Experts on "Education"

Carolyn Bishop

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Elementary Education

Carolyn Bishop was born in Toronto Canada. Carolyn received her education in California and started her career in education as a sixth grade teacher. Her post baccalaureate education focused on curriculum, staff development, cognition, educational administration and online learning and thinking.

Carolyn Bishop is serving the Biola students as the Director of Elementary Education implementing her knowledge of quality teacher preparation and technology in the process of educating future teachers to serve in all parts of the world. It is her desire to ensure high quality educators are in all classrooms and that the integration of faith is an integral part of each student's experience here at Biola University.

Dr. Bishop's research agenda has been around teacher preparation, program design, environmental impacts of online education, and online thinking and learning. Her current research project is regarding teacher dispositions and how best to shape the practices of teachers to positively impact student learning. She has published articles on online thinking and learning and quality teacher preparation.

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Nicholas C. Block

  • Associate Professor

After beginning his career in education as a science teacher in Bogotá, Colombia in 1984, Nick Block has worked most of his years in the U.S. as a public school teacher in grades three to five, in a variety of language settings. While concerned with all subject areas, in his teaching in East Los Angeles he most recently concentrated on issues of vocabulary development as a basis for reading comprehension and writing growth. At Biola, Block has taught in the Clear Credential, graduate, and undergraduate programs. He has as mainly taught courses in philosophy of education, academic writing, research methods, and multicultural education. Now with the implementation of the Common Core Standards, he feels that there is even greater urgency for improved teaching supported by sound research in these areas, especially for English learners. Past research in dual language education as well as decades of experience as a bilingual educator (including 26 years in Montebello Unified School District) contribute to his concern that students grow as expert users of language.

In addition to his work in K-12 schooling and teacher preparation as an adjunct at CSU Long Beach, Block has been involved in theological education in Los Angeles, Colombia, and Rwanda. Whether supporting new teachers in teaching words or new pastors in teaching the Word, his greatest desire is to help others to be fruitful in their calling.

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Marla Campbell

  • Professor Emerita of Intercultural Studies

Presently Dr. Marla Campbell teaches with the faculty of the School of Intercultural Studies following five years in the Education Department at Biola University. Prior to this, Marla served as Dean of Students at Bethany College and as a missionary in the Balkans of Eastern Europe then later with Asia-Pacific Education working with Bible colleges. All of these have offered opportunities to fulfill her desire to reach the lost, especially through the teaching and training of others who will carry on the task. During her 14 years of teaching in Christian high schools, Dr. Campbell had a vision for taking drama ministry teams nationally and internationally with the development of Parable Drama. Her mission opportunities have taken her throughout the USA and to over 60 countries. Whether at home or abroad, Marla has always had a focus on education and ministries with a strong passion for biblical integration, intentional living and spiritual formation. She enjoys opportunities to teach and speak in a variety of these venues as well as in women's ministry settings. Equipping Christian educators in public or private schools, whether at home or abroad, remains a primary focus for both speaking and publishing.

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Frederick Cardoza

  • Director of M.A.C.E. and M.Div. Christian Education
  • Associate Professor
  • Christian Ministry and Leadership

Freddy Cardoza has ministered for 20 years in churches and parachurch ministries of all sizes, and has taught academically for more than 20 years at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. He has taught internationally and regularly teaches adjunctively at both the graduate and doctoral levels.

Freddy serves as Director of M.A.C.E. and M.Div. and Undergraduate Christian Education at Talbot School of Theology and Biola University.

Freddy is the Executive Director for the Society of Professors in Christian Education (NAPCE), which is the academic society of evangelical professors representing some 200 seminaries, universities and liberal arts colleges that teach in the areas of spiritual formation, Christian ministries and Christian education.

Freddy received a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Leadership from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and completed all required coursework for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D./ABD). He earned a Master of Arts from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and holds a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University.

Freddy is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) and formerly served as President of the Board for the Christian Worldview Leadership Academy in Kansas City.

Freddy speaks regularly at churches, conferences, conventions, retreats and seminars.

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Luciano Cid

  • Assistant Professor

Luciano Cid grew up in Argentina until he was thirteen years of age. It was then when his parents made the complex decision to immigrate to the United States in search of a better life for their children. At the beginning, Cid struggled both socially and academically, which was something he had never experienced before. With time, he began to be able to communicate using his second language (English), which assisted him in acclimating to his new surroundings. As this occurred, he became more socially and academically capable. Nevertheless, Cid never forgot the emotional and academic difficulties that he experienced during his adjustment period in his new country.

Consequently, after completing his double major in philosophy and religious studies at the California State University of Fullerton, he entered a teaching credential program at Chapman University. During his time at Chapman, Cid investigated the emotional and academic potential that low income and immigrant students could gain if a teacher were to make him/herself emotionally available. It was also at Chapman when Cid was introduced to the interconnection that exists between neuroscience, psychology and education, which lead him to want to explore more about these subjects. This desire led Cid to receive an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of Mind, Brain and Education (MBE). While at Harvard, God stirred his heart to apply to a doctoral program. Consequently, after a short term experiencing frigid Bostonian weather, he found himself back in sunny Southern California attending a doctoral program at the University of Southern California (USC). His training at USC was mainly in the fields of educational leadership and educational psychology.

Cid currently resides in Newport Beach, CA. with his son (Matias), daughter (Italia) and lovely wife (Janelle). His research interests include: the academic, socio-emotional and spiritual formation of children through authentic experiences; the integration of the field of Mind, Brain and Education (MBE) with spirituality; and teacher preparation, support and development. However, his greatest professional passion will continue to be to use and share the skills and knowledge with which God has blessed him in order to alleviate the emotional and academic shortfalls that children may be suffering in their academic environments.

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Christie J. Curtis

  • Graduate Chair, Department of Education
  • Associate Professor, Department of Education

A native Californian, Christie Curtis specializes in grammar and writing curriculum development. Her most recent book, Grammar and Writing 3 (piloted in 2015–16), was co-authored with Mary Hake and is one of six grammar and writing textbooks in their series. Utilizing her experiences as a former public and private school teacher, she has authored student editions, teacher editions and supplementary workbooks for Grammar and Writing 3, Grammar and Writing 4, Grammar and Writing 5, Grammar and Writing 6, Grammar and Writing 7 and Grammar and Writing 8. She has written weekly "Grammar Gems" for Biola University's Inside Story, and has provided teaching seminars for Biola's staff and faculty in her areas of expertise: grammar, sentence structure, spelling, proofreading, editing, revising and communication (both oral and written). Professor Curtis has spoken on a variety of topics at the conventions of the Association of Christian Schools International in Anaheim. Her passion for grammar infects those who enroll in her professional writing course. She believes that everyone should know the reasons for their word choices and sentence structures. Mentoring her students provides personal joy as she finds ways to relate to her students at a deeper level. Professor Curtis has been married for 44 years and enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren. Their family activities include weekly surfing trips, excursions to national parks and an annual week of camp with the entire family at Forest Home Christian Conference Center.

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Dennis Eastman

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Teacher Education
  • Associate Director of Biola Youth Academics

Dennis Eastman spent 15 years serving in multiple roles in the field of education (Social Studies teacher, coach, Athletic Director and Director of Faculty Induction) before becoming the principal of Nova Academy Early College High School, in Santa Ana, California. During his tenure as principal, U.S. News and World Report recognized Nova Academy with a Bronze Medal ranking as one of the most improved schools in California.

Eastman is currently serving Biola University as the Director of Teacher Education where he is able to combine his faith, expertise and enthusiasm for teaching and coaching into preparing the next generation of high quality educators.

Eastman's research agenda has focused on equipping teachers in student motivation program design, creating an environment of attempt for all learners and preparing teachers in international settings. Currently, Eastman is researching the impact of Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) and Cooperative Learning (CL) on student achievement

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Octavio Javier Esqueda

  • Professor of Christian Higher Education

Octavio Javier Esqueda is a professor of Christian higher education in the doctoral programs in educational studies at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He was born and raised in Guadalajara, México, where he graduated with honors with a Licenciatura in Latin American Literature from the University of Guadalajara as well as two additional diplomas, one on religion and society and the second on journalism. He graduated with honors from Dallas Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Christian Education and completed his Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of North Texas. Before coming to Biola University in 2011, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas for over seven years. He and his wife, Angélica, have two children Darío and Salma. Esqueda has several publications on theological education, Christian higher education and literature. Teaching is his passion and has had the opportunity to teach in several countries on different academic levels. He is an avid soccer fan.

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Robin LaBarbera

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Special Education

Robin LaBarbera started her teaching career in inner city Los Angeles as a Kindergarten teacher, third and fourth grade combination class teacher and as an Educational Therapist working with children in K-5 with learning difficulties. LaBarbera has two bachelor’s degrees in business administration/marketing and criminal justice, two master’s degrees in education and special education/autism, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. Her dissertation focused on psychological variables that affect the college completion rate for individuals with learning disabilities. LaBarbera is currently earning her School Psychology (PPS) credential as well.

LaBarbera serves Biola students as the Director of Special Education, implementing a fully-online Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential program. Her current research project is regarding the fostering of student-teacher connectedness in online courses to enhance students’ satisfaction with the online learning experience. LaBarbera has conducted numerous local and international presentations (most recently, two trips to Lebanon and two to Vietnam), she has published articles related to the education of students with learning difficulties and she co-authored curriculum for English Language Development in Latin American countries.

LaBarbera serves as an officer on three Boards of Directors: A charter school board in Long Beach; the board of an educational program for children with learning differences in private schools; and she is the co-founder of a Foundation that seeks to maximize capacity in urban ministry organizations. In her free time, she is an active runner, cyclist and scuba diver with her husband.

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Elizabeth Larson

  • Strings and Chamber Music Associate Professor and Area Coordinator

Ms. Larson has been described as a teacher who mentors her students toward becoming involved collaborators who have a deep understanding of the craftsmanship within the music they play and a joy for sharing it with others. Teaching at Biola since January 2010, her primary responsibilities include teaching applied violin, coaching chamber music, and teaching courses in string literature and string pedagogy. Outside of the Biola classroom, Ms. Larson has an exciting international performance career as a solo and chamber musician, and participates in festivals all over the world both as a performer and instructor. Alumna Amanda Sansonetti ('13) says, "Ms. Larson has a wonderful way of helping her students reach toward the joy of playing music, which is really the heart of excellence in performance. She persistently guides her students toward a deeper level of musicianship and a greater attention to the details, and her desire to use music as ministry is inspiring. Most of all, I am so grateful for the care she shows for her students as whole people; we are continually reminded that we are God's beloved children, first and foremost."

Education and Influences

Ms. Larson gives much credit to her parents for encouraging her in her pursuit of music. "My parents just really saw music as a precious gift from God that we discovered almost by happy accident in our lives, and they wanted to foster that. They never pushed it, but rather provided for it in every way they could; I'm really grateful for that approach they took." She emulates her parents' attitude with her students by presenting the study of music as a joyful pursuit of excellence as worship to God rather than as a means of self-glorification. One of her most influential teachers was Marylou Speaker Churchill, the first woman to hold a principal chair in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Larson began studying with her at age 11, and she notes that Mrs. Churchill inspired her students to love their music rather than to approach it with worry or intimidation. "She was the one who taught her students how to fall in love with music on a daily basis. One thing that she was famous for was, when you looked at her music, rather than a lot of bowings and fingerings, she had hearts over her favorite notes in the music instead. That taught us as her students that music is about loving others, and not just getting the right bowings and fingerings."

As for her love of teaching, she remarks that she learned much from watching her mother, Trudy Larson, as she taught in her home studio. Her mother is the premier teacher on the north shore of Boston, and someone who started a youth orchestra of 8 students in her basement, growing it to a full organization of 300 students today. "She played a big role in showing me how to teach, and how to care for the whole student, and not just how they play…The approach I have ended up taking is because of her example."

Teachers include James Buswell from the New England Conservatory, Franco Gulli at Indiana University, Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School of Music in London, Peter Oundjian at Yale University Grad School, and Marylou Speaker Churchill.

Musical Career

Ms. Larson began her studies at the age of 3 and gave her recital debut at the age of 6. One year later, she gave her orchestral solo debut performing with the Milwaukee Symphony in a series of 10 concerts. She went on to solo with the Boston Pops at age 11. Since then, she has performed concerts throughout the world and has numerous prestigious honors to her credit. The Boston Globe has praised her playing as having "great charm and refinement…and capable of breathtaking virtuosity." She has performed in such halls as Symphony Hall, Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, and Victoria Hall, Geneva, as the featured soloist in a concert honoring Lord Yehudi Menuhin on the day of his death.

Her solo tours have brought her to four continents in concerts throughout the U.S., Japan, England, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Finland, Taiwan, South Korea, Estonia and India. Ms. Larson has been heard on radio on NPR, both in feature programs aired throughout the U.S. and also live in performance from the Chicago Public Library. In Korea, her performances have been broadcast both on radio and Korean National TV.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Larson has been a Resident Artist at festivals including the Banff Festival for the Arts, the Caramoor Festival, New York, where she collaborated with pianist Joseph Kalichstein, Prussia Cove, England, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She has also collaborated with pianist Menahem Pressler and in a series of chamber music performances with Gidon Kremer, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Eugene Istomin at the Kronberg Festival in Germany. For two years, she was invited to join Yehudi Menuhin's prestigious chamber ensemble, the Camerata Lysy, Switzerland, performing as soloist and in chamber ensembles throughout Europe, and on tour to South Africa. This led to three additional years of performances as the violinist of Duo Shanti under the auspices of Live Music Now in the UK and in the concert venues of Europe and the U.S. She was also a member of the Credo Trio from 2009-2012, the performance and touring ensemble of the Credo Festival, giving concerts and workshops on integrating music, work, and faith throughout the U.S.

This season, Elizabeth will be performing as recitalist and chamber musician in concert series throughout the U.S. and Europe. Ms. Larson continues to serve as Consultant for Angelos Mission Ensemble, an intensive chamber music program, dedicated to the development of young leaders in chamber music and the arts. In the summers, she returns to the festivals of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Credo Festival and Masterworks, where she performs and is on faculty each summer. Ms. Larson was most recently the Founder, Director and Instructor at the Geneva Conservatory of Music, a music school in New York City, which she founded in 2002, and divides her time between performing and teaching, residing in both New York and Los Angeles.

Faith in Action

For Ms. Larson, her music was often the way in which God met her and taught her. "I think I knew from a young age that this was something I wanted to do," she recalls."I wanted to speak through music, and I wanted people to know about God through the process. I wanted to know more about God through music, and that's what He used to teach me more about Him and draw me closer to who He is." As she has traveled around the globe to teach and to perform, she has seen God's hand at work in weaving together her circumstances. "If there is one thing that I learned it is that God certainly has full control over where I am and when. I just need to always follow His loving lead. And I can truly trust that because I learned that taking this leap [into Biola]." During lessons and in studio class, Ms. Larson encourages her students to think and to discuss the ways in which they can live out their faith in the larger artistic community. "Music is one of the most powerful ways that God brings us into His presence," she notes. The way that she shows her students to approach their performances is a clear manifestation of this attitude of worship.

Why Biola?

During Biola's campus-wide Year of the Arts (2011-2012), Ms. Larson played a crucial role as the Founder and Coordinator for the Random Acts of Culture: A Moving concert series. This project facilitated weekly 30-minute casual concerts performed by students "at random" all over campus in order to minister to the Biola community and to explore the concept of transforming venues into sacred spaces. Through her efforts in the Conservatory, students have more opportunities to serve their university with their musical gifts, and to bless people beyond our campus, as well as to bring more awareness of the arts to the wider community. An example of this is the music recorded by the Biola Honors String Quartet.

Ms. Larson sees her interactions with her students as an enriching part of her experience at Biola. "The students are hungry to learn about their craft, about God, and about each other. They are open about sharing what they are learning, and so the family atmosphere allows us to easily learn from each other and not just from the professor. I have found that in the string department, there is a close-knit family who can trust each other. We are free to make mistakes, to learn, and then grow." Her desire for her students is that they would learn to trust God and worship Him through their efforts. "Great music comes out of a heart that trusts Him and a willingness to spend the time developing one's gifts…wherever that may lead."

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Tiffany Lee

  • Interim Director of Career Development and Success

Tiffany Lee is a seasoned professional in the career counseling field, setting vision for and executing new programs aimed at delivering systematic career preparation for all students, across all disciplines. Notably, she developed and launched the Peer Internship Coordinator program, focusing efforts on increasing internship participation and new alumni career outcomes. In addition to her work in higher education, Tiffany has experience in the K-12 public school system, as well as the aerospace, manufacturing, and semiconductor industries.

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John Liang

  • Professor of TESOL

A native of Canton, China, Liang loves language studies and enjoys exploring theory and practice in language learning and teaching! He currently teaches in the graduate and undergraduate TESOL programs that offer teacher education courses to both pre- and in-service English teachers. Before joining the faculty at Biola in 2001, he directed an ESL program in the University of California, Riverside Learning Center. Liang received his doctorate in TESL/TEFL at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. Liang is very active in research and is a frequent presenter at the TESOL and CATESOL conferences. His current research interests lie in pedagogical ESL grammar, ESL materials, second language reading and writing, and technology-enhanced language learning.

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Michael Longinow

  • Professor of Journalism
  • Print Journalism Advisor

Michael Longinow is the former chair of Biola's Department of Journalism and the advisor of The Chimes newspaper. During his tenure at Biola, he has overseen the rapid expansion of journalism within the university, hiring new faculty members in the fields of photojournalism, broadcast journalism and public relations. He's led the department in a convergent approach to teaching and a cross-cultural approach to career preparation, encouraging students to become fluent in other languages and to participate in study abroad programs.

As a teenager, Longinow attended the same high school Ernest Hemingway attended, working as an editorial cartoonist on the same school newspaper Hemingway once worked for. Longinow attended Wheaton College, earning a B.A. in Political Science, and completed the University Illinois' graduate program in news-editorial journalism.

During his early days as a reporter, Longinow freelanced for the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, as well as smaller weeklies in metro Chicago. As a full-time reporter for small dailies in Illinois and Georgia in the mid-1980s, Longinow covered the 1988 Democratic National Convention, the home district of U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, environmental issues, police news, the courts, civil rights and urban planning. Longinow's reporting on racial inequities in one Georgia county's voting patterns helped change that government's structure.

Longinow was invited in 1989 to teach news-editorial journalism at Asbury College in Kentucky. At Asbury, he helped build a news component into the journalism program and assisted with the launch of an annual photojournalism workshop and bilingual newspaper for migrant Hispanics. He also helped the Asbury Collegian become a consistent winner in statewide competition against campus weeklies its size from across Kentucky. While at Asbury, Longinow completed a doctorate at the University of Kentucky. His dissertation probed the history of Christian higher education and American journalism between 1888 and 1942. Longinow moved to California in 2005 to join the Biola journalism faculty.

Longinow is active in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), where he has served as head of the Religion and Media Interest Group. He also was a founding adviser member of the Association of Christian Collegiate Media (ACCM), and now serves as its national executive director.

Longinow is a frequent workshop presenter and panelist at national conventions of the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers (CMA/ACP). He has also been a guest faculty member and consultant to the Washington Journalism Center of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). He has been a guest speaker for the Southern Baptist Convention's student journalism conference, the national convention of the Evangelical Press Association, and the international media conference of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.

Longinow has served as a fellow with the American Press Institute and has participated in workshops with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He has written chapters for five books dealing with journalism history, media and religion, and the popular culture of American evangelicalism. He has also written numerous magazine articles for regional and national publications on social issues, business, politics and religion. In 2005, he served as a newspaper columnist on diversity issues for the Lexington-Herald-Leader.

Longinow lives in Riverside with his wife Robin and their three children, Ben, Matt and Sarah.

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Denise Reid

  • Assistant Professor

Denise Reid has her Ph.D. from Chapman University, an M.S. from California State University, Fullerton, and a B.A. from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Reid holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and has decades of experience in providing educational accommodations to students with disabilities. While equal access to quality education for students with disabilities is of concern, her recent research has focused on tensions experienced by college students as they negotiate their disabled and non-disabled identities. Past research includes strategies for the successful transition from high school to college and college success contributes to her concerns that students with disabilities acquire self-advocacy skills and academic success during their K-12 experience. Since 1998, Reid has served as an adjunct instructor at various universities. Whether educating teachers on academic accommodations, attentively listening to a parent share concerns regarding a diagnosis or meeting the needs of the less fortunate, her greatest desire is to help others mature in their walk with Christ.

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Claire Sibold

  • Professor Emerita

Dr. Claire Sibold specializes in literacy for both elementary and secondary levels, curriculum development, children's literature and writing of credential documents for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. A former teacher and editor, she has published numerous articles in journals and yearbooks including Innovative Learning Strategies, Today's Evangelizing Child, ASCD journal, and the Claremont Reading Conference Yearbook, and has published chapters in books on study skills and adult literacy and continuing education. Her career experience includes both public and private school teaching in Washington and Arizona, teaching at Arizona State University, serving as an editor with CTB/ McGraw-Hill, serving as a mentor teacher and teaching in Hong Kong. She has served on review panels for early intervention grants, the California Reading Initiative, National Council on Reading and RICA standards for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Dr. Sibold presents workshops and sessions at the Association of Christian Schools International, the International Reading Association, regional and state conferences, and school in-services. In addition, she has served as a manuscript reviewer for Houghton Mifflin and Addison Wesley Longman Publishers and several refereed journals for the International Reading Association. She is an Oxford University Round Table member and has appeared for many years in Who's Who in Education and most recently in Who's Who Among Professionals and Executives; she was awarded the Distinguished Volunteer Award. Dr. Sibold and her family attend Mariners Church in Irvine. While Dr. Sibold calls Southern California home, she is originally from Seattle, Wash.

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Dale Sprowl

  • Special Contract Faculty for English

Dale Sprowl teaches critical thinking, writing and literature at Biola University in La Mirada, CA. During summers she administrates the Young Writer’s Project at UCI. Her work with the UCI Writing Project began in 1981 in professional development coursework in cognition and composition. She also has contributed to the UCIWP texts on the teaching of writing. Her first chapbook, The Colors of Water, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007. Her poems have also appeared in Pearl, Fire, A New Song, Ancient Paths, and Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places. She earned her bachelors degree in humanities and in history as well as a masters degree in history from Pepperdine University. Her affiliation with the school has continued by teaching in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology and by supervising elementary and secondary student teachers. She is an Educator Associate for the American Psychoanalytic Association. She lives in Newport Beach with her husband and youngest daughter while her older daughter attends graduate school and her son works.

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Tim Stranske

  • Assistant Dean
  • Professor

With more than 30 years in the Christian school movement, several years as a junior high and high school teacher and 28 years as an administrator, Tim Stranske has a wealth of experience in the education field. He was a principal, curriculum director and superintendent for four California Christian school systems. In addition, Stranske served Biola as an adjunct faculty member from 1982–87 and from 1991–93. With this background, Stranske assists in moving forward the mission of Biola’s School of Education. He works to coordinate efforts with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), oversees placement of student teachers abroad and provides leadership for the M.A.Ed. program.

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Lorena E Vidaurre

  • Associate Professor
  • Undergraduate Studies Chair
  • Liberal Studies Coordinator
  • Director of Early Childhood Education

Lorena Vidaurre was born in Ecuador, South America, and was raised in Los Angeles, California. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration/computer information systems, a master’s degree in early childhood education, and a Ph.D. in Intercultural Education. Her dissertation focused on decreasing school failure through parental involvement in literacy intervention for disadvantaged Hispanic kindergarten entrants. She also holds a Bilingual and Cross-Cultural Multiple Subject credential and a Program Director Permit, Level VI from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Vidaurre has been an educator for over 20 years in the roles of classroom teacher, parent educator, mentor, consultant and college instructor. She has thoroughly enjoyed teaching primarily in kindergarten bilingual programs in inner city Los Angeles and specializes in working with linguistically diverse students and their families.

Lorena Vidaurre serves Biola students as the Undergraduate Studies Chair/Liberal Studies Coordinator. She also serves Biola students as the Founding Director and professor of Early Childhood Education, implementing a fully online and on ground program. Her current research project is regarding theological and personal faith integration in education. Vidaurre’s personal mission is to “equip early education pre-service teachers and leaders in mind, character and spiritual warfare through Bible-centered education, service, research and endowed scholarships that will prepare them in their career and personal journey to impact their students, colleagues, school communities, and the world for Jesus Christ.” She has published articles pertaining to global perspectives on spiritual warfare in the preK-12 classroom and co-authored curriculum for English Language Development in Latin American countries.

Lorena Vidaurre enjoys leading, speaking and teaching in Spanish-speaking ministry settings throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. She loves to spend time with her husband, children, extended family and dogs. Vidaurre maintains an active lifestyle ranging from Zumba to CrossFit. Her main passions are Jesus, reading and language learning.

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Suzanne Welty

  • Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Suzanne joins the Communicative Sciences and Disorders department this term after serving as adjunct faculty since 2011. She has been employed for over two decades in the public schools as a speech language pathologist and special education teacher. Suzanne has specialized in diagnosing and remediating communication, behavioral and social challenges of individuals diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities. She counts it a privilege to equip her students to become competent and compassionate speech and language pathologists.

One of Suzanne’s deepest joys is helping those with special needs discover their unique talents and gifts as they find a place of service within the local church. In addition, Suzanne has a passion for missions. She has spent many summers in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Germany and finds joy in visiting, praying for, and investing in those who are serving Christ world-wide.

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