Commencement services for four LLU schools planned for Sunday, June 11
Approximately 600 students from four Schools and the Faculty of Religion will gather Sunday, June 11, at Drayson Center to receive their diplomas.
Commencement ceremonies will begin at 8:00 a.m. for the School of Science and Technology, and the Faculty of Religion. At 10:30 a.m., the School of Nursing ceremony will take place. School of Allied Health Professions ceremonies will follow, with the physical therapy program at 1:00 p.m. and the rest of the School at 4:00 p.m. The School of Public Health ceremony will complete the day, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Presenting the commencement address for the School of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Religion will be Gordon Bietz, DD, president, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee.
Dr. Bietz has served as president of Southern Adventist University since 1997.
Before becoming university president, he served as president of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists—a 27,000-member church conference covering Georgia and east Tennessee.
Dr. Bietz earned the bachelor of arts degree in theology from La Sierra University, Riverside, in 1966 and the master of divinity degree from Andrews University Theological Seminary, Berrien Springs, Michigan, in 1968. Andrews University conferred on him the doctor of divinity degree in 1976. During a sabbatical in 1991, he received a Merrill Fellowship from Harvard University and attended classes at the university’s divinity and law schools, and at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Prior to serving as conference president, Dr. Bietz held several pastoral positions. He was chaplain at Rio Lindo Academy in California for six years; pastor of the Stockton Seventh-day Adventist Church in California for five years; and pastor of the 2,400-member Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tennessee for 13 years.
Dr. Bietz has authored several publications, including Witness, a book about Christian witnessing; and Parables of Fenton Forest, a children’s collection of parables. In addition, he has written for professional journals and authored a weekly column in the “Faith and Family” section of The Chattanooga Times.
Dr. Bietz serves on the boards of Southern Union Conference, Florida Hospital, Adventist Health System, Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, and the Greater Collegedale School System. He is passionate about building communities that reflect Christ’s love and considers it a blessing to work with young people.
Each summer he takes time to teach an entry-level class in religion. Traveling, gardening, and reading are among the hobbies Dr. Bietz enjoys. His wife, Cynthia, is a receptionist at Southern Adventist University. Their twin daughters are physical therapists—Gina Gang in Loma Linda, and Julie Kroll in Nashville, Tennessee.
Delivering the commencement address for the School of Nursing will be Richard A. Martin, MS, senior vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, in Newport Beach.
Mr. Martin completed the bachelor of science degree in nursing at West Virginia University in 1984 and the maser of science degree in nursing at the University of Virginia in 1989. He is licensed to practice in California and Virginia.
Since 1992, Mr. Martin has served as senior vice president for patient care services and as chief nursing officer for Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. His professional career has included both nursing practice and administration: assistant head nurse, progressive care unit at Bluefield Community Regional Medical Center in Bluefield, West Virginia; quality assurance/utilization review analyst; assistant vice president for patient care services, critical care at HCA Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem, Virginia; assistant vice president for patient care services, specialty care at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian; and surveyor/field representative for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, based in Chicago.
Mr. Martin is a member of a number of professional organizations. He also contributes to community organizations as officer or member: chair and administrative representative, board of directors of the Share Our Selves Free Medical Clinic, Costa Mesa; advisory board and adjunct faculty, California State University School of Nursing, Long Beach; advisory board, NurseWeek; and California Institute for Nursing and Health Care Steering Committee.
Kay Kuzma, EdD, will present the commencement address for the School of Allied Health Professions. She is founder and speaker for Family Matters Ministry based in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Dr. Kuzma received her master’s degree in child development from Michigan State University and earned her doctoral degree in early childhood education from the University of California at Los Angeles.
She taught college and university students for 27 years; developed daily and weekly radio features; and has presented various television programs on Three Angels Broadcasting Network. In addition, she has been a popular guest on radio and television programs across the United States, and is a dynamic and entertaining motivational speaker and family educator.
Dr. Kuzma has written hundreds of articles, as well as numerous columns that have been published in various newspapers and journals. She is the author of more than 30 books, including: Mending Broken People, Easy Obedience, The First Seven Years: Parenting with Strong Values and a Gentle Touch, Fit Forever, and Between Hell and High Water.
Norris Lake in the Appalachian Hills of Tennessee is home to Dr. Kuzma and her husband, Jan Kuzma, PhD.
The final address of the day will be presented by Dan Buettner at the School of Public Health commencement services. Mr. Buettner is a pioneer in both exploration and education. He has biked more than 120,000 miles around the globe and is considered to be the “father of the interactive expedition.”
He holds the Guinness world records for cycling from Alaska to Argentina and for cycling around the world. In 1992, he introduced the first online adventure-learning expedition when he and three other cyclists pedaled across the Sahara to the southern tip of Africa to promote racial awareness. More than 50,000 schools followed their progress via CNN and the Internet.
Since 1992, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Mr. Buettner has launched 12 real-time expeditions, engaging millions of online explorers in helping answer some of science’s biggest questions—from queries about the collapse of the ancient Mayan civilizations (MayaQuest), to queries about the mysteries surrounding human origins (AsiaQuest).
In 2000, his AsiaQuest expedition made worldwide headlines when its findings showed that Marco Polo likely did not reach China. The Washington Post has called his journeys of discovery “the most successful experiment in interactive education to date.”
However, Mr. Buettner now may be on the verge of his greatest accomplishment: unlocking the secret to longevity.
He is currently leading Blue Zones Expedition, a project that is studying the world’s longest-lived populations—examining diet and lifestyle in order to compile a cross-cultural formula for living longer (see <www.bluezones.com>).
The first stop on the expedition was Okinawa, Japan; the second adventure will take him on a three-week exploration of Central America beginning October 9, 2006: “We know that there is a recipe for longevity and that 76 percent of it is related to lifestyle,” he says, “and we’re figuring it out.”
Mr. Buettner’s resume of accomplishments can be described as diverse. He was named 2005 All-Star Innovator by Outside Magazine. He authored National Geographic’s November 2005 cover story, “Secrets of Living Longer,” part of the second largest-selling issue in the magazine’s history—featuring Loma Linda as one of three global sites holding the secrets of longevity. He holds three Guinness world records for cycling across six continents.
He is an Emmy Award-winning documentary producer. He is recipient of the Scientific American’s Young Reader Award and the Minnesota Book Award. He is a member of the National Association of Campus Activities Directors’ Speaking Hall of Fame. And he is contributing writer and/or photographer for Outside, LIFE, National Geographic, National Geographic World, and Popular Mechanics.
Mr. Buettner graduated with honors from the University of St. Thomas in 1983.
By Richard Weismeyer