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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Student Recognition

The David R. Hill Environmental Science Award

Headshot of Sandra Bojic

2017 Recipient:  Sandra Bojic

  • 2016 Recipient:  Melissa Martin
  • 2015 Recipient:  Lindsay Millward
  • 2014 Recipient:  Katelyn Keast
  • 2013 Recipient:  Sarah Gilmore
  • 2012 Recipient:  Erin Pitts
  • 2011 Recipient:  Ariel Ouellette
  • 2010 Recipient:  Lindsay Walker
  • 2009 Recipient:  Allison Berwald
  • 2008 Recipient:  Claire Beck
  • 2007 Recipient:  Katie Dillon

Biology Alum Receives First Place Award for Student Research

millwardBiology alum Lindsay Millward (2016) received the first place Frank G. Brooks Award for Excellence in Student Research in Ecology at the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society National Convention in St. Paul, MN in June 2016.  Lindsay’s research was on “Leaf Decomposition Rate Differs Between Invasive Exotic Lonicera maackii and Native Acer saccharum in a Temperate Deciduous Forest” that she completed as part of her senior research project with biology professor Dr. Darlene Panvini.  In April, Lindsay won first place in the regional Tri Beta District II oral presentation session and received an award that paid for her expenses to the national convention.  Lindsay will begin a Master’s program in ecology this fall at Central Washington University where she received a teaching assistantship.   

Martin to Attend Vermont Law School’s New Frontiers Program

Sophomore Missy Martin recently accepted a position in Vermont Law School’s 2016 New Frontiers in Environmental Science summer program. Vermont Law School is ranked number one in the nation for environmental law by U.S. News and World Report. Martin will join five other undergraduate students and approximately 15 Juris Doctor students in her summer classes.

The program aims to aid undergraduate students in becoming agents of change. Martin, who hopes to apply to graduate school to complete a dual degree in environmental science and environmental law, said participating in the program is the first step in accomplishing this goal. “I can change policy, change destructive habits and change communities. I want to change the world – not just fit in it,” she said. “This opportunity allows me to experience first-hand what it means to pursue a law degree. I have the chance to collaborate with amazing people from a variety of backgrounds who aspire to channel their unique talents, passions and ideas to sustain a healthy, just and thriving planet through the power of the law.”

Students Grant Earns $6,000 for Genesis Learning Centers

A local nonprofit organization has earned a $6,000 grant, thanks to the work of two Belmont students. As part of the Fall 2013 Social Entrepreneurship 4150 Grant Writing course, Environmental Science majors Ashley Allen and Erin Pitts wrote a grant for Genesis Learning Centers. The Memorial Foundation and the Christy-Houston Foundation funded the grant, Genesis Learning Center Autistic Sensory Room Project. Genesis Executive Director Terry Adams also has used some of the information from the grant in a contract application to Metro-Nashville Schools and a grant application to the HCA Foundation.

Erin Pitts subject of article in Friends of Warner Parks newsletter

Erin Pitts, a senior at Belmont University majoring in Environmental Science, was recently spotlighted in an article in the Friends of Warner Parks newsletter. Erin was a seasonal naturalist at the Warner Park Nature Center from June to August of 2012. During her tenure she taught interpretive programs and interacted with Nature Center's visitors.

Throughout summer and fall in 2012, she could be found conducting bird research at the Richland Creek Greenway, Shelby Bottoms, or at the constructed wetland adjacent to the Nissan North America headquarters in Cool Springs. Erin presented the findings of two bird research projects at the Tennessee Academy of Science annual conference this past November. The Richland Creek project, conducted with Nashville State Community College and the help of some Warner Park Nature Center staff as volunteers, examined the effects of habitat fragmentation on avian populations in urban areas. Findings showed that the areas with the most continuous tree canopy coverage had the highest overall species counts.

The other research project, conducted with Belmont University, compared avian populations within a constructed wetland (Nissan in Cool Springs) and a natural wetland (Shelby Bottoms). In addition to taking bird counts, Erin utilized diversity indexes to reveal which wetland hosted a higher diversity of species. She will continue to share her enthusiasm for the outdoors by leading interpretive programs at Beaman Park and the Warner Parks this winter and spring.