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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Marc Apkarian

  • Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science

Marc Apkarian currently serves as Associate Professor and Department Chair for the department of Kinesiology and Health Science. His teaching specialties and professional background include the areas of exercise physiology, fitness assessment and personal training. He has taught exercise science and physical activity college courses for over 15 years. In addition, Marc has worked with individuals aged 9 to 93 in contexts ranging from exercise training and athletic development to post-rehabilitation conditioning since he entered the health and fitness industry in 1995. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association, through which he is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He loves being able to empower students to think analytically, solve problems and reach others, while also developing an appreciation for health, well-being and the design of the human body. He and his wife Wendy enjoy spending family time with their daughter, being outdoors, exercising together, hosting gatherings at their home and serving in ministry opportunities.

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Donell L. Campbell

  • Associate Professor of Nursing
  • Associate Director of Nursing

After teaching adjunct for Biola Nursing Program last year she now joins as a full faculty member in the Nursing Department as an Associate Professor. Her professional career includes over 35 years nursing experience in various settings including, Intensive Care, Medical, Surgical, Home Health and Community Services with more than 15 years in management of Medical, Surgical, Social Service, Cardiopulmonary Service, and Education departments. She served as Chief Educator at a Medical Center and has taught adjunct several years at University of Great Falls, RN - BSN Nursing Program. Her Master Thesis was focused on the use of a mentor model in the orientation and education of new graduate nurses as they enter the workplace. Other research interests include mentoring, management, leadership, community based nursing, communication and conflict management. She has published on the topics of Collaborative Training Efforts Within a Rural Hospital Setting, Reduction of Burnout and the Benefits of Short Term Medical Work, and Communication and Conflict Management. Donell has three adult children, and one grandchild; she and her husband Clark attend Whittier Area Community Church. Over the years she has been very involved in ministry and numerous community activities.

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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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Akiko Kobayashi

  • Associate Professor of Nursing

Akiko Kobayashi was licensed as a nurse, and worked as an RN in Japan prior to coming to the United States. Her clinical background in the United States is varied, including coronary care, cardiac surgery critical care, respiratory care, home health and utilization review/case management. During an immunology course in her MSN program, she developed interest in immune responses in cancer development. She had rich experience in biomedical research focusing on mucosal immune responses in cervical carcinogenesis prior to coming to Biola University in 2009.

Her publications in peer reviewed scientific journals include Evolving immunosuppressive microenvironment during human cervical carcinogenesis, Functional attributes of cervical mucosal immunity in high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions and effects of HIV infection, Lymphoid follicles are generated in high-grade cervical dysplasia and have differing characteristics depending on HIV status and Recent development in understanding the immune response to human papillomavirus infection and cervical dysplasia. She has spoken at multiple international scientific meetings. She has also been translating InterVarsity Press’ Bible study textbooks into Japanese for Japanese Christians in her mother church in San Lorenzo, California.

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David Shane Lowry

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology

David Shane Lowry obtained his bachelor of science degree in anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina. His scholarship focuses on human empathy. His graduate research took place between 2009 and 2012 when he spent hundreds of hours with missionaries, healthcare providers, and social justice advocates from the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

Lowry is writing two books. One book is an anthropology of Michael Jordan, and the other book is a story of how the Lumbee Tribe became a hub for healing in America. Lowry is currently part of an interdisciplinary research team that is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the environmental aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina. He will be teaching courses in cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, and other topics related to his research and writing.

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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 of Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Chair, Biblical & Theological Studies – Theology Department

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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