Professor of Leadership
Amanda graduated from JPCatholic with an MA in Biblical Theology in 2014. She is finishing her EdD in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University where her dissertation focuses on the lack of leadership and management preparation for Diocesan priests in seminary education. She has taught high-school theology and speech and debate for over a decade where she was the Communications Department Chair. She has written a speech textbook distributed through Apple iBooks and has written and developed several UC courses. Her favorite topics include strategic planning, organizational behavior, and Catholic leadership. She is a San Diego native and enjoys spending time with her two boys.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
Visiting Professor of Animation
Colin is the Chief Creative Officer at AMGI Studios. He 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. Married for over two decades, 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.sBack to top
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.Back to top
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).Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
Fernando Del Rosario
Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design
A seasoned marketing creative, with a heart of an artist, and a passion for teaching, Fernando bridges the world of advertising, design, art, and education. His creative agency ConceptZombie LLC. focuses on the 6 emotional skill sets of: Kind Optimism, Curious Intelligence, Work Ethics, Empathy, Self Awareness and Integrity. His roster of brands are as diverse as his vision of creativity; from Hot Wheels to Taco Bell, the diverse set of brands was curated by design. For 20 years, Fernando has also been an educator, with a MA ED in Educational Leadership. He taught at the Art Institute of California-Orange County and Cal State University Fullerton Visual Arts Dept. He also has been a guest speaker at Cal State Long Beach & Chapman University. Fernando has also found time to build an artist career. With over 45 art/gallery showings, 5 art gallery representations, the REAL HEROES Art Show continues to grow and expand beyond Southern California.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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 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.Back to top
Adjunct Professor of Acting
Paul is a writer, producer and voiceover actor who has worked with Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Disney, Warner Brothers and Cartoon Network. He has received three Emmy Awards; two for his work on Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs and another for his work on Steven Spielberg Presents Freakazoid. He was recently featured as the voice of Artephius The Alchemist on Dreamwork’s The Adventures Of Puss And Boots.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
Fr. Samuel Keyes, PhD
Professor of Theology
With his Ph.D in Theology from Boston College and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, Fr. Sam brings a deep academic expertise and passion for the mission of JPCatholic to Impact Culture for Christ.
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 the Chair of St. Peter and was ordained a Catholic priest in 2021.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
Adjunct Professor of Business
Sierra is a CPA and the Senior Manager of SEC Reporting and Technical Accounting at Star Equity Holdings. She prepares, reviews, and compiles SEC filings for the Company including 10Ks, 10Qs, 8Ks, etc. Sierra began her accounting career after graduating with her Degree in Accounting from CSUSM. She audited private and public companies ensuring that their financials met GAAP and PCAOB standards. Now working for a publicly traded company, she continues to ensure that the financials she produces follow GAAP and PCAOB standards, comply with SOX requirements, and works closely with various consultants and professionals in the industry.Back to top
Adjunct Professor of Theology
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.Back to top
Adjunct Professor of Business
Stephan 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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top