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Evangel honors Dr. Josh Little for career in pain research

October 24, 2014 | Kameron Nettleton

“Where did your fascination with the understanding of pain come from?”

For many people, this would be a very strange question. For Dr. Josh Little, however, it’s part of the job.

Little graduated from Evangel in 2002 with a Physical Education major and a minor in Biology. Since then, he has completed his Doctor of Chiropractic degree, earned a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in anatomy, and completed postdoctoral training in pain research. He now works at SLU as an assistant professor in the School of Medicine, where he studies the neurobiological mechanisms underlying chronic pain.

“My interest began after I observed my father suffer from chronic pain,” Little says. “He exhausted every therapeutic option available to manage his pain, but those approaches never substantially impacted his condition.”

Because of these experiences, Little is driven to find a way to help those suffering from chronic pain.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

At Homecoming in October, the Evangel University Kinesiology Department honored Little with the department’s first ever Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Josh  Milta Little

Drs. Josh and Milta (Oyola) Little (both EU ’02) at the Homecoming 2014 luncheon with President Carol Taylor.

According to Dr. Keith Hardy, chair of the department, Little was an easy choice.

“Dr. Little represents excellence in academic achievement and is a role model for all students to follow,” says Hardy. “We are very proud of his accomplishments.”

Little is already giving back to his alma mater.

“Josh has been an avid supporter of both the Kinesiology Department and the university as a whole,” says Hardy. “In fact, he recently provided in-service training to our faculty on grant writing and the research process for publication.”

Little knows that his time in the classroom and on the football field at Evangel helped prepare him for where he is today.

“Although I knew that I wanted to help people, I didn’t know how I could best help,” he says.

“My coursework at Evangel sparked an interest in me to become both a clinician and scientist. Evangel allowed me to explore my interests outside the boundaries of a traditional academic major, and through this process, I discovered my career path.”

Football lessons still apply

While football may not have had a direct impact on his career choice, Little says being a football player helped him to develop into a more complete person.

“Evangel football, and especially Coach Charlie Linn, taught me how to lead while being part of a team, how to face adversity and fight for success, win and lose gracefully, and be accountable for my actions,” Little says.

“Each of these lessons have come in handy along my 11 years of professional, academic and postdoctoral training after I graduated from Evangel.”

Little and his wife, Milta (Oyola) are both 2002 Evangel graduates. She earned a double major in Biology and Spanish at EU, then enrolled in the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 2006. Dr. Milta Little is a board certified physician and an internationally recognized leader in geriatric medicine. She also serves as an assistant professor of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

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