Professor Co-Authors Featured Article

nathanAssistant Professor of Communication, Dr. Nathan Webb, co-authored an article entitled “Student Views of Instructor-Student Rapport in the College Classroom” that was recently featured as a “Resource of the Week” at the Teaching Center at the London School of Economics.

Webb’s article examines research that explains the link between classroom built rapport and positive learning outcomes. By using behaviors that students consider to be positive rapport builders, the article offers tips for teachers looking to strengthen their skills.

For more information, click here.


Students Host Convocation on 22 Day Chinese Research Project

convoAssociate Professor of Asian Studies and Chinese Language, Dr. Qingjun Li and students, Anna Croghan, Samantha Hubner, Joseph Minga and Ryan Pino, hosted a recent convocation event regarding the research project they conducted in China this summer.

The project, entitled “Commodification of Culture in China’s New Cultural Industry,” was generously funded by the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows program and took the team to five cities including Beijing, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Hengdian and Wuhan in 22 days.

Their presentation featured their initial video, research report and survey results.  The team gave an overview of the results of their interviews with professors and deans at the Institute of Cultural Industry at Beijing University, executives and leaders of the mega-corporation Wanda Group and government officials at the various cities.  

Students Elected to Serve on Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature


Belmont students Emily Bukowski, Jesse Bobick, Riley Walters and Skyler Schmanski recently participated in activities of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL), a mock legislature comprised of the top echelon of Tennessee’s collegiate leaders and Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court (TISC), the judicial branch presiding over the Appellate Moot Court Collegiate Challenge (AMC3). Since its conception in 1966, TISL has provided students with a platform to advocate for issues they believe in through the organization’s Senate, House of Representatives and Supreme Court. 

Bukowski, Bobick and Walters served as magistrates for the AMC3 competition, and Schmanski served as both a magistrate and senator in the mock State Legislature.

TISC’s Nominating Commission also selected Walters to serve as one of five 2015 TISC Justices.  Schmanski was appointed by TISL to assume the role of Attorney General.



Sport Administration Students Present Marketing Plans to NHL’s Nashville Predators

2nd yearMaster of Sport Administration students collaborated with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Nashville Predators to design marketing plans for their Student Rush Night campaign. Dr. Ted Peetz’s Marketing and Public Relations course spent the semester researching and analyzing the Thursday night promotion.

The course culminated with nine student teams participating in a mock version of the TV show “Shark Tank,” where they competed to have their ideas implemented into the Predators marketing strategy. Marty Mulford, Senior Director of Ticket Sales noted, “We have always had a wonderful relationship with Belmont’s Sport Administration program and this project was a fantastic way to merge course content with a real life marketing situation. The students offered us some outstanding suggestions that we plan implement in the near future.”

Belmont Partners with Church to Host Community Thanksgiving Meal


Photo by Debra Henderson

Belmont partnered with Watson Grove Missionary Baptist Church (WGMBC) and 760AM The Gospel for WGMBC’s annual Edgehill ThanksLiving Fellowship Meal, a Thanksgiving celebration that serves the Edgehill community with a side of unapologetic dignity, as well as a hearty meal.

The event created an upscale atmosphere to provide guests with a high-quality dining experience. Servers were dressed in professional waiter attire and host pastors and their wives came in formal evening wear. A live jazz band contributed to the upscale experience and elaborate décor emulated a fine dining atmosphere. All guests left the lunch with a gift bag that contained personal hygiene items, food and winter clothing from area sponsors. In addition to the University helping to host and financially support the event, several students and faculty also volunteered their time to make the event possible.

With more than 200 community members in attendance throughout the day, the event was the largest in the three years since its conception.

“The church has a responsibility to reach out to the community. It is in our DNA to bless the Edgehill Community. We must embrace the reality of sameness; we are all more alike than we are different,” said WGMBC Senior Pastor John Faison.

College of Pharmacy Professor Serves As Featured Scholar at International Expedition


L to R: Julio Cezar Parreira Durte (Caceres secretary for tourism,) Dr. Domingos Savio Da Cunha Garcia & Acir Montecchi (UNEMAT professors of history) and Dr. Eric Hobson (Belmont University College of Pharmacy professor)

Dr. Eric Hobson, professor in Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, was the featured scholar at the “Colόquio Internacional: Matto Grosso Expedition (1931)” recently held in Cáceres, Brazil by the Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso (UNEMAT).

His seminar, “Why Descalvados? Mato Grosso Expeditions Between the Wars,” helped to fill gaps in the Brazilian historical record about non-Brazilian scientific exploration activity along Brazil’s western frontier in the early twentieth century.

Dr. Hobson joined UNEMAT history faculty and graduate students on a two-day research trip down the Paraguay River to Fazenda Descalvados — the largest ranch in the western hemisphere during the early 1900s — which served as base camp for many exploration/scientific teams from the United States, including the Theodore Roosevelt/Colonel Rondon Expedition of 1914.


Occupational Therapy Students Collaborate with Future OT Assistants

OT-OTA CollaborationFirst-year doctoral students in Belmont’s School of Occupational Therapy recently hosted students and faculty from the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Nashville State Community College (NSCC) as part of their preparation for upcoming fieldwork experiences.

Ms. Donna Whitehouse, associate professor and director of NSCC’s OTA program, was joined by OTA students, Ashley Collins, Amber Sevier-Hunt and Chelsey Morton, in sharing information about OTA curriculum, roles and responsibilities of an OTA and supervision guidelines.  The purpose of the class was to familiarize the students with how OTs and OTAs collaborate to deliver occupational therapy services.

Belmont Women’s Soccer Team Awarded Academic Award for Highest GPA

WomensSoccerVSMoreheadState-019The Belmont women’s soccer team posted the highest team grade point average (GPA) in NCAA Division I for the 2013-14 academic year as the National Soccer College Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced their Team Academic Awards on Monday.

The Bruins earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 10th consecutive season after posting a team GPA of 3.73, which is the highest in Division I and the second highest among all NCAA Divisions.  Fellow OVC member Southeast Missouri ranked second in Division I at 3.72, while Clemson was third at 3.67.

Belmont was one of six OVC members to receive the honor.  Joining Belmont and Southeast Missouri were Morehead State, Murray State, SIUE, and Tennessee Tech.

For information on this win, please click here to view the story on the Belmont Bruins website.

Home School Science Discoveries Featured in Tennessean article

steven_murphreeDr. Steve Murphree, professor of biology, and the Belmont Home School Science Discoveries program was featured in a recent article in The Tennessean.  The Home School Science Discoveries program, a community outreach program in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, was started in response to Dr. Murphree’s long running summer day camp, Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies.

This semester, there were three home-school sessions: Dr. Rachel Rigsby hosted “Fun with Chemistry,” Drs. Krista McBride and Davon Ferrara hosted “Projectile Motion” and Dr. Murphree hosted “Experiments in Animal Behavior.” The program is open to home schooled students of various ages and due to limited space, participation is on a first-come basis.

To view the full article, click here.


Biology Student Presents Research at Warner Park Nature Center

davisBrielle Davis, a senior biology major, presented her senior research project, titled “Effect of Previous Experience and Habituation on the Anti-Predator Response in Elimia Snails,” to visitors at the Warner Park Nature Center on Saturday, Nov. 22.

The research is based on Davis’s work with organisms found in Beaman Park.  An extension of previous work in Davis’s faculty advisor Dr. John Niedzwiecki’s lab studying the chemical detection of predators by aquatic organisms, Davis and several other student’s studied the limits and subtleties of this type of detection. Other projects done on aquatic organisms from Beaman Park and the effects on native and invasive plants on detritivores found in Warner Park were also on display.

Students Participate in Nashville’s ReLeafing Day

releafing-2 (2)Students from the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honorary Society (Tri-Beta) and Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) participated in the Nashville Tree Foundation’s ReLeafing Day on Saturday, Nov. 22. Students Ryan Agh, Sarah Cannavino and Ambrose Rice from SMACS planted three trees, met with University President Dr. Bob Fisher and planted their final tree at a Belmont Alumni’s house.

ReLeafing Day is the Nashville Tree Foundation’s fall planting, held every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  This year, the volunteers worked in Cleveland and McFerrin Park neighborhoods, Monroe Harding and St. George’s Episcopal Church.

Student and Faculty Present at Association for Computing Machinery Conference

Belmont computer science student Christopher Hooper presented a talk, “Learning Programming Online: Where You Could Start and Where You Will Go,” at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Mid-Southeast Chapter Fall Conference in Gatlinburg on Nov. 14.

Hooper discussed available online resources for computer programming education, their uses and where a beginner with no experience could start. Hooper, an adult student taking computer science courses part-time, works full-time as a research assistant in neonatology for the Department of Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Computer Science Professors Drs. Joyce Crowell and William Hooper’s ”Hidden Curricula in Computer Science” paper was accepted in the professional division of the conference.  An outgrowth of several years of collaboration, including a joint presentation at the 2012 Lilly Conference on College Teaching, their talk highlighted teaching outcomes that aren’t explicitly stated in course materials or captured in assessment data.

SunTrust Music Bankers Complete Scholarship Endowment

FullSizeRenderSunTrust Music Bankers swore off shaving in November and presented a check for $10,000 to Belmont’s Harry Chapman on Friday, Nov. 21 to complete the endowment for The Brian Williams Scholarship. Named in honor of SunTrust’s Brian Williams who passed away in 2006, the award will support a Belmont music business student.

On Nov. 14,  the team opened a Crowdrise campaign for the Williams Scholarship, and the gifts from the Music Row community came in daily. After receiving a number of generous gifts, the Scholarship reached its full endowment.

SunTrust Music Managing Director, Andrew Kintz, said, “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity on Music Row and beyond for this cause. Even teammates in North Carolina and Georgia who Brian hired stopped shaving! So many artists and people in our industry love Brian and want to honor his legacy. This is truly a gift from the entire music industry to Belmont, just as Brian is still such a gift to us – for the Division and culture he created, and the countless people he has helped.”

For more information, click here.

Bridges to Belmont Director Co-Authors Book Review

Mary Clark, director of Belmont’s Bridges to Belmont program, recently co-authored a book review for Pathways to Higher Education Administration for African American Women in the November 2014 edition of the “Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.”

College of Law Dean Featured in National News Interviews


Belmont University College of Law Dean and former U.S. Attorney General Judge Alberto Gonzales has participated in many national interviews on immigration in recent weeks. With interviews on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley,” CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” FOX News and more, Gonzales has commented on his “conservative and compassionate” approach to immigration reform. This theory is further addressed in the recent book he co-authored with David Strange, A Conservative and Compassionate Approach to Immigration Reform.

Following the President’s prime-time address on immigration reform, Gonzales also participated in a national news interview with Neil Cavuto at FOX Business. Friday morning, Gonzales was on CNN’s “New Day with Chris Cuomo & Allison Camerota.

For more information regarding Gonzales’s book, click here.

Students Attend Neuroscience Conference to Present Research

studentsBelmont Neuroscience Program Coordinator, Dr. Lori McGrew, took six students to the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15-18.  The students included Hensley Barnes, Lauren Sheppard, Karah Parker, Iqra Wahid, Jaime Wesley and Cassie Wyatt, a group that has conducted research with Dr. McGrew utilizing zebrafish. They presented a poster showcasing their findings during the conference’s Faculty for Undergraduate chapter meeting.

The conference is an international gathering of over 31,000 neuroscientists who share their latest findings including labs surrounding a streptococcus bacteria, oxytocin’s influence on social memory and interaction, cellular and molecular mechanisms for memory and an inspiration presentation on Dr. Nicoll’s journey to becoming a renowned electrophysiologist, despite his severe dyslexia.

For more information on conference highlights, click here.

Honors Program Ranks Second as NCHC Best Honors College/Program Newsletter

Capture2The National Collegiate Honor’s Council (NCHC), an organization committed to supporting the work of Honors Programs across the country, announced its 2014 award winners at The 2014 NCHC Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado last weekend. The Belmont Honors Program Newsletter took home Second Place for the Best Student-Produced, Electronic Honors College/Program Newsletter.

Led by student editor and senior honors commercial music major Sammi Potts, the team of students responsible for the newsletter included Honors Student Council members Zachary Lord, Ryan Brommer and Anthony Manker, senior music business majors, and John Thomas Faircloth, senior corporate communication major.


Alumna Signs With Universal Music Group Nashville

dunnBelmont alumna and singer-songwriter-guitarist Clare Dunn has recently signed with Universal Music Group Nashville (UMGN). Joining Belmont alumnus Josh Turner, UMGN is home to many of Nashville’s top country artists.

A 2011 songwriting graduate of Belmont, Dunn has opened for artists including Florida Georgia Line, Kieth Urban and Luke Bryan. She will open for Bob Seger this week.

Prior to coming to Belmont for college, Dunn grew up in southeast Colorado where she worked cattle and drove tractors for her family’s farm. To pay her way through school, Dunn worked harvest and drove a silage truck through Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska on school breaks. Dunn signed her first publishing deal after graduation, and since then, she has written with Will Hoge, Marshall Altman and Hillary Lindsey, among others.

For more information on Dunn and her career, visit her website here.

Student Named ASCAP Foundation’s Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship Recipient


Photo by Marisa Boras

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) recently honored Belmont freshman songwriting major, Kel Taylor, as the 2014 winner of the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship during November’s installment of the ASCAP Belmont Songwriters Showcase, held Tues., Nov. 11. Taylor‘s song,  “Nashville,” was selected by music faculty and Belmont University as the best song submitted for the competition, based on overall craft, artistry and compositional elements.

This tuition scholarship recognizes the talent, professionalism, career potential and musical ability of a songwriting major. Bart Howard (1915-2004) penned over 200 songs, including “Fly Me to the Moon,” which has been performed by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and many others. The program is made possible by the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.

For more information, visit Taylor’s website here.

Belmont Alumna and Nashville Attorney Selected for Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law Class

McKelvey-HighResRebecca McKelvey Castañeda, a 2003 Belmont graduate and attorney at Stites & Harbison, was recently selected by the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) to participate in its 2015 Leadership Law Class. A six-month training program designed to further prepare lawyers for leadership in their careers and communities, the Class has 37 participants selected by TBA.

McKelvey Castañeda is based at Stites & Harbison’s Nashville office and primarily handles cases related to domestic relations, child custody, adoption, relocation, child support and Hague Convention international child abduction. She serves on the board of directors for the Tennessee Justice Center and is a member of Belmont University Alumni Board of Directors (immediate past president).

Jessie Pitts Makes Top 12 On NBC’s ‘The Voice’

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetJessie Pitts, a Belmont sophomore and student in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, competed on NBC’s “The Voice,” where she made it to this season’s top 12 performers. During the show’s first live Play-Off episode, Pitts sang Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero,” a performance that secured her place as one of Team Blake’s top three.

“Your pitch is perfect and your voice is hypnotic, as usual,” said Coach Blake Shelton. “If Jessie gets comfortable with the actual groove of this song, there is no stopping that kid… She just creates a new mold.” he said.

During Monday night’s episode, Pitts performed Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” and wowed viewers with her piano skills. Up until Tuesday morning, viewers could utilize a variety of avenues, including texting, social media, “The Voice” app, phone calls and to vote. As her final performance on Tuesday night’s results show prior to her elimination, Pitts sang Sara Bareilles’s “Gravity,” 

For behind the scenes access to Jessie’s “Voice” journey and to read more on her musical career, follow her Twitter here.

School of Nursing Hosts NLN Technology Pre-Conference

Nursing Pre-ConferenceBelmont University’s School of Nursing hosted a pre-conference as part of the ninth annual National League for Nursing Technology conference in Nashville on Oct. 24. Participants from around the nation filled one of Belmont’s simulation labs for a presentation on the School’s integration of an academic electronic health record across the curriculum.

Professors Sarah Tarr, Jean Blank and Dr. Jamie Adam engaged the sold-out audience in hands on learning including selection, use and integration of the technology.

“Electronic health records (EHRs) have the potential to mitigate error, streamline processes and improve communication across the spectrum of health care. Meaningful use of EHRs in chronic and acute care is a major priority in the U. S. health system today. Our faculty have been early adopters of this technology in the classroom, lab and clinical areas and our students and their future patients are the beneficiaries of this work,” said Associate Dean of Nursing Dr. Martha Buckner.

Thorndike, Schneller Present at National Honors Council Conference

Thorndike and Schneller NCHC2 2014Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, honors program director, and Dr. Beverly Schneller, associate provost for academic affairs, recently presented at the 2014 National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Conference in Denver. Their presentation was titled “Using Evidence-Based Assessment to Target Admissions and Improve Retention” in a round table session with Dr. Andrew Martino of Southern New Hampshire University. NCHC is organized with a keynote speaker, panel presentations, individual presentations, poster sessions and student sessions. NCHC is the only national-level professional group devoted to the development, management, promotion and assessment of interdisciplinary college and university honors programs. Belmont’s Honors Program is a member of NCHC and utilizes their “best practices” for assessment and planning purposeses.

Chair of Belmont’s Board of Trustees Honored with Music City Center Terrace Dedication

commencement_13-199Marty Dickens, chair of Belmont’s Board of Trustees, was recently honored by the Convention Center Authority and Mayor Karl Dean with the dedication of the Music City Center’s Marty Dickens Terrace. A longtime and influential volunteer of the Center, Dickens was one of the first community leaders to support the project and was instrumental in leading the coalition that fought for the downtown convention space.

“Marty’s vision from the very beginning was to build something that would be great for the city and the people of Nashville, and he worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality,” said Charles Starks, president and CEO of the Music City Center.

Since the Center’s inception in 2009, Dickens has served as chairman of the Convention Center Authority.

“I’m deeply appreciative of this wonderful honor, and Betty joins me in thanking Mayor Dean and the members of the Convention Center Authority for making this possible,” Dickens said. “I’m honored to be part of something that has had such a positive impact on the city of Nashville.”

The terrace is located on the east side of the Music City Center, directly across from the Omni Hotel.

College of Law Professor Chosen for TBA Leadership Program

jeffreyusmanBelmont College of Law Professor and Faculty Adviser for Belmont’s Criminal Law Society and Legal Aid Society, Jeffrey Usman has been selected as one of 37 lawyers from across the state, by the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA), to participate in the 2015 Leadership Law program. This is a six month leadership training program for distinguished young lawyers.

Now in its 12th year, the program is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities. The class will meet for its first session in January, and then spend the next six months learning about leadership in the legal profession, issues in the courts, policymaking in state government and the importance of community service.


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