Experts on "Nutrition"

Electra Allen

  • Assistant Professor of Nursing

Electra Allen’s teaching interests are in the areas of pediatric nursing, mental health nursing and nursing pharmacology. She teaches courses in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program including Pediatric Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, and Essentials of Clinical Nursing Pharmacology. She uses discussion, group work, simulation, case studies and reflection in her pedagogy. Integration of Christian faith includes “enhancing empathy for patients experiencing auditory hallucinations,” “the role of a Christian nurse in enhancing coping and adjustment,” an emphasis on nonjudgmental spiritual care, and reflective prayerful activities about student’s academic and clinical experiences in the nursing program.  

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Kristianna Altamirano

  • Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science

Kristianna Altamirano’s research is currently focused on assessing physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors among faculty members at Biola University. Future studies will evaluate demographic, behavioral, and psychological motivating factors that have influenced the amount of reported PA. Additionally she plans to investigate staff PA, and PA across universities from various geographic locations in the United States. Other research interests include evaluating the impact of core temperature fluctuation on muscular performance. She is planning follow up studies to her thesis The Effect of Warm-Up on Peak Torque, Rate of Torque Development, and Electromyographic and Mechanomyographic Signals.

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Marc Apkarian

  • Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science

Marc Apkarian's teaching interests are in the areas of exercise physiology, fitness evaluation, exercise instruction, and health promotion. He teaches in the undergraduate B.S. in Kinesiology program, with coursework focused primarily on junior and senior level students, facilitating internships and fieldwork as well. His courses include Exercise Physiology, Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Health Concepts, Exercise Professional Certification Preparation, and a senior capstone Directed Studies course. Apkarian incorporates didactic education, practical skill acquisition, applied learning methods, current equipment, and professional development opportunities to empower students to think analytically, inquire critically, solve problems, and reach others. Apkarian especially enjoys developing and incorporating ways to integrate Christian faith in teaching a range of Kinesiology and Health-related topics, and is passionate about enabling students to develop a deep appreciation for the stewardship of personal health, well-being, and the design of the human body.

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Richard Gunasekera

  • Associate Dean and Professor, Academic and Research Affairs
  • Professor of Biological Sciences

Richard Gunasekera, Ph.D., has enjoyed a 20-year career in higher education as professor and a scientist in the field of Biochemical Genetics and Forensic DNA. He earned his bachelor’s in biochemistry at Baylor University, where he researched and published in organic synthesis as an undergraduate. Gunasekera earned a master’s degree in bio-organic chemistry from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, a master’s in molecular genetics and a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Before coming to Biola in 2018, Gunasekera founded the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Houston-Victoria and acted as the Department Head and later as Director of Graduate Studies. He has held faculty and research positions at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and Rice University in Houston. Gunasekera’s research now spans several interdisciplinary fields such as cancer biology, forensic DNA studies, nano-biotechnology and biochemical genetics. He has also received awards for excellence in teaching, research and as a distinguished faculty member from his previous institutions. 

Working with his students and colleagues in research Gunasekera stays committed to the student and the classroom. He believes that all teaching in the sciences is an extension of rigorous research and discovery, and that a science professor is best when he professes what he practices in the laboratory. Thus, he considers teaching both graduates and undergraduates in the classroom and laboratory in a Christ-centered environment as his first calling. He is committed to work as a team member to contribute toward building a world class institution and continue to make Biola a national leader in the sciences.

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Kelsey Miller

  • Instructor of Clinical Sciences, Kinesiology and Health Science

Kelsey Miller’s teaching interests and experience are in sports performance, personal training, program design, strength and conditioning, sports psychology, and nutrition. She has experience performing fitness assessments with professional athletes from the St. Louis Cardinals and the Anaheim Ducks. She is passionate about bridging the gap between research science and practice, and aims to provide the most up-to-date, relevant information from the literature to her students using a variety of teaching tools and techniques. She is passionate about helping students explore God’s unique design in the human body within the context of human movement, and encourages them to embrace their strengths, learn from their weaknesses, and pursue their passions for the glory of God.  

Her research experience focuses on human performance involving foam rolling, sprint speed, and range of motion and interests include sports performance, strength and conditioning, nutrition and exercise and cancer.

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