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New Tissue Engineering Lab Provides Cutting-Edge Opportunities

June 27, 2024

In June 2023, Azusa Pacific University received funds to build a state-of-the-art tissue engineering research facility in the Segerstrom Science Center. This lab enables students to do research to set them up for success in the rapidly growing field of pharma and biopharma product development.

New Tissue Engineering Lab

Alumni Feature: Razel Zapanta ’21 Lives Out Her Many Callings as a Singing Dental Student

June 25, 2024

Razel Zapanta ’21 is a testament to the fact that when you pursue your dreams, they really can come true. She is a two-time contestant on Wheel of Fortune, and has garnered a large following on Instagram by documenting her dental school journey, expressing her passion for creativity and science. She often calls herself a singing dentist, and recently sang the national anthem at a Phoenix Suns game. Zapanta continuously finds joy and fulfillment in her vocation, inspiring others with her optimism.

razel smiling on wheel of fortune

Global Engagement Series: Natalie Hultgren’s Experience in India

June 24, 2024

Nursing major Natalie Hultgren ’26 spent two weeks serving in India on a Global Engagement trip through the Office of Service and Discipleship this summer. Engaging with doctors and nurses to serve the lower caste population expanded Hultgren’s heart to learning about the image of God in all people.

students in front of the taj mahal

APU’s Art Galleries Showcase Students’, Alumni’s, and LA Artists’ Beautiful Work

June 20, 2024

As I walked through the Duke and Darling buildings on West Campus on my way to a class last semester, an interesting sight stopped me in my tracks. Across the typically blank walls were multiple images I had never seen before—vibrant depictions of outer space, ancient Greece, and the ocean to name a few. Beside each picture was a QR code containing the link to a unique song that stirred the artist, Riley Sumaquial’s ’24, vision. I appreciate gleaning insight from Sumquial’s immensely talented synesthetic mind.

murals painted by alumni in duke hallway

Alumni Feature: Video Editor Jordan Orme ’19 is Learning to Use His Platform to Share His Faith

June 18, 2024 | alumni-engagement, cota-cinema

When Jordan Orme ’19 created his YouTube channel at the beginning of the pandemic, he had no idea it would grow so quickly. Orme had spent the previous two years editing music videos for major artists such as Justin Bieber and Post Malone, working on documentaries for celebrities including Demi Lovato and Kylie Jenner, and creating commercials for Amazon and Nike. His channel started as a passion project, with Orme hoping to pass along insights he had gleaned from these experiences into video editing advice. When he began breaking down edits on some of his favorite music videos—especially in the K-pop genre— his following boomed. In the four years since launching, Orme’s channel has amassed more than 873,000 subscribers and his videos have garnered more than 111 million views. While the numbers are eye popping, he realized his work was not truly fulfilling.

Jordan Orme

Stacy Kula, PhD, Named Dean of College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

June 17, 2024

Azusa Pacific University Provost Anita Fitzgerald Henck, PhD, named Stacy Kula, PhD, founding dean of the newly formed College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, effective July 1, 2024. Kula brings more than 25 years of education experience to the role with expertise in qualitative research methods, achievement gaps, and education of underserved and immigrant populations.

Stacy Kula, PhD, Named Dean of College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Global Engagement: MJ Sanchez’s Experience in Belize and Guatemala

June 17, 2024

Maia (MJ) Sanchez ’26, a liberal studies major with a concentration in psychology, spent two weeks serving in Belize and Guatemala on a Global Engagement trip through the Office of Service and Discipleship this summer. She learned about the value of connecting with others through listening and sharing one’s story, as well as relinquishing preconceived expectations.

apu students smiling in Guatemala

Alumni Feature: Caitlin Volk ’07 Creates Flourishing Family Business Selling Quality Coffee

May 16, 2024 | articles

There’s no feeling quite as comforting as a warm cup of coffee in the morning, or an iced latte on a sunny afternoon. While savoring coffee is a daily ritual for many all over the world, Caitlin (Hill) Volk, ’07, has turned her love for a freshly brewed cup into a flourishing family business. For the past year, Inland Roasters has served California’s Central Valley with quality coffee that pays homage to her late father-in-law.

From left to right: Reid, Caitlin, Lizzie, and Brent Volk

Local Engagement: Young Life Capernaum

May 08, 2024 | articles

Azusa Pacific University students have engaged with the local community this year by working with disabled teens and young adults through the Young Life Capernaum program.

Group photo of Young Life Capernaum participants

Faculty Feature: Tasha Bleistein Engages with Different Cultures as a TESOL Professor

May 03, 2024 | articles

Tasha Bleistein, PhD, shares her passion for cultures through teaching English as a second language with care, respect, and kindness to others. In APU’s MA in TESOL program, she equips students to find their calling in such a broad field.

Tasha smiling

APU School of Nursing Partners with AUSD to Foster a Healthy Community

May 01, 2024 | articles

APU's School of Nursing partnered with Azusa Unified School District to host eight “Ask-a-Nurse” pop-up events this school year to bring health education and resources to families in Azusa while allowing students to learn about community health.

Nurses smiling

Faculty Feature: Larry Santiago ’97 EdD Exemplifies Discipleship Through Holistic Care

April 26, 2024 | articles

Larry Santiago, ’97, EdD, pursues his calling by caring for others, guiding future nurses to approach their profession with spiritual, emotional, and physical well being in mind to provide quality treatment.

Larry smiling

Alumni Feature: Daniel Griffes ’09 Builds a Life He Loves Through Tiny Home Business

April 25, 2024 | articles

Daniel Griffes, ’09, never thought that his childhood pastime, working on carpentry projects, would lay the foundation for his future as a tiny home builder. He serves God by building a life he loves, one that touches lives in unexpected ways.

Daniel's family smiling

Faculty Feature: Alan Oda, PhD, Creates an Inviting Space for Students to Grow

April 19, 2024 | articles

For Alan Oda, PhD, entering psychology has not only allowed him to pursue his interests, but studying human development has given him the opportunities to strengthen his faith journey while helping others better understand their spiritual growth.

Alan smiling

Faculty Feature: Windy Petrie, PhD, Finds Joy and Fulfillment Through Literature and Hospitality

April 12, 2024

Book-lovers often enjoy reading for the sense of escapism stories provide; the ability to travel the world through ink on a page, embark on a journey with a character, and turn the final page with the feeling that they’ve experienced something life-changing. For Windy Counsell Petrie, PhD, chair of Azusa Pacific University’s Department of English, books have not only taken her on imaginary journeys, but her lifelong vocation to the literary world has provided her with multiple opportunities to travel and experience immersion in various cultures. She offers students the same comfort and joy that comes through literature by sharing her warm spirit and kindness that blooms like the roses outside her office.

Windy smiling

Student Spotlight: TyLee Manuel ’24 Builds Community Through Basketball

April 11, 2024

TyLee Manuel ’24 is a full time student athlete on the women's basketball team. She has learned the importance of community through her teammates. “APU has shown me how to be grateful through the people that I’ve met and the relationships I’ve created,” she said.

TyLee smiling

Alumni Feature: Gina Burnett MSW’22 Fulfills Her Mission Through Counseling Veterans

April 08, 2024

Efigenia (Gina) Ferrer Burnett’s, MSW ’22, family did not believe her when she came home from school one day and announced she was going to join the U.S. Army. Burnett was in high school, and aspired to become a police officer. While connecting with a cop through a school elective, the officer shared that law enforcement employers love hiring veterans. The seed was planted, and Burnett was committed to pursuing her goals. Little did she know how different the trajectory of her life would be through serving in the army.

Gina smiling

Faculty Feature: William “Jody” Wilkinson Finds Beauty in the Unexpected

April 05, 2024

Many meet God through worship settings, church, and engaging in discussions with believers. William “Jody” Wilkinson, MD, MS, encountered God in a personal and transformative way for the first time on a bike ride, leading him to pursue a career in exercise and fitness as a doctor in preventive medicine, who now taps into his passion for student development as a kinesiology professor.

Jody smiling

APU Theater Presents Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky

April 04, 2024 | Media Relations

Student Spotlight: Arianna Sy ’25 Bridges Creativity and Christianity as an Actress

April 04, 2024

Ariana Sy ’25, an Acting for the Stage and Screen major and psychology minor, has found ways to pursue her creativity with Azusa Pacific University's God First motto in mind.

Arianna smiling

Faculty Feature: Zach Cheney PhD Enriches Film Students’ Lives Through Engaging Conversations

March 22, 2024

When stopping by Zach Cheney’s, PhD, office, small talk is not a norm. Cheney loves to get to the heart of a conversation, whether that’s through analyzing a pivotal scene of a classic film, exploring the dynamics of the entertainment industry as streaming services continue to rise, or discovering how faith plays a role in even the most unseemingly religious movies. His life exemplifies a main character’s journey of change. Through his dedication to equipping students to be deep thinkers, Cheney lives his story with his God-given talents in mind.

Faculty Feature: Zach Cheney PhD Enriches Film Students’ Lives Through Engaging Conversations

Alumni Feature: Issy Diaz ’20, MSW’22 Creates a Lasting Ripple Effect in Veterans’ Lives

March 21, 2024

Ismary (Issy) Diaz ’20, MSW ’22, has always approached service with an outpouring of compassion like a waterfall’s abundance. Through her 14 years of military work, earning two degrees in social work at Azusa Pacific University, and now counseling veterans, Diaz’s refreshing spirit flows into countless lives, creating a lasting ripple effect.

Alumni Feature: Issy Diaz ’20, MSW’22 Creates a Lasting Ripple Effect in Veterans’ Lives

Josh Holm ’15: Creating a Positive Impact Through Castles & Queens

March 20, 2024

On a chilly Saturday night in February 2023, Josh Holm, ’15, stood to the side of a runway in Milan, watching models show off apparel he had designed for his label Castles & Queens as cameras flashed and the crowd applauded in one of the four fashion capitals of the world. It was one of the biggest moments of Holm’s life, but just a few years ago, it seemed impossible—a dream that might never come true.

Josh Holm ’15: Creating a Positive Impact Through Castles & Queens

International Voices: Grace Arrington ’26 Finds Community and Faith Through Uplifting Connections at APU

March 19, 2024

Grace Arrington ’26 exudes a passion for legacy. As the daughter of an Azusa Pacific University alumnus, Arrington strives to pave her own path through her college experience, embrace her Chinese heritage, and continue to grow in her faith.

International Voices: Grace Arrington ’26 Finds Community and Faith Through Uplifting Connections at APU

Faculty Feature: Bobbi Alba Lets Her Light Shine as She Encourages Students’ Callings

March 15, 2024

Bobbi Alba, EdD, encourages her students to go out into the world to be lighthouses, guiding others to safety. Throughout her own career as an elementary and middle school teacher, counselor, and professor, Alba’s light has shined brightly. Her commitment to unconditional love illuminates in all she does.

Faculty Feature: Bobbi Alba Lets Her Light Shine as She Encourages Students’ Callings

Alyssa Hetschel ’13 Serves Others Through Social Work

March 14, 2024

Alyssa Hetschel ’13 discovered her passion for social work during her time at Azusa Pacific University which has allowed her to serve through her management and leadership skills. “Service is the name of the game for social work. I’m constantly serving my clients and community,” Hetschel said. “It’s embedded in me. Service is what appealed to me about APU.” She believes that social work is “very human work” that requires a passion for service and constant discipleship through mentorship.

Alyssa Hetschel ’13 Serves Others Through Social Work

International Voices: Sid Varland ’25 Radiates Ambition, Optimism, and Love for Others

March 13, 2024

Few enter college with a firm grasp of their calling, but for Sid Varland ’25, being able to hone his skills as a track and field athlete and a cinematic arts major made him certain that Azusa Pacific University was where he is meant to be. His ambition, optimism, and love for others radiates in every one of his projects and adventures.

International Voices: Sid Varland ’25 Radiates Ambition, Optimism, and Love for Others

Global Engagement Series: APU Students Share Their Experience Serving in Maui

March 06, 2024

Lucy Boles ’25, Sage Griffing ’25, and Cassia Arnold ’25 felt called to serve in Maui with 16 other Azusa Pacific University students for six days over winter break. The Maui Global Engagement trip aimed to provide for communities impacted by devastating fires that took place just months before the trip. The largest and most destructive was the Lahaina fire that occurred last August.

Global Engagement Series: APU Students Share Their Experience Serving in Maui

Global Engagement Series: Fatima Pulido and Jonathon Krohn’s Experience in Ensenada

March 04, 2024

Fatima Pulido, ’24, and Jonathon Krohn, ’26, felt called to serve in Ensenada, Mexico, along with 45 other Azusa Pacific University students, across five days over their Thanksgiving break.

Global Engagement Series: Fatima Pulido and Jonathon Krohn’s Experience in Ensenada

Faculty Feature: Charles Chen’s Appreciation for Nature and Stewardship

March 01, 2024

In the same way that plants need water, sunlight, and good soil to grow, people need a place to call home in order to cultivate their life. Biology professor Charles Chen, PhD, considers a number of places around the world as his home, offering him a firm foundation to explore his passions, discover his calling, and give others the tools to experience transformation as well.

Faculty Feature: Charles Chen’s Appreciation For Nature and Stewardship

Christina Mansour ’07: Serving Students as an Educational Counselor

February 29, 2024

After 16 years teaching high school math, Christina Mansour '07 became an educational counselor. She loves serving students, helping them plan classes & begin thinking about life after graduation, & caring for their needs through a wellness center.

Christina Mansour smiling

Faculty Feature: Friary Nguyen’s Outpouring of Love Through Her Faith and Vocation as a Nurse

February 23, 2024

Friary Nguyen, MSN, RN, CNE, CHSE loves spending time in the control room when nursing students are in simulation labs. She watches students on screen as they practice nursing techniques on life-size mannequins, and Nguyen gets in character, speaking through her headphones when controlling the human-like patients. As a certified healthcare simulations educator (CHSE), she enjoys pursuing her calling for loving others through nursing, and teaching students to approach healthcare with a heart for servant leadership.

Faculty Feature: Friary Nguyen’s Outpouring of Love Through Her Faith and Vocation As A Nurse

Equipping Difference Makers in Art History and Art Education

February 22, 2024

For students interested in a graduate degree in Art History or Art Education from a Christian institution, there is no better option than Azusa Pacific University. APU’s graduate art programs top the national rankings of many sources including Forbes, Best Colleges, Intelligent, and Grad School Center. APU’s programs offer students rigorous coursework taught by experienced experts, flexible schedules including fully asynchronous or low-residency classes, and multiple entry points each semester, all while preparing students to become difference makers in the art world after graduation.

Equipping Difference Makers in Art History and Art Education

Faculty Feature: Dave Dunaetz Branches into Multiple Fields of Study While Sharing Christ’s Love

February 16, 2024

Dave Dunaetz, PhD, has had a thirst for knowledge his whole life. While he has acquired six graduate degrees, published many academic articles, and earned awards for his dedication in a variety of fields, Dunaetz’s desire to share the Gospel is the core motivation behind all his work.

Faculty Feature: Dave Dunaetz Branches into Multiple Fields of Study While Sharing Christ’s Love

The Honors College Presents a Taylor Swift Colloquy

February 13, 2024

Swifties in Azusa Pacific University’s Honors College were enchanted to get together for an evening of rich conversation surrounding the world’s most renowned popstar: Taylor Swift. Students couldn’t shake off their excitement when it came to celebrating and diving deep into the lyrical intricacies within Swift’s writing.

The Honors College Presents a Taylor Swift Colloquy

Faculty Friday: Terry Dobson Empowers Students Through Inviting Spaces While Inspiring Creativity

February 09, 2024

Through every transformative experience in life, we gather an appreciation for knowing and loving others better, and confidently expressing our passion for becoming a part of Christ’s bigger picture. This is the lens through which Terry Dobson, MFA, sees design as collaborative opportunities to serve, and like every designer’s eye for creating something enticing and new, Dobson has an eye for creating an inviting and growthful space for his students.

Faculty Friday: Terry Dobson Empowers Students Through Inviting Spaces While Inspiring Creativity