Mary Clark Leads Bridges to Belmont

Mary ClarkStudents begin college with Summer Academy, community service projects and leadership development

Belmont University has appointed Mary Clark as director of Bridges to Belmont. In her new position, Clark oversees the program designed to enroll students from Metro Nashville Public Schools who previously may have not considered Belmont as an option.

“We are delighted to welcome Mary Clark to the Belmont community and look forward to her leadership as the program continues to evolve, building on our strengths in delivering a high quality and robust education to all students enrolled at Belmont. Her personality, past experience in similar programs and commitment to student success will propel us to the next levels of excellence as we move forward,” said Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Beverly Schneller.

Bridges to Belmont reflects a deliberate stride on the part of Belmont’s administration to enhance the cultural and ethnic diversity within the campus community while also continuing efforts to provide higher education to students in Davidson County. Bridges to Belmont students, many of whom are first-generation college students, each are given a four-year scholarship to cover tuition, room, board, required fees and books from state and federal grants as well as Belmont scholarship funds.  Throughout their higher education experience, they also are given academic support and mentors. There are 52 students in the program from Maplewood, Stratford, Whites Creek and Pearl Cohn high schools. (more…)

Belmont Strives for Environmental Sustainability with Upgrades to Lawn

construction spring 2014-123-L

Although much grass has been removed from The Lawn this summer, work on the area will yield a greener campus this fall.

Crews with R.C. Mathews Contractor spent nearly two months drilling 106 bores on the south end of the grassy area to install a geothermal heating and cooling system for the forthcoming Academic and Dining Services Complex. Now they are installing an underground drainage system to improve the grass. The Lawn is scheduled to be restored and open to students by mid-October with a water fountain on the north side on the edge of McWhorter Plaza that will be functional by Nov. 1.

“This project is another addition to the University’s many green initiatives and shows Belmont’s continued commitment to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency as our campus grows. While The Lawn is temporarily unavailable this summer, its renovation supports ongoing sustainable efforts and preserves green space. When it reopens late this fall, The Lawn will return as a beautiful park in the center of campus for students, faculty and staff to enjoy,” said Vice President of Finance and Operations Steve Lasley.

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Frist, Gates Lead Conversation at Belmont on ‘Mother & Child Project’

Pictured (l-r) are Scott Hamilton, Melinda Gates and former Senator Bill Frist

Pictured (l-r) are Scott Hamilton, Melinda Gates and former Senator Bill Frist

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., founder of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, led a community conversation Monday in Belmont’s Maddox Grand Atrium on “The Mother & Child Project: Simple Steps to Saving Lives in the Developing World.” This was the first public event held by the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide, a joint partnership of Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH), a Nashville-based global health organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More than 250 individuals representing the faith community, global health NGO and higher-education sectors throughout greater Nashville attended the discussion, hosted by Belmont University. In addition to opening the event, Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns and Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH) Executive Director Dr. Jenny Eaton Dyer also announced that this fall they would award the first Frist Global Health Fellowship to enable a Belmont graduate student to be immersed for a semester in a global health experience.

U.S. Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton, who with his wife Tracie is an active global health advocate, moderated the event, posing questions to Frist and Gates about their experiences.

“As I began to talk with women around the world, it became very clear to me the spacing and timing of pregnancies we take for granted in the U.S. is a matter of life and death for them,” said Gates. “So I got very involved in contraceptives, because it truly starts the cycle of life, where they can feed their children, get their children in school, and honestly, not die themselves.”

Sen. Frist agreed, saying, “Contraception is a pro-life cause.” He went on to explain that, “…if you delay first pregnancy to 18 years old, you can increase survival in countries where one in 39 women die in childbirth, and cut the chance of children dying by 30 percent, enabling them to stay in school and become productive members of families.”

“Second, if you can push out the interval between pregnancies to three year period, the child is twice as likely to survive the newborn stage.”

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Dr. Perry Moulds Appointed Vice President of Development, External Relations at Belmont

Perry MouldsVanderbilt-Ingram senior development director to lead Belmont’s fundraising initiatives

Following a four-month nationwide search, Belmont University announced today that Dr. Perry Moulds, senior director of development for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been named vice president for development and external relations. He will begin his new role at Belmont on Aug. 5.

In his new position, Moulds will oversee all philanthropic initiatives for the University, including major gifts, corporate and foundation giving, grants and alumni giving. He also will provide leadership for marketing and public relations to ensure that all Belmont development and marketing operations are fully integrated with the University’s priorities and are aligned with its strategic objectives.

Belmont University President Bob Fisher said, “Dr. Moulds is a master at cultivating relationships, creating brand presence and leading higher education fundraising efforts. We are extremely excited to welcome such a successful leader to the Belmont community.”

Moulds will replace Dr. Bethel (Bo) Thomas, vice president of university advancement, who will retire from Belmont in October. Thomas’ contributions to Belmont over the past 10 years are reflected in the University’s fundraising achievements and alumni engagement, and his success is evident in the relationships he has cultivated with donors, alumni, faculty, staff and students. (more…)

Pharmacy Students Complete Project for Guatemalan Hospital

Second-year pharmacy student Kandice Squires and incoming freshman Will Hobson move medical supplies.

Third-year pharmacy student Kandice Squires and incoming freshman Will Hobson move medical supplies.

Students and faculty from Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy recently completed a year-long project to create an inventory system at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City, Guatemala.  The project started last July and included four separate mission trips from the college with a total of 23 students and faculty contributing.  The most recent team finished the expansive project to catalog the contents of the surgery center which includes three operating rooms and 21 beds.  The inventory system was built from scratch, tested, launched and turned over to the surgery center’s local management during the last visit.

The team was led by Dr. Eric Hobson, professor of pharmacy, who was joined on this most recent trip by his family, including his son enrolling at Belmont this fall.  Hobson has directed all four of the teams that have contributed to this project.  The students on the most recent team included Candice Beam, Kyla Cunico, Alex Ernst, Meredith Ervin, Chelsey Manire and Kandice Squires, all third-year PharmD students, and Kristen Conrad, a second-year student.

“I had to go back to Guatemala,” said Squires, who has also been part of previous project teams.  “I claimed dibs on bringing order to the hospital’s third-floor black hole storage room.  And, we did it.”

Kristen Conrad (CO2017) creates inventory bar codes at Moore Pediatric Surgery Center.

Second-year pharmacy student Kristen Conrad creates inventory bar codes at Moore Pediatric Surgery Center.

Allison Bender, executive director of The Shalom Foundation, the Franklin, Tennessee not-for-profit that built the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center, called the Belmont teams’ service to the organization, “a true blessing.”

“Now the Moore Center staff can be more efficient and be better stewards of donated resources. Most important, the inventory system that our Belmont friends have built helps us provide the hundreds of Guatemalan children entrusted to our medical care each year an even safer, better experience,” Bender said. “God’s work requires many skill sets, and The Shalom Foundation knows that Belmont University community is home to varied talents and a commitment to service.”

Belmont Class Returns to the Road for ‘Happy Together’ Tour

Belmont students have class backstage with Gary Lewis during the Happy Together Tour.

Belmont students have class backstage with Gary Lewis during the Happy Together Tour.

Students gain experiential education on ‘Happy Together Tour’

A class of Belmont University students have join their professor, legendary musician and The Turtles founding member Mark Volman, for an East Coast run of the “Happy Together Tour” for the third consecutive year.  The tour’s “classroom” and schedule include one tour bus, a precious few hotel rooms, long hours and many stages—for two and a half weeks and a grade.

Under the guidance of Volman, assistant professor of entertainment industry studies, and staff adviser Lucas Boto, the students are working with touring artists and crew professionals in the areas of tour management, stage management, audio engineering, tour accounting and merchandise sales. These duties are in addition to their continued learning each day during the process of load-in, setup, tear-down and load-out. These hands-on educational avenues outside of the classroom provide networking opportunities with all of the supporting organizations while gaining an understanding of the revenue flow from music consumer to touring performer.

“Happy Together is a once in a lifetime opportunity where students get to learn first-hand what it’s like to be a touring professional. Not only are concepts taught, but they’re put into practice along the way,” Boto said. “I don’t know of any other university that partners with a professional tour to further the education of students in the realm of entertainment. The experiences gained are priceless and translate directly into potential job opportunities.”

Volman is excited to show students what he knows outside of the classroom, he said, and the students have added energy to the tour experience. The two previous classes have been so successful that Volman has hired two former students to work merchandise and as a photographer on the tour.

“I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to further explore my passions. Big thanks to Mark Volman for putting this together. It’s one thing to learn concepts in the classroom but having hands on experience takes it to another level,” said Erika Eenigenburg, a senior from Cedar Lake, Indiana studying music business.  (more…)

Students ‘Cultivate’ Produce for Belmont Community

cultivate garden -0103-LWhen Associate Dean for Performance Studies Jeff Kirk left campus Thursday afternoon, he drove by Compton Avenue where students handed him a crate of spinach, squash and lettuce, which his wife used to make lettuce wraps for dinner.

“I am sure happy I did. I am happy to know we can get fresh, organic vegetables once a week, and the price is much cheaper than the grocery store,” Kirk said. “This is another way Belmont is taking care of us and the community as well.”

This summer junior Brett Wisse and senior Johnathan West revived Belmont’s garden through Enactus, an organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Wisse and West have invested $2,000 building eight raised beds and an aqua pond to start new crops in the garden, which they have named Cultivate.

Although the garden has been on Belmont’s campus for several years, it hasn’t consistently produced a harvest as students graduate and leave campus for the summer. The garden was born in 2008 when Chemistry Professor Kimberlee Daus’ honors analytics class did chemistry tests on soil in a vacant lot and researched what types of plants would grow there. A first-year seminar class built rock beds and did initial planting in 2009. Two years later, the University formed a partnership with the Dismas House, and students in Adjunct Instructor Charmion Gustke’s first-year service learning and English 1010 classes used their harvests to supplement the meals of former prisoners transitioning back into society. (more…)

GRAMMY Camp Nashville Held at Belmont University

Grammy Camp performanceGRAMMY Camp® Nashville was held last week at Belmont’s 34 Music Square East facility, home to historic Columbia Studio A and the Quonset Hut, with 39 high school students from 25 cities and 12 states. Celebrating its 10th year, GRAMMY Camp is  the GRAMMY Foundation’s signature music industry camp for U.S. high school students and is an interactive non-residential summer music experience focusing on all aspects of commercial music.

Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business faculty members Drew Ramsey (songwriting), Nathan Adam (audio engineering technology) and Dave Tough (music business) taught classes and mentored students involved in the camp throughout the week. In addition, Luke Gilfeather, facility manager at 34 Music Square East, assisted with the camp’s studio and classroom needs. The program culminated on June 13 with an Open House event where guests received a behind-the-scenes look into what the students learned throughout the week, including the music and media they created. President and Chief Executive Officer or the Journeys Group Jim Estepa,GRAMMY Foundation® Vice President Scott Goldman and leadership from The Recording Academy® were on hand to speak with students.

GRAMMY Camp provides instruction by industry professionals in an immersive creative environment with cutting-edge technology in professional facilities. GRAMMY Camp Nashville offered four music career tracks: audio engineering, songwriting, vocal performance and instrumental performance. This GRAMMY in the Schools® program is supported by Converse and Journeys, among others.

Health Care Technology Workforce Program Benefits Belmont Students, Middle Tennessee

The Tennessee chapter of the Health Information Management Systems Society and Belmont University have created the Health Information Technology (HIT) Workforce Accelerator program to provide a new curriculum that will propel students toward joining the HIT workforce to support the rapid growth of the industry in Middle Tennessee. The program is the outcome of a collaborative engagement between the society, the University, Nashville HealthCare Council and the Nashville Technology Council.

“We are excited to help develop the new generation of health care IT professionals to support health care providers and services that support them,” said Pat Raines, dean of the College of Business Administration. “Graduates of the program will be familiar not only with the intricacies of the IT infrastructure and specific vendor systems, but also knowledgeable about healthcare processes supported by IT solutions.”

The program aims to equip a sufficient numbers of graduates to meet the demand for emerging positions through training in health care workplace requirements including real processes, challenges, environments and vendor solutions.

“With changes in the regulatory environment and business practices in healthcare over the past decade, the need to implement healthcare technology systems to support core processes has become a very real business imperative,” said society President Brian Moyer. “This is challenging not only in the implementation itself but also due to a lack of sufficient workers skilled in healthcare IT. With the accelerator program, we hope to expand the workforce to allow the industry to continue to grow in our area.”

 

Belmont Partners with Community Organizations to Host Movie Series

Imagine Me _Poster -emvImagine Me summer film series to education, entertain Nashville youth

The Belmont University Troutt Theater will host the International Black Film Festival of Nashville (IBFFN)’s six-week Imagine Me summer film series for children at 10 a.m. on Saturdays between June 28 and July 26 for families to view feature films at discounted rates.

The film series is held in collaboration with Organized Neighbors of Edgehill (ONE), Metro Parks, Easley Historical Recreation Center and the Edgehill Family Resource Center (EFRC) to put quality film programming in the heart of their communities. Imagine Me aims to engage children in the art of film by developing skill and knowledge in media and technology literacy, broadening insights into other cultures, enhancing aptitude for foreign languages, developing critical thinking skills and inspiring a lifelong appreciation for cinema.

“The film series is a must do for IBFFN.  It is a part of our mission to make accessible the many aspects of visual media and effectively  empower this generation  to embrace and participate in the art of storytelling,” said IBFFN Founder and Executive Director Hazel Joyner-Smith.

The series includes a host of short, documentary and feature films that provide positive, educational and family-friendly entertainment. The film line-up includes “Spider Man 2,” “Rio 2,” “The Nut Job,” “Frozen,” French film “Ernest et Célestine” and South African film “Khumba.” The children also will learn about the critical aspects of film in many different areas including directing, producing and during talk back discussions following the showings.

“We’re glad to provide an opportunity to develop the critical thinking and creative skills for the children in our neighborhood and keep them positively occupied for the summer,” said Joyce Searcy, director of community relations at Belmont University.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our kids to learn the various aspects of film,” said Marlo Lavendar, director of the Easley Historical Recreation Center. “More importantly, it will help in their ability to analyze and critique films and other forms of media.”

Tickets are $1 for children under age 6, $4 for general admission and can be purchased by calling (615) 565-9256. Click here for more information.

Belmont Named Among Top Colleges for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Badge - Great Value CollegesGreatValuesColleges.net has named Belmont University among the 50 most affordable colleges ideal for students who have a passion for outdoor living. The list was complied based on tuition, location and academic and recreation programs for outdoor sports and adventures, including a major in outdoor recreation and a tournament-winning rock climbing team.

Belmont is sited as a “school to watch” for its community relationships built through the renovation and use of E.S. Rose Park, home fields to the University’s baseball, softball, soccer and track team. The publication also mentions Bruin Skydive, Ultimate Frisbee, the Rock Outing Club, equestrian, swim, soccer and tennis clubs.

Nashville Opera Makes First Recording at Belmont University’s Ocean Way Nashville

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Ocean Way Nashville Director Pat McMakin, left, served as associate producer of the Nashville Opera’s first recording.

Nashville Opera and Ocean Way Nashville have recorded Michael Nyman’s “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat” at Belmont University’s state-of-the-art Music Row studio facility. The project will be the first recording of a Nashville Opera production for commercial distribution, which will be available this fall.

Since its purchase by Belmont University in 2001, Ocean Way Nashville has become a leader in the music production industry, both locally and globally. The recording studio regularly hosts sessions for artists including Bob Seger, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Steve Martin, among others. Additionally, Ocean Way has recorded scores for films and major video games. Operated as a commercial facility, an academic resource and a community partner, Belmont has offered Ocean Way to many organizations within the Nashville community over the years.

“This partnership reflects Belmont’s ongoing effort to be Nashville’s University and to share its resources with the nonprofit community. As Ocean Way Nashville continues to offer recording opportunities to artists on Music Row and educational development opportunities to Belmont students, we are thrilled to carry on a tradition of community partnerships by offering complimentary use of the studio for Nashville Opera’s first opera recording of its recent piece, ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat,’” said Ocean Way Director Pat McMakin, who served as associate producer for the recording.

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Maestro Dean WIlliamson lead the seven-piece orchestra.

The three-day project included the original cast members from Nashville Opera’s critically-acclaimed 2013 production with soprano Rebecca Sjöwall as Mrs. P, bass Matthew Treviño as Dr. P and tenor Ryan MacPherson as Dr. S. The opera’s General and Artistic Director John Hoomes and Chief Operating Officer Noah Spiegel worked as co-producers. Maestro Dean Williamson led the seven-piece orchestra as he did during the original production.

Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the United States of America, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Noah Liff Opera Center, playing to over 13,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches over 23,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee. These projects are supported by grants from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Judy and Noah Liff Foundation, the Nashville Opera Guild and many other corporate and individual supporters.

 

Students Complete Maymester Mission Work in Haiti

haiti 2Nine student athletes traveled to Haiti on a week-long mission trip this month. In Grand Goâve, a city in southwestern Haiti just 40 miles west of Port Au Prince, the students hosted basketball and soccer clinics with Haitian teenagers ages 13 through 18 as a way to share the Gospel with them.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to primarily share our faith with kids in the community and share with them a good time through sports,” said men’s basketball Assistant Coach Mark Price, who led the mission trip.

Their trip was part of the three-decade sports evangelism mission trip program started by retired Senior Woman Administrator  Betty Wiseman, which has taken Bruins to Italy, Malta, Ukraine, Venezuela, Brazil and South Africa.

“And it has continued to be a blessing for everybody involved,” Price said. “It enriches lives any time you take a gift that God has given you and share it with anybody else. Oftentimes, you are the one that benefits as much as the person you are sharing with.”

Men’s basketball players Reece Chamberlain, J.J. Mann, Jeff Laidig and Spencer Turner, women’s basketball players Katie Carroll and Torie Vaught, women’s soccer players Amy Jo Anderson and Meredith Martin and men’s soccer player Charlie Dankert participated in the trip. (more…)

Online Tagboard Captures Belmont ‘From Here to Anywhere’

Students pet a cheetah in Capetown, South Africa. (Photo by Atalanta Benitz)

Students pet a cheetah in Capetown, South Africa. (Photo by Atalanta Benitz)

This summer Belmont’s Social Media Administration Team (SMAT), in collaboration with intern coordinators across campus and the Office of Study Abroad, created an online tagboard to capture images of Belmont students and employees exploring sites around the world.

Using the hashtag #belmont2anywhere, individuals can post photos or videos via Instagram, Facebook, Vine and Twitter, and the images are automatically loaded onto a curated page: https://tagboard.com/belmont2anywhere. In the past week alone, more than 100 photos have been added from sites as far-ranging as South Africa, Poland, Hawaii, Haiti, Brazil, Czech Republic, Turkey, Greece, Israel and Washington, D.C.

Social Media & Digital Marketing Specialist Lougan Bishop, who chairs the SMAT, said, “For years Belmont’s tagline has been ‘From Here to Anywhere,’ and our students and alumni definitely live up to that challenge. With social media, we can really see the impact of that statement as our students share their amazing experiences through internships, mission trips and study abroad. It’s only May. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store.”

Read more about Belmont’s Maymester Study Abroad programs here.

Maymester Course Teaches ‘Better Eating Through Chemistry’

better eating through chemistry-161C2H4. That’s the chemical formula for ethylene, a colorless, odorless gas that’s released as fruit ripens, and it’s also what music business major Mimi Ijir learned this week can break down starches in the food she consumes.

Ijir is among the 22 students taking an undergraduate Maymester course being offered on campus this year for the third time, a Junior Cornerstone Seminar taught by chemistry Professor Dr. Kim Daus. The seminar, titled “Better Eating through Chemistry: Using Chemistry to Improve Local Cuisine,” manages to accomplish two noteworthy feats: getting non-science majors excited about organic chemistry while also encouraging better eating habits in college students.

Professor Kim Daus explains the chemical makeup of various sugars.

Professor Kim Daus explains the chemical makeup of various sugars.

The four-credit hour course, which meets from 9 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. five days a week for three weeks, includes lectures, readings, problem solving assignments, research, field trips, lab experimentation and intensive group work and assessment. Though the work load and time commitment is not for the faint-hearted, the class appeared thoroughly engaged in the course material.

Ijir said, “It’s definitely made me a smarter cook. It’s been fascinating to see the connections behind the food and realize not just that bread is bad for me but learn why it’s bad from a chemistry standpoint.”

The class begins each morning with an overview of basic chemistry principles involved in food and cooking, including covalent bonds, pH, solubility, states of matter, physical and chemical properties, and intermolecular attractive forces. A lab experiment generally follows, with Tuesday’s research asking students to hypothesize which type of flour contained the most gluten and then to test their theories through water rinses that distinguished gluten from starch.

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