Stephen Meyer Speaks on Intelligent Design

~By Ashley Noonan

Each semester, the E.O. Grundset Biology Lecture Series hosts from four to six research presentations by biologists and other scholars located all over the country.

Stephen C. Meyer, an advocate for intelligent design, spoke on January 22 at the lecture series, as well as convocation. Scientists who support intelligent design agree that scientific data supports a systematic design rather than an undirected evolutionary process. Meyer discussed how new technology reveals new findings about DNA complexity in each cell.

Meyer is the director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, and the founder of the intelligent design’s headquarters. He has written several books, including The New York Times best seller, Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life.

“It’s impressive that we were even able to get him,” remarked Dr. Snyder, chair of the biology department. Meyer speaks at numerous events and requires notice at least a year in advance.

More than 200 students attended the evening series. People from surrounding cities, including Nashville and Atlanta and even as far as Michigan, came to Southern to hear the lecture. After his presentation, Meyer spent more than 90 minutes talking one-on-one with audience members and answering their questions.

Lauren Santos, a biology and health science major, found the lecture series intriguing. “The information presented affirmed my belief that the world was a well thought-out plan and did not just happen by chance. It’s encouraging hearing there are scientists who believe this and want to share the evidence,” Lauren said.

Find out more about the annual E.O. Grundset Biology Lecture Series here.


Health Careers Fair Provides National Networking Opportunities


~By Elizabeth Camps

On February 20, 2014, Southern Adventist University hosted the annual Health Careers Fair in the Iles P.E. Center. Many national organizations had representatives on hand to speak to students about different career paths as well as to discuss potential internships and employment.

Jeremy Moore, career services coordinator in the Student Success Center, collaborated alongside Sylvia Mayer, associate professor in the School of Nursing; Randy Bishop, assistant professor in the Biology Department; and Lauree Fogg, office manager of the Student Success Center, to put together this event. Moore said the primary goal of the Health Careers Fair is to show students the variety of jobs available to them within the healthcare industry.

Some of the organizations present this year included Loma Linda University, Florida Hospital, Florida Hospital University of Health Sciences, Kettering College, Gordon Hospital, Adventist Health System, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Adventist Care Centers, Andrews University, Union College, and Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. Many of these organizations are educational facilities offering advanced medical training but, according to Moore, the Health Careers Fair was designed for more than just students who enjoy studying the sciences.

"There are also internships and jobs to be had at these institutions in human resources, business, accounting, and IT support," Moore said.

Additional resources about internships and careers are available here.

Lifestyle Medicine Conference Highlights Plant-based Diet

~By Rachael Hankins

Southern Adventist University’s School of Nursing hosted the Lifestyle Medicine Conference February 3-4, 2014. Renowned scholar, T. Colin Campbell (The China Study), and best-selling author and health activist, Rip Esselstyn (Engine 2 Diet), provided the keynote addresses. Both were featured in Forks Over Knives, a popular documentary released in 2011 that helped bring discussions about plant-based diets further into the mainstream.


Southern is the only university in North America to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program that includes a lifestyle therapeutics emphasis. This puts the School of Nursing in a unique position to offer its students—who were the primary audience for this conference, even though the public was invited—a world-class presentation by leading authorities on how diet directly relates to health. The first group of students in the DNP program will graduate in May.

"Lifestyle medicine has specific applications for diabetes and heart disease, but it is a holistic approach that encompasses all areas of wellness," said Jeff Gates, associate professor in the School of Nursing. "Our goal with this conference was to reach out to our friends and neighbors and to prove that a wholesome, vegetarian lifestyle is not just an Adventist thing. It's something that applies to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation."

Though this was not Southern’s first health conference, the presenters have never been more prestigious or well known in health circles. During the 1980s, Campbell, a professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, was a lead scientist in the China-Oxford-Cornell study on diet and disease, which analyzed mortality rates from cancer and other chronic diseases in Asia. That research led to the writing of The China Study, one of America’s best-selling books on nutrition.

Esselstyn, an All-American swimmer in college and well-respected triathlete, worked for a time at a fire department inn Austin, Texas, where he introduced his passion for plant-based foods. Engine 2 Diet documents his success in helping co-workers lose weight and lower their cholesterol. Esselstyn recently left his job as a firefighter to team up with Whole Foods Market as one of its healthy eating partners to raise awareness about the benefits of a plant-strong diet.

But it’s not just the celebrity speakers who were sharing. Students from both the School of Nursing and the School of Physical Education, Health and Wellness, which also sponsored the conference, showcased for the public various ways to encourage positive lifestyle changes at Southern.

According to event planners, nearly 2,000 people attended the Lifestyle Medicine Conference, with some traveling from as far away as Florida and Texas specifically to hear Campbell and Esselstyn. The event was a tremendous outreach locally as well. The Adventist Book Center on campus sold $11,000 worth of health books in one day, many of which—according to general manager, Bruce Jacobs—were bought by first-time customers. Nursing faculty and administrators are already brainstorming ideas for another conference to follow this successful model.

[PHOTO: Rip Esselstyn speaks about "plant-strong" diets during a keynote presentation in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists on Tuesday, February 4.]


President for a Day


On Thursday, February 20, Krantzy Boursiquot, junior theology major, was president of Southern Adventist University for the day. Boursiquot won the "A Day in the Life of Bietz" writing contest, hosted by the Writing Club, and sponsored by the Student Association and Gordon Bietz, president of Southern. Contestants wrote an essay essay of between 500 and 800 words that answered the statement: “If I were president of Southern for a day, I would…”.

The prizes were filling the position of president of Southern for a day and $500. The winner was expected to split $400 between two school projects of their choosing and to personally keep $100.

Boursiquot won with his essay based on the phrase "what if?" that was intended to inspire students to keep an adventurous outlook on life. “Southern students should take time to explore the possibilities of what ifs and to enjoy different social and health benefits that may come,” Boursiquot said.

Boursiquot was involved in convocation and spent most of the day in meetings on and off campus. He also went to different departments on campus to discuss problems they face. One thing Boursiquot did with his prize money was to give 150 students $1 vouchers for the cafeteria’s salad bar after they worked out in the Hulsey Wellness Center. Bietz and Boursiquot also took a break in the student center and played foosball.

The idea for the competition came from Israel Olaore, senior public relations major. It was one of many smaller events leading up to a bigger event that is happening at the end of the semester. Olaore partnered with the Writing Club and proposed the idea of a student becoming president for a day to Bietz.

“I think it is a significant benefit to students to seek and to envision themselves in some role other than what they can see themselves doing,” Bietz said. “When I was in college, I never visualized what a president does, partially because I never aspired to be a president. You never know what you will end up being."

After spending the day with Bietz and Southern’s administration, Boursiquot said he experienced Southern as a constantly developing organization, something that many students don’t realize.

“Now I understand that it is so complex and so fragile at the same time,” Boursiquot said. “After being at the investment meeting, I gained a respect that wasn’t there before for the leadership, and now I won’t take for granted that tuition is what it is, because it could be a lot higher.”

Boursiquot said he doesn’t necessarily want Bietz’s job, but he wants the skill set that qualifies him to be president of a university.

Olaore was pleased with how the day turned out and was glad to see the administration actively take part. “One thing that I am happy about [is] the seed that was planted in the administrative office through this event,” Olaore said. “Dr. Bietz already does such a good job with being interactive with the students; I am glad to see the administration taking this event as an important part of students’ lives.”