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Clinical Researcher/Patient Educator Heads Department

by Carol Best
Professor Leigh Kreshel

Bringing an extensive background in clinical research and patient education to her work at MNU, Leigh Kreshel, professor of kinesiology, is now leading the Department of Natural Health and Mathematical Sciences as its new chair. The position opened when Abby Hodges, PhD, became dean of the College of Arts and Science at MNU. Kreshel’s background relates well to this responsibility as her focus has always been to empower others by teaching health-promoting behaviors and social connection. Now she can impart that knowledge as she teaches kinesiology courses and works with department faculty.

Prior to becoming a professor at MNU in 2019, Kreshel held several positions in the medical research arena including Senior Research Coordinator at Rowe Neurology Institute in Lenexa, Kansas. Her work with Rowe’s team led to the development of new pharmaceutical medications for those with multiple sclerosis, headache, and dementia disorders. A passion for those with MS led her to create the MS Wellness Center of Rowe Neurology Institute. The Wellness Center was designed to promote social interaction and empowerment through physical activity.

“After many years in a secular business environment, MNU is a perfect fit,” Kreshel says. “I am able to share my previous experiences to help students learn, I can make teaching my primary purpose, and I have the privilege of sharing the love of Jesus.”
Leigh Kreshel, BS, MS, ACRP
Professor of Kinesiology

Students and department personnel benefit from Kreshel’s real-world background in communicating with healthcare professionals, patients, research oversight boards, and other stakeholders. In the kinesiology research course, she coaches students about different types of research, including clinical research—the focus of her first career. As chair of the Institutional Review Board at MNU, Kreshel oversees all research requests regarding human subjects. She has also facilitated the development of materials that aid the research process for faculty and students.

Kreshel has a passion to teach and mentor young professionals through the early parts of their medical careers. By teaching young professionals the art of intentional interaction and compassion she hopes to positively impact the next generation of healthcare leaders.

Kreshel earned a master’s degree in health and exercise science from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science in exercise science and wellness from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. She is also a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC®). While her time in the corporate world is valuable experience, she is excited to be part of Christian higher education.

“Our world needs Christian higher education now more than any other time,” Kreshel says. “Many parents are looking for institutions that promote a biblical worldview. They understand that young adults need the hope of Christ to become healthy and independent adults. Christian higher education can fill this gap.”

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