Experts on "Health"

Electra Allen

  • Assistant Professor of Nursing

Electra joined Biola in 2015 after completing her MSN at Duke University. She comes to Biola with a passion for nursing education and is looking forward to being a part of the Biola team for many years to come. Her professional nursing career includes working as a critical care registered nurse in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia. Electra also worked in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a Level 1 Trauma Center.

Electra has been actively involved in the Emergency Nurses’ Association. She spent two years on the national committee, helping to design the educational programs for the annual conference. She has also written items for the Pediatric Certification Board's Certified Pediatric Nurse Exam. Prior to her nursing career, she worked in her church’s children’s and creative arts ministries, and she was actively involved in women’s ministry where she helped to coordinate baby showers for families at the local crisis pregnancy center.

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Jacob Gardner

  • Chair, Department of Kinesiology and Health Science
  • Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science

Jake Gardner is delighted to be a part of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science at Biola University to teach students about God’s intelligent design of the human body through the science of movement and exercise. Jake is originally from Montana where he fell in love with the outdoors and being physically active. His love for activity led him to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Development from Montana State University ('05). He then spent approximately three years working for a startup company that developed a one-of-a-kind wheelchair for children with cerebral palsy. This experience resulted in an interest in the mechanics of the human body and a pursuit of a master's degree from Illinois State University in Biomechanics ('10) and a doctorate in Biomechanics from the University of Tennessee ('13). Gardner's research includes a broad interest in lower extremity injury prevention and rehabilitation, as well as strength and conditioning applications. Jake is married to his wonderful wife Keisha, and they have three children.

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Rachel Van Niekerk

  • Director of Nursing

Rachel Van Niekerk's clinical background is varied, including Pediatric Medical/Surgical, Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatric Primary Care, Pediatric Home Health, and Nursing Education.

CALIFORNIA SCHOOL NURSE SURVEY was the title of her dissertation, completed in May 2011, which was an online mixed methods survey of California school nurses evaluating school nurse ratios in relation to school attendance, medications errors and perceived value of the school nurse. She has a Master of Science in Nursing specializing in pediatrics and is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She enjoys the pediatric population and has experience caring for children of all ages with a variety of diagnoses. She began teaching at Biola in 2003.

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K. Erik Thoennes

  • Professor and Chair of Theology

Erik Thoennes is committed to teaching biblical and systematic theology so that he and his students love God and people more fully. He strives to make the necessary connections between the study of theology, obedience to Jesus and fulfilling the Great Commission. He has taught theology and evangelism at the college and seminary levels for several years and is a frequent guest speaker at churches, conferences and retreats, in addition to co-pastoring a local church. Thoennes has received the University award for faculty excellence and professor of the year. His research interests include godly jealousy, the atonement, the exclusivity of Christ and theology of culture.

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