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‘In Tune’ Names Belmont a Best Music School

christmas at belmont-413In Tune Magazine has released their Best Music Schools for 2015 and Belmont University’s School of Music is on the list.

In Tune’s Best Music Schools special feature was included in the October 2014 edition of the magazine.  In this special report, high school students receive advice from music professors and students who majored in Music on picking a college or university music program that is just right for them.

Belmont alum, Rayvon Owen, is highlighted in the article and shares his thoughts on what makes Belmont a top music program.  Owen credits Belmont for enhancing his leadership skills and teaching him how to be prepared and perform (musically and non-musically) in high pressure situations.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized as one of America’s best schools of music and excited that Belmont University continues to receive applause for the many good things that happen on this campus,” said Cynthia Curtis, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts

In Tune is a classroom magazine for music students, grades 7-12.


Thistle Farms Founder Speaks to Students

The Rev. Becca Stevens spoke to students about the fear of failure during the Belmont and Beyond finale event, The Journey to Success, on April 15 in Neely Dining Hall.

Stevens is the Chaplain at St. Augustine at Vanderbilt University and founder of Magdalene/Thistle Farms. She shared her fears and hopes for a sanctuary to help women recovering from trafficking, prostitution, addiction and life on the streets.  Thistle Farms employs over 40 residents who manufacture, market and sell all natural bath and beauty products.

“If you’re on a journey led by your heart, the fears will come again to sit vigil with you at night. But, remember, you are not alone,” she said. “You have to keep going and lay the fears aside.”

Stevens asked students about their vision and encouraged them to walk with their hearts and continue the journey.

She said, “you have a really clear sense of what has happened, assess the present and be wide open when love is coming around the bend.”

She ended her inspirational talk by introducing her son Levi Hummon, Belmont student, who performed a song he wrote, “Leaving the Best Things.

Poet Adam Clay Comes to Belmont as Part of New Speaker Series

On Thursday, Nov. 8, critically acclaimed poet Adam Clay spoke at Belmont University about his most recent publication, A Hotel Lobby at the End of the World, as part of a new annual reader series put on by the Department of English. The series is the brainchild of Dr. Gary McDowell, a poetry and creative writing professor who attended the same graduate program as Clay.

Titled “The Deep Song Reading Series,” the goal of the series is to bring working writers onto Belmont’s campus. “We forget that poetry is still be written today, and people don’t get to hear [it],” said McDowell. McDowell himself has published several poems, and he hopes to encourage students who have an interest in all forms of writing.


West Memphis Three Member Visits Belmont

Jason Baldwin

Jason Baldwin, one of the West Memphis Three, was on campus this week to share his story and newfound passions with Belmont faculty, staff and students.

Sentenced in 1994 for the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, Baldwin and his two friends served over 18 years in prison. With the discovery of newly processed DNA, the trio was released in August of 2011 when they entered Alford Pleas stating their innocence while also noting that prosecution have enough initial evidence to sentence them as they did.

Baldwin’s message to his listeners was clear. While in jail he took the opportunity to work in the law library, learn as much as he could and appreciate all the time he had. He urges students to do the same.

Baldwin has also committed himself to a life working against the death penalty while also opposing forced confessions of individuals on trial and convictions of the innocent. In addition, he hopes to help juveniles facing a life sentence without parole.

Beginning his associate degree in April, Baldwin hopes to finish that program and work towards a law degree so he can continue his hopes of changing the legal system. He ended his convocation lecture by saying, “Every day is amazing. Every day is a blessing. I thank God for it.”

On Monday night, Baldwin was present for an on campus viewing of the 2012 Academy Award-nominated HBO documentary Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. The film, along with its predecessors Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000), detail the story of the West Memphis Three and the trio’s ultimate release from prison. Together the films played a significant role in garnering publicity, awareness and support for the men.

Sociology Professor Tells ‘Black Woman’s Burden’

Kent State University sociology assistant professor Nicole Rousseau chronicled the role of black women’s wombs in America’s capitalist society over 400 years during a lecture to Belmont students on March 19.

Winner of the 2010 North Central Sociological Association Scholarly Achievement Award, Rousseau gave an outline of her book The Black Woman’s Burden: Commodifying Black Reproduction.

During slavery, black women were raped and forced to reproduce to provide labor for the agricultural South. During the U.S. industrial era, blacks were seen as parasites and sterilizations were mandated through the eugenics movements and The Negro Project. Today, sterilization is coerced through programs such as Project Prevention, which offers people with drug and alcohol addictions cash for sterilization. In Illinois, unwed mothers under21 are asked to have their tube tied immediately after giving birth to a second child, and wards of the state also are given cash incentives for sterilization. Each of these instances disproportionately affects women and minorities, Rousseau said.

“The reality is that this is an unnerving trend,” she said. “The idea is appalling that there are currently public debates about birth control and someone else’s body. This is a slippery slope because it legitimizes someone else making decisions for a woman.”

The Black Woman’s Burden explores bureaucracy, institutionalized racism, political economy and black women as a unique labor class while drawing from black feminism, the womanist theory and the critical race theory.

Rousseau earned her doctorate in Sociology from Howard University.  Her work on the structural and institutional roots of race, class and gender inequalities, social rhetoric and identity formation, and Historical Womanist theory have been included in several publications in the United States and South America.

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