Expert Directory

To schedule interviews with Azusa Pacific experts, please contact:

  • Rachel White

    Associate Director of Public Relations Work: (626) 815-4502 Cell: (626) 533-5807

  • Maureen Taylor

    Executive Director of Strategic Communication Work: (626) 815-4510 Cell: (626) 945-6172

  • Edgar Barron

    Executive Director, Center for Student Reconciliation
    Expert on racial reconciliation, diversity, and Black male success initiatives

    Barron, who served as a senior and administrative pastor prior to his role at APU, has a passion for racial reconciliation. He leads a ministry to increase communication and understanding among people of all racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. He also oversees programs on campus that embrace ethnic diversity through investing in the development of student leaders.

    Edgar Barron TEDx Talk ›

    Expert Topics

    • Promoting the value of ethnic diversity
    • Racial, cultural, and socioeconomic reconciliation
    • Student leadership

    Media Experience

    Television, radio, and print, including KNBC News, KBRT, Los Angeles News Group

  • Joseph Bentz, Ph.D.

    Professor, Department of English
    Expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Harper Lee

    Bentz teaches courses in American literature and writing, and is the author of five novels and four nonfiction books. His most recent books include the 20th anniversary re-release of Dreams of Caladria (Enclave, 2015), Pieces of Heaven: Recognizing the Presence of God (Beacon Hill Press, 2012), and God in Pursuit: The Tipping Points from Doubt to Faith (Beacon Hill Press, 2010). His novel A Son Comes Home (Randall House, 2007) won the Silver Angel Award, was selected for Guideposts Book Club, and was chosen as one of the Top Ten Christian Novels of the Year by Booklist magazine. His newest book, Nothing is Wasted, will publish this year. Bentz’s scholarly interests include American novelists Thomas Wolfe and Harper Lee.

    Joseph Bentz, Ph.D. Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • American literature
    • Fiction
    • Thomas Wolfe
    • Harper Lee

    Media Experience

    Radio and print, including the BBC, Pittsburgh Tribune Review and literary blogs

  • Gary Black Jr., Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Theology
    Expert on the American Church, post-Christian culture, and Heaven

    Prior to joining APU, Black enjoyed a successful business career as a partner in an international Wall Street investment firm. As a result, he brings a unique blend of economic analysis and real-world corporate leadership experience to his field of theological study. Selected to extend the work of his mentor, the late Dallas Willard, Black is the author of several books, including The Divine Conspiracy Continues (Harper-Collins, 2014), coauthored with Willard.

    Expert Topics

    • American evangelical theology
    • Church in post-Christian culture
    • Dallas Willard
    • Discipleship through spiritual formation, leadership development, and transformational scholarship

    Media Experience

    Television, radio, and print interviews, including FOX News radio, KKLA, Los Angeles News Group, Christianity Today, Christian Post, and Trinity Broadcasting Network

  • Jim Burns, Ph.D.

    Executive Director, HomeWord Center for Youth and Family; Adjunct Professor of Psychology
    Expert on marriage, family, and parenting

    A renowned youth and family expert, an acclaimed author, and the founder of HomeWord, a radio program that reaches more than 1 million people across the country each day, Burns has a passion for healthy marriages and families. In partnership with APU, he established and provides leadership for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family, a research and training institute offering biblically based resources for parents and youth. The center is the largest provider of Christian parenting and youth seminars in the United States.

    Expert Topics

    • Family relationships
    • Marriage
    • Parenting
    • Youth ministry

    Media Experience

    Extensive television, radio, and print

  • Thomas Cairns, DBA

    Associate Professor, School of Business
    Expert on human resources and career planning

    Cairns is a former senior vice president of human resources for NBC Universal and presidential appointee to Homeland Security under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He is known as a specialist in talent management, mergers and acquisitions, project management, leadership development, executive coaching, and strategic planning.

    Thomas Cairns, DBA Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Job searches
    • Career planning
    • Resume building and interview skills

    Media Experience

    Extensive radio and print

  • Bryan Clay

    Gold Medal Decathlete and Assistant Track Coach
    Expert on character in athletics and health and fitness

    Clay, a 2002 graduate of APU, is a two-time Olympic medalist in the decathlon, capturing the silver in 2004 and the gold in 2008. Through the Bryan Clay Foundation and as a motivational speaker, he equips and encourages Fortune 500 companies, professionals, entrepreneurs, donors, families, and aspiring young people on the journey to success in work and life.

    Bryan Clay TEDx Talk ›

    Expert Topics

    • Christian character in athletics
    • Health and fitness
    • Mentoring and discipleship
    • Team building

    Media Experience

    Extensive television, radio, and print

  • Robert Duke, Ph.D.

    Interim Dean, School of Theology; Professor, Department of Biblical Studies
    Expert on Dead Sea Scrolls, the Old Testament, and the foster care system

    Duke spent four years studying in the Middle East, which has highly influenced his perspectives and teaching. Duke received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study at Hebrew University in 2000–01, and was a fellow at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in 2005. Today, Duke serves as the western region director and Distinguished Scholar of Hebrew Texts for the Green Scholars Initiative. He is also a foster care parent and advocate.

    Robert Duke, Ph.D. Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Foster care system and adoption
    • Old Testament
    • Second Temple Judaism
    • Service-learning and community-engaged teaching as tools to improve student retention
  • Anita Fitzgerald Henck, Ph.D.

    Dean and Professor, School of Education
    Expert on Common Core State Standards and K–12 school system changes

    Henck has served in faculty and leadership roles in higher education for more than 30 years. Her areas of specialty are transformational leadership, effective leadership teams, leadership transitions, organizational culture and change, and generational differences in the workplace.

    Anita Fitzgerald Henck, Ph.D. Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Common Core State Standards
    • Leadership
    • Historic changes facing K–12 school system
    • Political and social challenges of Common Core
    • Teacher training
  • Samuel Girguis, Psy.D.

    Program Director, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology; Assistant Professor, Department of Graduate Psychology
    Expert on treatment of traumatized children and adolescents

    Girguis served as a supervising psychologist in the outpatient trauma treatment program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. His clinical work focuses on the treatment of traumatized children and adolescents, including children in foster care and children experiencing homelessness. He is certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Samuel Girguis, Psy.D. Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Family homelessness
    • Foster care
    • Treatment of traumatized children and adolescents
  • Ryan T. Hartwig, Ph.D.

    Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies
    Expert on church leadership and team building

    With interests in group facilitation, teamwork, the development of collaborative communicative practices and organizational structures, leadership education and training, and qualitative research methods, Hartwig’s work aims to help nonprofits and churches leverage effective group and organizational communication practices, processes, and structures to fulfill their missions. He is the author of Teams That Thrive (InterVarsity Press, 2015).

    Ryan T. Hartwig TEDx Talk ›

    Expert Topics

    • Church senior leadership teams
    • Group facilitation
    • Organizational communication
    • Small-group communication
    • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Stephen P. Johnson, DMA

    Dean, College of the Arts
    Expert on music and the arts’ impact on culture

    Johnson is the founding dean of the College of the Arts. As a composer, his repertory includes various solo, chamber ensemble, large ensemble, and choral/ orchestral performing forces that have been performed in recitals, concert halls, and music festivals.

    Stephen P. Johnson, DMA Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Art’s impact on culture
    • Leadership in the arts
    • Music history, composition, conducting, and orchestration
  • Alexander Jun, Ph.D.

    Professor, Department of Higher Education
    Expert on resilience and thriving, and Cambodian orphans

    Alexander Jun, Ph.D., is a TEDx speaker and the author of From Here to University: Access, Mobility, and Resilience Among Urban Latino Youth (Routledge Press, 2001). He has published extensively on issues of postsecondary access for historically underrepresented students in underserved areas. Jun recently completed a three-year research project on the educational mobility and academic resilience of Khmer orphans.

    Alexander Jun, Ph.D. Full Profile ›
    Alexander Jun TEDx Talk ›

    Expert Topics

    • College prep programs for urban youth
    • Diversity and social justice in higher education
    • Resilience and thriving
  • Robert Mullins, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Department of Biblical Studies
    Expert on archaeology and the Middle East

    Mullins comes to APU after spending a number of years in Israel. His interests include the fields of archaeology, history, geography, and biblical studies in an effort to better understand the world of the Ancient Near East. Mullins serves as lead archaeologist at APU’s Abel Beth Maacah excavation site in Israel, one of the last remaining sites of biblical significance to be excavated.

    Robert Mullins, Ph.D. Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Ancient Near Eastern history
    • Archaeology
    • Geographical and historical setting of the Bible
    • Religious development of Israel

    Media Experience

    Television and print interviews, including The History Channel, Los Angeles News Group, and Trinity Broadcasting Network

  • Barbara Nicolosi Harrington

    Assistant Professor, APU Honors College
    Expert on faith-based films and screenwriting

    A former nun turned screenwriter, producer, script consultant, and founder of a Christian screen writers’ program, Act One, Harrington believes in the art of visual storytelling as a means to impact culture. She frequently shares her opinions on Hollywood and its films in articles and blogs, viewing them through a lens of faith.

    Expert Topics

    • Challenges and responsibilities of Christian filmmakers
    • Faith themes in film
    • Hollywood’s interest in making biblical films

    Media Experience

    Radio and print interviews, including NPR, New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Post

  • Stuart Strother, Ph.D.

    Professor, School of Business and Management
    Expert on economic development in China

    Strother has extensive experience in business and teaching in the United States and abroad. He spends a significant amount of time in China and other parts of Asia each year leading study abroad programs. He is the author of Living Abroad in China (Avalon Travel Publisher, 2006).

    Stuart Strother, Ph.D. Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Economic development and policy
    • Modernization of China and Western engagement
    • Technological advancement of telecommunications

    Media Experience

    Print interviews, including CNBC and Global Post

  • Jackie Slater

    NFL Hall of Famer and Football Offensive Line Coach
    Expert on Christianity and professional sports, and coaching to build character

    Slater is a retired National Football League offensive tackle who played his entire 20-year career with the Rams organization, playing 19 seasons for the Rams in Los Angeles (1976–94) and 1 season for the Rams in St. Louis in 1995. Slater appeared in seven Pro Bowls and broke a record for most seasons with one team. His jersey number was retired and he was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

    Expert Topics

    • Adult education, returning to college later in life
    • Christianity and professional sports
    • Coaching to build players with character and integrity
    • Segregation in 1960s Mississippi

    Media Experience

    Extensive print, radio, and television

  • John M. Thornton, Ph.D., CPA

    Graduate Chair and Professor, Leung Chair of Accounting Ethics, School of Accounting
    Expert on financial ethics and whistleblowing

    Thornton strives to develop future accounting professionals with competence and character. His research interests focus on ethics and the accounting profession, auditor independence, auditor litigation, and whistleblowing. Thornton is a nationally recognized author and speaker and serves on several editorial boards for accounting ethics, forensics, public interest, and accounting education journals.

    John M. Thornton, Ph.D., CPA Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Accounting and business ethics
    • Character and competence in the business/accounting world
    • Corporate whistle blowers
    • Money and the Bible

    Media Experience

    Television and print interviews, including Fast Company, Trinity Broadcasting Network, U.S. News & World Report, and Los Angeles News Group

  • Kenneth L. Waters Sr., Ph.D.

    Associate Dean, Division of Religion and Philosophy; Professor, Department of Biblical Studies; Associate Chaplain
    Expert on apocalyptic theology and prophecy

    Waters is an ordained minister in the Missionary Baptist Church, and he also served as a pastor in the Methodist Church for 28 years. His expertise involves the New Testament and early Christian literature, the book of Revelation, and other apocalyptic literature.

    Kenneth L. Waters Sr., Ph.D. Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • African-American religious thought and history
    • Apocalyptic theology and prophecy
    • Book of Revelation
    • Christian and biblical ethics
    • The personalities of Jesus and Paul

    Media Experience

    Radio and print interviews, including CNN, AP Radio

  • Michael Wong, PT, DPT, O.C.S., FAAOMPT

    Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
    Expert on physical therapy and technology to diagnose and treat patients

    Wong became a certified orthopedic specialist in 2004 and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists in 2005. Along with teaching at APU, he practices at the Loma Linda University Medical Center Orthopedic Outpatient Clinic. He is the creator of an innovative physical therapy app that helps students and physical therapists diagnose patients and recommend treatment options.

    Michael Wong, PT, DPT, O.C.S., FAAOMPT Full Profile ›

    Expert Topics

    • Manual therapy and therapeutic exercises
    • Physical therapy education
    • Technology to diagnose and treat patients
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