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Spring 2015 Club Meetings and Activities

January 23
10:00 AM     TBD
Beta Chi Meeting

January 28
5:00 PM     WAC 5001
SMACS Club Meeting -- Kara Allen from Aegis Chemical will discuss resumes, job applications, etc.

February 11

5:00 PM     WAC 5001
Chocolate: The World's Perfect Food -- Join SMACS and Dr. Kimberlee Daus as they explore the chemistry of chocolate

February 24
5:30 PM     Aegis Science Corporation
ACS Program --Chemistry on the Silver Screen webinar -- SMACS event

February 25
5:00 PM     WAC 5001
SMACS Club Meeting -- Study Session

February 27
10:00 AM    WAC4111
Beta Chi Meeting

March 16
10:00 AM     WAC 4110
SMACS Club Meeting

March 25
5:00 PM     WAC 5001
SMACS Club Meeting

March 27
10:00 AM    WAC4098
Beta Chi Meeting

April 8
5:00 PM     WAC 5001
SMACS Club Meeting

April 16
5:30 - 6:30 PM     WAC4094
2015 Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium
Keynote speaker Dr. Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College, will present: Dante's Global Vision: Seeing and Being Seen in the Divine Comedy


April 18
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM     2nd Floor WAC
Belmont is hosting the 2015 TAS Middle Division Collegiate Meeting for Undergraduate Research


April 22
5:00 PM     WAC 5001
SMACS Club Meeting


April 24
10:00 AM    WAC4098
Beta Chi Meeting


Chocolate: The World's Perfect Food
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In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) and Dr. Kimberlee Daus, Chemistry Professor, hosted a convocation event on the chemistry elements of Chocolate. Nutrition researcher Michael Levine, among others, has described chocolate as being the world's perfect food—chemically speaking. During this standing-room-only event, they talked about the six different possible crystalline states that are possible for chocolate – Stage V is desired for the ultimate physical characteristics (shiny with the nice “snap”) and demonstrated how to achieve it through tempering. They also discussed why Hershey’s chocolate has such a distinct taste and looked at the different chemicals responsible for the “feel good” aspects of chocolate. During this fun event, they explored the chemistry of chocolate, what makes chocolate really the perfect food, and had chocolate chemistry fun!

Physics students attend meeting of the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA)

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Belmont physics students and faculty attended the January Meeting of the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), a division of the American Physical Society.  The meeting was held at Omega Lab, a studio owned & operated by Belmont alumnus Robert McClain (Music Business with Production Emphasis, ’82).  Omega Lab has received worldwide recognition not only for its uniqueness – the structure is a large army tent, powered via car batteries & car amplifiers, and boasts a set of IMAX speakers for 7.1 studio monitoring – but also for producing the Mando Blues radio show and for recently recording two of the Top-10-rated regional albums of 2014 according to the Nashville Bridge magazine.  The meeting topic was a discussion on studio calibration for film and cinema production.  In attendance were Belmont students Chris Waggy and Austin Arnold, both currently enrolled in PHY2250 “Electronics & Circuit Theory’, and Belmont Physics professor Dr. Scott Hawley, who serves as the Vice President for the organization.   Nashville’s ASA Chapter is open to students, scientists, audio engineers and musicians, has monthly meetings in the Nashville area, and has grown to roughly 40 members since its inception in June 2014.  For further information, visit http://musiccityasa.org


Student Presents Research at
Acoustical Society of America Meeting

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Graduating senior Benjamin Shaw, mathematics and audio engineering technology double major, recently spoke at the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) meeting, held in the historic Nashville recording studio, Columbia Studio A.

Shaw presented his senior research work on acoustical measurements and simulations of the control room for the studio. Ben’s research, supervised by Sal Greco of Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios and Associate Professor of Physics, Dr. Scott Hawley, evaluated the frequency response of the room and made recommendations for improvements.  To do this, he used a sophisticated open source acoustical simulation program, run on Dr. Hawley’s 24-processor research workstation.

The talk was attended by members of the ASA and Belmont communities.  Those present remarked on the professionalism of Shaw’s presentation and how it was among the finest undergraduate research presentations they have seen.

In May, Belmont University and the Curb Family Foundation announced the completed renovation of Columbia Studio A as a classroom and hands-on learning lab for students in Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.



Chemistry Students Participate in STEM Poetry Slam Competition

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Five students from Dr. Kimberlee Daus’ Organic Chemistry I class competed in the first ever Middle Tennessee STEM Poetry Slam Competition held November 5th at the Bistro at Emma, Nashville, TN.  The contest, open to area high school and college students, was presented by the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub.  Poems were invited that either explained a challenging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) concept or inspired young people to pursue STEM-related fields.   All poetry had to be written and performed by the entrant. All students in Daus’ class were invited to enter the contest as a quiz challenge to address difficult content in organic chemistry.  Sydney Gangluff, Angel Brothers, Sarah Cannavino, Miranda West, and Kathryn Hook (L to R in pic) were selected as 5 of the 16 finalists.  Kathryn Hook and Miranda West were selected as top winners in the science category.  Their entry, entitled “Mechalicious,” explained the difference between SN1 and SN2 reaction mechanisms. Here is a link to their video: http://youtu.be/Jhpzsi1llik


Pharmaceutical Studies students assist with Drug Take-Back Event

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On 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.

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The 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
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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

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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.



Physics Students Present "Circus"

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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.


CSI: Belmont


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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.

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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.

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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.

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