As part of their summer transition into Belmont’s culture of service-learning and spirit of volunteerism, 30 Bridges to Belmont students are volunteering across Nashville each Friday. This is the first time a group service project has been added to their summer orientation program. On July 18, the students split their time building a fence for Music City Hounds Unbound, playing games with homeless and helping with a garden at Room in the Inn and sorting donated medical supplies for shipment to developing countries around the world at Project C.U.R.E. The Bridges to Belmont program provides Metro Nashville Public Schools students, many of whom are first generation college students, each with a four-year scholarship to cover tuition, room, board, required fees and books. The students will volunteer again on July 25 and Aug. 1.
Dr. 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.
Three Belmont students are working with Project Transformation Tennessee, which seeks to address three unique challenges with one program: meet the academic, physical, and spiritual needs of children from low-income communities; provide meaningful ways for college-age young adults to explore ministry opportunities and develop as young principled leaders for the church and the world; and help revitalize churches.
Project Transformation Tennessee harnesses the creative energy and ideas of young adults who live in intentional Christian community and who plan and implement free summer day camp programs for children and youth in under served neighborhoods. The programs are held at United Methodist churches located in the heart of low-income neighborhoods, thereby helping those churches connect in meaningful ways with their communities.
Three Belmont students serving with Project Transformation are Casey Enright (a sophomore church leadership and administration major), Christine Anderson (a sophomore social entrepreneurship major) and Natalie Webb (a junior social work major).
Enright said, “This is my first year working with Project Transformation, and it has been a life changing summer. Not only am I building a relationship with the kids that I work with, but also my fellow interns and different organizations that we meet through our organization.”
Rising Belmont senior Brennon Mobley and rising junior James Richfield, along with alumnus JD Hartwig (’14), recently completed their cross-country Riding with a Reason trip. The 3,300-mile bike trip started in Oceanside, Oregon in mid-May and was completed in Washington, D.C. last week, raising more than $58,000 along the way for 147 Million Orphans, a Middle Tennessee-based nonprofit organization that raises awareness for orphans and provides them with food, water and medication. The funds will be used to finance a school building in Mount Olivos, Honduras and fill it with basic supplies, desks, chairs, books and uniforms as well as secure teachers’ salaries.
U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., made a statement in front of Congress on June 27, honoring the team for their good work, noting, “Cycling across the country is a certainly a noble endeavor. Nobler still are the 147 million reasons these three men are offering up their summer with blood, sweat, tears and bike tires… I ask my colleagues to join with me in celebrating the loving-kindness of Brennon Mobley, James Richfield and JD Hartwig as we all continue the sacred work of protecting and serving the least among us.”
Read more about the Riding with a Reason trip here.
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 College of Pharmacy students recently teamed up with Walgreens and Nashville Cares to administer free HIV tests at Walgreens locations around Middle Tennessee. The free testing was part of the Greater Than AIDS campaign and was in honor of National HIV Testing Day. The students participating in the event were members of the Belmont chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) who had completed HIV testing and counseling training with Nashville Cares and become certified in the Spring. SNPhA plans to offer the training to its other members during the upcoming school year. Belmont’s chapter of SNPhA hopes to maintain its partnership with Nashville Cares so that its members can continue to serve their community through HIV education and early detection.
A group of Belmont students and faculty presented their essays and attended the Christian Scholars’ Conference at Lipscomb University June 5-6. With this year’s theme of “Leadership in the Academy, Religion and Civic Life,” the mission of the Christian Scholars’ Conference 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 was created under the direction of Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, distinguished professor emeritus at Pepperdine University, and has since been hosted by several faith-based universities. 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 to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith.
Belmont Honors Students Caroline Cartwright (Music Business) and Andrew Hunt (Music Business) presented their essays in a session titled, “What is the Purpose of Christian Higher Education in the 21st Century?—Ten Honors College Students Reflect on the Status of Faith-Based Learning.” Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, Honors Program director, moderated the session, which included students from Abilene Christian, Belmont, Harding and Lipscomb universities as well as Messiah College.
The following Belmont faculty members also presented their essays at the Christian Scholars’ Conference:
* Dr. David Dark (assistant professor of religion), respondent, “John’s Version: Updike and Christian Faith.”
* Dr. Sally Holt (associate professor of religion), “Ethical and Moral Issues Surrounding Sustainable Living & Energy”
* Dr. Susan Finch (assistant professor of English), “Creative Writing”
* Judge Alberto Gonzales (dean, College of Law), Vantage of the Courts respondent in session titled “Justice to the Alien: Four Trajectories for Consideration in the Debate on Immigration”
Junior Maggie Fincher, of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, represented Belmont University at the 2014 Student Leadership Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on June 11 and 12. The The Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics will launch a student chapter focusing on ethical leadership this fall. Fincher is studying finance and entrepreneurship.
A small group of faculty and students from Belmont University College of Pharmacy (BUCOP) recently traveled to Honduras as part of the Baptist Medical Dental Mission to that country. Dr. Adam Pace, Dr. Alisa Spinelli and two fourth year pharmacy students, Erin Oakley and Erin Mullen, joined a team of about 30 medical professionals who made the trip.
The team set up a medical clinic, dentistry clinic, and pharmacy in a schoolhouse in El Cedrito, a mountain village in the state of Yoro, and saw approximately 1,500 patients. About 5,000 prescriptions were dispensed through the pharmacy, 250 teeth were pulled by the dentist and 200 pairs of eyeglasses were distributed. In addition, 180 individuals either professed a new found faith in Jesus Christ or expressed a renewal of their Christian commitment during the church services or through personal evangelism at the medical stations.
Pace oversaw the setup and operation of the dispensing pharmacy, while Spinelli provided clinical pharmacy services in the medical clinic by answering providers’ questions about medications and by making recommendations about drug therapy. According, to Senior Missionary and Director John Ward, this was the first time in the history of the mission that a clinical pharmacist was dedicated to the medical stations. He commented that Spinelli’s presence with the providers really smoothed out the process and greatly improved the quality of care. (more…)
Belmont junior Megan Swanson recently was named Miss Nebraska 2014. She performed ”You Raise Me Up” during the scholarship pageant. Swanson, who is studying music and plans to become a motivational speaker and singer/songwriter, previously held the title of Miss Douglas County. She will represent Nebraska at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey in September.