Meet the Staff

  • Stephanie Gala, MA ’14

    Director

    Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Social Work and an MA in Leadership at Azusa Pacific. Being the first in her family to go to college created a passion in her to empower all students to see their potential for success. She is energized by partnering with departments across campus to help build systems of support for students, and is honored to be part of the Azusa Pacific community, where she sees Christ transforming the lives of students, staff, and faculty.

  • Jeanette Garcés

    Assistant Director, Testing and Academic Support Services

    Jeanette earned a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology. She took a non-traditional approach to achieve her academic goals, cultivating a greater desire to advance spaces for non-traditional students and advocate for equitable access to resources and support on their individualized educational journey. Jeanette joined APU in 2001. Her experience includes executive administrative support, managing day-to-day operations, creating efficient customer service, and student leadership development. She aims to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students to feel part of the APU Community.

Academic Advising

  • Jessica Posey, MS ’16

    Assistant Director

    Jessica earned a BA in Psychology with a minor in biblical studies from Biola University, and an MS in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific. Jessica’s favorite aspect of academic advising is restoring hope: As a first-generation college student and former transfer student, she has a window into the ups and downs students feel through the advising experience, and enjoys hearing students’ stories and making them feel heard and known.

  • Gina Conner, MA

    Academic Success Coach

    Gina earned a BS in Social Work at APU and continued her education by earning an MA of Social Work at USC. Gina loves connecting with students and desires for them to fully grasp their strengths and potential. She is passionate about instilling hope, being supportive, and encouraging students towards reaching their educational goals. Every year, Gina looks forward to seeing students walk across the stage at commencement to celebrate their achievement and hard work. As an alumni, Gina finds great joy in being a part of this wonderful community of difference makers.

  • Kristyn Hernandez, MS

    Academic Success Coach

    Kristyn earned a BA in Communications Studies and an MA in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and is excited to use her story to help others. She is passionate about holistically supporting and equipping students for success far beyond their college journeys. Kristyn loves connecting with students, hearing their stories, helping them reach their goals, and encouraging them to grow.

  • Stephanie Morales

    Academic Success Coach

    Stephanie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University. She has had the privilege of serving students in various roles within education for the past 6 years. As a first-generation college student, she is excited to provide students with the toolset to thrive in their academic journey and beyond. Stephanie enjoys being a resource for others and can’t wait to connect more with you!

  • Anneliese Trujillo, MA ’14

    Academic Success Coach

    Anneliese joined the APU community in 2013 and has provided academic support for traditional and nontraditional undergraduate students over the past few years. She completed her AA at Citrus College in 2010, and then transferred to Cal Poly Pomona and completed her BA in Sociology in 2012. In 2014, she completed her MA in Leadership and Organizational Studies at Azusa Pacific. Though her primary role is assisting students academically, her biggest desire is to see students grow holistically during their time at APU. Anneliese’s favorite part of working at APU is integrating her faith into her support with students during their academic career as they discover their calling by engaging the APU campus community.

Testing Center

  • Robin Quayle, MA

    Testing Coordinator

    Robin Quayle joined the Testing Center in March of 2018. In her part-time position as Testing Coordinator, she works in conjunction with numerous departments to administer and proctor many types of exams for both APU and non-APU students. Robin strives to provide individual service to each person that comes into contact with the Testing Center and wants to help each student reach his or her highest potential. Robin has worked with various school districts and educational organizations in the areas of administration, teaching, and information technology. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of California, Riverside. When not working, Robin enjoys serving others and spending time with her family and their loveable Black Labrador, Buddy.

TRIO Student Support Services

  • Rhonda Jones, EdS

    Program Director

    Rhonda earned her BS in Organizational Leadership and an MA in Human and Organizational Development from APU. She holds an Education Specialist degree (EdS) from Liberty University. As a non-traditional and first-generation student, Rhonda has worked in a variety of Student Affairs roles. Rhonda’s experience also includes working for various TRIO programs including Student Support Services, the Educational Opportunity Center, and the Ronald E. McNair program. She considers it an honor to serve the institution that gave her first opportunity to succeed.

TRIO Upward Bound

  • Armando Bustos, MS

    Project Director

    Armando earned his BA in American Literature and Culture and Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MS in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University. As a former Upward Bound participant, he sees his role as project director as an opportunity to celebrate and support first-generation students from a variety of contexts by enabling them to gain access to postsecondary education. He believes that through postsecondary education the socioeconomic trajectory of an entire family can be altered. Armando is passionate about serving the community and helping students discover their strengths, define their aspirations, and realize their dreams.

  • Katelyn Hernandez, BA ’17

    Administrative Support Assistant

    Katelyn received her BA in Psychology from Azusa Pacific University. As a first-generation college student, she sees her role in Upward Bound as an opportunity to positively impact the lives of high school students throughout the community. Katelyn is passionate about serving and equipping students for success in college both academically and spiritually. She enjoys building relationships and walking alongside students to help them self-develop, feel a sense of belonging, and strive towards their goals in all areas of life.

  • Katherine O’Neil

    Outreach Specialist

    Katherine earned her dual bachelor’s degrees in English literature and Anthropology from California State University, San Bernardino, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. As a first-generation student, she was drawn to the message and support of TRIO in empowering first-generation students to pursue a college education. Katherine has worked at Upward Bound at CSUSB since 2017 and will continue her work of empowering and educating students about college to ensure that post-secondary access is equitable for all students. She strives to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where students can develop their own voice, passions, and grow on their educational journey.

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