Economic Futurist Lowell Catlett speaks on Imagining the World of 2020

image001Economic futurist Dr. Lowell Catlett spoke to students, faculty and staff about the future of economy, technology, healthcare, energy, education, finance and agriculture during a convocation event entitled “Imaging the World of 2020” on Wednesday in Massey Boardroom.

“Creativity, technology and wealth are driving new industries and business development opportunities unlike any period in history. Healthcare, energy, education, finance and agriculture are changing at the fastest pace ever recorded as the new creative economy dominates both the service and manufacturing sectors,” Catlett said. “Get ready for a world that is increasingly borderless and un-tethered and driven by the fastest rate of change ever recorded in history.”

Catlett is dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University where he teaches agricultural economics and business and extension economics.

Catlett is the author of numerous books and articles and works nationally and internationally with corporations and organizations doing futuristic planning concerning the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy.

Catlett also works with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior, Defense, Education, Energy and the World Bank.  He has been a visiting professor or delivered invited presentations at over 50 universities including Harvard, MIT, Cornell and the University of Illinois.

Belmont BSA Members Featured in ‘The Huffington Post’


Left to right: Hart, Robinson and Bryant.

Belmont University’s Black Student Association members Keayana Robinson, Cameron Bryant and Kristoff Hart have been featured in The Huffington Post for their song and video “I Dig the Skin I’m In,” an empowering testament to their refusal to be anything less than comfortable in their own skin despite the things that have been said to them.

The article entitled “MC Shakes Off Being Told She’s ‘Too Dark’ With Funk and Grace” discusses the message behind the song that addresses modern racism and bullying.

Robinson told The Huffington Post that it took time for her to become confident enough to speak out about her experiences. Part of the journey, she said, was simply “being able to sit down and say those words aloud.”

“I’m not hearing your lies. I look great in my eyes. This may be a surprise, but I’m cool with me,” she sings in part of the song’s chorus.

The song and its message came about pretty organically, according to Robinson.

“We were sitting around and we just stumbled upon a beat and we started listening and Kristoff and I started singing and we decided to write to it,” she told The Huffington Post. “Once we got the message that we wanted, we just took off from there.”

The trio’s collaboration has been met with what Robinson describes as a “nice, welcoming response” from the Belmont community.

“We’re all about embracing differences. … I think that it’s definitely extremely important for members of the African-American community to embrace their differences and their skin and their flaws, because they’re beautiful,” Robinson said.

Read the full article here. View the “I Dig the Skin I’m In” music video here.

Billboard Recognizes Curb College a Top Music Business Education School

recording studio-110-LBelmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business continues to be recognized as one of the world’s top colleges and universities to learn about the music industry according to a recent survey on music business education conducted by Billboard Magazine.

The survey highlights universities and other educational institutions giving students the opportunity to learn about the music business with hands-on experience and classes taught by teachers from the industry.  Those schools are increasingly responding to the changes shaping both education and the music business, according to the survey.

Established with guidance from the Recording Academy and local industry executives, including its namesake, record company executive Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records and former president of MGM Records, “the Curb College takes full advantage of its strategic location in Music City to build world-wide opportunities for our students,” says dean and professor of audio engineering, Dr. Wesley Bulla.

According to Lecturer of Music Business, Dr. David Schreiber, the college readily embraces the changing demands of the music and entertainment industry but recognizes that things such as critical thinking and problem solving remain constant.  “A lot of the faculty, including myself, do our best to incorporate experiential learning, getting students to replicate what happens out in the field, while still in a safe [academic] environment,” Schreiber says.


Law Presents ‘Champion for Justice’ Award to Bryan Stevenson

Bryan StevensonDuring Monday’s Chapel, the Belmont College of Law presented the 2014 Champions for Justice Award to Bryan A. Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, non-profit organization headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama. His work, and that of the team of lawyers he leads, furthers prison and sentencing reform, with a focus on the death penalty and the mass incarceration of people of color.

Stevenson said, “Faith is connected to struggle; that is…we are called to build the Kingdom of God. We can’t celebrate it and then protect our own comfortable environment.”

The Belmont University College of Law Champions for Justice Award is presented to a person whose life’s work exemplifies Belmont’s mission to uphold Jesus as the Christ and the measure for all things, and has lived this out by engaging and transforming the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith. Stevenson graduated from Eastern University (where he led the gospel choir), Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government.


Oct. 2 Event Marks Official Launch of Campus Theme for 2014-15

Campus Theme WordmarkAre you prepared for “Living in a Global Community?”

That may be a common question in classrooms across campus this semester as Belmont embraces its new theme for 2014-15. And it will certainly be a topic of conversation on Oct. 2, at the official theme kick-off event, when the Curb Event Center hosts Dr. Pang Rhodes (assistant professor of marriage and family therapy at Argosy University-Twin Cities, Minnesota) and Wayne Yang (‎CEO/President at Hmong Village). These special guests will discuss this year’s common book, “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down,” with Belmont’s own Assistant Professor/ Ministry Program Advisor Dr. Martha Minardi and Associate Professor of Philosophy/Director of First Year Seminar Dr. Noel Boyle.

Associate Provost Dr. Beverly Schneller, who oversees the campus theme, said, “Though an emotionally and intellectually challenging book to read, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down provides an insightful introduction to the concept of ‘Living in a Global Community.’ Goals of the campus theme include evaluating ethical and social choices and raising complex questions about global systems. The Oct. 2 conversation about the common book will offer students and other attendees an opportunity to thoughtfully examine those issues.”

This marks the seventh year in a row that the entire Belmont community is being invited to participate in conversations focused on a campus theme, a single subject examined throughout the academic year via common readings in First Year Seminar courses, lectures, arts performances and other events.


Alumnus Greg Walter Receives Encore Award

CVPA Dean Dr. Cynthia Curtis (l) and Marjorie Halbert (r) present the Encore Award to alumnus Greg Walter.

CVPA Dean Dr. Cynthia Curtis (l) and Marjorie Halbert (r) present the Encore Award to alumnus Greg Walter.

The Belmont University School of Music presented the 2014 Encore Award Thursday evening to actor/singer/songwriter Greg Walter during a concert in his honor. The Encore Award was created in 2008 to honor a Belmont University School of Music alumnus for achievement in the field of classical music.  Walter graduated from the Belmont School of Music in 1987 as a Presser Scholar. While at Belmont, he studied classical voice under Associate Professor of Voice Marjorie Halbert.

Walter was an original cast member of Chicago’s company of “Forever Plaid” for which he received a Joseph Jefferson award in the best ensemble category. He was also nominated for a Jeff award, which celebrates excellence in Chicago theatre, for best actor in Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way, for which he also music directed. His voice can also be heard in commercial jingles for Michelob and Trac Auto. His songs have been recorded by various cabaret singers in Chicago, and his vocal arrangement of “Down in the River to Pray,” performed by the Chicago Chamber Choir, can be found on the disc recording At the River.

Walter is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he teaches voice and serves as musical director.

Previous Encore Award honorees include Clifton Forbis (2008), Daniel Weeks (2009), Drs. Daniel and Sharon Lawhon (2010), Maestra Teresa Cheung (2011), Dr. Alfredo Colman (2012) and Travis Cottrell (2013).

Nashville’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration Begins at Belmont

hispanic heritage celebration 2014-125Belmont University hosted the Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off event for the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday in the Vince Gill Room. Click here to view photos from the event.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a nation-wide celebration that coincides with the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile all achieved independence between Sept. 15 and 18.

To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, which stakes place Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, visit For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month events in Nashville, visit

Executive Learning Networks Announce Fall Leadership Breakfast Speaker

KotlerSteven Kotler, New York Times best-selling author, innovation leader, Peak Performance Expert and co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project, is set to speak at the Center for Executive Education’s annual Fall Leadership Breakfast Dec. 4 in Belmont’s Curb Event Center. Following a time of networking and breakfast, Kotler’s program will begin at 7:30 a.m. and be followed at 9 a.m. by a book signing. The $45 admission includes breakfast, the program and Kotler’s most recent book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance.

An award-winning journalist, Kotler also was co-author of Abundance, which was released by Simon and Schuster in 2012. Abundance received international praise and was named by CNBC as one of the Top 12 Business Books of 2012 and by Fortune as Top 5 Must-Read Business Books of 2012. Kotler is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated A Small Furry Prayer, the Pen-West finalist West of Jesus and the best-selling novel and winner of the 2000 William L. Crawford IAFA Fantasy Award, The Angle Quickest for Flight.

His articles have appeared internationally in more than 70 publications, and he writes “Far Frontiers,” a blog about innovation and entrepreneurship for, and “The Playing Field,” a blog about the science of sport and culture, for

Kotler is also the co-founder of Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary, which has been nationally recognized for pioneering new methodologies in both hospice care for elderly animals and long term rehabilitation for special needs animals. Prior to this work, and alongside the LA Lakers and 826 LA, Steven was co-founder of the nonprofit, The Reporter’s Gym, a sports-writing camp for inner city high school students.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and EO Nashville are Belmont’s community partners for this event. For more information and to register, visit here.


VeggieTales Co-Creator Speaks to Students about Faith

veggie tales - mike nawrockiCo-founder of Big Idea Entertainment Mike Nawrocki spoke to students, faculty and staff about how his faith in God steered his career path during a convocation event on Wednesday in the Massey Performance Arts Center. Big Idea created the popular animated series “VeggieTales,” for which Nawrocki is the voice of Larry the Cucumber as well as writer and director of both short and feature-length films. The convocation was part of Belmont’s annual EMERGE, a spiritual emphasis week held near the beginning of the semester designed to encourage campus to reflect, refocus and renew. Other EMERGE speakers this week included author/Storyline founder Donald Miller and Porter’s Call founder Al Andrews.

Nawrocki explained that while he loved comedy from a young age, he originally wanted a career in the medical field. He studied at St. Paul Bible College where he met fellow Big Idea co-founder Phil Vischer while serving with a puppet ministry. He had always found church as an outlet for his creative side.

Nawrocki later enrolled at the University of Illinois-Chicago in pursuit of medical school. He took a job with a video production facility to finance his medical education. There, he gained experience in video production and animation. He finally decided that God was calling him in a different direction from medicine, and he and Vischer began working on “VeggieTales,” which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.

“I felt a real confirmation by God that I made the right decision so long ago,” Nawrocki said. “I had a moment where I realized that God had led me to the right place at the right time and had given me the talents and ability to do his will.”

Nawrocki concluded his presentation by encouraging students to be open to surprises.

“Here is my advice: Work hard. Make your plans, but always be open to how God can use you at a time like this,” he said.

Belmont Upgrades Campus Internet Services

WirelessServiceStockImageBelmont University has recently made notable upgrades to campus Internet services for this term. The campus wireless network footprint has grown by 75 percent since fall 2013. Belmont has increased the number of wireless access points (APs) from roughly 250 to more than 430 APs. That’s more than 180 new APs spread across campus to support wireless services and improve connection and speed.

As an example of how the wireless network has evolved in this last year, more than 80 APs were installed in the Wedgewood Academic Center alone. This ensures that wireless services cover the entire building including student study areas, dining areas, the Chapel, classrooms and faculty offices. The university has also installed its first 10GB segment connection from the Wedgewood Academic Center to the campus’ core network. All other buildings on campus have a 1GB connection.

In addition, the university has expanded and improved wireless access in McWhorter, Athletic areas, the Curb Café and Curb Event Center. Wireless access was also installed in Belmont Commons for residential students for the first time. Additional wireless access in Fidelity Hall is also planned.

“My thanks go to all of the Technology Services team for getting school started well, and in particular, Network Services for a tireless effort to manage the growth and complexity of the campus network,” said Director of Technology Services Randall Reynolds. “We will continue to improve Internet services as a priority in all other classroom buildings on campus and faculty offices.”

Anyone experiencing issues with the campus wireless connection should call 615-460-6893 to report the time, location and specific nature of the problem so Belmont’s Technology Services representatives can seek a solution.

Belmont Welcomes Notable Speakers for Annual Humanities Symposium Sept. 18-29

banner‘Worlds Enough and Time’ theme unites three colleges

Belmont University hosts its 13th annual Humanities Symposium this week, featuring authors, poets, researchers, philosophers and professors from across the country.

Centered on the theme “Worlds Enough and Time,” the Belmont 2014 Humanities Symposium will occur Sept. 18 through 29 and references English author Andrew Marvell’s famous carpe diem poem, which begins with the phrase, “Had we but world enough and time,” transformed to allude as well to the University theme of “Living in a Global Community.” The symposium seeks to stimulate intellectual conversation through its 45 events, which together will engage in a 10-day conversation designed to increase interactions with different cultures, religions, political views as well as scientific and historical understandings of time to dislodge the default view and open students to broader understanding of the subject.


‘Anderson Cooper 360′ Producer Speaks to Media Ethics Class

cnn producer jen duckLast Friday, Emmy award-winning producer Jennifer Duck spoke to students in Thom Storey’s Media Ethics class about her career journey and ethical reporting. Duck is currently the producer of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

She recently returned from 10 straight days on the ground with Cooper in Ferguson, Missouri, directing all the show’s live news coverage of the demonstrations and riots following the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. Duck discussed the challenges of photo ethics and how they handled Brown’s death while respecting  requests of his family. In addition, she touched on her approach to getting information from the public.

“We went around the area and talked directly to witnesses. People respond better to face-to-face interaction than an email or phone call,” Duck said. “The best reporting comes from going on the ground and talking to people.”

cnn producer jen duck speaks to media ethics classIn reference to the death reports on Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, Duck discussed the ethics of getting the story right versus getting it first.

“If CNN can’t confirm on our own, we won’t attribute it or run it. You never know how credible those sources are,” she said.

She also showed clips of her work at CNN and talked about how she arrived at the TV channel. She discussed her previous work as producer for Katie Couric’s syndicated show in New York and the talent and development director for the launch of the OWN network. In addition, she was a backpack journalist covering the McCain and Obama presidential campaigns for ABC News in 2008.

“[Networking], that’s the biggest thing you should take from this. Connections are crucial,” Duck said. “When you meet someone, take their business card and keep it forever.”

TOP 5! Belmont Achieves Its Goal in Annual U.S. News College Rankings

University praised by its peers for commitments to innovation, undergraduate teaching, internships

Photo of Top 5 Banner on Freeman HallBelmont University catapulted today into the Top 5 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Colleges in the South region. After three years at No. 7, Belmont’s ranking at No. 5 for the publication’s 2015 edition marks another check on the University’s Vision 2015 goal-setting list, an accomplishment achieved a full year ahead of schedule as was Belmont’s enrollment target (set for 7,000, the University hit 7,301 this fall at the start of classes).

Belmont was also lauded for the seventh year in a row as a top “Up-and-Comer,” indicating the university has made “the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.” Moreover, Belmont was ranked second in the South for its “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching” and was lauded by its peers for the internships the University emphasizes as part of its overall educational experience, an academic enrichment closely paired with student success.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This is great news. I’m so privileged to be associated with faculty and staff who give their best every day to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students. While it’s gratifying and humbling to achieve this part of our Vision, we’re far from done. Planning has already begun on Vision 2020, and I fully expect our campus to raise the bar even higher as we imagine our future together.”

In the Best Regional Universities-South, Belmont is again the highest-ranked university of the 15 ranked Tennessee institutions in its category, a feat the University has claimed for more than a decade.The No. 5 ranking places Belmont in a premier position among the 126 public and private institutions included in the South region, an area that covers Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana.Other southern regional institutions in the Top 5 included Elon University (NC), Rollins College (FL), Samford University (AL) and The Citadel (SC).


Two Belmont Students Compete Sept. 14 in Miss America Pageant

Belmont contestants

Swanson (left) and Lewis (right)

Next Sunday night, Belmont University will be the only college in the nation to have two students competing in the Miss America pageant, broadcast live on ABC from Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Sept. 14 program will feature Belmont senior Hayley Lewis, who was crowned Miss Tennessee June 21, as well as junior Megan Swanson, who was named Miss Nebraska earlier this summer.

Lewis earned the highest score in the talent category on the night of the Tennessee pageant for her performance of “I (Who Have Nothing).” She will defer from the University for one year to travel the state as Gov. Bill Haslam’s spokesperson for Character Education as well as the goodwill ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network before returning to campus in August 2015 to complete her studies in music business and classical vocal performance. Previously at Belmont, Lewis provided game day support for the basketball and baseball teams and was an active participant in the Beltones.

Swanson, who performed ”You Raise Me Up” during the Nebraska scholarship pageant, is studying music and plans to become a motivational speaker and singer/songwriter.

Both Belmont undergraduates are taking this year off from school to attend to their state-wide duties.

Physicist Helps Students Explore Science, Faith Intersection

deborah Haarsma-117-LMassachusetts Institute of Technology-trained physicist Dr. Deborah Haarsma spoke to students, faculty and staff about the intersection of science and faith during a convocation lecture in the Belmont University Chapel on Wednesday.

“Science displays God’s glory, extravagance and power,” Haarsma said. “I believe that looking out in the universe can show you a lot about God’s beauty and grace.”

Haarsma is president of the Biologos Foundation, which invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith. She is also co-author of “Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design” and is part of the Cambridge University Faraday Institute’s Test of Faith multimedia curriculum.

“When I look at the development of the universe through the eyes of faith, I remember He is our creator and incarnate savior,” Haarsma said. “God’s world always has more layers of mystery for his image-bearers to discover. He designs natural processes and sustains them faithfully over billions of years to produce structure and complexity.”

The Christian-faith development convocation was co-sponsored by the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the American Scientific Affiliation.

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