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Belmont Launches Online Parent Community

parents.jpgContinuing the momentum started with the Parent and Family Weekend held Sept. 28-29, the Student Affairs office recently launched an online site designed for Belmont parents. The Belmont Parents Online Community is an interactive community intended to connect parents regionally, socially and professionally. With groups for every state and most major cities, parents will have the opportunity to interact through group specific event postings, message boards and emails. Furthermore, the online community provides resources to post upcoming university events, Belmont news, athletic events and other pertinent communications. The online community will serve as the foundation for the new Belmont Parent Association to be launched June 1, 2008. For additional information or to sign-up, visit or e-mail

Belmont Students On Missions Blog Their Experiences

nursing-team.jpgPictured at right: The Belmont nursing team in the Nashville International Airport before departing for Cambodia
Three groups of Belmont University students traveling abroad are using blogs (online journals) to keep daily accounts of their experiences:
The Rio Journal 2007
Belmont’s volleyball team is competing internationally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will be working with local missionaries and congregations in ministry. Betty Wiseman, senior women’s administrator in the athletics department, is leading the group along with head volleyball coach Dean Webb and assistant volleyball coach Tony Howell.
Mission to Cambodia
Six students from the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing are serving in Cambodia working with local clinics, hospitals and other health professionals. Dr. Sharon Dowdy, assistant professor of nursing, is leading the nursing team.
South Africa Studies Abroad
Twenty students are studying and serving in South Africa and Botswana. Students will be taking classes on social entrepreneurship, writing and religion as they serve others. Students will work with local organizations involved in AIDS prevention and education in Cape Town, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana. Dr. Darrell Gwaltney, dean of the School of Religion, leads this team.

Belmont Students Create Fair Trade Coffee Brand to Benefit Farmers, Local Hispanic Community

coffee.jpgBelmont University students on the Belmont Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team hosted an event at Nashville coffee shop Bongo Java Thursday, May 3, to announce and unveil a fair trade coffee brand the students developed to be served at Belmont with plans to extend distribution to other local businesses. The Belmont SIFE team partnered with Sodexho and Conexion Americas to create the new, organic, private fair trade coffee.
As a project to fulfill the entrepreneurship requirement of the SIFE team’s yearly objectives, Belmont students JonEric Pettersson, Renee Reyle, Victoria Aleksina, Janice Dotti and Lauren Winfield developed every aspect of the fair trade coffee, from working with the farmer to marketing and labeling the new brand, RumbaRoast. The students created the coffee to fund entrepreneurial and financial literacy programs, to teach Hispanic adults how to develop and sustain new businesses and to financially support the fair trade coffee growers of Central America.
“Our mission is to connect people with people one cup at a time across the table and around the globe,” JonEric Pettersson, a Belmont student involved with the RumbaRoast Coffee project, said. “Buying RumbaRoast fairly traded and organic coffee is caring for the families of farmers in Latin America, the support of local business and the highest quality in coffee we can share. The ultimate goal of RumbaRoast Coffee is to create a social and entrepreneurial means for the community to invest in itself and those we are connected to around the world. ”
Bob Bernstein, owner of local coffee shops Bongo Java and Fido, was instrumental in the creation of RumbaRoast Coffee. As a member of a consortium of privately-owned coffee houses, Bernstein was able to negotiate reduced prices for Belmont SIFE in importing fair trade coffee beans from Latin America. He was also able to match Belmont SIFE with a locally owned roaster to produce RumbaRoast at a lower price than the students would have paid independently.
The students adopted a three-phase approach in implementing their business plan for RumbaRoast coffee:
1. Belmont SIFE will launch and manage the new venture.
2. Belmont SIFE will develop a strategic plan for capturing commercial accounts and use the business as a platform to teach local Hispanic entrepreneurs.
3. Belmont SIFE will choose two – four entrepreneurs from the Hispanic community to take full control of the business, while continuously providing business-consulting services.
To date, the SIFE team has developed the coffee blend, bag labels and a marketing campaign and has sold over 200 pounds of coffee. RumbaRoast is estimated to gross $50,000 in the first year of operation. Belmont SIFE will allocate 80 percent of the profits made off of the fair trade coffee to the development of projects within the local Hispanic community and 20 percent back into the SIFE program.
One of the biggest developments in recent years in the coffee industry has been the rise of fair trade coffee. “Fair trade” refers to a rising political and economic movement that is designed to create an equitable and fair partnership between coffee buying and coffee producers in major coffee growing regions. Fair trade coffee is designed to assist poor coffee farmers that often produce high quality gourmet coffee in organic conditions.
To purchase RumbaRoast Coffee and learn more about Belmont SIFE, click here.
Click here to watch a short video of Belmont student JonEric Pettersson discussing RumbaRoast coffee.
Click here to watch a short video of Dr. Pat Raines, dean of the College of Business Administration, discussing the mission of Belmont SIFE.
Click here to watch a short video of Dr. John Gonas, faculty adviser of Belmont SIFE, discussing the nonprofit organizations that Belmont SIFE has worked with over the past two years.

Belmont Alumna Advances to Top Six on American Idol

Belmont alumna, Melinda Doolittle (’99), advanced to the top six on “American Idol”. She will perform Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CT on Fox. Click here for Doolittle’s official “American Idol” Web page.

Statement From Belmont President Bob Fisher on Virginia Tech Tragedy

fisher.jpgAs the extent of the tragedy at Virginia Tech is revealed, it is important for us to take a moment to remember those students and our partners in higher education who are faced with the aftermath of the senseless violence and killings on their campus. We hope and pray that the students, faculty and staff, families and friends affected by this tragedy will be surrounded by God’s grace and comfort during this terrible time.
I want everyone to know that campus safety and security are of the highest priority to our senior leadership team. We have a broad emergency management plan in place that covers any number of circumstances we might face – from criminals and violence on campus to natural disasters such as tornadoes and snow storms. Additionally, we have been working for the past several months on a system that would allow us to immediately contact all Belmont faculty and staff via e-mail and telephone if such a need were to arise. Today, we sent the first test message to faculty and staff using this new system. We are moving forward in implementing this system campus-wide. While we cannot possibly anticipate and plan against every possible scenario, we have made it a priority to be vigilant in continually making steps that will assist us in keeping our campus environment safe and secure. Please join the Belmont campus in keeping those affected by the Virginia Tech tragedy in your prayers in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you.
Bob Fisher

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