Welcome to Enlightening Minds
By Dr. Nathan Lane, Associate Provost
As I consider the fruitful research that Palm Beach Atlantic faculty, students, and alumni accomplished in 2021, two aspects quickly come to mind: rich variety and powerful collaboration. In this annual publication, Enlightening Minds, you’ll quickly see the variety as you click through the section Faculty Publications and Presentations. Topics, to name just a few, include economics, artificial intelligence, racism, leadership, theology, the sciences, the arts, pharmacy, nursing, and literature.
Note the asterisks marking contributors to peer-reviewed journals and participants in presentations. Those names represent PBA students or alumni who collaborated with their professors in research. While classroom instruction is the primary job of our talented faculty, these professors also love to engage students in research. And I’m not talking about students washing lab flasks and such. Instead, generations of PBA graduates look back gratefully at the mentoring that took place as their professors partnered with them, providing challenging roles in the creative process.
Relationships forged there don’t end when students graduate. Consider Dr. Thomas Parham, keynote speaker at our March 22-23 Interdisciplinary Research Conference. Among the former students, Thom keeps up with is award-winning filmmaker Ricky Staub, who came to speak at our recent Art of Storytelling conference.
Alumni, thankful for the mentoring they received, often return the favor by reaching out to students. Read about nurse Cody Peters, whose doctoral research project led a local hospital to adopt a new pain-reducing procedure for giving IVs to children. Cody was mentored by Ashley Barquin, who earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Palm Beach Atlantic.
Cody now serves patients at the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where he’s already looking for new research opportunities. I’m expecting Ashley and Cody to be lifelong learners as they continue to find and apply evidence-based advances in their field. No doubt they’ll be blessed (as you will) to hear 71-year-old Queen Byrd, whose engaging biblical storytelling you can share via video.
Throughout Enlightening Minds you’ll find much to tell others about, so I encourage you to share these stories through Facebook, Twitter, and email.
For example, you likely have friends who would be interested in our various graduate programs. Send them links to the features on Dan Kidha and Jeremy Morse, who are conducting research to serve beleaguered African nations and people with mental health conditions. In a Ph.D. program drawing men and women from 13 countries and 17 Christian denominations, Dan and Jeremy are enjoying fellowship amidst a wonderful diversity.
You see, we don’t think of Palm Beach Atlantic University as merely an educational institution. Rather, it is a vibrant, diverse, serving, learning community. Our collaboration across different fields and viewpoints is enabled by our unity as Christ-followers. And our creativity reaches its highest as we’re led by the Spirit of our Creator.
Finally, as I close this introduction to Enlightening Minds, I celebrate a vital arm of this collaboration: faithful donors who encourage, support, and inspire us. Scroll up to the top of this page, where a photo shows Dr. Ernane Souza explaining to pharmacy student Saima Khaja the capabilities of new equipment at the Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy.
Thanks to a generous gift from SJ Strategic Investments LLC and our good friend John M. Gregory, pharmacy faculty and students now work with an ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) system paired with a mass spectrometer. That’s a mouthful for a non-scientist like myself, but I’ve learned these are remarkable tools that can (among other things) analyze any molecule present in a patient’s blood. That provides a way to quantify the drugs metabolized by the patient and then adjust the dosage.
The blessings from donors such as the Gregory Family flow throughout Palm Beach Atlantic University. Find out here how you too can support the students, faculty, research, and mission of PBA.