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Occupational Therapy Residency Projects Provide Wheelchairs and Support to Families in San Carlos, Mexico

ClaireGreccoTaraHarperTwo doctoral students in Belmont’s Occupational Therapy program recently completed their residency projects which provided wheelchairs and professional support to children and their families in San Carlos, Mexico.  Claire Grecco and Tara Harper completed complimentary projects under the academic advisement of Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Dr. Teresa Plummer and with assistance from the faith-based charitable organization, Reach Out and Care Wheels (ROC Wheels), based in Bozeman, Montana.

For her project, Grecco piloted the creation of a local chapter of Youths Empowered with the Helper Spirit to Reach Out and Care at Nashville’s Ezell Harding Christian School.  Through the program, students learned about the international need for wheelchairs and helped raise money to provide wheelchairs for children.

Both Grecco and Harper traveled to Mexico to distribute five custom-fitted wheelchairs provided by ROC Wheels and took photo and videos of the children receiving the wheelchairs so they could share the experience with those who helped raise necessary funds. While in San Carlos, Grecco and Harper also assisted local therapists in fitting over 60 adult and pediatric wheelchairs and provided education regarding their use to caregivers.

Harper’s project was to create a caregiver education manual to support the caregivers to the children who received the wheelchairs.  The manual includes important health information regarding seating and mobility, as well as wheelchair maintenance and adjustment.

Doctoral candidates in occupational therapy each design a culminating project which requires 640 hours to advance their skills in the areas of clinical practice, research, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education and/or theory development.

Belmont Education and Media Studies Departments Partner with Rose Park Magnet to Produce Community Paper

Rose Park Journalism Club-110Edgehill’s Best, a free community newspaper run once a year, is scheduled to hit the shelves within the Edgehill community by the beginning of June. Produced by a partnership between Rose Park Math and Science Magnet Middle School and Belmont University, the project began under the direction of Belmont’s Director of Community Relations Joyce Searcy and engages Rose Park 7th and 8th graders in creating a newspaper as part of their journalism class. The partnership brings together professors from Belmont’s Media Studies and Education Departments and teachers from Rose Park including 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher Audrey Lyell.

Last year’s edition was created under the guidance of Belmont Media Studies Instructor Dorren Robinson and Assistant Professor of Media Studies Dr. Hyangsook Lee. The duo, working alongside Department Chair Dr. Thom Storey and Searcy, produced the eight-page edition. This year, Belmont’s Education Department joined the partnership and Chair of the Education Department Dr. Mark Hogan traveled to Rose Park weekly to teach the students about journalism and writing.

With 11 Rose Park students participating in the publication of this year’s edition, Dr. Hogan said the opportunity to work directly with the students has been invaluable. “The students had great ideas and showed leadership in bringing a project to completion.  I believe they learned about writing for publication, specifically for newspapers and how that is different than classroom writing for assignments,” Dr. Hogan said. “This also allows the Teacher Education Department to further engage in our commitment to be the ‘feet in the street’ education program in Nashville.”

Belmont Physics Department Uses Computer Idle Time for Research Project

physicsBelmont’s Physics Department has recently begun re-purposing the idle time on McWhorter lab desktop computers, through the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), for the Einstein@Home research project. After installing BOINC on these computer, researchers can connect to a number of research projects, making it possible to tap into the enormous processing power of personal computers around the world.

Einstein@Home searches for weak astrophysical signals from spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars) using data from the LIGO gravitational-wave detectors, the Arecibo radio telescope and the Fermi gamma-ray satellite. This will put Belmont in the top 1% of BOINC users in the world.

Student Presents at Emerging Researchers National Conference


Belmont chemistry major and junior Adam Woods recently attended the Emerging Researchers National Conference (ERN) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), a meeting co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Foundation. Held in Washington, D.C., Woods presented a poster entitled, “New Positively Charged Contrast Agents for Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis,” which resulted from his summer 2014 research experience at Boston University.

More than 1,000 people from 240 colleges and universities attended the three-day annual conference, which provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields to enhance their science communication skills through poster and oral presentations judged by 140 scientists and engineers.

The oral and poster presentations are the core of the conference, but attendees can also attend networking events, plenary talks by science leaders and workshops on a variety of topics including locating school funding.

Belmont Students Share College Experiences with Maplewood Distinguished Scholars

Achievers.MaplewoodBelmont students Justin Lang, Sierra Jones, Christianna Ellison, La’Tiara Jarvis and Keayana Robinson spoke to a group in the Belmont Distinguished Scholars Program at Maplewood High School about what life is like in college, including personal testimonies of encouragement.

Every Wednesday morning during Maplewood’s advisory period, Belmont’s Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Myron Oglesby travels to the school for an academic collaboration with 25 students in preparation for a successful college transition.

“The Belmont students were well received, and the excitement of their message filled the air; students at Maplewood all heard a similar theme from the Belmont students who spoke ‘If I can do it, so can you,’” said Dr. Oglesby.

This year’s collaboration theme is “A College State of Mind.” Several Belmont professors, including Chair of the Psychology Department Dr. Linda Jones, Chair of the School of Education Dr. Mark Hogan and Director of the Bridges to Belmont Program Mary Clark, have also visited to share personal stories on a successful collegiate experience.

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.

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