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Meet the Staff


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Matthew Browning

Director of Commuter Life

Email: [email protected]

Get to Know Matthew

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Ziwei (Zi) Huang

Commuter Life Graduate Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Get to Know Zi

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Joshua Jantz

Commuter Life Intern

Email: [email protected]

Get to Know Joshua

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Heidi Payes

Commuter Life Graduate Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Get to Know Heidi

Commuter Life Assistants

What is the Commuter Life Assistant Program?

The Commuter Life Assistant Program matches incoming freshman and transfer commuter students with a commuter life assistant (CLA) student leader who provides guidance and support to commuters while creating opportunities for commuters to meet each other and learn about APU resources and services. The primary goal of a CLA is to help commuter students adjust to life as APU students, and engage them with academic and personal development opportunities. CLAs also serve the broader Azusa Pacific community by working shifts in the Student Union as resources for information and ticketing services, as well as managing the services provided specifically to commuter students. The position is available to all students, not just commuter students. The following list describes the expectations and requirements of the position:

  • Time commitment: 12+ hours a week
  • Maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • Adhere to the Student Leadership Covenant
  • On-/off-campus employment/volunteer work kept to a maximum of 15 hours a week

Sample Time Commitment Per Week

Student Union Desk Hours in Cougar Dome 8-12 hours
Staff Meeting with CLA Staff 1 hour
Meeting with the Director of Commuter Life 1 hour every other week
Programming and Event Planning 1-2 hours
Weekend shift once per month 0-12 hours
Total hours 11-28 hours per week


Are you thinking about becoming a commuter life assistant next year? Apply on Handshake (create your account; you may also access Handshake through the main menu on UG Enrollment Services Center > My Financial Account > Handshake Job Platform).

2023-24 Commuter Life Staff

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Matthew Butler

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Matthew Butler

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Isaac Choi

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Isaac

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Joanna Kao

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Joanna

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Victoria Lieb

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Victoria

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Citlaly Lopez

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Citlaly

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Monica Naka

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Monica

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Marissa Otero

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Marissa Otero

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Yundi Tian

Commuter Life Assistant

Get to Know Yundi Tian

Matt Browning, EdD, has been at APU, off and on, for nearly 30 years. Matt is passionate about whole person development for college students. Matt has created programs and learning opportunities in over 70 countries around the world and is committed to celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in all forms. He is especially proud to work with the commuter students of APU. He has great respect for the extra effort commuters exert to succeed in college. Matt lives in, and rides his motorcycle around, Pomona. He is proud of his strong, God-fearing, and grown daughters Emily and Mary as well as his granddaughter Aria.
Zi has lived in Alhambra, Southern California for 10 years. He graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a BA in Social Work. He worked in the field of higher education for about two years before joining the APU family and is currently in his first year in the MS in College Counseling and Student Development program. Zi cares about student engagement on campus. He is willing to share his experience with commuter students, get through obstacles together, and address their needs. When he has free time, he loves to explore the San Gabriel Valley area, hike in the nearby mountains, and visit his coffee spot every Sunday.
Joshua is a senior majoring in chemistry and honors humanities. He loves science and enjoys being in the Honors College to dive deep into the big questions of life. He is the president of the pre-dental society on campus. He aspires to be an orthodontist and would love to help people learn to love their smile. In Joshua’s free time, he delights in playing sports and watching movies with friends. If you ever see him on campus, feel free to say hi!
Heidi received her BA in Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles. She is pursuing an MS in College Counseling and Student Development at APU. Heidi is passionate about serving and equipping students for academic and personal success in college. As a commuter student herself, she was drawn to the Office of Commuter Life to help support programming and increase students’ sense of belonging on campus. Over the past seven years, Heidi has had the opportunity to assist students in achieving their post-secondary goals through her various roles in non-profit work and TRIO programs. In her free time, she enjoys running, spending time with her dog, reading, and having good conversations with friends over coffee.
Matt is a junior year majoring in business management because he is passionate about people, team building, and leadership. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and he lives on campus. Matt loves to rock climb, play volleyball, and explore new places. He loves learning about God and building community with that as its center. He also loves meeting new people and would love to meet you.
Isaac is a sophomore and is majoring in Social Work. After college, he hopes to get into the work field and make an impact in the world. Some of his favorite things are laughing, working out, listening to music, making new friends, meeting new people, being active, and making others smile and laugh. He also enjoys helping others.
Gabriel Dedrick-Jaurique is a first generation, multi-racial student. His Mother is Mexican, Spaniard, and Native American, and his Dad is African American and Native American. He always lived in the valley of California and came from a God-centered, blended low-income family household. He transitioned to APU after graduating from West Covina High School. He’s a psychology major and wants to pursue a master’s degree in clinical counseling for at-risk children and adolescents or marriage and family therapy. He is a commuter and lives in close proximity to the campus with his family. He is passionate about serving God by helping and connecting with people, reminding them they are cared for, heard, accepted, and relatable. He is an alpha leader that takes pride in knowing his alpha freshmen students and creating a fun, accepting, and safe social environment. He is also an active member of Men of Color group discussion meetings held by the SCRD staff, where people of color can learn about the historical lack of graduating men of color and institutional resources while also hearing testimonies about successfully overcoming life challenges. He also spends time in worship and fellowship. Outside of school leadership, he is a caregiver for elderly people experiencing disabilities. He is an active youth leader at his church in Duarte, and he preaches, creates events with other fellow youth leaders, sings on the youth worship team, and participates on the media team for Sunday and special youth service nights. In his free time, he enjoys dancing, exercising with his family, playing basketball, watching Netflix documentaries about African American stories, Disney Plus, Hulu, movies, reading, and journaling.
Joanna is an international student from Taiwan who majors in communication management and minors in business management. This is her fourth year in the States, and she lives with her sister in and commutes from Glendora. She is passionate about communicating with different people, experiencing different cultures, and enjoying outdoor activities. In Joanna’s free time, she enjoys watching movies, listening to music, spending time with family, and spending quality time with friends. She likes boba tea, and she enjoys any tea in general, especially rose tea with boba.
Victoria is a graduate student in the clinical psychology (PsyD) program. She was born in Chongqing, China but was raised in San Jose, California. Victoria aspires to be a clinical psychologist with a specialization in trauma treatment, providing care to underserved populations. Back in May 2021, she graduated from APU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She loves to travel and has studied abroad in South Africa. In her free time, Victoria loves to go out for boba and take Latin dance classes. For anyone who’s fascinated by personality types, she is a Type 2 on the Enneagram and an ENFP on the Myer’s Briggs. If you ever need a friend to talk to, Victoria will always be there to listen.
Citlaly is a local student from La Puente, California. She is a liberal studies major and is also minoring in Spanish. Citlaly is a first-generation Mexican-American student. One of her favorite things to do is eat Mexican food with her family. She is also really passionate about education and loves seeing people grow. She loves going on walks, listening to music, and watching crime documentaries (she hates scary movies though). Citlaly loves meeting new people and making new friends, so if you ever see her around, don’t hesitate to say hi!
Monica Marie Naka is a sophomore, majoring in liberal studies. She was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan but moved to California to study abroad. Her future goal is to receive her degree and become a teacher to little kindergarteners! She loves kids and she would love to make an impact and a difference in their lives by instilling an early love for learning in a fun, new, and creative way that can help them throughout their lives. She loves the color dark-green, she can recite all of the words in the Fast and Furious series, her favorite shows include All American, Grey’s Anatomy, and any crime documentary. If she had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of her life, it would be pasta. In her free time, she loves to discover new music, hang out with friends, go to the gym, and meet new people! She hopes that she will be able to meet and get to know all of you throughout the year. She is so excited to meet all of you and hopes you are all able to stop by the dome! If any of you need someone to talk to, she will be there for you!
Marissa Otero is a sophomore majoring in allied health. She is a commuter student originally from La Verne, California. Her favorite color is pink, her favorite food is spaghetti, and her favorite television shows are Saved by the Bell, That ‘70s Show, and Gilmore Girls. Her future career is to become a registered nurse with the overall goal of serving others’ needs and their families as a healthcare provider and spiritual guide. In her free time, she enjoys listening to and playing music, spending time with friends, family, and relaxing. Introduce yourself to her, whether with your name or a preferred nickname. She would love to meet you!

Victor Rivera is a sophomore at APU and a commuter just like you. He comes from a low-income hispanic family, yet with God’s blessing, he transitioned straight to college, regardless of a long commute. He loves learning about the wonders of the human body and would love to use this knowledge in the future to help those in physical and mental need. He is a passionate clarinet player and does his best to be in his church’s choir, though sometimes his singing voice sounds like a dying duck. He also recently started working as a commuter life assistant to meet and help fellow commuters like him—so if you see him behind the desk at the Cougar Dome or around campus, give him a shout-out and a high five!

Yundi is an international student from mainland China who majors in commercial music: vocal performance. She transferred from Citrus College and lives close to campus as a commuter. She is passionate about performing music in different genres, connecting with people, and participating in creative productions. She is also the coordinator and an active member of the APU Huaren (Chinese) Fellowship, where culture and faith are celebrated and practiced on campus. She also runs the APU international student group chat. In Yundi’s free time, she enjoys singing, photography, gaming, and watching anime and TV series. If you see her on campus, don’t forget to say hi!