Aspiring teachers are receiving hands-on experience with at-risk youth through a unique partnership between the Belmont School of Education and local public, inner city schools. A four-hour professional core class, a requirement for education major and minors, puts Belmont students onsite at Murrell School, Magnet Middle School, Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School and Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School for reading clinics, tutoring session and classroom observation.
“Belmont students often do not have inner city experience when they come to the University. This is enhancing the learning of our teacher candidates,” said Education Professor Joy Kimmons. Metro Nashville Public Schools has hired several Belmont alumni who participated in her class as full-time teachers or student teachers.
On a recent winter morning, Belmont students met in at Pearl Cohn for their 45-minute lecture with Kimmons.
“Physical activity can alter the mood of a student who has trouble in the classroom,” Kimmons said to her class of 28 students meeting in the teachers’ planning room before their individual three 30-minute tutoring sessions with Pearl Cohn students. Next, they spend an hour with their paired high school teachers to facilitate small groups as well as observe and assist in classrooms. Belmont students end the on-site session by regrouping with Kimmons and their peers to debrief through conversations that connect their textbook theories with their hands-on experiences.
Belmont University will be open Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Because weather and road conditions can vary greatly within our region, students, faculty and staff are urged to use individual discretion when making the decision to travel to campus in snow or icy weather.
Given the current road conditions and forecast, Belmont University is now closing for the remainder of the day. Though many students and faculty are already on Spring Break, graduate classes that were scheduled to meet are now canceled, and non-essential campus offices are closed.
Public talk kicks off for PeaceJam Mid-South conference for 280 regional youth to discuss social justice issues, serve community
Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate, spoke last night at a free, public event as part of Nashville’s second annual PeaceJam and will join student volunteers this afternoon at the Cole Elementary School Family Resource Center (5060 Colemont Drive) as part of the event. PeaceJam is built around leading Nobel Peace Laureates who work personally with youth to pass on the spirit, skills and wisdom they embody. The goal of PeaceJam is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world. Arias was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his courageous efforts in the Central America peace process.
Belmont University began a partnership in 2012 with locally-based nonprofit Students Taking a Right Stand (STARS) to be the PeaceJam Mid-South affiliate, which includes Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky. Last night’s public talk in the Curb Event Center opened a weekend-long conference expected to draw more than 280 college, high school and middle school students to explore issues of social justice while also engaging them in service to the community. In addition to workshops and team building exercises, students will participate in a variety of service projects during the weekend, including volunteer efforts with the Feed the Children, Thriftsmart, Cole Elementary, Second Harvest Food Bank, Sole Hope, Rocketown and Nashville Rescue Mission, among others.
Dr. Mimi Barnard, Belmont’s assistant provost for interdisciplinary studies & global education, said, “The PeaceJam concept brings together today’s greatest minds for peace with tomorrow’s leaders, inspiring ideas that will help govern our future world. This collaboration between Belmont and STARS to host the Mid-South PeaceJam will certainly make an impact on individual lives, but I also expect it to bring change in our communities and beyond. We are honored to have distinguished world leader Dr. Oscar Arias at our 2014 PeaceJam Mid-South Conference.”
Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship and sweets lovers are celebrating the return of rock candy, chocolates, wax bottles and jelly beans to Belmont Boulevard as student-operated Buzzy’s returned to its original home this month where it opened four years earlier.
The candy shop relocated two doors down to a bigger suite in the storefront that is now McAlister’s Deli before a foiled contract with a national yogurt company forced the student-run business to close its doors.
Along with Feedback Clothing Co., BLVD Music Shop and Buzzy’s operate in the Curb Event Center space that has been set aside by Belmont University to give students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in operating a small business. (more…)
Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Alison Moore and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) led an interactive crime-solving event for students last Thursday during a convocation event. With a theme reminiscent of the popular CBS TV series “CSI,” students were challenged to play the role of Crime Scene Investigators and draw conclusions about a hypothetical crime based on their research.
Students looked at evidence including fingerprints, DNA analysis and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, which identifies different substances within a test sample. The students also investigated footprints and the ink chromatography of a note to evaluate suspects in a supposed murder. Evidence was used to include or exclude suspects during the investigation.
“It was cool to have a convocation event that allowed me to learn the material interactively instead of simply listening and taking notes,” senior Josh Hoelker said. “I was fascinated to see how the evidence came together to pin the guilty suspect.”
Earlier in the week, the “CSI: Belmont” experience also offered a visit from a training specialist from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), who talked about the educational background required to work in crime investigation as well as the training investigators go through after they get the job.
While interning at local app development company Aloompa, Belmont senior Bryn Bodayle partnered with photographer Jeremy Cowart as the primary developer on OKDOTHIS, an iOS app that provides an idea community for photography. The app has been steadily climbing the Apple App Store charts since its launch in late November. Aloompa, which was co-founded by two Belmont alumni, specializes in mobile apps for music, food, conference and community events.
OKDOTHIS allows users to share both their favorite photos and the creative ideas (“DOs”) that led to it. Users can connect with other photographers, become inspired by their DOs, and watch as their DOs spark the creativity of others. Recent examples of inspiring “DOs”include “Use car headlights to light a subject” and “Show off a piece of art that a friend made.”
“It has been great to work on an app of such scale and potential. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see how users have used the app as a creative tool,” Bodayle said. “It’s really a new kind of social network, and I’m excited to see it continue to grow.”
Award presentation slated for March 29 ‘Best of the Best’ Showcase on Belmont’s campus
Continuing a tradition of recognizing music industry greats who are also dedicated to the educational process, Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business will honor Gordon Kennedy with the sixth annual Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence on March 29. The award presentation, which will occur during the University’s 2014 Best of the Best Showcase at Belmont’s Curb Event Center, will feature special performances by Belmont students as well as Kennedy colleagues Peter Frampton and Ricky Skaggs. “Best of the Best” begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
In the spring of 2008, the Curb College established the Award of Excellence in memory of program founder Bob Mulloy to annually recognize an individual who has achieved a level of excellence in the music business and entertainment industries with notable service to Belmont University and the Nashville community.
Curb College Dean Dr. Wes Bulla said, “It’s an honor for us to present the Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence to Gordon, who considers Bob one of his early mentors. Gordon has remained a long-time champion and unofficial spokesman for the Curb College and all things Belmont and has never said no to a favor that supports our students, faculty and programs.”
Belmont alumnus and Curb College Board Chairman Doug Howard added, “I often say that Gordon Kennedy is a ‘world class songwriter, musician, producer and performer. I need to add that he is a ‘Heaven class’ family man, friend and Christian brother. I know Bob Mulloy was extremely proud of Gordon’s professional achievements. However, the latter traits are what Bob sought to instill in his students and are truly what matter most of all.”
When not legitimized by authority, anger transforms underdogs into radicals, bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell told business executives and students on Friday morning as he captivated their attention with his narratives.
Belmont University’s Executive Learning Network and Parnassus Books brought the author and The New Yorker staff writer to the Curb Event Center on Friday for the Spring Leadership Breakfast.
Gladwell shared the story of New York socialite turned suffragist Alva Vanderbilt and her philanthropist daughter, Consuelo, intertwined with nuggets on Northern Ireland women who marched on armed British soldiers. His talk was pickled with modern day references to the Kardashians, Kanye West lyrics and the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Asian Studies and Chinese Language Assistant Professor Dr. Qingjun (Joan) Li and four of her students–Anna Croghan, Samantha Hubner, Joseph Minga and Ryan Pino–recently were awarded an ASIANetwork/Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Fellows Grant. Of 27 team applications, only eight were selected for grants which will fully fund the team’s research project in China this summer.
“I am so excited about this invaluable research opportunity which allows me to take four of my remarkable students to China and work together with them for over three weeks. We all carry the great passion for China, and our study of the commodification of culture will result in new understandings about how Chinese culture is being made into a profitable industry. This is an intriguing project,” Li said.
The team will be in the People’s Republic of China for approximately four weeks in May and early June 2014. The research project, titled “The Commodification of Culture in China’s New Cultural Industry,” will examine the role of culture in China’s new cultural industry, which is a pillar economic commitment of over $172.95 billion or a full 2.78% of the country’s GDP.
Five Belmont sophomores are working hard this month to build a movement to address the national debt, a figure that currently stands at over $17 trillion. Belmont “Up to Us” formed last fall when the five students–Paul Shaw (international business), Jawon Taylor (political science), Sordum Ndam (political science), Olivia Nishi (corporate communications) and Lindsay Bond-Harris (music business)–applied to participate in the national Up to Us competition, which is sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and Net Impact. The Belmont team was selected as one of 25 teams nationwide and is competing against teams from Duke, Cal State-Fullerton, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Rice, George Washington and New York University, among others, with the contest set to end this Friday, Feb. 21.
The group was first interested in the competition as a means to have hands-on experience in a campaign that would benefit their diverse studies in political science, business and communications. However, this campaign has hit a nerve for all of them. Noting that $17 trillion is a difficult figure to grasp and contextualize, Ndam said, “You start telling people how serious this is, and the more you repeat these facts, the more you begin to realize how truly serious an issue it is… I’m afraid of the uncertainty of it all.”
“We want people to be thinking about the national debt and get discussion going,” said Bond-Harris. “We’re not asking for answers, but we do want people to get involved in finding answers.”
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 students to provide medical and educational resources as well as business development to the ailing Caribbean country. Founded by retired trauma surgeon David Vanderpool, LiveBeyond moved its headquarters in May into Belmont’s Facilities Management Services building at the corner of 15th and Delmar avenues. The organization’s 64-acre Haitian base encompasses medical care, nutrition, maternal health, orphan care, education development, community development and infrastructure, agriculture and demonstration farms, clean water projects and community outreach visits to those with special needs and disabilities in a region 25 miles northeast of Port Au Prince, Haiti.
“We certainly were able to get a great flavor for the compound and the vision for what is there now and the vision for what is planned,” said Taylor, who co-hosted a convocation-credit forum to share more about the team’s experiences at noon Feb. 19 in McWhorter Hall room 114. (more…)
The author of Oprah Book Club selection, Jewel, Bret Lott visited Belmont on Wednesday for a Christian Faith Development convocation sponsored by the School of Religion, the English department and the Office of Spiritual Development.
After noting “I only understand what I mean if I write it out,” Lott read to the audience his thoughts on the roles of story, genres and faith in a person’s life. “Why do people buy the same novel again and again and again” he asked, noting his belief that in those tales readers find a glimpse of the light and meaning they seek. Alluding to C.S. Lewis, he continued, “Those books have delivered a story that has brought them to the brink of their own far-off country.”
But Lott argued that genre is not the same as story; rather, genre is but a shadow of the real story everyone seeks, a story that is found in the person of Christ. “I ask you not ‘what is your story’ but who is your story?”
The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, alongside industry partner ASCAP, honored alumna Carla Wallace as the fifth recipient of the Music City Milestone Award (MCMA). The MCMA celebrates Belmont’s connection with Music Row while also recognizing a Belmont graduate who has achieved truly superlative success in the entertainment and music industries early in their career.
Co-owner and general manager of Big Yellow Dog Music, an independent music publishing company based in Nashville, Wallace graduated from Belmont with a B.B.A. in Music Business. Throughout her time at Belmont, Wallace interned at many Music Row publishing companies. She also worked for the public relations department at The Nashville Network (TNN), delivering flyers across Nashville for upcoming concerts and shows, clipping articles that referenced TNN shows and seating the stars for the Viewer’s Choice Awards.
Building, great room named in honor of Foutch, Kennedy families
Belmont University celebrated Homecoming Saturday with the long-anticipated grand opening of a new Alumni House on campus. Thanks to the support of numerous alumni and donors, one of the oldest structures on campus was recently renovated to become home base for Belmont’s 28,000 alumni.
The building originally served as Ward-Belmont’s Clubhouse No. 10 during the early 20th century when 10 clubhouses lined campus in the former Club Village. Each club house hosted Ward-Belmont social clubs for resident students and was used for meetings, meals for special occasions, teas and dances and housing visiting alumni. The original fireplace, banister and beams remain in Clubhouse No. 10 and were integrated into its restoration.
During Saturday’s ribbon cutting, the building was formally named the Foutch Alumni House in honor of alumni Dan and Lisa Foutch, both 1982 graduates from Belmont’s College of Business Administration. A member of Belmont’s Board of Trustees, Dan Foutch is senior vice president of J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, Inc. in Glasgow, Kent.
Dan Foutch said, “Lisa and I feel fortunate to be have been involved with Belmont University since 1978. We have watched as the school has grown from 1,200 students to today’s enrollment of almost 7,000. Having been students, and through our continued involvement with the Board of Trustees, it is exciting to have a special place for Belmont alumni to gather when they return to visit this beautiful campus. We are very pleased to play a part in this first-ever Alumni House at Belmont.”