Faculty, alumni, and friends honored by University and schools during commencement ceremonies
A number of awards were presented during commencement services for the Schools of Science and Technology, Nursing, Allied Health Professions, and Public Health held Sunday, June 11. The commencement services were held at Drayson Center (see commencement photo pages).
Honored with the Loma Linda University Distinguished Service Award during School of Science and Technology commencement services was Barry L. Taylor, PhD, vice chancellor for research affairs at Loma Linda University.
Dr. Taylor completed his undergraduate education in his native Australia—earning the bachelor of arts degree in secondary education from Avondale College in Cooranbong and the bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from the University of New South Wales in Sydney in 1966.
After earning his doctor of philosophy degree in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in Berkeley, California, in 1973, and subsequently serving as a research associate at this institution for two years, he returned to Australia. There, he completed an additional year of study as a visiting postdoctoral fellow in the John Burton School of Medical Research at Australian National University in Canberra.
In 1976 Dr. Taylor joined the faculty of the department of biochemistry in the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University. His nearly three decades of service at this institution—broken only from 1982 to 1983 when he served as a visiting scientist in the department of biochemistry at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City—has included the following: faculty appointments through the rank of professor in the department of biochemistry, School of Medicine; professor and chair, department of microbiology and molecular genetics, School of Medicine; interim director, Center for Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy, School of Medicine; and currently—vice president for research affairs, LLUAHSC; and vice chancellor for research affairs, LLU.
Dr. Taylor continues active research related to the mechanism by which oxygen chemoreceptors detect changes in oxygen concentration, and the mechanism by which information from the receptors crosses the cell membranes and is processed within the cell.
Not only does Dr. Taylor contribute to his profession as a member of School of Medicine, University, and LLUAHSC committees, but he is also an active member of national societies and associations that advance the research and development interests of science in general, as well as the specialties of microbiology and biochemistry and molecular biology in particular.
In addition, his professional activities include invited lectures and symposia, and publication of his research findings. Dr. Taylor has been honored on a number of occasions by the Walter E. Macpherson Society, which promotes the advancement of undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in the School of Medicine.
Presented with the School Alumnus of the Year Award from the School of Science and Technology was David A. Steen, PhD, professor of biology, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
Dr. Steen was born in Swannanoa, North Carolina, where his father was serving as a physician in the United States Army.
After completing his military service, David’s father moved the family to Gimbie, Ethiopia, so that he could establish a hospital there. Just as David began his childhood in mission service, so also his entire life has been one of mission-driven service—marking his interactions with his church, with his beloved students in the classroom, and in the laboratory.
Dr. Steen earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology and chemistry from Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee, and the master of arts and the doctor of philosophy degrees in biology from Loma Linda University Graduate School (now Faculty of Graduate Studies). His dissertation provided significant insight into plant microtubule ultrastructure and led to subsequent research in the area of plant-hormone effects in somatic embryogenesis.
Dr. Steen’s celebrated teaching career began in 1974 at Southern Adventist University. He attained the rank of professor and was appointed chair of the biology department in 1981. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the biology department at Andrews University and became chair of the graduate and undergraduate programs in biology in 2001.
Dr. Steen’s academic service record is a testimony to his wisdom and diplomacy. He has actively participated, often as chair, in most of his university’s academic and policy committees. He has frequently provided valued service to the Adventist educational system as a site visitor to colleges and universities affiliated with Andrews University.
Widely known as a consummate teacher, Dr. Steen’s artistic and musical talents are often exhibited in his carefully planned, dynamic lectures. He has pioneered one-of-a-kind courses in tissue culture and electron microscopy and has been an educational leader in digital-assisted learning. During 32 years of teaching, he has mentored literally thousands of students—several, outstanding scientists; others, valued teachers; many skilled physicians, dentists, and veterinarians; and scores of others who contribute in creative ways to society.
In addition to scholarly presentations within his research specialty, Dr. Steen is popular as a speaker within the local and regional communities. His presentations on “The Joy of Service,” “Genetically Modified Foods,” and “Creation by Design” are examples of his commitment to blending Christian service and science education.
James F. Dyer Jr., MSW, was posthumously awarded the School Distinguished Service Award from the School of Science and Technology.
Mr. Dyer, who unexpectedly died on May 30, was known as a compassionate and loving educator. He embodied Loma Linda University’s mission to further the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus Christ in response to its motto—“to make man whole.”
Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Mr. Dyer earned the bachelor of arts degree in zoology in 1962 from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland. In 1966, he received the master of social work degree with a major in psychiatric social work from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. He was certified as a social worker for the state of California in 1969 and was recognized as a board-certified diplomate in clinical social work by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work in 1990.
Prior to coming to Loma Linda University, Mr. Dyer taught science for Prince George County, Virginia, and was a psychiatric social worker for Eastern Shore State Hospital in Cambridge, Maryland. In 1970 he began his employment with Loma Linda University in the School of Medicine as instructor in the department of psychiatry. He was promoted to assistant professor of psychiatry in 1980. In 1975 he became clinical supervisor for the Graduate School’s department of marriage, family, and child counseling, as well as consultant/clinical supervisor for the social work department of Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Since 1994, Mr. Dyer was director of the University’s counseling center, and clinical social work supervisor/field placement director for the master of social work degree students in the School of Science and Technology. In 1994, he was promoted to associate professor of social work and social ecology. He also served as academic program coordinator for the master of social work program.
Mr. Dyer’s service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to his local community, and to the world was seen as he tirelessly worked with the University’s international trauma team.
He was distinguished for his expert integration of spirituality into clinical practice.
Mr. Dyer was known professionally for his thoughtful lectures, seminars, committee participation, and publications in the field; his students, peers, and clients cherished him as a compassionate, loving, and fair-minded servant to mankind.
During the School of Allied Health Professions commencement ceremonies, a new award was presented—the Trailblazer Award. This award was given to two individuals: Robert E. Cleveland, PhD (posthumously), former Loma Linda University vice president for academic affairs; and Ivor C. Woodward, PhD, first dean of the School of Allied Health Professions.
Dr. Cleveland served as vice president for academic affairs at Loma Linda University from 1964 to 1973. His visionary idea to combine the health care support professions on this campus under one school umbrella dedicated to those health care careers led to the establishment of the School of Allied Health Professions in 1966.
Dr. Cleveland also played a major role in consolidating the School of Medicine on the Loma Linda campus and in facilitating the merger between Loma Linda University and La Sierra College. His colleagues described him as a “personable, indefatigable worker for the continuing improvement of private higher education.”
A popular lecturer and historian, Dr. Cleveland’s passion for history led to membership in almost a dozen historical clubs and associations. He was a family man and outdoorsman of remarkable physical strength. In March of 1973, his love of the outdoors led to his shocking, tragic death at 47 years of age while climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.
Dr. Cleveland’s death was a profound loss for Loma Linda University. The Cleveland Reading Room in Del E. Webb Memorial Library on this campus is named in his memory.
Ivor C. Woodward was appointed by Dr. Cleveland in 1965 to be the first dean of the School of Allied Health Professions, which opened July 1, 1966. Dr. Cleveland said of this appointment: “There is a need for an overall administrator to give these sciences representation in the councils of the university, and the academic and administerial advantages that accrue.”
Dr. Woodward demonstrated outstanding leadership in forming the first five departments under the umbrella of the School. Later, during his 20-year tenure, two additional departments joined the School. Many programs were added to each department, creating on “the hill” the largest school within the University structure.
An educator with a keen interest in technology, Dr. Woodward had added training in radiological technology to his personal resume prior to being appointed dean, which prepared him well for leadership in the allied health arena.
Dr. Woodward retired in 1986. He continued to reside in Loma Linda until 2005, when he and his wife, Clarice, relocated to Marysville, Washington.
Elizabeth M. Guerra, MA, retired clinical instructor in the department of health information management, School of Allied Health Professions, was presented with the School Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award.
Ms. Guerra earned the bachelor of science degree in health information administration in 1968 from Loma Linda University, and the master of arts degree in management and supervision/health care administration from Central Michigan University in 1977.
Ms. Guerra’s professional achievements include serving as president for both the Southern California Health Information Association (SCHIA) and the California Health Information Association (CHIA). She is a coding expert who is also a seminar speaker for CHIA.
As a volunteer, Ms. Guerra participates in the Student Mentoring Program through SCHIA and donates her time and service at Laguna Woods Village—an active retirement community in Orange County.
In her capacity as a mentor, Ms. Guerra is committed to teaching, guiding, and serving as a reference person to students entering a health information administration/health information technology (HIA/HIT) program. She shares her insights and experience with students continually throughout their academic program, facilitating their development into confident, knowledgeable health information management (HIM) professionals. In the community computer center at Laguna Woods Village, her work includes assisting seniors with their computer needs. She also donates her time at the Home Health Service Friendly Visitors’ Program, spending time with housebound seniors who have no families to visit them.
Ms. Guerra’s many years of both pre- and postretirement experience include serving as director of health information management for San Antonio Hospital in Upland; senior auditor for Health Information Partners, Inc.; director of inpatient information services for Kaiser Permanente; HIM consultant for East Los Angeles Doctors’ Hospital; and image-support manager for ImageState Corporation in Santa Monica.
Ms. Guerra’s contributions to the School of Allied Health Professions at Loma Linda University include 25 years of service as a clinical instructor in the department of health information management. She also established the Elizabeth M. Guerra Endowment Fund, which provides scholarships for health information management students.
Presented with the School Distinguished Service Award at the conferring of degrees ceremony for the School of Allied Health Professions was Kenneth I. Burke, PhD, emeritus professor of nutrition.
Dr. Burke completed the master of education degree at Clemson University and the doctor of philosophy degree in food science and nutrition from Florida State University in 1973. His work experience includes serving as a food analyst for the Florida State Department of Agriculture and teaching at Southern Adventist University in the consumer-related sciences department.
Although his area of professional interest is extremely broad, Dr. Burke’s depth of knowledge in each of these interests has earned him the admiration of students and colleagues. He is a chemist who brings the science of food and nutrition to life for his students, and he is an educator who skillfully utilizes effective teaching methods and strategies to enhance students’ understanding of organic chemistry and food science.
Dr. Burke joined the faculty of Loma Linda University in 1973 in both the School of Public Health and the School of Allied Health Professions. Since 1984 he has held an appointment on the faculty of the School of Allied Health Professions and has also served the School administratively as associate chair of the department of nutrition. In addition, he has served as research adviser to graduate students in the School of Public Health.
In a follow-up to findings of the Adventist Health Study I, Dr. Burke served as a consultant to the walnut, pecan, and almond research studies conducted at Loma Linda University.
Dr. Burke contributes to the scientific literature on a regular basis. His most significant contribution is “The American Dietetic Association Position Paper on the Vegetarian Diet.” Written in conjunction with Virginia Messina, the paper—which was approved by the House of Delegates of the association in 1987 and reaffirmed in 1992 and 1996—appeared in the November 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
As a site visitor for the commission on accreditation for dietetic education of the American Dietetic Association, Dr. Burke has influenced the development of high-quality standards for dietetics education and has evaluated the degree to which dietetics programs adhere to these standards. He served on the original planning committee for the First International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, held in 1986 in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Burke was awarded the Thomas and Violet Zapara Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1993.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Burke is a committed Christian who models in his personal life the University mission to further the healing and teaching ministry of Christ.
Lawrence E. Chinnock, EdD, director, entry-level doctor of physical therapy program and progression master of physical therapy program, was presented with the Faculty Recognition Award at the School of Allied Health Professions conferring-of-degrees ceremonies.
Dr. Chinnock earned the bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from Loma Linda University in 1981, the master of business administration degree from California State University at San Bernardino, and the doctor of education degree from La Sierra University in 1996. Prior to joining the faculty of Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions in 1988, Dr. Chinnock was a physical therapy consultant for California Children Services in San Bernardino, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Mountain View Child Services, and Redlands Unified School District.
In the School of Allied Health Professions, he has held faculty and administrative appointments in the department of physical therapy.
Dr. Chinnock teaches a class with a project component that requires students to spend a minimum of one hour in a mall engaged in such pursuits as making a purchase, making a telephone call from a public telephone, accessing a public restroom, and maneuvering from one floor to another—all while in a manual wheelchair. This project is designed to develop and enhance the quality of compassion in physical therapy students for individuals who are wheelchair bound. Students’ views regarding this assignment reflect their increased understanding of the challenges faced on a daily basis by those who are confined to wheelchairs.
In recognition of his contributions and service as teacher and administrator in this School, and in appreciation for the difference he is making in the lives of students as his teaching enhances development of the head and the heart, Dr. Chinnock was presented with the Faculty Recognition Award.
Named School Alumnus of the Year by the School of Public Health was Ella Hasso-Haddad, DrPH, associate professor of nutrition, School of Public Health.
Dr. Haddad earned the bachelor of science degree from La Sierra College, completed the registered dietitian program at Loma Linda University, and received the master of science and doctor of public health degrees simultaneously from Loma Linda University in 1978.
Dr. Haddad commenced her professional career as a therapeutic dietitian at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. She transitioned from the clinical setting to the classroom after accepting an appointment to Middle East College in Beirut, Lebanon, where she remained for nearly a decade as instructor and chair of the department of home economics.
From 1979 to 1982, she served on the faculty of Loma Linda University School of Public Health in the department of nutrition. She returned to Lebanon in 1982 and for the next seven years continued her college teaching career in two institutions––American University of Beirut and Middle East College. Returning once more to Loma Linda University School of Public Health, she resumed her work in the department of nutrition in 1989, where she is currently an associate professor.
For two decades, Dr. Haddad has contributed to the department of nutrition in a number of capacities: teacher, curriculum developer, researcher, administrator. Her broad expertise in public health nutrition allows her to teach a number of subjects with ease––biochemistry and laboratory techniques, human nutrition, clinical nutrition, nutrition education, community nutrition, and nutritional policy. Each year she serves on several doctoral committees, often as chair.
In spite of a full teaching schedule and departmental administrative duties, Dr. Haddad remains active in funded research. She also annually co-authors several publications in primary nutrition journals. She has been active on numerous committees, including the Inland District Dietetic Association’s legislative committee—which she chairs.
Dr. Haddad participated in the design and release of the vegetarian food guide pyramid that was introduced at the Third International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition. She was also the primary architect for the community nutrition materials that are available on the Loma Linda University department of nutrition website.
She is in constant demand as a speaker at churches and community meetings. In addition, she conducts cooking classes at churches and community events and works with students at community health fairs.
The School of Public Health Distinguished Service Award was presented to Susanne B. Montgomery, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs, School of Public Health, during the commencement program.
Dr. Montgomery earned the master of science equivalent degree in nutritional science from Justus Liebig Universität in Giessen, Germany, in 1982, and the master of public health and doctor of philosophy degrees from the University of Michigan.
She was a National Cancer Institute (NCI) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California in the department of preventive medicine.
In 1995, Dr. Montgomery accepted faculty appointments to Loma Linda University in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine. She has also served as associate dean for academic affairs for the School of Public Health and as director for the University’s Center for Health Research.
Dr. Montgomery has been a regular research grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and publishes and reviews for several peer-reviewed journals. She has also published book chapters; written for the general public; and has made numerous presentations at national professional meetings.
Her research interests focus on adolescent health, with a particular emphasis on health issues of high-risk youth—including homeless and runaway and gang-involved youth.
The topics she investigates in these populations include alcohol and other drug use, HIV-risk sexual behaviors, STDs and teen pregnancy, and violence-related behaviors. Her other research endeavors have focused on social factors contributing to health disparities.
Prior to coming to Loma Linda University, Dr. Montgomery served on the faculties of the University of Southern California in the department of preventive medicine and pediatrics (current appointment) and the University of Illinois in the department of health and safety studies.
Dr. Montgomery has been given special recognition on numerous occasions and has received a variety of honors for her professional contributions, including: San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors resolution naming her public health professional of the year in 2005; Loma Linda University School of Public Health Faculty Research Award in 2001; and the Achievement Award for the productivity of the Healthy Start II project, presented by the secretary of the United States department of health and human services.
By Richard Weismeyer