Lipscomb adapts to pandemic with LipscombFLEX and new classroom technology

Lipscomb adapts to pandemic with LipscombFLEX and new classroom technology

Lipscomb is responding to the COVID pandemic by instituting LipscombFLEX, a classroom model that will accommodate health protocols and still allow students and faculty to interact. “The goal of the LipscombFLEX method is that students should receive an equivalent experience whether they are physically in the classroom or learning online,” said Andy Borchers, Lipscomb University professor and coordinator for fall classroom accommodations. LipscombFLEX will use video conferencing, new cameras, microphones, and online platforms to allow faculty to teach both students in the classroom and remotely online. Instruction has the option to be either all at the same class time or in asynchronous methods such as online written discussion groups or collaborative web platforms. “The new LipscombFLEX model essentially has every professor preparing for face-to-face class, but also fully preparing to be remote and online if they need to be,” said Lipscomb President Randy Lowry. Borchers describes a three-part plan for applying this modified Hyflex (short for “hybrid’’ and ‘‘flexible’’) model in education for the fall semester. “First, we inventoried all of the classrooms, to see how many students we could seat following the 6-feet limitations, which came out to about 30 percent to 50 percent capacity,” said Borchers. “Then we identified 40 classrooms across the campus that are going to receive a ‘Zoom Room’ installation,” Borchers said. “It will mean having a camera mounted typically on the ceiling with microphones, allowing teachers a mixture of students either physically in the room or remote.” More than 60 percent of students enrolled in classes will be in one of the “Zoom Rooms’’ on campus, while the other 40 percent will be divided...
Men’s basketball team discovers new ways to connect during COVID-altered summer

Men’s basketball team discovers new ways to connect during COVID-altered summer

Staying in touch with his basketball team during this COVID summer has been so unpredictable and new that it’s been like “building the bridge as we go,” said coach Lennie Acuff, describing the frustrations and adaptations that have been necessary to try to get the team ready from a distance rather than the sidelines. “It’s just really been like nothing we’ve ever encountered,” said Acuff. “We work really hard to stay in contact with our guys. We do Zoom calls once a week with them, and then we are also trying to recruit, which has been really hard.” By this point in the summer, the upcoming year’s team has typically been together for over a month, living on campus in the month of June for summer classes, practices and basketball camp. But this year,  Acuff has not even been allowed to enter his office for almost four months. “Tomorrow’s going to be the first day we’re going to be allowed to go back to the office,” said Acuff on Tuesday, July 30. “So we’ve been doing everything remotely. It is for sure something we’ve never experienced, and I hope and pray we never have to again.” Coaches and staff already face challenges to stay connected virtually with the returning players. It is a more difficult task when it comes to the incoming players, according to Acuff. “It’s hard — really, really, really hard. I think that there’s only so much you can do on the phone,” said Acuff. “We signed two kids early in November that we know really well: Tommy Murr and Will Pruitt. “We know them well...
Lipscomb introduces new protocols to on-campus food service

Lipscomb introduces new protocols to on-campus food service

It’s no secret that college campuses will look different this semester. With safety at top priority, Lipscomb has created some new ways for students to eat on campus.  There have been new dining options, a full-service Chick-fil-A and even a healthy snack bar added to Bennett in preparation for students’ arrival in the fall. “We will be doing some fairly dramatic changing in terms of food service,” said President Randy Lowry in a conversation with Lumination about dining at Lipscomb this fall. Lowry talked about four specific changes that students will notice come August. The first “dramatic change” Lowry noted was the limiting of seating in Bison Cafe to half of its usual capacity, in order to follow social distancing guidelines. To accommodate for this loss of seating, there will now be seating available in two additional spaces: Room 1891 and downstairs in Shamblin.  Not only will there be a reduction in seating, but the serving of the food itself will no longer look the same either.  That’s where the next two major changes come into play. “There will be no self-service in the cafeteria,” Lowry said. “Everything will be served to you.” The Bison Cafe won’t be changing what food is served, just how the food is served. These modifications will limit contact between those in the cafeteria to reduce the spread of germs.  “We will have a very robust grab-and-go kind of concept that will be introduced,” Lowry said.  There will be an area where students can pick up pre-portioned food in addition to a cafeteria-style station. Not only will this be safer for students, but it will...
Lipscomb community mourns sudden loss of alumnus and community leader Ty Osman

Lipscomb community mourns sudden loss of alumnus and community leader Ty Osman

Ty Osman, called “a remarkable man” by Lipscomb President Randy Lowry, dedicated his life to helping his alma mater and the community. Osman, 54, died in a fishing accident on July 11. He was a business leader and was co-founder and president of Solomon Builders Inc., a commercial construction company. He and his wife, Nancy, are both Lipscomb graduates. “He has not only been very successful in Nashville with the Solomon Builders, but many non-profit organizations as well, and they’re actually the builders for our huge addition to Lipscomb Academy down on Harding and Granny White,” Lowry told Lumination. The Osmans’ most visible — to students, anyway — contribution to the university is the mosaic fountain on central campus that was dedicated to the memory of their son, Ty Osman II who died at age 18 on March 3, 2012. The elder Ty Osman graduated from Lipscomb in 1987 with a degree in business administration, and he also was named Lipscomb University’s “Christian Business Leader” in 2004. The Ty2 Foundation, founded by the elder Ty Osman, is a spiritual and physical landmark at Lipscomb. One side is a baptistry, which has been used frequently since it opened in June 2013. “The fountain in the middle of campus is a way that Ty is remembered, and also a way that Ty and his wife Nancy contributed something very significant to us,” Lowry said. “His son was an organ donor on his own accord, and it’s reported a year after he passed away, Ty and his wife met some of the recipients, and one of the most amazing moments for them was...
Lipscomb welcomes the Lanier Center for Archaeology to campus this fall

Lipscomb welcomes the Lanier Center for Archaeology to campus this fall

Among the many additions to Lipscomb this fall will be the Lanier Center for Archaeology. “We’re very excited about it, and I think we will instantly become one of the most nationally recognized archaeology programs in evangelical Christianity,” President Randy Lowry told Lumination Network. Two renowned archaeology scholars, Dr. Steven Ortiz and Dr. Tom Davis, have helped create the new Lanier Center, at the same time bringing extensive resources and artifacts. Both are joining Lipscomb faculty in August after leaving Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. “They will be bringing with them a 6,000-volume library, which will be a wonderful resource to have at our disposal, and will also be bringing 70 or 80 cases of archeological artifacts, so we can display those in some appropriate way as the year goes on,” Lowry said. The Lanier Center for Archaeology has plans to offer a Ph.D. in archaeology of the Ancient Near Middle East and a master’s in Biblical Studies beginning in January. The approval for the new M.A. and Ph.D. programs is still pending from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC). “Right now, it will start as these two major programs, but as we start to collaborate and learn of the richness that’s here at Lipscomb, we will be able to project future collaborations with other programs that are already here,” Ortiz said. “Our hope is that this will expand into the undergraduate level, perhaps starting with a minor in Biblical Archaeology, and then hopefully expand to a major, as Lipscomb expands its offerings and reach in that way,” Davis said. Students also will be able...
Virtual learning instead of hands-on experience offers new challenges for nursing students

Virtual learning instead of hands-on experience offers new challenges for nursing students

Lipscomb’s nursing program, always reliant on physical interaction and hands-on experiences in the past, had to adapt dramatically when the school switched to virtual learning. The pandemic that mandated virtual learning also caused problems in terms of the opportunities for nursing students. “Many clinical partners, around the same time Lipscomb decided to switch to virtual learning, also decided to no longer let students into their facilities,” said Dr. Chelsia Harris, the program’s executive director. “The rationale was to conserve their personal protection equipment, or PPE’s, for essential workers that absolutely needed them.” “It was challenging for me to finish online in the spring, seeing a lot of cool things in my clinicals (at Vanderbilt Trauma Unit), but was only able to go twice before everything started shutting down,” said McKenzie Allen, a senior. Despite many clinical partners and direct physical interaction being cut off, the nursing program made successful adaptations, according to Harris. “We have such incredible faculty and staff that worked really hard to work with some of the vendors in a virtual capacity, and were able to launch a high-fidelity type virtual simulation,” she said. “Some of the simulations are so realistic, and actually have students think more critically than what you thought you would even imagine comparatively to bedside with a real patient.” “The Tennessee State Board of Nursing as well as our national accreditation body were in full support of the utilization of virtual simulations as long as students were able to meet outcomes,” Harris said. The sudden shift to isolation for students and faculty did cause adjustment, according to Harris. “It was gut-wrenching to...