Pharmacy Faculty Present at National AACP Meeting

Several faculty members from the College of Pharmacy made presentations at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) held in Grapevine, Texas earlier this week.

Dr. Leigh Ann Bynum

Dr. Leigh Ann Bynum

Dr. Angela Hagan

Dr. Angela Hagan

Dr. Leigh Ann Bynum and Dr. Angela Hagan were co-presenters for a session titled “Curricular Approaches to Active Learning,” which demonstrated different ways in which active learning techniques have been incorporated into pharmacy curricula. Bynum and Hagan focused on the use of patient simulation technology in the classroom.

Dr. Scott Weston

Dr. Scott Weston

Dr. Hope Campbell

Dr. Hope Campbell

Dr. Scott Weston moderated the session which included presentations from two other pharmacy schools.  Dr. Weston is the incoming Chair of the AACP Curriculum special interest group and was recently appointed to the Editorial Review Board for the AACP Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE).

Dr. Hagan also joined with Dr. Hope Campbell to speak at a session on “Reviving the Meaning and Perceptions of Being a Minority Faculty Member.”  In addition, Hagan and Campbell presented a poster titled “Where’s the Minority Representation? State of Affairs in Academic Pharmacy.”  Campbell is the incoming Chair of the AACP Minority Faculty special interest group.

Dr. Ashton Beggs

Dr. Ashton Beggs

Dr. Alisa Spinelli

Dr. Alisa Spinelli

Dr. Ashton Beggs presented a poster titled “Student Perceptions of Inter-Professional Collaboration through Geriatric Case Training.”  This poster was a report prepared by Beggs, who worked with faculty in the Meharry Consortium Geriatric Education Center, to produce a day-long training session for students in nursing, social work, physical therapy, dietetics, medicine and pharmacy. Beggs also made a poster presentation with Dr. Alisa Spinelli on “Student Preference for Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Presentation Modalities.”

Steil Co-Authored Articled on Interprofessional Learning Published

SteilMediumDr. Condit Steil, professor of pharmacy,  Dr. Mark Chirico, a former faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Richard Thompson,from Lipscomb University, have co-authored a manuscript accepted for print publication in August by Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.  The article describes the implementation and first two years of follow-up of a novel interprofessional program which includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University, the Social Work Department at Tennessee State University, the College of Pharmacy at Lipscomb University and the College of Pharmacy at Belmont University.  The study suggests positive benefits, as well as some areas for improvement, of interprofessional students working together in experiential settings and provides a format for other institutions to follow.  Clicking here to read the article.

Beggs Presents Pharmacy Poster at Conference

downloadAshton E. Beggs, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, presented a college poster titled “Student Perceptions of Inter-Professional Collaboration through Geriatric Case Training” at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy meeting held July 26-30 in Grapevine, Texas. The poster is a report prepared by Beggs, who worked with faculty in the Meharry Consortium Geriatric Education Center, to produce a day long training session for students in nursing, social work, physical therapy, dietetics, medicine and pharmacy.

Pinters Profiled in New York Times

robbie_pintermike pinterBelmont faculty members Dr. Robbie Pinter (English) and her husband, Dr. Mike Pinter (Math/Teaching Center Director), were profiled this week in the New York Times in an article titled “When the Caregivers Need Healing.” The article discusses new research on mindfulness training and positive adult development techniques as means for dealing with the stress of parenting a child with severe developmental disabilities.

For the Pinters, mindfulness practices like meditation and breathing techniques have given them tools to cope with caring for their 21-year-old son Nicholas, who has been diagnosed with autism and bipolar disorder. Both Robbie and Mike have also incorporated mindfulness elements into their teaching.The story ran in the July 29 print edition of the paper and can be found online here.

Honors Student Completes Internship with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker

J.T. Faircloth with Sen. CorkerBelmont University senior J.T. Faircloth recently completed a six-week internship with Sen. Bob Corker’s Nashville office. Faircloth, a corporate communications major and honors student, fielded calls from Tennesseans and passed along caller opinions on issues of the day to the senator. Being part of the democratic process in this manner allowed Faircloth to see politics firsthand at an important time when issues ranged from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs scandal to the crisis in Iraq. In addition to meeting Corker and hearing him speak at events in Nashville, Faircloth observed field representatives’ meetings with Tennesseans, watching the process of political activism at work. He also assisted with constituent services by calling federal agencies to get updates on the work Corker’s office is doing to help Tennesseans resolve important issues.

Belmont Ranks Among Top 50 Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools has ranked Belmont University No. 12 among the Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools of 2014.

For its ranking methodology, evaluated hundreds of nursing schools to see which have the strongest presence among social media platforms.  The formula was weighted to put more emphasis on the social media platforms that are most popular with nursing schools. The highest possible score was 100 points and distributed: 32 for Facebook, 15 for Nurses Lounge, 14 for Twitter, 12 for YouTube, 12 for LinkedIn, six for Google, four for Pinterest, four for Flickr and one for Instagram.

Belmont scored a 65.4 on the ranking scale. Belmont’s School of Nursing is active on social media through FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus and Nurse’s Lounge as well as the Health Sciences news site.

According to, “Social media is constantly changing, so schools must reevaluate their strategies regularly and decide which platforms to maintain a presence on and how much interaction to engage in with their followers.”, a social community for new and existing nurses, provides a comprehensive resource for the career and education aspects of nursing.

Schneller Presents on Bridges to Belmont

Beverly Schneller-XLAssociate Provost for Academic Affairs Beverly Schneller presented ” Bridges to Belmont: Using assessment to make multilevel program changes”  at the Live Text conference in Chicago on July 21. LiveText is a provider of campus-wide solutions for strategic planning, assessment and institutional effectiveness, and The 2014 Assessment & Collaboration Conference focused on the use of technology to enhance institutional effectiveness and assessment.

Belmont Students Meet with British Scholar in Oxford

British scholar Colin Duriez speaks with Belmont students.

British scholar Colin Duriez speaks with Belmont students.

Belmont students in Jonathan Thorndike’s “C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Inklings” summer class at King’s College in London had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit with Colin Duriez, well-known British scholar and author of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend, The A-Z of C. S. Lewis, Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings: A Guide to Middle Earth, and many other books. The class met with Duriez and had lunch with him at the Lamb and Flag, one of the Oxford establishments frequented by the Inklings.

Oxford, England was the home of C. S. Lewis from 1918 until his death in 1963.  J. R. R. Tolkien lived and taught there from 1925 until he died in 1973. It was in Oxford that the Christian fantasy writers’ group known as the Inklings met at the Eagle and Child public house or at C. S. Lewis’ rooms at Magdalen College. The Inklings produced some of the most influential books of the 20th century including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

StudentsInOxfordThe students were thrilled with Duriez’s narration during the walking tour of Oxford. They had many good questions about his book The Gift of Friendship, which he said is being optioned for a movie script based on the life of J. R. R Tolkien. Duriez has a new book on the Inklings scheduled to be released in spring 2015, and he discussed his new book with the Belmont students. The walking tour ended at Blackwell’s Bookshop, where students were able to get books signed by the author himself.

Colin Duriez is based in Keswick, Cumbria in northwest England and writes books, edits and lectures on Lewis, Tolkien and the Inklings. He appeared as a commentator on the extended version film DVDs of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, the DVD set of Walden/Disney’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Sony DVD about Tolkien fandom and the impact of Tolkien on popular culture. He has also participated in documentaries on PBS and the BBC. He is a part-time tutor at Lancaster University and is currently a consultant on a new film about the life of J. R. R. Tolkien.

Bridges to Belmont Students Spend Fridays Volunteering


Photo Credit: Leila Grossman/

As part of their summer transition into Belmont’s culture of service-learning and spirit of volunteerism, 30 Bridges to Belmont students are volunteering across Nashville each Friday. This is the first time a group service project has been added to their summer orientation program. On July 18, the students split their time building a fence for Music City Hounds Unbound, playing games with homeless and helping with a garden at Room in the Inn and sorting donated medical supplies for shipment to developing countries around the world at Project C.U.R.E. The Bridges to Belmont program provides Metro Nashville Public Schools students, many of whom are first generation college students, each with a four-year scholarship to cover tuition, room, board, required fees and books. The students will volunteer again on July 25 and Aug. 1.

Belmont Alumna Featured on Magazine Cover

emily reidBelmont alumna Emily Reid (’13) is featured on the cover of School Ties, the alumni magazine of St. Michaels University School (SMUS) in Saanich, Canada. The photo shows Reid singing ”West Coast Waters” in a farewell concert to her band teacher last year. Click here to view the video. In the article, she talks about her musical education at SMUS and Belmont, and why it is so important to her career. Click here to read the article, which begins on page 12.

Murphree Talks Spiders, Insects at Community Events

steven_murphreeDr. Steve Murphree, professor of biology, participated in Charlotte’s Web Day at the Adventure Science Center on July 12. The day was a celebration of the birthday of children’s author E.B. White and his classic book. Families could experience farm fun and learn more about the amazing animals depicted in the story. Murphree, an entomologist, had a floor exhibit on spiders where people could learn about spiders and the amazing webs they build. He also gave a talk on spiders as they relate to Charlotte’s Web. Murphree’s pet tarantula, Rosie,  got a lot of attention. 

He also spoke at the The Warner Park Nature Center’s 21st annual Insects of the Night program on July 18 during an event to celebrate moths, katydids and other nocturnal six-legged critters through games, demonstrations, crafts and puppet shows. Murphree, had live scorpions, termites and other arthropods on display. He has participated in all 21 Insects of the Night programs.

Chen Appointed to State Performance Excellence Board Of Examiners

Dennis Chen-LDr. Dennis C. Chen, assistant professor of management, has been appointed by the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) to the 2014 Board of Examiners. Each year, the TNCPE award program recognizes local, regional and statewide organizations that demonstrate excellence in business operations and results.

As an examiner, Chen is responsible for reviewing and evaluating organizations that apply for the TNCPE Award. The Board of Examiners comprises experts from all sectors of the regional economy, including health care, service, nonprofit, manufacturing, education and government. All members of the Board of Examiners must complete extensive training in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Examiners take the skills and expertise developed during training and the assessment process back to their own jobs, benefiting and improving their own organizations in the process.

Each year, the TNCPE Board of Examiners contributes more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service to organizations across Tennessee.

Curb College Professor, Student Record Colombian Ensemble

El Guamo w student engineersDr. David Tough, associate professor, and Curb College students Andrew Christenberry and Jake Minnes recently recorded the 17-piece musical ensemble El Guamo from the country of ​Columbia at Belmont’s Quonset Hut studio. The group traveled to Nashville, Tennessee on a state department grant and were hosted in collaboration with the Music Without Borders program at Tennessee State University.

Viral Video Launches Alumni Benji, Jenna Cowart into National Spotlight

Benji Cowart screen shot from YouTubeBelmont alumni Benji (’96) and Jenna (’95) Cowart made headlines and national TV this week with their music video response to the popular “Rude” single by Canadian reggae band Magic! The creative cover is in response to “Rude,” a song in which the singer asks a father’s permission to marry his daughter and then questions the father’s refusal, noting “Why you gotta be so rude?… I’m gonna marry her anyway.”

Cowart, a father of three, wanted to provide the father’s perspective and offered a humorous, acoustic response that has scored national attention. In addition to a story in The Tennessean, the Cowarts have been featured in USA Today, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Huffington Post and The video is approaching six million views on YouTube, and the couple has now added a higher quality version for download on iTunes.



Diaz-Cruz Contributes to Cancer Research Study

DiazCruzMediumDr. Edgar Diaz-Cruz, assistant professor of pharmacy, was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, for research he and his colleagues conducted on human pancreatic cancer.  The study, entitled “Human pancreatic cancer-associated stellate cells remain activated after in vivo chemoradiation,” showed that human tumor-derived pancreatic stellate cells survive both in vivo chemo- and radiotherapy. The data supports the idea that stellate cells play an essential role in supporting and promoting pancreatic cancer and may lead to new treatments targeting the pancreatic tumor microenvironment.  The team included researchers from the National Cancer Informatics Program, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, the University of Texas, the German Research Center for Environmental Health and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

Greenwalt Earns Specialty Certification

GreenwaltMediumSuzanne Greenwalt, an instructor in the School of Physical Therapy, recently received certification as a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).  ABPTS is the national governing body for certification of clinical specialists in physical therapy.  Less than 200 physical therapists are certified in this particular specialty, and Greenwalt is the first physical therapist in Tennessee to gain this credential.  

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” said Dr. Renee Brown, the chairman of Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy, “and it’s great for our program.  The knowledge and experience she has gained will enhance her teaching and benefit our students. We congratulate her.”

Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy provides treatment for individuals who suffer from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis, to increase endurance and improve functional independence.  To gain certification, Greenwalt was required to provide 2,000 hours of direct care of patients with conditions involving the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems in both acute and rehabilitation settings.

Belmont Students Serve with Project Transformation Tennessee

Casey Enright

Casey Enright and a summer camp student

Three Belmont students are working with Project Transformation Tennessee, which seeks to address three unique challenges with one program: meet the academic, physical, and spiritual needs of children from low-income communities; provide meaningful ways for college-age young adults to explore ministry opportunities and develop as young principled leaders for the church and the world; and help revitalize churches.

Project Transformation Tennessee harnesses the creative energy and ideas of young adults who live in intentional Christian community and who plan and implement free summer day camp programs for children and youth in under served neighborhoods. The programs are held at United Methodist churches located in the heart of low-income neighborhoods, thereby helping those churches connect in meaningful ways with their communities.

Three Belmont students serving with Project Transformation are Casey Enright (a sophomore church leadership and administration major), Christine Anderson (a sophomore social entrepreneurship major) and Natalie Webb (a junior social work major).

Enright said, “This is my first year working with Project Transformation, and it has been a life changing summer. Not only am I building a relationship with the kids that I work with, but also my fellow interns and different organizations that we meet through our organization.”

‘Riding with a Reason’ Team Completes Trip, Achieves Fundraising Goal

FinishLineRising Belmont senior Brennon Mobley and rising junior James Richfield, along with alumnus JD Hartwig (’14), recently completed their cross-country Riding with a Reason trip. The 3,300-mile bike trip started in Oceanside, Oregon in mid-May and was completed in Washington, D.C. last week, raising more than $58,000 along the way for 147 Million Orphans, a Middle Tennessee-based nonprofit organization that raises awareness for orphans and provides them with food, water and medication. The funds will be used to finance a school building in Mount Olivos, Honduras and fill it with basic supplies, desks, chairs, books and uniforms as well as secure teachers’ salaries.

RidingWithaReasonU.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., made a statement in front of Congress on June 27, honoring the team for their good work, noting, “Cycling across the country is a certainly a noble endeavor. Nobler still are the 147 million reasons these three men are offering up their summer with blood, sweat, tears and bike tires… I ask my colleagues to join with me in celebrating the loving-kindness of Brennon Mobley, James Richfield and JD Hartwig as we all continue the sacred work of protecting and serving the least among us.”

Read more about the Riding with a Reason trip here.


Bourgoine Earns E-Discovery Specialist Certification

ianbourgoineCollege of Law Reference and Access Services Librarian Ian B. Bourgoine is among the select maiden group of e-discovery professionals to pass the rigorous Certified E-Discovery Specialists (CEDS) certification examination. Bourgoine has now earned the right to use the prestigious designation as a Certified E-Discovery Specialist. In the Belmont College of Law, Bourgoine is responsible for ensuring the availability of library resources to patrons as well as providing reference services.

The CEDS credential is earned by individuals who pass the rigorous four-hour examination that provides a tough and objective measure of mastery of the challenging field of e-discovery. The certification program is administered by the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the premier membership organization of professionals in the field worldwide. Since the exam was first offered in November 2010, professionals in the United States, Canada, the UK, South Korea, Germany and China have earned the CEDS certification.

The CEDS certification is compelling evidence that designees are competent and knowledgeable in e-discovery regardless of their professional specialization—whether they are lawyers, litigation support staff, records managers, information technology (IT) specialists, technology officials, court personnel, paralegals or consultants. The credential is an assurance to employers, colleagues and clients that the CEDS-certified professional is serious about efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and risk reduction in all phases of e-discovery.

Nursing Students Honored for Vanderbilt Medical Center Internships

Pictured from left are undergraduate nursing students Gabrielle Pappas, Sarah Steele, Jennifer Bognar and Dr. Leslie Folds, associate professor of nursing.

Pictured from left are undergraduate nursing students Gabrielle Pappas, Sarah Steele, Jennifer Bognar and Dr. Leslie Folds, associate professor of nursing.

For the past seven weeks, 18 Belmont senior-level nursing students participated in a summer internship program called Vanderbilt Experience: Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) along with students from four other regional nursing programs. Three Belmont nursing students were awarded the highest honors at the culminating awards ceremony held June 25 in the Waddington Conference Room at Monroe-Carroll Children’s Hospital.  A total of seven awards were given; three went to Belmont students.  VUMC credo behaviors identify those individuals that aspire to excellence and expert performance. Jennifer Bognar received the Credo Award for Psychiatric/Mental Health Track, Gabrielle Pappas received the Credo Award for the Perioperative Track, and Sarah Steele received the Credo Award for the Women’s Health Track.  

“It is clear that our students continue to incorporate the mission, vision, and values of Belmont University in their interactions with patients, families, and the entire healthcare team.  Our students consistently pursue excellence,” said Dr.  Leslie A. Folds, who coordinates the program for Belmont School of Nursing.

This is the tenth year of the VESNIP program. The program began as a partnership between Belmont School of Nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It has now expanded to a total of 62 students and includes five Tennessee and Kentucky nursing schools. The VESNIP positions are very competitive and are considered elite opportunities for students from around the region.

“Overall the VESNIP experience allowed me to see myself as a nurse. Through multiple opportunities to practice nursing skills and employ critical thinking, my knowledge base as a nurse has begun to strengthen and grow outside of the school setting.  I feel comfortable working in a hospital setting now, and I have a clearer view of my roles and responsibilities as a future nurse,” said Claire Zetak, a Belmont nursing student in the Critical Care Track.

Betsy Sanders, a Belmont nursing student who participated in the Perioperative Track, said, “Nursing students fortunate enough to participate in VESNIP experience a level of nursing not attainable by simply fulfilling clinical requirements. I am leaving this seven-week program with enhanced nursing skills, a better understanding of the all-encompassing responsibilities of being a nurse and a true appreciation for the multidisciplinary teamwork necessary in providing patients with safe, efficacious and patient-centered healthcare.”

Pharmacy Students Administer Free HIV Tests

Pharmacy student volunteersBelmont College of Pharmacy students recently teamed up with Walgreens and Nashville Cares to administer free HIV tests at Walgreens locations around Middle Tennessee. The free testing was part of the Greater Than AIDS campaign and was in honor of National HIV Testing Day. The students participating in the event were members of the Belmont chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) who had completed HIV testing and counseling training with Nashville Cares and become certified in the Spring. SNPhA plans to offer the training to its other members during the upcoming school year. Belmont’s chapter of SNPhA hopes to maintain its partnership with Nashville Cares so that its members can continue to serve their community through HIV education and early detection.

Belmont Group Presents at 2014 NAC&U Summer Institute

Pictured  left to right are Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, Dr. Jeffery Burgin, Dr. Beverly Schneller, Dr. Mimi Barnard, Patricia Jacobs and Dr. Thomas Burns.

Pictured left to right are Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, Dr. Jeffery Burgin, Dr. Beverly Schneller, Dr. Mimi Barnard, Patricia Jacobs and Dr. Thomas Burns.

A group of Belmont faculty, staff and administrators recently returned from the 2014 New American Colleges and Universities’ (NAC&U) Summer Institute at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. Representing Belmont and offering presentations at the conference were Dr. Jonathan Thorndike (Honors program director); Dr. Jeffery Burgin (associate provost and dean of students); Dr. Beverly Schneller (associate provost for academic affairs); Dr. Mimi Barnard (assistant provost for interdisciplinary studies and global education); Patricia Jacobs (director of career services); and Dr. Thomas Burns (provost).

The NAC&U Summer Institute keynote speakers were Dr. Edward L. Ayers, president of the University of Richmond and a noted historian and author; Dr. Robin Heyden, an educational consultant and blogger of how new media tools affect education; and Dr. David Asai, senior director of science education programs at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  The Institute theme was “Creating Community through Collaboration,” and the focus was on NAC&U’s new initiative to provide opportunities for students and faculty through collaboration among members. The Summer Institute explored possibilities to enhance the educational experience through collaboration among NAC&U members, with campuses, and between campuses and their communities. Presentations described existing projects and engaged conference participants in working sessions to develop new ideas for collaboration.


Acree Invited to Serve on TN Department of Education’s STEM Leadership Council

Glenn AcreeDr. Glenn Acree, professor of mathematics, was invited to join the new TN Department of Education’s STEM Leadership Council. Acree delivered the opening address “Conversations for STEM Education and Workforce Development” for the Tennessee Science Standards Steering Committee at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville earlier in the year and was invited by Assistant Education Commissioner Danielle Mezera to serve on the newly formed STEM Leadership Council.

As Tennessee continues to advance towards a greater integration of rigorous K-12 STEM learning pathways, leading to post-secondary achievement and the development of dynamic STEM-related occupation pipelines, it is critically important that the state’s top thought leaders are active in this process. By engaging various stakeholders from across the state, Tennessee will be able – as a state – to ensure strong, robust alignment and visioning between education and industry.


Bridges Earns Choral Directors’ Lifetime Achievement Award

photoDr. Madeline Bridges, associate dean for academic studies and professor of music education, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Tennessee American Choral Directors Association at its annual conference held June 20 and 21 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bridges serves as campus director of the Tennessee Arts Academy and is co-director of the Nashville Children’s Choir, a multi-level community choir program in residence at Belmont.

Scene Names Fisher Among Most Influential Nashvillians

dr_bob_fisherThe Nashville Scene has named University President Bob Fisher as among the 25 Nashvillians who have shaped the city for the better over the past 25 years. The article cites Belmont’s growth through the construction of academic and residential buildings, the addition of new graduate programs and the expansion of enrollment to double the number of students since Fisher took helm in 2000. During Fisher’s tenure, campus has expanded significantly with the additions of the Baskin Center, Curb Event Center, Beaman Student Life Center, the Gordon E. Inman Center, the Troutt Theater complex, McWhorter Hall, the Wedgewood Academic Center and several new residence halls and parking garages. Academically, the University has added numerous new interdisciplinary programs in the past decade, including Social Entrepreneurship, New Century Journalism, Pharmacy, Motion Pictures and Law. Click here to read more.

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