Aja Tulleners Lesh, PhD, RN

Dean and Professor, School of Nursing
Phone: (626) 815-5384
Photo of Aja Tulleners Lesh, PhD, RN


Dr. Lesh, Dean of the School of Nursing at Azusa Pacific University (APU) has held that position since 2003. Dr. Lesh earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and her Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of California in Los Angeles with an emphasis in Maternal/Child Health, her OB/Gynecological Nurse Practitioner Certificate from CSULA, and her Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) from Claremont University with a research focus on child health and development. Dr. Lesh clinical background is in the area of maternal/child health, community health and family dynamics. She has held clinical positions in those areas, both in acute care and in primary care. In addition, she has extensive experience in nursing education, program development and evaluation, and strategic planning. Currently Dr. Lesh shares her experience with graduate nursing students in the areas of ethics, organizational leadership, strategic planning, and advanced statistical methods and design. She has a passion for international health, and has initiated and developed study abroad opportunities for nursing students and faculty in Brazil, China, Norway, South Africa, and Viet Nam.

Dr. Lesh has utilized her extensive clinical and administrative background to inform her research trajectory and her teaching. Since 1979, she has received over $25 million in program funding to support her scholarship and research in the areas of perinatal health and family functioning. She has directed the Infant, Child and Family Project for the past 30 years which has been instrumental in improving the health of young infants and their families throughout the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding areas. The Infant, Child and Family Project has been supported by a wide variety of funding sources including federal grants (CSAP), state grants(Department of Health and Department of Mental Health), county contracts ( DCFS), and local foundations support including First 5 LA. Dr. Lesh has authored over 30 research reports on intervention outcomes of at risk neonates and families of children with special needs. She is also the author and principal investigator of a defining study on at risk infants commissioned by the State Department of Health in 2000. She serves as a consultant for strategic planning, program development and program evaluation in the areas of health, education, and social services. Dr. Lesh is active in the profession and the community, lending her expertise to a number of professional organizations and community boards, as well as speaking nationally and internationally on nursing education, strategic planning, and program development and evaluation.


  • BSN - University of California, Los Angeles
  • MN - University of California, Los Angeles
  • Ph.D. - Claremont Graduate School

Academic Area

  • School of Nursing
    • Doctoral Programs

Office Hours

Contact Executive Administrator x5384 or email jpostlmayr@apu.edu

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