Currently Browsing: Faculty & Staff

Panvini Leads Student Research Group at Belle Forest Cave

cave-1Chair and Professor of Biology Dr. Darlene Panvini and six senior biology majors are conducting research at the Belle Forest Cave Property in Bellevue this summer.  Recently purchased by TennGreen, this four-acre wooded site contains a limestone cave, head water spring and several streams. TennGreen is a nonprofit committed to protecting Tennessee’s natural treasures by creating a network of parks, greenways and wildlife areas across Tennessee.

Student research projects include cataloging macroinvertebrate diversity in the stream, determining relationships between occurrence of earthworms, soil fauna and exotic plants and assessing decomposition rates of native and exotic leaves in the stream and terrestrial plots dominated by exotic and native plants.

Hatch Reappointed as National Laboratory Guest Scientist

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Duane Hatch was recently reappointed as a guest scientist in the Bioscience Division, Group B-11, at Los Alamos National Laboratory  in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Originally appointed last June, Hatch’s continued status as a guest scientist allows him to pursue research interests with Laboratory staff scientists Dr. Pete Silks and Dr. Ricardo Marti-Arbona. Hatch is currently spending the summer at the lab working on the synthesis and incorporation of selenium and tellurium-containing amino acids for the elucidation of protein structure and function. Funding for this research comes from a successful Department of Energy proposal submitted by Hatch in January.

For more information, click here.

Pharmacy Teams Travels to Honduras

PharmacyA group of faculty members and a student from Belmont’s College of Pharmacy recently traveled to Honduras as part of the Baptist Medical Dental Mission. Drs. Adam Pace, Leela Kodali, and Emily Russell, a fourth-year student, joined a team of 20 medical professionals for the medical missions trip.

The team set up a medical clinic, dentistry clinic, and pharmacy in a schoolhouse in San Fernando, a rural community in the state of Yoro. Together, they saw more than 1100 patients, dispensed 5300 prescriptions, pulled 240 teeth for 101 patients and distributed 325 eyeglasses. Additionally, the trip included church services and personal evangelism at the medical stations, bringing more than 130 people to Christ.

Pace oversaw the set-up and operation of the dispensing pharmacy, while Kodali provided clinical pharmacy services in the medical clinic by answering providers’ questions about medications and making recommendations about drug therapy.

As part of her advanced pharmacy practice experience, Russell spent the trip primarily in the medical clinic.pharmacy2 Designed for her to compare and contrast the provision of pharmacy services during a mission trip in Honduras to that of a patient population in Nashville, Russell said this experience was incredibly eye-opening.

“I am deeply grateful for this unforgettable experience in the beautiful country of Honduras.   It was a privilege to be able to use my current pharmacy skills as well as new skills I acquired while in Honduras to provide healthcare to the Honduran people,” Russell said. “It amazed me how welcoming, trusting and patient they were with our team.  This trip opened my eyes to the world outside of the United States and reminded me how powerful healthcare can be as a means of ministering to the hearts of people and showing them the love of God.”


Skinner Published in The Tennessean, Describes Cuba’s ‘Reawakening’

Dr. Kathy Skinner

Director of International Student and Scholar Services Dr. Kathy Skinner recently published an article in The Tennessean titled, “Belmont University Official: Cuba is Reawakening.” A follow-up to her recent trip to Cuba, Skinner described her experience with the first Fulbright Insight Tour to Cuba where she gained insight into Cuban culture and met with Cuban architects, economists and musicians to discuss the country’s culture, economy and infrastructure.

Skinner said she is interested in Cuban history and culture, taking care to notice the ins and outs of life for the country. “My first impressions of Cuba were of grinding poverty…gorgeous European-style architecture from the Spanish era and vintage American cars from the 1950s.” Skinner goes on to describe the country’s culture, economic status and ultimately, its “reawakening.”

To read Skinner’s article in full, click here.

Schwarzmeier Receives Max Kade Foundation Grant for Student Travel


Fifteen  students participating in the 2015 Belmont in Berlin: German Summer Study Abroad program were recently awarded $1200 travel grants as part of an $18,000 grant from the Max Kade Foundation received by Associate Professor of German Dr. Regine Schwarzmeier.

The study abroad program will provide the students with a full immersion experience to begin their German language studies or further develop existing skills, as well as offer a first-hand glimpse of German culture. From July 3 until August 1, the students will attend language courses appropriate to their skill level and deepen their understanding of the German culture on walking tours through Berlin’s historic city center and on the traces of the former Berlin Wall, learn about the history and presence of Jewish life, discover new urban developments, go to world famous museums and enjoy a night at the opera.

On an excursion to Potsdam they will visit Sanssouci Palace and tour its beautiful gardens. In Babelsberg, they will take a look at the history of the world’s oldest large-scale film studio. During a weekend in Dresden they will discover the beauty of the city also known as the Florence on the Elbe River.

For more information on this program and others, click here.

Hatch Receives Patent for Research

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Duane Hatch recently received a patent for one of his research projects titled, “Synthetic Ligands for the Differentiation of Closely Related Toxins and Pathogens.”  The inventors are Suri Saranathan Iyer of Cincinnati, Ohio, Duane Michael Hatch of Nashville, Tennessee, Ramesh Ratan Kale of Maharashtra, India, Alison Ann Weiss of Cincinnati, Ohio, Shantini Dodampe Gamage of Cleves, Ohio and Colleen M. McGannon of Lorain, Ohio.

The patent is based on one of Hatch’s research interests that involves detecting and differentiating pathogens (bacteria, viruses and protein toxins) using synthetic ligands. This method of detection allows for real-time monitoring, and by using tailored ligands, closely related pathogens can be selectively detected.

For more information, click here.

Sullenberger’s Research Published in The Atlantic

SullenbergerMediumAssociate Professor of Social Work Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger has been working with four former colleagues from Indiana University on a five year, ongoing research project to study attitudes of poverty and construction of social class.

Sullenberger and her team’s research was recently featured in an article in The Atlantic entitled, “Teenagers are Losing Confidence in the American Dream.” For more information, click here.

Stewart Recognized for Career Successes

sarita_stewartAssistant Professor of Entertainment and Industry Studies Sarita Stewart has had a busy few months.

Stewart recently wrote a chapter in the 3rd edition of Research Methods in Communication entitled,  “TV, Radio and Music Research,” with co-authors Dr. Louisa Ha from Bowling Green State University and Jeff Green of Stone Door Media Lab. The book came out in February through Vision Press and is available for the fall 2015 semester.

In March, Stewart presented two papers at the Midwinter Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. On May 14, she was part of the Music Educators Meetup panel at the Music Business Association. Stewart and the other panelists gave presentations on their music business programs, which evolved into a group discussion among a number of music educators of current teaching trends in this type of program.

Most recently, Stewart was quoted in two articles in the San Francisco Chronicle on her perspective about the future of music streaming. In response to Apple’s recent release of Apple Music, a streaming service similar to that of Pandora or Spotify, Stewart is quoted saying, “The future of music is streaming, so in order to remain competitive … they need to enter this space. I think it’s a really exciting development and it really means (streaming music) has gone mainstream. We’re getting to the point where more people are actively using it.”

And of the many features specific to Apple, Stewart added, ““They are taking the best of the different elements. They have been able to see some of the pitfalls in the current models, and they might be able to bring in different elements to circumvent those challenges.”

To read the second article, click here.

Rogers Recognized in Best of the Bar

Jason RogerscVice President for Administration and University Counsel Dr. Jason Rogers was recently named a 2015 Corporate Best of the Bar by the Nashville Business Journal. The NBJ took nominations from the community for a person that should be recognized in the legal profession. Nominees were divided into categories and voted on, and the featured nominees earned the highest amount of votes. Rogers answered four questions in his NBJ profile, which was featured in the print edition, section two, on June 12.

What is the biggest misconception people have about lawyers from TV? That we are all snappy dressers.

What three qualities are most needed to make it in the legal profession? Compassion, integrity, hard work.

What is the strangest request a client has made of you? Participate in a dessert bake-off to raise money for my non-profit client.

If there was one part of the legal process you could change, what would it be, and why? Our tendency as lawyers to think that we add value to a transaction the more complicated we make it. This undermines public confidence in our profession.

Seymore Wins Essay Contest, Conference Scholarship

ShaunaShauna Seymore, human resources assistant, won first place for her essay and received a full scholarship for the College and University Professional Association for HR (CUPA-HR) annual conference to include all registration, airfare and hotel costs.  The September 2015 conference invites HR professionals from across the country for speakers and workshops to gain critical knowledge and insight on pressing higher education HR issues.

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