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English Graduate Students Present Papers

Pictured from left to right are Hodge, Curtis, Kelly and Ayres-Miranda.

Pictured from left to right are Hodge, Curtis, Kelly and Ayres-Miranda.

Three current Belmont English students and one recent graduate of the master’s program had papers accepted at the 109th Meeting of the Tennessee Philological Association on Feb. 20 through 22 at Lipscomb University. Dana Perry, a December Master of Arts alumna, delivered a paper called “Shattering the Myth: Lorraine Hansberry’s The Drinking Gourd.” Cathy Kelly presented “Nabokov, O’Neill, and the Pathos of Place.” Will Hodge presented “REMYTHX: Adaptation as Remix in Eugene O’Neill’s Desire under the Elms and Mourning Becomes Electra.” Misty Ayres-Miranda presented “Electra’s Release in Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra.” Dr. David Curtis, professor of English and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, moderated the session and presented another paper at the conference.


Psychology Faculty, Students Present at Psychological Association Meeting

EPA group 2014Psychological Science faculty and students attended the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in Boston, Mass. on March 13 through 16. Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) was founded in 1896 and is the oldest of the regional Psychological Associations in the United States. Its sole purpose is to advance the science and profession of psychology through the dissemination of professional information about the field. Those attending were, pictured left to right, Dr. Lonnie Yandell, Savannah Ladage, Antario Jones, Caroline Baumgartner, Breanna Wood, Monica Roufael, Savannah Johnson, Jasmine Jarupat, Jade Tucker, Stephanie Seeley, Shelby Wall, Melanie Chinsoon, Dr. Pete Giordano and Dr. Linda Jones.

For the second year in a row, a Belmont student won a research award for research presented at the conference. Jasmine Jarupat’s psychology senior capstone study titled “Prosocial Behavior and Just World Belief Predicted by Mortality Salience and Religiosity,” supervised by Shen-Miller and Giordano, received the sixth place award out of 100 competitors. The award was given in a graduate student competition, and Jarupat’s poster was inadvertently considered even though she is an undergraduate. The award citation indicated to her that “you have been recognized for your excellence in presentation, research methodology and research idea,” she said. (more…)

Belmont Seniors Present at Computing Sciences Conference

image ­ trask_gilmore

Pictured are Andrew Trask, left, and David Gilmore, right.

Belmont seniors Andrew Trask and David Gilmore had their papers accepted independently to the 12th Annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Mid-South Conference. They presented their papers at The LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn. on April 5. CCSC Mid-South conference seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of information on computing and computing education.

Trask graduates in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Bachelor of Science in Applied Discrete Mathematics. His paper, “Distributing a Fully Connected Neural Network: A Novel Approach,” describes a novel approach to distributing artificial neural networks, which reduces their evaluation time by an order of magnitude.

Gilmore graduates in May with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. His paper, “Online-analytical processing: RDBMS vs. Hadoop,” describes a way to speed up a common business query task from seven hours to 12 minutes.

Equestrian Club Ends a Successful Show Year

The Belmont Equestrian Club earned 10 ribbons at its final competition of the year held March 1 and 2 at Murray State University. Additionally, the club was awarded a seventh place team ribbon in the Zone Five Region One division for its success at competitions during the 2013-2014 show season. Club members competed against students from other universities including Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Sewanee.

“I am so proud of our team this year and our success as a University. We have worked hard over the last 12 months to show our region that Belmont has what it takes to be competitive in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. I couldn’t be happier with the way we finished our first year of competition,” said Belmont Equestrian Club President Julie Anderson.

Club members earned the following ribbons:
Julie Anderson: two sixth places
Morgan Wilters: second and fifth places
Courtney O’Connor: third, fourth and fifth places
Caitlyn Marsh: second and fourth places
Allison Harpole: fifth place

Belmont West Student Featured on Game Show

Belmont West student Grayson Flatness was a featured contestant on the game show “The Price is Right,” which aired last week.

Sporting a Belmont University T-shirt, Flatness attended the show’s “Spring Break Edition” taping where he competed in the Grocery Game. The goal of the game is to purchase products that total between $20 and $21. Flatness was shown five grocery items and was instructed to choose an item and a quantity of that item to buy.

“Being able to participate in such a historic show will always be a memory that I cherish for the rest of my life and share with plenty of my friends. I am proud that I was able to represent the likes of Belmont University and Nashville on national television. I advise any and all future students of the Belmont West and East to make use of your time and resources because you never know what amazing opportunities may arrive,” Flatness said.

Morelan, Schmanski Sworn into SGA Office

Photo by Sam Frawley.

Photo by Sam Frawley.

Student Government Association (SGA) outgoing president Chase Geiser inaugurated rising juniors Jeanette Morelan and Skyler Schmanski as the 2014-2015 SGA president and vice president, respectively, on Monday in the Beaman Student Life Center. Students, faculty and staff, including members of Senior Leadership and SGA Congress, attended the ceremony.  In their new roles, Morelan and Scmanski are responsible for leading the organization and serving as the primary liaison between students and administration.

Social Work Students, Professors Present at National Conference

Matt Thompson smiles with his poster.

Matt Thompson smiles with his poster.

Social Work senior Matt Thompson recently presented a poster at the Baccalaureate Program Director’s (BPD) national conference on social work education.  His poster, which was selected to be a part of the student conference within the larger BPD conference, was entitled “Welcome Home: Current Military Pre and Post Separation and Transition Protocol.”  This poster provided an overview of current practices that are followed as men and women leave the armed services. As Thompson discussed the poster with conference attendees, he noted areas where policies should be reviewed as well as areas where social work expertise could be utilized to provide more effective services to new veterans.   Thompson, drawing on his social work education as well as his experience in the military, summed it up this way:  “Compassion and caring are not substitutes for action and advocacy.”

Assistant Professor of Social Work Julie Hunt and Associate Professor of Social Work Sabrina Sullenberger also presented at the BPD conference.  Sullenberger co-presented a workshop entitled “High-impact Educational Practices in Teaching Social Work Research” with colleagues from Indiana University.   Hunt’s roundtable presentation was entitled ““Integrating Spiritual Sensitivity into Cultural Competence Education for our Changing World.”

Reflecting on her work at the conference, Hunt said, “It was an honor to lead a roundtable discussion with a diverse group of colleagues from universities around the country on ways to integrate spiritually sensitive content in their social work curriculum. We had a productive and meaningful sharing of ideas, and their interest in this conversation has continued as we have been corresponding since the meeting, sharing syllabi, and ideas for readings and course assignments.”

Social Work Classes Visits State Capitol

day on the hill winners 2014Social work juniors in Dr. Jennifer Crowell’s Policy II class recently participated in Social Work Day on the Hill at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza.  They met with legislators, observed committee meetings and participated in a policy presentation and poster competition. Prior to the Day on the Hill, students worked in class to identify bills under consideration at the state level, and analyze the bills in the context of social work values, ethics and populations served, and then made recommendations on how to improve the bills they had studied.  This collective work led the class to identify one topic to focus on for the policy presentation, the issue of Human Trafficking in Tennessee.  At Day on the Hill, junior Christi Sidwell was selected as Belmont’s representative to speak in front of a crowd of students, faculty and social workers from across the state about Senate Bill 1655 and House Bill 1870. Christi spoke passionately about the issue in Tennessee and also about how the bills as proposed could be strengthened to ultimately provide better services and seek justice for people in Tennessee who have been trafficked.  The hard work of all the students was recognized when Belmont University was announced the winner of the undergraduate competition.

Bryan Griffith, a junior social work major at Belmont, said, “Social Work Day on the Hill gave me great insight into how our state’s policies are influenced by social workers by people who see and experience social issues firsthand. I got to sit in on a committee hearing and see how research based on the reports of people who work directly with (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) families can be presented to the representatives who write laws about (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) eligibility. It was an exciting experience for me because I really got to see how legislature works. Only so much can be understood about how our government functions through reading from a textbook. If more people were to take a trip to legislative plaza, meet their representative, and observe their representative’s interactions with other members of the general assembly and organizations, we might have a better understanding of our legislature’s behavior.”

Law Students Attend Annual Bar Association Conference


Franklin Graves (left) and Phillip Turner (right) at the conference.

Franklin Graves (left) and Phillip Turner (right) at the conference.

The American Bar Association (ABA) selected two Belmont University College of Law students to attend the 29th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference in Washington, D.C. from April 2 through 4.

Phillip Turner, class of 2016, was one of 12 law students selected from ABA-accredited schools to manage all of the social media and blog coverage for the three-day conference.  The ABA’s Law Student Reporters Program allows law students to attend over 30 continuing legal education (CLE) and keynote events in order to live tweet, blog and engage with attorneys.  The 29th Annual conference featured high-profile speakers and panels covering a wide-variety of intellectual property law topics, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and international law.

Franklin Graves, class of 2014, attended the conference last year as a law student reporter and returned to the conference as the newly appointed chairman of the Communications Subcommittee for the ABA’s Section of Intellectual Property Law.

Graves and Turner are members of the Law Student Action Group, which is designed to connect law students with attorneys from around the world to work on ABA projects, writing and drafting assignments and online CLEs. Read more at the Law Student Reporters Program blog.


First Health-Focused Immersion Serves in Guatemala

pharm spring breakThe College of Pharmacy partnered with University Ministries for an international spring break Immersion trip geared towards health professional and pre-health professions students. The team was comprised of four faculty and staff members, one professional medical interpreter, eight undergraduate students with an interest or major in healthcare-related fields and two fourth-year pharmacy students. Together they provided diabetes, asthma and vision screenings, as well as nutrition, hygiene and first-aid education to migrant workers at Finca la Azotea coffee plantation in Antigua, Guatemala. Additionally, the team spent one day working with at Escuela Proyecto la Esperanza, a nongovernmental organization school for underprivileged children assessing height weight and vision percentile projections.

Immersion activities included learning about the processes of growing, harvesting, roasting and packaging coffee, grocery shopping in a neighborhood market, visiting a private university, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, touring the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center and attending religious services on Ash Wednesday.

“The impact we may have had from simply educating the plantation employees may save lives one day. We had a few patients share they had family members who died or had been in danger because they did not know basic first-aid.  According to our partner in Guatemala, who initiated and helped organize this trip, many other coffee plantations are now expressing interest in collaborating with Belmont to provide similar services at their locations in the future,” said Jordan Tarter, a fourth-year pharmacy student.

This established and ongoing partnership in Guatemala directly complements the College of Pharmacy’s and Belmont’s overall commitment to missions. This is evidenced by the ability of pharmacy and undergraduate students from varied programs to concentrate their experiential learning in missions or public health, if they so choose. It also provides an opportunity to explore interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, as students representing a variety of health and pre-health professional fields combine in one immersion experience.

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