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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

GPS Staff

david_thumbnailDAVID M. SNEED, Ed. D.

Director, Growth & Purpose for Students

Contact David: 615-460-5701 or e-mail

Dr. David Sneed came to Belmont University in 2011 to lead the development of the Sophomore Year Experience. At the conclusion of the inaugural year, the staff realized that offering services to a wider range of the student body was needed so we developed the Growth & Purpose for Students (GPS) program. While much of the activity is focused on students during their 2nd, 3rd and 4th semesters, we will assist any student looking for direction.

"We know that students, at Belmont and at other institutions, sometimes meet specific challenges that are unique to that period after the initial semester of orientation to the university," Sneed said. “Belmont has decided to assist students in meeting these challenges head-on as well as helping all students more fully explore options available to them as they move into the intense period of major courses during the junior and senior years.”

Dr. Sneed received his Ed.D. in Higher Education from the University of Memphis, and his M.A. in Education and his B.S. in Agriculture Education from Western Kentucky University. He last served as Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students and Special Counsel to the President of Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. Prior to his work in West Virginia, he was Dean of Students at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Nicole Phillips, MA - GPS Coordinator

Contact Nicole: 615-460-5702 or e-mail

Nicole Phillips joined the GPS team as the GPS Coordinator in August 2015, but has a much longer history at Belmont. In addition to two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English Writing, from the university, Nicole has also worked at Belmont since 2011. She also teaches as an adjunct professor for the English department. We like to joke that she embodies #BelmonttilIdie. Her favorite aspect of her job is helping students untangle difficult situations and identifying exciting opportunities so that they are able to better understand themselves, the world around them, and their purpose on this earth. In addition to regularly meeting with students and several other responsibilities, Nicole supervises the GPS Coaches and works closely with Dr. Sneed to address the needs of students and to develop the operations of the office to meet that end. "It's energizing to work with such positive and caring people who are willing to invest so much time into the lives of our students."

When she's not at work, Nicole loves spending time her husband JL, who is also a Belmont graduate, her beloved dog Kazmo, friends and family. She is in the process of drafting her first novel and enjoys traveling, Diet Coke, reading, and baked goods.

Evin, GPS Coach

Evin Edens, a Mount Juliet, Tennessee native, is no stranger to Belmont, as she is soon to be a two-time graduate of the university. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing in 2015 and is currently working on her Master of Sport Administration degree. As a former member of the Belmont Women’s Golf team, her heavy interest in collegiate athletics has led her to a Graduate Assistant position in Fan Development with Belmont Athletics. She can often be found on the sidelines of many Belmont sporting events, where she accommodates group outings and helps in organizing student-centered promotions. When she’s not on the field or court, she’s in the office catering to Belmont Basketball’s loyal season ticket holders. Evin also serves as the Intern for Student-Athlete Development in Belmont Athletics, where she serves as an Academic Counselor to freshman and transfer student-athletes all while developing personal and professional growth programming for all athletic teams. Her internship in Student-Athlete Development led to her interest in GPS, along with her personal connection to GPS. She was among some of the initial students to be helped by GPS, and when she heard that she would have the opportunity to assist students who are in the same position as she had been, she couldn’t resist.
Evin is excited to help students excel at the institution she’s grown to love. She hopes that her slight addiction to organization, cute planners, and pretty-colored pens will allow her to assist other students in time management and organization throughout their own college careers. In her spare time, Evin enjoys hiking to find the best views, attempting to cook after watching Chopped, playing sports and listening to any and all kinds of music.


Liz, GPS Coach

Liz joined the GPS team in January 2016 and has worked in higher education for the past five years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Religion from the University of Florida and her Master of Education in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of West Florida. Liz has experience working in many different areas of student affairs including the student government association, career services, and admissions. Most recently, Liz served as a career advisor and adjunct instructor in the Career Development Center at Middle Tennessee State University where she assisted students with career planning, vocational exploration, and implementing an effective job search.

Liz is currently enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Vanderbilt University where she is interested in exploring the intersection of faith, vocational discernment, and calling. She hopes to work in a vocational discernment role assisting students with developing effective and meaningful career plans which prepare students for a life of engaged citizenship and service to the world after college.
Liz’s interests include career-readiness among college students, career development for adult learners, emerging adults and calling, social media and branding for millennials, social justice initiatives, and interfaith work and programming. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her husband and pup, reading, cooking, watching the Florida Gators play football, and talking about theology.


Melissa, GPS Coach

Melissa joins the GPS team from Vanderbilt University, where she is finishing up her M.Ed ('17) in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Student Affairs. She attended Rollins College (B.A. '15) where she obtained her degree in Music with a double minor in Secondary Education and Spanish. After living in Spain, she realized her passion for working with college students to help them become responsible leaders and active global citizens. She currently works in the Office of Active Citizenship and Service at Vanderbilt University where she advises student service organizations, plans large-scale programs, and connects students to the community both locally and globally.
Here at GPS, Melissa is excited to assist students as they discern their vocation and calling. She loves consulting students in their academic pursuits, exploring possibilities, and learning more about their foundations and passions in order to best fit them to a major that will inspire and drive them to fulfilling and purposeful career. In her free time, Melissa enjoys exploring Nashville's food and beverage scene, reading in local coffeeshops, discussing religion and social justice, hiking, working out, and engaging in conversation with old and new friends.


Michael, GPS Coach

Michael comes to the GPS team with a variety of experience in non-profit operations and hospitality management. He attended the University of Vermont first as a Music Education major, but after a year of intense study and discernment, he changed majors and now holds a B.S. in Community and International Development with a minor in Spanish. During that time, he studied in Chile and loves to talk with others considering Study Abroad. His degree and passion for service led him to apply for an AmeriCorps position in Philadelphia, where he moved upon graduating. In Philly, Michael met his partner, developed a great community of friends, and worked at a variety of non-profits, focusing on Food Justice and Public Benefit issues. He eventually took a job at a Quaker retreat and conference center, where he managed the Guest Services Department and facilitated staff meetings. Outside of work, he started a discussion group for men to provide emotional support to each other.
Here at GPS, Michael is excited to assist Belmont students in the project of integrating their life and academic experiences so as to move mindfully in the present moment, and onward into the future. He loves helping with check-lists, spreadsheets, and logistical details. In his free time, Michael enjoys bicycling, cooking, hiking, and talking with other men about ways to support each other in living emotionally rich, nonviolent lives.


Shantae, GPS Coach

Shantae joins the GPS team as a practicum student, earning her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at Vanderbilt University. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Psychology, she began her career in higher education in areas such as admissions and advising primarily in community colleges. Her interests lie in academic advising and working with transfer and first-generation students. Shantae enjoys helping students transition into and navigate their way through their college experience.

In her seemingly nonexistent spare time, Shantae likes to explore the Warner Parks, check out Nashville’s food scene, and nap as frequently as possible.