Attendees sit in an auditorium for presentations during “The Loma Linda Experience,” event

More than 200 attendees gathered together to explore Loma Linda University Health on September 22.

With an entire day devoted to “The Loma Linda Experience,” more than 200 attendees of the 2016 faculty colloquium walked away refreshed, enlightened and ready to start the new school year.

Focusing on a range of topics from legal issues, unconscious bias, and interprofessional education to Ellen G. White and a discussion of “What I wish I knew about LLU before coming to LLU,” faculty in attendance were witness to conversations that aimed to explain what it means to be part of the Loma Linda family.

“The faculty colloquium is the one time each year that the entire faculty are invited to come together and discuss issues that challenge and unite our campus,” says Ron Carter, PhD, provost of Loma Linda University. “This year’s topics went to the heart of who we are as an institution and what we want to become.”

The afternoon session featured a panel discussion with eight faculty members from a variety of religious backgrounds. This open discussion allowed for questions such as “What were some things about LLU that surprised you after joining us?” and “What are recommendations to improve the ‘on-boarding’ process by human resource management and the University?” to be addressed from diverse perspectives.  

Juan Carlos Belliard, PhD, MPH, associate professor of global health, shared that in addition to the colloquium allowing faculty across all disciplines to come together in collaboration, he finds value in this yearly event because of the conversations that are started.

“This year’s colloquium really stood out because it presented some honest and interactive discussions,” Belliard said. “I especially enjoyed the panel and hearing from our colleagues of other faiths. The implicit bias presentation was very timely, and the Ellen G. White presentation was humorous and informative. Great way to kick off the new year as a family!”

Carter went on to say that by exploring the philosophical roots of Loma Linda University’s beliefs, the institution will be able to apply them to the desire to grow.

Upon completion of the day, Elisa Blethen, MBA, assistant professor in the School of Public Health, said, “I think it is important to be able to talk about our faith and acknowledge differences that may exist with honesty and transparency, as well as being proud of who we are. I am glad that Loma Linda is moving toward being more clear and intentional about its Adventist faith.”