In a unique partnership, Belmont University recently became home to a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health care in Haiti. The partnership will also 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, Live Beyond moved in May into the Facilities Management Services building at the corner of 15th and Delmar avenues. Formerly called Mobile Medical Disaster Relief, Live Beyond provides basic health care and clean water in several developing countries.
“We at Live Beyond strive to generously live beyond our culture, our homes and our wealth so that others may live. We see this same spirit in Belmont University and are excited to forge this new partnership to reach the lost and dying together,” Vanderpool said.
The Belmont location will serve as headquarters as Vanderpool and his wife, Laurie, move to Thomazeau, Haiti, a region of 200,000 people he adopted shortly after the 2010 earthquake that leveled much of the already poor nation. Since then, the Vanderpools have traveled to Haiti each month to provide medical care and food through Live Beyond. The foundation has already built a 40-bed teaching hospital in the country and plans to expand a local elementary school to all grade levels. (more…)
More than 50 volunteers with Sweet Sleep gathered the bed sets from Hillside Apartment buildings and loaded them into two trucks. Belmont previously coordinated the mattress donation with Sweet Sleep, a faith-based nonprofit organization that exists to share God’s love by providing beds to the world’s orphaned and abandoned children.
“Belmont has a desire to treat the environment with care, so simply throwing away the mattress was not an option. We were looking for other ways to re-purpose them, and donating them to an organization that could put them to good use, like giving them to children in the foster care system and to disaster victim, fits with Belmont’s mission of influencing the community in a positive way,” said Hillside Residence Director Hannah Aschliman.
Sweet Sleep President and Founder Jennifer Gash said the organization arranged to put many of the mattresses in storage before the tornadoes hit Oklahoma’s suburbs on Monday, causing more than $2 billion in damage, damaging or destroying more than 1,200 homes and killing at least 24 people. She called the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, which had an “overwhelming need for mattresses. We lifted such a large burden off them,” Gash said. (more…)
The Tennessee Economic Council on Women (TECW) continued its statewide hearing series on the subject of violence against women with a public hearing on Belmont’s campus yesterday in the Massey Board Room. The “Public Hearing on the Economic Impact of Violence Against Women” is just one of the ways in which TECW is committed to providing unique, relevant information about women in the state.
The hearing, the fourth of nine, followed events in Chattanooga, Columbia and Crossville, which have identified millions in local costs and exposed a need for better prevention efforts and communication among local authorities, service providers and funding sources.
TECW Council Chair Yvonne Wood said, “We learned from our 2006 research that domestic violence was costing Tennessee millions every year from legal costs, healthcare costs, lost productivity and a tremendous burden on our social services system. The 2013 hearings are revealing that the trend is continuing and it erodes more than just the social fabric of our families, but also the economic strength of our state. ”
Thursday’s event was co-chaired by Dr. Mimi Barnard, Belmont’s assistant provost for interdisciplinary studies and global education, who also serves on TECW.
Belmont University was more than a venue for this important event; the university sees the issue as one of significance. “We are honored to host this important event at Belmont. Raising awareness of the impact of violence against women can save lives and prevent immeasurable heartbreak,” said Cathy R. Taylor, dean and professor, College of Health Sciences and Nursing at Belmont. Among other efforts in its continued commitment to understanding issue that impact women worldwide, Belmont also plans to host a local viewing of the film Girl Rising this fall.
More than 100 Middle Tennessee high school students will convene Saturday at the Belmont University Curb Event Center on for the first regional STEM Expo, sponsored by the Middle Tennessee STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Innovation Hub, housed at Metro Nashville Public Schools. The Expo is free and open to the public at noon with a recognition ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. Viewing of projects is from 3 to 4 p.m.
“It is an honor for Belmont to be a major sponsor and to host the Middle Tennessee STEM Expo. Belmont has a strong commitment to STEM education as evidenced by our STEM Education Initiative, our STEM Pathways project in the School of Sciences, and our accredited Audio Engineering Technology program in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. The students participating in the Middle Tennessee STEM Expo and their exceptional projects demonstrate the value of supporting STEM education at all education levels,” said Belmont College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bryce F. Sullivan.
High schools from the 20 Middle Tennessee school districts that are part of the STEM Innovation Hub will participate. Expo projects represent one of five categories, including:
The STEM Expo is not a competition. It is a showcase for the most outstanding projects created by individual students and student teams from participating schools and districts. Each entry will be scored and eligible for an award, with recognition levels of Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
“The quality of projects students have prepared is inspiring,” said Vicki Metzgar, Director of the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. “The STEM Innovation Hub has encouraged students to develop projects in response to complex questions, problems or challenges, as a way to learn academic content and develop communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. One of the primary benefits of Saturday’s Expo will be students coming together to learn and share with each other.”
Schools from all over the middle Tennessee region are turning to STEM education to engage students in rigorous and relevant learning and to prepare them to make informed decisions about their careers and college aspirations.
Click here to learn more about the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the STEM Expo.
In addition to Metro Nashville Public Schools, the STEM Expo is sponsored by Aegis Sciences Corporation, Belmont University, Tennessee State University, Deloitte Services, Texas Instruments, the Vanderbilt School of Engineering, the American Society of Civil Engineers, MTSU’s Tennessee STEM Education Center, and Volunteer State Community College.
The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) is a unique, public-private collaboration between the Tennessee Department of Education and Battelle Memorial Institute designed to promote and expand the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in K-12 public schools across Tennessee. The TSIN comprises six Regional STEM Innovation Hubs and six STEM Platform Schools. The schools are designed to encourage local educational innovation by investigating and creating new STEM teaching and learning best practices to be shared throughout the state, all while providing their students with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century workplace. In addition to supporting the platform schools, the hubs are the nucleus of regional STEM activity, representing a formal partnership among school districts, post-secondary institutions, STEM businesses, and community organizations.
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is the nation’s 42nd largest district, preparing more than 81,000 students to excel in higher education, work and life with the goal of being the first choice for Nashville’s families. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit www.mnps.org. The 2013-14 school year begins August 1, 2013.
Twenty-six local high school seniors came to Belmont’s campus Monday to sign a proclamation welcoming them to the University and to begin their college careers with an initial family orientation. Following the signing ceremony, students and their parents attended their first Belmont orientation sessions, took tours of campus and enjoyed a meal together.
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 will be provided via scholarships from Belmont for four consecutive academic years beginning with 2013-14.
Enrollment eligibility will then follow the standard satisfactory academic progress expectations of all students. The Bridges to Belmont program is designed to enroll high potential students from Metro Nashville Public Schools who may not have previously been able to consider Belmont as an option.
Belmont University President Bob Fisher applauded the Bridge Scholars for their hard work so far and their acceptance to college and thanked them in advance for what they will contribute to the University throughout the next four years. “Our biggest focus is to help you figure out your purpose in life. I can’t tell you what it is, but I can tell you we’re going to figure that out in this journey together.” (Click here to view the Signing Ceremony on Belmont’s YouTube channel.)