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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Student Organizations and Student Research

Your participation in one of the several science or health-oriented student clubs, as well as faculty personal contacts, can facilitate your entry into the clinical world:

Theta Epsilon Tau Pre-Health Student Association was previously the only Pre-Health Student Organization at Belmont. In Fall 2012 three new student groups on campus were formed for specific pre-health areas to provide instruction and information for students.


Pre-Pharmacy Student Association (PSA)

The Pre-Pharmacy Student Association is committed to providing academic, extracurricular, and career guidance for students interested in a career in pharmacy. Members of this group have the opportunity to become a member and participate in the national American Pharmacy Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists as well as the Student National Pharmaceutical Association.  Find more information on the Belmont PSA Facebook page!


2015/16 Club Officers

President:  Danielle Dauchot
Vice-President:  Lindsay McCloughan
Secretary:  Maddy Ricardo
Treasurer:  Parin Patel
Event Coordinator:  Madalyn Chilcutt

Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) - Prehealth Honor Society
AED is the National Health Pre-Professional Honor Society dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in pre-professional health scholarship, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary, and others. The Society welcomes ALL students engaged in the pursuit of a professional healthcare career. AED offers opportunities for intellectual and professional development, provides a forum for students with common interests, and extends a program of service to benefit the college/university community. Find more information on the Belmont AED Facebook page!


Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Club Members


2016/17 Club Officers

President:  Brian Song
Vice President:  Mohamed Darwish
Secretary:  Sherif Helmey
Treasurer:  Jasmine Niazi
Community Service & Outreach:  Anna Margaret McDonnell and Cody Rasner

Fall 2016 Meetings and Events

8/26 4:00 - 5:00 PM JAAC1037 Pre-Health Advising Session with Dr. Ragsdale
9/7 10:00 AM JAAC4111 AED Club meeting
9/14 10:00 AM MCWH231 Univ. of Tenn. Health Sciences Center will discuss their graduate programs
9/19 10:00 AM JAAC3058 UAG School of Medicine will discuss their programs
9/19 3:00 - 4:00 PM Honors House Jon Thorndike, MD will have a Q&A on the medical school admissions process. 
9/23 4:00 - 6:00 PM JAAC1037 College of Sciences & Mathematics Student Social, hosted by the AED Club
9/26 10:00 AM JAAC1037 Pre-Health Advising Session with Dr. Ragsdale
9/29 7:00 - 8:00 PM JAAC4094 Vaughn Science Lecture -- Dr. Christia Spears Brown will present: The Wide Lens of Discrimination: How a range of negative interactions similarly shape developmental health
10/5 10:00 AM JAAC5001 Quillen College of Medicine, ETSU representative to discuss their programs
10/7 10:00 AM JAAC4111 AED Club meeting
10/17 10:00 AM JAAC1037 Pre-Health Advising Session with Dr. Ragsdale
10/21 10:00 AM JAAC4111 AED Club meeting -- Princeton Review
11/4 10:00 AM JAAC4111 AED Club meeting -- Kaplan
11/6 5:30 PM Off Campus AED Service Event at Hope Lodge
11/18 10:00 AM JAAC4111 AED Club meeting
11/30 Various times Various locations Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS)
12/2 10:00 AM JAAC4111 AED Club meeting -- Army Healthcare
12/2 4:00 - 5:00 PM JAAC1037 Pre-Health Advising Session with Dr. Ragsdale



The Belmont Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society (AED) club recently volunteered at Project C.U.R.E. in Nashville. They teamed up with Vanderbilt’s MSA (Muslim Student Association) club to help get medical supplies ready to be shipped to a small country in Africa. The following Belmont students participated in this work: Ambrose Rice, Jacob Curry, Hannah Forgani, Curtis Brown, Prisha Patel, Madeline Durham, Hope Fenton, and Julia Quandt. The group of students packaged over 100 boxes filled with medical supplies ranging from syringes and sterile gloves to general surgery supplies. For such a small group, this was a great feet.

Volunteers are a large part of Project C.U.R.E. and volunteering gives them the opportunity to reach out and help thousands of people in developing countries around the globe by sorting through medical supplies that have been donated.  Every third world country that receives medical supplies has their packages made especially for them after a Project C.U.R.E. leader has physically visited their hospital and assessed their needs, making each truck of medical supplies donated unique and based off of each hospital’s current needs. More information about Project C.U.R.E. can be obtained from

AED Club Members Volunteer at Remote Area Medical (RAM) Event


Ambrose Rice originally heard about Remote Area Medical (RAM) from Dr. Ragsdale and thought it would be a great idea for members of the AED Pre-Health club to get to participate in one of their clinics. RAM has mobile clinics that are set up all around the United States. RAM's mission is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering by offering medical services such as check-ups, eye examinations (eye lenses are provided with a variety of frames), dental care and more at no charge to any patient that is willing to show up. RAM's standard of service combines high quality health care with compassion and cooperation from their supporters, investors, and practitioners.


Volunteering is an important thing for Remote Area Medical. Most of the physicians, dentists, nurses, and general support are all volunteers that showed up from nearby or areas that are hours away.

The Belmont AED club brought a total of thirteen students to help out in general support, arriving as early as 5:00 a.m. in Henderson, TN to assist. As a general support volunteer, our abilities were limited, but definitely needed. We began our day by registering patients. Some of these patients have waited hours or days to be seen for the first time in years by a physician. Patients began to roll in around 6:00 a.m. and for the next two hours there was a constant rush of registering patients for their various doctor's visits. It was a great experience to meet so many patients, all there for various reasons, and really gave me and the other students a great appreciation for what we have and what we could give back to the community.


From there, the groups were then split into different tasks. Some of our members were put in the dental area, where they tried to keep order to the large amount of patients, while other students were placed in the eye clinic, where they performed several small examinations to prep the patients for the optometrist. For the students with blood borne pathogen training, they were allowed to enter the dental clinic and help with fluid disposal. Fluid disposal may have been a nasty job, but not to our hearty AED members. The job was simple actually, practice aseptic technique and dispose of the bodily wastes created from the patients currently undergoing dental surgery.

Belmont Students that participated: Ambrose Rice, Hope Kramer, Kallan Hoover, Monica Bond, Julisa Nunez, Anna Margret McDonnell, Austin DeMaagd, Brook Pugsley, Libby Ligon, Nelly Grigorian, Sherif Helmey , Jasmine Niazi , Mohamed Darwish

Students with Blood Borne Pathogen Training: Ambrose Rice, Anna Margret McDonnell, Hope Kramer, Nelly Grigorian

 A few Quotes from the students that participated:

 "RAM was an incredible experience. Being able to help in any capacity was an honor either as the first face to interact with the patients or helping the dentists by keeping the equipment clean." Hope Kramer

 "Volunteering at RAM as a general support volunteer gave me the chance to see the behind the scenes work that a mobile clinic does as well as the chance to interact with patients on a different level than simply shadowing allows. It was inspiring to know the people had waited outside all night long and still hardly complained about the wait. The world needs more of the giving hearts found at RAM." Brooke Pugsley

"My experience at RAM was thoroughly enriching and was an exciting time. Many do not get the opportunity to reach out to a local community and get to interact with patients. Being a student and getting the chance to experience running a mini-clinic is amazing. I would love to get the chance to do it again." Jasmine Niazi

 "I had an amazing experience at RAM. My favorite part was working the reflector, the machine that the patients first went to for their vision tests. I got to seat the patients, talk to them, and then look at their eyes and take measurements. I also got to read and take measurements on patients' glasses." Mohamed Darwish

"Experiencing Remote Area Medical, or RAM, really opened my eyes on the shortage of doctors that the United States has in rural areas. Being able to pursue my passion of helping people in need was fulfilled with this short trip and has motivated me and reinforced my desire to pursue medicine." Julisa Nunez

"I got to be a dental assistant for a day, something I never thought I'd get to do. It was very nerve wracking since I was scared that I might hurt the patient, but I simply was given suction duties alongside a dental student. It was very informative and a chance to do some real medical work." Nelly Gregorian

"I was completely amazed by the sheer number of people who came through the doors to receive vision, dental, or general medical care, and getting to interact with these people and help them register was a really neat experience. To see so many people receive the healthcare they needed and be so appreciative and grateful was truly a humbling experience, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to be a small part of it. I plan to volunteer at a RAM clinic again when they come back to Tennessee!"  Libby Ligon

Alpha Epsilon Delta Volunteers at Hope Lodge

Belmont’s Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) club members spent time making dinner and dining with patients living at Hope Lodge on October 14, 2015. The AED club members that participated were Cody Rasner, Jillian Polk, Kyle Bailey, Nelly Grigorian, Savannah Morrow, Anna Margaret McDonnell and Brian Song.

Since 2004, The American Cancer Society’s Memorial Foundation Hope Lodge in Nashville has offered a solution to cancer patients who must undergo treatment far from home. The Hope Lodge provides housing free of charge on a first-come, first served basis to patients and their families during their course of treatment. The Lodge not only reduces the financial burden, but also provides a much needed supportive environment. 

AED Club Members Participate in the
2015 Greater Nashville Heart Walk


Nine members from the Belmont Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) – Pre-Health Honor Society student organization participated in the 2015 Greater Nashville Heart Walk on Saturday, October 3, 2015.  The Heart Walk is a 5K and big fundraiser for the American Heart Association. 

AED Club Volunteers at Ronald McDonald House

Belmont student members of the Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) – Premedical Honor Society, made and served breakfast to guests at the Ronald McDonald House on a recent Sunday morning. The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville is to “keep families close” by providing essential resources and a “home away from home” for families of critically ill children receiving inpatient or outpatient medical care at Nashville area hospitals. The programs run by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville include a 32-bedroom Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room on the 5th Floor of the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.


The six AED club members cooked a big breakfast of eggs, pancakes, toast, and bacon along with juice and yogurt and the leftovers, along with the extra food and supplies they brought, are gathered and put in the community kitchen fridge for guests to have throughout the week.

Tennessee Physiological Society Meeting

The Fifth Annual Tennessee Physiological Society Meeting was held at Belmont University on Friday, November 22nd in Beaman A&B.  This society, chartered in 2009 as a chapter of The American Physiological Society, seeks to "enhance and advance the field of physiology with all its molecular, cellular, organ and organismal basic and applied disciplines of research and education and unite the Physiologists for this purpose within the State of Tennessee.”  Dr. Nick Ragsdale, Associate Professor of Biology at Belmont University, serves as President of this organization.

The keynote speakers at the meeting included Dr. Edgar Diaz-Cruz, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Belmont University, who presented "Tamoxifen or letrozole … Which drug will better treat my breast cancer?" There were also poster presentations by undergraduate and graduate students from the Middle Tennessee area. Justin Hughes and D’angeleau Newsome from Belmont University tied for the best undergraduate presentation award and the $100 cash prize.


There were four Belmont students that presented research posters:

Justin Hughes, a Biology major, presented “Study of Caffeine’s Neuroprotective effects on Caenorhabditis Elegans treated with 6-hydroxydopamine”. His faculty advisor is Nick Ragsdale.

Taylor Brown, a Biology major, presented “HPLC Measured Nucleotide Concentrations in Staphylococcus aureus Infected and Uninfected Caenorhabditis elegans”.  Her faculty advisor is Nick Ragsdale.

Maria Martino, a Biology major, presented “The Effect of the Tub-1 Gene on Mortality of Caenorhabditis elegans Infected with Staphylococcus aureus”. Her faculty advisor is Nick Ragsdale.

D’Angeleau Newsome, a Biology major, presented “Affect of Hypoxia Inducible Factor on Mortality of Ceanorhabditis elegans Infected with Staphylococcus aureus”. His faculty advisor is Nick Ragsdale.

Psi Chi - The National Honor Society in Psychology
Psychology Club
Beta Beta Beta - The Biological Honorary Society
Beta Chi
SMACS - Student Members of the American Chemical Society