APU is committed to fostering an atmosphere wherein academics are not simply taught, but lived.
Professors, experts in their respective fields and passionate about the subjects they teach, challenge and stretch their students to reach their goals. Students are impelled to think critically and analyze thoroughly what they learn in the classroom.
Meet the Faculty
Meet the Faculty: Rob Muthiah, Ph.D.Rob Muthiah, Ph.D., is a professor for the Department of Ministry in Azusa Pacific University’s School of Theology. He has a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary. Muthiah focuses his teaching and research on the nature of the church, its ministry, and our cultural context, and has a particular interest in how these themes shape congregational leadership. He has served as a pastor for nine years, is an active member of his local church, and has a heart for peace, justice, and multicultural issues.
Meet the Faculty: Alexander Koops, DMAAlexander Koops, DMA, joined the music faculty at Azusa Pacific University in August 2001 and serves as director of undergraduate music education, associate director of bands, and director of the Azusa Conservatory, a community-based music program for local youth. He remains active as a conductor and musician, frequently conducting the Lake Avenue Chamber Symphony and performing regularly on his horn.
Meet the Faculty: John Burdett, Ed.D.John Burdett, Ed.D, facilitates the Instrumental Studies program in Azusa Pacific’s School of Music, leads the band division, and teaches undergraduate and graduate students. His research interests includes the experiences of students with hearing loss in instrumental music, the performance practice of symphonic compositions with Spanish and Latin American stylistic influences, the psycho-social components of conducting, the democratization of decision making in large concert ensembles, and increasing accessibility to music education for marginalized student populations. Burdett has conducted honor ensembles in Texas and California, adjudicated performance competitions, and was the founding music director and conductor of the Southern California Philharmonic from 2001-05.
Meet the Faculty: Lishelle Grant, M.A., MFTLishelle Grant, M.A., MFT, has been a licensed marriage and family therapist since 2003, and is passionate about walking alongside students on their journey to becoming psychotherapists. As the director of clinical training for the M.A. in Clinical Psychology program at the Orange County Regional Campus, she supports students in their transition to practicum work. She also enjoys teaching at APU and supervising trainees and interns in individual and group settings. Her clinical work focuses on helping women, teens, and couples work through barriers to emotional, relational, and spiritual wholeness. She is experienced in the areas of depression, anxiety, parenting, marital distress, grief/loss, and trauma/abuse.
Meet the Faculty: Cristian Aguilar, Ph.D.Cristian Aguilar is an assistant professor in Azusa Pacific University's Department of Biology and Chemistry, where he enjoys engaging students with the subject matter through unique and interesting facts. Aguilar's current work focuses on the remarkable regenerative abilities of the Mexican salamander known as the axolotl in an effort to understand how cells at the site of injury are able to return to stem-like state in order to begin the regenerative process. In addition to conducting research, Aguilar is involved in the development and implementation of new teaching strategies in order to best train the next generation of scientists in the classroom.
Faculty Profile: Deshonna Collier-Goubil, Ph.D.For Deshonna Collier-Goubil, Ph.D., chair and associate professor in Azusa Pacific’s Department of Criminal Justice, the events that sparked her longtime passion for justice were the Rodney King incident and the subsequent Los Angeles riots of 1992.
Meet the Faculty: Sarah Richart, Ph.D.Sarah Richart, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at APU. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Richart studied virology as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. In the summer of 2007, she took two APU students to the National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan to collaborate with colleague, Wei-Li Hsu, Ph.D. for influenza virus research. Since then, Dr. Richart's research focus has shifted to studying a species of fungus that is pathogenic to termites. Other research interests include the history of public responses to vaccines prior to Jenner's cowpox vaccine for smallpox, and creation theology, especially human's relation to non-human creation.
Meet the Faculty: Diana Lynn Woods, PhD, APRN-BC, FGSADiana Lynn Woods, PhD, is an associate professor in Azusa Pacific University’s School of Nursing, as well as a nurse practitioner, and researcher. Her focus centers on developing and disseminating new knowledge to strengthen humanistic care for persons with dementia. She brings 25 years of experience researching Alzheimer’s Disease, specifically behavioral symptoms of dementia and sleep disturbances, nonpharmacological and interventions, and understanding the biobehavioral factors, genetic, neuroendocrine, and behavioral indices of stress that contribute to BSD.
- **Payne, J. S.** (2020, May). *More than the blues: Dealing with COVID-19 *[Virtual colloquia session]. Mental Health Awareness Month, Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Alpha Psi Zeta Chapter, Los Angeles, California. **Payne, J. S.** (2019, November).* Breaking cycles, the desire to be whole *[Devotions session speaker]. North American Association for Christians in Social Work (NACSW) International Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Xiao, Z. H., & **Yu, C. H.** (2020, June). *Machine learning and big data analytics identify important predictors of students’ science academic achievement globally* [Poster presentation]. American Psychological Society Virtual Conference.Chong Ho (Alex) Yu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
- Whitney, W. B., **Lehmann, C. S.**, Payne, J. S., Hamilton, S., & Worku, T. (2020, March). *Addressing mental health in ethnically diverse religious communities and congregations* [Paper presentation]. Christian Association of Psychological Studies (CAPS) Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.Curtis Lehmann, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
- **Whitney, W. B.**, Lehmann, C. S., Payne, J. S., Hamilton, S., & Worku, T. (2020, March).* Addressing mental health in ethnically diverse religious communities and congregations* [Paper presentation]. Christian Association of Psychological Studies (CAPS) Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.William Whitney, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
- **Schrum, E. **(2020, April). *The instrumental university* [Presentation]. Department of History and School of Education Joint Seminar, University of California, Irvine, California. (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19) **Schrum, E.** (2020, April). *The instrumental university* [Presentation]. 2020 Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, Virginia. (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19)Ethan Schrum, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of History and Political Science
- Clarkson-Hendrix, M., & **Payne, J. S.** (2019, October). *Translating research to prepare social workers supporting people with disabilities* [Panel presentation]. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 66th Annual Program Meeting, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado. **Payne, J. S.**, Clarkson-Hendrix, M., Kohn, R. M., & Morton, L. G. (2019, October). *Social work faculty with disability: Aligning social work values and education* [CONNECT session]. CSWE Council on Disabilities and Persons with Disabilities, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 66th Annual Program Meeting, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado. **Payne, J. S.** (2020, February).* Using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to treat anxiety & trauma in black Christians from urban areas* [Workshop presentation]. North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW-CA) State Conference, Cal Baptist University, Riverside, California. **Payne, J. S.** (2019, November). *What MSW students learned from their denomination about mental illness *[Workshop presentation]. North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) National Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana. Whitney, W. B., Lehmann, C. S., **Payne, J. S.**, Hamilton, S., & Worku, T. (2020, March). *Addressing mental health in ethnically diverse religious communities and congregations* [Paper presentation]. Christian Association of Psychological Studies (CAPS) Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.
- **Waters, K. L.** (2020). Humility. In R. D. Branson (Ed.), *Global Wesleyan encyclopedia of biblical theology* (pp. 189-190). The Foundry Publishing.Kenneth L. Waters Sr., Ph.D., Associate Dean, School of Theology; Professor, Department of Biblical and Religious Studies
- **López Medel, I. **(2020). Maradona: The bad God of soccer. In J. C. Lamothe and D. J. Barie (Eds.), *Athletes breaking bad: Essays on transgressive sports figures.* McFarland Press.Ismael Lopez Medel, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
- Hays, K., &** Payne, J. S.** (2020). Lived experience, transparency, help, and humility: Four characteristics of clergy responding to mental and emotional problems. *Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling, 74*(1), 4-11. **Payne, J. S.** (2020, June). The curb – A poem in reflection of George Floyd. *Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/The Association of Contextual Behavioral Science. *
- Ceja, S., & **Kranzow, J.** (2020). Autism on campus: Supporting students on the spectrum. *Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention, 27*(1).Jeannine Kranzow, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Higher Education