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Cagle Speaks to Students on Political Commentary

CagleSpeaking to a packed room on Wednesday, April 22, nationally syndicated columnist and editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle shared his thoughts on political commentary with Belmont students as a guest of the University’s Department of Political Science.

Cagle spoke about his artistic craft, highlighting the tension between the expressive elements of his creative process and the soft and hard censorship considerations that come with editors’ attitudes and relative levels of cultural hostility to provocative sociopolitical images around the globe.

Students Present Papers at Southern Appalachian Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Philosophy majors Colin Bodayle, Tucker Dowell and Drew Swisher recently presented papers at the 16th Annual Southern Appalachian Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, hosted by the University of North Carolina, Asheville.

Conference keynote speakers were Leonard Lawlor from Pennsylvania State University and Susanna Siegel from Harvard University, who also served as submission and presentation judges.  Bodayle presented his paper, entitled “Subjective Universality in Kant’s Third Critique: Bad Faith, or Authentic Relation to the Other?” Dowell and Swisher presented their co-written work, entitled “Love.”

Betsy Lane Represents Tennessee at National Cherry Blossom Festival

Achievers.BetsyLaneBelmont junior Betsy Lane was chosen to represent Tennessee in the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. from April 5-11 as the Tennessee Cherry Blossom Princess. 

The Cherry Blossom Princess Program is a week-long experience that offers cultural and educational opportunities for young women from around the world, typically students between the ages of 19 and 24. Participants are selected by a state society or embassy based on their leadership, academic achievements and interest in social, civic, community and world affairs. Each state society selects one representative to send to the festival each year. To see the Tennessee State Society’s announcement for 2015, click here.

The mission of the program is to offer an educational experience, or “Washington classroom,” by introducing participants to many government, cultural, military and business leaders and female role models who work in the nation’s capitol.

Lane’s D.C. tour started on Easter Sunday with a lantern lighting at the Tidal Basin. A full week of activities, including a Congressional reception, dinners with the Marines and Japan Ambassador and many other events for participants followed. The week concluded with a sushi reception and Grand Ball on Friday night, followed by a parade down Pennsylvania Ave. and the Matsuri Festival. To see a detailed list of events, click here.


Hazouri Wins Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award

Achievers.HazouriSocial work major Bailey Hazouri recently won the state-wide 2015 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Student Award. Hazouri was nominated by Belmont faculty members and an application sent by University President Dr. Bob Fisher for her continued commitment to community service.

Hazouri is co-founder of the Edgehill Neighborhood Outreach Program and has been active with this group since 2012.  Working in a diverse community near Belmont’s campus, she leads a variety of events bringing food, fun and extended learning to the community through tutoring, activities and coordination of meals for children and families. Her work is entirely voluntary and comes from her personal faith commitment to improve the quality of life of those within the neighborhood.

Hazouri’s passion for service shines through in everything she does.  ”Mr. Love was a man who lived out his calling to love others in tangible practical ways, and I am honored to be placed in a category as someone who tries her best to love and serve people to the best of her ability,” said Hazouri. ”I hope that in receiving this award, the voices of all those children and families I work with in Edgehill will be able to become more heard…that their stories of perseverance and hard work will be shared and that the gap between neighbors will become smaller.”

The State of Tennessee Higher Education Commission gives the award annually to five faculty or staff members and five students in Tennessee higher education institutions. Individuals selected to receive recognition represent the many dimensions of community service, volunteer work and public and charitable service, as well as leadership roles in community organizations. Each recipient receives $1,000 and serves as an ambassador for community service among the many diverse higher educational communities in Tennessee.

As Associate Provost Beverly Schneller put it, “Hazouri has illustrated and models the type of student leadership, thoughtful Christian action and dedication to serving others that are hallmarks of excellence as a person and as a student.”

Colin Duriez Presents on The Oxford Inklings

Achievers.DuriezColin Duriez, British scholar and author specializing in the historic accounts and secondary worlds of the Oxford Inklings, J.K. Rowling, Charles Williams and the like, visited Belmont to speak to students at multiple events on campus. Duriez presented his lecture, “The Secondary Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling: Imagination and Reality,” on Tuesday evening and followed it with other events including a chapel service and several classes.

One of Director of the Honors Program and Professor Dr. Jonathan Thorndike’s classes was able to interact with Duriez and deepen their understanding of the class textbook, his book, “The Oxford Inklings.” Duriez walked through some of the letters and diary entries from the book to present a chronological picture to the class, tying the writings to important dates in history during World War II.

“What I am trying to do is give you a picture of particularity of the meetings [of the Inklings] and the individuality of the members,” said Duriez, in order to present less of a theoretical knowledge of who the group was and more of an experience with the words on the page, which are quite substantial.

The Belmont community was honored to hear the deep passion Duriez has for some of the most influential writers of the 20th century, gaining an insight into their lives, the impactful relationships they had and the experiences which made them who they were. Duriez recently published “The Oxford Inklings” and will soon publish “Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien and the Shadow of Evil.”

“The students appreciated his gentle wit, humor and deep intellect that brought together the work of the Inklings and the truth of Christian faith,” said Thorndike. “By integrating narrative, myth, faith and meaning, Duriez showed how the Inklings were counter-cultural, but at the same time, profoundly in touch with the needs of a fallen world.”

To read more about Duriez and his works, click here.

Students Present at Undergraduate Math Conference

Professors of Mathematics Barbara Ward and Daniel Biles directed three student presentations given at the 9th annual Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at the University of Tennessee on April 11. The annual conference gives undergraduate students a chance to present their mathematical research, meet other undergraduates and hear about their research.

Savannah Halliday (mathematics major) and Jackson Streeter (mathematics and computer science double major) presented “The Sandler Syndrome: Predicting Box Office Revenue.”  Jacob DeVries (music business and economics double major) presented “Using Technical Indicators to Predict Future Stock Prices.” Christopher Winfree (applied discrete mathematics major) presented “Predicting a Minor League Player’s Success in MLB.”  The conference featured eleven research presentations given by college students throughout the region.

Belmont Hosts Tennessee Academy of Science Regional Meeting

TAS-chemistryBelmont’s College of Sciences and Mathematics hosted The Tennessee Academy of Science (TAS) Collegiate Division Middle Region Meeting on Saturday, April 18. The meeting included research sessions for chemistry, ecology/zoology/botany, cellular/microbiology/health and medical science and mathematics/engineering/computer science. The TAS meeting was coordinated by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Duane Hatch.

A total of 37 student presenters from Belmont University, Tennessee State University, Motlow State Community College, Fisk University, Volunteer State Community College and Austin Peay State University presented research in 15 minutes presentations.


Each session was judged by faculty volunteers and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention awards were presented. Belmont faculty volunteer judges included Drs. John Niedzwiecki, Robert Grammer, Nick Ragsdale, Lori McGrew, Chris Barton, and Roger Jackson, biology, and Drs. Rachel Rigsby and Justin Stace, chemistry. Belmont student volunteers included biology majors Brandy Sweet, Mohamed Darwish, and Austin Demaagd.

The following Belmont students won awards:

  • Chemistry:  2nd place – Daniel Beagan, 3rd place – Victoria Lim
  • Ecology/Zoology/Botany: 1st place – Sonia Kadakia, 2nd place – Jackson Smith, 3rd place -Brielle Davis, Honorable Mention – John Gossen
  • Cellular/Microbiology/Health and Medical Science:  1st place – Lauryn Bouldin, 2nd place – Justin Smith, 3rd place – Stephanie Ray

TAS-ecologyTAS seeks to promote scientific research and knowledge diffusion, encourage communication between scientists, especially in Tennessee, develop and make known state resources, and arrange and prepare reports of investigations and discussions as they further the aims and objectives of the academy.

Carter Wins First Place in MTSU’s Chinese Language Writing Contest

Achievers.CarterBelmont sophomore Clarke Carter, international business major and Chinese minor, won the first place award in the Advanced Category at Middle Tennessee State University Confucius Institute’s Second Annual Chinese Language Writing Contest.  In the fall of 2014, Carter entered the contest by writing a Chinese essay called, “My Best Friend.”

The purpose of the contest is to promote interest in Chinese learning among American and Chinese American students, to offer a platform to present their Chinese writing skills and to increase their understanding of Chinese language and culture.

Under the guidance of Dr. Qingjun Li, assistant professor of Asian Studies and Chinese Language, Carter is the first Belmont student to win an award in Elementary Chinese Writing for Non-Heritage, Advanced Chinese Writing for Non-Heritage or Chinese Writing for Heritage Chinese learners. 

Li and Students Present at ASIANetwork Conference

Achievers.ASIANetworkDr. Qingjun Li, assistant professor of Asian Studies and Chinese, recently lead a group of three students to present their research, “Commodification of Culture in China’s New Cultural Industry,” at the 23rd Annual ASIANetwork Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Belmont students Anna Croghan, Samantha Hubner and Joseph Minga presented their research project for the faculty members from ASIANetwork member institutions, a consortium of around 160 North American liberal arts colleges and universities.

The poster session featured a video, research report and observation and survey results done at five Chinese cities (Beijing, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Hengdian and Wuhan). The team discussed the results of their interviews with professors and deans at the Institute of Cultural Industry at Beijing University, executives and leaders of the mega-corporation Wanda Group and government officials.  The research was generously funded by the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows program.

AET Students Build Speaker Cabinet for Physics Acoustics Lab Isolation Booth


AET majors Ryan Yount, Chris O’Brien and Ryan Morris take measurements of the telescoping speaker cabinet they built

Students in Dr. Scott Hawley’s Physics for Audio Engineering course recently built a ported speaker cabinet for the new isolation booth obtained for the College of Sciences & Mathematics Acoustics Teaching Lab.

AET majors Ryan Yount, Chris O’Brien and Ryan Morris built a ported speaker cabinet for which the resonant frequency (of the port) was tunable by varying the interior volume of the cabinet. The isolation booth was secured by CSM faculty Drs. Thom Spence, Robert Magruder and Scott Hawley for use with student undergraduate research and class projects which require more precise acoustical measurements than is afforded by a regular classroom environment.

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