Belmont School of Nursing Recognized for Their Work with Freedom’s Promise

Taplin pictured here with her husband, Chaz, and Cambodian leaders.

Taplin pictured here with her husband, Chaz, and Cambodian leaders.

Belmont School of Nursing students and faculty were featured in a recent edition of the Freedom’s Promise newsletter for their work during this summer’s study abroad trip to Cambodia. The nursing program has long partnered with Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Cambodia but is now working more and more with Freedom’s Promise to help with their efforts.

Freedom’s Promise’s mission is to prevent human trafficking and child exploitation in Cambodia through individualized community development programs resulting in trafficking-free safe zones.  Through one of their programs, Belmont students interacted with villagers on a daily basis and taught them life-saving hand washing techniques. They also increased the quality of community health by providing education sessions focused on nutrition and disease prevention.

Dr. Susan Taplin, assistant professor of nursing and 2014 DNP graduate, leads the program’s efforts in Cambodia and has traveled there with students for more than 10 years.

“If you don’t take care of the illness first, you’re not going to get anywhere else. Teaching them something as simple as hand washing can increase their life expectancy and quality of life. You and I have always known to wash our hands, and we don’t know what it’s like to not have that education,” Talpin says.

Belmont Sophomore Competes on The Voice

10634224_10152278948145598_219238242_nBelmont student Jessie Pitts has been selected to compete on season seven of NBC’s The Voice which premiered on Monday after she auditioned for the show in Nashville earlier this year.

Pitts competed in the “blind auditions” which aired on Wednesday. Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell all gave her the opportunity to compete on their individual teams. In the end, Pitts chose Team Blake for the competition.  Pitts is a sophomore in Belmont’s College of Entertainment and Music Business.

View her blind audition here.

Belmont Junior Competes on Reality Game Show

S29_Baylor_WilsonBelmont junior Baylor Wilson can be seen on this season of CBS’s Survivor: Blood vs. Water which takes place in San Juan Del Sur and premiered Wednesday evening.

Wilson was once a cheerleader for Belmont and is currently enrolled in the Entertainment Industry Studies program. She is competing on the reality game show alongside her mother.

“I wanted to get involved to be with my mom first and foremost, but also to share an experience with her that not many other mother and daughters get to share.  It has been the best and worst experience of my life,” Wilson said.

An interview with Wilson and her mom can be seen here.

Former Men’s Basketball Standout Kerron Johnson Signs Deal in Germany

image004Former Belmont University men’s basketball star Kerron Johnson has signed a professional contract with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the German Bundesliga for the 2014-15 season.

Johnson took the Belmont program to new heights, leading the Bruins to 102 victories, four regular season conference championships, three conference tournament championships and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Moreover, Johnson helped Belmont earn national Top 25 poll votes three straight seasons and the program’s best NCAA Tournament seed – No. 11 – in 2013.

Among Johnson’s many career accomplishments was being named all-conference four straight years, 2012 NABC All-District and back-to-back conference tournament Most Valuable Player honors in 2012 and 2013. Johnson also ranks among the program leaders in assists, steals and free throws made and attempted.

He played for the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL in 2013-14.

Keen Published in ‘Nashville Arts and Entertainment’

22X28 NAE Poster New WebBelmont Instructor of Music Business Dan Keen recently had two articles published in the new issue of Nashville Arts and Entertainment, an annual publication highlighting the arts and entertainment opportunities in the region. Asked to write a feature on music royalties and given the challenge to make it “fun,” Keen responded with “The Freakonomics of Making Money on Music Row.” The magazine hit newsstands this month and also included Keen’s interview with trombonist/songwriter Jimmy Pankow, co-founding member of the rock band Chicago who has moved from L.A. to Music City.

Alumna Secures Belmont Orchestra Donation, Performance Opportunity

jaimee paul-116

Bob Black, Jaimee Paul and Belmont Professor of Music Dr. Robert Gregg celebrate the orchestra donation.

Bob Black, the owner of the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon Tennessee, recently donated $1,000 to the Belmont Orchestra, in conjunction with an upcoming show the orchestra will be playing with a Belmont alumna. Jaimee (Paulich) Paul, a 1999 Belmont graduate, and her jazz band are putting on a James Bond show at the Capitol Theatre on Nov. 7 with legendary producer/composer Michael Omartian conducting the Belmont Orchestra on stage. The concert will feature songs from Paul’s Bonded album, a tribute to more than 50 years in the James Bond film series. The project, which was also produced by Omartian, was released in January of 2013 on Green Hill Music and reached No. 6 on the iTunes Jazz Albums chart.

Paul said, “We decided to enlist the Belmont Orchestra to help us out with this concert so the audience could have an exceptional experience. Bob Black, owner of the Capitol Theatre, is graciously donating $1,000 to the Orchestra program at Belmont because he realizes that musicians are very valuable and should be recognized for their talent. He values the education that students receive throughout their lives, and especially if they continue their musical education through college.”

Tickets for the Nov. 7 show are $20, but the Capitol Theatre is offering Belmont students and alumni a discount with proper identification. For more information on Paul’s career, visit

Adam Gives International Presentation on Flipped Classroom

Jamie Adam UK presentationDr. Jamie Adam, assistant professor of nursing, presented her work on innovative teaching to the Healthcare Educators Networking Conference in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Sept. 2. Her presentation was titledThe flipped classroom approach: Evaluating student and faculty experiences.” The  conference provided a unique experience for attendees from various healthcare disciplines to participate in sessions related to educational innovation, clinical practice, interprofessional learning and simulation. Attendees included educators from nursing, OT, PT, allied health, psychology and others representing both inpatient and outpatient settings. Participants remained within their chosen theme for the day to enjoy continuity of discussion and debate among faculty from all over the world. Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean of nursing, said, “Dr. Adam’s work with the flipped classroom allows her to engage students more actively, encouraging them to clarify and apply knowledge. I am so pleased she is receiving both national and international attention to her work.”

Belmont Women Compete on ‘Family Feud’

thomasfamily.familyfeudTwo Belmont alumnae and one current Belmont student were recently contestants on the game show “Family Feud.” Sarah Morgan is a School of Nursing alumna, and Bethany Thomas graduated from Belmont’s physical therapy program. Lindsey Thomas is currently enrolled in the pharmacy program at Belmont. All three women are also related to Professor of Media Studies Dr. Rich Tiner.

The family auditioned in June at the Hotel Preston in Nashville. The Thomas family episode was taped this summer and aired this past Tuesday.

Alexander Appointed to TNCPE Panel of Judges

joe_alexander_2013Associate Dean and Senior Professor of Performance Excellence of the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business Dr. Joe Alexander has been appointed to the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) Panel of Judges.

Each year, the Panel of Judges plays an integral role in the TNCPE Award Program which recognizes local, regional and statewide organizations that demonstrate excellence in business operations and results. TNCPE recognizes high-performing organizations committed to organizational excellence and continuous improvement.

As a judge, Alexander is responsible for validating the integrity of the TNCPE award process and determining recognition levels for each award applicant. The Panel of Judges comprises experts selected from all industry sectors, including business, manufacturing, education, health care, government and nonprofit. All judges have been Baldrige National Quality Award examiners or have served on the TNCPE Board of Examiners.

Webb Published in Teaching and Learning Inquiry

image003Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Nathan Webb has been published in the latest edition of Teaching and Learning Inquiry. His article, “Instructor-Student Rapport in Taiwan ESL Classrooms,” examines how English teachers from the West navigate cultural differences to build effective relationships with “English as a second language” students in Taiwan. To complete his research, Webb conducted interviews and classroom observations in Taipei, Taiwan. Teaching and Learning Inquiry is the academic journal of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Smith Publishes Chapter in ‘Ages of the X-men’

ClancyDepartment of Philosophy professor Clancy Smith recently published a chapter titled “Days of Future Past: Segregation, Oppression, and Technology in X-men and America” in the edited volume Ages of the X-men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times from McFarland Publishing.

Smith’s chapter investigates the narrative of the X-men comics through the lens of the Civil Rights Movement as a metaphor for the tension between the nonviolent civil disobedience of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the more radical position of Malcolm X. The original X-men comics were first published in 1963, the same year Dr. King wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Smith is currently teaching a course on popular culture and philosophy this semester in conjunction with a convocation film series throughout the fall.

Alumnus Named to Billboard’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ List

image004Belmont alumnus, Ben Vaughn, has been named to Billboard’s “Top 40 Under 40” list.

Vaughn serves as executive vice president at Warner/Chappell Nashville. Under Vaughn, the publishing company earned ASCAP’s award for Top Country Publisher in 2013. He also signed a co-publishing deal with mega producer Jay Joyce who has worked with artists such as Eric Church, Little Big Town and The Wallflowers. He joins young executives on the list from Disney, UMG, CAA, Interscope Records, Spotify, SoundCloud, Dick Clark Productions and more. Vaughn graduated from the music business program at Belmont in 1999.

‘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

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, 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. 

« Previous Entries