Congressman Marsha Blackburn was recently honored at an event at the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) as the 2014 recipient of the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award. The award is given annually to an individual whose life and work have made it possible for future generations to realize careers in the music industry. In the early ’70s it was Cecil Scaife’s vision to create a music business program for musicians, artists songwriters and future music business executives to formally learn the industry he loved so dearly. Scaife, along with several others on Music Row, helped start Belmont’s music business program in 1971 with his long-time friend Bob Mulloy, one of the first instructors at Belmont who guided the program through its early years.
Congressman Blackburn was honored for her numerous contributions to the songwriting industry and her open door policy that has led to change regarding intellectual property rights and protections for music industry products. LaRawn Scaife Rhea, a Belmont alumna who founded the event which honors her father, said “Many people who become well known or ‘famous’, as many of you in this room have become, know how easy it is to let their feet leave the ground and appear to be someone they really aren’t. I have known Marsha since I was her assistant in 1976, and she is still the same smart, hardworking and caring person.”
Hosts for the event included NSAI, Mike Curb, NATIVE Entertainment Group, Little Extra Music Publishing, Danielle and Joe Scaife, Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business and LaRawn and Richard Rhea. Past recipients of the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award include Amy Grant, Tony Brown, David Griggs, Mike Curb and Wynonna.
For the 2014 fall semester, the departmental grade point average (GPA) was 3.335, which marks the 34th consecutive semester that Belmont student-athletes have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher dating back to the spring of 1998.
“Our student-athletes continue to be so impressive with their performance in the classroom,” said Belmont Director of Athletics Mike Strickland. “That success is credited to the hard work of our student-athletes, coaches, and academic support staff who strive for academic excellence.”
For more information on the academic success of Belmont student-athletes, click here.
Belmont junior Andrew Borel was recognized by the American Songwriting Association (ASA) as a nominee in the 2014 American Songwriting Awards Hip Hop category for his song “Randy (A Glimpse of My Reflection).” In addition to his nomination, ASA invited Borel to the annual awards show in Las Vegas, Nevada to be recognized on stage.
The American Songwriting Awards is an elite-class songwriting competition for working artists to be appreciated for their hard work and talent. Belmont Instructor Drew Ramsey encouraged Borel to submit a song to the contest. Borel is currently in his third year with the songwriting program at Belmont.
Belmont partnered with MDHA, Regions Bank and Aegis Group to host the Edgehill Apartments Christmas event, an afternoon filled with presents for resident children, a goodie basket with holiday snacks, a family photo with Santa and a ham dinner, complete with all the trimmings.
More than 85 children from 45 families were represented at the event, hosted on Friday, Dec. 20, at the complex’s Community Room. In addition to sponsoring the event through a financial contribution, Belmont’s University Staff Advisory Council volunteered at the event and served as the elves who passed out snacks and presents to the children.
Edgehill Apartments’ Assistant Property Manager Thomas Corritore said that when his initial plan to fund the Christmas event fell through, he thought he was stuck. That’s when Belmont and Regions came together to provide the funds for the 4th annual event. “We do it for the kids,” he said.
Belmont Director of Community Relations Joyce Searcy would agree. “Belmont is blessed to be able to tutor many of these children, provide books for the Read With Me Day and interact on many levels. It was a no-brainer for us to stand in the gap for our neighbors so these children could wake up on Christmas with gifts under their trees,” she said.
Belmont senior and music business major Jared Conrad met musician and friend Davis Mallory in Bongo Java in August of this year. Although Conrad says the meeting didn’t stand out from any other of its kind, he is quick to build connections in the music industry, based on the advice he received from Ted Gray, his transfer admissions counselor when he came to Belmont.
“[Ted] told me that networking would take me farther in this industry than anything else, and that my time at Belmont is only what I choose to make of it… Since transferring here in the Fall of 2013, I have tried to network as much as I can, whether that be with industry professionals, internships, student musicians, other Curb College students or really anyone I could find who was in this field,” Conrad said.
Conrad must have made a clear impression on Mallory, a singer/songwriter who works at BubbleUp in Nashville, because the two paired up and have since produced seven songs together. Mallory was on MTV’s “The Real World Denver” and after was on “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” where he met and became close with Diem Brown, a fellow competitor, FOXNews host and People Magazine correspondent.
In November, Brown lost her battle with ovarian cancer and passed away at the age of 34. To commemorate her short but meaningful life, Mallory worked with a number of other artists to co-write the song, “Beautiful Girls (Diem’s Song).” Mallory and his cohorts produced a version of the song in a home studio, but the team wasn’t pleased with the results. Knowing the quality of work Conrad had created throughout the year, Mallory says he knew he could perfect it, even with the short timeline of two days he was given.
Since then, the final product that Conrad engineered has had over 80,000 views including mentions in People Magazine, E! Online, US Magazine, mtv.com and has become a No. 1 trending item on Facebook News.
Conrad said it was a pleasure to work on the piece, even though he didn’t have the chance to personally know Diem Brown. He said the real heart behind the project wasn’t to accrue so many likes, mentions and features – but instead, to honor the life of a loved one.
“It was really humbling to sit back and remember how short and precious life is, and how I was blessed with the opportunity to prepare this tribute to commemorate her life and everything she had done,” Conrad said. “My thoughts and prayers were constantly, and still are, with Diem’s family through this experience.”
With a University-wide commitment to community safety and preparedness, Belmont’s Office of Risk Management and Compliance spent the last year working alongside the National Weather Service (NWS), Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management to designate Belmont as a NWS StormReady University.
A designation reserved for universities that have demonstrated a dedication to safety and the continuous evaluation of plans and policies surrounding severe weather, Belmont’s efforts were led by the University’s Risk Management and Compliance Administrator, April Khoury.
To achieve this designation, the University had to qualify in a number of areas including creating a communications and coordination center for emergency procedures, ensuring the center is able to receive real-time updates through multiple channels, clear systems to communicate with the University community, promoting awareness through programming and developing a formal hazardous weather plan. The University completed all criteria this semester and received the official StormReady University designation.
Khoury said the receipt of the StormReady designation shows Belmont’s commitment to the well-being of its community. “Being designated StormReady ensures that the university is continuously evaluating plans and policies to provide a safe environment for Belmont students, faculty, staff and visitors. This was made a priority for Belmont to have a structured program to follow and to develop a relationship with local emergency management agencies and the National Weather Service.”
Assistant Professor of English Dr. Gary McDowell recently published a poem entitled “Transmission” in The Nation. Dr. McDowell specializes in creative writing and contemporary American poetics and has completed research on prose poetry, the poetry of Charles Wright and creative writing pedagogy.
His secondary teaching interests include freshman composition, expository writing and creative nonfiction. Getting students interested in writing, however possible, is Dr. McDowell’s true passion. In addition, he is a widely published poet and critic.
Belmont Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach Carley Peterson Kuhns was recently named to the Valdosta State University Athletics Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as a student athlete.
“I am humbled to receive the honor from my alma mater and want to thank the selection committee for considering me. My time at Valdosta State was special to me and is part of the foundation that has helped build my career,” Kuhns said. ”I am excited to be a part of the induction ceremony and to share it with my family, friends, former teammates and coaches and the Valdosta State Women’s Basketball supporters that were there along the way.”
A member of the women’s basketball team from 2004 through 2008, Peterson Kuhns earned Kodak/State Farm WBCA Honorable Mention All-American honors during the 2007-08 season, becoming the first Lady Blazer since 2001 to garner the honor.
For more information on Peterson Kuhns’s honor, click here.
This semester, Belmont’s Resident Life sponsored Battle of the Buildings, an energy conservation competition for the University’s residence halls that encouraged students to team with fellow residents to converse as much energy as they could. The competition, scheduled from Oct. 15 – Nov. 15, included a kickoff bulletin board competition and potted marigold plants for participants.
The Hall that conserved the most compared to energy usage the previous year won an awards celebration in early December. Maddox Hall, this year’s Battle of the Buildings and Residence Life Energy Cup Trophy winner, used approximately 64 percent of the energy that was consumed during the same period of time last year.
For more information on Belmont’s sustainability efforts, click here.
Faculty Member of the College of Entertainment and Music Business Dr. Wesley Bulla was invited to serve as an external advisor on the selection committee for the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Fellow advisors Mary Chapin Carpenter (songwriter), Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone Magazine), Emilio Estefan (producer), Gregg Field (producer), Ed Hardy (CMA), Joel Katz (Global Entertainment), Stinson Liles (Red Deluxe Brand Dev.), Rickey Minor (music director), Neil Portnow (President/CEO NARAS), Karen Sherry (ASCAP Foundation), Michael Strunsky (Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts) and Michelynn Woodard (Dr. Phil Foundation) selected songwriter/performer Billy Joel as this year’s prize recipient.
The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song honors the legacy of George and Ira Gershwin, an American songwriting team whose extensive collection resides in the Library of Congress. The prize is awarded to artists whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin, by bridging musical styles, bringing diverse listeners together and fostering their mutual respect and appreciation.
The presentation will be broadcast nationwide Friday, Jan. 2 at 9 p.m. (EST) on PBS.
Throughout the fall, fourth year pharmacy students led educational classes at Room In The Inn (RITI), a community of participants, guests, volunteers and staff who work together to offer hope to Nashville’s homeless population. RITI serves more than 4,000 individuals each year – some for only a day, while others for months to years.
Dr. Ashton Beggs, faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, teaches fourth year students at United Neighborhood Health Services (UNHS) Mission Clinic. This clinic provides interdisciplinary primary care services to the homeless population of Nashville. Many of the UNHS clinic patients utilize RITI’s programming for a sense of community and as a ladder to get back on their feet.
RITI offers over 3,000 classes annually, covering a wide range of subjects including health, spirituality, GED preparation and art. Dr. Beggs’s fourth year students teach a weekly class focusing on primary care topics, such as Vaccine Jeopardy and Diabetes Bingo. Participants earn points for taking classes and can use them to purchase socks, gloves and bus passes.
Pharmacy students Tim Furfaro and Mary Martin Johnson led Vaccine Jeopardy in September. Furfaro said, “It was a great experience to teach these patients about vaccines while having fun at the same time. I think it’s important not just to educate people, but to give them a chance to ask their own questions as well.” Johnson said, “I’m confident we clarified common myths about vaccines and hopefully motivated people to ask their health care provider about receiving vaccines they needed.”
In October, Ashley Stovall and Jessica Brinkley taught Vaccine Bingo. Brinkley said, “By the last class we had so many people show up that we ran out of chairs, bingo cards and game pieces. I would say that Vaccine Bingo was a success, and hopefully we helped to prevent many diseases with our educational efforts!”
In November, students Samantha Wheeler and Christie Saldana facilitated Diabetes Bingo. “It’s interesting to hear how patients have learned about diabetes through the experiences they have had either with family members or friends. Even though we taught people with varying degrees of knowledge, everyone commented on how they learned from our class,” said Wheeler.
Dr. Beggs said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our pharmacy students to learn about providing health education to patients with low health literacy. The feedback from the participants has been consistently positive- remarking about how they are learning about their health and having fun at the same time.”
Scott Carpenter, a Belmont student that will graduate today with a degree in liberal studies and music business, began his career at Belmont in 1991 as a freshman. On move-in day that year, Carpenter met Rob Jones, a fellow freshman and Pembroke Hall resident who would quickly become one of his closest, long-time friends.
From 1991-1995, Carpenter and Jones were roommates and Belmont students together until Carpenter was offered a full-time job as a traveling drummer and couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Because of that, he left Belmont before completing his degree.
Almost 20 years later, Carpenter said he decided to find the time to go back to school and complete his degree for his 2-year-old daughter. Jones returned to campus today to celebrate graduation with his long-time friend. The pair wanted to go back to Pembroke Hall to reminisce on their college days, as well as recreate a special memory.
Taken by a family member on move-in day, the two have a photo of themselves from 1991. Before graduation today, the college buddies stood in the same spot they did 20 years ago and retook the photo. Although many things have changed for the pair since their move-in day many years ago, Carpenter said he and Jones have continued to remain close friends.
Belmont’s Curb College Director of Development and Industry Relations Sarah Cates was recently elected to the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and preserving the songwriting legacy that is uniquely associated with the Nashville music community. Its purpose is to educate, celebrate and archive the achievements and contributions made by members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation is excited to welcome Sarah Cates as the newest member of our Board of Directors, continuing our connection with the songwriting program at Belmont University,” said Board Chair and Hall of Fame member Pat Alger. “Sarah’s creative energy coupled with her keen understanding of the unique characteristics and challenges of our native songwriting community will be a welcome addition to a very deeply committed and active board.”
Geoffrey Gross, a senior computer science major and mathematics minor, was recently selected as a finalist for the Nashville Technology Council’s (NTC) Technology Student of the Year. Each year, the NTC seeks to recognize the individuals throughout the Nashville community that are leading the charge on technology and pushing the boundaries on what has previously been done.
The Technology Student of the Year is one of many awards that will be announced on Jan. 22 at the NTC’s Annual Gala.
A student leader on campus, Gross is involved in many things outside of the classroom. During his time at Belmont, he has been a member of Alpha Tau Omega, a national fraternity known for community service and leadership, the vice president of Belmont’s Mathematical Association of America and Association of Computing Machinery chapter and a Young Life leader, a Christian outreach organization that works with high school students.
In his nomination submission, Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Dr. Glenn Acree said, “[Geoff] is a caring and curious young man with a strong mind and a bright future. Geoff is equally talented in mathematics, as he is in computer science. This combination, along with his ease of communication, creativity and work ethic, will serve him well for a successful future in our technology community. I cannot imagine a better representative for the technology students in Nashville.”
For a full list of NTC’s awards and nominees, click here.
Belmont Professor of Physics Dr. Robert Magruder and Vanderbilt University’s Dr. Richard Haglund recently had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing. The paper, entitled “Effects of Ti Charge State, Ion Size and Beam-Induced Compaction on the Formation of Ag Nanoparticles in Fused Silica,” is based on Magruder’s research on ion implantation work 17 years ago at Oak Ridge Laboratories.
Applied Physics A publishes experimental and theoretical investigations in applied physics as articles, rapid communications and invited papers. The distinguished 30-member Board of Editors reflects the interdisciplinary approach of the journal and ensures the highest quality of peer review.
President Barack Obama visited Nashville’s Casa Azafrán Tuesday on a stop to discuss his recent executive action on immigration reform. Co-founded by Belmont Instructor of Entrepreneurship and Management Jose Gonzalez, Casa Azafrán is a collaborative gathering space home to a number of immigration advocacy nonprofits, including Conexión Américas, a second organization Gonzalez co-founded.
During his time at Casa Azafrán, President Obama spoke to Nashville’s welcoming spirit and desire to celebrate the roots and tradition of its diverse residents, noting the city is home to one of the largest growing immigrant populations in the country. Gonzalez said the day was a celebration of Obama’s recognition of Nashville’s inclusivity and tolerance. “Nashville is a great place to live, work and prosper, a place that embraces the growing diversity of its population and a place where anyone can feel welcome, regardless of what part of the country…or the world they come from,” he said.
This marks the second year in a row the program has been honored for displaying the best standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA.
“It is always a great privilege to receive the OVC sportsmanship honor,” said head coach Tony Howell. “It is a credit to everyone here at Belmont University who takes the time to work hard in order to allow each program to become successful.”
For more information, please click here.
In its 11th year, Belmont’s Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) was hosted by the College of Sciences and Mathematics held in the University’s newly opened Wedgewood Academic Building (WAC).
SURS is the culmination of hours of work done during both the summer and fall semesters among advisors and peers and offers students the opportunity to show the Belmont community the work of the University’s sciences.
Participating students set up poster presentations in the WAC’s third floor atrium and presented oral reports in adjacent classrooms. Biology, microbiology, biochemistry, environmental science, neuroscience, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, honors and psychological science students were represented throughout the evening.
The keynote address, “Why Talking to Your Car Can Drive You to Distraction,” was delivered by University of Utah Professor of Cognition and Neural Science Dr. David Strayer.
For a full list of SURS presentations, click here.
Graduating senior Benjamin Shaw, mathematics and audio engineering technology double major, recently spoke at the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) meeting, held in the historic Nashville recording studio, Columbia Studio A.
Shaw presented his senior research work on acoustical measurements and simulations of the control room for the studio. Ben’s research, supervised by Sal Greco of Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios and Associate Professor of Physics, Dr. Scott Hawley, evaluated the frequency response of the room and made recommendations for improvements. To do this, he used a sophisticated open source acoustical simulation program, run on Dr. Hawley’s 24-processor research workstation.
The talk was attended by members of the ASA and Belmont communities. Those present remarked on the professionalism of Shaw’s presentation and how it was among the finest undergraduate research presentations they have seen .
In May, Belmont University and the Curb Family Foundation announced the completed renovation of Columbia Studio A as a classroom and hands-on learning lab for students in Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.
Ten Belmont students, members of the Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) – Premedical Honor Society, recently volunteered at Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment). Nashville’s Project C.U.R.E. is one of five distribution centers in the U.S. where donated medical supplies are sorted, packaged and labeled to be sent to various countries that do not have the healthcare system or infrastructure found in the U.S.
AED members sorted through medical supplies and prepared them to be shipped. Thanks to the dedication of thousands of volunteers nationwide, two to three cargo containers of life-saving aid leave Project C.U.R.E.’s warehouses every week.
In addition to the support from Belmont’s AED chapter, the School of Nursing (SON) donates any medical supplies that are unable to be used in lab simulations to Project C.U.R.E. For more information on the SON’s endeavors, click here.
The Institute of International Education recently released its most recent Open Doors Report, a comprehensive ranking of U.S. schools by the number of students studying abroad. As Belmont’s Office of Study Abroad has grown significantly in past years, the University ranked for both undergraduate study abroad participation as well as graduate.
For the 2012-2013 school year, Belmont ranked No. 29 on the Top 40 Master’s Institutions Total Student Participation. The University had 368 undergraduate students study abroad and 99 graduate for a total of 467. The University also ranked No. 40 for the 2012-2013 Master’s Institution’s Undergraduate Participation.
Professor and Dean of the College of Pharmacy Phil Johnston was recently named as one of Nashville Health Council’s 2015 Fellows, the third class of its kind. The class is made up of leaders from all aspects of Nashville’s health care field including bankers, lawmakers, health care providers and management professionals.
One of the class’s 36 participants, Johnston will be part of the Council’s largest class to date. In 2013, the inaugural class graduated 33 participants and in 2014, the class graduated 32 participants.
“The 2015 Fellows include some of the industry’s best and brightest leaders with experience and industry focus spanning all sectors of health care,” said U.S. Senate Majority Bill Frist, who co-directs the initiative with Larry Van Horn, a leading expert in health care management and economics, and professor at Vanderbilt University. “These individuals have a challenging task ahead, and I look forward to the meaningful discussion and debate on our nation’s health care that will come from our rigorous curriculum.”
For more information on this program and the Nashville Health Care Council, click here.
College of Theology Adjunct Professor Mark Christian, a 1994 Belmont graduate, recently returned from a full scholarship trip to the Center for Advanced Studies in Oslo, Norway. While there, Christian was invited to deliver a keynote address to an international team of interdisciplinary scholars, present a paper entitled “Networking Power and Knowledge in Ancient Israel: In Dialogue with Deuteronomy and Michel Foucault” and participate in a wrap-up discussion.
Earlier this year, Christian published an essay entitled, “Mediterranean Grottos and Phoenician Maritime Expressions of Religion,” in Mélanges Josette Elayi: Phéniciens d’Orient et d’Occident and several articles in volume seven of the The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, with 14 articles scheduled to print in subsequent volumes.
Christian has two articles in press including “Introducing the Introduction of Eckart Otto’s Deuteronomium Kommentar: Part1,” in the Special Twentieth Anniversary Edition of Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte and “Whose Rites and Whose Wrongs: Religious Contributions of Contingents within the Persian Navy,” in Religion in the Persian Period: Emerging Judaisms and other Trends.
In July, the Expressions of Religion in Israel program unit, a unit chaired by Christian, co-hosted a special panel with Dr. Saul Olyan of Brown University at the International Society of Biblical Literature’s meeting in Vienna. The panel included six Israelite religion specialists who outlined their accomplishments and addressed the question, “where do we need to go from here.”
College of Law Professor Charles Trost was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), an organization established in 1892 that provides states with non-partisan legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. Trost is currently completing his 19th year as a member and is serving as the organization’s treasurer.
All members of ULC are practicing lawyers, judges, legislators and law professors who have been appointed by state governments, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to research, draft and promote enactment of uniform state laws.
Presently, Professor Trost, along with current Belmont Law student Sean Alexander and recent graduate Kimiya Sarayloo have been working on a proposal to revise the Unclaimed Property Act to encourage uniformity, as well as include technological advancements. The Unclaimed Property Act was most recently revised in 1995.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced a number of promotions and new hires, including two Belmont alumnae, Alex Hughes and Stephanie Winn.
Hughes, a 2010 public relations graduate, was promoted to vice president of talent and attraction from her previous position of manager, talent retention at the Chamber. In her new role, Hughes will be responsible for supporting existing businesses, new companies, young professionals and universities. She will also provide oversight to the Chamber’s WorkIT Nashville program.
Belmont 2013 public relations graduate and now Manager of Talent Attraction and Retention, Winn will be responsible for YP Nashville, InternNashville and NashvilleJobslink. Before moving to the Chamber, Winn served as event coordinator for Nashville’s TJ Martell Foundation. While there, she headed up fundraising efforts and recruitment of organizational sponsors.