Advisory Board Meets and Mentors Students

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The advisory board for BJU School of Health Professions invest time with students considering impactful careers, Mack Library, BJU, March 15, 2019. (Hal Cook)

Members of the BJU School of Health Professions advisory board met with an estimated 100 students in a career advice session on Friday, March 15. The eight-member panel shared pivotal moments from their backgrounds that influenced their choice of health profession. The panel then spread around the room while students moved from professional to professional asking questions and gleaning valuable information.

Panel members included:

  • Gary Cobb—surgeon, Community Health Network
  • Albert Bonnema—Lt. Col. USAF, Population Health Support Division
  • Deborah Hutcheon—registered dietitian and assistant professor, Rutgers University
  • Thom Bacon—commander USAF retired, 39th Medical Group
  • Karin Henderson—executive director, Cone Health Systems
  • Brian Romig—director, Navigant (consulting)
  • Sulaiman Sulaiman—chief information officer, iMethods
  • Marcelo Martinez-Ferro—pediatric surgeon, Argentina
  • Martin Clark—consultant, former president, Kettering Medical Center Foundation

Advice to Students

As the panel members introduced themselves to students, many included brief words of advice.

Cone Health executive director of strategic management Karin Henderson said, “In healthcare, you will see the best of humanity and the worst. You’re going to see tragedy. You’re going to see miracles. . .. Figure out what is your ‘why’ because it’s your ‘why’ that is going to help you deal with the chaos that comes your way.”

Former Kettering Medical Center Foundation president Martin Clark charged students to make decisions by considering who God made them to be, then using the talents He gave for His glory. “Vocational decisions, career decisions can be made best—for me, at least—by answering two questions. The first question is, what do I have from God? The second question is, how do I use it for His glory? Now, those are incredibly simple questions. The answers can be incredibly complex [and] are always changing.”

Brian Romig, director of Navigant in Dallas, Texas, pulled a single thread and tied all the comments together: “There’s a theme here: continuously learn.” All the panelists agreed that being open to learn from the changes and opportunities God brings was the key to a successful career in healthcare.

Value to BJU

In addition to providing guidance and mentorship to students in the health profession fields, the advisory board also provides value to BJU.

According to Deborah Hutcheon, registered dietitian and assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutritional Sciences with Rutgers University, “[The advisory board] will help in developing programs and developing schools in focused markets. … Historically, Bob Jones University has been more focused on seminary training or the fine arts area or the educational areas. I think this will help propel the University forward in a new area and a new market for students, and even [open] a new ministry area for students as they’re going out.”

Members also see value for themselves in being part of the advisory board. As Dr. Marcelo Martinez-Ferro stated, the value to him is “more what I learn than what I advise.”