The Nashville Children’s Choir (NCC), a Belmont ensemble, had the opportunity to sing back-up vocals for performing artists Michael W. Smith, Darius Rucker and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles during the “CMA Country Christmas” special filmed Fri., Nov. 8, at Bridgestone Arena.
The NCC’s 23 Touring Choir choristers are coached by directors James Wells, an adjunct instructor in the School of Music, and Madeline Bridges, associate dean of the School of Music. The choir rehearsed the music, recorded their vocal parts at a local studio and then sang in the live taping in front of a capacity crowd at Bridgestone Arena.
“The choristers had a fantastic experience performing with these big-name artists and experiencing the behind-the scenes procedures and processes required to produce such a major event,” Bridges said.
The Nashville Children’s Choir is a city-wide choir program for boys and girls ages eight to 18. The choir is a part of the pre-college music program, the Belmont Academy. Since its founding in 1991, the NCC program has been in residence at Belmont and functions as an ensemble of Belmont University School of Music, singing regularly as a part of “Christmas at Belmont.”
In addition, many Belmont students and alumni performed in the orchestra during the special. The live orchestra on stage for the event included six string players who are current Belmont music majors or recent graduates.
Nettles hosted the special, and performers included Lady Antebellum, Mary J. Blige, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker and Belmont Trustee Michael W. Smith. The program will air at 8 p.m. Central/9 p.m. Eastern on Mon., Dec. 2 on ABC.
Students and faculty from Belmont University School of Physical Therapy were again instrumental in coordinating two charitable events that occur annually in Nashville, Tenn. each fall. Over 100 student volunteers provided the main logistical support for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Nashville on Oct. 26, and again for Dierks Bentley’s Miles and Music for Kids motorcycle ride and concert in Middle Tennessee on Nov. 3.
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure race attracted 26,000 people to the Maryland Farms YMCA to support the fight against breast cancer. Physical therapy students assisted with course setup and clean up, served as course marshals at the start and finish lines, and were available throughout the race to hand out water and help with crowd control. The student participation in race is facilitated annually by Belmont professor Michael Voight who co-chairs the event. Voight said he support Komen because 75 percent of every dollar raised in the region remains in Middle Tennessee and is granted to other local non‐profits.
“These non‐profits are working on the front lines to battle breast cancer, educating both women and men on the value of early detection and promoting awareness to low‐income and non‐insured individuals,” Voight said.
Dr. Pat Sells, associate professor of physical therapy, who leads the race volunteer program for the school said, “The manner in which our students conducted themselves overwhelms me. They were kind, energetic, dedicated and willing to do whatever was asked of them. I received so many positive comments on them, I was truly proud to be considered as part of their team. Managing a race course with 26,000 people and doing so flawlessly was an impressive feat.” (more…)
Faculty and students from the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing lent their expertise to the public last week at a Fall Awareness and Prevention event hosted by Williamson County Parks and Recreation. Health professionals from each discipline in the college were on hand to assist seniors with strategies to keep active and falls free: ideas about effective home modifications and the use of assistive devices from the School of Occupational Therapy, counsel on the proper use of medications from the School of Nursing, information on community resources from the Social Work Department and suggestions on shoe wear and exercises to increase flexibility, mobility and strength from the School of Physical Therapy.
“This was a great opportunity for our college’s faculty and students to work together in serving the seniors in our local community with ideas for preventing falls”, said Dr. Debra Gibbs, assistant professor of occupational therapy, who coordinated Belmont’s participation in the event.
Every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Nationally, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65 and over, and the chances of falling and being seriously injured in a fall increase with age, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Tennessee Bar Association recently announced third-year law student Katie Blankenship will receive its 2014 Law Student Volunteer Award. The Law Student Volunteer Award recognizes a student who has provided dedicated and outstanding pro bono services to an organization that is primarily engaged in providing legal representation to the indigent. Award winners will be honored at the Tennessee Bar Association’s 2014 Public Service Luncheon on Jan. 18 in Nashville, Tenn.
Belmont University art students shared their time and talent Nov. 9 to help a local animal rescue with its largest fundraising event. More than 250 animal lovers attended the only animal-themed masquerade ball to help raise money for Agape Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization that has been fostering and finding homes for displaced dogs since 2004.
With admission, ball guests received custom animal masks made by local artists. Approximately 100 of the masks designed by art students from Belmont. The masquerade event was the biggest fundraising event in organization’s history and raised more than $30,000.
Each semester, art professor David Ribar chooses a large-scale art project for his senior capstone students to complete as part of their midterm grade.
“I was looking for a project that would stimulate and utilize their design and fine art skills, and I also wanted to reiterate Belmont’s mission of paying it forward,” said Ribar.
Agape Animal Ball committee member asked Ribar to have students help contribute to their fundraiser.
“Agape Animal Ball was built on the concept of having beautiful, one-of-a-kind animal masks. When reaching out to the community for support, Belmont, a school known for its excellence in the arts, was an obvious choice,” said Tanya Willis, executive director and founder of Agape Animal Rescue. “Fundraising events are vital to the work we do. With the support of the Nashville community, we have rescued, fostered and found incredible homes for more than 800 dogs. “
Belmont University received eight visitors from Japan in late October. The group consisted of six members of the Fujieda International Friendship Society (FIFS) and the parents of Belmont University’s Japanese language instructor Dr. Naoko Ozaki. On the Maymester Japan Trip last year, Belmont University students and faculty visited Ozaki’s hometown, Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and the FIFS group arranged generous hospitality for them in the city and the homes of their members. With their help, Belmont students visited Fujieda Elementary School and were welcomed by fifth graders with songs and a calligraphy demonstration. FIFS group also arranged for the Belmont group to receive a warm welcome from the vice mayor of Fujieda City. Upon her return from Japan this summer, Ozaki stayed in touch with the FIFS members and extended an invitation for them to visit Belmont. It wasn’t long before the FIFS members decided to accept this invitation and came all the way to the United States just to visit Belmont and Nashville, Tenn.
Belmont Japanese language students and the Maymester Trip students held an “FIFS Appreciation” event and sang eleven songs in Japanese, Swahili and English. The visitors sang along and also danced with the students. The event concluded with a potluck party with the help of custodial staff who brought food unique to their home countries. The group stayed with Nashville host families in the area, visited the Nashville mayor’s office and went to the Office of the Consul General of Japan and met Consul-General Kato. The students also took the visitors to restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory and Hard Rock Café where the visitors took pictures of all-American hamburgers and large portions of cheesecake slices. The delegation was hosted at a luncheon given by Belmont’s Asian Studies department and members of the Japan Studies faculty.
Dr. Tohru Ozaki and Mrs. Atsuko Ozaki, parents of Ozaki, brought a Ryūkyū Doll to Dr. Bob Fisher and the University. This doll is from the southern part of Japan known as Okinawa today. The style and the fabric of the outfit represent those of the time Okinawa was called Ryūkyū Kingdom from the 15th century, and the outfit is different from Japan’s traditional kimono.
The Ozakis live in Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Tohru Ozaki is one of a few elite scholars of Sumerian and cuneiform in the world. Much of his publication is studied and referenced by other Sumerian scholars. After retiring from teaching at the University of Shizuoka, he taught Sumerian, German, and French at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China for four years. Atsuko Ozaki has spent her career working with people with autism, helping them to be participating citizens of the community. Being back in Japan now, they are looking forward to helping the students on Belmont’s Maymester 2014 Japan Trip experience the unique culture of Japan.
On Tues., Nov. 5, the College of Pharmacy participated in a health screening exercise with Special Olympics Tennessee. Seventy-five Davidson County Olympians, who compete worldwide in various events, were screened for athletic readiness. College of Pharmacy faculty and students were involved in screening medication profiles of the athletes, making sure proper cautions concerning allergies, exposure to the sun, drug adverse effects and drug interactions were not an issue for these participants. According to Joanne Drumright of Special Olympics, “The process went very smoothly, and we hope to scale up the screening, inviting athletes from a much broader area in an upcoming event.” College of Pharmacy participants included Drs. Andy Webster and Phil Johnston along with students Marian Roufael, Razia Shamsuddin and Darrilyn Prout, all in their fourth year of study.
Belmont University has achieved Gold in the Green area of Mayor Karl Dean’s Workplace Challenge for being a local environmental hero for its leadership in reducing the environmental impacts of its operations and buildings. Belmont also achieved Gold in the Involved area of the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge for being a local community champion for its leadership in actively promoting volunteer service inside and outside the workplace.
The Mayor’s Workplace Challenge is a new city initiative to recognize and encourage healthy living in the workplace. Its aim is to improve in the areas that most contribute to a high quality of life and healthy living including being green, involved in the community and being healthy. The inaugural Workplace Challenge is part of the city’s efforts to move Nashville toward a greener, healthier and more involved future.
“Through the Workplace Challenge, I am asking businesses and organizations throughout Nashville to step up and show just how big an impact they can make on the livability of our city,” Mayor Karl Dean said.
Through these achievements, Belmont is considered a champion in making the workplace better for employees, students and the surrounding community. This actively reflects Belmont’s mission to be a student-centered Christian community providing an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith.
Assistant Professor of Social Work Julie Hunt recently co-presented at the annual convention of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work held in Atlanta, Ga. The presentation was entitled, “Help! How Do I Do This? Developing Spiritually Sensitive Social Work”. Co-presenting with Hunt were Ali Hearon, a senior social work major, and recent alumna Katie Cross.
Associate Professor and Chairwoman of the Social Work Department Sabrina Sullenberger also made a recent presentation at the annual program meeting in Dallas, Texas of the Council on Social Work Education. Her session was entitled “Waiting to Be Cinderella’d? Constructions of social class and gender.”
Emily Deas, a sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology major and Pathways scholar, recently worked in a marine microbiology lab at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Deas worked with Dr. Karen Lloyd, and their main research was doing cell counts through a process called Catalyzed Reporter Deposition Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (CARD-FISH). She took samples from White Oak River’s estuary and did cell counts with Lloyd’s method to show that when the correct enzyme is used, bacteria and archaea are found in basically equal population. Deas was also included as an author on Lloyd’s research poster titled Activities of extracellular peptidases in sediments of the White Oak River Estuary, N.C.