Belmont Selected as Site for Anti-Hazing Summit

APABelmont was recently selected as the host site for Alpha Phi Alpha’s Anti-Hazing Summit due to the University’s pending application for an Alpha Phi Alpha chapter to come to campus. The Summit was called to work towards eradicating hazing on college campuses within and outside Tennessee.

Attendees included 88 delegates from active Alpha Phi Alpha chapters and Summit activities included discussions surrounding hazing prevention and policy presented by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Legal Counsel Wayne Harvey, Southern Region Legal Counsel John Ellis and member Russell Utley.



Beggs Accompanies Fourth Year Pharmacy Student on Medical Mission Trip to Haiti

BelmontFourth year pharmacy student Meghan Duquette and Assistant Professor of the College of Pharmacy Ashton Beggs recently returned from a week-long medical mission trip to Gobert, Haiti. Duquette was selected for this Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience last spring and was the second student in participate in the annual opportunity.

Under Beggs’s supervision, Duquette was involved in all medication-related aspects of the trip planning, which began summer 2014. The duo was responsible for choosing the medications they would take on the trip, all purchased from Blessings International. Medication labeling was developed by Duquette in both English and Creole, the native language of Haiti. While in Gobert, Duquette and Beggs were in charge of aiding the providers in selecting drug therapy, dispensing medications and counseling patients on each prescription.

Additional pharmacy students were involved in trip preparations including counting, packaging and labeling the medications prior to shipment. “It was great to see pharmacy students from all years come together to prepare the medications,” Duquette said. “Caring for patients in a third-world country is eye-opening. This experience has undoubtedly shaped my pharmacy path.”

Belue Presents Workshop on Smart Moves

Deb Belue Tap Headshot 2010Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Dance Minor Program Debbie Belue recently presented a workshop entitled “Smart Moves: Building Brainpower with Dance” at Vanderbilt University’s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy. The workshop focused on learning, creativity and intelligence as processes of a whole body experience. Participants were introduced to specific movement sequences that serve to organize the body and brain in preparation for learning and creative problem solving.

Belue described the benefits of regular dance and musical involvement in the elderly population, as these integrated, cross-lateral movements are stimulating to the memory system. Additionally, Belue described the benefits of play therapy for children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. In her dance technique courses, she promotes dance as an interactive experience with life-long benefits.

Fowler Quoted in Extra Credit

jennifer-wilgusAssociate Professor of Economics and Music Business Jennifer Fowler was recently quoted in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s “Extra Credit,” the bank’s online newsletter designed to assist teachers in economic and personal finance topics and teaching strategies. Fowler discussed Nashville’s growing tourism and music tourism industries.

For Fowler’s full feature, click here.


Students, Alumni Find Success on American Idol

Several Belmont students and alumni have been featured on Season 14 of FOX’s “American Idol” audition and Hollywood rounds, making a name for both themselves and the University.

Rayvon Owen, Cody Fry, KellyeAnn Rodgers, Piper Jones and Cameron Bedell, among others, blew the judges away during auditions and received a golden ticket to advance to the Hollywood round. Once at Hollywood, Owens, Fry, Rodgers and Jones were seen advancing to the group performance round.

To view each performer’s audition video, click the photo below. Tune into FOX this week as these contestants try their hand in Hollywood. For more information, click here.

Rayvon Owen

Rayvon Owen

Cody Fry

Cody Fry

Kellyeanne Rodgers

Kellyeanne Rodgers

Piper Jones

Piper Jones

Cameron Bedell

Cameron Bedell

Tough’s Songs Featured on Two Television Dramas

davidtoughDr. David Tough’s, associate professor of audio engineering technology, original songs were recently featured on television episodes of “Pretty Little Liars” (ABC) and “Glee” (Fox). Dr. Tough co-wrote, engineered and produced the placements from his home studio.

“Lets Get Crazy” (written, produced and engineered with Jason Garner and Tre Houston) was featured on “Glee,” and “Falling Down” will be played on “Pretty Little Liars.”

Stewart Invited to Join SOURCE Nashville

Achievers.StewartCurb College Career Development Specialist Tish Stewart was nominated by one of Belmont’s entertainment industry partners to join SOURCE Nashville and was accepted. SOURCE is a nonprofit, invitation-only organization unifying female executives from all facets of the Nashville Music Industry.

Stewart said, “SOURCE is a wonderful way to network with the entertainment industry and to provide additional resources and opportunities for the students and graduates I serve in the Curb College.”

Finance Alumna Celebrates Company’s 15th Anniversary

Achievers.Hacker2Rachel Hacker graduated from Belmont in 1998 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, majoring in finance. Upon graduation, Hacker moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and helped start McBrearty Capital Managment. The firm, with an original goal of $25 million in investments, is now celebrating its 15th year of helping clients grow their assets and managing $150 million.

McBrearty takes pride in personal relationships with each client, something that has propelled its reputation for the past 15 years. Because of their commitment to existing clients, the company has grown beyond its Knoxville location and has become registered in many other states .

To learn more about Hacker’s success and McBrearty Capital Management, click here.

Lacher Graduates APPA Institute

Henry Pic (2)Director of Facilities Management Services Henry Lacher graduated from the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers’ Institute for Facilities Management in January.

The program concentrates on four areas including General Administration and Management, Maintenance and Operations, Energy and Utilities and Planning, Design and Construction.

Lacher said, “The body of knowledge delivered to Institute graduates comes from the over 100 years of APPA history of working with university facilities officers.  As a result of these programs, I have become aware of advances in technology, efficiency and performance measurement tools that I will be able to apply at Belmont.”

Belmont Honors Community Pastor Through Prayer Chapel Plaque

chapel unveiling-119A plaque was hung outside the Prayer Chapel of the Wedgewood Academic Center on Wednesday in honor of the late Pastor Foster Young, a long-time resident of the campus neighborhood and Mt. Gilead Baptist Church pastor. Young’s home was in the spot that is now the newly built Academic Center.

Young’s son, Julius Young, was on site for the ceremony and told many memories of his father within the Belmont neighborhood. He said his parents would sit on the porch and talk with students as they passed by, and several converted to Christianity as Pastor Young shared the gospel.

During the ceremony, Julius was presented with a wooden bowl made from the trees that were originally in the yard surrounding his childhood home.

Belmont Vice President and Chief of Staff Susan West said, “It was an honor to recognize Pastor Young and his family in this special way. For years to come, students, faculty, staff and guests who visit the Wedgewood Academic Center will come to know the friend our community found in him.”

Belmont Cheerleaders Finish Fourth at UCA Collegiate National Competition

SONY DSCThe Belmont cheerleaders finished fourth in the nation at the UCA Collegiate National competition in Orlando, Florida this past January. The team competed with Division 1, the Large Co-Ed Division, against a very competitive field from across the country.

In addition to their high ranking, the Office of the Governor of the State of Tennessee awarded the team with the governor’s Certificate of Appreciation, recognizing the athletes’ dedication and hard work, as well as thanking the team for representing the community with great dignity, character and commitment.

This year’s team has eight new members, some of which have never competed at the national title level. Coach Wheeley and the team spent countless hours of practice since October preparing and learning new skills and routines.

The 2014-2015 season has awarded the team the best finish for the program to date. To learn more about this year’s team and their successes, click here.

Weaver Honored for Co-Writing Gilbert’s No. 1 Song


Justin Weaver (right) with Songwriting Chair James Elliott

Songwriting Department Adjunct and ASCAP songwriter Justin Weaver co-wrote Brantley Gilbert’s No. 1 song “Bottoms Up” with Gilbert and ASCAP songwriter Brett James. BMI and ASCAP recently co-hosted a celebration for the song’s success at Pour House Nashville.

This is Weaver’s first No. 1 song, but his talent has been widely recognized. He co-wrote Kip Moore’s single “I’m to Blame,” already in the top 10 on iTunes. He also co-wrote the Meghan Trainor and John Legend duet “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” on Trainor’s debut album.

Weaver has been a songwriter for almost 13 years. As quoted in an article on Music Row Magazine, Weaver thanked those who has supported his journey. “It’s been a long road,” said Weaver. “But it’s always been about taking baby steps, pushing forward and always doing the right thing, and I think we did.” To read more about this event, click here.

Mathematics Faculty Present at Joint Mathematics Meeting

Many Belmont College of Sciences and Mathematics faculty members gave presentations at the Joint Mathematics Meeting of The Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society held in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 10-13. More than 6,000 people were in attendance, making the event the largest Mathematics meeting in the world.

Presentations included “Encouraging a ‘Growth Mindset’ in Our Mathematics Courses” by Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Teaching Center Dr. Mike Pinter, “Tying Statistics to the Real World – Group Projects using Linear Regression” by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Robin Lovgren, “Reacting to the Past in a Mathematics Classroom” and ”Linking Mathematics and the Arts through a Poster Assignment” by Chair and Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Andy Miller and ”Algorithm to Enhance Stereoscopic Imagery” by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Michelle Guinn. Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Maria Neophytou also participated in the conference.


Gustke Presents on American Author

Charmion GustkeLecturer of English Dr. Charmion Gustke recently presented at Parnassue Books on Willa Cather, an American author, and her novel The Professor’s House. Dr. Gustke then led a discussion about themes, historical elements and biographical specifics connected to the book.

Dr. Gustke’s scholarly interests include the intersections of post-colonial theory and American literature, Empire Studies (particularly South African literature), and the work, both fiction and nonfiction, of Willa Cather, on which Dr. Gustke has published articles. In the summer of 2012 she was awarded a James Woodress Research Grant from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln to explore Cather’s later work in light of the Great Depression.

Thomas to Serve as Teaching Center Assistant Director

jennifer_thomasProfessor of Biology Jennifer Thomas will serve as the Teaching Center assistant director for the 2015-16 academic year.

Thomas is a recent recipient of Belmont’s Chaney Distinguished Professor Award.  She has been very involved in Teaching Center programs during her time at Belmont, including active participation in recent workshops and discussions. She brings extensive experience with undergraduate research and BELL Core general education offerings to her work with the Center.  

Thomas also has interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning, including a presentation at the November 2014 Lilly Conference on College Teaching in Oxford, Ohio.

Murray Presents at Gathering for Young Organists

organEnglish Professor Douglas Murray served as a guest clinician at OrgelFest, a East Tennessee gathering for young organists, sponsored by the Department of Music at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Murray discussed Renaissance and Baroque traditions and techniques of improvisation and coached three students in a masterclass on improvisation.  He closed the three hour session with three improvisations, each in a different style, on a given hymn tune.

Murray was the runner-up in the National Competition in Organ Improvisation, held last June in Boston, Massachusetts.



Stover and Paine Organize and Present at Japan Studies Association Conference


Dr. Andrea Stover


Dr. John Paine

Andrea Stover and John Paine, professors in the English department, attended the Japan Studies Association (JSA) annual conference Jan. 7-10 in San Diego, California.

Stover serves on the board for JSA and was a co-organizer for the conference. Paine edits the Japan Studies Association Journal, JSA’s professional journal and presented and directed discussion of Kenko, Essays in Idleness, a medieval classic of Japanese aesthetics in plenary session.



Spinelli and Frame Published in Pharmacy Journal

Frame Achievers

Dr. Tracy Frame

Spinelli Achievers

Dr. Alisa Spinelli

Drs. Alisa Spinelli and Tracy Frame, assistant professors in the College of Pharmacy, were recently published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, a professional journal for pharmacy education.

Spinelli published “Assessing the Value of a Pharmacy Student First Aid Volunteer Experience at a Large Venue Sporting Event,”an article co-written by Drs. Randell Doty and Melonie Stanton from the University of Florida.

Their research assessed the perceived value to pharmacy students in volunteering at first aid stations during University of Florida football games. The study concluded that the volunteer opportunity significantly improved the confidence of pharmacy student participants in providing patient care activities and recognizing patients who were experiencing a medical emergency.

In November, Frame published an article entitled, “Student Perceptions of a Self-Care Course Taught Exclusively by Team-Based Learning and Utilizing Twitter”, co-written by Drs. Kelly Wright and Melody Hartzler from Cedarville University in Ohio.

The objective of their research was to assess student perceptions of the use of team-based learning (TBL) and Twitter in an Introduction to Self-Care course. Overall, their study revealed TBL use in the course as favorable, but course improvements were needed, such as increasing the course to three credit hours and reshaping the use of social media to better engage students in discussion beyond the classroom.

Skinner and Jewell named Co-Presidents of Tennessee Chapter of Fulbright Association

Dr. Kathy Skinner

Dr. Kathy Skinner

Shelley Jewell

Shelley Jewell

Director of Study Abroad Shelley Jewell and Director of International Student Services Kathy Skinner were recently named co-presidents of the Tennessee Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

The Fulbright Association is a private, nonprofit and nonpolitical organization whose members are Fulbright Program alumni and friends of international education. The Association supports international educational, cultural exchange and mutual understanding among the peoples of the world.

“Having the co-presidents of the Tennessee Chapter on campus will encourage further awareness of the Fulbright Program and promotion of theoutstanding academic opportunities available to Belmont students and faculty,” said Skinner.

More information on the Fulbright student exchange program can be found here.



Slay Carr Presents at Jazz Education Network Conference

Carr Achievers

Associate Professor of Music Business Cheryl Slay Carr presented two lectures, “Jazz Industry Best Business Practices” and “Copyright Law & the Business of Jazz,” at the 2015 Jazz Education Network Conference in San Diego.

Slay Carr is a member of the board of directors of the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and chairs the JEN Jazz Industry & Music Business Committee.

Voight Appointed to Scientific Advisory Committee for Performance Health

Achievers Voight

Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Michael Voight has been appointed to Performance Health Academy’s 2015 Scientific Advisory Committee. The Committee is comprised of eighteen individuals from around the world who have expertise in physical therapy, chiropractics, exercise science, athletic training and massage therapy.

Performance Health is a leading manufacturer of rehabilitation and wellness products sold in the U.S. and more than sixty countries. The Performance Health Academy was formed to document the benefits of resistance exercise and pain relief and guide the company in its development of new products and exercise programs.

For more information on the Academy, click here.



Alumna Dorinda Moss Named Politico Person to Watch

Belmont alumna Dorinda Moss was recently named as a Politico “Person to Watch,” due to her great success as a political fundraiser. Moss oversees national finance operations at Reclaim America, Sen. Marco Rubio’s leadership PAC.

In 2003, Moss moved to Washington to work for George W. Bush’s re-election campaign. She then served as finance director for the National Republic Senatorial Committee’s 2010 and 2012 cycles and helped raise more than $200 million.

In a recent article on, Moss’s NRSC co-worker Brian Walsh  said, “To be a successful fundraiser, you have to have a unique ability to connect with people and be extraordinarily efficient and organized. That unique combination… Dorinda is able to capture all of that.”

Moss began her career as a junior at Belmont when she worked for Fred Thompson’s Senate re-election campaign in the summer of 1996. On her first day she was placed in the finance department, a vital part of Thompson’s team.

Since then, Moss has continued to build her financial résumé by working with the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2003 and 2004 as well as the Republican National Committee’s Raiser’s Edge and Regents Program. She has worked on the fundraising team for the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee, Thompson’s 2008 presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future and the Tennessee Republican Party.

Alumna Jena Locke Named Vice President of The Andrews Agency

Jena Locke3Alumna Jena Locke, a 2009 Belmont graduate, was recently named vice president of The Andrews Agency, a full service public relations, marketing and event management firm for restaurant, development and automotive clients in Nashville. Locke was an account supervisor before being promoted.

While working on her degree in public relations, Locke interned at both The Onion in Los Angeles and Nashville’s Katcher Vaughn & Bailey Public Relations. Since graduating, Locke has served on Belmont’s Public Relations Department Advisory Board and Young Alumni Council.

In addition to her academic and career work, Locke supports the Nashville Public Library Foundation as the community campaign events committee chair and as a founding member and vice president of their Next Chapter Society Young Professionals group. She is also a founding member of the Friends of the Food Bank Steering Committee supporting Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

Locke was recently named one of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30 for her professional success and philanthropic involvement.

Belmont Students Launch Bear House Writer Management

 Bear House Writer Management members with Warner/Chappell EVP, Ben Vaughn, at a meeting this past November.

Bear House Writer Management members with Warner/Chappell EVP, Ben Vaughn, at a meeting this past November.

Students from the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business launched a songwriter management organization this past fall, aiming to be a bridge between Belmont University and Music Row. The student-run organization, Bear House Writer Management, hopes to provide students with networking opportunities, meetings with industry professionals and exposure to other songwriters.

Through Bear House, selected student writers are paired with student managers in order to help both sides realize and harness their full potential. The organization currently supports nine student songwriters, including Devin Dawson who recently gained recognition after releasing a Taylor Swift mashup with Louisa Wendorff, which was shared by Taylor herself.

Bear House also works with Eric Burgett, who opened for Phil Vassar this past December, Hunter Leath who released his EP, From Where You Are, on Jan. 6 and Hannah Rand who performed at Belmont’s Best Of The Best Showcase last year as the winner of an ASCAP Writers’ Night. Bear House Writer Management’s roster also includes Bailee Rainwater, Emily Landis, Jillian Linklater, Johnny Murphy and Shawn Gough.

You can learn more about Bear House Writer Management by clicking here or by contacting them directly at

Alumna Boo Detch’s Cadbury Crème Egg Video goes Viral

Boo Detch - Photo Credit Sara LukasiewiczAfter a recent announcement of a recipe alteration for the Cadbury Egg, 2011 music business alumna Barbara “Boo” Detch put her feelings into song. The witty youtube video has since skyrocketed to over 36,000 views, and Detch has been featured on news outlets all over the United Kingdom, as well as a recent BuzzFeed article.

The song express her grievances over the new candy, with a lighthearted feel and lyrics to match.

“I don’t want no peanut butter! I don’t want no caramel!
All I want is your creme in a milk chocolately covered shell!”

Detch is hoping Cadbury will take notice. Click here to watch the video.

While at Belmont, Detch was the president of the Belmont University Songwriters Association. She is now living in Los Angeles, California, pursuing a career in music.  Hear more of her music here.

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