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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.

Maren E. Bishop, M.Ed.

Coordinator, Growth & Purpose for Students

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

Maren joined the GPS team as the Coordinator in June 2017. No stranger to Belmont, Maren has worked at the university since 2005 and completed her Master of Education degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication at Belmont in 2011. Her previous roles included admissions, enrollment management, advising, event planning, scholarship management and “other duties as assigned” while working with students, faculty and staff in the health sciences as well as the visual and performing arts.

A Nashville native, Maren completed her B.S. in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and decided during her undergraduate studies that she wanted to work with college students. She loves assisting students as they discover their own ways to thrive in the Belmont community. Outside of Belmont, Maren enjoys spending time with her family, running and reading.


GPS Coaching Staff


Amanda, GPS Coach

Amanda is excited to return to GPS for Spring 2018. Amanda has been involved at Belmont in almost every capacity possible: she received her undergraduate degree in Journalism in 2004, worked on university staff from 2004-2009 in various marketing and public relations roles, returned to get her Master’s in English, and when not coaching in GPS is teaching First Year Writing courses both at Belmont and Nashville State Community College. Amanda loves working in the GPS office, especially with those students who feel unsettled and want to explore different options for their time at Belmont. When not at Belmont, Amanda loves cheering on the New England Patriots, the Kentucky Wildcats, going to yoga and dance classes, and spending as much time as possible with her husband Allen, fur-child Granger, and human-child Ruby (who she will happily show you pictures of, on request or not).


Joanna, GPS Coach

Joanna joined the GPS team as a Coach in January 2018. She began her undergraduate experience at Wellesley College, and later transferred to Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, she graduated with a B.A. in Latin American Studies. As a college student, Joanna was a student athlete on the rowing team at Vanderbilt, and was involved with Greek Life. She also served as an Academic Peer Tutor in her residence hall, providing students with guidance on a range of academic issues, including class registration, choosing a major and study skills. 

While not at the GPS office, Joanna works full-time as a Paralegal for investment bank and is an Assistant Coach to the Vanderbilt Rowing team.


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 recently completed her Master of Divinity degree program at Vanderbilt University. 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.

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.


Nichole, GPS Coach

Nichole joined the GPS team in January 2018. She attended UCLA as an undergraduate student and majored in Environmental Science (B.S.) with a minor in Conservation Biology. As a college student, Nichole spent her summers working as an orientation leader for incoming first-year and transfer students. During the school year, she worked as a peer academic advisor to answer students’ questions about academic requirements and course planning. After graduating, she spent a year working at a community college Writing Center in central California.

Now, Nichole is pursuing an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University. In addition to being a full-time student, she also works part-time in Vanderbilt’s Office of the Provost as a Graduate Assistant and tutors high school students on the weekends. After graduating, she hopes to work with college students at a higher education institution. She loves to assist students in their progression from high school through college. Her academic interests include college admissions, academic advising, Greek life, and orientation. When not studying for her graduate classes or working, Nichole likes to explore local Nashville restaurants, watch Netflix, spend time with her cohort, and play guitar.


Olivia, GPS Coach 

Olivia joined the GPS team as a Coach in January 2018. She is a second year student in the M.Ed. Higher Education Administration program at Vanderbilt University where she also works as a Graduate Assistant for Marketing and Communication in the Office of Housing and Residential Education. Olivia graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a concentration in Graphic Design and Editing and a Spanish language minor. As an undergraduate student, she worked as an writer and photographer for the Office of Development Communications and for the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity. After graduating, she was selected as a 2015-16 Chancellor's Fellow and worked full-time for one year in the Office of the Chancellor to support initiatives within student affairs, innovation  and entrepreneurship. 

Olivia enjoys all mediums of artistic expression, particularly live music! She also deeply loves animals and can be seen walking Belmont Blvd. with her dog, Otto. After graduating in May 2018, Olivia hopes to combine her passions for visual communication, student success and advising in a professional role within higher education. 


Phillip, GPS Coach 

Philip is a graduate student at Belmont, working on his masters degree in Sports Administration. Philip has been with the office for a year, and offers a unique perspective as his bachelors degree is from Belmont as well. He is currently an events intern with Nashville Sports Council and hopes to move to Chicago upon graduating in May.


Van, GPS Coach 

After a fifteen-year bank presidency and a seventeen-year pastorate, Van entered Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2016 as a fulltime student to satisfy an academic itch and develop a compelling vision for the "third chapter" of his life. His thorough appreciation of the value of cross-generational engagement - the young and the once-young learning and working together - led Van to volunteer as a GPS coach. "I often turn to the iGeneration for mentoring, for their expertise and energy, and hopefully I can offer them the experience and perspective that comes with aging," he said. "I have a strong desire to see Belmont students succeed in their college journey, career and calling journey, and most importantly, the journey of life."