Musical theatre faculty and students partnered this week with a creative team from New York City to conduct a fully staged, fully choreographed workshop of a new Broadway-bound musical called “Chasing Rainbows.”
“Chasing Rainbows” celebrates the early years of Judy Garland culminating in her being cast in “The Wizard of Oz.” The workshop process is when a show’s producers test out and tweak how a show is booked, scored, choreographed and cast, prior to an attempt at a Broadway run.
Musical Theatre Program Coordinator Nancy Allen said, “Belmont is very excited to have been invited to do this because usually producers use only New York equity actors or top tier musical theater programs. This will hopefully be the first of many such collaborations.”
A staged reading of the show was held May 22 at the end of the 10-day workshop in the campus’ Troutt Theater.
Alumna Samantha Pauly (’13) is working as a production assistant on the international 2014 Kings of Leon Mechanical Bull tour. While a student at Belmont, she interned with MTV News, Q Prime, Soundland, Vector Management and worked on the Happy Together Tour. Pauly said she enjoys learning something new daily, visiting different cities and studying under people she admires in the music industry.
“My time at Belmont shaped me into the person I am and prepared me to pursue a career in touring,” she said. “Belmont taught me many things about entertainment and how to work in the music industry, but the most important lesson of them all was one that was highlighted to me first on the Happy Together Tour and now again on the road as a graduate: the good things in life come from the relationships that you build and maintain with others.”
Students in Dr. Nathan Webb’s Teamwork in Organizations class recently collected over 4,000 books for the Nashville nonprofit, Book’em. Students engaged in service learning by working on and reflecting on various aspects of teamwork through the class project. In addition to obtaining books for Book’em in innovative ways, the class also raised awareness about the organization. According to their website, Book’em seeks to help “Nashville’s economically disadvantaged children discover the joy of reading.”
Members of the Belmont College of Law Class of 2015 achieved a 100 percent pass rate for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which tests on the ethical obligations and professional conduct of lawyers and judges. The national average trends in the 80 to 85 percent range. The 81 Belmont students took the exam on March 29.
“I believe this is a testament to the quality of students attending Belmont Law as well as the quality of instruction they receive, particularly from Professor (Lynn) Zehrt who teaches the Professional Responsibility course.,” said Associate Dean for Student Services Andy Matthews.
To become a licensed attorney, candidates must pass the MPRE as well as the bar exam in the state in which they intend to practice.
Belmont University’s School of Sciences hosted this year’s Tennessee Academy of Science (TAS) Middle Division Collegiate Annual Meeting, on April 12. Dr. Duane Hatch, of the Chemistry Department, coordinated this event. There were 30 undergraduate students that presented their research. They were from Belmont, Tennessee State University, University of the South (Sewanee), Rhodes College, Volunteer State Community College and Austin Peay State University. There were five different sessions: chemistry, zoology, cell biology, math and computer science and environmental science. The following Belmont students won awards:
Several Belmont School of Science faculty serve as judges and moderators, including Darlene Panvini, John Niedzwiecki, Robert Grammer, Lori McGrew, Rachel Rigsby, Justin Stace and Danny Biles.
The Tennessee Academy of Science seeks to promote scientific research and the diffusion of knowledge concerning science; to secure communication between persons engaged in scientific work, especially in Tennessee; to assist by investigation and discussion in developing and making known the material, educationaland other resource and riches of the state; to arrange and prepare for publication such reports of investigations and discussions as they further the aims and objectives of the academy.
Occupational therapy doctoral students Evan Pendygraft and Jevorius Price began work this semester to provide ergonomic consultation to Spring Back Mattress Recycling in Nashville. The local nonprofit was started in 2010 as a project by Belmont Enactus (then Students in Free Enterprise) who explored mattress recycling as a means of achieving a triple bottom line, serving people, planet and profit. Pendygraft and Price are working under the guidance of Dr. Teresa Plummer and Dr. Debra Gibbs, faculty members in the School of Occupational Therapy, and with Dr. John Gonas from the College of Business Administration, to assist workers at Spring Back to lessen the physical strain in their work activities and avoid potential injury. The consultation will continue during the next year.
Fourth-year student Mary-Martin Johnson, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., received the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award at a ceremony in April. Johnson was presented the award by Dr. Chris Lamer, a clinical informaticist with the Indian Health Service.
The U.S. Public Health Service created the program to encourage student pharmacists to become active in public health issues. The annual award recognizes student pharmacists who have demonstrated a commitment to public health and public health practice across America.
Johnson was recognized for her work in the American Pharmaceutical Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter within Belmont’s College of Pharmacy. She has served as operation heart chairwoman and patient care coordinator for the organization. Through her efforts sustainable contributions to organizations such as the Barren Plains Hispanic Ministry have been initiated in the last few years. The APhA-ASP chapter has provided migrant workers free blood glucose and blood pressure screenings as well as patient education regarding diabetes and hypertension. In addition, the APhA-ASP chapter provided influenza immunizations to the migrant workers. Additionally, as service chairwoman within the Class of 2015, she has worked with The Little Pantry That Could. The nonprofit organization that provides food and healthcare services to the homeless population in west Nashville. Without a doubt, Johnson embodies the mission of the United States Public Health Service. Through her efforts as a student pharmacist, numerous lives have been changed.
Twenty-one Belmont business students received recognition and awards during the International Collegiate DECA competition last week in Washington, D.C. Thirty Belmont students participated in the conference that included almost 1,300 students from throughout North America. Professor Jeff Cornwall, Associate Professor Mark Schenkel and Program Coordinator Lisa Davis serve as Belmont DECA advisers. The following awards were given:
Associate Professor of Education Dr. Rachael Flynn-Hopper, Henna Jurca and Heidi Elbarky led a workshop, “Music in the Classroom: A Learning and Management Tool,” on the use of music to support the cognitive, physical and social-emotional development of children in early childhood and elementary classrooms. Participants learned how music sets the tone for the day and learning environment, how to use songs and technology to make music accessible and ways to incorporate it across the curriculum.
Heather Cain, graduate student in the reading specialist program, presented a session on the importance of developing phonemic awareness and phonics skills through the use of a phonics phone. Her session, “Phonics Phones,” allowed participants to make their own Phonics Phones, model and practice their use and generate ideas on how they could incorporate them in the classroom.
This spring semester the students in SPA 2895 La Cocina del Mundo Hispano (“Cuisine of the Hispanic World”) studied the connections between culture and cuisine in Spanish speaking countries. They practiced Spanish vocabulary and grammar needed for a variety of culinary activities and read Like Water for Chocolate by the novelist Laura Esquivel and food-themed odes by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Putting theory to practice, their professor, Dr. David C. Julseth, arranged for a series of hands-on cooking workshops that were taught in Spanish by Hispanic chefs in a professional community kitchen located in the new Casa Azafrán Community Center. Here the students learned to make the recipes from the Mexican novel by Esquivel, as well as Salvadoran pususas, Peruvian ceviche and Colombian sancocho stew. Cassava (yuca) fries, chile rellenos and cooked plantains were some of the semester favorites!