Experts on "Higher Education"

Moussa Bongoyok

  • Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies

Moussa Bongoyok was born in Cameroon. He is a faculty member at Biola University and President of the Board of Directors of the Francophone University of International Development. He is a pastor, evangelist, author and professor. He has a range of experience in teaching, pastoral care, international development, academic administration, leadership at various levels and cross-cultural ministry in more than twenty countries (Africa, Europe, North America and Asia). Bongoyok brings strong skills in areas of intercultural communication, systematic theology, program development and implementation, balance between scholarship and practice, cross-cultural competencies, Christian ethics and non-Western perspectives on current trends. He is married to Priscille and they have three children.

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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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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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Rebecca Hong

  • Assistant Provost for Educational Effectiveness
  • Associate Professor

Rebecca Hong teaches research methods and research in culture classes in the graduate program. While in the doctoral program at USC, she unearthed her love for research and decided to continue down that path. After completing her doctorate, Hong pursued a postdoctoral fellowship that examined the issues of educational access for marginalized students in Cambodia. It was the perfect intersection of two of her passions, research and traveling.

Hong continues to conduct research in the area of educational access for historically underrepresented students and uses research to give a voice to those who are traditionally marginalized in society. Her favorite moments in teaching are when she sees her graduate students excited about conducting research as a medium of bringing about social justice in education. Hong also sits on the Board of Directors of JOYA Scholars, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring and preparing students for college success.

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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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Gary Lindblad

  • Dean, Crowell School of Business

Gary Lindblad is Dean of the Donald and Suzanne Crowell School of Business at Biola University. He earned a B.A. in English and education from the State University of New York, College at Fredonia; and Master of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees in higher education, work, and organizational change from University of California, Los Angeles. In addition, Gary has a M.A. in Christian education from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He has been at the Crowell School of Business since July 2014.

Lindblad’s commitment to education spans over 35 years and includes teaching junior high, high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Prior to returning to Biola, Lindblad served for nine years as assistant dean and director of the MBA and M.S. programs at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. From 2002 to 2005 he was assistant dean and executive director of the MBA Programs at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; and from 1998 to 2002, Lindblad was assistant dean and director of the MBA Programs at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

Lindblad began his career in business schools as associate director of the executive and fully employed MBA programs at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA in 1992. From 1983 to 1989, he was the director of student ministries at Biola University directing ministry outreach programs for undergraduate students.

In the 1980s, Lindblad also recorded and performed with the bands Famous Last Words, Gary Lindblad and the Undergrads and the Randall Waller Band. Lindblad's doctoral dissertation researched innovations in the use of computing technology in business school education. His current interests include following innovations in business education, the faith at work movement, the digitally-enabled music industry, and the influence social media has on all forms of education and the creative class.

Lindblad has been married to his wife, Cindi, for 35 years. The couple has two children. Gary serves on the board of YUGO Ministries, a missions group serving the people of Mexico. Lindblad can be found on Twitter @garylindblad.

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Alan McMahan

  • Undergraduate Chair, Cook School of Intercultural Studies
  • Program Director Undergraduate Studies for Intercultural Studies
  • Professor of Intercultural Studies

Alan McMahan has served in churches in North America and on the Pacific Rim as well as taught in the areas of missiology, church growth, leadership, organizational development and evangelism. He has been active in training undergraduate and graduate students including mid-career professionals, Bible school teachers, pastors and denominational leaders through the U.S., Canada, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia in the effective means to develop leaders and grow churches. He maintains an active consulting service in churches and is the former President of the American Society of Church Growth. He has earned degrees from Fuller Seminary, Asbury Seminary, the Alliance Theological Seminary and Nyack College. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled, "Training Turnaround Leaders, Systemic Approaches to Reinstate Growth in Plateaued Churches." He has served as a Vice President for the Alliance Theological Seminary, and as the Academic Dean at The King’s College in mid-town Manhattan. McMahan now works at Biola University as an Associate Professor in the School of Intercultural Studies and serves as the Department Chair for the Undergraduate Intercultural Studies Program. He is married to Terri, and has two sons.

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Patricia L Pike

  • Vice Provost for Academic Administration
  • Professor of Psychology

Patricia Pike is currently vice provost for academic administration and professor of psychology at Biola University. She is a licensed psychologist in California and a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development and was a lead delegate for over 10 years of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. Pike received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Hawaii and later went on to earn a doctoral specialty certificate in psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. She previously taught at the University of Hawaii, Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, and the University of Texas, Arlington. Pike has invested her time outside of the classroom at the Child Guidance Center in Santa Ana, California, and the Biola Counseling Center.

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Itzel Reyes

  • Assistant Professor of Modern Languages
  • Spanish Club Faculty Advisor

Itzel Reyes earned her B.A. from Cal State, Dominguez Hills in Spanish literature with minors in Sociology and Women’s Studies. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation was titled “Espacios que asustan: Narrar el horror en el cine y el cuento español contemporáneo” (Scary Spaces: Narrating Horror in Contemporary Spanish Film and Short Story). Her research interests include Spanish horror, historical memory, literary and cinematic representations of violence and second language teaching and acquisition. She views her role at Biola as ministerial work where she has been blessed by the opportunity of pouring into Biola students in helping fulfill the university’s mission of equipping its students to impact the world in service of our Lord. She teaches all levels of G.E. Spanish and minor/major level classes.

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Richard L. Starcher

  • Professor of Intercultural Education & Missiology
  • Associate Dean
  • Chair, Doctor of Intercultural Studies

Richard Starcher served as a pastor in rural Nebraska and as a missionary in Africa for 20 years. He taught at the Goyongo Bible Institute in Zaire, at the Bangui Evangelical School of Theology in the Central African Republic and at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Kenya where he also served as Dean of Extension Studies. He continues to teach and serve as an educational consultant in Africa. He is particularly interested in research methods and in exploring models for equipping leaders for the majority world Church. He also edits Missiology: An International Review, the official journal of the American Society of Missiology.

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