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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
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


2015/16 Club Officers

President:  Brian Song
Convocation Chair:  Prisha Patel
Pre-Med Advising Chair:  Austin DeMaagd
Treasurer:  Mohamed Darwish
Community Outreach Chairs:  Anna Margaret McDonnell and Ambrose Rice

Fall 2015 Meetings and Events

September 2       4:00 - 5:00 PM                        WAC1037       AED Club is sponsoring an ice cream social for all science clubs
September 4    10:00 AM WAC4111 AED Club Meeting -- Introductory meeting to discuss plans for the semester
September 16 10:00 AM WAC3079 AED Club Meeting -- University of Tennessee will be discussing their graduate programs
September 28                4:00 PM WAC5001 AED Club Meeting -- Dr. Jennifer Kimble, Director of Admissions at Vanderbilt Medical School,  will be discussing the graduate school admission process  
October 2 10:00 AM WAC4111 AED Club Meeting-- Peer mentoring
October 3 7:00 - 10:00 AM  AED Club Service Event -- Vandy Heart Walk
October 5 10:00 AM WAC2141 Pre-Pharmacy Club meeting
October 7 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM                                 AED Club Bake Sale  
October 14 10:00 AM WAC4098 Admissions Counselor from ETSU Quillen College of Medicine
October 16 10:00 AM WAC1034 Biology Dept. Speaker panel to discuss "Biomedical Graduate and Medical Programs: Which is right for me?"
October 19 10:00 AM WAC5001 AED Club Meeting -- Princeton Review representative to discuss MCAT
October 23 10:00 AM Sport Science Center Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy panel to discuss PT and OT school
October 26 10:00 AM WAC5001 QPR Training (Suicide Prevention for Bystanders) -- sponsored by AED Club
October 28 10:00 AM Chapel Faith & Science -- Dr. Cymbeline Culiat, President and CSO of Nell One Therapeutics. Co-sponsored by the College of Sciences & Mathematics 
November 2 10:00 AM WAC2141 Pre-Pharmacy Club meeting
November 6 10:00 AM WAC 4111 AED Club Meeting
November 10 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM  WAC 3rd floor atrium Sgt. Gerardo Guzman will be available to discuss the US Army Health Profession Scholarship
November 20                           10:00 AM WAC4111 AED Club Meeting -- Kaplan MCAT Jeopardy
December 3 4:00 - 5:00 PM WAC4094 2015 Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) Keynote address
December 4 10:00 AM WAC4111 AED Club Meeting  
December 7 10:00 AM WAC2141 Pre-Pharmacy Club meeting

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

ramAmbrose 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.

ramVolunteering 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.

ramFrom 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.

Pre-Health Students Volunteer at Project Cure



Belmont University Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Premedical Honor Society members volunteered at Project Cure-Nashville on Saturday, March 21st, from 9:00 AM -12 noon. The AED Club members participating were Nancy Le, Libby Ligon, Madeline Johnson, Austin DeMaagd, Himesh Zaver, Jacob Dahm, Brooke Pugsley, and Alicia Hsu. AED members sorted through a lot of medical supplies such as IV tubing, suture supplies, and casts/braces on Saturday and made them ready to be shipped off.

Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) was founded in 1987.  Project Cure - Nashville is one of 5 distribution centers in the United States where donated medical supplies are sorted, packaged, and labeled to be sent to various countries that do not have the healthcare system or infrastructure that we have. Thanks to the dedication of thousands of volunteers nationwide, two to three cargo containers of life-saving aid leave Project C.U.R.E.’s warehouses every week. For more information on Project Cure, click on this link:  http://projectcure.org/about/history

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.

tpsThere 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