By Dr. Nathan Lane, Associate Provost
My 14th year at PBA has been full of both unprecedented change and unprecedented usage of the term “unprecedented.” In the same year that PBA installed our ninth president, we experienced the emergence of a pandemic, widespread economic turmoil and calls for racial justice. Yet even during this time of change and challenge, our faculty have continued to keep their research at the forefront and encouraged their students to do the same. Enlightening Minds offers a review of research conducted by PBA faculty during 2020.
I’d like you to get acquainted with our dedicated faculty. As you read through this publication, look for the blue, underlined type indicating a hyperlink. For example, in the story about our upcoming Interdisciplinary Research Conference, you’ll hear from Dr. David Compton, coordinator of the conference. Click on the link for Dr. Compton and you’ll be taken to his page in the faculty directory, where you can learn about his background and his research interests. You’ll find links for the other full-time faculty listed throughout this publication, as we note their wonderfully varied publications, presentations and other scholarly activity.
I believe faculty embrace research because it’s in our blood. We love our disciplines and are delighted by the opportunity to expand our knowledge. There’s a thrill that accompanies the discovery of new methods, pathways and truth. In this year’s issue of Enlightening Minds, Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, our president, details her perspective on research and highlights some of the cutting-edge work she has conducted during her career. Dr. Schwinn’s work displays her continued engagement within the field of health sciences, modeling the intrinsic importance of research to faculty.
Research provides faculty with the opportunity to cultivate our academic community through welcoming others into the research process. Dr. Matthew Mitchell, associate professor of health and human performance, is one of many who delight in directing students into research projects. (In the photo above, Dr. Mitchell and senior Caitlyn East discuss what ultrasound reveals about a research subject’s arm muscle.) Each of us has at one time or another benefited from collaboration with a senior faculty member or mentor who taught us the joy of scholarly production and the discipline of research. Many of us have stayed in the academy in order to help others follow this path. Our legacy is the students who are inspired by our active involvement and choose to take up the path for themselves. In one feature story, you’ll read about three such students who are continuing their journeys in academia: Michael Scalia, who was published while studying abroad; Fulbright Student Sarah Selden, who won a top award in children’s literature; and Krystal White, who is moving quickly toward graduate-level research in Jerusalem while completing her undergraduate work at PBA.
While research allows us to expand our knowledge and inspire our students, the faculty at PBA have a purpose for striving for both. We know that “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1), and the pursuit and discovery of truth, beauty and the order of creation lead us back to God. As an unashamedly Christian university, we believe that our scholarship helps reveal the holy, triune God. It is God’s gift to us.
In this changing world, our outstanding faculty continued to write, publish, perform, edit and encourage – perhaps more than ever! Faculty presentations, publications and performances were as robust as ever. You’ll notice many Zoom and online presentations, and even online performances. Many things have changed in this last year, but our commitment to scholarship and to welcoming students into the academic world remains as vibrant as ever.
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These stories provide a sample of the wonderfully diverse research accomplished by PBA students...
For a richly informed perspective on research, consider the credentials of Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, president of PBA...
Madeline Chatham, senior biology major, grew curious about the bacteria on mobile phones...
Emmanuel McNeely, the 2021 Young Alumni Award winner within the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities...
Books, chapters, journal articles, awards, creative works, performances, service, media responses.
It was their first research publication, the result of many weeks of study to fill a gap in the pharmaceutical literature.
The IRC was developed to recognize the scholarship of students and faculty in all disciplines. It provides our students and faculty with the opportunity to present their scholarly work to the campus community.