December 18, 2008


‘Christmas at Belmont’ 2008
The annual “Christmas at Belmont” concerts featuring hundreds of School of Music students and faculty were held Dec. 6-7 in MPAC. A re-broadcast of last year’s “Christmas at Belmont” performance, taped live in the Schermerhorn Symphony Center with host Melinda Doolittle, will air nationally on public television on Tues., Dec. 23 at 9 p.m. Central.


General Education Program Awarded Teagle Foundation Grant
Belmont University’s Department of General Education was recently awarded a $288,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation to assess the impact of experiential learning in the core curriculum. Over the course of the three-year project, titled “Learning by Doing: Assessing the Relationship Between Liberal Learning and Experiential Education,” Belmont will collaborate with Wagner College in New York to seek ways to better assess how experiential learning improves student engagement and enhances important skills such as critical thinking. The project builds from a one-year, $25,000 planning grant obtained in 2007.
Teagleheader-logo.gifThe BELL Core, Belmont’s innovative and nationally-recognized general education program, features courses that encourage students to engage in “active learning”—service learning, community-based research and field studies, problem-based learning and other experiences in which students are challenged to move beyond the classroom and develop knowledge and skills that are rooted in real-world experiences.
Dr. Jeff Coker, associate professor of history and director of Belmont’s General Education program, served as project leader for the planning grant and will serve in that capacity again for the three-year study. He noted, “The Teagle Foundation grant will allow us to learn a great deal more about what faculty at Belmont already sense—that active, ‘hands-on’ learning leads to a high level of engagement and promotes an array of skills that better prepare our students to succeed. This long-term project will spell out the benefits of experiential education, and even more importantly, it will provide us with strategies for improvement. The study also will place Belmont on the cutting-edge of innovative assessment strategies and will be of great interest for colleges and universities nationwide.”
Belmont Provost Dr. Dan McAlexander added, “Belmont University is nationally recognized for its innovative, interdisciplinary general education program which emphasizes learning both in and out of the classroom. The awarding of this highly competitive grant gives us the opportunity to assess the impact of this kind of learning and to share our findings with the nation’s higher education community.” Click here for more on this story.
Belmont to Hold Winter 2008 Commencement Dec. 19
Belmont University will hold its Winter 2008 Commencement ceremony on Fri., Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Curb Event Center. More than 350 undergraduate and master’s degrees will be conferred.
Dr. Robert C. Fisher, president of the University, will preside over the event and present the graduates with their degrees as well as provide commencement remarks. Bachelor of Music candidate Dwan Hill will offer the Student Reflection for the ceremony. President and Mrs. Fisher will host a reception for the graduates and their guests at the conclusion of commencement in Belmont’s Beaman Student Life Center.


Patci Scores Free Tuition with Half-Court Shot
Belmont junior Rick Patci, a music business major from Columbia, Mo., walked away from the women’s basketball game Wednesday night with a major Christmas gift: free tuition for a semester. Patci won free tuition by sinking a half-court shot during one of the game’s media timeouts. Click here to watch a video of his $10,000+ shot.
Magut Featured in Tennessean
Belmont cross country and track and field standout Kipkosgei Magut was recently featured in The Tennessean for his volunteer work with Nashville’s Girls on the Run, an organization that teaches self-confidence and healthy living to young girls. To read the full story, click here.
Sturgis Named Finalist for Two Podcasting Awards
Amy Sturgis, an adjunct instructor in General Education, is a finalist in two categories (Best Narrator and Best Fact Article Contributor) in this year’s Sofanaut Podcasting Awards. Voting is open now at and will remain open until Jan. 23. (A complete list of Sturgis’ podcast commentaries, interviews and unabridged dramatic readings is available here.) In addition, she has just agreed to write a new book for Zossima Press tentatively titled The Gothic Imaginations of J.R.R. Tolkien, Madeleine L’Engle and J.K. Rowling for publication in Spring/Summer 2010.
Alexander Elected Chair of Baldrige Board
joe_alexander_2007.jpgJoe Alexander, associate dean and senior professor of performance excellence, has been elected chair of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) Foundation’s Board of Directors for 2009. Other Board members confirmed as officers for the coming year are Debbie Collard, director of program management and business excellence for Integrated Defense Systems/The Boeing Company (chair-elect) and Loren Meyer, CEO of Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group (secretary).
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was the vision of President Ronald Reagan and created through an act of the U.S. Congress in 1987 as a means of enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. businesses. Award recipients are selected annually as examples of “best practice” for achieving high levels of performance excellence and typically receive their awards from the President of the United States in a special ceremony.
Alpha Chi Inducts New Members
Membership to the Alpha Chi National Honor Scholarship Society is the highest academic honor awarded by Belmont University. Its requirements are to be in the top 10 percent academically of all students and to be of junior or senior class rank. Alpha Chi members are nominated by the faculty, must have “outstanding moral character” and display leadership, integrity and service.
Alpha Chi inducted 71 new members in a ceremony on Nov. 7: Fatima Abdalla, Caroline Adams, Nathan Baldwin, Allison Berwald, Jared Bohland, Whitney Brazeal, Jennifer Brelsford, Payten Butler, Stefani Butler, Addie Campbell, Henry Carter, Andrew Chapman, Michael Chapman, Dana Clasby, Hailey Clowdus, Amy Cross, Amanda Danley, Allison Dowell, Carly Escue, Audrey Filson, William Forshee, Sarah Gaskin, Mark Gerdesmeier, Erin Gier, John Gladwin, Mary Gray, Kaitlin Guest, Jennifer Hermansen, Kristopher Hill, Laura Houser, Colleen Iuliucci, Jill Johnson, Ruchi Kapadia, Lezley Keppler, Hali Krewson, David Kumler, Natalie Lassinger, Jill Lawton, Matthew Lefavor, Kathleen McCrary, Brittany Meeks, Brittany Moe, Joseph Mosby, Catherine Mundy, Jane Nicholson, Bethany Parker, Lauren Payne, Heidi Pedersen, Kathleen Redding, Adam Richardson, Jessica Roadcap, Kimberly Scott, Mary Simpkins, Kirby Standifer, Hoyt Steel, Lindsey Stickline, Rachael Stuemke, Caleb Swartz, Michael Teutsch, Kelly Thomas, Grace Thomson, Brittany Thune, Jessica Tidwell, Amanda Tincher, Amy Valentine, David Vigil, Jessica Walker, Ashley Wannemacher, Kathleen Wells, Jackie Whitis and Justin Wood.
USASBE Best Teaching Case Awarded to Belmont Business Faculty
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Dr. Mark Schenkel, Associate Professor of Accounting Dr. Jane Finley and Assistant Professor of Business Law Dr. Wade Chumney were recently notified that a case study they wrote this summer has been selected by International Small Business Journal as the Best Teaching Case for USASBE 2009. USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) is a leading national organization that seeks to advance knowledge and foster business development through entrepreneurship education and research. The award will be presented on Sat., Jan. 10, 2009 in Anaheim at USASBE’s annual conference. The case study, “RHS, Inc.: Innovation ‘Guiding’ Agriculture,” presents an overview of an agricultural fertilization business that grew from personal necessity on the part of the founder into a promising, innovative and growing venture that specializes in bringing accuracy to agricultural production.
Senior Business Students Achieve Top Ranking on National Exam
Belmont’s College of Business Administration recently announced that many of its graduating seniors scored at or above the top 10 percent level on the Major Field Test in Business, an exam produced by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) of Princeton, N.J. The ETS exam has been administered to almost 85,000 students at 564 undergraduate business programs across the U.S.
“Many of our students are now demonstrating that they can score very well when compared to their peers at other U.S. business schools” said Susan Taylor, associate dean of the College of Business Administration. “Their performance is a direct reflection of our focus on delivering a high-quality program and the individual attention our students receive from our highly-qualified faculty.”
Undergraduate students from the Fall 2008 cohort who scored in the Top 10 percent or higher nationally include: Matthew Durdel (Suttons Bay, MI), Matthew Hilton (Mooresville, NC), Nathaniel Hudson (Nashville, TN), Alan Kruer (Floyds Knobs, IN), Ryan O’Hern (Kansas City, MO), Kelsey Rictor (Zionsville, IN), Jennifer Russell (Portland, TN), Patrick Schuyler (Baltimore, MD), Brock Short (Nashville, TN), Blake Tidwell (Kingston Springs, TN), Brian Watts (Franklin, TN) and Laura Wright (McEwen, TN).
York Selected to Ronald McDonald House Charities Board
Dr. Stan York, assistant professor of management in the College of Business Administration, was recently selected as a Director and Treasurer on the Corporate Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville’s mission is to “keep families close” and provide essential resources and a “home away from home” for families of critically ill children receiving inpatient or outpatient medical care at Nashville area hospitals.

IT’S ALL BELMONT TO ME – Belmont FYI Feature Profile of the Month

Show We Care
CNorthington2.jpgCarrie Northington is December’s “It’s All Belmont to Me” recipient. She was nominated for the first guiding principle, Show We Care. Carrie works full time in Student Financial Services as a loan counselor, and she has been a part of the Belmont community since 2006.
To her, the phrase “show we care” means trying to understand the person she is helping as well as the situation. “In my office, we hear stories all the time from students who have financial aid concerns, ranging from simple paperwork questions to much more complicated issues with money and family,” said Carrie. “Showing you care means trying to look beyond the simple question the student may be asking and showing concern for them as a person.”
Carrie also tries to see students’ situations from their perspective. “I make an effort to remember students and their stories so they don’t have to continue to explain the same thing over and over again,” she said. “We can’t always fix every problem, but I think compassion and empathy go a long way towards showing someone you care.”
Carrie really enjoys the diversity of her work and says that no two days are the same. “I work with an amazing group of people who make my job much easier on a daily basis.”

its all belmont_pocket.jpg
Do you know a Belmont employee who embodies one of the five Guiding Principles? Nominate them for a Belmont FYI Feature Profile of the Month! Click here for more information on this program and to download the nomination form.
To read more about Belmont’s service initiative, click here to view the “It’s All Belmont to Me” Web site. This Web site will explain the history, training and other elements of this program.


Friday, December 19, 7:30 p.m.
December Commencement
Curb Event Center Arena
Saturday, December 20, 2 p.m.
Live Telecast of Men’s Basketball versus Tennessee
Belmont University men’s basketball announced Tuesday that its contest this Saturday, Dec. 20 at 16th ranked Tennessee will be available online via, ESPN’s signature broadband sports TV network. Moreover, the Belmont-Tennessee game will also be televised live on SportSouth, a regional sports subsidiary of FOX Cable Networks.
Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville
Tuesday, December 23, 9 p.m.
‘Christmas at Belmont 2007’ Encore Broadcast
Wednesday, December 24, 2 p.m.
Christmas Eve Carillon Concert
Saturday, January 3, 2 p.m.
Women’s Basketball Hosts Stetson
Curb Event Center Arena
Saturday, January 3, 4:15 p.m.
Men’s Basketball Hosts Stetson
Curb Event Center Arena
Monday, January 5, 5 p.m.
Women’s Basketball Hosts Florida Gulf Coast
Curb Event Center Arena
Monday, January 5, 7:15 p.m.
Men’s Basketball Hosts Florida Gulf Coast
Curb Event Center Arena


If you notice an incorrect or missing birthday, please e-mail the update to
December 18
Lucy Baltimore, Physical Therapy
Seth Sheridan, Athletics
December 19
Barbara Ward, Math/Computer Science
December 24
Amy Baker, Sport Administration
December 26
Cheryl Geer, Foreign Languages
December 27
Angie Bryant, Beaman Student Life Center
Jonathan Thorndike, Honors
December 28
Susan Taylor, Business
December 29
Ernest Heard, Library
Michael Krouskop, Office of Communications
January 1
Sharon Dowdy, Nursing
Angie Shedd, Admissions
January 4
Heather Copeland, Athletics
January 6
Howard Cochran, Business
January 8
Bill Prince, CEMB
Jennifer Thomas, Biology


Vandy Offers Belmont Opportunity for Great Bowl Game Seats
Vanderbilt University will make its first football postseason appearance in 26 years on New Year’s Eve in Nashville when the team plays Boston College in the 11th Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl at LP Field (Dec. 31, 2:30 p.m.). As a friend and neighbor, Vandy is offering the Belmont community a special opportunity to participate in this historic event. By purchasing Bowl Game tickets through 322-GOLD or by visiting the Vandy Athletic Web site (, Belmont students, faculty and staff will be able to purchase great seats in the lower level of LP Field. These seats are better than anything that can be purchased through normal channels or via Ticketmaster.
Rate Discount for Holiday Inn Select Vanderbilt/West End
Holiday Inn Select Vanderbilt/West End is offering a Belmont Friends and Family Rate at a special Holiday Discount of $99 plus tax. This rate is good now through Dec. 28, 2008. This offer is open to all Belmont faculty, staff and students.
TPAC Discounts for Faculty and Staff
Belmont faculty and staff can take advantage of special discounts on The Pajama Game and Riverdance performances at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC).
The Pajama Game is the must-see musical of the season! Bright and riotously funny, this fast-paced, frisky tale is theatre at its very best with this sparkling, all-new production of the Tony Award-winning, Broadway smash hit. The feisty employee representative has found her match in the pajama shop superintendent, and when the two get together, they wind up discussing a whole lot more than job actions! The high-energy score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross brims with popular hits and musical theatre standards. Your special discounted performances of The Pajama Game are Thurs., Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 22 at 1 and 6:30 p.m.
Also, Riverdance, the thunderous celebration of Irish music, song and dance that has tapped its way onto the world stage thrilling millions of people around the globe, will play Farewell Performances at TPAC. “A Phenomenon of Historic Proportions!” raves the Washington Post. “An explosion of sight and sound that simply takes your breath away,” cheers the Chicago Tribune. Discover why nothing in the world compares to The Original International Phenomenon! Your special discounted performances of Riverdance are Thurs., Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. and Sun., March 1 at 6:30 p.m.
To purchase tickets for these productions, simply log on to and click on UNIVERSITY. Your password is belmont.



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The next Belmont FYI will be published on Fri., Jan. 9, 2009.