President of Belmont’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Victoria Lewis was recently elected as the national vice president of advocacy, a position on the National Committee of PRSSA, at the National Assembly in Portland, Oregon.
Lewis will oversee programming and resources in diversity, ethics and advocacy for the organization. This includes the facilitation and organization of Diversity and Ethics months, where she will work closely with PRSA and other national initiatives.
“This whole experience has been absolutely incredible. I ran against four other members from across the country and Peru…I feel so incredibly honored, humbled and generally delighted to have been selected to serve our 11,580 members and 340 chapters internationally. I could never have accomplished this without the support from my chapter, our amazing PR faculty and others along the way,” said Lewis.
Sociology Professor Dr. Andi Stepnick was recently awarded the 2015 Robert E. Simmons Distinguished Lectureship, which led to her lecture on Monday, March 16 as a part of Belmont’s celebration of Women’s History Month. Dr. Stepnick’s talk, “It’s Not as Glamorous as it Looks: The Lived Experiences of Women Academics,” was based on research in her recently published book, “Disrupting the Culture of Silence: Confronting Gender Inequality and Making Change in Higher Education.”
The lectureship was created by Dean Robert Simmons in 1988 to honor the research and scholarly work of faculty in the Humanities and Education. After his death, the lectureship was named in his honor, and with the formation of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the award is now granted to a faculty member in CLASS. The recipients are selected based on their high level of teaching and scholarly accomplishments.
A review from Sociologist Dr. Gayle Sulik said, ”‘Disrupting the Culture of Silence’ is an essential read. More than that, it is a resource that faculty members and administrators will want to re-read and reference and use to make change on their own campuses and in their professional and personal lives. Be sure to get a copy or two for your libraries and teaching centers.”
Austin Williams, a junior theatre performance major, competed in last week’s “Price is Right” Spring Break Edition and took home more than $32,000 in prizes including trips to Las Vegas, Cancun and Spain, an Apple Macbook, iPad and iPhone and a Quadcoptor.
Williams is spending this semester in Los Angeles studying at Belmont West, a semester-long program where students reside in LA, study with local professionals and get access to some of the most exclusive internships in film, television and theatre. With West’s sister program, New York’s Belmont East, the University sends more than 25 students each semester to study in Nashville’s sister entertainment cities.
Williams said she and a few other Belmont West students were initially planning to attend “Whose Line Is It Anyway” as audience members when they learned of free tickets to the Spring Break Edition of “Price is Right.” Williams was the second contestant selected for the show, successfully bid on the Quadcoptor, won her game after identifying the price of an all-inclusive Cancun trip and spun an 85 on the big wheel, sending her to the Showcase Showdown.
During the Showdown, Williams selected the first package of Apple products, luggage and a trip to Spain. Her bid came within $5,000 of the retail price, after her opponent overbid, earning her the included prizes.
Williams said the best part of being on the show was meeting Drew Carry, her long-time inspiration for pursing theatre and comedy. “During commercial breaks, I had the opportunity to talk to [Carrey] about his past in comedy and briefly mention that I am currently involved in my school’s sketch comedy troupe, Follies.”
The chance to study at Belmont West has been a life-changing experience for Williams, as she has solidified what she wants to do after graduation. “Belmont West has been an incredible adventure. I am making great connections and furthering my career, before I even graduate.”
To watch Williams’s episode, click here.
Belmont junior Jennifer Toppins was awarded a Confucius Institute Scholarship for Chinese Language Study of Chinese Government at Hangzhou Normal University for Chinese language immersion study from March – July 2015.
Toppins majors in both English and Chinese as a Belmont honors student and will take courses in advanced Chinese language at Hangzhou Normal. She was recommend by faculty in Belmont’s Chinese and Asian Studies programs to participate in MTSU’s Confucius Institute. She was then nominated to Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters ) of the Chinese Government for this competitive scholarship.
Hangzhou Normal University is located in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province. It was founded in 1978, but the forerunner of the university can be traced back to the Zhejiang 2-level Normal School established in 1908.
Teaching Center Director and Professor of Mathematics Mike Pinter recently presented a lecture entitled “Forming Partnerships on Campus to Increase Teaching Center Effectiveness” at the annual Southern Regional Faculty Instructional Development Consortium Conference in Collegedale, Tennessee.
The theme of the conference was “Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Teaching Center.” Pinter’s presentation focused on partnerships between the teaching center and a wide variety of other Belmont entities. Some of the partnerships described included the Office of General Education, Student Support and Disability Services, Residence Life, Study Abroad, Service Learning, Growth and Purpose for Students and the Office of Career and Professional Development. Additional identified relationships included the Teaching Center working with the MLK Committee, Library Faculty, University Ministries, the Diverse Faculty group and individual academic units.
The presentation provided information about specific activities and events corresponding to the various partnerships, including lunch discussions, faculty retreats, small faculty cohort groups and shared communications. Session participants had an opportunity, individually and in small group conversations, to generate ideas for forming partnerships on their campus.
Belmont students won the Greater Tennessee Chartered Financial Analyst Research Challenge this year for the third year in a row. The team consisted of Cody Fincher, Nate Newcomb, William Gilmore, Lauren Vandermark, and Gray Finney, students working on undergraduate, Professional Master of Business Administration and Accelerated Master of Business Administration degrees, respectively.
The team prepared an equity research report on Ryman Hospitality, a Nashville-based real estate investment trust, and will compete again in the Americas Regional Competition in Atlanta April 15 – 16. Belmont alumnus Jay McCanless served as the team’s industry mentor.
Belmont Director of Special Projects and Major Gifts Harry Chapman was recently chosen as an inductee for the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s 2015 Class of the Grady Fellowship. The fellowship, created in 2008, honors alumni whose influence, achievements and service have contributed greatly to media professions.
Chapman worked at NewsChannel5 in Nashville for many years where he served as an anchor, produced documentaries, covered Nashville’s country music scene as an entertainment reporter, hosted “Words and Music” and was co-host for “Talk of the Town.” Chapman is also the recipient of the Grady College’s 2004 John Holloman, Jr. Award for Lifetime Achievement.
As a chosen member of the centennial class, Chapman will attend and emcee the Centennial Gala in downtown Athens on April 18 for his induction ceremony. For more information on the 100 year celebration of Grady and the events happening that weekend, click here.
Six doctoral students from the School of Occupational Therapy recently joined with Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Dr. Teresa Plummer, Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Nancy Darr and several graduates of both programs to teach a Go Baby Go preconference workshop at the annual International Seating Symposium (ISS) held in Nashville this year. The ISS is the lead educational and scientific conference in the field of wheelchair seating & mobility and related technologies.
The student presenters included Elizabeth Davis, Gabrielle LaGrace, Emily McClearran, Jayme Mills, Kelly Phipps and Betsy Philo, all second year Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) students. OTD alumna Cassie Swinehart and Doctorate of Physical Therapy alumna Marna Jane Bevill assisted in the presentation, coordinated with Go Baby Go Music City and the Center for Independent Living.
Workshop participants were instructed in how to modify commercially available ride-on toys for young children with disabilities. Several children with physical disabilities participated in the workshop and received ride-on cars modified by participants with assistance from instructors and volunteers. Modified ride-on cars enable children with physical disabilities to interact and play with peers thus improving communication, vision, cognition and motivation to move.
Belmont’s Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rick Bryd was recognized at today’s Hoop Hour Luncheon with the presentation of a Resolution from Nashville’s Metropolitan Council in honor of his 700th win. Byrd is in his 29th season at Belmont and in January, he received his 700th career victory when the Belmont’s Men’s basketball team beat Austin Peay 89-83.
Since being at Belmont, Coach Byrd has led the men’s team to seven NCAA Division I Tournaments including the 2015 Tournament, scheduled to begin next week. Of his 700 wins, more than 600 have been at Belmont and Byrd is one of only 5 active NCAA coaches to have 500 wins at one school and one of only seven coaches with 700 career wins.
Metro’s Resolution highlights Coach Byrd accomplishments both on and off the court saying, “Coach Byrd is a man of true character and commitment, he exemplifies dedication and leadership, is respected for his tireless efforts to excel and is always guided by solid principles and high standards…”
Council Members Burkley Allen, District 18, and Erica Gilmore, District 19, were present to award Byrd with this honor.
Coach Byrd has been the recipient of many awards including his induction into the Belmont Hall of Fame in 1996, 2013 OVC Coach of the Year, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame induction in 2013 and his membership in the NAIA Hall of Fame, among others.
Alumnus Tyler Morris was recently featured in an article on CBS Houston about his digital marketing career, working as SEO Specialist at TopSpot Internet Marketing in Houston, Texas. Morris graduated from Belmont in 2014, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in both marketing and entrepreneurship.
In the article, Morris comments on how his education prepared him for his current position saying, “[Belmont's] program helped me to look at the full picture. My job title infers all I should care about is increased traffic. But it’s not just about increased traffic. It’s about increasing leads and bringing in new business… it helps to take a holistic marketing approach.”
Morris advises anyone interested in pursuing a similar career to start reading everything and to never stop learning.
To read the full article, click here.
Dr. Mike Butera, a Belmont alumnus and adjunct instructor of sociology, invented INSTRUMENT 1, an iPhone musical technology that can become any instrument the user desires. Butera is founder and CEO of the Nashville-based company Artiphon, which launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year that far surpassed its goal of $75,000 in a matter of six hours, and the support for the campaign is continually growing. To see the current progress and learn about the campaign, click here.
The device, to be released January 2016, comes in white, black or a special Nashville hardwood edition. Depending on the instument of choice, INSTRUMENT 1 can be strummed, picked or tapped and is compatible its iPhone application, as well as hundreds of programs, such as GarageBand and ProTools. INSTRUMENT 1 is designed for the well-seasoned musician and first-time player, alike.
Click here to read a write up on Music.Mic.
The Metro Minority Caucus, an organization formed to seek the fulfillment of the goals and aspirations of disadvantaged Americans, hosted its “Bridging the Gap” workshop and lunch at Belmont on Saturday, Feb. 28.
With approximately 90 people in attendance, the event included speakers from the Nashville Career Advancement Center, Goodwill Industries, Urban League and Council Members Karen Johnson, Fabian Bedne, Frank Harrison, Lonnell Matthews, Sandra Moore, Erica Gilmore and Walter Hunt. CEO of Nashville General Hospital at Meharry Dr. Joseph Webb was the luncheon’s speaker and presented a workshop for attendees.
Historically, the Caucus has been held as a reception, but with a focus on engaging community members and furthering the conversation on how government impacts the community, the Caucus’s workshop/lunch format was adopted for this year’s meeting.
Council Member Frank Harrison said the day’s activities focused on ensuring community members were familiar with services offered by Metro, as well as the role Council Members play in local government. Featured sessions highlighted a variety of government aspects to educate attendees on Metro’s place in Nashville and how it affects minorities.
“Everything revolves around the health of a community,” Harrison said. “We wanted people in the community to know how accessible we were…and how we could affect change.”
Harrison went on to comment on how pleased he was with hosting the event at Belmont because of the University’s hospitality. Belmont’s Director of the Office of Community Relations Joyce Searcy said the University was honored to host the Caucus for the third time. “We are so happy to have the event on campus again this year, because as an institution, we are committed to partnering with the Metropolitan Council Minority Caucus to improve our community for all residents,” she said.
Two dozen students, faculty and alumni participated last week in Weed Wrangle 2015, a new event of Invasive Species Awareness Week. Inspired by national and international efforts now underway, Weed Wrangle Nashville represents a new push to stem the tide of biological pollution in local communities. The goal is two-fold: restoration and preservation. Organizers seek to raise awareness of the “green scourge” before more native plants lose the fight for the light and nutrients they require to survive. The Feb. 28 Weed Wrangle event was a one-day, citywide, volunteer effort to help rescue public parks and green spaces from invasive species through hands-on removal of especially harmful trees, vines and flowering plants.
Dr. Darlene Panvini, professor of biology/environmental science, said, “Getting students outside and engaged in exotic plant removal makes the problem more real and less abstract. Students also had a chance to meet the staff at the park while visiting one of Nashville’s treasures – Shelby Bottoms Park and Greenway. Since many of the students who participated in the plant removal were not science majors, this experience was a way to educate more people about the impact of non-native invasive species on native ecosystems.”
Student Katelyn Keast said, “It was rewarding to see the difference we made in such a short amount of time. The participants now know how to stop the problem of invasive species, and I hope they all enjoyed being outdoors and helping the environment.”
Weed Wrangle was the conclusion of a week-long series that included a convo on campus that served as the kick-off event to Invasive Species Awareness Week. The presentation by Steve Manning of Invasive Plant Control Inc. focused on the topic, “Introduction to Invasive Species in Tennessee: Forming a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area to Combat Invasive in Tennessee.”
Son of the acclaimed Jerry Kennedy, Gordon Kennedy was raised in Nashville and attended Brentwood Academy. During his time at Belmont, Kennedy played guitar for several Reba McEntire projects including “Today All Over Again” and her first No. 1, “Can’t Even Get the Blues.” Kennedy was first nationally recognized when he won the Grammy for Song of the Year for Eric Clapton’s 1997 No. 1 hit, “Change the World,” co-written with Wayne Kirkpatrick and Tommy Sims. Kennedy’s songs have been cut by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and George Strait, among others. Kennedy served on the Board of Governors for the Nashville’s National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the Belmont University Advisory Board.
Kennedy has continually given to Belmont and its students for years. He has spoken at seminars, hosted events (including Belmont’s Homecoming concert, Homecoming in the Round), is an adjunct professor, a student mentor and recently received the Curb College’s Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence. Now, Gordon is the fifth and final recipient of the Distinguished Lecturer, an honor given to industry professionals who inspire others through their work in the entertainment and music industry.
During his presentation, Gordon focused on his upbringing and faith as a base of his musical career. He said his father surrounded their home with music, influencing him from the beginning. When asked how he has sustained a music career, he encouraged students to not be afraid of rejection, and insisted he never saw another option for a career–music was what he wanted. He also reminded students to be present in the moment, particularly at Belmont among fellow students. Kennedy has many relationships with people he met at Belmont, and if he had not been attentive, he would have never met those people. When asked how to get involved with the Belmont songwriting community, Kennedy urged all students to collaborate with each other. He discussed the influence of his faith on his music, personal life and long-term career.
Kennedy said, “I think about my life as a set of dominos behind me.” He stressed that each moment and person he has met along the way is a piece in the dominos line. If one wereremoved, the next would have never been reached – completely altering his path.
College of Health Sciences Simulation Director Dr. Beth Hallmark and School of Nursing Professor Dr. Lynne Shores recently published a review article entitled “Safe Patient Handling and Mobility” in the peer-reviewed journal “Nursing Clinics of North America.” The article was co-written by Dr. Patricia Mechan, a physical therapy clinical consultant with Guldmann, Inc..
The article highlights educational, practice, policy and legislative efforts needed to reduce the problem of work-related injury in health care, emphasizing the interprofessional perspective.
Belmont’s Simulation Center contains ceiling lifts and other state of the art lift equipment used to educate students in the most advanced, safe handling techniques.
English Professor Dr. Gary McDowell’s third manuscript of poems, “Mysteries in a World that Thinks There Are None,” won the 2014 Burnside Review Book Award and will be published next spring.
Burnside Review is a small-press publisher, located in Portland, Oregon that publishes their journal every 9-12 months, as well as two full-length books of poetry and two chapbooks through their yearly contests. They also nominate their titles for all major post-publication awards.
To learn more about Burnside and this award, click here.
Alumni bluegrass group Judah and the Lion performed on “Late Night with David Letterman” on Friday, Jan 20 for the program’s final season. The group performed “Kickin’ Da Leaves” from their first full-length album, “Kids These Days.”
“It was a crazy moment that really made you reflect and be thankful for everyone who has believed in you and supported you up to this point. It’s a moment, and then it’s gone. On to the next moment now!” said music business alumnus Judah Akers.
The group consists of Akers and former music students Nate Zuercher and Brian Macdonald. Click here to visit the group’s website.
To watch the group’s performance, click here.
The College of Theology and Christian Ministry is pleased to announce that Lecturer in Religion Dr. Ann Coble published a paper in the edited volume Roots in the Cotton Patch, honoring Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Versions of the New Testament.
Dr. Coble’s paper is titled “The Cotton Patch Versions: Why do we love them so much?” This book is one of two volumes that were given at The Clarence Jordan Symposium. Dr. Coble participated in the symposium, which featured a number of well-known speakers, including President Jimmy Carter.
Belmont Music Librarian Lina Sheahan, with Music Librarian at West Chester University in Pennsylvania Tim Sestrick, co-presented their paper “Changing Lives One Note at a Time: Library Internships for Undergraduate Music Majors” at the Music Library Association National Conference in Denver on Feb. 26.
During the presentation, they presented their experiences as intern and supervisor and described the high-impact learning experience students can have as library interns in music. The paper was originally published in Pennsylvania Libraries: Research and Practice in spring of 2014.
In the onsite competition where students compete in live events by reporting, writing, shooting pictures and taking tests, Belmont placed second overall and six students placed individually:
The Belmont Vision competed with more than 40 universities from a seven-state region in the Best of the South competition, in which the students submitted articles and videos published in 2014. The online newspaper won Best College Website and the University had its best-ever showing, bringing home eight awards:
Passion Partners representatives spoke to Belmont students on Monday, Feb. 23 to promote four ongoing projects aiding African countries. The non-profit is currently working with Belmont Nurses Christian Fellowship to gain support for their Purity Project, a program that teaches African girls about self-worth and the love of Christ while providing hygiene products to keep the girls in school.
On March 16, there will be an event at Sweet Cece’s in Hillsboro Village with three performers from 7-9 p.m. to collect donations and feminine hygiene products, and 20 percent of the proceeds from the evening will go to the Purity Project. There will be donation boxes placed around campus leading up to the event. The organization hopes to reach its goal of collecting 10,000 pads.
All six Belmont public relations students who took the new, nationally-administered public relations exam earned their Certificate of Principles in Public Relations. These six students participated in the 1-credit preparation course piloted at Belmont in the fall. The Public Relations Department has since incorporated the preparation material into a remodeled 3-credit senior capstone course that began this semester.
The six students to receive their Certificate are:
“This is a tremendous achievement for the students, and their success is a testament to the high-quality education they have gained from the courses and instruction in our department,” said Public Relations Professor Dr. Kevin Trowbridge. “This inaugural success has set the bar high while also providing some valuable data to help us further develop our undergraduate program to meet the demands of the strategic communication landscape.”
To learn more about this certificate, click here.
The latest round of Admissions materials, created for recruiting Fall 2015-2017 entering classes, won two Awards of Excellence from the CASE District III competition, presented last week at the annual conference in Orlando, Florida. Created as a collaboration between Admissions, University Marketing and Public Relations and Communications, the materials scored acclaim in the Print and Digital Publications Category for “Viewbook (Recruitment Publication)” and “Admissions Recruitment Materials (Recruitment Publication Series).”
Judge Alberto Gonzales was published in the column section of USA Today on Feb. 24 with his piece, “Seize Chance to Reform Immigration.” Co-written by David N. Strange, the piece details a judge’s ruling that “provides Republicans a chance to stop saying ‘no’ and start fixing the problem.”
The article says, “U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s recent decision enjoining Obama’s executive actions on immigration has ironically created unique opportunities to move forward on immigration reform.” It goes on to explain the belief that “Republican members of Congress now have the opportunity to take the initiative on meaningful immigration reform that enhances our national security and our economy.”
Judge Gonzales and Strange are co-authors of the recently published book “A Conservative and Compassionate Approach to Immigration Reform: Perspectives from a Former U.S. Attorney General.”
To read the full USA Today column, click here.
Professors in the College of Pharmacy Drs. Eric Hobson and Alisa Spinelli and Dean of the College of Pharmacy Dr. Philip Johnston were published in The American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education with their article, “Staging a Reflective Capstone Course to Transition PharmD Graduates to Professional Life.” The article is the scholarly findings from a case study of a Belmont capstone class.
The objective was to develop and implement a course that would allow students to reflect on their development as a professional, assess and share achievement of the college’s outcomes, complete a professional portfolio, establish a continuing professional development plan and prepare to enter the pharmacy profession.
Findings concluded that the course provided an opportunity for student-based summative evaluation, direct observation of student skills and documentation of outcome completion as a means of evaluating readiness to enter the profession.
To read the full journal article, click here.