Professors make healthy resolutions

Three professors share their New Year’s resolutions for Biola this semester.

Julianna Hernandez, Staff Writer

“A new year, a new you!” A slogan that is often said this time of year. For some Biola professors, a new person includes pursuing creative outlets, creating balance, and living in the moment.


Public relations and journalism professor Bill Simon made four goals for 2018. The first centers on continuing the growth of the public relations department. The second is working on the development of a new advertising concentration of PR. Simon is also considering pursuing a doctorate degree either at Regent University in Virginia or at the University of San Diego.

For Simon’s final goal, he hopes to pursue creativity again. A writer by nature, Simon hopes to pitch articles concerning the Christian faith or just a general topic to a major magazine. He might also pursue creative writing with a book, or he may create a board game he has been working on for many years. The game has been beta-tested, and he simply wants to bring it back.


Psychology professor Kerry Horrell’s word for the year is balance—a balance in perspective, her professional life and personal life. Horrell teaches a class called Psychology of Gender, where he often presents diverse perspectives. With that, she hopes to open a safe space to talk about hard issues and subjects uncommon to Biola.

“One of the topics we talk about in my class that is a very challenging topic is transgenderism, and it’s one of those things where students are like, ‘We just don’t ever talk about this,’” Horrell said. “There’s not a lot of space for it. My hope is that we just make more space for those conversations. We make space for knowledge surrounding these topics, and to me that feels like offering a far more balanced and robust sort of understanding of people.”

Along with offering balance in perspectives for hard topics, Horrell wants to model a balanced lifestyle for her students, complete with self-care in the midst of studies .As both a graduate student and professor, she knows the struggles, she knows the struggles of life while being a student.


Aside from the typical New Year’s resolutions like eating healthy, exercising and reading more, associate professor of broadcast journalism Stewart Oleson hopes to be intentional with his time and his students this school year.

Oleson simply wants to live in the moment, a concept he has learned from his labrador and pitbull mix puppy, Coco, on their walk every morning on the bluffs of the Pacific Palisades. While every other dog walks or runs along the beach, Coco plops down on the sand to take in the view of the ocean. This stirred a thought in Oleson that he should live in the moment too.

“That moment of understanding where you are right now, not thinking ahead,” Oleson said. “There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future, but I think you sacrifice the present too often if you’re constantly thinking ahead.”

Part of this intentionality comes with making time to listen to his students. Oleson hopes to make time to listen and get to know his students personally.

For the department, Oleson wants to stay ahead of the technology curve as the world of broadcast journalism is alway changing. He hopes by better understanding these changes he can prepare students going into the industry.

May there be many more years of great professors setting goals for Biola to make a better experience for students.

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