BELMONT EXAMS TO BEGIN LATE ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10
Due to weather and road conditions, Belmont University will be opening 1 hour late this morning. Exams scheduled for 8 a.m. will be given 90 minutes late, at 9:30 a.m., in their scheduled locations, and the 11 a.m. exam will be delayed by 30 minutes (the 11 a.m. exam will occur at 11:30 a.m.). Afternoon exams (2, 5 and 7 p.m.) will continue as scheduled.
Because weather 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. Students who encounter any scheduling difficulties or are unable to get to campus are responsible for notifying their professors and arranging a mutually agreeable plan to take the final exam.
The Center for Executive Education hosted Dan Ariely as the keynote speaker during its Fall Leadership Breakfast on Dec. 5 in the Curb Event Center arena. Presented in partnership with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurs’ Organization Nashville, the event explored how irrational behavior is a part of human nature as well as how emotions, relativity and social norms influence economic behavior.
Ariely began his keynote address with the story of how an explosion while he served in the Israel Defense Forces burned 70 percent of his body and kept him in a hospital for three years. During that time, he debated with nurses how to change the bandages of burn patients. They insisted on swift removal, which caused intense pain for a short period. Ariely preferred a slow peeling of the bandages, which lessened the pain but increased its duration, he said. After recovering from his injuries and pursuing higher education, Ariel began studying decision making through experiments that pinched fingers, made annoying sounds, radiated electrical shocks and changed body temperatures through suits running with hot or cold water. This led him to conclusions on why humans make systematic, predictable mistakes.
“The environment in which you are being placed makes a lot of the decisions for you,” he said. For example, in Denmark where drivers must opt-in to an organ donation program, the country has only 4 percent participation. On the other hand, Poland uses an opt-out form for organ donation and has 100 percent participation, simply because people do not like to fill out forms.
‘Bridges to Belmont’ scholarship opportunities provide potential $10 million+ investment in educating Nashville students
With an application deadline set for Dec. 16, Belmont University announced today that it is expanding its Bridges to Belmont scholarship program from 26 Nashville students in the 2013-14 charter class to 30 current high school seniors for next fall’s freshman class. With the selection of the next 30 Bridges scholars, the program will provide the Davidson County students–many of whom are first generation college students—unprecedented opportunities for higher education and future careers.
Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “At the heart of Belmont’s mission is our desire to provide a transformative education to our students in the hopes that they can then take their skills, passions and talents and make a difference in the world around them. I honestly can’t think of a better example of us living out that mission than what we are doing with the Bridges program. I’m thrilled to have these local students as part of the Belmont community.”
Launched in March 2013, Bridges to Belmont is a program designed to enroll high potential students from Metro Nashville Public Schools who may not have previously been able to consider Belmont as an option. As a participant in the “Bridges to Belmont” program, all of the students’ expenses—tuition, room, board, required fees and books—that are not covered by state or federal grant resources are provided via scholarships from Belmont for four consecutive academic years, translating to a potential investment by Belmont that could exceed $10 million in the first four years of the program. Fisher added, “I have been thrilled by the response of donors who have become enthusiastic givers to support these kids.”
Enrollment eligibility for Bridges scholars then follows the standard satisfactory academic progress expectations of all students.
“The Bridges to Belmont program is a life-changing opportunity for our students,” said Metro Schools’ Director Dr. Jesse Register. “They know with hard work, they can achieve their dream of a college education. It is an investment in their future and the community, and we appreciate everyone at Belmont who has worked to develop and expand this program.”
When Google selected Belmont media studies professor Dr. Sybril Bennett as one of its 8,000 Google Glass Explorers in June, the company likely didn’t expect that this single, beta sample of its new wearable computer would jump start the digital creativity of nearly 60 college students. But thanks to Bennett’s desire for her students to embrace and respect innovation, she set aside concerns for the risks (her glasses cost $1,500) and introduced both sections of her “Digital Citizenship & Society” class to the futuristic technology.
“It’s incredible, and it’s a beast,” said student Kristoff Hart. “Having this piece of technology sit right above your eyes is weird, but there are so many ways to use it.”
The students’ hands-on experience with Google Glass allowed them to better understand how the technology works. Students in each class were then split into five groups and asked to create a proposal for a new software application, or app, for the product. In presenting their ideas, each group had to examine the benefits, economics, marketing and potential competitors as well as weigh the pros and cons of their “creation.”
Despite the catchy, sing-along hook of the old TV theme song, a horse is not just a horse, of course. Rather, in the case of Dr. Judy Skeen’s First Year Seminar (FYS) on the topic “Cross Species Communications: Through the Eyes of Other Creatures,” horses are a gift to the education process, allowing Belmont freshmen a different way to interact with the campus-wide theme, Through the Eyes of Others.
Subtitled “Learning about being human by encountering horses,” the two sections of Skeen’s class allowed students the opportunity to visit the professor’s Franklin, Tenn.-ranch where they interacted with four of her horses. As with all FYS courses, the primary goal is to increase students’ “recognition, appreciation and use of multiple ways of knowing.”
Skeen said, “Years ago I came across this quote from Mark Twain: ‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.’ It struck me as an important idea, especially for studying religion. Now working with horses has expanded that to how we think about everything. With so much information out there, we seem drawn to what we already think or know. Students in this class are encouraged to think about what they know, what they don’t know and what they think they know that might not be true.”
Belmont and Lipscomb pharmacy students visited Hume Fogg High School last week to educate students on drug abuse through the Generation Rx program, which educates youth to the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and addiction occurring in the United States.
Both universities’ American Pharmacists Association (APhA) chapters presented on the important issue. The event featured a video highlighting the use of prescription drugs by teenagers and responses by their families as well as recent statistics and addictive trends that are occurring among high school students. Students also participated in a game show competition emphasizing key topics presented.
“The event was a tremendous success. The students at Hume Fogg were very engaged, and it was fun to see the two colleges come together and work so well on such an important issue,” College of Pharmacy Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Kelley Kiningham said. “Our goal is to have this outreach effort grow across Nashville and surrounding counties. Raising awareness to this presentation provided by our APhA students will hopefully bring other middle/high schools to the table to allow us to promote awareness and education related to prescription drug abuse among those populations.”
A bright red door on the front porch of 1524 Compton Avenue welcomes visitors into a unique space on Belmont’s campus, the recently renovated home of the University’s Honors program.
The Honors program moved from Fidelity Hall into the house in 2006. Built in 1920 and purchased by Belmont in the mid-’90s, the building long served as a residence for junior and senior women. This past summer an honors student’s parents generously donated the funds to renovate the somewhat dated rooms with the goal to make the house more of a home, creating a community-minded space that would better serve the program.
Dr. Jonathan Thorndike, professor and chair of the Honors program, said, “The renovation has made the house more beautiful, more contemporary and more inviting for students and faculty. They have been using it more for study space and for gathering for lunch on the front porch besides for classes. The renovation helped build community and make the students and faculty feel like the university values our space.”
Janie Townsend, a sophomore music business major from Pflugerville, Texas, added, “The renovation makes the Honors House an even more pleasant environment to spend time in, whether for social or academic purposes. It also makes the house sufficiently less creepy. Which is a perk.”
“What happens when you run into trouble and you do everything you can to get out of it? There is no answer on your own timetable, and you fall deeper into the muck and mud. Faith is tested, really tested,” Espy said. “At your show down, God shows up, and together you show out.”
The Mississippi native ran for Congress in 1985 to represent a poor district where the people who would vote for him could not afford to donate to his campaign. At 29, he became the youngest House Representative and the first African-American Congressman elected in Mississippi since Reconstruction. A decade later, President Bill Clinton appointed him to serve as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The first African-American to hold that cabinet position, Espy said he was expected to “do nothing slowly,” but within days responded to deaths caused by under-cooked hamburgers at a national fast-food chain as well as a 500-year flood and negotiated tariff and trade quotas with other countries.
Then trouble came, and Espy was accused of receiving improper gifts, including football tickets, and was investigated by the FBI.
“I went from calling presidents and prime ministers to not being able to call a cab,” he said. (more…)
Massey School’s professional MBA No. 59 in the U.S. and No. 12 in the South
Belmont University announced today that its part-time MBA program has achieved a Top 60 national ranking in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2013 report on “Top Part-Time MBA programs.” Belmont’s Massey School program ranked No. 59 in the U.S. and just behind such notables as Pepperdine University (No. 50), Case Western University (No. 53) and the University of Maryland (No. 56). In its region, Belmont was ranked 12th, joining other highly-ranked notables in the South, including Emory University and Wake Forest University.
Nationally, Carnegie Mellon University was ranked No. 1, while UC-Berkeley, SMU, UCLA and Elon rounded out the top five. Bloomberg BusinessWeek began ranking part-time MBA programs in 2007 in an effort to recognize the best MBA programs designed specifically for working professionals. Belmont first made the prestigious list in 2009, and has since appeared in each rankings issue.
“The student satisfaction rankings and teaching quality metrics indicate that our Massey professors are doing an outstanding job in delivering a high-quality MBA program,” said Dr. J. Patrick Raines, dean of Belmont’s College of Business Administration. “And to be in the company of this group of national peers is simply tremendous.”
Belmont University College of Law hosted its inaugural Belmont Law Review Symposium focused on the topic of Tennessee Legal Reform on Nov. 8 in the Baskin Center.
Symposium presenters explored alternatives to existing legal approaches and specified how reform can be achieved. Presenters prepared articles focusing on an aspect of Tennessee law that is, in their view, in need of reform. Each presenter spoke for 30 minutes and participated in a 15 minute Q&A with the audience to facilitate discussion. Topics of discussion included federal and Tennessee anti-discrimination laws, appellate procedure, subrogation in Tennessee tort actions, Medicaid expansion, judicial selection in Tennessee and the future of eDiscovery in Tennessee.
Goins shared the story of how he built the blog Goins Writer, which launched him into his dream career and the lessons he learned along the way.
“I became a professional writer without leaving my job, getting divorced or flaking out on my friends,” he said.
First, he had to surrender insecurities and realize that friends, fans and patrons are essential relationships to achieving his dream.
Goins also emphasized that it takes many hours of practice to improve a skill or make a product marketable. That includes not only doing the work frequently but also getting feedback from people knowledgeable in the area.
His final lesson to students was to get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality and instead plan, build bridges and use byproducts.
In 2011 and 2012, Goins’ blog was voted one of the “Top 10 Blogs on Writing” by WritetoDone.com. His first book, Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life, spent two weeks in the Top 50 Books list on Amazon.com and is in second printing, selling over 20,000 copies in a matter of months. His most recent work is The In Between.
Hose and heels, one pair of white gloves and no hats were evident at the annual Ward-Belmont Alumnae Reunion as alumnae gathered on Nov. 2 in the Belmont Mansion to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the school.
In 1913, Ward Seminary (a school for girls then located in downtown Nashville) and Belmont College (a school for girls that started in 1890 on the site of Belmont’s campus after the death of Adelicia Acklen) merged to form a new school called Ward-Belmont. It was primarily a boarding school for young women seeking a two-year college degree, but over the years also included a boarding and day school for high school girls, a grammar school and a music conservatory.
Often, the college girls went on to Vanderbilt or other major universities for their last two years of higher education. Ward-Belmont was the first junior college in the South to receive accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In the spring of 1951, after several years of financial problems, the board of trustees decided to sell Ward-Belmont to the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and in the fall of 1951, the new Belmont College had its first co-educational freshman class. (more…)
Frequently called on as a music, technology and entertainment business expert by national media outlets, Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde spent time at Belmont Wednesday sharing his insights with students in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Werde’s focus centered on his own career journey and instilling in students traits that could lead to their long-term success.
“I’m still a diehard music fan, and I listen to it for hours a day,” Werde said. “If you don’t really, really, really love music, then there’s way better ways to make money if you’re smart. [The music business] is hard, it’s a hustle.”
Werde recalled hearing author and New Yorker magazine contributor Nicholas Lemann speak to a class, noting, “99 percent of journalists are doing the same story. If you want to be a success, go after the one percent.”
Telecommunications Services and the Office of Campus Security partnered to improve security for the Belmont community with the addition of eight emergency phone towers across campus. In addition to the new emergency phones, three of the old phone towers were also replaced.
“As the University implements safety measures to ensure the security of our students, neither quality nor quantity should be comprised to achieve safety standards and goals. I think that you can never have too much, and visibility gives our students the sense of security they deserve,” Telecommunications Services Manager Gary Hunter said.
The emergency phones are located throughout campus and in every parking facility. The LED blue light mounted atop every tower provides high visibility. Each phone has an emergency button that, when pressed, automatically dials Belmont Campus Security. They will receive an exact location of where the call is coming from and the blue strobe on the tower will be activated. This will also activate a priority response, and an officer will be sent to the tower location.
Hunter also said the ultimate goal is the ability to see two phone towers in any direction one looks on campus. He hopes to one day have 30 to 35 emergency phone towers across campus.
Show to air nationwide on PBS in December
Hosted by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and taped at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, nearly 700 student musicians join the Belmont School of Music faculty and the Nashville Children’s Choir later this month for the taping of “Christmas at Belmont.” The annual production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites, produced by Nashville Public Television (NPT), will premiere on NPT on Thurs., Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. Central followed by the PBS premiere on December 20 at 9 p.m. Central, with an encore broadcast Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. Central. This is the 11th consecutive year “Christmas at Belmont” has been seen by a national audience on PBS.
This year’s edition of “Christmas at Belmont” features the University Symphony Orchestra, Belmont Chorale, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Theatre, Jazz Ensemble and Bluegrass Ensemble, as well as mass choir. The performance includes both classic sacred holiday music such as “The First Noel” and “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen,” as well as festive seasonal songs such as “Carol of the Bells” and “We Need a Little Christmas,” to name a few.