Faculty Bios

Fr Andy Younan

Father Andy Younan, PhD

Professor of Philosophy

Fr. Andy is the founding Rector of the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great, the seminary of the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle. He is an avid translator of Aramaic, and is the translator/editor of the Emmanuel prayer book, which contains English translations of Chaldean liturgical prayers. He is the co-author of Introductory Chaldean and Chaldean Grammar, and the author of Perpetual Jubilee: Meditations on the Chaldean Liturgical Year, Thoughtful Theism (Emmaus Press, 2017), and Advice from Aristotle: Life Lessons from the Nicomachean Ethics (Cascade/Wipf & Stock, 2022). He has a forthcoming book titled Matter and Mathematics: An Essentialist Account of Laws of Nature (CUA Press).

Father Andy received his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in 2019, and his MA in Philosophy and Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in 2005. He received his BA in Philosophy from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit in 2001. He is a current student in the Canon Law program at Catholic University of America.

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Fr Ankido Sipo

Father Ankido Sipo

Adjunct Professor of Theology

Fr. Ankido entered the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great in January of 2010 and began his studies of philosophy and theology at JPCatholic that Fall. He received his BS Degree in Communications Media with an emphasis in New Evangelization in 2013. He received his Master of Arts in Biblical Theology in 2015, and was ordained a priest for the Chaldean rite Catholic Church in El Cajon, CA, on April 10th, 2015. Currently, he is the Superior of the monastic order of the Sons of the Covenant.

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Angie Bitsko

Angie Bitsko

Adjunct Professor of Acting

Angie's theatre credits include roles performed at the Old Globe Theatre; San Diego Repertory Theatre; Coronado Playhouse; La Jolla Stage Company; and the McCallum Theatre. She has directed/produced over forty stage productions ranging from classical Shakespeare to contemporary dramatic and musical theatre productions. Angie is also a writer, a produced playwright, and has poetry published in several poetry publications. She holds a double Bachelor's degree in Drama and Journalism from the University of Southern California, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of San Diego/Old Globe Theatre Professional Training Program, a Master of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literature from San Diego State University.

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Bill Marsilii

Bill Marsilii

Adjunct Professor of Screenwriting

Bill co-wrote Déjà vu - a romantic time-travel thriller, which at the time was the highest-priced spec screenplay of all time after selling to Jerry Bruckheimer and Touchstone Pictures for $5 million. Déjà vu, which starred Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Val Kilmer and Jim Caviezel, grossed more than $180 million worldwide. Marsilii sold 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo to Walt Disney Pictures, and with his Deja Vu partner Terry Rossio, sold Lightspeed, a space adventure to Bruckheimer/Disney. More recently, Marsilii adapted the sci-fi comic Sebastian X for producer Gale Anne Hurd and director Martin Campbell, and sold an original project, Cold, to Lionsgate with Reese Witherspoon attached to star and produce. Marsilii has been a guest lecturer at a wide variety of film and screenwriting programs, including those at UCLA TFT, USC, NYU, and Pepperdine. He has served as a mentor for the Act One Screenwriting Program.

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Brad Bartlett

Brad Bartlett

Adjunct Professor of Law

Brad has practiced civil litigation in San Diego North County for more than 37 years.

He was a President of the North County Bar Association, Brad’s clients have included Home Depot, the City of Carlsbad, Sparkletts, La Quinta, McDaniel Fruit Packing Company and Pauley Equipment Rentals. He currently serves as the President of the San Dieguito River Valley Land Conservancy. He has also been actively involved in North County real estate, where he has developed more than 30,000 square feet of commercial space.

Brad has a JD from University of San Diego and a BA from UCLA.

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Brehnen Knight

Brehnen Knight

Adjunct Professor of Business

Brehnen Knight is the Founder and CEO of genZ marketing company Engage Youth Co. He brings 20+ years of strategic partner development, is a change agent for venture capital companies, and brings global business and marketing experience to the classroom. With undergraduate degrees in Psycho-bio and Cultural Anthropology from UCLA, and two master’s degrees in Operational Management and International Marketing from Marylhurst University, he combines real-word experience with academia to create a well-rounded approach to education.

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Brian LaFrance

Brian LaFrance

Adjunct Professor of Animation

Brian has been creating CG imagery for over 30 years in games, animation and live action visual effects. Currently working for Industrial Light and Magic, he has also worked for Atari, Blizzard, Disney, DreamWorks and others on projects including the Star Wars franchise, Stranger Things, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Trolls 2, Destiny 2, and many others. Starting his career focused on look development and lighting, he is now a generalist focusing on environment creation. Brian received a BA in Art from Thomas Edison State University. He lives near Temecula with his wife and five children.

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Carlos Vázquez

Carlos Vázquez

Adjunct Professor of Visual Development

Born and raised in Guayama, Puerto Rico, Carlos M. Vázquez is a San Francisco-based graphic designer, illustrator and visual development artist with a focus on character design. He has held positions as Character Designer, Art Director, and Visual Development Artist for companies and clients such as Enemy Spawn, Big Grin Productions, mobile gaming company Playstudios, Salesforce, and Cartoon Network / Warner Bros. Animation (Animaniacs). He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and graduated in 2015 with a Master of Fine Arts in Animation and Concept Art from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

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Christopher Riley

Christopher Riley

Professor of Film

Chris is one of the most authoritative figures for the official screenplay format of Hollywood. He is a screenwriter whose first film, After The Truth, an award-winning courtroom thriller written with his wife, Kathleen Riley, sparked international controversy when it was released in Germany. Other credits include 25 To Life, a dramatic thriller for Junction Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures; The Other White House, a political thriller for Sean Connery's Fountainbridge Films and Intermedia; Aces, an action-adventure romance for Paramount Pictures; and a screen adaptation of the book Actual Innocence for Mandalay Television Pictures and the Fox television network.

A veteran of the Warner Bros. script department, Riley is the author of The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style. From 2005 through 2008, he served as director of the acclaimed Act One Writing Program in Hollywood, which trains Christians for careers as writers and executives in film and TV. Chris holds a BS in Telecommunications from Oral Roberts University and was a National Merit Scholar.

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Christopher Lis

Christopher Lis

Adjunct Professor of Business

Chris earned his BA in political science, magna cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University. He proceeded to earn his Master of Public Administration (MPA) from California State University Long Beach and then a Master of Science (MSc) in Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Claremont Graduate University, where he is currently finishing his PhD in public policy. His dissertation examines the epistemological limitations of public policy scholarship, and its implications for entrepreneurship. His research interests include American political economy, business and public policy, education policy, and investment strategy. He holds real estate licenses in California, Utah, and Georgia and co-founded Grapevine Wealth with an MBA classmate. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing basketball, and bodysurfing in his hometown Seal Beach.

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Courtney Balaker

Courtney Balaker

Adjunct Professor of Film and Acting

Courtney Moorehead Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, theatre director, and co-founder of Korchula Productions. Courtney wrote, directed, and produced Little Pink House, an award-winning feature film about Susette Kelo’s historic fight to save her home and neighborhood. The film stars two-time Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener (Get Out) and Emmy nominee Jeanne Tripplehorn (Grey Gardens). It has won a variety of awards including the HBO Audience Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival and the Vail Film Festival Audience Award. Additional film and television credits include Can We Take A Joke?, The Coddling of the American Mind, and America in Primetime, an award-winning PBS documentary series including interviews with Ron Howard, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Alec Baldwin.

Courtney began her film career at Neo Art & Logic, a feature film production company with an overall deal with Dimension Films where she developed new screenplays and went on to serve as Vice President of Development. She spent five years in New York City directing Off-Broadway plays, working with actors such as George Morfogen (HBO's Oz) and Joseph Gorden-Levitt (Inception). Her theater credits include works at SoHo Playhouse, Ensemble Studio Theater, and Theater for the New City.

Courtney holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver and a master’s degree in theatre directing from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and King’s College London where she received classical acting and theater directing training under the leadership of Fiona Shaw and Lord Richard Attenborough.

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Cristina Weinheimer

Cristina Weinheimer

Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design

Cristina is a seasoned Creative Director and partner at ConceptZombie LLC, a leading advertising and design agency in Southern California. She spearheads 360° marketing campaigns for organizations such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, Habitat for Humanity, Orange Catholic Foundation, and the Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego. With over 13 years of senior-level designer expertise in the advertising industry and a diverse portfolio of 60+ brands, including Mint Mobile, Toyota, Mattel, Bank of America, Nestle, Constellation Brands, the CA Lottery, and Guthy-Renker, Cristina excels at capturing consumers' hearts through her prowess in graphic design, art direction, copywriting, branding, corporate identity, retail marketing, and designing for consumer packaged goods. Her experience spans multiple outlets, including print, digital, social, TV, radio, podcast, and experiential spaces. Her creative vision extends beyond the traditional realm, collaborating with renowned musical artists like Maren Morris and Kenny Chesney to curate immersive VIP experiential spaces on tour, and crafting interactive environments for events such as the Long Beach Grand Prix, UFC, Top-Rank and Golden-Boy Productions boxing events.

Cristina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising from the Art Institute of California - Orange County and has worked for companies like Mint Mobile, The Marketing Arm, Alcone, and RAPP.

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Dr. Derry Connolly

Dr. Derry Connolly, PhD

Professor of Business

Derry is President and a founder of JPCatholic. Prior to JPCatholic, he worked at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he served on the Executive Board of CCAT - the Center for the Commercialization of Advanced Technology and headed up CCAT CEO mentoring services. He taught Applied Innovation at the Von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement and served as the Associate Dean of Continuing Education at UCSD Extension, leading a program with 40,000 part-time adult students. He continues to teach BioBusiness at the UCSD School of Engineering

Derry spent 15 years working in industrial Research and Development with IBM and Kodak. He holds 8 US patents and has numerous technical publications. He has a Ph.D. from Cal-Tech in Pasadena, CA and an M.Sc. and B.Sc. from University College, Cork, Ireland.

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Elizabeth Kramp

Elisabeth Kramp

Adjunct Professor

Elisabeth Kramp is a writer and educator with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Knox College and an M.A. in Religion from the Quaker seminary Earlham School of Religion.

Elisabeth's poetry chapbook Quickening was published by Franciscan University Press, and her poems have appeared in First Things, Literary Matters, Lydwine, and elsewhere. Having helped develop the arts journal Convivium, she served as head editor from 2019-2021. She writes Seton & Culture essays for the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

As a writing instructor, Elisabeth taught in the University of California Merced Merritt Writing Program, at the community college level, and at a college prep boarding high school. She has also written grants and organized community projects in the non-profit sector, particularly with Extend the Dream Foundation (Iowa City, IA) and Revolution of Tenderness (Steubenville, OH).

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Elizabeth Nevitt

Elizabeth Nevitt, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Humanities

Elizabeth is a medieval historian with research interests in monasticism, noble culture, history-writing, education and rhetoric, and the Anglo-Norman world. She holds a PhD from Fordham University, where she wrote her dissertation on the relationship between history, poetry, and rhetoric at the monastery of Bec in the twelfth century. She has also studied historiography and religious life in Late Antiquity, and has taught early modern and modern European history. She lives in San Diego with her family.

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Eric Van Hamersveld

Eric Van Hamersveld

Adjunct Professor of 2D Animation

Eric has worked for over 30 years in the entertainment industry as an animator with Warner Bros., Walt Disney, J. Ward Productions and Hanna-Barbera studios. His credits include: "The Pink Panther"; "Road Runner"; "Speedy Gonzalez"; "George of the Jungle"; numerous TV series; and several commercials including "Capt'n Crunch" and "Star Kist-Charlie The Tuna". For the Walt Disney Company as an "Imagineer", Eric produced visual special effects for EPCOT, Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland theme park projects. Currently, he is an Animator/Animation Director working on children's games and direct-to-videos for Mattel Toys, Fisher-Price Toys, McGraw/Hill Publishers, Paramount Pictures, and an illustrator for several children's books. Eric has a BFA Degree in Television and Film Production from Texas Christian University.

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George Castro

George Castro

Adjunct Professor of Animation

George is a Lead Technical Animator at High Moon Studios, where he has worked since 2006 on franchises such as Destiny and Call of Duty. His career has spanned both the video game and animation industries. He began his career in 2003 working in pre-viz and character animation for Sony Cinematics Solutions Group. He worked for Omation Studios as a Character Finaler on the animated feature The Barnyard. He then returned to Sony (SCEA) before moving to High Moon Studios, where he has worked as a cinematic artist and animator. George seeks to create content with a positive message that can express God's will in his life and to share His message of hope and love for all.

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George Simon

George Simon

Professor of Film Production & Chair of Communications Media

George’s passion for filmmaking began when his family moved to American Samoa. His father purchased a VHS camera to document the seven years spent abroad, and it wasn’t long before the camera was commandeered by George and his older brother, who spent those years making movies together. After returning to the states, George studied broadcasting and cinematic arts for two years at Central Michigan University. Desiring a more hands-on curriculum and spiritually nourishing college experience, he transferred to JPCatholic, where he completed his undergraduate studies in screenwriting and attained his MBA in producing. While pursuing his BS degree, he directed the award winning short film 'Get Clean' promoting the sacrament of reconciliation.

His recent writer-director credits include “Almost Home”, an award winning short from the 8Beats Anthology, “The Scar”, a high-concept fantasy epic, and the feature film “Don’t Get Eaten”, a family comedy. His recent producing credits include “No Time Off For Good Behavior”, written and directed by colleague Christopher Riley, and “O, Brawling Love!” the inaugural project for the feature film program at JPCatholic.

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J.J. Wenrich

J.J. Wenrich

Adjunct Professor of Business

J. J. is owner of financial services firm TaxPros + Investing in San Clemente CA and author of the book Teaching Kids to Buy Stocks: Stories and Lessons for Grown Ups. He has been an investment professional since 2000, holding multiple roles both corporate and entrepreneurial in nature. J. J. is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Business and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional. He and his wife Jodie have been married 21 years and have 4 children.

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Jacqueline Gold

Jacqueline Gold

Professor of Art

Jacqueline provides instruction in Life Drawing, Portrait Drawing and Painting and Anatomy in her San Diego studio and provides instruction with life drawing and anatomy to the in-house animators at Sony Online Entertainment. She has worked as an illustrator for a product manufacturing company whose clientele included such well-known motion-picture studios as Disney, Warner Brothers and Lucas Films. There she applied her talents to designing products related to such films as The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Pocahontas, Winnie the Pooh, and the Star Wars Trilogy.

Jacqueline received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration under the direction of Dick Oden at California State University Long Beach, and an MFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design.

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Jeff Deverett

Jeff Deverett

Adjunct Professor of Film Distribution & Marketing

Jeff is a formerly from Toronto, Canada where he acquired a Law Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Finance Degree from The University of Toronto. After his legal internship, Jeff migrated directly into the film & TV industry starting in the Home Video Distribution division of New World Entertainment when VHS & Beta was in its “heyday”. Jeff continued his film & TV Distribution career for 22 years working as Senior VP at Astral Communications (a big public Canadian Media Company); EVP International Distribution for Anchor Bay Entertainment; SVP Domestic Distribution for HIT Entertainment, where he helped manage iconic kids brands Barney, Bob the Builder, and Thomas the Tank Engine; and SVP North American Distribution for Alliance Entertainment. Jeff then founded and launched his own worldwide distribution company, KaBOOM! Entertainment which was eventually sold to eOne Entertainment.

After 22 years of film Distribution, Jeff had a burning desire to try his hand at the “artistic” side of the business and became a film writer, producer, and director of independent feature films. Over the past decade, Jeff financed, produced and/or directed seven feature films which he self-distributed worldwide. Three of his movies, FULL OUT, KISS & CRY, and FULL OUT 2 - YOU GOT THIS! are presently airing on NETFLIX worldwide in 60 countries and 22 languages. After a long and successful career in film Production & Distribution, Jeff shares his knowledge and experience with up-and-coming new filmmakers and students. He is an adjunct Professor in the Film/TV department at San Diego State University where he teaches advanced courses on Film Finance, Distribution, and the Business Aspects of Indie Film Production. He also operates a consulting service to filmmakers who need help in navigating the challenges of making & distributing their indie movies.

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Jeffrey Graw

Jeffrey Graw

Adjunct Professor of HR & Organizational Development

Jeffrey began his professional career with the U.S. Navy and served honorably on Active Duty as a Chief Personnel/Administrative Officer during a 21-year career. Subsequently, he has held executive-level Human Resources and General Management positions for many diverse rapidly growing and transformational organizations with multi-site/state and global locations. He is also the Founder/CEO of Lighthouse Coaching Services, a business coaching practice, where he proactively and passionately develops partnerships with small-business owners, business executives, and high-potential leaders to bring clarity to the challenges they encounter running a business, leading an organization or team, or finding work-life balance.

He holds a Certificate in Human Resources Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. In addition, he is active in his professional development by being a member of the Sr. Human Resources Executives (SHaRE) Group, the Professional Coaching Alliance (PCA) San Diego, and International Coaching Federation (ICF) San Diego Chapter. Jeffrey resides in San Diego, County, and in his free time, he enjoys hiking, sailing, biking, swimming, golfing and just about any outdoor activity. Jeffrey is committed to helping mankind (one person at a time), and he’s excited to share the benefit of his wisdom, courage and heart as they work together to create the change needed in their lives.

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Joe Connolly

Joe Connolly

Professor & Chair of Business

Joe brings diverse and broad start-up operations experience from his work in the alcohol [spirits, beer, and mead] industries. He has been a Chief Operating Officer, a Director of Production, a Sales & Distribution manager, logistics coordinator and brewer. He is highly skilled in creating systems out of the chaos of startups. Joe has an MBA focused in Entrepreneurial Business from John Paul the Great Catholic University.

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Joe Shoopack

Joe Shoopack

Adjunct Professor of Game Development

Joe is a Game Developer with over 30 years of experience in the creation of Interactive Digital Entertainment. His career includes work at Blue Sky Software / SEGA, 989 Studios, and Sony Online Entertainment: serving as Director of Art Development for 16 years. During his development career he has contributed to over 65 game titles. He holds a BFA in Design from Brigham Young University.

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Joe Szalkiewicz

Joe Szalkiewicz

Adjunct Professor of Business

Joe is the President of Yellow Line Digital, the digital marketing agency he co-founded in 2012. Joe is a successful entrepreneur who has started, scaled, and exited a number of ventures. Joe has helped several diverse consumer and cause-driven brands find quantifiable returns for their digital marketing investments. He lives in Vista, CA with his family and is an avid mountain hiker and runner.

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John Polhamus

John Polhamus

Adjunct Professor of Music

John is a broadly experienced singer, actor, instrumentalist, composer, conductor, and published writer, active in the San Diego/Los Angeles area. His ongoing career in the performing arts has included leading roles in musical theatre both in San Diego and in London, England. He has worked with the Bach Collegium San Diego as a classical soloist and choral artist in San Diego and Mexico City; as a professional parish liturgical musician; writing vocal and instrumental music which has been accepted for publication by Boosey and Hawkes as well as Emerson Music in the UK; and writing reviews which have been published in the scholarly journal Usus Antiquior, the Beach and Bay Press, and the Southern Cross newspaper. He also conducts and leads Catholic choirs of various sizes for commercial hire, both at home in San Diego and as far as London, which have included performances of his own compositions.

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Jordan Friske

Jordan Friske

Adjunct Professor of Real Estate

Jordan has practiced Real Estate for over five years in San Diego and the surrounding area, specializing in residential homes as well as rentals. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University. He has been married for seven years and has three kids.

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Julie Anne Stevens

Julie Anne Stevens

Adjunct Professor of Humanities

Julie Anne has her PhD from Trinity College Dublin. She publishes and lectures on Irish literature and the visual arts, nineteenth and twentieth century Irish and American women’s writing, illustrated children’s books, and short fiction. She took early retirement in August 2021 from Dublin City University to relocate to the United States, and returned to JPCatholic where she had been a visiting professor from 2017-2019. As a tenured lecturer in the School of English, DCU, she served as a convenor for both Research (2015-17) and Teaching and Learning (2020-21). She also served as the Director for the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture (2009-17). During this time, she was treasurer of the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (ISSCL) and in 2013 she accepted an invitation to join a panel of judges for the Children’s Books Ireland Awards. She currently is part of the team for the Irish Women’s Writing (1880-1920) Network and one of the editors for their forthcoming double issue of English Studies (2022-23) She published The Irish Scene in Somerville and Ross in 2007 and co-edited The Ghost Story from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century in 2010. Somerville Press published her latest book, Two Irish Girls in Bohemia: The Drawings and Writings of E. Œ. Somerville and Martin Ross, in 2017.

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Katelyn Slater

Katelyn Slater

Creative Director of the Acting Program

Katelyn is an alumna of JPCatholic and graduated within the acting emphasis. Since graduating, she has worked closely with Prof. Eskey in developing and teaching the courses at JPCatholic, while pursuing her own passion for acting. She has worked with several local theaters, including North Coast Repertory Theatre, Onstage Playhouse, Trinity Theatre Company, and Community Actor’s Theatre. Regionally, she acted in a fall touring production of Romeo and Juliet with Nebraska Shakespeare, in addition to being a teaching artist for the company. She has also been a teaching artist for Trinity Theatre and has taught acting at The Nativity School in Rancho Santa Fe. She loves collaborative story-telling that delves into the richness and humor of humanity. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Theatre degree at Regent University.

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Kathryn Smith-McGlynn

Kathryn Smith-McGlynn

Adjunct Professor of Acting

Kathryn is an actress, writer, and producer. Her body of work includes notable performances across multiple mediums including theatre, television, film, video, print, and radio. She has appeared on the television series such as Deputy (FOX), Better Call Saul (AMC), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Friday Night Lights (NBC), Hysteria (Amazon Prime) and others. She also has appeared as a co-star on Mazerunner: The Scorch Trials.

She raised millions of dollars in NYC as a former fundraising consultant and executive. She also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso where she developed and taught groundbreaking courses. She studied at the famed Moscow Art Theatre and hold MFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Lee Eskey

Lee Eskey

Adjunct Professor & Chair of Acting

Lee has been a professional actor, director and teacher for 20 years. Theatres include The Folger Theatre, The Denver Center Theatre Company, the Kentucky and Virginia Shakespeare Festivals and The National Players, as well as The Actor's Playground, a Los Angeles theatre company which he co-founded with Rick Wasserman. In LA he has also served on the faculty of Holy Wood Acting Studio and the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio.

Much of Lee's time in Hollywood has been spent as an acting coach, working with diverse talent, from comedians and magicians to series regulars on network television and in feature films. Lee incorporates Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body (TOB) into his work with artists and he is currently completing requirements for certification from the Theology of the Body Institute. Lee has a particular interest in forming skilled actors who are ready and able to bring their craft to the service of the New Evangelization through professional careers in the performing arts.

Lee holds an MFA in Acting from the National Theatre Conservatory and a BA in Drama from The Catholic University of America.

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Marc Burch

Marc Burch

Adjunct Professor of Business & Launchpad Mentor

Marc is a founder and VP of Business Development at ComoBlue - a software application development company for Social Networks. He helped develop ideation, social gaming and product strategy for Facebook and mobile applications. He managed the business development and partnerships with Facebook and mobile developers, ad networks and companies. He served as Entrepreneur-in-residence, subject matter expert, judge and mentor for funding grants at the Center of Commercialization of Advanced Technology for Homeland Security. He is also an angel investor and executive entrepreneur providing early-stage capital. He has over 20 years of marketing, sales, business development, strategic partnerships and executive management experience in technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Actra (Netscape and GE Joint Venture), and MarketFirst. While at Actra, he managed an aggressive sales channel which helped Actra grow to a $127 million market valuation before the Netscape acquisition. At MarketFirst, he helped grow the company to over 240 employees with a $450 million valuation.

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Max Hulburt

Max Hulburt

Professor & Chair of Visual Arts

Max is a JPCatholic alumnus and was one of the first students of the school’s Animation and Game Development programs. He received his MFA in Animation and VFX from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Max worked for CBS Interactive - GameSpot.com, creating motion graphics and animations in addition to live video and graphics production at E3 and ComicCon. Max works as a 3D artist for 'Junior Giants Foodiecats,' a series of educational, animated short films for the San Francisco Giants youth program. He specializes in 3D modeling and texturing with additional skills in rigging, lighting, animation, and rendering.

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Megan Eccles

Megan Jauregui Eccles

Adjunct Professor of Humanities

Megan writes dark, speculative fiction for young adults and is represented by Laura Galit of LKG Agency. Her writing has appeared in Kelp Journal, Coachella Review, Ladies of the Fright, The Lineup, and Dwarf+Giant. She is editorial assistant and social media manager for Hill Nadell Literary Agency. She holds a BA in Music from the University of San Diego and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside-Palm Desert. She lives in San Diego with her husband and four sons.

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Melinda Simon

Melinda Simon

Adjunct Professor of Post Production

Melinda is an Emmy-Award winning producer and editor. She graduated from JPCatholic in 2013 and has worked in Catholic media for over ten years. As a student, Melinda produced an award winning short film, which led to work on an international documentary project for New Evangelization Television. Melinda worked as a senior producer and editor for Spirit Juice Studios crafting documentary films, catechetical series, and music videos. Melinda currently works as an independent producer and editor. She has produced three award winning narrative films and continues to craft stories that are steeped in truth and love.

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Mikheil Tutberidze

Mikheil Tutberidze

Adjunct Professor of Computer Programming

Mikheil (Michael) Tutberidze is a lecturer with 22 years of experience. After graduating from university, he worked in both business and education, enabling him to develop educational programs closely aligned with business requirements. As a software engineer, he participated in the integration of ERP systems in large companies and also developed new software to implement specific business processes. He assists students in acquiring valuable software development skills that will enhance their competitiveness in the market. His research interests include computational methods for business and engineering, as well as security and data analytics.

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Monique Gaffney

Monique Gaffney

Adjunct Professor of Acting

Monique is one of San Diego’s most admired actors and playwrights. She has an MFA in Acting from Columbia University; New York, and a BA in Theatre from the University of California, San Diego. She has performed in shows such as Disgraced and Clybourne Park at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, and She is a resident artist of Cygnet Theatre where she performed The Piano Lesson and The Wind and the Breeze. She has worked as a teaching artist at Carlsbad's New Village Arts Theatre and works as a teaching artist at the Old Globe Theatre, where she has previously appeared in the theater’s touring "Shakespeare for All" program. In March 2019, the Theatre Communications Group announced that Gaffney was among six winners nationwide of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships, a prestigious honor that affords funding, time and resources for each recipient to work on a specific project with a local host theater. Gaffney, whose host is the Old Globe Theatre, will develop a multimedia theater piece inspired by the book Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust — Immaculèe Ilibagiza’s true story of a woman who survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide for 91 days in a tiny bathroom alongside seven other women.

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Nate Sjogren

Nate Sjogren

Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design

Nate is a Creative Director and Founder of Akimbo Studio. He has almost a decade of experience in branding, design and animation. He was a motion designer at Drive Studio, which is a design and production resource specializing in network branding, identity creation, show packages, promotion and new media outlets. During his time at Drive Studio, he has worked incredible projects such as FOX Sports Super Bowl LIV insert, Bleacher Report UEFA Champions League, 2018 FIFA World Cup, TNF on FOX and others.

Nate holds a BS in Communications Media from John Paul the Great Catholic University.

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Nathan Scoggins

Nathan Scoggins

Professor of Film

Nathan is an award-winning filmmaker, whose credits include The Least of These, released in 2011 by Universal and starring Isaiah Washington (Grey's Anatomy) and Robert Loggia (Independence Day); the TV movie The Perfect Summer, starring Eric Roberts; and the 2022 film What Remains starring Cress Williams (Black Lightning), Kellan Lutz (Twilight), and Anne Heche (Volcana). He won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest in 2012 and 2013 with “Sling Baby” and “Fashionista Daddy”. In addition, two of his award-winning short films were released by Lionsgate on DVD in 2008. He has written and developed projects for many companies in Hollywood. Nathan holds a BA in English and Film from Wesleyan University.

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Peter Connolly

Peter Connolly

Adjunct Professor of Business

Peter earned his B.A. in Economics from University College Cork and a Master's Degree in Economics & Finance from St. Patrick’s Pontifical University Maynooth, Ireland. Since immigrating to the United States, Peter has worked in the software & technology sector with both public and private enterprises for over 28 years, serving in various capacities including CEO (13 years), CTO (3 years), COO (4 years) and Director of Sales (4 years). Peter has been instrumental in bringing hundreds of software products to market in a vast array of industries including Casino, Retail, Government, Safety & Security, Entertainment, Travel & Tourism, and Public & Environmental Awareness. Peter lives in San Diego with his wife and has three children.

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Rebecca Huber

Rebecca Huber

Adjunct Faculty for Vocal Performance

Rebecca is a licensed speech-language pathologist and vocal music director with rich clinical experience, energy, and passion for her work. She holds a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from California State University, Los Angeles, a Bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from San Jose State University, and a current license. She has a special interest in Voice and Voice Science and has a rich background in music and vocal singing. She is a professional vocalist with her accomplishments including the mastery of various styles of music such as musical theater, big band, barbershop, Renaissance, classical, choral, pop, and original compositions. Her experience includes singing with Norwegian Cruise Lines, Temecula Valley Master Chorale, Don Morris Singers, La Jolla Renaissance Singers, San Diego Chorus of the Sweet Adelines, Coronado Playhouse, and numerous Los Angeles studio bands. She is the lead vocalist, reader, and member of the School of Cantors at Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Church in San Diego. Professor Huber has produced several musical CDs including Take Me Far Away, a CD of original compositions. She is currently the owner of Kluster Kidz, a speech/phonology therapy material company for which she composes songs and creates materials with targeted speech element clusters for young children. She is an accomplished pianist and cellist and has played as soloist, in duets, small ensembles, and in the pit orchestra for numerous professional musical theater productions throughout San Diego, including West Side Story at the Spreckles Theater. Professor Huber's true vocation is to help people find their own, unique voice, both on and off the stage.

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Dr. Robert Giracello

Dr. Robert Giracello, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Music

Robert is an award winning composer, performer, and educator. He received his PhD from the University of California, Riverside where he specialized in the theatrical works of Stephen Sondheim, the compositions and writings of Arthur Farwell, and electronic music composition using ChucK music programming. As a performer and composer, Robert has appeared throughout the United States and Europe, most notably in a special audience for Pope John Paul II, at the United Nations UNESCO concert in Paris, and at a special anniversary celebration in Cologne, Germany. He has recorded six studio albums and written two novels, most notably Three Landscapes, for which he received a MACRO award. He currently serves as Director of Music and Liturgy for Church of the Resurrection in Escondido. He is the father of two adorable kids.

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Robin Murray

Robin Murray, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Humanities

Robin is a classicist whose research focusses on Imperial Rome, early Christianity and ancient philosophy. Her dissertation analyzed the theme of death and death preparation in the Satyrica, an ancient novel by Petronius who, although a friend to the Emperor Nero, was forced to commit suicide by him in 66 A.D. More broadly, she studies the Graeco-Roman world and strives to make it relevant to people of today. She received her PhD in Classics from UC Irvine where she taught classes on the history and literature of ancient Greece and Rome and served as the assistant editor to the Classics journal TAPA (Transactions of the American Philological Society). She lives in Northern San Diego with her husband and children.

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Rodney Figueroa

Rodney Figueroa

Adjunct Professor of Game Design

Rodney is a gameplay designer and artist with experience in both cinema and games. He has worked as a Senior Gameplay Designer and 3d Artist for Animate Objects, and was also a Stereo Depth Artist for Legend 3d, creating stereoscopic 3d effects for films such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Man of Steel, and Shrek. His extensive teaching experience includes Mesa College, The Art Institute, and Coleman University.

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Shalina Stilley

Dr. Shalina Stilley, PhD

Professor of Philosophy & Theology

Shalina has an MA and PhD in Philosophy from Marquette University with a dissertation on natural law theory, a Masters in Theology from University of Dallas, and a BA in Philosophy from Northern Arizona University. In addition, she has over 10 years of international teaching experience, including at Conception Seminary College, Beltei International University, and Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia.

She converted to Catholicism during her first year in college after reading the writings of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila and now lives a form of consecrated life — Consecrated Virginity.

Her academic focuses include: St. Thomas, St. Catherine of Sienna, Jacques Maritain, Aristotle, mystical theology, ethics, Catholic social teachings, the New Evangelization, and fostering dialogue. Her upcoming book “Faith, Reason and Perplexity” examines aspects of the Catholic faith that seem to contradict reason at first glance.

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Shun Lee Fong

Shun Lee Fong

Adjunct Professor of Media Law

Shun Lee is the CEO and Creative Principal of Genuine Productions, LLC - a creative media production company with a focus on film, new media and music. He is also the fonunder and creative director for 'The Greenhouse' - a non-profit organization for training, equipping, and engaging creative artists. He practiced law for 5 years in Omaha, Nebraska, focusing on civil litigation, corporate transactions, intellectual property, and media law.

In 2003, he left his law practice and moved to L.A. to pursue acting, writing, and other creative opportunities. He has performed in a number of productions in film, theater, commercial, and print, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has spent significant time on stage and in the recording studio as a songwriter and musician, playing several instruments. He has written a number of screenplays, articles, essays, and other works and is an often-requested speaker. He taught the Mass Media Law class for the Journalism and Mass Communications Department at Creighton University.

Shun Lee holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law and a BA (summa cum laude) in Journalism and Mass Communications from Creighton University.

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Simon Esshaki

Simon Esshaki

Adjunct Professor of Communications

Fr. Simon Esshaki is a Chaldean Catholic priest of the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle for the Western United States. He joined the Chaldean Catholic Seminary of Mar Abba the Great in 2009 and completed his studies in 2015 with a Masters degree in Biblical Theology. He was ordained a priest that same year and serves as the administrator of St. Michael’s Chaldean Catholic Church in El Cajon, CA. He is currently in the process of becoming a Canon lawyer as he is in the JCL program at the Catholic University of America.

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Steve Barsotti

Steve Barsotti

Adjunct Professor of Sound Design

Steve Barsotti is an educator, audio post engineer, and audio artist. He has been teaching college students for over 30 years, including at Columbia College in Chicago, the Art Institute of Seattle, Cornish College of the Arts, and The Seattle Film Institute. As owner/operator of Ragmatic Audio, Steve has recorded, mixed and mastered audio for client projects including podcasts, films, music, multimedia art, documentaries, and commercial projects. Ragmatic Audio’s mission is to work with non-profits, small businesses, museums, and more, discovering the untold stories of our culture. Steve is also an audio artist who performs and composes works in the style of Musique Concréte. His two solo CD's, Along These Lines and Say “tin-tah-pee-mic”, contain improvisations with amplified objects, field recordings, and electronics. His album Rarebit, with Eric Leonardson, features improvisations on invented instruments.

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Steve Kramp

Steve Kramp

Professor & Chair of Theology & Humanities

Steve is a theologian and prize-winning poet. Prior to coming to JPCatholic he taught courses in writing, literature, and cultural history at a number of universities and colleges, including the University of California, Merced, and the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He holds a BA in English from the University of Oregon, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and an MA in Theology and Christian Ministry from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He also worked for three years in youth ministry at a Seattle-area parish.

In his classroom teaching Steve often returns to his primary intellectual interest, which is the intersection of faith practice and artistic practice. In addition to his teaching and administrative service as Humanities Chair at JPCatholic, Steve is currently working on Holy Saturday, a series of long poems.

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Tim Reckart

Tim Reckart

Adjunct Professor of Animation

Timothy Reckart is an Oscar-nominated writer and director. His animated short film Head Over Heels was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013, after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and winning grand prizes at festivals around the world. In 2017, he directed The Star for Sony Pictures Animation, an animated retelling of the Nativity story from the point of view of the animals. Prior to directing, he worked as a stop motion animator, serving as a lead animator on Charlie Kaufman’s Oscar-nominated film Anomalisa and on Amazon’s multiple Emmy-winning preschool series Tumble Leaf. He holds a master’s degree in directing animation from the National Film & Television School of the UK, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in history and literature. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

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Tito Zamalloa

Tito Zamalloa

Adjunct Professor of Business

Tito is a marketing and management expert. He has worked with top brands like AT&T, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, and HP. Tito also worked in executive management roles at Razer Gaming, Gaming-Entertainment Technologies, Inc. and at a leading ad agency. He also ran VC and Angel funded enterprises. Currently, he is Marketing Director/VP of the San Diego Consulting Group.

Tito regularly presents at industry conferences, seminars, and events. He volunteers and mentors actively; and is a start-up advisor at Connect San Diego; a leading business incubator. He is currently serving as adjunct faculty at UCLA, Cal State San Marcos, and National University. His courses cover business, management, marketing, entrepreneurship, and strategy.

He earned a B.S. in Business-Marketing from Cal Poly Pomona, and an MBA from UCLA Anderson. He enjoys reading, walking-jogging, video games and the outdoors. He lives with his family in Carlsbad.

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Tom Carroll

Tom Carroll

Adjunct Professor of Game Development

Tom is a veteran video game developer, writer, and artist. Capping a 20+ year career in game development, Tom helped to develop the last two games in the Midnight Club racing series for Rockstar San Diego and was a 3D artist for the 2010 Game of the Year, Red Dead Redemption. He wrote all of the story missions for Blowfish Studios' Phantom Galaxies space shooter while simultaneously editing eight issues of that studio's Winter/Ember comic book series, written by Kevin Grevioux for the launch of the video game of the same name. Tom wrote the graphic novel, P.O.D.: The Nexus (2010, Zondervan Press) for veteran video game and comic book artist Mat Broome. He has also created all of the historically accurate maps for Simonetta Carr's YA historical biographies.

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Tyler Pearson

Tyler Pearson

Adjunct Professor of Business

Tyler is a business consultant focused on the intersection of enterprise risk management, digital assets, and financial strategy. With over a decade of experience in the banking industry, he has worked at Aspire Financial, Pacific Union Financial, and Silvergate Bank. His roles have included Real Estate Finance Analyst, Interest Rate Risk Manager, and Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Manager. Tyler is currently developing an open-source AI project for corporate planning and outsourcing administrative work. He received a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Business from JPCatholic in 2011.

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Please note: JPCatholic's teaching model utilizes the expertise of many working professional adjunct faculty. A faculty member being listed on this page is not an indicator that they are currently teaching this quarter, or that they will be scheduled to teach again. Our usual practice is to remove adjunct faculty from this page if they have not taught within the past four quarters.