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Events & News

Fall 2014 Club Meetings and Activities

August 29
10:00 AM     TBD
Beta Chi Meeting

September 15
7:00 - 8:00 PM     Beaman A&B
Vaughn Science Lecture

September 19

10:00 AM     Neely Black & White
Summer Scholars Poster Session

September 22

2:00 PM     Wedgewood Conference Center 4094
Dr. Davon Ferrara, Physics, will present: From Billions of Years to Attoseconds: Experiments and Their Timescales

September 26
10:00 AM     TBD
Beta Chi Meeting

October 22
4:30 - 5:30 PM     WAC1037
SMACS presents: Hey! Look at this Awesome Science!, a National Chemistry Week event

October 23

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM      Cafeteria
SMACS, as part of National Chemistry Week, will have a Pin the Element on the Periodic Table event

October 24
10:00 a.m.       TBD
Beta Chi Meeting

October 25
SMACS will be participating in a Breast Cancer Walk 

December 1
Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS)
4:00 PM     Keynote Address
12:00 - 5:00 PM and 7:00 - 10:00 PM Student Presentations

Pharmaceutical Studies students assist with Drug Take-Back Event

drug_takebackOn Saturday, September 27th, Belmont graduate and undergraduate students and Belmont Chemistry faculty member Dr. Kimberlee Daus participated in the Dickson County Drug Take-Back event.  This event was held on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and was coordinated by Vanderbilt University and the Dickson Police Department.  Working alongside faculty and students from Vanderbilt and Lipscomb Universities were 12 Belmont Undergraduate Pharmaceutical Studies students and Belmont Graduate Pharmacy students and faculty. The group cataloged and counted more than 50 pounds of medication.  The National Drug Take-Back Day, set by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), provides a service to the community through safe and responsible disposal of unused medication. Additionally, these events help to educate the public about the potential of drug abuse associated with these medications. There were over 5,200 collection sites across the country.

drug_takebackThe Pharmaceutical Studies students shown in the group photo are: Front row (L to R) Samantha Perkowski, Jennifer Shin, Heather Stice, Madeline Ricardo, Hiedi Habib; Back row (L to R):  Ryan Lipe, Madalyn Chilcutt, Rachael Grussing, Kasey Kolb, Bella Watson, Savannah Bobo-Bressler, Danielle Dauchot.

Daus Receives Chaney Distinguished Professor Award
CAS associate dean of sciences and professor of chemistry, Kim Daus, was named the 2014-15 Chaney Distinguished Professor. The Chaney Distinguished Professor Award, determined on the basis of superior teaching, is presented each year to a faculty member who best represents the vision of the university to be a “premier teaching institution.” Of the honor, Daus said, "For me, receiving the Chaney Teaching award is truly a reflection of the best of Belmont – the amazing students who work so diligently to learn, the wonderful mentors and colleagues who encourage and inspire me in my teaching, and the strong administration who support and value classroom teaching. I am very honored and humbled to be this year's recipient of the Chaney Teaching Award."

Better Eating Through Chemistry


Dr. Kim Daus led a Maymester Junior Cornerstone course titled "Better Eating Through Chemistry: Using Chemistry to Improve Local Cuisine".  The course is a great way to get non-science majors excited about organic chemistry while also encouraging better eating habits in college students. The course met five days a week for three weeks and included lectures, readings, problem solving assignments, research, field trips, experimentation and intensive group work and assessment.  eatingEach week students received a challenge that set up their research and collaboration for the following days. For example, students ate lunch locally at La Hacienda and Mas Tacos Por Favor and then were challenged to research and prepare a healthy, vegetarian Hispanic meal as one of their group projects. In addition to presenting their plates to the class, each group also had to explain the rationales for the recipes they created before all the participants got to test their research through a class meal. Field trips included visits to Noble Dairy Farm, Delvin Farm, and the Nashville Farmer's Market.

Belmont hosts the Tennessee Academy of Science Middle Division Collegiate meeting

Belmont University's School of Sciences hosted this year's Tennessee Academy of Science (TAS) Middle Division Collegiate Annual Meeting, on April 12th. Dr. Duane Hatch, of the Chemistry Department, coordinated this event. There were 30 undergraduate students that presented their research. They were from Belmont, Tennessee State University, University of the South (Sewanee), Rhodes College, Volunteer State Community College and Austin Peay State University.  There were five different sessions: chemistry, zoology, cell biology, math and computer science and environmental science. The following Belmont students won awards:

  • Lee McGill, Chemistry, second place
  • Emily Mason, Zoology, first place
  • Valini Ramcharan, Zoology, second place
  • Morgan Arrants, Cell Biology, second place

Several Belmont School of Science faculty served as judges and moderators, including Darlene Panvini, John Niedzwiecki, Robert Grammer, Lori McGrew, Rachel Rigsby, Justin Stace and Danny Biles.

The Tennessee Academy of Science seeks to promote scientific research and the diffusion of knowledge concerning science; to secure communication between persons engaged in scientific work, especially in Tennessee; to assist by investigation and discussion in developing and making known the material, educational and other resource and riches of the state; to arrange and prepare for publication such reports of investigations and discussions as they further the aims and objectives of the academy.

Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium
April 15, 2014
Keynote Address 5:30 PM
Student Presentations 12:00 - 5:00 PM and 7:00 - 10:00 PM

Physics Students Present "Circus"

Members of the Society of Physics Students recently presented a "Physics Circus" convocation event.

The students presented various intriguing and exciting physics demonstrations. Physics students showed and explained the science behind phenomena such as beautiful Chladni patterns, the "ring launcher" device, alien-looking ferrofluid formations, and more.  Dr. Scott Hawley, Associate Professor of Physics, serves as the faculty advisor for this student organization.

Chemistry Students Present at American Chemical Society Conference


Dr. Rachel Rigsby and Dr. Alison Moore, both Associate Professors of Chemistry, took five students to the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) that was held March 16-20, 2014 in Dallas, TX.  The ACS' 247th National Meeting & Exposition featured thousands of presentations on new discoveries in science. The topics included food and nutrition, medicine, health, energy, the environment, and other fields where chemistry plays a central role. Some connected with the meeting’s theme of “Chemistry and Materials for Energy,” which showcases energy technologies. The National ACS meeting is host to more than 15,000 chemists from all disciplines and career paths (undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, professors, post-docs, researchers, industry representatives, and more).

Belmont students Vickie Lim, Daniel Beagan, and Lee McGill presented research posters at the conference.  Bavly Daowd, Vickie Lim, and Leena Patel presented a poster on Belmont’s Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society’s (SMACS) activities.  They also accepted a Commendable Award for their SMACS chapter activities for the 2012-13 academic year.

CSI: Belmont


Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Alison Moore and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) led an interactive crime-solving event for students during a recent convocation event. With a theme reminiscent of the popular CBS TV series “CSI,” students were challenged to play the role of Crime Scene Investigators and draw conclusions about a hypothetical crime based on their research.


Students looked at evidence including fingerprints, DNA analysis and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, which identifies different substances within a test sample. The students also investigated footprints and the ink chromatography of a note to evaluate suspects in a supposed murder. Evidence was used to include or exclude suspects during the investigation.


Earlier in the week, the “CSI: Belmont” experience also offered a visit from a training specialist from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), who talked about the educational background required to work in crime investigation as well as the training investigators go through after they get the job.