Currently Browsing: Faculty & Staff

Murphree Talks Spiders, Insects at Community Events

steven_murphreeDr. Steve Murphree, professor of biology, participated in Charlotte’s Web Day at the Adventure Science Center on July 12. The day was a celebration of the birthday of children’s author E.B. White and his classic book. Families could experience farm fun and learn more about the amazing animals depicted in the story. Murphree, an entomologist, had a floor exhibit on spiders where people could learn about spiders and the amazing webs they build. He also gave a talk on spiders as they relate to Charlotte’s Web. Murphree’s pet tarantula, Rosie,  got a lot of attention. 

He also spoke at the The Warner Park Nature Center’s 21st annual Insects of the Night program on July 18 during an event to celebrate moths, katydids and other nocturnal six-legged critters through games, demonstrations, crafts and puppet shows. Murphree, had live scorpions, termites and other arthropods on display. He has participated in all 21 Insects of the Night programs.

Chen Appointed to State Performance Excellence Board Of Examiners

Dennis Chen-LDr. Dennis C. Chen, assistant professor of management, has been appointed by the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) to the 2014 Board of Examiners. Each year, the TNCPE award program recognizes local, regional and statewide organizations that demonstrate excellence in business operations and results.

As an examiner, Chen is responsible for reviewing and evaluating organizations that apply for the TNCPE Award. The Board of Examiners comprises experts from all sectors of the regional economy, including health care, service, nonprofit, manufacturing, education and government. All members of the Board of Examiners must complete extensive training in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Examiners take the skills and expertise developed during training and the assessment process back to their own jobs, benefiting and improving their own organizations in the process.

Each year, the TNCPE Board of Examiners contributes more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service to organizations across Tennessee.

Curb College Professor, Student Record Colombian Ensemble

El Guamo w student engineersDr. David Tough, associate professor, and Curb College students Andrew Christenberry and Jake Minnes recently recorded the 17-piece musical ensemble El Guamo from the country of ​Columbia at Belmont’s Quonset Hut studio. The group traveled to Nashville, Tennessee on a state department grant and were hosted in collaboration with the Music Without Borders program at Tennessee State University.

Diaz-Cruz Contributes to Cancer Research Study

DiazCruzMediumDr. Edgar Diaz-Cruz, assistant professor of pharmacy, was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, for research he and his colleagues conducted on human pancreatic cancer.  The study, entitled “Human pancreatic cancer-associated stellate cells remain activated after in vivo chemoradiation,” showed that human tumor-derived pancreatic stellate cells survive both in vivo chemo- and radiotherapy. The data supports the idea that stellate cells play an essential role in supporting and promoting pancreatic cancer and may lead to new treatments targeting the pancreatic tumor microenvironment.  The team included researchers from the National Cancer Informatics Program, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, the University of Texas, the German Research Center for Environmental Health and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

Greenwalt Earns Specialty Certification

GreenwaltMediumSuzanne Greenwalt, an instructor in the School of Physical Therapy, recently received certification as a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).  ABPTS is the national governing body for certification of clinical specialists in physical therapy.  Less than 200 physical therapists are certified in this particular specialty, and Greenwalt is the first physical therapist in Tennessee to gain this credential.  

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” said Dr. Renee Brown, the chairman of Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy, “and it’s great for our program.  The knowledge and experience she has gained will enhance her teaching and benefit our students. We congratulate her.”

Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy provides treatment for individuals who suffer from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis, to increase endurance and improve functional independence.  To gain certification, Greenwalt was required to provide 2,000 hours of direct care of patients with conditions involving the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems in both acute and rehabilitation settings.

Bourgoine Earns E-Discovery Specialist Certification

ianbourgoineCollege of Law Reference and Access Services Librarian Ian B. Bourgoine is among the select maiden group of e-discovery professionals to pass the rigorous Certified E-Discovery Specialists (CEDS) certification examination. Bourgoine has now earned the right to use the prestigious designation as a Certified E-Discovery Specialist. In the Belmont College of Law, Bourgoine is responsible for ensuring the availability of library resources to patrons as well as providing reference services.

The CEDS credential is earned by individuals who pass the rigorous four-hour examination that provides a tough and objective measure of mastery of the challenging field of e-discovery. The certification program is administered by the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the premier membership organization of professionals in the field worldwide. Since the exam was first offered in November 2010, professionals in the United States, Canada, the UK, South Korea, Germany and China have earned the CEDS certification.

The CEDS certification is compelling evidence that designees are competent and knowledgeable in e-discovery regardless of their professional specialization—whether they are lawyers, litigation support staff, records managers, information technology (IT) specialists, technology officials, court personnel, paralegals or consultants. The credential is an assurance to employers, colleagues and clients that the CEDS-certified professional is serious about efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and risk reduction in all phases of e-discovery.

Nursing Students Honored for Vanderbilt Medical Center Internships

Pictured from left are undergraduate nursing students Gabrielle Pappas, Sarah Steele, Jennifer Bognar and Dr. Leslie Folds, associate professor of nursing.

Pictured from left are undergraduate nursing students Gabrielle Pappas, Sarah Steele, Jennifer Bognar and Dr. Leslie Folds, associate professor of nursing.

For the past seven weeks, 18 Belmont senior-level nursing students participated in a summer internship program called Vanderbilt Experience: Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) along with students from four other regional nursing programs. Three Belmont nursing students were awarded the highest honors at the culminating awards ceremony held June 25 in the Waddington Conference Room at Monroe-Carroll Children’s Hospital.  A total of seven awards were given; three went to Belmont students.  VUMC credo behaviors identify those individuals that aspire to excellence and expert performance. Jennifer Bognar received the Credo Award for Psychiatric/Mental Health Track, Gabrielle Pappas received the Credo Award for the Perioperative Track, and Sarah Steele received the Credo Award for the Women’s Health Track.  

“It is clear that our students continue to incorporate the mission, vision, and values of Belmont University in their interactions with patients, families, and the entire healthcare team.  Our students consistently pursue excellence,” said Dr.  Leslie A. Folds, who coordinates the program for Belmont School of Nursing.

This is the tenth year of the VESNIP program. The program began as a partnership between Belmont School of Nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It has now expanded to a total of 62 students and includes five Tennessee and Kentucky nursing schools. The VESNIP positions are very competitive and are considered elite opportunities for students from around the region.

“Overall the VESNIP experience allowed me to see myself as a nurse. Through multiple opportunities to practice nursing skills and employ critical thinking, my knowledge base as a nurse has begun to strengthen and grow outside of the school setting.  I feel comfortable working in a hospital setting now, and I have a clearer view of my roles and responsibilities as a future nurse,” said Claire Zetak, a Belmont nursing student in the Critical Care Track.

Betsy Sanders, a Belmont nursing student who participated in the Perioperative Track, said, “Nursing students fortunate enough to participate in VESNIP experience a level of nursing not attainable by simply fulfilling clinical requirements. I am leaving this seven-week program with enhanced nursing skills, a better understanding of the all-encompassing responsibilities of being a nurse and a true appreciation for the multidisciplinary teamwork necessary in providing patients with safe, efficacious and patient-centered healthcare.”

Belmont Group Presents at 2014 NAC&U Summer Institute

Pictured  left to right are Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, Dr. Jeffery Burgin, Dr. Beverly Schneller, Dr. Mimi Barnard, Patricia Jacobs and Dr. Thomas Burns.

Pictured left to right are Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, Dr. Jeffery Burgin, Dr. Beverly Schneller, Dr. Mimi Barnard, Patricia Jacobs and Dr. Thomas Burns.

A group of Belmont faculty, staff and administrators recently returned from the 2014 New American Colleges and Universities’ (NAC&U) Summer Institute at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. Representing Belmont and offering presentations at the conference were Dr. Jonathan Thorndike (Honors program director); Dr. Jeffery Burgin (associate provost and dean of students); Dr. Beverly Schneller (associate provost for academic affairs); Dr. Mimi Barnard (assistant provost for interdisciplinary studies and global education); Patricia Jacobs (director of career services); and Dr. Thomas Burns (provost).

The NAC&U Summer Institute keynote speakers were Dr. Edward L. Ayers, president of the University of Richmond and a noted historian and author; Dr. Robin Heyden, an educational consultant and blogger of how new media tools affect education; and Dr. David Asai, senior director of science education programs at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  The Institute theme was “Creating Community through Collaboration,” and the focus was on NAC&U’s new initiative to provide opportunities for students and faculty through collaboration among members. The Summer Institute explored possibilities to enhance the educational experience through collaboration among NAC&U members, with campuses, and between campuses and their communities. Presentations described existing projects and engaged conference participants in working sessions to develop new ideas for collaboration.


Acree Invited to Serve on TN Department of Education’s STEM Leadership Council

Glenn AcreeDr. Glenn Acree, professor of mathematics, was invited to join the new TN Department of Education’s STEM Leadership Council. Acree delivered the opening address “Conversations for STEM Education and Workforce Development” for the Tennessee Science Standards Steering Committee at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville earlier in the year and was invited by Assistant Education Commissioner Danielle Mezera to serve on the newly formed STEM Leadership Council.

As Tennessee continues to advance towards a greater integration of rigorous K-12 STEM learning pathways, leading to post-secondary achievement and the development of dynamic STEM-related occupation pipelines, it is critically important that the state’s top thought leaders are active in this process. By engaging various stakeholders from across the state, Tennessee will be able – as a state – to ensure strong, robust alignment and visioning between education and industry.


Bridges Earns Choral Directors’ Lifetime Achievement Award

photoDr. Madeline Bridges, associate dean for academic studies and professor of music education, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Tennessee American Choral Directors Association at its annual conference held June 20 and 21 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bridges serves as campus director of the Tennessee Arts Academy and is co-director of the Nashville Children’s Choir, a multi-level community choir program in residence at Belmont.

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