In a ceremony marked by numerous standing ovations, students and faculty were honored this week during the University's annual Scholarship and Awards Day convocation. All of the awards given reflected Belmont’s mission and commitment to scholarship, service and leadership.
In one of the most moving presentations, graduating senior and social work major Matthew Thompson was awarded the John Williams Heart of Belmont Award, which is given to a student committed to Belmont’s values including innovation, persistence, advocacy for change, community development and service. Before coming to Belmont, Thompson served in the Navy on the USS George Washington for five years. In 2005, he enlisted in the Army where he served an additional four years and afterwards completed one year of service in the Tennessee National Guard. After 10 years of service and three deployments, he was honorably discharged and began pursuing a degree at Belmont.
An intern at Operation Stand Down, Thompson has been integral in the development of veterans services on campus and developed an intercollegiate student veteran coalition that spans six universities across Middle Tennessee. Thompson’s mission is to continue on to a career path that assists veterans who are transitioning from military service into civilian life. In his own words, his “biggest motivation has never been to be recognized but to instead encourage and inspire others to step forward and contribute.”
Another social work major, Elena Harmon, was the recipient of The Third Year Award for Leadership.
Social work juniors in Dr. Jennifer Crowell’s Policy II class recently participated in Social Work Day on the Hill at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza. They met with legislators, observed committee meetings and participated in a policy presentation and poster competition. Prior to the Day on the Hill, students worked in class to identify bills under consideration at the state level, and analyze the bills in the context of social work values, ethics and populations served, and then made recommendations on how to improve the bills they had studied. This collective work led the class to identify one topic to focus on for the policy presentation, the issue of Human Trafficking in Tennessee. At Day on the Hill, junior Christi Sidwell was selected as Belmont’s representative to speak in front of a crowd of students, faculty and social workers from across the state about Senate Bill 1655 and House Bill 1870. Christi spoke passionately about the issue in Tennessee and also about how the bills as proposed could be strengthened to ultimately provide better services and seek justice for people in Tennessee who have been trafficked. The hard work of all the students was recognized when Belmont University was announced the winner of the undergraduate competition.
Bryan Griffith, a junior social work major at Belmont, said, “Social Work Day on the Hill gave me great insight into how our state’s policies are influenced by social workers by people who see and experience social issues firsthand. I got to sit in on a committee hearing and see how research based on the reports of people who work directly with (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) families can be presented to the representatives who write laws about (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) eligibility. It was an exciting experience for me because I really got to see how legislature works. Only so much can be understood about how our government functions through reading from a textbook. If more people were to take a trip to legislative plaza, meet their representative, and observe their representative’s interactions with other members of the general assembly and organizations, we might have a better understanding of our legislature’s behavior.”
Matthew Thompson, a senior Social Work student at Belmont University, recently was honored as the undergraduate Student of the Year by the Middle Tennessee branch of the National Association of Social Workers. The award honors a student who has created a positive influence on classmates for the profession, and maintained academic achievement.
“Matt has demonstrated a tremendous aptitude for scholarship and scholastic activity,” said Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger, Social Work Department Chairperson. She adds, “He is also a dedicated and courageous individual, respected and valued by his colleagues and peers.”
Thompson is a decorated Army veteran and a bronze star recipient who served honorably in the Middle East and Persian Gulf in 2002 and then was again deployed in Iraq in 2007. He was the recipient of a competitive national fellowship through The Mission Continues, in which he was awarded a 10 month grant designed to provide a stipend for veterans working in social service fields. He was one of 80 grantees from a field of just under 2200.
Thompson has deep and abiding commitment to the needs of veterans in the community.
First inductees to be announced at McWhorter Society Luncheon May 1
With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the healthcare industry, Belmont University announced today the formation of a new Tennessee Healthcare Hall of Fame. Sponsored by Belmont’s McWhorter Society, the Healthcare Hall of Fame will announce its first inductees at the McWhorter Society Annual Luncheon on May 1 on Belmont’s campus.
Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns, co-chair of the McWhorter Society, said, “Tennessee has become a premier hub for healthcare and healthcare education in the United States. It’s only appropriate that we recognize and honor the countless men and women who have contributed to the growth of the industry, creating ever higher standards for patient care and well-being. With Belmont’s strong interdisciplinary programming in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, healthcare business and pharmacy, we’re proud to host this new Tennessee Healthcare Hall of Fame as these leaders can inspire our students for generations to come.”
During his recent visit to Thomazeau, Haiti, College of Pharmacy Dean Phil Johnston visited villages with LiveBeyond workers and a Belmont delegation to aid and dispense medications to a woman in postpartum, a father with high blood pressure, a small boy with worms and a man with a hip injury. The most powerful experience of them all was when a man who received medical attention sang a Christian hymn in Creole as his Voodoo-practicing neighbors gathered around and listened.
“It was like watching a Bible story about caring for the least of these,” Johnston said.
He, along with College of Health Sciences & Nursing Dean Cathy Taylor and Nursing Assistant Professor Robin Cobb, visited LiveBeyond’s base in Haiti last week to identify areas of student mission participation and to flush out unique partnerships between the University and the nonprofit organization that would allow Belmont
Over 60 student, faculty and staff from the social work department recently celebrated the 30th annual departmental chili supper. The event began as a way to get to know students outside of the classroom, and has evolved into one of the main events that students look forward to each spring, often bringing their roommates, significant others, and even, on occasion, a pet or two. This year’s supper was held in the home of Dr. Jenny Crowell.
Dr. Harry Jacobson, healthcare investor and former CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center to speak at Belmont Friday
Dr. Harry Jacobson, Chairman of MedCare Investment Funds and a founding partner of Tristar Technology Ventures, will present a public lecture at Belmont University this Friday morning, February 7. He will speak on healthcare innovation from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in McWhorter Hall Room 114, and the event is open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing as part of their Diagnosing Our Future Speaker Series.
MedCare and its affiliated entities manage approximately $1 billion in assets, the substantial majority of which are related to the medical and healthcare services industry. Currently MedCare has a portfolio of fifteen healthcare companies representing most sectors of the industry including services, information technologies, medical devices, pharm and biotechnology. All of MedCare’s investments are targeted to companies bringing innovation to health care.
Dr. Jacobson is former Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).
Health Sciences students and faculty lend expertise at Williamson County Fall Awareness and Prevention event
Every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Nationally, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65 and over, and the chances of falling and being seriously injured in a fall increase with age.
In light of these findings by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), faculty and students from the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing lent their expertise to the public last week at a Fall Awareness and Prevention event hosted by Williamson County Parks and Recreation. Health professionals from each discipline in the College were on hand to assist seniors with strategies to keep active and falls free: ideas about effective home modifications and the use of assistive devices from the School of Occupational Therapy, counsel on the proper use of medications from the School of Nursing, information on community resources from the Social Work Department, and suggestions on shoe wear and exercises to increase flexibility, mobility and strength from the School of Physical Therapy.
“This was a great opportunity for our college’s faculty and students to work together in serving the seniors in our local community with ideas for preventing falls”, said Dr. Debra Gibbs, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, who coordinated Belmont’s participation in the event.
Julie Hunt, Assistant Professor of Social Work, recently co-presented at the annual convention of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) held in Atlanta, GA. The presentation was entitled, “Help! How Do I Do This? Developing Spiritually Sensitive Social Work”. Co-presenting with Professor Hunt were Ali Hearon, a senior Social Work major, and Katie Cross, a recent BSW graduate.
Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger, Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Work Department also made a recent presentation at the annual program meeting in Dallas, TX of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Her session was entitled “Waiting to Be Cinderella’d? Constructions of social class and gender”.
Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger, chairwoman of the Department of Social Work, co-authored “The Key to Learning: Engaging Undergraduate Students in Authentic Social Work Research” in the Fall 2013 issue of The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work with Carol Hostetler and Leila Wood.
About This Blog
- Social Work students honored at Belmont University Awards Day
- Nursing Students, Faculty Support March of Dimes
- Social Work students look to influence state legislators
- Pharmacy professor published in education journal
- College of Pharmacy leads first health-focused immersion to Guatemala
- College of Pharmacy
- Inman College of Health Sciences
- School of Nursing
- School of Occupational Therapy
- School of Physical Therapy
- Social Work Department
- Travel: All Mission Trips
- Travel: Community Health Abroad
- Travel: Dr. Dunlap in Uganda
- Travel: Mission to Cambodia
- Travel: Mission to Ghana
- Travel: Mission to Guatemala
- Travel: Mission to Haiti
- Travel: Mission to Pine Ridge