Experts on "Latinos"

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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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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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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Armida Bustamante Millán

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology

Armida Millán teaches graduate courses in marriage and family therapy, child/adolescent therapy, family psychopathology, multicultural issues in therapy and an undergraduate course in the psychology of family. Millán's research interests focus on family and child/adolescent issues. She is also interested in understanding how cultural and racial factors influence identity development and mental health. In addition, combat related PTSD and depression is an area of interest that emerged from her experience as a commissioned officer with the United States Air Force Reserve. Millán is currently inactive on Individual Ready-Reserve Status. Millán conducts parenting workshops and seminars on various topics, including ethnic minorities in education. Millán maintains a small clinical practice specializing in depression and anxiety, as well as family and child/adolescent issues.

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Itzel Reyes

  • Assistant Professor of Modern Languages

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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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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