Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs Granted CCNE Accreditation

doctorate of nursing-111Belmont’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) was recently granted full accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s (CCNE) Board of Commissioners. The University began its Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP program in the fall of 2012 with 5 students. In the fall of 2013, the Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP program was launched. In the fall of 2014, the programs together totaled 28 enrolled students.

With the first graduating class in May 2014, Belmont has seen great success with both DNP tracks. 75 percent of these graduates were invited to present their scholarly project, a required portion of their degree track, at a national meeting of nurse practitioners.

“This is yet another notable benchmark for nursing at Belmont. I am grateful for the University’s leadership and encouragement for establishing the DNP program and also want to recognize the hard work of Drs. Buckner, Wofford and Higgins and the graduate nursing faculty and staff. This accreditation award is a direct reflection of their steadfast commitment to professional excellence,” said Dean of the Health Science and Nursing College, Dr. Cathy Taylor.

The School of Nursing aims to produce nursing professionals that can assist in transforming our nation’s health care industry, said Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean of nursing. With a focus on a collaborative educational environment, the School is committed to identifying needs within the industry and producing additional tracks that meet those needs.

Belmont’s Provost, Dr. Thomas Burns said, “The full accreditation of the DNP program at Belmont brings to fruition the full suite of holistic nurse training programs at Belmont. With this final piece in place, our nursing program now provides compassionate, patient-centered education to nurses across the full spectrum of practice-based nursing education and provides our students and our community with the best comprehensive nursing training program possible.”

With this granting of this accreditation, all Belmont nursing programs are fully accredited by the CCNE.

Belmont, Downey Win Next Entrepreneurship Awards

JMK_1884c (3)Belmont University made a big impact in last night’s Next Awards, which recognizes innovation in business and entrepreneurship in Middle Tennessee. The competition, which rewards both individuals and companies and is built around the concept of “what’s NEXT in the entrepreneurial landscape of Nashville and Middle Tennessee,” is run by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

Three Belmont students—Tim Downey (Picd.us), Ben McIntyre (Internpreneur) and Channing Moreland (What’s Hubbin)—were named in September as the top finalists in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year field with Downey taking home last night’s trophy.

Downey’s business, Picd.us, was started with co-founder and fellow Belmont student Geoffrey Gross in July 2014 around the idea to incentivize a company’s customers to post brand-related content to their social media accounts. This in-turn will broaden the company’s digital market reach. Downey and Gross have been busy with launching their website, starting the patent process, working on web design and product mockups as well as pitching their ideas to potential investors.

Downey said,To have this award from Nashville is an incredible form of validation that my work is really making an impact… Belmont assisted me in my success through the incredible entrepreneurship professors. The time and attention that every Belmont entrepreneurship professor has shown me is unreal. This award is going to benefit my future just by continuing to push what I expect from myself.  I honestly did not think I was going to get it, because the work Ben McIntyre and Channing Moreland have done is absolutely incredible, and I look up to both of them so much.

Junior Moreland was nominated for her work with fellow Belmont students Makenzie Stokel and Seth Clarke to expand the success of their startup What’s Hubbin,’ a company founded to help Nashvillians navigate through the local music scene. The trio also were the winners of the 2014 Belmont Student Business Plan Competition hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Launched last year, What’s Hubbin’ has more than 3,000 users in the Nashville area including students, area residents and tourists. Users can view a calendar of shows at various stages and explore short profiles of all the local venues and local artists, tailoring their user profile to their own musical preferences.

Entrepreneurship major Ben McIntyre, who was also chosen to compete in the National Entrepreneurship Organization’s (EO) Global Student Entrepreneur Award competition, was named a finalist for his business, Internpreneur, a company which partners with employers to create “high-impact internship programs where businesses get real projects done and students get the experience and hands on learning they need to move into full-time employment after graduation.”

The young entrepreneurs were scored by a panel of judges who graded candidates on their entrepreneurial spirit, their product/service and their company’s ability to create jobs and add value for stakeholders.

Companies and organizations, meanwhile, were judged across five industry categories: digital media/entertainment, health care, social enterprise/sustainability, technology and products/services. Corporate eligibility was measured by each stage of growth regardless of industry with the categories titled Startup, Growth and Market Mover. Belmont University won the Market Mover field in the social enterprise/sustainability category.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher, who was on hand to accept the University’s award, wrote in the University’s Next application, “While many higher education institutions focus on career training and personal success, Belmont seeks to offer a truly transformational education. The university aims to develop individuals holistically—intellectually, spiritually, socially and physically—and to empower students to develop their gifts so that they can engage and transform the world. These efforts attract the best and brightest students from every state and 25 countries. With a focus on efficiency and cost control, Belmont carefully manages resources and diligently analyzes the budgeting process to ensure fiscal strength. As a nonprofit institution, our priority is on serving our students well.”

To learn more, visit www.nextawardsnashville.com.

For a audio recap by Belmont alumnus and Online Events Manager at Nashville’s TechnologyAdvice, Clark Buckner, see below.

Belmont University Celebrates Christmas by Offering Free Concerts to the Public

christmas at belmont-396Belmont University celebrates Christmas and announces its Christmas gift to the Nashville community with four free concerts that are open to the public, as well as the televised airing of the annual holiday music spectacular, “Christmas at Belmont.”

The first, the Nashville Children’s Choir performances, will be held on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the McAfee Concert Hall. The Children’s Choir, a premiere youth choir for singers aged 8 – 18, performs renditions of traditional Christmas music.

Belmont Camerata will offer its annual presentation of “A Camerata Christmas,” including a holiday tradition featuring Corelli’s Christmas Concerto and a sing-along with Kathy Chiavola and fiddler Tammy Rogers-King, on Monday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Belmont Mansion.christmas at belmont-546

The University’s Christmas concert series will conclude with the annual Christmas Eve Carillon Concert, held on Wednesday, Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. at the campus Bell Tower, located just off the corner of Belmont Boulevard and Portland Avenue.  Continuing a tradition begun during the Ward-Belmont days, the concert features traditional Christmas music played by Professor of Music Richard Shadinger on the tower’s 42-bell carillon, one of five carillons in Tennessee.

Of course, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without the annual “Christmas at Belmont” special. An encore presentation of the December 2013 performance, which featured 700 students, faculty and staff musicians from the School of Music and was hosted by opera singer Denyce Graves, will be shown in Middle Tennessee by Nashville Public Television (NPT-Channel 8) on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. (CST). Check local listings for additional air times.

To watch the 2013 Christmas at Belmont performance online, click here.

Belmont Announces Innovative Four-Year Dual PharmD/MBA Degree

New program equips graduates for rapid career success, advancement

pharmacy 2014-101Starting in fall 2015, prospective pharmacists can pursue the only dual PharmD/MBA degree available in Middle Tennessee at Belmont University in Nashville, the nation’s healthcare capital. Unlike similar programs around the country that require a minimum of five years’ study or offer MBA courses primarily online, Belmont PharmD/MBA students can complete all the requirements for both degrees within four years and will enjoy Belmont’s signature personal interaction from experienced, highly regarded faculty. Moreover, students can complete the degree at a reduced tuition from doing the programs separately.

“The modern practice of pharmacy is constantly evolving, and now—more than ever before—it’s imperative that new PharmD graduates also enter the workforce with a strong business acumen,” said Dr. Phil Johnston, dean of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy. “Regardless of whether a graduate works in a retail, institutional or research site, they must possess robust entrepreneurial skills in business forecasting, employee management, corporate finance and more. A PharmD/MBA dual degree is a timely addition to Belmont’s offerings.”

Dr. Joe Alexander, associate dean of Belmont’s Massey Graduate School of Business, added, “This is a logical extension of our mission to provide business education and thoughtful leadership to the working professionals of Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region. Due to our flexible week-night and summer course schedule, students can complete their MBAs in the same four years as their PharmD while also participating in the internship, study abroad and clinical practice experiences each program requires. Belmont PharmD/MBA graduates will be uniquely prepared for rapid career development.”

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Belmont Is Open Today, Mon., Nov. 17

Belmont University is open today–Mon., Nov. 17–and classes will proceed as scheduled. 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.

College of Law National Health Law Moot Court Team Brings Home National Championship

baskin_building-1Belmont’s College of Law National Health Law Moot Court Team competed against schools from all over the country at the National Health Law Moot Court Competition on Nov. 8 in Carbondale, Illinois. After six rounds of arguments, the team was named National Champions. Comprised of law students Courtney Lutz, Heath Henley and Ben Conrady and led by College of Law faculty member Amy Moore, the team also received commendation for a second place brief. A second team of students—Samantha Simpson, Jordan Kennamer and Parker Brown—made it to the competition’s top 16, the Octofinals, before being beat by their Belmont peers.  The Belmont teams were accompanied by Professor Jeffrey Usman and Sean Alexander, a 3L student member of the Board of Advocates and team assistant coach.

Participants in the National Health Law Moot Court Competition hailed from the following law schools:  Chicago-Kent College of Law, Drexel University School of Law, Faulkner University School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law, Hamline University School of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Notre Dame Law School, Nova Southeastern University, Saint Louis University School of Law, Seton Hall School of Law, South Texas College of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Texas Tech University School of Law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, University of California-Hastings College of Law, University of Colorado, University of Maryland School of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, University of Tulsa College of Law and University of Washington School of Law.

“They [the students] faced a constant barrage of difficult questions from practicing attorneys and state and federal judges who were playing the role of the United States Supreme Court for these arguments. The questions required the team members to understand the administrative, disability, employment and healthcare law issues presented by the case with great sophistication and to be able to think on their feet,” Usman said. “Belmont Professor Amy Moore, the director of advocacy for the College of Law, had the students extremely well prepared, not only in terms of their oral advocacy skills, but also to represent themselves and Belmont with great civility.”

The competition, the only one in the nation devoted to health law, is co-sponsored by the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Law Center for Health Law and Policy, the SIU School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Humanities, the American College of Legal Medicine and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation.

Meanwhile, Belmont College of Law’s National Moot Team—comprised of Michael Holder, Travis Brown and Chandler Farmer—competed in Birmingham, Alabama and won both preliminary rounds of oral arguments against Samford University and the University of Alabama before missing the cut to the semi-final round.

Alumnus Josh Turner Returns to Belmont for Chapel Presentation

Jjosh turner-108osh Turner, Belmont alumnus and double-platinum selling country music artist, returned to campus on Wednesday to speak to a packed auditorium of students, faculty and staff. With his most recent single released on iTunes and a new album coming out in Spring 2015, Turner spent his time discussing his hit “Long Black Train,” his family, his faith and his love for Belmont.

During his time at the University, Turner reflected on a walk he took from the Lila D. Bunch library to Hillside, his on-campus apartment at the time. During his walk, he was struck with the idea of a long train and the temptation to hop aboard. The inspiration turned into a night of writing, where he created three of the hit’s verses, as well as the chorus. The next day, he wrote the fourth and final verse. “Long Black Train” would become the song that landed Turner his first record deal.

Throughout his career, Turner said the song has changed lives and pulled people out of very bleak places. It is these stories that continue to remind him of his calling to write and sing country music. He said he feels “obligated to go out there and use the talent God has given me to change people’s lives for the better… The Lord gave me this song, he’s been using it and I think he’s going to continue to use it.”

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University President Unveils Vision for the Future

Vision 2020 1Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher unveiled the University’s Vision 2020 to a room full of students, faculty, staff and alumni Monday morning. The Vision, comprised of seven strategic priorities that will guide Belmont through the next five years, integrates the University’s values of integrity, inquiry, collaboration, service and humility to build what Vision 2020 calls, “Nashville’s University.”

With Vision 2015 coming to a conclusion, the University is looking toward the future with a strong emphasis on student-centeredness, Christian character and a people-first culture, among other things.

“Vision is a picture of a future that is so much more desirable that the present, that it creates a sense of urgency. It compels people to act – to ambitious action,” Fisher said. Video interviews from Belmont community members were included to highlight each Vision 2020 strategy, illustrating the ambitious action that Vision 2020 calls for.

“As we continue to define ourselves and our dreams for this University, it is my hope that Belmont will place a greater focus on including students in the development and execution of our long-term goals and capitalize on the creativity, passion and commitment of its students to make Belmont a place we’re all proud to call home,” Student Government Association President Jeanette Morelan said.

Although the Vision has been crafted and created, a successful implementation of any vision will require the support and collaborative work of all community members, Fisher said. “Consider the power of aligning our efforts and pulling in the same direction…Consider the power behind that.”

Fisher ended his presentation with a story describing his experience climbing Mt. Rainier, a Seattle mountain with the greatest rise in elevation of all ranges within the continental U.S. During his climb, Fisher developed altitude sickness and was forced to descend at the mountain’s “High Break,” the final break before the Summit. Although he wasn’t able to accomplish what he set out to do, Fisher said the experience taught him many lessons. “If you aspire to do something really hard and really tough, it does get harder and harder as you approach the goal,” he said.

“We’re at the High Break point, but if we’re going to the top, it’s going to take the best efforts of everybody. I hear there’s nothing like the view from the top. I haven’t been there, but I want to go…Let’s get there together and become one of America’s great universities. Let’s go to the top,” Fisher said.

For a description of Vision 2020’s seven strategies and a video of Fisher’s presentation, please click here. 

Nursing Students Participate in End of Life Simulation

death simulation-115With an emphasis on experiential learning, Belmont’s School of Nursing provides students with the opportunity to participate in human simulation labs. For Nursing Instructor Sara Camp’s Adult Health II students, this meant taking part in an End of Life lab that simulated the death of a patient, with a volunteer acting as a grieving family member.

When the participating students arrived, they were aware of their patient, Lisa’s, prognosis. Equipped with her report, they were tasked with guiding Lisa and her family member through her final stages of life. As Lisa’s heart rate and pulse slowed, the volunteer family member’s questions sped up. Similar to what would occur in a hospital setting, students were responsible for providing care and comfort for the patient, while assisting the family during a particularly challenging time.

Belmont University Web and Marketing Developer Jon Blankenship participated in the simulation because of a personal connection he has to caregivers who specialize in end of life treatment. His father was recently diagnosed with end stage colon cancer and through the experience, “the one constant we have is how wonderful Dad’s nurses are to him and to us,” Blankenship said. The opportunity to contribute to the education of a nurse who could play that same role for a family in the future was what made Jon sign on. For those nurses, “there aren’t enough thanks to give,” he said.

Camp is committed to equipping students with the skills needed to care for the family system, not just the patients they are assigned. Often, nurses are expected to be experts on caring for patients in their final stages of life in a hospital, regardless of their training or comfort level. Camp said many bedside nurses aren’t confident in the end of life training they have received and because of that, are not adequate resources for new nurses to turn to. “Given that the end of life is such an important event in the life of our patients and their families, it seems irresponsible to leave this to on the job training,” she said.

Senior nursing major and simulation participant Blair Bailey would agree. “It is nice to have practiced skills in lab, prior to actually performing the skills in the hospital,” she said. “I will definitely be able to take what I learned from this simulation and take the experience into the real world as a nurse.”

death simulation-114In a debrief following the simulation, senior nursing major Mark Wolter, discussed the challenge of moving from a proactive treatment mentality to one that comforts the family and patient through the final stages of life. Because of Lisa’s signed DNR and DNI, once the final stages of life had come, there was no medical intervention that could be done. Instead of working to raise a heartbeat once it had dropped, the care team was responsible for ensuring the comfort and ease of both the patient and the family. “At this point in a patient’s care, you are treating everyone close to the patient, and you realize the impact that you can have as a nurse in keeping the situation as peaceful as possible,” he said.

Through this and countless other simulations included in Belmont’s program, students are given the opportunity to practice their skills through first hand experiences, preparing them for clinicals and post-graduation careers. Wolter said he is grateful for the emphasis Belmont puts on experiential learning and knows the program continues to advocate for more and more opportunities. “I’m a nail and hammer kind of learner, so that has helped me in a profound way,” he said. “The experiences I have had while at Belmont are beneficial because I have had varying experiences that I will build from in my first job and first few years as a nurse. I am thankful.”

Enactus Students Partner with Innovative Math Program to Teach STEM Skills to Children

hammer build-115What if a 10-year-old built your house? On Monday, Belmont University student organization Enactus—a group dedicated to using entrepreneurial actions to transform lives and build a better, sustainable world—partnered with If I Had a Hammer to host a build on Belmont’s campus with school-age children serving as the construction crew. And it’s all for a great cause—promoting STEM education.

Hammer, as the program is known, emboldens and teaches children the value of math and other STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through the fun, real-life experience of building a house. Though careers in STEM fields are increasing, studies show that children are becoming less interested and more intimidated by these areas.

“We are grateful that Belmont University is partnering with us to give a 5th grade class an educational day they won’t soon forget,” said Perry Wilson, founder of If I Had A Hammer. “The Hammer House Build is a fun and engaging experience that helps students connect what they are learning in the classroom to how they will use it in the real world. That’s why the foundation of the Hammer Math program is built on fractions and measurement. After working with over half a million children for the past 20 years, we realize that if children can master fractions, it can unlock their potential to do higher-level mathematics. It gives children the opportunity to master the skills needed for a career in the STEM fields.”

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Bridges to Belmont Scholars Council Partners with Metro Agencies to Host Neighborhood Halloween Celebration

rose park halloween 2014-117The Bridges to Belmont Scholars Council partnered with Metro Parks and Recreation, Edgehill Family Resource Center and MDHA’s Resident Association at Edgehill Apartments to host the fourth annual Halloween Bash on Oct. 31.

With a focus on safety and fun, the event featured activities including corn hole, human tic-tac-toe, pumpkin bowling, witch races and plenty of candy. Scholar Council Event Chair and Coordinator Anthony Buchanan said, “My main goals for this event were simple – just provide a safe place for kids to have a good time, have fun and eat as much candy as they can.”

The Halloween Bash started in 2011, when Belmont University Greek Life and Athletics pioneered the inaugural event with great success. Based on the response from the Belmont and Edgehill communities, the annual event has continued to garner more and more attention and participation.

This year’s event did not disappoint. Although temperatures were frigidly low and forced activities to be moved inside the community center, energy and excitement ran high as children from the Edgehill community participated in Halloween games, trick or treated for candy and proudly touted their costumes. With approximately 300 neighbors in attendance, the event continues to remain a staple in the Edgehill community and allows children an alternative, safe way to celebrate the holiday.

The Scholars Council was happy to take on the annual event, as community service and selflessness is a key component in the Bridges to Belmont program. Program Director Mary Clark said, “Events like this are always a great way to reach out to the local community and for Belmont faculty, staff and students to be a blessing to someone else.”

‘Flash Boys’ Subject, Brad Katsuyama, Tells of His Revolt Against Wall Street

President and CEO of IEX and former Head of Electronic Sales and Trading at The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Brad Katsuyama spent Wednesday presenting to students and area executives at events sponsored by Belmont’s Center for Executive Education and Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics.brad katsyuama-103

The subject of Michael Lewis’s international best-seller “Flash Boys,” Katsuyama is most known for his refusal to adopt Wall Street’s practices of high frequency trading and dark pools, and instead, create his own transparent market to conduct trading in the way he believes the stock market was originally intended.

Although leaving his job at RBC was a challenge, Katsuyama knew he was in a position of power and if he saw things he didn’t agree with, it was time to make a change. “I felt this compelling purpose to say, ‘I’m probably in this position for a reason, and I have to do something about it,’” he said. For Katsuyama that meant quitting his job and structuring a team to create a new exchange built around innovation, transparency and fairness.

Since IEX launched in October 2013, the organization has seen rapid growth, but it wasn’t immediate. It took the team many months to raise the required funds and because of that, employees, including Katsuyama, weren’t paid what they were making in previous positions.

With a family and young children, this posed a challenge for Katsuyama, who says he learned that money isn’t as important as he initially thought. “Money becomes so much less meaningful, but it’s only until you don’t have it that you realize how unimportant it really is,” he said.

Now that Katsuyama is finding himself at the heart of the high frequency trading controversy, he continues to be committed to his belief in what the stock market was created to be – a transparent, open exchange for consumers. IEX utilizes technology to ensure they are able to access information at the same speed as high frequency trading firms. Although some organizations have used technology to create an information sharing asymmetry, giving an advantage to one party over another, IEX and Katsuyama are committed to utilizing technology for the advantages it provides all parties.

“Technology is a great amplifier,” Kaysyama said. “We are using [it] to create fairness, as opposed to skirting around it or even distorting it.”

When asked about values that contribute to his commitment to best practices and information transparency, Katsuyama said, “I view myself as someone lucky enough to have found the right people and make some good choices.” At the end of the day, Katsuyama believes the market should operate on fairness, and he is willing to fight for it – even if it means going up against some of Wall Street’s biggest players.

Belmont Hosts Foreign Ambassadors for ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit of Nashville’ Discussion

Fowler shares insights on state of music business in Music City

Mirpuri

Mirpuri

This week 22 foreign ambassadors representing countries spanning six continents were welcomed to Nashville on a tour sponsored by the State Department. Intended toengage the ambassadors with prominent business and community leaders as well as local entrepreneurs, the group of dignitaries paid a visit to Belmont University Thursday morning as part of an event organized by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Health Care Council and Belmont.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher welcomed the special guests to campus, noting, “It’s exciting for us to have you here. You’ve come to a campus of 7,300 students representing every state in the U.S. and 38 countries, including some of yours… During your time in Nashville, you’ll hear that we’re Music City and that we’re a healthcare capital, but you’re also hearing from me that we’re a higher education city. We are approaching 100,000 higher education students here in Middle Tennessee at the various colleges and universities in this region.”

Following a welcome by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean—who jokingly encouraged the ambassadors to “feel free to spend all you want. You need those cowboy boots!”— His Excellency Ashok Mirpuri, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore, took the podium to express his gratitude on behalf of the visitors. “Thank you to the city of Nashville for such a warm welcome. You have been gracious hosts, and thank you for being so open with the world. You are truly a globalized city.”

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CTCM Hosts Regional Festival for Academy of Preachers

academy of young preachers-226Belmont’s College of Theology and Christian Ministry (CTCM)hosted a Regional Festival for the Academy of Preachers on campus Oct. 24-25. The Academy of Preachers is an organization that seeks to inspire young adults ages 14-28 to explore their call to gospel preaching. The Academy hosts three regional festivals throughout the country and one national festival each year.

CTCM Dean Dr. Darrell Gwaltney said, “We welcomed 20 young preachers to campus who preached on the theme ‘Tell Me a Story,’ received feedback from evaluators, and encouragement from peers in preaching circles. Among the young preachers were CTCM alumni Larry Terrell Crudup (’10) and Sarah Garrett (’13) and current CTCM students Julia Crone and Brooke Pernice.”

All four Belmont students and alumni will likely participate in the national festival in Dallas in January.

In addition, the young preachers participated in peer group conversations about preaching and listened to sermons from Gwaltney, as well as professors from Sewanee: The University of the South, Trevecca Nazarene University and Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Students Host Convocation Centered Around Campus Theme

Belmont students Emily Dempsey, Nikhil Saxena and Jim Mixon were panel members for Tuesday’s convocation centered on their experiences growing up in Portugal, Abu Dhabi and Kenya, respectively. A presentation designed to engage students in dialogue surrounding Belmont’s campus theme, Living in a Global Community, the discussion included a question and answer structure where audience members asked about topics including cultural differences, transition challenges and religious tolerance.

living in a global community final edits-105Although the students grew up in a number of countries, their perspectives on global communities were similar. Dempsey, who grew up in Portugal, said that living abroad for much of her life has enhanced her communication skills. “Not necessarily expressing myself, but understanding people. When you have people from everywhere with all kinds of accents and English is their second or third language…understanding what they mean, not just what they say is important,” she said.

Both she and Mixon came to Belmont to pursue a love for music, a career they hope to couple with a love for service and people. Through music, the pair said they believe they are able to communicate on a deeper lever than with words and can use the global language to bypass barriers and cultural differences.

Despite living in the U.S. for college, Mixon said he will always call Kenya his “patriotic home.” Living in international living in a global community final edits-108communities teaches you that home is relational and communal. Often, friends in these communities only stay three to five years, so you learn to find a home internally. “Home is the thing that I take with me. I’m creating my home with me,” Mixon said.

The convocation was the first of a monthly series designed to bring Belmont’s campus theme to students in an engaging way.

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