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Belmont Ranks Among Top 50 Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools has ranked Belmont University No. 12 among the Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools of 2014.

For its ranking methodology, evaluated hundreds of nursing schools to see which have the strongest presence among social media platforms.  The formula was weighted to put more emphasis on the social media platforms that are most popular with nursing schools. The highest possible score was 100 points and distributed: 32 for Facebook, 15 for Nurses Lounge, 14 for Twitter, 12 for YouTube, 12 for LinkedIn, six for Google, four for Pinterest, four for Flickr and one for Instagram.

Belmont scored a 65.4 on the ranking scale. Belmont’s School of Nursing is active on social media through FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus and Nurse’s Lounge as well as the Health Sciences news site.

According to, “Social media is constantly changing, so schools must reevaluate their strategies regularly and decide which platforms to maintain a presence on and how much interaction to engage in with their followers.”, a social community for new and existing nurses, provides a comprehensive resource for the career and education aspects of nursing.

Belmont Students Meet with British Scholar in Oxford

British scholar Colin Duriez speaks with Belmont students.

British scholar Colin Duriez speaks with Belmont students.

Belmont students in Jonathan Thorndike’s “C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Inklings” summer class at King’s College in London had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit with Colin Duriez, well-known British scholar and author of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend, The A-Z of C. S. Lewis, Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings: A Guide to Middle Earth, and many other books. The class met with Duriez and had lunch with him at the Lamb and Flag, one of the Oxford establishments frequented by the Inklings.

Oxford, England was the home of C. S. Lewis from 1918 until his death in 1963.  J. R. R. Tolkien lived and taught there from 1925 until he died in 1973. It was in Oxford that the Christian fantasy writers’ group known as the Inklings met at the Eagle and Child public house or at C. S. Lewis’ rooms at Magdalen College. The Inklings produced some of the most influential books of the 20th century including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

StudentsInOxfordThe students were thrilled with Duriez’s narration during the walking tour of Oxford. They had many good questions about his book The Gift of Friendship, which he said is being optioned for a movie script based on the life of J. R. R Tolkien. Duriez has a new book on the Inklings scheduled to be released in spring 2015, and he discussed his new book with the Belmont students. The walking tour ended at Blackwell’s Bookshop, where students were able to get books signed by the author himself.

Colin Duriez is based in Keswick, Cumbria in northwest England and writes books, edits and lectures on Lewis, Tolkien and the Inklings. He appeared as a commentator on the extended version film DVDs of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, the DVD set of Walden/Disney’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Sony DVD about Tolkien fandom and the impact of Tolkien on popular culture. He has also participated in documentaries on PBS and the BBC. He is a part-time tutor at Lancaster University and is currently a consultant on a new film about the life of J. R. R. Tolkien.

Bridges to Belmont Students Spend Fridays Volunteering


Photo Credit: Leila Grossman/

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.

Curb College Professor, Student Record Colombian Ensemble

El Guamo w student engineersDr. 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.

Belmont Students Serve with Project Transformation Tennessee

Casey Enright

Casey Enright and a summer camp student

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.”

‘Riding with a Reason’ Team Completes Trip, Achieves Fundraising Goal

FinishLineRising 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.

RidingWithaReasonU.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.


Nursing Students Honored for Vanderbilt Medical Center Internships

Pictured from left are undergraduate nursing students Gabrielle Pappas, Sarah Steele, Jennifer Bognar and Dr. Leslie Folds, associate professor of nursing.

Pictured from left are undergraduate nursing students Gabrielle Pappas, Sarah Steele, Jennifer Bognar and Dr. Leslie Folds, associate professor of nursing.

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.”

Pharmacy Students Administer Free HIV Tests

Pharmacy student volunteersBelmont 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.

Students, Faculty Present at Christian Scholars’ Conference

Caroline Cartwright and Andrew Hunt

Caroline Cartwright and Andrew Hunt

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”


Student Attends Ethical Leadership Conference

maggieJunior 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.

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