As student members of the Belmont chapter of Best Buddies were participating in a Friendship Walk at Bi-Centennial Mall to raise money for Best Buddies Tennessee on April 13, they learned they won Tennessee College Chapter of the Year.
“Winning best college chapter for the state of Tennessee was a surprise, but I believe a true reflection of the genuine hearts of the Belmont students that are members of Best Buddies,” said chapter President Kristin Hinkley, a senior studying public relations. “The students in our chapter really go above and beyond to include their buddies in their everyday life, integrating them with their friends and their weekend plans. Our members don’t do it to build their resumes or get community service hours, they do this because they truly believe in Best Buddies and how important it is to give a voice and a community to those who wouldn’t get either otherwise.”
Best Buddies is a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies International opened a state office in Tennessee only a few years ago and has already established over 70 middle, high school and college chapters in the state. The Belmont chapter is four years old.
Taylore Griffin, program manager for Best Buddies Tennessee, said she nominated Belmont for the award because many of its buddies are live far from campus yet Belmont students always are willing to pick them up for events and continuously show dedication to service.
“This is a tremendous award and recognition of our student members of Best Buddies at Belmont. These students are truly engaging and transforming the world. Through the seemingly simple act of friendship, Best Buddy Belmont members are breaking down barriers for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said chapter adviser Sally Barton-Arwood, associate professor of education. “I am humbled and inspired by their unwavering commitments to advocate for and create inclusive communities that recognize similarities and strengths instead of deficits and differences.”
The day the students won the award, members of Best Buddies Belmont and four buddies with intellectual disabilities attended a Judah and the Lion Four concert and were honored backstage and on stage.
Belmont education students and Associate Professor of Education Sally Barton-Arwood concluded their Saturday morning Music Camp with the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee this month. Music, art, early childhood, elementary and middle school licensure students gathered with children with Down syndrome for a hands-on learning experience of building vocabulary. The Belmont students planned and ran the camp twice a semester in the Sport Science building.
“The children who return for each camp have something wonderful to look forward to. Families tell me how their children can’t stop smiling and clapping on the way to our camp. Families also get a few hours to do something on their own,” said Barton-Arwood. “I had a mother cry because she had not been able to spend time with her typically–developing daughter in five years since her son with autism and Down syndrome was born. In addition to totally changing their world view on individuals with disabilities, our students also gain experiences in communicating with parents and working through challenging behaviors of young children.”
The program was started to meet two needs: to give music education and early childhood students meaningful practicum experience; and also to provide weekend social time for children with Down syndrome.
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.
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.
Associate 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.
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.
There 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.
College 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.”
Dr. 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.
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.
In 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: