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Mathematics Students and Professor Present at STEM Expo

STEMExpoBelmont Professor of Mathematics Dr. Daniel Biles and four mathematics majors gave probability demonstrations at the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Expo at Middle Tennessee State University on April 9.  The Belmont students taking part were Annie Brunelle, Katie Kruzan, Savannah Halliday and Mallory White.

This exposition is an annual event, hosted by the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub (MTSIH), that features projects by middle and high school students. Students from schools and districts that are MTSIH partners regularly engage in projects involving an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem or challenge. These rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice skills necessary for success such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

Murray Presents at English-Speaking Union and American Society for 18th Century Studies

MurrayEnglish Professor Douglas Murray recently spoke to the Nashville chapter of the English-Speaking Union at a breakfast meeting held at Belmont’s Massey Business Center.  His talk, entitled “The Road to ‘Downton Abbey,’”concerned the way the popular television series has encapsulated previous literature about the English Country House.  The English-Speaking Union celebrates British heritage and seeks to foster global understanding and good will.

Following that engagement, Murray participated in a panel on picaresque fiction at the annual meeting of the American Society for 18th-Century Studies, held in Los Angeles March 19-21.  Other participants were from DePaul University, the University of North Texas and UCLA.  Murray’s talk was entitled “Jane Austen and the Embedded Ramble Novel:  The Case of Pride and Prejudice.”

Dean Taylor Published in ‘The Mother & Child Project,’ Sheds Light on Global Maternal and Child Health

IMG_09521 (2)Dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr. Cathy Taylor was recently featured “The Mother & Child Project: Raising our Voices for Health and Hope,” a compilation of personal narratives, research and essays from inspirational leaders, politicians, philanthropists, speakers and musicians including Kimberly Williams Paisley, Amy Grant, Melinda Gates, Senator Dr. William H. Frist and Michael W. Smith, among others.

The project was compiled by Sen. Frist’s Hope Through Healing Hands, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote improved quality of life for all people around the world. Using health to lead the charge, Hope Through Healing Hands seeks to educate all people on ways to have access to a fuller, healthier lifestyle.

Published with the intent to raise awareness on maternal and child health issues in developing countries, the book also includes personal stories from women in other countries who have been positively affected by family planning, prenatal care access and post-natal medical assistance. The book outlines the critical role family planning plays in preventing mortality, combating extreme poverty, keeping girls in school, promoting gender equality and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Dr. Taylor said she was immediately interested in supporting the project through the writing of a chapter because with the advancements in science for maternal and child health, the ways to ensure health among young children is clear. “We know how to nurture those babies to grow into healthy, productive adults, but in developing countries, many of the ingredients are missing. We can do something about that,” Dr. Taylor said. “Raising awareness of the tragic plight of millions of young women and children in developing countries can make a difference.  As Christians, we are called to carry each other’s burdens, and this is a burden we should share.”

Bennett Receives Local and National Recognition, Participates in Panel and Delivers Key Note Address

photo (8)Professor of Media Studies Dr. Sybril Bennett recently participated on a panel, the first in a series entitled “A Conversation about Color.” The event, “How Media Can Shape Perceptions on Civil Injustice, Crime and Punishment,” was held at the John Seigenthaler First Amendment Center.

Other panelists included award-winning journalist and retired former Columnist for The Tennessean Dwight Lewis and the Director of the Vanderbilt University Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and author of “Rendered Invisible” and “The Race is Not Given” Dr. Frank Dobson, Jr. The panel was moderated by WTNTribuneRadio COO and Tennessee State University Journalism Professor Harriet Vaughan-Wallace. The event was organized by the Nashville chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. Belmont’s Media Relations Director for Women’s Sports Kenisha Rhone serves as chapter secretary and was on the panel’s organizing committee.

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(L to R) Dr. Bennett and Volunteer State Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives Director Kenny Yarbrough

Nationally, Bennett was recently tapped by Emerson College in Boston as one of three external reviewers for the Journalism Department.

Closer to home, Bennett returned to Volunteer State Community College where she received her first post secondary teaching assignment in 1995.  She was the keynote speaker for the Women’s History Tea sponsored by the Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives.  

Bunch Library Faculty Participate in National Research Study

Bunch Library is one of 10 college and university libraries participating in Project Information Literacy, a large-scale, national study about early adults and their research habits. Facilitated by Jenny Mills, coordinator of research services, and Claire Wiley, research and instruction librarian, and in partnership with Debbie Coppinger, senior director of alumni relations, and John Hostler, director of advancement services, Belmont graduates were surveyed last fall on their lifelong learning needs after college and what information sources and systems they use for continued learning. An infographic and detailed report have recently been released and reveal some interesting findings. Recent graduates strongly agreed that the information skills learned in college were applicable in their later lives, especially extracting information needed, evaluating the credibility of content and presenting information effectively. In addition, 87 percent reported that they still relied on books for staying informed. Sixty follow-up interviews will be conducted this spring, and recent graduates will be asked about best practices and obstacles to lifelong learning. Visit the library’s guide for more information about the Information Literacy Program.

Makemson Presents at Digital Humanities Conference

makemsonBelmont’s Art Education Program Coordinator Justin Makemson recently presented at the Digitorium Digital Humanities Conference at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Makemson’s presentation, “Tagging, Caching, and Augmented Realities on a 19th Century Campus,” recounted the development of a student-designed, student-implemented geographic information systems and augmented reality technologies tour of Belmont’s campus.

For the development of the self-guided art and architecture tour, students “tagged” multiple campus landmarks, linking the contemporary site to a video-based discussion of historical photography taken on location. Makemson has presented at a number of national and state art education conferences including a presentation on his research on artistic self-definitions and the “artistic other” at the iJADE/NSEAD Conference in Liverpool, UK earlier this year.


Skinner to Participate in First Cuban Fulbright Insight Tour

Dr. Kathy Skinner

Belmont’s Director of International Student Services Kathy Skinner will travel to Cuba with the first Fulbright Insight Tour to Cuba, April 12-20. The trip will provide the opportunity to gain insight into Cuban culture and will include meeting with Cuban architects, economists, and musicians to discuss Cuba’s culture and economy.

The Fulbright Insight Trip is sponsored by the Fulbright Association, an organization that promotes educational opportunities through travel, networking and service. For more information on the Insight Tours, click here.

Hatch and Students Selected to Participate in Research at National Laboratory

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Duane Hatch was recently selected to participate in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Visiting Faculty Program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for summer 2015, a highly competitive program that allows faculty to collaborate with some of the most talented scientists in the world.

Selected faculty and participating students spend 10 weeks at a DOE national laboratory engaged in a research project under the guidance of a laboratory scientist. Faculty members build collaborative relationships with research scientists and become familiar with DOE sponsored research programs, scientific user facilities and potential funding opportunities. Students participate in enrichment activities, including career and professional development workshops, laboratory tours, scientific lectures and seminars. Dr. Hatch will be working under Dr. Pete Silks.

Ryan Agh, a chemistry major and mathematics minor and Ambrose Rice, a biology major and chemistry minor, will work under Dr. Hatch on his research and will receive a $5,000 stipend for the 10-week experience. The proposal’s estimate total value is $25,000.

This program is renewable for up to 3 years and opens the door for further student involvement with the Laboratory. For more information, click here

Pathways Scholars Tour Space Flight Center

pathwaysOn March 28 Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Dr. Daniel Biles took five Pathways Scholars to Huntsville, Alabama for a Marshall Space Flight Center tour and a private visit with famed NASA scientist Alex McCool, Jr.

McCool was involved in the US space program from its very earliest days, beginning in 1954.  In the photo, L to R, are Dr. Biles, Kailee Gerzema, Grant VanderKallen, Kara Garrett, Daniel Beagan and Tanner Marion.

McEntire Published in Encyclopedia of Bible and Theology


Professor of Biblical Studies Dr. Mark McEntire recently published an entry entitled “Theology of Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles” in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Bible and Theology.

The Encyclopedia includes nearly 170 entries by more than 150 individual contributors, including Dr. McEntire, and overviews key traditional and modern biblical and theological topics.


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