Campus Life

Southern’s campus recently celebrated President Smith's 22 years of service to the university, five of which were as president. View pictures from the event here.

Responses to the survey question included in the April issue (“What type of articles are you most likely to read in QuickNotes?”) indicate the two most popular categories among readers are:

• Stories and updates about alumni
• University news

As a result of your input, future issues will primarily feature these types of stories. Thank you for participating. Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

This May, the first two female construction management majors graduated from Southern’s Applied Technology program: Rachel Joyner earned a bachelor’s degree, and Katelynn Robertson earned an associate degree.

Joyner decided to pursue this field after attending a high school that taught technical skills. At first, she doubted whether she would enjoy welding but soon realized she had a passion for the work and wanted to further her skills and education at Southern. 

“I’m passionate about construction, because every day is something different,” Joyner said. “From pre-construction to closing day, I am always moving forward.”

constructionRobertson likes hands-on work and had seen her stepdad work in construction while growing up. After taking career tests that pointed her toward degrees in management, she decided to pursue construction management.

“Trade workers are often dismissed or looked down upon,” Robertson said. “I think that construction work is a big part of everyone’s lives in some way, and people don’t understand the importance of what we do. When I tell people that my major is construction management, it is always a point of conversation—it’s new, different, and something that people don’t hear much about.”

“I am very proud of Rachel and Katelynn,” said John Youngberg, associate professor of applied technology, which is part of the School of Business. “Women in construction used to be very rare. Today we find them in every area of the industry. My prayer for these two young ladies is that they will reflect Jesus in their workplace culture. In this industry, you get to work with such a huge variety of people; what a mission field!”

Both women landed jobs quickly. Joyner also hopes to further her own business, Ace Properties, which will rebuild houses in impoverished areas to give back to communities.

“My goal is to flip houses and give other people opportunities to grow,” Joyner said. “Nobody knows what their future can be except God. Yet, most of the time, we try to plan our entire lives without giving Him a say. I’m grateful that has He led me to this work.”

-Madison Reinschmidt, junior mass communication major  


Only 25% of calories are burned during exercise, so professors and students at Southern have been researching methods to improve an individual’s metabolism to more efficiently burn the other 75% while resting. An article documenting their results is currently being peer-reviewed for publication this summer.

Harold Mayer, PhD, professor in the School of Physical Education, Health, and Wellness, has made this topic his life work. Before joining Southern’s faculty 18 years ago, he worked at a lifestyle center where he used the technique of intermittent training to help recovering heart patients regain their strength. Four times per day, the patients would spend half an hour repeating the pattern of exercising for 30 seconds and then resting for 30 seconds.

Inspired by the successful results he had witnessed in his former patients, Mayer decided to dive deeper. As part of their research, Mayer and his co-researchers tested 41 females between the ages of 25 and 54 to see if their bodies were efficiently burning fat or inefficiently burning carbohydrates.

“Your carbs are just the spark of the system,” Mayer explained. “What happens when someone lives on that spark? They quickly burn out the source.”

metabolic studyUtilizing state-of-the-art equipment in Southern’s Human Performance Lab, the team was able to measure physiological processes for each individual, which is more accurate than using theoretical numbers based on age, gender, height, and weight.

After initial testing, the research subjects followed a customized diet for 14 days to control nutrition differences. After the two weeks, they were retested and, while continuing the diet, they followed a prescribed exercise program for eight weeks, after which they were tested a third time.

The research provided a unique understanding of participants’ metabolism by measuring the oxygen composition of the air they exhaled during exercise, among other calculations. The results showed that exercising in the cellular respiration “sweet spot” helps to train cells to burn fat at rest.

“I hope someday portable breath analyzers will be available for the general population so that, during exercise, people can read their own breath composition at the cellular level,” Mayer said. “Our research validates the original hypothesis that it’s smarter to exercise frequently at a low intensity. Moderate activity achieves better results.”

Noah Humphrey, who earned his bachelor’s degree in health science in 2020 and is currently in Southern’s pre-physical therapy program, was one of the students involved in running the lab during the metabolism study.

“My responsibility was to conduct many of the health tests and collect data,” Humphrey said. “It was awesome to see scientific theory genuinely impact people and to witness the difference for some participants in both their data and their confidence levels.”

-Trisney Bocala, senior mass communication major


Three animation majors from the School of Visual Art and Design created a short animation story about finding connection in a COVID-19 world. Starting during the Fall 2020 semester, junior Mugi Kinoshita, senior Avery Kroll, and senior Ruth Perez spent four months on “Knock Knock.” It tells the story of two masked elementary students who communicate by knocking on the plexiglass that divides them and by writing sticky notes to each other.

“Even with what is happening out there, we were able to still work together and create something that represented how it was for us in the beginning of all this,” Perez said. 

Knock, KnockThe animation students chose this story because they wanted to reflect the current pandemic situation and express the importance of connection.

“Throughout this project, I found myself relating to the characters in ways that I didn’t expect,” Kroll said. “What makes this project meaningful to me is the fact that I see myself and part of my journey this past year reflected in the story. It is my hope that each person who watches it can also relate to ‘Knock Knock’ in some special way.”

Professors in the School of Visual Art and Design strive to teach their students a balance of artistic perspectives while firmly grounding them in their faith.

“Animation is a powerful medium for communication,” said Hendel Butoy, the animation professor who oversaw the project. “We encourage our students and give them the opportunity to combine excellence of craft with the higher calling of uplifting others through the talents they’ve been given. ‘Knock Knock’ is an excellent example of that vision coming to fruition in the students who made it.”

Click here to watch the animation.

-Madison Reinschmidt, junior mass communication major

For as long as they can remember, the Nelson quadruplets have done everything together. They swam, skied, hiked, painted, drew, and—up until their senior year of high school—had taken every class together. When it came time for Andie, Nikki, Neal, and Sydney to decide where they would attend college, they made that decision together, too.

Originally from California, the decision to attend Southern Adventist University was a big one for the quadruplets and for their parents. They had heard excellent things about the diverse academic opportunities, potential for outdoor adventures, and uplifting spiritual atmosphere at Southern. As the siblings prepared to begin their freshman year in Fall 2020, their parents were sad they were going so far away but happy about their children’s decision, supporting them in their new adventure.

In the past, if one quadruplet was interested in something, the others would try it as well. Now, for the first time in their lives, they are pursuing different courses of study. Neal chose animation, Nikki is learning about nutrition and dietetics, and Sydney is studying elementary education. Andie, inspired by several family members, decided to become a nurse. Rather than feeling daunted by the age of COVID-19, Andie has been inspired by the heroes that she’s seen all around her.

quadruplets“My aunt works at the ER,” Andie said. “This year we haven’t gotten to see her much. She’s right in the thick of it all, and I know it’s been really hard. Still, in spite of all the difficulties, she remains really passionate about helping others. I want to be like her.”

Since weekdays were tricky with their conflicting course schedules, the quadruplets made weekend time together a priority, exploring places such as nearby Raccoon Mountain and Southern’s extensive trail system. Nikki appreciated the convenience of walking right from her dorm room to miles of wooded trails. After a hard week of classes, the siblings loved going to vespers for a spiritual reset to remind them of what is truly important, and participating in Week of Prayer reenergized them.

“Honestly, we are just thrilled to have the opportunity to study in person this year,” Neal said. “It really helps us stay motivated. None of our friends in California are getting to go to class and have the true college experience that we’re getting, so I’m very grateful.”

Their favorite part of school this past year was the social aspect. The welcoming spirit they encountered from students and faculty at every turn made them feel like part of the Southern family. Being around others who are spiritually oriented and focused in their studies was another inspiration. As the quadruplets explored different majors, guidance from professors and feedback from new friends was pivotal.

“Everyone here has been so friendly and accepting,” Andie said. “Both students and professors seem excited to accomplish their goals but still make it a priority to have God in their lives. The more time I spend on campus, the more it confirms in my heart that this is the place God wanted us to be.”

-Angela Baerg, ’06

Alumni Highlights


At the age of 100, Pierce Jones Moore, Jr., MD, ’39, was the keynote speaker for Asheville, North Carolina’s virtual Veteran’s Day ceremony on November 11, 75 years after the end of World War II. The city’s mayor, Esther Manheimer, presented a proclamation during the ceremony acknowledging his service to the Asheville community and naming November 11 as Dr. PJ Moore, Jr., Day.

PJ MooreIn the Fall of 1937, a bright and focused young man, known best by family and friends as PJ, arrived at Southern Junior College (now Southern Adventist University) from Spartanburg, South Carolina. This was an exciting, new adventure for the 17-year old high school graduate who aspired to a career in medicine.

He quickly became familiar with Southern’s beautiful campus, columned buildings, and friendly people. He fondly remembers his first roommate, Brooke Summerour, ’40, and meeting Coyne Knight, who lived across the hall in the dormitory. Like PJ, Coyne was pursuing a medical career, and the two were classmates throughout college and medical school, both graduating from Loma Linda University (formerly College of Medical Evangelists) in the Class of 1944-B. A photo of the two friends’ recent reunion in Florida is being published in the Spring 2021 issue of Columns magazine.

During his junior year as a medical student at CME, and because of WWII, PJ was drafted into military service along with most of his classmates.  After a surgical internship at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta, he was assigned to Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta for a year where, as a surgeon, he operated on amputees who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He took carloads of them to the golf courses as a way to help them through the rehabilitation process (Moore is pictured on the left in picture below).

PJ Moore GolfAfter the war ended, PJ and his first wife, Dee (Crumley), moved to Pickens, South Carolina, where PJ established and ran a private medical practice for almost four years, after which the administration of Mountain Sanitarium at Fletcher, North Carolina, reached out to him. The hospital was in deep financial trouble with no doctors and fifteen patients in the 70-bed facility. After prayers, and also asking another physician to join him, PJ accepted the call.

PJ continued working at Fletcher for 34 years and, when he left, the hospital had twelve physicians on staff and was able to serve many more patients. He retired from practicing medicine at the age of 96 years.

During his many years of community service, PJ received numerous awards including recognition in 2011 by then North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue of PJ’s more than 50 years of service with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award.  He also received awards from Southern Adventist University - 1958 Humanitarian of the Year; SMC-ites affinity recognition in 1989 of his outstanding contribution to the medical profession as a surgeon for 46 years; and the 2002 Distinguished Service Alumni Award. In 2012, Loma Linda University School of Medicine presented him with an Honored Alumnus Award. More recently, AdventHealth Hendersonville Foundation (formerly Park Ridge Health Foundation) presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

PJ’s family is a Southern legacy with three generations of graduates so far, including his five children and seven grandchildren. Besides encouraging others to attend Southern, his loyal support of university projects and programs, most recently in the Math department and School of Nursing, continues to provide students with opportunities to achieve their goals through Christian education.

PJ and his wife, Elaine, recently moved from North Carolina and chose to make Clermont, Florida their permanent home. They joyfully celebrated his 101st birthday with family and friends on March 12, 2021, in Orlando.

-Evonne Crook, ’79, director of Alumni Relations

Upcoming Events
Virtual Academic Summer Camps. June 14-16. Southern is offering five academic summer camps—Vegetarian Culinary Arts, Photography, Journalism, Video Production for Social Media, and Computing (Data Science)—for those who will be in grades 9-12 beginning Fall 2021. Cost is $65 per person, per camp. Find out more and register now.


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