Watch Graduation Live 5:00 PM


A New Year, A Happy & Healthier You

Welcome to Your Best Year Yet

January 5, 2024 | 8:00 AM – 12:45 PM

Join SEU Distinguished Professor Dr. Elaine Thompson, and the faculty, students, and alumni of the SEU College of Natural & Health Sciences, for a morning filled with inspiration.

You will experience fast-paced presentations on recent scientific advancements on the essential topics of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and spirituality. Then, customize your experience by choosing breakout sessions in your areas of interest where you will receive practical tips for executing an improvement plan for the New Year! 

These presentations will be full of encouragement, interactive elements, and a touch of humor! You’ll leave with a positive outlook and a realistic plan for the year ahead.

About SEU Presents

This exciting new series is a unique opportunity for members of our community to learn from the talented faculty, alumni, and students of SEU. Additional events will be offered in the coming months, so be sure to follow SEU on social media @seuniversity to stay up-to-date. 

Man presenting to group of people on stage with microphone


Picture of Elaine Thompson

Elaine Thompson, PhD, PT

SEU Distinguished Professor, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Thompson serves across the university in a variety of capacities through the creation and instruction of courses relating to bias and worldview, leadership development of SEU staff and faculty, and community education. She works with SEU to develop various seminars and presentations that will be available to local community members on health and workplace-related topics. 

Dr. Thompson received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from Drexel University, a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Temple University, and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Picture of Aimee Franklin

Aimee Franklin, PhD

Dean & Professor of Biology, SEU College of Natural & Health Sciences

Dr. Aimee Franklin received her B.S in Biology from Southeastern University in 2007. She then received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she investigated pathological synaptic mechanisms underlying learning and memory deficits in Fragile X syndrome, the most commonly inherited form of mental retardation and leading known genetic cause for autsim. Dr. Franklin received numerous institutional awards and funding as well as grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS). Dr. Franklin’s work has been published in her field’s top journals including the Journal of Biological Psychiatry where her publication was a finalist for the Aizkind-Somerfeld Research Award.

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Picture of Sheila Abraham

Sheila Prabhakar Abraham, PhD

Professor of Biology, SEU College of Natural & Health Sciences

Dr. Abraham has been teaching at SEU since 2006 and considers it a privilege to journey alongside faculty and students in their pursuit of excellence. From leading students on field visits and supervising field research at Lakeland’s conservation lands to creating a healthy atmosphere of debate and discussion in the classroom, Dr. Abraham loves being around students. At Southeastern, Dr. Abraham currently teaches the following classes: Animal Physiology and Molecular Biology, Botany, Biology I & II, Invertebrate and Vertebrate Diversity, Ecology (their respective labs), General Entomology and Bioethics.

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Picture of Todd Schraw

Todd Schraw, PhD

Professor of Biology, SEU College of Natural & Health Sciences

Todd Schraw teaching interests include Biology I, Biology II, Genetics, Cell & Molecular Biology, Immunology, Biochemistry, Life Origins, & Developmental Biology. His major research interests involve platelet clot formation and the connections between diabetes and obesity. He completed his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the University of Kentucky, where he studied the control mechanisms in platelet clot formation with Dr. Sydney Whiteheart.

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Picture of Stephen Reeder

Stephen Reeder, PA-C in progress

Biology/Pre-Med, SEU Class of '20

Stephen Reeder is a second year PA student at the University of Florida. He was born and raised in Lakeland, homeschooled all the way through high school, and dual-enrolled at Polk State College, graduating high school with his AA. He graduated from SEU with his Bachelors in Biology/Pre-Med in 2020. He and his wife, who he met at SEU, and graduated with her Bachelors in Elementary Education in 2021, have a beautiful one and a half year old daughter. Stephen is currently a National Health Service Corp scholar, and is passionate about community health and well-being, as well as integrating faith with healthy living. As a NHSC scholar, he is committed to working in medically underserved communities here in the United States and abroad.

Camilla Escalera

Camilla Escalera Carey, PhD

SEU Alumnus

Coming Soon!

Schedule of Events

8:00 – 8:30 AM

Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM

Welcome/“Creating Your Game-Changing Moment”
Dr. Chris Owen, SEU Executive Vice President

8:45 – 9:15 AM

Keynote Address: How to make 2024 the Joy and Time of Your Life
Elaine Thompson, PhD, PT

9:15 – 9:30 AM


9:30 – 10:45 AM


Nutrition: Todd Schraw, PhD
Exercise: Stephen Reeder, PA-C in progress
Sleep: Sheila Abraham, PhD
Stress: Camilla Escalera Carey, PhD
Companionship & Spirituality: Aimee Franklin, PhD

10:45 – 11:15 AM


11:15 – 11:50 AM

Breakout Sessions

Nutrition: Sheila Abraham, PhD 
Exercise: Elaine Thompson, PhD
Sleep: Jessica Perry PA-C 
Stress: Alice Nuttall, RN 
Companionship & Spirituality: Dr. Robby Waddell, PhD

12:00 – 12:45 PM

Lunch & Presentation: Creating Your 30-Day Habit Challenge
Aimee Franklin, PhD

12:45 PM

Closing Remarks
Dr. Meghan Griffin, SEU Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Event Details

Your registration includes parking, continental breakfast, lunch, and a morning filled with opportunities to build a happy, healthier you in 2024.


Individual | $125
Table of 8 | $1,000

Date & Location

January 5, 2024
SEU Welcome Center, Lake Bonny Room
8:00 AM – 12:45 PM

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information please contact Tammy Butler,

Event Registration

We’re looking forward to starting the new year with you. Seating is limited, so be sure to register now, and don’t forget to invite your colleagues and friends.