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Assistant Professor of Biology named director of GNC Faculty/Student Research Institute


Assistant Professor of Biology named director of GNC Faculty/Student Research Institute

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College announces Assistant Professor of Biology Delbert Abi Abdallah, Ph.D., has been named the director of the Greenville Neuromodulation Center Faculty/Student Research Institute effective immediately.

In 2015, Thiel College alumni Fred ’66 and his wife, Jill (Shackett) Haer ’66, pledged more than $400,000 to fund the Greenville Neuromodulation Center (GNC) Faculty/Student Research Institute. The multiyear research projects and summer research institute focus on connecting science and liberal arts. The institute is open to all Thiel College faculty members.

The research institute began in the summer of 2015. Abi Abdallah had two projects among last year’s inaugural class of six.

“We had a very successful initiation into this project with last summer’s research. There were projects varying from infection to theater,” Abi Abdallah said.

Abi Abdallah said four projects are funded for the coming year. The application deadline for additional projects is March 14, 2016. Abi Abdallah will handle the administrative duties for the institute and report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Lynn Franken, Ph.D.

“The institute is perfectly suited to establish a research culture at Thiel College that will strengthen and complement our academics,” Abi Abdallah said. “This should allow our faculty to better teach and train students. These research opportunities will make our graduates more attractive candidates for graduate and professional schools, and in an increasingly competitive post-undergraduate job market.”

“The appointment of Dr. Abi Abdallah is a very important first step Thiel College is taking to increase the opportunities for students to be exposed to and work with faculty engaged in scholarly research. It is also timely in that the appointment is coincident with the implementation of an important strategic initiative by the College to encourage collaborative research between the liberal arts and basic science. Plans are being developed to demonstrate this connection by breaking ground for a new multifunctional research connector atrium, which will tie the two Thiel facilities housing its arts and sciences resources together. This connection will stimulate student participation in scholarly collaborative research to better prepare them for careers in medicine or make them more informed, engaged advocates for better health programs for society.” – Fred Haer ’66

About the Haers

In 1970, the Haers founded FHC, Inc. The company’s microelectrode recording and stimulation technology serves neuroscientific research and neurosurgical operating rooms with more than 7,000 unique metal microelectrodes and a broad range of research and clinical instruments. FHC continues to advance the understanding and practices of neuroscience. Greenville Neuromodulation Services (GNS), a wholly owned subsidiary of FHC, Inc., supports the neuroscience industry with a full range of services for medical professionals involved in the treatment of movement disorders. It is located in Greenville with the nonprofit GNC.

Additionally, the Haer Family Symposium at Thiel College has been named in honor of the Haers. This annual lecture series is in its third year. Michael Collins, Ph.D., director of UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, will speak at the April 14-15 symposium. The overall topic will be concussion and traumatic brain injury. The first installment of the series included three international experts discussing deep brain stimulation. The second event featured best-selling author Sandeep Jauhar, M.D., and John’s Hopkins economist and author Douglas Hough, Ph.D.

About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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