Chair 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.
Thirteen Belmont students recently completed the Vanderbilt Experience Student Nurse Internship Program’s Summer 2015 Nurse Residency. Out of these, Tisra Fadely was recognized with the Credo Award for her hard work on the perioperative track. According to her certificate, Fadely “is a student that made our patients the highest priority by communicating effectively with patients and their families and was committed to being a team player.”
As stated on her certificate, some of her preceptors attested to the qualities Fadely has that earned her the award. “Tisra demonstrates a rare sensitivity and dedication to patient centered care, as well as a keen interest in evidence-based practice. She was consistently kind, attentive and professional. As a coworker, she was respectful, conscientious and hardworking. One of her most impressive attributes is her gracious manner of asking questions and sharing information. She researches questions she has relating to patient care and shares her knowledge with true intellectual enthusiasm. I have found her deeply committed to patient care and genuinely committed to nursing.”
Each year, Belmont’s Honors Program, co-sponsored by the Office of Spiritual Development, selects two outstanding students to present essays at the Christian Scholars’ Conference (CSC). Belmont honors students Sarah Ellis, senior political science major, and Samantha Potts, senior music business major, were recently selected to represent Belmont.
The mission of the CSC is to create and nurture an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration. The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith. Hosted by Abilene Christian University in Texas, this year’s session was titled, “Honors Students at Faith-Based College and Universities: How Do We Respond to Injustice?”
Participants presented an original essay on faith, social justice and public policy before an audience of fellow students and professors. Ellis discussed her essay, “Social Justice, Faith and Serving Community Needs” and Potts presented “Education, Faith and Public Policy in Disadvantaged Communities.” Ellis and Potts also attended lectures and met with Christian educators from across the country.
According to Dr. J. Warren Casey, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Harding University, the Belmont presenters “were poised and professional and their thoughts were well-received by those in attendance. After the session, the Honors students pulled together and spent two days telling stories and going to sessions together. [They] are a delightful pair and, most importantly, they represented Belmont Honors in an outstanding way.”
A 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. 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.”
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.
Belmont University and The Tennessean recently presented Nashforward, the city’s premiere mayoral debate series, with broadcast partner, WSMV-TV. The first of two debates was held Thursday, May 21 and featured Nashville’s seven mayoral candidates in a traditional debate-style event.
The second debate, structured around Nashville’s ever-growing millennial demographic and organized in a town-hall style format, was held on June 18 in Belmont’s McAfee Concert Hall. The event featured 14 community members, including seven Belmont students, who sat on stage and asked questions that are top of mind for voters this season, especially millennial voters.
A number of topics were discussed including education, affordable housing and transportation, among others, and candidates had the opportunity to share what their administration would value, if elected. Candidates also participated in a “lightening round” that required creative, quick-witted answers to questions like, “What country music song do you think best represents your experience in Nashville?” and others.
Belmont’s seven student participants worked with debate moderator David Plazas of the Tennessean earlier this semester to review recent candidate interviews and write short profiles that were published both online and in print. Students were then given the opportunity to serve as the event escort for the candidate they profiled and sit on stage for the town hall-style debate. Prior to the event, students created short videos encouraging the Nashville community to tune in.
Student participant and junior political science major Hayden Rutledge said this experience was one that gave him a closer look into Nashville’s local politics, while learning more about his own interests. “Through working with the Tennessean on the Nashfoward debates, I was able to not only have an impact on my community, but I was also give the opportunity to better myself,” Rutledge said.
Patty Whitehead, a third-year law student at Belmont’s College of Law, was recently named the 2015 Jon E. Hastings Memorial Award Writing Competition winner. Sponsored by the TBA Environmental Law Section, the Hastings award is a juried competition for the best legal writing on a topic of Tennessee or federal environmental law and is open to law students enrolled in a Tennessee law school.
Whitehead’s paper “Opportunities for Environmental Justice Review in Title V Permits Under the Tennessee Air Quality Act” addresses disproportionate air quality among minority and low-income communities under Title V permit rules.
A trumpet ensemble comprised of twelve Belmont student trumpeters and a timpanist performed by invitation last week at the 2015 International Trumpet Guild conference, held this year in Columbus, Ohio.
Conducted by Professor and Coordinator of Instrumental Studies Joel Treybig, the ensemble performed Brian Balmage’s “Soundings,” Giovanni Gabrielli’s ”Canzona noni toni a 12,” and a new piece by Belmont School of Music Lecturer David McKay, “Canonics.” The performances were held in the historic St. Patrick Church on May 28.
Belmont junior and singer/songwriter James Morris will be returning to the Vans Warped Tour for the July 1 Nashville date at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds and will be making appearances at the Project Connect Nashville tent. Morris previously performed during Vans Warped Tour’s 2012 west coast leg.
The release of Morris’s 4th album, “Catch Fire,” has recently been announced by Red Plate Entertainment. The album includes the song “The World Will Be Ours” featured in the film “Playing Party Politics,” one of the selected short film finalists in the Cannes Film Festival. The album is available now on iTunes.
To follow Morris’s musical journey, click here.
The Hack Tennessee event, recently held in Nashville, gathers software developers, visual designers and product managers from across the country to invent new web platforms, mobile apps and electronic gadgets over 48 uninterrupted hours. One of the largest events of its kind, hundreds of products have emerged from Hack Tennessee’s 1,000+ attendees, making it the southeast’s premier destination for the creative class to connect, grow and contribute. Their ‘community of makers’ works tirelessly with primary, secondary and university educators to support the exposure of Tennessee students to STEM careers through events and on-campus mentoring.
Dr. Glenn Acree, professor of mathematics and computer science, has been working with Hack Tennessee Co-Founders Brendan Wovchko and Avery Fisher and Jon Staples of Code for Nashville to increase the number of undergraduate participants from area colleges and universities to engage with the local developer community.
Several Belmont students and alumni were involved in the event. Max Shenfield (mathematics, 2014) worked on a team with Kevin Huber (mathematics, 2015) and three others to make a virtual reality tower defense game. Tron themed, the game allows players to battle in real time and destroy opposing player’s minions. Geoff Gross (computer science, 2015) played a big role in Brigade Pulse, a real time visualization tool of Code for America brigade activity across the country.
Caleb Gregory (mathematics, 2013) also joined the participants. Gregory said, “It was great seeing the possibilities for what I could be working on and gathering more information about. I was excited to see how easy collaboration and teamwork in this community are, and how quickly bonds were formed among teammates.”
Marlee Stevenson (computer science and AET, 2015) worked on a team project called Cycledelic, a kaleidoscopic and psychedelic unicycle riding game made for the Oculus Rift VR platform. “It was a huge learning process this time around. I joined a project in which I knew nothing and I came away from the weekend with a new skill and new desire to learn. Every person at the Hackathon wants to learn something new and teach what they know. I felt that I was able to do both of these things this weekend.” Stevenson’s team won the Hacker’s Choice Award, an award voted on by all hackathon participants after presentations. Each team member received an engraved hammer as a trophy.