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Students Attend Neuroscience Conference to Present Research

studentsBelmont Neuroscience Program Coordinator, Dr. Lori McGrew, took six students to the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15-18.  The students included Hensley Barnes, Lauren Sheppard, Karah Parker, Iqra Wahid, Jaime Wesley and Cassie Wyatt, a group that has conducted research with Dr. McGrew utilizing zebrafish. They presented a poster showcasing their findings during the conference’s Faculty for Undergraduate chapter meeting.

The conference is an international gathering of over 31,000 neuroscientists who share their latest findings including labs surrounding a streptococcus bacteria, oxytocin’s influence on social memory and interaction, cellular and molecular mechanisms for memory and an inspiration presentation on Dr. Nicoll’s journey to becoming a renowned electrophysiologist, despite his severe dyslexia.

For more information on conference highlights, click here.

Honors Program Ranks Second as NCHC Best Honors College/Program Newsletter

Capture2The National Collegiate Honor’s Council (NCHC), an organization committed to supporting the work of Honors Programs across the country, announced its 2014 award winners at The 2014 NCHC Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado last weekend. The Belmont Honors Program Newsletter took home Second Place for the Best Student-Produced, Electronic Honors College/Program Newsletter.

Led by student editor and senior honors commercial music major Sammi Potts, the team of students responsible for the newsletter included Honors Student Council members Zachary Lord, Ryan Brommer and Anthony Manker, senior music business majors, and John Thomas Faircloth, senior corporate communication major.


Student Named ASCAP Foundation’s Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship Recipient


Photo by Marisa Boras

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) recently honored Belmont freshman songwriting major, Kel Taylor, as the 2014 winner of the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship during November’s installment of the ASCAP Belmont Songwriters Showcase, held Tues., Nov. 11. Taylor‘s song,  “Nashville,” was selected by music faculty and Belmont University as the best song submitted for the competition, based on overall craft, artistry and compositional elements.

This tuition scholarship recognizes the talent, professionalism, career potential and musical ability of a songwriting major. Bart Howard (1915-2004) penned over 200 songs, including “Fly Me to the Moon,” which has been performed by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and many others. The program is made possible by the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.

For more information, visit Taylor’s website here.

Jessie Pitts Makes Top 12 On NBC’s ‘The Voice’

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetJessie Pitts, a Belmont sophomore and student in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, competed on NBC’s “The Voice,” where she made it to this season’s top 12 performers. During the show’s first live Play-Off episode, Pitts sang Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero,” a performance that secured her place as one of Team Blake’s top three.

“Your pitch is perfect and your voice is hypnotic, as usual,” said Coach Blake Shelton. “If Jessie gets comfortable with the actual groove of this song, there is no stopping that kid… She just creates a new mold.” he said.

During Monday night’s episode, Pitts performed Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” and wowed viewers with her piano skills. Up until Tuesday morning, viewers could utilize a variety of avenues, including texting, social media, “The Voice” app, phone calls and to vote. As her final performance on Tuesday night’s results show prior to her elimination, Pitts sang Sara Bareilles’s “Gravity,” 

For behind the scenes access to Jessie’s “Voice” journey and to read more on her musical career, follow her Twitter here.

Journalism Student Receives CMA Close Up Award of Merit

photo 2Kelly Brickey, Belmont junior and journalism major, was recently named CMA’s Close Up Award of Merit in journalism recipient, in recognition of her work for CMA Close Up magazine during this summer’s CMA Fest.

Throughout CMA’s week of festivities, Brickey was assigned events to cover including Big & Rich’s opening show, performances at LP Field and a story on the Budweiser Clydesdales. Brickey says the experience was very valuable for her future career, as she was able to learn how to get the right information in a short period of time and turn the story around on an even shorter deadline.

Brickey said receiving the award was unexpected, as the team of journalists she was working alongside was very talented. “I was honored to be a part of an amazing team this year; every one of the other journalists alongside me were brilliant and so innovative,” she said.

Being at Belmont has been a large contributor to her success, Brickey noted. “Being a journalism student at Belmont has completely changed me… I have learned more than I ever thought I could from our media department. They have not only taught me the skills and academics I need to be a successful journalist, but also how to form my own voice and develop the real-life tactics it takes to be a journalist.”

Chemistry Students Participate in STEM Poetry Slam Competition

poetry_slamFive students from Dr. Kimberlee Daus’s Organic Chemistry I class competed in the Nov. 5 inaugural Middle Tennessee STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Poetry Slam Competition.  The contest, open to area high school and college students, was presented by the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub, which recently moved to Belmont’s campus.

Students presented poems that explained a challenging STEM concept or inspired young people to pursue STEM-related fields. All poetry was written and performed by the entrant. Daus’s students were invited to enter the contest to address difficult content in organic chemistry.

Students Sydney Gangluff, Angel Brothers, Sarah Cannavino, Miranda West and Kathryn Hook were selected as 5 of the 16 finalists.  Hook and West were selected as top winners in the science category.  Their entry, entitled “Mechalicious,” explained the difference between SN1 and SN2 reaction mechanisms.

To view their video, click here.

Belmont Included on The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Music Schools

In an article recently published in The Hollywood Reporter, Belmont is noted on a list of the top 25 music schools across the world. Crossing the continent and going as far as Paris, Seoul and London, the articles highlights schools where the “Emmy and Oscar winners of tomorrow are practicing.”

Coming in at No. 24, Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business is honored for its Nashville connections, as well as its programs in New York and California. Students studying within this program can choose to spend a semester in either city, studying at what the University calls Belmont East or West.

Between the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business and the University’s School of Music, Belmont offers 15 programs of study, including songwriting, audio engineering, commercial and classical music as well as the school’s most recent edition, music therapy.

To see The Hollywood Reporter’s complete list, click here.

Students Receive Regions Bank Finance Scholarship

RegionsBelmont students Cody Fincher and Drew Ferguson were recently named as the recipients of a finance scholarship funded by Regions Banks. Middle Tennessee Regions President Jim Schmitz visited campus to meet the students. Dean of the Jack C. Massey College of Business, Dr. Pat Rains and Associate Dean, Dr. Stan York, joined the students in the presentation and expressed the University’s gratitude towards Regions support of Belmont and the Nashville community.

Chemistry Professors and Students Present at SERMACS


Several Chemistry department faculty members and students recently participated in the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) held in Nashville, TN, Oct. 16-19. American Chemical Society Regional Meetings are organized by ACS Local Sections and reflect the diverse professional interests in their geographic regions. These meetings feature technical programs on a variety of topics, poster sessions, expositions and social events.

On Oct. 17, Chemistry professors Drs. Rachel Rigsby and Kimberlee Daus moderated the symposia on “The Future of Chemical Education:  Addressing the Needs of ALL our Students.”  In addition to proposing the symposia and inviting speakers, Daus and Rigsby also presented a session entitled “The Power of Experiential Learning: Leveraging your General Education Curriculum to Invigorate your Chemistry Courses.” 

sermacs2On Oct. 18, three students from Belmont’s SMACS (Student Members of the American Chemical Society) organization participated in the SERMACS Undergraduate Program College Chemistry Bowl.  The Belmont team of Chemistry majors, Ryan Agh, Victoria Lim and Daniel Beagan, competed against the University of Alabama – Birmingham on chemistry topics of organic, nuclear, and inorganic chemistry.

Senior Victoria Lim, a double major in chemistry and mathematics, presented in the Undergraduate Research Symposium: Physical Chemistry I on Oct. 17. Her presentation was titled “Computational Analysis of Conformational Tunneling of Glyoxylic Acid”. Junior Adam Woods, a chemistry major, presented in the Undergraduate Poster session on Oct. 19.  Adam’s presentation on “Contrast Agents:  New Positively Charged Contrast Agents for Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis” was based on research he conducted this past summer through a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Boston University. 



Tennessee Nurses Association Elects New Leadership at Annual Membership Assembly

Nurses across the state will have a new team advocating for their interests and the state’s nursing MurabitoMediuminitiatives. The Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) held its annual Membership Assembly Oct. 10-12 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and elected a new officer team. Belmont Assistant Nursing Professor Sandy Murabito, was selected as the President-elect for the governing body.

“This year’s meeting ushered in a new strategic direction for the Association,” says TNA President Frances Sills. “Each of these members bring experience and passion for the nursing profession and I am confident they will guide this organization to new levels of excellence.”

Belmont Instructor of Nursing Tracy Wilson was elected to the nominating committee, and senior nursing major Daniel Maison was elected president of the Middle Tennessee Association of Student Nurses.

Dean of Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “This is wonderful recognition for nursing at Belmont. I have no doubt Ms. Wilson and Mr. Maison will excel in their new roles, and Dr. Murabito will provide the strong leadership the TNA presidency demands. She is an experienced advocate and will prove to be a worthy champion for Tennessee nurses.”

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