Meet the Enrollment Team

University College is dedicated to helping you find an academic program to fit your educational goals. Whether you’re looking to complete your degree, change careers, or fulfill a lifelong dream, UC’s enrollment team will guide the start of your journey.

  • Jason Elliott
    Director of Enrollment

    Education: M.S. in Leadership
    Contact: (626) 804-2589, jelliott@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    Attending college could seem intimidating, overwhelming, or even impossible, but there is an entire campus of people at University College who want to help you succeed. We want to make starting school a stress-free process, and starting school is the first step to graduating. That first step may be scary, but it's always worth it.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    Our goal is to create graduates, not just students. Plus, our goal is to make those graduates better, wiser, and closer to God than when they first began with us. The university you attend will shape you, influence you, and change your life. We take that responsibility seriously and want to help you reach the goals you have for yourself.

    How do you spend your free time?
    Is this the part where I list my favorite music venues? I'm an avid concertgoer, and I spend my free time at The Greek Theater, the Troubadour, The Fonda, The Hollywood Bowl, The Bootleg, The Wiltern, or one of the many other music venues around town. I also enjoy Angel Stadium—but only when the Angels are losing to my favorite team: the Texas Rangers.

  • Javier Atkinson
    Program Representative

    Education: M.A. in Organizational Management
    Contact: (626) 857-2466, jatkinson@uc.apu.edu

    What advice do you give to prospective students?
    Take control of your destiny. Nothing in life is easy, but God has given you the ability to further your educational goals and set your lifelong goals in motion. It is never too late to gain knowledge. University College is here for you! Be a pioneer for your future. Everyday is an adventure—take it head on and don't look back!

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    University College is set forth for students who are looking to progress in their lives and are looking for a Christian family to do it with. University College cares about you! We want to encourage and push you to your educational goals as well as strengthen your relationship with God by being around other like-minded individuals. Here at University College, you can guarantee that there are no unethical practices in our enrollment and that we are here for your success.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy teaching and guiding my son through life so that he makes the right decisions. I am a super sports fan—basketball, football, hockey, golf—you name it, I watch it. Lastly, I like to look for ways to strengthen my walk with God, either through meditation or attending church on Sundays. It is refreshing to know that there is always someone with you, especially in times of need.

  • David Coronado
    Program Representative

    Education: M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    Contact: (626) 857-2467, dcoronado@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    When I was an undergraduate student, I had a lot of questions and concerns on how to finish my degree. Likewise, for many students, going to school can be a scary thought. I want to encourage you. I am here to help answer all your questions and help you extinguish any fears you may have. As your program representative, my greatest desire is to see you thrive. Ultimately, my goal is to help you complete your degree, accomplish your goals, and develop your God-given strengths and talents. I strongly encourage you to take that leap of faith and complete your program one step at a time. This is how I did it, and if I can do it, I know you can, too!

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    University College provides students with the opportunity to accomplish their goals and ambitions. Whether you are completing your degree online or on campus, UC has an option that will fit your schedule, family obligations, and budget. There are plenty of options to complete your degree. UC is a transfer-friendly institution and provides opportunities to earn credit through exams and Prior Learning Assessments. Additionally, UC offers degree-completion programs that can be finished in as few as 10 months.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife. She is my divine gift from God and I love her so much. Some of my favorite pastimes are traveling, dining in restaurants, and simply enjoying a movie or two (especially drive-in movie theaters). I am an avid learner, so in my free time, much of it is spent on my current studies. However, as a youth pastor, I also enjoy ministering to my middle school and high school youth group.

  • Erick Diaz
    Program Representative

    Education: B.S. in Business and Tourism
    Contact: (626) 804-2581, ediaz@uc.apu.edu

    What advice do you give to prospective students?
    Do what you like to do. Enjoy every day to the fullest and take ownership for every challenge that life might bring you. Always think ahead to your future, and try to work today for the things that you want to change later. Education must always be your top priority. Enjoy the ride and love your surroundings each day.

    What are the distinctives of University College?
    UC is designed to help each student at a time. Your success will be our success, and we are growing tremendously because of our students. You won't be disappointed—we do truly care.

    How do you spend your free time?
    Every day I enjoy my family to the extreme; we play sports and do some gardening as well. When I have quiet time (while the kids are doing homework and chores), I enjoy my hobby, which is working on my vintage car. My family and I love the outdoors, and we are always trying to do something fun.

  • Dennis Figueroa
    Enrollment Supervisor

    Education: B.S. in Multimedia Design
    Contact: (626) 857-2464, dfigueroa@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    To be successful, you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can't just accept the ones you like. Nothing worthwhile is easy, as the old saying goes, and this certainly is true of a college education. To be successful requires a strong work ethic, dedication, and sacrifice. We all have these traits within us; some just find them sooner than others. Believe in God's blessing, and you'll have nothing to worry about.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    University College believes in building the next generation of leaders. We motivate, inspire, and push students to strive for not only academic excellence, but to develop the will that moves them to reach their highest potential.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I’m a husband and a father of two very active boys. We enjoy outdoor activities but know how to embrace the quiet times as well. We also enjoy traveling and experiencing different places and cultures. My one weakness is my wife’s cooking—you can say I’m spoiled in that department.

  • Christy Giannestras
    Program Representative

    Education: B.A. in English
    Contact: (626) 857-2456, cgiannestras@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    Life guarantees challenges, and education is no exception. You will undoubtedly face hardships, roadblocks, and frustrations as you pursue your degree, but the diploma at the end of the road and the opportunities it provides will be worth every second. Persevere, and take advantage of the dedicated staff and faculty here at University College who will get your questions answered, pray with you, and provide every resource possible to ensure you not only graduate in victory, but also grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    University College offers flexibility, affordability, Christian worldview training, and staff invested in your success.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I'm passionate about travel, food (especially cheese), theater, and outdoor adventures. I spend a significant amount of my free time rock climbing, home brewing with friends, and re-learning how to cook and play the piano. If there's time leftover, I'm probably making an Excel spreadsheet of someting or geeking out over the latest superhero film.

  • Sarkis Hovaguimian
    Program Representative

    Education: Juris Doctor
    Contact: (626) 804-2561, shovaguimian@uc.apu.edu

    What advice do you give to prospective students?
    Take your time to investigate the different options available to you. Gather all factual information pertaining to your career choice. Construct a timeline with goals and objectives to accomplish your selected path. Do not be afraid to seek guidance, wisdom, and confidence through meditation and prayer. Once you have gathered, reviewed, and evaluated your options, do not be afraid to implement your plan and begin your journey. It is not hard; It is hard work!

    What are the distinctives of University College?
    In my mind, the staff defines University College. They express genuine concern and the support they offer is priceless. We are all here to see you succeed and graduate to be a positive influence in your community.

    How do you spend your free time?
    My time is spent with family and friends. Saturdays are reserved for my 6-year-old nephew.

  • Precious Jackson
    Program Representative

    Education: B.S. in Psychology
    Contact: (626) 857-2436, pjackson@uc.apu.edu

    What advice do you give to prospective students?
    When we hope for something that has not yet been achieved, it is easy to become distracted by present concerns. I would advise prospective students to trust their desire to want to become educated. When we invest in ourselves, our families, our children, and our communities are all made stronger. Seek out ways it can work out, rather than reasons it will not. Make a decision to move forward no matter what and then create a visual reminder of what will be different once you've graduated. Even it it is just a picture of you feeling proud of yourself!

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    University College offers the opportunity to learn and grow in perspective and skill with a Christian perspective. That is the best opportunity because it is not always easy to connect important topics in the context of faith. The advisors and professors are all committed to your success and want to support each student in their journey toward graduation.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I love to eat! Trying new recipes and visiting restaurants is always a priority. Family workouts are always a lot of fun as well as time training and playing with our dogs.

  • Halie Lewis
    Program Representative

    Education: B.A. in Political Science
    Contact: (626) 804-2588, hlewis@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    Don’t hold back in any way! Whether you are nervous to go back to school, unsure about fitting school into your schedule, or hesitant to ask your Program Representative questions, be confident that we will support you through the entire process. The Enrollment Team is dedicated to helping students achieve their dream of continuing their education, but we need students to talk to us. Help us help you!

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    The first two distinctives that come to mind are the passion for student success and attention to detail. There is a deep-rooted understanding that UC exists to empower students to change their lives and impact the Kingdom of God. Our bottom line is to glorify God through the education of our students. How could we not be passionate about this calling? From that passion stems attention to detail. Not only will we encourage students to succeed, we will think critically about how we can help them move toward that goal. Each student will always receive individual attention and guidance. Data is double checked and extra hours are worked by each department to make sure that no stone is unturned when it comes to students.

    How do you spend your free time?
    Three words: Family, friends, and food. When I am not working, you can almost always find me sharing a meal with the people I love.

  • Michael Leyva
    Program Representative

    Education: B.S. in Organizational Leadership (in progress)
    Contact: (626) 857-2434, mleyva@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    The first thing I would tell prospective students is that choosing to continue their education here at University College is not only a great choice for educational growth but also for life and spiritual growth. It is an opportunity that should not be taken lightly; and because of that, I encourage prospective students to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them by staying in constant contact with their respective program representatives. We have some of the most sought-after talent in the industry and our staff cares deeply about each and every student.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    University College is unique in many respects when looking at other schools that offer a similar level of education, curriculum, and experience. First and foremost, University College stands alone when committing faith and honesty with each and every student. At UC, the student comes first, always. UC strives to provide an easy, honest, transparent, and exceptional experience; ranging from the amazing and knowledgeable program representatives but also the extremely helpful success coaches that ensure you are on the right educational path. This is the reason I chose to not only work for UC, but committed to being a student here as well. The quality of education and overall cultural experience is unlike any other I have ever encountered.

    How do you spend your free time?
    In my free time, I strive to better myself each day as a father, student, provider, and a soldier of God. I really enjoy being outdoors. I find the outdoors brings me internal peace, and it is where I feel closest with myself and with the Lord. I enjoy going bowling, miniature golfing, camping, hiking, museums, and rock climbing with my children. Last but not least, I love continuing my education as a student here at UC. I strive to keep a fine balance in my life of work, school, family, faith, and, of course, some fun!

  • Imelda Rangel
    Program Representative

    Education: M.A. in Organizational Leadership
    Contact: (626) 857-2454, irangel@uc.apu.edu

    What advice do you give to prospective students?
    My advice is that there is no better investment than in yourself! A formal education is something that no one can take away from you regardless of economic conditions or market trends that always seem to dominate the news. The road will not be easy but anything worthwhile is worth the struggle. Remember, every journey begins with a first step. Let's take the journey together!

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    UC is unique in that every step of your journey, there is someone from our team to support you. From program representatives to success coaches to program completion advisors, all have a vested interest in your success. Our programs are tailored for people who seek an education with a “God first” approach. UC helps students understand and engage this approach by facilitating a Christian educational experience that combines academics with spiritual and social development opportunities.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I spend my free time with friends and family, enjoying each other’s company and eating good food!

  • Mark Sokol
    Program Representative

    Education: B.A. in Broadcasting and Communications
    Contact: (626) 857-2433, msokol@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    I am a believer in education. The right education is the difference between having a career and having just a job. Figure out what your career goals are and get the education to create the pathway to achieve those goals.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    University College is grounded in more than a century of experience in higher learning through Azusa Pacific University, which has a longstanding reputation of prestige throughout career recruitment circles.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I am close to my immediate family and spend a great deal of time with them. I enjoy reading and learning from my Bible. I also enjoy watching sports in person and on television.

  • Ray Soriano
    Program Representative

    Education: B.S. in Business Administration
    Contact: (626) 857-2485, rsoriano@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    When you believe in yourself, anything is possible. There will be times where you'll feel defeated, but that's the beauty of life. At the end of your struggles, you will not only feel accomplished by what you have done, but you will also learn that taking things one step at a time and not giving up makes a huge difference. Just keep going until you get to where you want to be.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    UC offers flexible programs without ever having to jeopardize your time at work or with your family. We have a great support staff that will lead you to your success. We are always working hard to make sure we get you to where you want to be. We believe what makes you unique, will make you attractive.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I am very active so when I am not spending time with family and friends, I am either out hiking, at the gym, or going out for a run. I also enjoy traveling and just experiencing different places and cultures.

  • Shawn Tippet
    Enrollment Supervisor

    Education: B.S. in Business Management
    Contact: (626) 857-2432, stippet@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    Going back to school to complete my bachelor's degree after a 10-year break was the wisest, most rewarding career decision I have made. Education and the right positive attitude will open doors.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    We have a helpful, passionate staff that truly cares about the success of our students. Other features include our regional WASC accreditation, our affordability, our quality of instruction, our ongoing student support, our faith-based curriculum, and APU's reputation for high academic quality and curriculum.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I spend my time with family and friends boating, traveling, going to see live music, spending time outdoors, watching sports, and traveling.

  • Crystel Vargas
    Program Representative

    Education: B.A. in Communication Studies
    Contact: (626) 857-2453, cvargas@uc.apu.edu

    What advice do you give to prospective students?
    Do not be afraid to take the next step toward academic success. I advise students to ask as many questions as they need to and seek clarification. Never cease to learn and use time wisely. Education is the key to success. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

    What are the distinctives of University College?
    University College is here to guide you through the educational journey and help you reach your academic goals. UC offers flexibility and makes sure you are treated with the utmost courtesy and respect you deserve. At UC, we truly care about you, and we want to see you succeed and be difference makers. We are with you every step of the way from the point of inquiry to graduation.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I enjoy reading, listening to country music, spending time with my family, and working with children and teens at my local church. I am also a sports fanatic; whenever I get the opportunity, I love to go to soccer games.

  • Matthew Womack
    Program Representative

    Education: B.A. in History/Administrative Studies
    Contact: (626) 804-2583, mwomack@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    Going back to school can be both an exciting and daunting decision to make. Have confidence in your abilities and be patient with the journey. Embrace all the peaks and valleys you will come across in school and view them as moments to grow and mature. With each assignment, test, and course you complete, you are one step closer to your educational goal.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    Our staff sincerely cares about each one of our students. We are here to guide and support you in your academic endeavors. Whether you are new to higher education or are looking to complete your degree, we can assist you.

    How do you spend your free time?
    In my spare time, I enjoy relaxing at home, going to the gym, reading, and spending time with my friends and my family.

Admissions Processing

  • Maricris Dar
    Manager, Admissions Processing and Data

    Education: M.A. in Education
    Contact: (626) 857-2436, mdar@uc.apu.edu

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    Your education is the one and only investment with a value that will NEVER depreciate. Although at times, even in just the application and enrollment process, it may seem like an extremely difficult and daunting experience, it is one that is definitely worth the overwhelming sensation of accomplishment and pride when you eventually meet your goals. We will be with you every step of the way to get you through those difficult moments and to celebrate all your successes with you.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    Everyone here at UC is genuinely concerned with our students’ success and well-being. We are here to be your resource, your cheerleader, and your unwavering support throughout this journey.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I’m either running or eating (in fact I really just run to eat). If I’m not doing that, then you’ll most likely find me at Disneyland—running around and eating!

  • Audrey Cooke
    Admissions Processing Specialist

    Education: M.S. in Psychology, emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

    What advice do you give to prospective students?
    Your time attending college will be temporary. Your education will last, and be a part of you, for your lifetime. There will absolutely be difficult times, situations in which you will doubt your ability to succeed, times when you really don't think you can make it through. Do not be afraid to lean on others during those times, whether they are friends, family, pastors, or your success coach at UC (or all of the above!). Remember that those hard times will pass and you will have made such an amazing accomplishment.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    At a school where the motto is God First, you can expect a great environment of faith and spiritual encouragement. Along with that comes distinct values, morals, and ethics. UC truly believes in what is best for the student, whether that means guiding and supporting them through their educational career with UC, or pointing them in a direction that might be better suited to their needs and motivations. In any case, a student can be sure that he or she is receiving guidance and support meant for them, with the most positive priority: God First.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I love spending time with my family. My husband, daughter, and I like to go to parks, museums, zoos, and the beach. We love music and can often be found having "dance parties," just the three of us. When it's time to relax I read, color, or binge watch movies/TV shows on Netflix.

  • Melissa Dworak
    Senior Admissions Processing Specialist

    Education: B.A. in Social Work

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    Be the change you wish to see in the world. There is a lot of competition to fight to have “the American Dream,” but know that God's plan for your life is far beyond that. You have unique strengths and skills that He specifically designed in you to use in your daily life. Go on a journey to discover and enhance these qualities that make you, you. Education is a platform for you to reach your goals in your personal, professional, and spiritual walk.

    What are the distinctives of UC?
    Here at UC, we collaborate and work together as a team to guarantee your success as a student. Our motto, God First, is not just something we strive for in the workplace, but also in our personal lives. UC has a quality of care and offers an exemplary education to our students and staff.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I love to travel. I am from Northern California, so whenever my husband and I have free time we usually make our way up to the Bay Area. If we are not there, then we are either at the beach riding our beach cruisers, at a country concert, or eating really yummy food with friends and family.

  • Betzayda Martinet
    Admissions Processing Specialist

    Education: B.A. in Psychology (in progress)

    What advice would you give to prospective students?
    You are exactly where you need to be. Know that it is never too late to begin or to pick up from where you left off. You may think that you cannot do it, but you can! (“‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’” Mark 9:23) Your education is your most valuable investment. At University College, we are excited to help you. The sky’s the limit, and it’s up to you how far you want to go. We are here to help and walk you through the process. It is in our best interest to see you succeed.

    What are the distinctive of UC?
    University College offers the best of both worlds. We understand you have work, family, church, and a personal life. We offer flexibility, affordability, and amazing staff and faculty who are willing to invest in your life. We provide excellent online and face-to-face formats, giving students multiple pathways for their higher education. We offer all year-round classes and they are only eight weeks long. Your education is our priority, and we believe in you and what God has in store for your life.

    How do you spend your free time?
    I am married and we have a son. During our free time we love to have fun, eat, read, play, laugh, paint, color, go for adventures, and spend quality time with our extended family. We love going to Target, IHOP, Disneyland, and making the best out of everything.