Christmas "Off" The Promenade

Watch an SAU News piece on the annual event by clicking HERE.




An Interview with Tiffany (Larson) Hodgson, '07


~by Valerie Lee

Q: Where did you get your physician assistant (PA) degree?
A: Loma Linda University (LLU)

Q: Why did you choose LLU?
A: The real reason is because I only applied to two schools and LLU is the one that accepted me! But it was meant to be, because they had over 2,000 applicants and only 26 spots available.

Q: How did you end up working as a PA in New Zealand?
A: I moved here right after finishing PA school and taking my boards. I was engaged to a Kiwi (a nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand), and we knew we wanted to live in New Zealand, so I took a leap of faith in hopes that my expensive degree would be of use in this country someday. I eventually became the first PA to be permanently employed in New Zealand.

When I arrived, the first trial of two PAs in surgery was just finishing but had not gotten much publicity. I talked to many people about PAs and eventually got the opportunity to meeting with the president of the College of General Practitioners (GP) and the medical director for the largest network of GP clinics. Those two meetings started to spread the word quite a bit. I went to Wellington, the capital city, and knocked on the door of the Ministry of Health (the equivalent to the U.S. Health Department). Since I was one of the only PAs in New Zealand at the time, they listened to me and employed me as a contractor to help set up a new trial that is going on now.

I got a job through a chance meeting with a nurse at church who worked for a forward-thinking doctor. I sent him my CV but didn’t hear much so I decided to show up at his office. He interviewed me that day and a week later offered me a job! I have been working for Radius Medical in Hamilton New Zealand for a year and a half. I love it! There are now six other PAs here as part of the trial.

Q: What are some challenges you’ve encountered?
A: PAs have yet to receive their full scope of practice because it’s not a regulated profession. We can’t prescribe or order tests without asking for our supervising doctor’s signature. Hopefully, those things will come in time.

Q: What are some rewards?
A: We get to be pioneers of an important profession in an amazing country. We just recently formed the New Zealand PA Society, which is one step closer to getting regulated. We are making history!
New Zealand is also a great place to live with gorgeous landscapes, genuine people, and lots of outdoor activities.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your family?
A: Well, I’m married to Superman, and we have a three-month-old little girl named Alaska Jade. We live in a lovely farm town in the middle of the north island and I commute about an hour to work. My husband Russ and his business partner own and operate a canyoning business called Canyonz in the town of Coromandel. The Sleeping God Canyon trip has been named “the most adventurous thing you can do in New Zealand,” by TripAdvisor. You can check out Canyonz at canyonz.co.nz.

Q: How did attending Southern impact your life?
A: I studied at two other universities before coming to Collegedale, but Southern helped me focus my credits into a health science degree which was the stepping stone I needed to get into PA school. I will always cherish my time at Southern. The teachers were great and I loved the atmosphere of the campus and student life. It's also where I made some amazing friends!



Business Society Brings Christmas to Chattanooga Room in the Inn

~by Cheryl Torres, annual giving officer

Christmas is about giving, and the Business Society at Southern celebrated the season by holding its sixth annual Christmas party for community members in need. On December 14, 10business club officers (representing the four different student clubs that make up the Business Society) threw a party for children at Chattanooga Room in the Inn, a nonprofit agency that provides resources and stability for homeless and recovering women, many of whom are single mothers.

The students organized crafts for the seven children staying at Chattanooga Room in the Inn and brought food and gifts to help add a little joy to their lives. Transportation Services director Barry Becker joined in as Santa, riding in on a fire truck. Kids had the opportunity to climb inside the vehicle and ask the firemen all about it. For the children, who each received shoes, socks, and two toys, it was a fun experience. For the students who organized the party, it was a huge blessing to give back just a little bit in honor of the greatest Gift that we all received so many years ago in Bethlehem.

Lifestyle Medicine Conference to Highlight Plant-based Diet


Southern Adventist University's School of Nursing is hosting 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) are keynote speakers for the event. 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 include lifestyle medicine as part of its Doctor of Nursing program. This puts the School of Nursing in a unique position to offer its students — who are the primary audience for this conference, even though the public is invited — a world-class presentation by leading authorities on how diet directly relates to health. 

But it's not just the celebrity speakers who will be doing the sharing. Students from both the School of Nursing and the School of Physical Education, Health and Wellness, which is also a sponsor for the conference, will showcase for the public various ways they have been encouraging positive lifestyle changes on campus at Southern.

The public is invited to keynote presentations on February 3 at 7 p.m. (Cigna Healthcare Company) and February 4 at 7:30 p.m. (Iles P.E. Center). Additional lectures are also open to the public, but require an RSVP due to space limitations. Visit southern.edu/lifestyleconference for complete schedule and other details. 


Former McKee Building Demolished at Southern's Entrance

~by Helen Boram, student writer


Plant One was built by McKee Foods Corporation in 1965, and represented an important part of the Southern Experience for many alumni who worked at the factory over the years. Even for those who never went inside the building, it has long been a landmark at the entrance to campus. However, as the McKee Foods Corporation found more efficient locations for the operations taking place inside the buildings, they decided to move elsewhere. 

Southern has always owned the land on which Plant One was built, so it was up to the university administration to decide the fate of the building. Many ideas were discussed, including moving the School of Visual Art and Design into that space, but the facility included so many additions and different elevations that it was more economical to demolish than renovate it.

Southern approached the demolition project in an environmentally friendly way and recycled all possible materials. Along with following the university's "green" vision, this method has also helped to offset the costs of the project. To date, the materials salvaged from the building have netted the school $163,197 while the entire demolition process has cost slightly more than $300,000.

This particular piece of Collegedale history might be physically gone, but its memory will remain, and Southern plans to use the area as a new entrance to the university.According to Marty Hamilton, associate vice president for Financial Administration, grass and trees will replace the concrete, and the design will create, “a more embracing sense of arrival.”