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Morris Releases Final Book, ‘Surface,’ in Trilogy

(Photo by Jake Giles Netter)

(Photo by Jake Giles Netter)

James Morris, a sophomore majoring in audio engineering technology, celebrated the release of the third book, “Surface,” in the “Three Kingdoms Trilogy” with a reading and book signing April 8 at Parnassus Books in Green Hills. Morris authored the series while attending Belmont and pursuing musical aspirations.

Click here to read an article about his success and here to visit Morris’s website.


Biology Students Win Award at National Alpha Chi Convention


Award-winning student participants

Two Belmont students and biology majors, Dora Geving and Zara Latif, attended the annual National Convention of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society from March 19-12 in Chicago, Illinois and were awarded The Bonnie Revelle Prize in Molecular/Cellular Biology for their efforts titled “Nematodes Roaming the Field of Parkinson’s Disease.” Their presentation was based on research results generated with the Department of biology’s Dr. Nicholas Ragsdale.

Among the Convention’s 260 presenting students, 29 received prizes for scholarly, creative or artistic presentations in their fields. Geving and Latif earned top honors in the Molecular/Cellular section of student presentations.

A national college honor society, Alpha Chi admits students from all academic disciplines, but membership is limited to the top 10 percent of an institution’s juniors, seniors and graduate students. Invitation to membership comes only through an institutional chapter.

Hatch and Students Selected to Participate in Research at National Laboratory

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Duane Hatch was recently selected to participate in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Visiting Faculty Program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for summer 2015, a highly competitive program that allows faculty to collaborate with some of the most talented scientists in the world.

Selected faculty and participating students spend 10 weeks at a DOE national laboratory engaged in a research project under the guidance of a laboratory scientist. Faculty members build collaborative relationships with research scientists and become familiar with DOE sponsored research programs, scientific user facilities and potential funding opportunities. Students participate in enrichment activities, including career and professional development workshops, laboratory tours, scientific lectures and seminars. Dr. Hatch will be working under Dr. Pete Silks.

Ryan Agh, a chemistry major and mathematics minor and Ambrose Rice, a biology major and chemistry minor, will work under Dr. Hatch on his research and will receive a $5,000 stipend for the 10-week experience. The proposal’s estimate total value is $25,000.

This program is renewable for up to 3 years and opens the door for further student involvement with the Laboratory. For more information, click here

Pathways Scholars Tour Space Flight Center

pathwaysOn March 28 Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Dr. Daniel Biles took five Pathways Scholars to Huntsville, Alabama for a Marshall Space Flight Center tour and a private visit with famed NASA scientist Alex McCool, Jr.

McCool was involved in the US space program from its very earliest days, beginning in 1954.  In the photo, L to R, are Dr. Biles, Kailee Gerzema, Grant VanderKallen, Kara Garrett, Daniel Beagan and Tanner Marion.

Bursch Receives Physical Therapy Award, Students Present Research Projects at Statewide Meeting


Belmont Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Gail Bursch recently received the 2015 Carol Likens Award (CLA) presented by the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) at their annual meeting. The award is given annually to a TPTA member who has provided exceptional service to the profession of physical therapy.

Bursch served as Chair of the Nashville District of TPTA for 11 years, was vice president of the Tennessee Chapter for 5 years and most recently chaired the TPTA nominating committee for 4 years. The Likens award is named for its first recipient who served the chapter as president from 1985 to 1995 and whose vision, leadership and commitment to the profession brought the TPTA through one of its greatest periods of growth and service to members.

The TPTA meeting also provided Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy with the opportunity to present student research projects. One group, mentored by Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Cathy Hinton, presented a poster entitled “A Comparison of the Effects of Superficial Heat and Thermal Ultrasound on Hamstring Extensibility.” The group consisted of students Danielle Wisse, Jennifer Braswell, Morgan McBride, Chelsea Taylor and Katie Wood.

Another group, mentored by Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Renee Brown and Adjunct Professor Penny Powers, presented on “Effects of Educational Intervention on use of Tilt-in-Space, Functional Mobility, and Pain in Full-time Wheelchair Users.” Student researchers included Ashley Barrett, Leigha Cuellar, Meagan Heney and Martha Schumpert.

A third student research group, also mentored by Dr. Brown, received a TPTA grant for their study, “Exploring the Effects of Kinesiotaping on the Gait and Level of Pain in Individuals with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease.” This team included Kelly Weaver, Casie House and Lisa Farrar.


Kraus and Belmont Wind Ensemble Receive Several Honors

Achievers.WindEnsembleDirector of Bands Barry Kraus and the Belmont Wind Ensemble were recently featured in a research presentation at the national conference of the College Band Directors National Association, held Friday, March 27, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

The Wind Ensemble collaborated with Director of the Musicianship Program at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music Marianne Plogger Hill in a session titled, “Concepts of Tuning: Wagner’s Trauersinfonie.” The presentation highlighted challenges and solutions for wind instrument intonation in performance. In addition to playing several excerpts, the ensemble performed Richard Wagner’s “Trauersinfonie” for a national audience of college band directors.

The group will perform Friday, April 10 at 2 p.m. as part of the Tennessee Music Education Association (TMEA) Annual Convention at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. The Wind Ensemble was selected for this honor by blind peer review among several collegiate ensemble recorded applications.

The Convention features performances, clinics and exhibitions representing all levels of music instruction in the state. This performance marks Wind Ensemble’s second Convention appearance since 2011.

Belmont Vision Brings Home Accolades

The Belmont Vision continued its success this year with five awards earned at the 2015 Tennessee Associated Press College Journalism Awards held Saturday at the First Amendment Center in Nashville.

The Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Media Editors recognized as the Best College Website and its sport broadcast “Bruin Blitz” as the Best Online Sports Coverage/Program.

“The Vision staff really came together as a team this year. And that’s evident in the breadth of awards earned in the Tennessee competition. To be ranked with and above most of the large journalism programs in the state is quite an accomplishment. And there’s a solid foundation in place for continued success in 2016,” said Thom Storey, media studies department chair.

Reporters Sam Denlinger and Gracie Helms received first place in the Best Online Investigative/In-Depth Reporting category for their piece “Breaking Belmont,” which examined campus accessibility to buildings after hours. Editor Courtney Martinez placed second in the Best Online Sports Reporting category for her piece  “Belmont Ties Kickstart Nashville FC.” Reporter Ally Willis received third place in Best Specialized/Topic Reporting for her article “Exponent Manor,” an inside look at the house show scene in Nashville.

The Vision competed against journalism programs from across the state including Middle Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Tennessee at Martin, Trevecca Nazarene University, Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb University and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Randolph Wins 2015 Anthropology and Sociology Student Presentation Award

Achievers.RandolphSenior Alpha Chi member Anna Randolph’s research won this year’s overall Anthropology and Sociology Student Presentation Award at the 2015 Alpha Chi Honors Society National Convention. Student presentations are the centerpiece of every Alpha Chi Convention, and an award is given to a student in each of the 28 disciplines.

Randolph’s project, entitled “Cultural Appropriation in URBN Incorporated 2014 Lookbooks: Erasing Cultures, Making Trends,” was conducted with senior sociology student Courtney Bright as a part of Dr. Andi Stepnick’s Visual Sociology course. The research focuses on a sociological approach to understanding cultural appropriation in the fashion industry, particularly in the context of the multinational lifestyle corporation, Urban Incorporated.

According to the Alpha Chi judges form, this award is given to a student that demonstrates exceptional “focus and organization of the presentation, depth and complexity of the treatment, use of research materials, engagement with the audience and contribution to scholarship in the field.”

Students Present at Economic Association Annual Meeting

COBASpencer Barnes and Andrew Kennedy, Belmont economics majors in Belmont’s College of Business, recently attended and presented their paper, co-authored by fellow Belmont student Gaëlle Deslandes, entitled “Viva La Gini Revolution: An Empirical Consideration of a Maximum Wage Policy to Help Battle Income Inequality” at the Issues in Political Economy (IPE) 22nd Undergraduate Research Conference in Economics.  The 2015 conference was recently held at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Meetings in New York City. The conference brings together undergraduates from across the country to present and share their research with peers. Students also serve as session chairs and discussants.

In their paper, the students used data from the March 2013 U.S. Consumer Population Survey to examine the potential effect of a maximum wage on wage inequality. They also explored how current measures of the Gini coefficient in the U.S. compares with other nations during historic revolutionary periods.

Their findings revealed that while income inequality is an important factor for revolutions, the role of government appears to be more influential in citizen revolts. The study also concluded that a maximum wage can be an effective tool for lowering income inequality. These results shed some light on non-conventional approaches to addressing income distribution and achieving socially desirable outcomes.

The students were accompanied  by Research Advisor and Faculty Member Dr. Colin Cannonier.

Curb College Hosts Law and Professionalism Clinic

2015CEMB Clinic photo 2Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business conducted its 4th Entertainment Law & Professionalism Clinic earlier this month. Originally implemented in 2009, the clinic was developed to expose Belmont students to the practice of professionalism while serving entertainment industry legal needs at no cost to participating students.

This year’s clinic was staffed by CEMB Lecturers Drs. John Ouellette and Vincent Peppe, Assistant Professor of Music Business Dr. David Maddox and Associate Professor of Music Business Dr. Cheryl Slay Carr. The Clinic is operated through a partnership with the Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts, an arm of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville led by Executive Director Casey Summar.

This year’s clinic also afforded a select group of Belmont Law and undergraduate students the opportunity to participate as non-clients by shadowing clinic attorneys or supporting the administrative functions of the clinic.  A companion professionalism convocation/seminar was offered by Dr. Slay Carr, who conceptualized the clinic to educate students on professionalism within the entertainment sector and instruct students on how to select and meet with attorneys and other business professionals.

Pedagogical insights from the Clinical Project are captured in an article by Slay Carr published in The Journal of The Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association.

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