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.
The professional development seminar, sponsored by the University Staff Advisory Council and held on Monday afternoon, began with Director of Financial Aid and Associate Director of Student Financial Services Charles Harper giving an overview of his Master of Education thesis, “Bridging the Gap: Examining the Distance Between Generations in Order to Manage A Multi-Generational Workforce,” in which he argued diversity of age in the workplace has been given little attention and managers must understand each generational cohort to be effective leaders.
Harper highlighted qualities of the four generations in the workplace and their parallels to Star Wars trilogy characters. He likened traditionalists to Yoda, baby boomers to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Generation X-ers to Han Solo and millennials to Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
While the annual Scholarship and Awards Day convocation always represents a highlight of the year, Wednesday morning’s celebration offered something special. This year-end celebration of academic achievement also demonstrated a son’s love and respect for his father, leaving few dry eyes in the Massey Performing Arts Center.
After receiving the John Williams Heart of Belmont Award, graduating senior Rami Nofal pulled Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher aside and asked to do a presentation of his own. Nofal then asked his father to join him on stage as he publicly thanked him for the support and sacrifices that were making his graduation possible.
Another highlight of the morning’s celebration came when Dr. Rich Tiner, recipient of the 2012-13 Chaney Distinguished Professor Award, gave the Honors Address on the theme “Defining Moments.” Recalling the Apostle Paul’s charge in Philippians 3:14 to “press on to reach the end of the race ,” Tiner added, “This morning we recognize excellence and we should… But I encourage you to be defined not by the moment of recognition, but by your ongoing pursuit of excellence.”
Throughout the morning, all in attendance were also reminded of the ways in which the university is living out its Christian mission. For example, several award recipients were involved in projects at Belmont that have significant connections to local and international ministries, from work with Spring Back Recycling to Blood:Water Mission to Salama Urban Ministries.
Dr. Jeff Cornwall, Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship, was named Friday as the Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). Cornwall was selected from a group of distinguished nominees and chosen for his countless and enduring contributions to entrepreneurship education.
“To be named the most outstanding educator in one’s field in higher education is the highest compliment a professor can receive,” said Belmont’s College of Business Administration Dean Dr. Pat Raines. “Jeff’s professional accomplishments and the prestige that he has brought to Belmont’s entrepreneurship program make him an extraordinarily worthwhile recipient of this award.”
Dr. Cornwall said, “I am humbled to be recognized this way for the work that I do as an entrepreneurship educator.”
Past winners of the award include faculty members from Oklahoma State University, University of Texas (Austin), Stanford University, Purdue University and Baylor University, among others.
Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher announced today that longtime employee Dr. Paula Gill has been promoted to Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness. In this role, Gill is responsible for evaluating the university’s progress toward its performance objectives and for seeking ways to improve services and processes that provide value for students. In addition, she will serve as a member of the President’s senior leadership cabinet, providing feedback and consultation on University decisions and strategic planning.
“As Belmont University continues its phenomenal growth trend, the need for assistance at the highest level of leadership has become apparent,” Fisher said. “We want to provide guidance to help our campus be more effective and manage resources for the good of our students. There’s simply no better person for this role than Dr. Gill. Her expertise and perspective are matched only by her great love for, and dedication to, the Belmont community.”
Gill added, “I am incredibly honored by this appointment, not only for what it represents to me personally and professionally but also for what it proves about this University’s commitment to guiding students to their full potential in order to lead lives of meaning and purpose. My professional success is the result of Belmont administrators, faculty and staff who shared their wisdom and invested their time in me during my academic and professional journey. My gratitude for this promotion is exceeded only by my excitement to serve this dynamic institution and its students in new ways in the future.”