Connecting Research to Education, and Everything in Between

Cheryl Houston, PhD, CHES, has covered a lot of ground in her health sciences career in higher education. She has spent time in research, as a faculty member, in administration and in development, but her most current position as program director of the Doctorate of Health Professions Education (DHPE) at Logan is one that bonds most of her interests and experiences.

“Looking back, most of my decisions throughout my career led me to Logan,” she said. “My vision for this program is clear, and I am excited to find out just how much we can impact the current health care industry with this innovative doctorate program.”

Born and raised in Boston, Dr. Houston earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Cornell University. It was there she met her husband, a native St. Louisan, whose dream was to work for the Saint Louis Zoo. After graduation, the two moved back to the Midwest, where her husband began his work at the Zoo and Dr. Houston completed her dietetic internship, landing her first professional job in research at Washington University in St. Louis.

Washington University in St. Louis. “When you are working in research, you may not have the opportunity to teach,” she said, “but one of my mentors felt I had a knack for teaching and encouraged me to expand my horizons.” While at Washington University, Dr. Houston helped to develop a master’s program in health sciences and also worked in program administration. “Connecting with students fed my soul, and I realized I wanted to spend more time teaching,” she said.

After receiving a master’s degree in medical dietetics and a doctorate in health services research from Saint Louis University, Dr. Houston took a more active teaching position at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, eventually becoming a tenured professor, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses.

“I honed in on the best practices for quality education, and I served on almost every committee in order to learn the ins and outs of university organization, program administration, curriculum planning and development,” she said.

When the opportunity to direct the DHPE program at Logan presented itself last fall, Dr. Houston knew it was a great fit and a perfect combination of research and education.

“The DHPE is designed to give health care professionals an opportunity to develop skills as quality educators,” she said. “This program will work to address the educator shortages in many professional health programs. Program graduates will not only be content experts in their health field but also excellent educators for the next generation of health care professionals.”

Logan on the World Stage at the 2016 Paralympic Games


Dr. David Parish (right) will be heading to the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with powerlifter Ahmed Shafik.

The road to the Paralympics is demanding. It involves a four-year period of regional, national and international events, including World Championships/Parapan American Games and Open Championships, in which athletes must rank in the top 20 in the world for a chance to qualify.

Originally from Iraq, Ahmed Shafik began powerlifting in 1996 and began lifting for Team USA in 2006 after graduating from the University of Arizona. His Paralympic debut was at the London Games in 2012, and he has competed in two Parapan American Games as well as numerous additional international championship games. He holds records among able-bodied lifters in the United States Powerlifting Federation, the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation and USA Powerlifting.

Ahmed is the only athlete from the U.S. Para Powerlifting Team to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will compete against eight lifters in his weight class from all over the world.

“It’s overwhelming—an honor,” Ahmed said of qualifying this year. “It’s a beautiful feeling to step onto that podium and to be among so many other amazing athletes.”


The competitive spirit is not only instilled in Ahmed, but in the Shafik family. Ahmed’s father was a champion Olympic weightlifter in the 1960s and ‘70s, which inspired Ahmed to begin lifting. Ahmed was diagnosed with polio at the age of three and lacks muscle mass and strength in his left thigh. He couldn’t do the exercises necessary to train for Olympic weightlifting. Instead, Para Powerlifting allowed him to train with modified use of his lower body.

Every Olympian needs a coach, and Ahmed’s coach is David Parish, DC, MS, CSCS, DACBSP, ICCSP, program director of the Master’s in Sports Science and Rehabilitation and director of the Human Performance Centers at Logan University. Dr. Parish will serve as the head coach for the U.S. Para Powerlifting Team for the 2016 Paralympic Games.

“This is beyond anything I ever thought I’d get a chance to do,” said Dr. Parish. “I’ve been a physician for the Games, and I’ve coached everything from youth sports to high school athletes, but this is a whole different ballgame. It’s exciting and a little nerve-racking being on the world stage but at the same time really exciting.”

“The athletes and coaches are confident in Dr. Parish’s professionalism and knowledge of the sport,” said Mary Hodge, CPT, MS, high performance manager for the U.S. Para Powerlifting team. “He has also introduced us to the wonderful campus of professionals at Logan University, and the experience has been terrific.”

Ahmed’s goal is to receive a medal and make this his last competition, as he and his wife are expecting a baby. Ahmed will compete in Rio de Janeiro September 7-18.

Kimberly Cerf Wins the Radiology Department Quiz Challenge


Every trimester a resident in the Department of Radiology posts a series of imaging cases titled “Case Quiz Challenge” on the rolling monitor in the lobby of the Student Health Center. The imaging case is accompanied by questions presented at the training level of trimester 5-10 students. A total of six cases were made available covering a wide range of diagnoses of the musculoskeletal system including the spine and spinal canal. The winner of last trimester’s case challenge was Kimberly Cerf. For her efforts, Kimberly received a prize courtesy of Dr. Terry Yochum.

The Radiology Department will initiate a new Case Quiz Challenge beginning in September, 2016. 

Special Hours & Closures for August/September Trimester Break

Please be aware of the special hours and closures for the August/September Break:

Bookstore
August 27: Closed
September 3-5: Closed

Café and Charlie’s Grab n’ Go
August 19-September 6: Closed

Health Centers
September 3-5: Closed

Learning Resources Center and Computer Lab
August 19: Open 6:30am-5pm
August 20-21: Closed
August 22-26: Open 6:30am-5pm
August 27-28: Closed
August 29-September 2: Open 6:30am-5pm
September 3-5: Closed

Wellness Center
August 19: Open 5:30am-4pm
August 20-21: Closed
August 22-26: Open 10am-4pm
August 27-28: Closed
August 29-September 2: Open 10am-4pm
September 3-5: Closed

Chair Massages - August 9th and 11th, 2016

Philadelphia Zoo Nutritionist Pursues Master's Degree with Logan


Barbara Toddes is a zoological nutritionist at the Philadelphia Zoo. She is also a student at Logan, currently earning her Master’s in Nutrition and Human Performance degree online.

For someone who lives hundreds of miles from the Logan campus, some might think her path to Logan is anything but logical. In fact, it’s a path that very few—if any—people have taken. But for Barbara, pursuing a degree at Logan is the most logical next step in her career.

Barbara earned her bachelor’s degree in animal production from Pennsylvania State University with an emphasis in domestic livestock nutrition. Following her undergraduate studies, she joined the Philadelphia Zoo in 1984 as an intern and has worked there ever since. She later became the Zoo’s first zoological nutritionist and currently is one of approximately 25 in the country.

In the years since, Barbara has taken human and animal nutrition graduate courses, which led to her interest in human nutrition and its relation to zoological nutrition. Once her children had completed their own college education, she began looking into accredited programs that could lead to certification and a curriculum that was readily applicable to her current position at the Zoo.

“There are many great programs for training people to be field zoologists,” Barbara said. “But there is no clear-cut path for zoological nutritionists because we deal with so many animal species. The Philadelphia Zoo has a large nonhuman primate collection, which includes Colobus and Squirrel monkeys. In fact, those are the same animals typically used to study human nutrition.”

All of these factors eventually led her to look into master’s degrees in nutrition which, after much research, led her to Logan, where she enrolled and began online coursework in January 2016.

The Master’s in Nutrition and Human Performance curriculum includes many courses that interest Barbara and are beneficial to her career path, including nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics as well as herbology. Relative to the other programs she looked at, Logan’s offerings, Barbara said, were much more interesting and applicable to her situation in the zoological community.

“Zoological nutrition is not very different than human nutrition, but the complexity of the organisms we work with makes captive diet development challenging,” Barbara said. “Nutrigenetics may help us understand the variations of nutrient response between species.”

Barbara also enjoys the overall structure of online courses that allow her to fuse her professional life with her student life. “At first, I wasn’t sure about an online degree,” she said. “But I’ve found that Logan’s online lectures are the best way for me to learn because you can move along at your own pace."

In addition to having the opportunity to choose her coursework and access a plethora of news articles and medical journals in Logan’s online library, Barbara enjoys Logan’s specific ties to the medical community. “I like that Logan is also a chiropractic college,” she said. “I enjoy knowing that, as I listen to the online lectures, the professor is speaking primarily to future doctors.”

She also sees the value in sprucing up her client interaction skills, which is something she is experiencing through the program. 

“I’ve never done the client interaction part of nutrition,” she said. “My clients are animals who can’t talk to me, so all of their communications come through their keepers, who are parallel to a caregiver for a person who can’t communicate their needs. I’ve come to realize that communication is a huge part of nutrition, which is a big part of this program at Logan.”