Meet the Staff

  • Theodore Szeto, Ph.D.

    Executive Director

    Tedd earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from UCLA and joined the APU faculty in 1996. He served as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics for nine years before assuming the role of associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Joining the Academic Success Center in summer 2018, he realized his passion for helping students succeed in and beyond the classroom. Tedd considers it a privilege to lead a team of extremely capable individuals who share his desire to support students as they thrive in their college experience.

  • Jeanette Garcés

    Academic Manager

Academic Advising

  • Stephanie Gala, M.A. ’14

    Director

    Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Social Work and an M.A. 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.

  • Jessica Posey, M.S. ’16

    Assistant Director

    Jessica earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in biblical studies from Biola University, and an M.S. 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, M.A.

    Academic Success Coach

    Gina earned a B.S. in Social Work at APU and continued her education by earning an M.A. 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.

  • Christie Johnson, B.A.

    Academic Success Coach

    Christie earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a teaching concentration from The Master’s College. She enjoys helping students merge their passion, academics, and strengths to build a foundation for their lives and get the most out of their APU experience.

  • Bryce Kuboyama, M.Div.

    Academic Success Coach

    Bryce earned a B.A. in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Divinity from Talbot School of Theology, and has experience in pastoral roles and advising/counseling in higher education. He views college as an important formative season of life and is excited to support students in their journey. Bryce enjoys being able to integrate faith into his work at APU, as he sees God’s grace and provision in each student’s story.

  • Anneliese Trujillo, M.A. ’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 A.A. at Citrus College in 2010, and then transferred to Cal Poly Pomona and completed her B.A. in Sociology in 2012. In 2014, she completed her M.A. 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.

TRiO Student Support Services

  • Jennie Godoy-Lee, M.S. ’17

    Project Director

    Jennie earned a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific. As a first-generation student who struggled to navigate the higher education pipeline, she has a passion and a responsibility to serve and support underrepresented populations by creating opportunities that infuse students with purpose and hope. She is honored to be one of the many professionals at APU who are dedicated to empowering first-generation students to reach their fullest potential.

TRiO Upward Bound

  • Armando Bustos, M.S.

    Project Director

    Armando earned his B.A. in American Literature and Culture and Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.S. 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.

  • Iliana Yepez, M.S.

    Outreach Specialist

    Iliana earned her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior and Sociology and a minor in Education from the University of California, Irvine. She received her M.S in School Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from California State University, Long Beach. Iliana is committed to empowering her students by providing them with equitable access to college and career readiness information and programs, and building strong relationships with her students to nurture their goals and strengths. Iliana continuously challenges both her students and herself to stay authentic to one’s narrative and pursue scholarships as a tool to break barriers. Her goal in life is to advocate for and support our underrepresented youth during their journey towards postsecondary education.

  • Katelyn Hernandez, B.A. ’17

    Administrative Support Assistant

    Katelyn received her B.A. 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.

Student Success Initiatives

  • Cassandra Gonzalez, MPA

    First GEN Coordinator

    Cassandra earned a B.S. in Criminology and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of La Verne. Her favorite part about working with students is getting to hear their stories and she is excited to work with the students at APU and hear their unique journeys. As a first-generation college student herself, she understands the power of a strong support system within our campus community. Cassandra hopes to be an ally and support system for all first-generation students on our campus to help them succeed in their academic and personal goals.

  • Alexa Johansen, M.A.

    First-Year Seminar and Special Projects Coordinator

    Alexa earned a B.A. in English, with a double emphasis in Literature and Creative Writing, from California State University, Long Beach, and completed an M.A. in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University. She has experience in collegiate instruction and academic advising. Her favorite part about working at APU is building relationships with students, equipping them with scholarly guidance, and witnessing their growth as sons and daughters of Christ.

Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership and Education

  • David Zovak, D.Min.

    Director

    David earned a B.S. in Psychology from Stanford University and an M.Div. and D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He also completed a Doctoral-Level Certificate in Strengths-Oriented Higher Education from Azusa Pacific. His vocational background includes student ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, pastoral ministry, and serving overseas for 14 years as a Christian leadership coach and consultant. David loves helping individuals and teams discover their unique, God-given talents and then helping them strategically align their lives with God’s purposes.