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College of Nursing and Health Innovation's kinesiology doctoral program set to graduate first student

Thursday, May 3, 2018 • Media Contact: Lekan Oguntoyinbo

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Jordan Patik has consistently distinguished himself since joining the inaugural class of The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology program.

Jordan Patik and Matthew Brothers

Jordan Patik, left, is in the inaugural class of UTA's College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology program. His mentor, Matthew Brothers, is next to Jordan.

He has presented his research at five regional conferences and six national conferences. Patik, whose research interests include the role of vascular dysfunction in the risk for a variety of diseases, recently finished one study and will soon have three papers published in which he is lead author. He also has had a chance to work with faculty members from several of the college’s 12 nursing and kinesiology labs.

In April, he received the Caroline tum Suden/Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award at the Experimental Biology annual meeting in San Diego. The award comes with a $500 check and free conference registration.

The doctoral kinesiology program was launched with 11 students in Fall 2016. Now Patik is poised to become its first graduate – after just two years.

Patik, who defended his dissertation on April 9, transferred to UTA after his mentor, Matthew Brothers, an associate professor of kinesiology, took a job at the College. Brothers is also the director of the college’s Integrative and Vascular Physiology Laboratory. Patik studied under Brothers as a master’s student. The two share a mutual interest in vascular dysfunction and disease.

“Jordan was not only a great student but a great researcher from a graduate student perspective,” Brothers said. “He saw the vision and thought UTA would be a great place to grow and get expertise from many leaders in the field.”

Anne Bavier, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, said Patik personifies the kind of vision and excellence in scholarship for which the college is rapidly becoming known around the country.

“Four years ago, the PhD in kinesiology program was a blank slate,” she said. “Now we are not only producing our first graduate but sending someone out into the academic world who has proven time and again through his presentations, awards and soon-to-be published work that he is one of the best.”

As part of his research, Patik examines diseases like hypertension, stroke, diabetes and Alhzheimer’s and their link to vascular dysfunction. He focuses on two populations that are at risk for vascular dysfunction: African-Americans and the obese.

“The college has a wonderful collaborative approach between professors and graduate students that works really well,” Patik said. “I have been exposed to a vast array of research opportunities at UTA. I have worked with professors from several of the college’s labs. This type of collaboration has helped me grow personally and professionally and set me up for a promising career.”

Upon graduation, Patik will work as a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Delaware.