Faculty Bios

Abbie Cobb

Abbie Cobb

Adjunct Professor of Acting

Abbie Cobb is an actress and teacher, living and working in the television and film industry in Los Angeles. Abbie holds a degree in theater as well as a host of acting credits that range from Disney Channel (Starstruck, Jonas, Good Luck Charlie) and Nickelodeon (Henry Danger, Big Time Rush) to network shows and films (90210, Shameless, Mom's Night Out, etc). While continuing her acting work on sets in Hollywood (currently recurring on Amazon's Them and Dwight in Shining Armor) she also enjoys the education track of training new actors to learn how to be successful in LA.

Alongside actress Chelsea Ricketts, Abbie opened The AFA Studio in Toluca Lake with the goal of helping actors get "unstuck". Actors For Actors has become a studio that helps actors gain freedom, transformation, and practical tips and tricks to navigate the on-camera world of self-tapes and producer sessions.

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Andy Lewandowski

Andrew Lewandowski

Adjunct Professor of Business

Andrew Lewandowski is an agile business, product, and customer experience strategist using human-centered design to solve big problems. He's worked in the public sector at the federal level on diverse digital transformations including reimagining the immigration experience for the 21st century and creating novel ways to deliver benefits and health care to veterans using technology. He's also worked on innovative products and programs in hospitality and higher education. He holds a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies from San Diego State and a M.A. in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown.

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Fr Andy Younan

Father Andy Younan, PhD

Professor of Philosophy

Father Andy served as the Rector of the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great, the seminary of the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle until 2016. He was granted the mandatum by Robert Brom, while bishop of San Diego, as an ecclesial recognition of Fr Andy's posture and commitment to teach always in communion with the Church. Fr. Andy 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.

Father Andy received his PhD and MA in Philosophy and Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA. He received his BA in Philosophy from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit in 2001.

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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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Angie Germain

Angie Germain

Adjunct Professor of Business

Angie is a Process Excellence Leader for an industry-leading healthcare workforce solutions company. She has a 20+ year career directing programs to optimize processes, accelerate performance, eliminate wasteful practices, improve customer satisfaction and achieve company financial and strategic objectives. She values building strong relationships at all levels of a company to orchestrate innovative problem-solving, consensus and shared purpose that motivates people to action. Angie is a certified PROCSI Change Management Practitioner and supports transition at all levels of company operations. She has an MBA and certifications in Lean Six Sigma.

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Bill Golightly

Bill Golightly

Adjunct Professor of Business

Bill has over 32 years of experience working in the engineering consulting business.He holds a B.S in Geology, a M.S in Civil Engineer, is a registered Civil Engineer in California and Arizona and is a Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Environmental Sustainability Professional. He is currently Vice President of Major Accounts for a San Diego based multi-national engineering firm where he has worked for over 25 years. Bill has experience in virtually all aspects of the consulting engineering business including line management with profit and loss responsibility, program and project management, business development, client management, staff development and mentoring, and technical leadership. He has been responsible for marketing, winning and overseeing tens of millions of dollars of profitable work over his career and is recognized for his outstanding client service and program management skills. Bill currently oversees major contracts with the Port of San Diego and the San Diego International Airport and is a key technical resource on contracts with the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. In his free time, Bill is an avid mountain biker and rock climber and enjoys backpacking hiking and being outdoors.

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Bill Marsilii

Bill Marsilii

Adjunct Professor of Screenwriting

Bill Marsilii 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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Bonnie Curtis

Bonnie Curtis

Adjunct Professor of Theology

Bonnie teaches theology and scripture at the Diocesan Institute for the Diocese of San Diego where she is involved in the academic formation of permanent deacons. In addition to her studies as a theologian, she is active in her parish, where she leads RCIA, provides adult education, and assists her husband’s ministry as a deacon. Capitalizing on her decades of experience as a military spouse and mother, she has been a featured speaker throughout the Diocese of San Diego on various aspects of marriage and family life in addition to topics related to Biblical Theology.  Bonnie’s first career was as a homeschool teacher to her five children. She and her husband, Adam, live in San Diego. 

Bonnie holds an MA in Biblical Theology and a Certificate in Philosophy from John Paul the Great Catholic University; and a BA with a double major in Spanish and Political Science from the University of San Diego.

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Brad Bartlett

Brad Bartlett

Adjunct Professor of Law

Prof. Bartlett 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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Chris Clark

Chris Clark

Adjunct Professor of Design

Chris has a strong passion for writing and design. He has produced work for such brands as Intel, Qualcomm, Shure Audio, Red Envelope, Total Gym, and The Corky McMillin Companies. Active in the industry, he currently works as a designer, copywriter, and commercial music composer. He also has over a decade of experience as an award-winning design professor, teaching currently at the NewSchool as their lead media design professor. He previously taught at The Art Institute of California – San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, UCSD, and the Academy of Art University. Providing instruction from a real-world perspective, Chris passionately seeks to create the strongest of creative practitioners, ones that have both the design-mindedness to conceive strong conceptual solutions and the production skills to bring them to life.

Chris has an MFA degree in advertising from the Academy of Art University.

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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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Colin Brady

Colin Brady

Visiting Professor of Animation

Colin is a director, creative producer and animation supervisor who has worked at Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, Imagi Studios, Rhythm and Hues, and Pixomondo. Colin graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Character Animation. Colin has directed animation for Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ang Lee, John Lasseter and Martin Scorsese. Colin directed on such films as Everyone's Hero, Astro Boy, TMNT, and Toy Story 2. He supervised scenes for The Hunger Games, Hugo, Green Lantern and Spiderman. Colin is head of story and animation for Light Chaser Studios in Beijing working remotely from his home in Los Angeles. Married for 21 years, Colin draws much of his inspiration from his 7 children. Whether directing Pixar characters or furthering performance capture techniques, Colin’s passion is the fine-crafting of narrative, dialogue, humor and nonverbal acting that make good stories great through the art of animation.

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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 poet with a BA in Creative Writing from Knox College and an MA from Earlham School of Religion. Her chapbook Quickening was published by Franciscan University Press, and she is Editor-in-Chief of Convivium, a journal of arts, culture, and testimony.

Elisabeth taught writing at UC Merced as well as at the community college level, and she particularly enjoys teaching at JPCatholic because students perceive and are open to discussing insights into the spiritual life, which affects one's writing discipline and purpose in work.

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Elizabeth Nevitt

Elizabeth Nevitt, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Theology & 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

Prof. George is a Senior 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 studied for two years at Central Michigan University in the broadcasting and cinematic arts program before transferring to JPCatholic to complete his undergraduate BS and MBA degrees. While pursuing his BS degree, he created the award winning short film 'Get Clean' promoting the sacrament of reconciliation. With his brother Joe (MBA 2010), he launched 'Simon Brothers Productions' - an independent production company specializing in narrative film and live-event coverage. He went on to produce content for New Evangelization Television and has worked on film sets, international documentary crews, and many commercial projects.

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Jacqueline Nicolini

Jacqueline Nicolini

Adjunct 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 Deverett 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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Dr. Jerry Jackson

Dr. Jerry Jackson, PhD

Professor & Chair of Business

Jerry's long career has included being an entrepreneur as well as executive management positions at both small and large privately owned and publicly traded consulting firms. He's overseen the growth and transformation of firms involving hundreds of staff and $100s million of revenue. An engineer by education, Jerry has also pioneered the use of innovative technologies to treat water, wastewater, and hazardous wastes. His projects have been recognized as 'outstanding' by professional organizations, and he's accompanied the US Secretary of Commerce in international trade missions, and has testified before Congress on applicable legislation.

Jerry has served as a Professor of Business at JPCatholic since Winter quarter 2007. He holds a BS, MS, and PhD in civil engineering, is a licensed professional engineer, and has been on the faculty at five universities in the United States and overseas. He is an avid runner, surfer, sky diver, and pilot.

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Joe Connolly

Joe Connolly

Adjunct Professor 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 Szalkiewicz 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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Julie Anne Stevens

Julie Anne Stevens

Adjunct Professor of Humanities

Julie Anne Stevens (PhD Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin) 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 thus returned to John Paul Catholic University 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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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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Maisa Haddad

Maisa Haddad

Adjunct Professor of New Evangelization

Maisa is a clinical pharmacist, theologian, public speaker and evangelist. Maisa lives in San Diego with her husband and 4 children. Prior to coming to JPCatholic in August of 2019 where she lived in Michigan most of her life, she volunteered and worked with St. Paul Evangelization Institute as a Senior Regional Missionary since 2013 teaching at parishes, schools and doing street evangelization. She started a street evangelization team in her hometown Plymouth Michigan and at her parish Our Lady of Good Counsel and has helped lead and form street evangelization teams for parishes.

Maisa has also taught Basic Evangelization courses to seminarians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. In 2004 Maisa worked with Bishop Francis (back then Fr. Frank Kalabat) in the ECRC (Eastern Catholic Re-Evangelization Center) where she assisted in weekly bible study classes. Maisa has given talks on discipleship, evangelization, the Church and the Holy Spirit. She has been featured on the Jeff Cavin’s show, Gary Michuta’s show Hands on Apologetics, Teresa Tomeo’s show on Ave Maria Radio and the St. Paul Evangelization Institute podcasts.

Maisa holds a B.S in Pharmacy from Wayne State University School of Pharmacy in Detroit Mi, an MA in Systematic Theology from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit Mi and is a PharmD candidate at Shenandoah University in Virginia graduating in May 2021. Maisa is filled with zeal and boldness and set on fire to share the Good News of the Gospel with everyone she meets.

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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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Mark Henry

Mark Henry

Adjunct Professor of Film Production

Mark Henry is a production strategist, executive producer, and audio supervisor with over a decade of experience in the film industry. He has worked on projects for companies like National Geographic, TLC, Sony, Disney, PBS, and Turner Classic Movies. Mark is also an experienced teacher, and served as Film Sound Instructor for the American Film Institute; he aspires to pay it forward by being available to the next generation of filmmakers.

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Max Hulburt

Max Hulburt

Professor of Animation & Chair of Animation and Gaming

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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Melinda Simon

Melinda Simon

Adjunct Professor of Post Production

Melinda Simon is an Emmy-Award winning producer and editor. She graduated from John Paul the Great Catholic University 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. After completing her undergraduate studies, 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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Monique Gaffney

Monique Gaffney

Adjunct Professor of Acting

Monique Gaffney 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 Sartain

Nate Sartain

Adjunct Professor of Game Art and Design

Nate is a 3d artist with 10+ years of experience in the video game industry and he is currently a Senior Environment Artist at Sony - San Diego. He has worked with clients such as Bungie/Activision, SyFy, Disney/Pixar, and Cartoon Network/D3, and has working on nine shipped titles including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny 2, Defiance, Cars Mania: Maters Tall Tales, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction, and Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks.

Nate specializes in environment and prop art with strong skills in modeling, texturing, lighting, special fx, animation and setup, using such programs as: 3ds Max, Maya, XNormal, Zbrush, CrazyBump, Quixel Suite, Substance tools, Speedtree and Photoshop. He has extensive experience with production workflow and next-gen pipeline, including physically based rendering systems. Nate has a passion for great games and loves making them even more than playing them. He is a graduate of the Art Institute.

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Nathan Scoggins

Nathan Scoggins

Professor of Film

An award-winning filmmaker, Nathan Scoggins' list of credits include The Least of These, released in 2011 by Universal and starring Isaiah Washington (Grey's Anatomy) and screen legend Robert Loggia (Big, Independence Day), as well as the upcoming TV movie The Perfect Summer, starring Eric Roberts. 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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Ray Siposs

Ray Siposs

Adjunct Professor of Film and TV Production

Ray is a Producer/Director/Cinematographer who has worked in Hollywood for over 40 years. He is a current member of the International Cinematographer Guild.

He has worked on many well known television productions such as The Four, Hollywood Game Night, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, The Winner Is, Food Fighters, Martha & Snoop's Pot Luck Dinner Party, Celebrity Name Game, NBC Dateline, Billboard Latin Music Awards, and the Emmy's Red Carpet.

Ray has also done numerous sporting events for ESPN and Fox Sports. He has shot the Vans Triple Crown Mountain Dew Tour, ASP Surfing Tour, Baja 500, America's Cup, Olympic Games, Jet Ski World Tour, as well as the Discovery Channel World Championship Adventure Race in Switzerland. He also Directed the Paley Center for Media live events in Los Angeles for 20 years as well as directing TED-X TALKS in Los Angels and Washington D.C.

He also has had his own production company. Ray has received numerous awards, including an Emmy Award, a Golden Mike Award, and a Telly Award over his expansive career.

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Rebecca Huber

Rebecca Huber

Adjunct Faculty for Vocal Performance

Huber 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 Giracello 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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Fr. Samuel Keyes

Fr. Samuel Keyes, PhD

Professor of Theology

Fr. Keyes was ordained a Catholic priest in 2021 and has a Ph.D in Theology from Boston College and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School.

Raised Baptist, he converted to the Anglican Church as a young adult. He served as an ordained priest in the Anglican tradition from 2011-2019, working in parishes in Massachusetts, Alabama, and Saint James School in Maryland. After he and his family entered the Catholic Church in 2019, he went through formation with the Ordinariate of St. Peter and was ordained a Catholic priest in 2021.

He brings with him a deep academic expertise and passion for the mission of JPCatholic to Impact Culture for Christ.

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Shalina Stilley

Dr. Shalina Stilley, PhD

Professor of Philosophy & Theology

Dr. Stilley 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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Sheryl Anderson

Sheryl Anderson

Visiting Professor of TV Writing

Sheryl is an accomplished author, television writer, and producer with over 20 years of experience. Over the course of her career, Sheryl has written and produced for hit TV shows such as Charmed, Flash Gordon, Ties that Bind, and the Netflix original series Sweet Magnolias. She began her career as a development executive for Grant Tinker's GTG Entertainment where she wrote for half-hour sitcoms Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Dave's World. Sheryl has also published four novels in her Molly Forrester series. In addition to her writing, she has taught for Act One, an instructional program for Christian screenwriters, and for UCLA's Writer's Extension Program.

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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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Stephan Haight

Stephan Haight

Adjunct Professor of Business

Stephan Haight holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University and started his career as an engineer. He transitioned into Technical Sales in 1999; and since then has supported multiple companies in turning their business development efforts around, by selling product-solutions from simple software packages to highly-customized, multi-million dollar manufacturing systems that leverage “latest-technologies", all to help customers achieve a stronger commercial position in their respective markets. His experience ranges from market research and prospecting among small, privately-owned companies, to long-term accountant maintenance activities supporting Fortune 500 corporations. Having great passion for the vocation of sales and the sales process, Stephan is highly-committed to the Solution Selling paradigm and the process of engineering solutions to help clients improve their business. Stephan is excited about the opportunity to help guide the next generation of professionals, and to help provide them with insight and perspective on the fascinating vocation of sales, and how it might play out in their own lives.

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Steve Kramp

Steve Kramp

Professor & Chair of Theology and 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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Tom Dunn

Tom Dunn

Professor of Film Production

Tom began his professional career over 20 years ago on the Paramount Studios lot working for Entertainment Tonight in the post-production department. Since then he has gone on to produce, direct, write and edit hundreds of television commercials, documentaries, sports and entertainment programs and news stories. He has worked for local and national cable television networks, independent production companies and a local broadcast affiliate. Tom is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards for television production, including 4 Telly Awards and a Cable ACE Award. Tom served for 2 years as vice-president of the Orange County Chapter of the Media Communications Association International. Tom received his BA in Television, Radio and Film Production from California State University, Long Beach.

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Vernon Mortensen

Vernon Mortensen

Professor of Film Producing and Distribution

Vernon is a filmmaker, businessman and a veteran of the international film festival scene. His many movies and television shows have been enjoyed by audiences around the world. As a filmmaker, his wide-ranging career has included writing, directing and producing the western/thriller 'The Sorrow' starring Kirk Harris, John Savage and Michael Madsen, as well as serving as an executive producer on 'The Kid: Chamaco,' starring Martin Sheen and Michael Madsen. He currently works for the motion picture production/distribution company Rogue Arts as a film and television producer and a distribution executive.

Vernon has an MBA in Strategic Management and a Master of Professional Writing (screenwriting) from USC, where he studied under script guru Syd Field and was an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Fellow. He earned a BFA in Film from the world-renowned Art Center College of Design and received a BS from Excelsior College.

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