMA (ABC), WABM (MyNet) and WTTO (CW) television stations in the Birmingham, Alabama market.  He will also be responsible for the oversight of WDBB (CW) which is a simulcast operated by Sinclair under a local marketing agreement. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Belmont. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is the largest and one of the most diversified television broadcasting companies with affiliations with all the major networks.  Sinclair’s television group will reach approximately 38.2% of U.S. television households after pending transactions.

Graduate Nursing Students Present at Pediatric Nursing Conference

Saunders, Kendall and Gray   with their poster.

Saunders, Kendall and Gray with their poster.

Belmont School of Nursing graduate students, Brandon Saunders, B.S.N, RN, Marjorie Gray B.S.N., RN, and Jake Kendall, B.S.N., RN, presented their poster titled “The Use of Antiemetics in Pediatric Patients with Gastroenteritis: A Literature Review” this summer at the 30th annual Pediatric Nursing Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. This scholarship opportunity was a product of their evidence-based practice project requirement for the Research Applications course taught by Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Carrie Harvey in the fall of 2013.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment for these graduate students and their faculty member. We are proud of their efforts to improve the care of pediatric patients and we look forward to all they will accomplish as advanced practice nurses,” said Associate Dean of Nursing Dr. Martha Buckner.

The School of Nursing provided financial support for the students’ endeavor and commitment to learning.

Bookstore Featured on Industry Website

bookstoreThe University Bookstore is featured in an article published Aug. 18 on Foreword Online, a website with ideas and industry news for collegiate retailers, for its dorm delivery service that puts textbooks in students rooms before they arrive on campus. Belmont has offered dorm-room delivery for seven year and donates $4 per bundle to University Ministries and $1 per bundle to the Office of Residence Life. Click here to read the article.

Occupational Therapy Students, Faculty Begin Year with Service

IMG_2325As part of the new student orientation on Monday, the School of Occupational Therapy had 57 students and faculty members involved in an afternoon of service at six different locations around the Nashville area. Service opportunities included shopping for refugee families with World Relief, sorting and organizing equipment for the Tennessee Disability Coalition, packaging newborn kits and prenatal vitamins at LiveBeyond, doing landscaping at Homeplace, making cards for Meals on Wheels through Fifty Forward and interacting with residents at Morningside Assisted Living Facility.  Through these service experiences, they got to know each other while learning about organizations around the Belmont community and being introduced to service, which is a key value of the University and a central theme in the occupational therapy curriculum design.

Murray Authors, Presents Research Article

murray_haskell_153x230Professor Haskell Murray, in the College of Business Administration and the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business, has authored “Social Enterprise Innovation: Delaware’s Public Benefit Corporation Law,” for publication in the Harvard Business Law Review.  The Harvard Business Law Review is a scholarly journal with an acceptance rate under 5 percent.  Only the Yale Journal on Regulation has a higher impact factor in the most recent rankings of all legal journals in the “Corporations and Associations” area.  Murray also presented the paper at the annual Academy of Legal Studies in Business conference in Seattle, Washington on Aug. 5.  

Overall Presents at Kenneth Burke Conference

Dr. Joel Overall, assistant professor of English, participated in a panel on Kenneth Burke and Image studies at the Triennial Kenneth Burke Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19. In his presentation titled “Reanimating Burke,” Overall examined and problematized the use of digital animation software in illuminating key theoretical ideas of Kenneth Burke. Overall also participated in a seminar titled “Kenneth Burke and the Digital Archive” with the goal of building the first digital archive within Burkean studies.

Geving Presents at Math Fest

kay gevingKay Geving, of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, presented “College Algebra:  Improving Student Performance using a Hybrid Approach” at Math Fest in Portland, Oregon on Aug. 7.

Hybrid classes utilize computer technology to help teach and reinforce algebra concepts.  In the spring of 2013, Geving conducted both hybrid and traditional college algebra courses using the same textbook, exams and grading criteria. Students in the experimental design actively participated, worked numerous problems and learned from their own mistakes during and after class.  Comparison of test scores, final exam scores, evaluation comments and other observations indicate that the hybrid format greatly improves performance and comprehension of otherwise troublesome concepts. Geving presented these findings and discussed how she transformed her approach to teaching this course.

The Mathematical Association of America’s MathFest is the largest annual summertime gathering of mathematicians. The mission of the MAA is to advance the mathematical sciences, especially at the collegiate level.

Biology Faculty Attend iPlant Genomics in Education Workshop

jackson,niedzwiecki,bartonOn Aug. 13-14, Drs. John Niedzwiecki, Roger Jackson and Chris Barton, of the Biology Department, attended the iPlant Bio Genomics in Education Workshop hosted at Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.  At the workshop they learned strategies for incorporating the latest genomic and bioinformatics technologies and methods for the undergraduate classroom. Genomics in Education focuses on DNA Subway, a website that introduces students to sophisticated bioinformatics though an easy-to-use interface. 

This free workshop empowers college faculty to integrate modern methods for genome analysis into courses and student research projects. All the resources presented in the workshop are produced by the iPlant Collaborative, a National Science Foundation-funded project to develop a computer infrastructure for plant research. Instruction, workshop materials and lunches are provided by NSF grant funding.

Alumna Tops Music Row Country Breakout Chart

dunnBelmont alumna and country music newcomer Clare Dunn (’11) recently became the highest charting independent female artist on the Music Row Country Breakout chart in 10 years. Her debut single, “Get Out,” sits at No. 15 on the Music Row chart. Over 80 percent of the Music Row panel supported the record, which has accumulated over 30,000 spins on the chart to date.  In addition, “Get Out” has reached No. 41 on Billboard Indicator and No. 43 on Aircheck Activator.

“I am so blown away and so honored. I want to thank everyone at radio for all of the support and belief in me. Thanks for getting this music out there to the people, and to all the peeps out there rockin’ with us, thank you so very, very much! Y’all are makin’ a farm girl’s dream come true, for that I can’t thank you enough,” Dunn said.

She co-wrote “Get Out” with writer-producer Ben West, whose writer credits include Pink’s No. 1 “Try,” Cassadee Pope’s “Champagne,” and more.  Dunn, who was a songwriting major at Belmont, played all the guitar parts on the infectious mid-tempo track, which is the first single from her forthcoming EP release.

Belmont Delegation Spends Month in China

BU students and China host familiesTwenty Belmont students and three faculty spent the first summer session traveling and studying in China from June 11 to July 2.  During their stay in the city of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, students enjoyed a homestay with faculty members from Zhengzhou University’s School of Foreign Languages and their families.  Zhengzhou University is the largest university in Henan Province with over 50,000 students, and it is one of Belmont’s partner institutions in China.  Belmont’s Dr. Qingjun Joan Li, assistant professor of Chinese language and Asian studies, set up the home stays, coordinating with Professor Victor Wang Shengli, dean of the School of Foreign Languages. Wang will teach at Belmont this Fall Semester as a Visiting Scholar. Belmont students were assigned in pairs, two persons to each Chinese family. They enjoyed a wide variety of activities while staying with their Chinese families including making Chinese dumplings called jiaozi, boating on the Yellow River, joining their little Chinese siblings in birthday parties, learning calligraphy from their Chinese parents, teaming up with their Chinese families to sing Chinese and American songs in karoke, fan dancing and doing taiji quan with their families in the park in the evening as well as visiting with Chinese senior citizens who had never met any Westerners.

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