People

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Alexander Jun, PhD.,  Executive Director

Dr. Jun is Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University’s School of Behavior and Applied Sciences. Dr. Jun is a TED speaker and author of From here to university: Access, mobility, and resilience among urban Latino youth (Routledge Press). He has published extensively on issues of postsecondary access for historically underrepresented students in underserved areas. Dr. Jun recently completed a three-year narrative inquiry research project on the educational mobility and academic resilience of Khmer orphans, and is currently completing a book related to his fieldwork in Cambodia. Professor Jun conducts research on issues surrounding equity, justice and diversity in higher education, as well as globalization in the Pacific Rim.

Dr. Jun holds a Ph.D. in education policy from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, where he earned a Ford Foundation fellowship to conduct research on college preparation programs for urban youth. Professor Jun teaches courses in diversity and social justice in higher education, comparative higher education, and qualitative research methods. Dr. Jun serves as APU’s qualitative research consultant, and joined APU’s faculty after 15 years of service as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Southern California.

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Christopher S. Collins, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate

Dr. Collins is Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University’s School of Behavior and Applied Sciences. Dr. Collins is interested in research on the role of higher education related to poverty reduction, knowledge extension, public good, and social rates of return. Recent publications includeHigher Education and Global Poverty: University Partnerships and the World Bank in Developing Countries (Cambria Press, 2011) and Education Strategy in the Developing World: Revising the World Bank’s Education Policy (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012). In addition, he has published articles in The Review of Higher Education, Higher Education, and the Journal of Higher Education. He recently completed projects with the Association for Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) looking at African-U.S. university partnerships, and with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) looking at degree qualifications. He earned a Ph.D. with the “Best Dissertation Award” from the Higher Education and Organizational Change program at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific.

tjonesjolivetTabatha L. Jones Jolivet, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate

Dr. Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University. She holds a PhD in Education from Claremont Graduate University, where she received the Winifred Hausam-Helen Fisk Award for Distinction in the Study of Higher Education. Her dissertation, “’A Peculiar People’ and Their ‘Strange Freedom’: The Spiritual Habitus and Wealth Cultural Workers Employ in Liberatory Higher Education Praxis,” explored the intersectional phenomena of spiritual community, social justice, and higher education praxis among justice workers in forty U.S. colleges and universities. A higher education leader for nearly 20 years, she served as associate vice president for student life, Title IX coordinator, and associate dean of student affairs at Pepperdine University prior to coming to Azusa Pacific University. She is committed to higher education as a public good, and therefore, grounds her research agenda in spiritually-minded, community-engaged praxis. As an educator, leader, minister, and public speaker, she strives to institutionalize diversity, equity, and inclusion; prevent and reduce sex and gender-based violence; and advance social justice aims.

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Joseph Slavens, Research Associate
BA, Public Administration and Political Science, Cedarville University
MA, Pastoral Studies, Multnomah University

Joe Slavens is a Research Assistant and PhD student in the Higher Education Department at Azusa Pacific University.  Prior to moving to Australia to undertake his current research of White higher education professional staff members’ experiences as racial justice allies, he was the Director of Student Life at Simpson University in Redding, California.  In this position he served as a lead author of the university’s Diversity Statement, chair of the Diversity Initiatives Subcommittee, and as a member of the institution’s Diversity Committee.  He has engaged the issue of Black student attrition in higher education and presented his current research team’s findings to key stakeholders throughout the United States.  Mr. Slavens has worked in both higher and secondary education for 20 years.  His research interests include racial justice within tertiary education.  Joe recently co-presented the paper Narratives Tales of Social Justice Engagement at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education in Washington D.C. and co-delivered Examining the Intersection of Christianity and Social Justice Advocacy at Faith Based Institutions at the Association of Christians in Student Development Conference in Chicago.  He has also presented at the Christians on Diversity in the Academy Conference in Arcadia, California.

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Angelica Hambrick, Research Associate
BA, Public Communication, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
MA, Higher Education Administration, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Angelica Hambrick is the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Diversity, Justice, & Sustainability (DJS) at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.  As AVP, Angelica initiates, manages, and supports programs, initiatives, and services that enrich the university’s efforts to become a more diverse, socially just, and sustainable living, learning, and working community.  She provides strategic vision on matters related to diversity, social justice, and inclusion on campus and is a prominent leader of the university, building strategic, intentional, and sustainable coalitions for social justice education and change.

Angelica  is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University in California.  Her research interests include White identity development; the impact of social justice education on students, faculty, and staff; the experiences of White individuals who are engaged in anti-racist initiatives; and identity development and formation.  Angelica has received various grants and awards for her work in social justice and diversity.  She was recently honored with the NASPA Region V Innovative Program Award, and her work has been recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally as innovative, culturally appropriate, and educational for students.

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Allison Ash, Research Associate & Program Coordinator
BA, Music, Hope College
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary

Allison Ash is the Associate Dean of Student Care and Services at Wheaton College. Previously she worked in student development at Fuller Theological Seminary. Allison is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University. Her work in higher education has included serving on the school’s diversity council and leading programs that promote interracial dialogue.  Her research interests include interracial dialogue among college students, Critical White Studies, and social justice in Christian higher education. She recently completed a study about institutional integrity, sense of community, and thriving among students of color from 13 different higher education institutions.

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Jennifer Akamine Phillips, Research Associate
BA, Communications, Pepperdine University
MM, Violin Performance, Azusa Pacific University
MS, College Counseling & Student Development, Azusa Pacific University

Jennifer Akamine Phillips teaches full-time as a Visiting Professor of Communication Studies at Pepperdine University.  In addition, she also works with the Intercultural Affairs Office co-teaching a course on Racial and Cultural Identity to current students through the Diversity Peer Educators program.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University (APU).

Prior to teaching, Jennifer worked in the Pepperdine Office of Admission and oversaw diversity recruitment and outreach.  She also worked in student life as a Program Coordinator of an urban experiential program known as LA Term at APU and worked in various others areas of student life at California Polytechnic University Pomona and Occidental College. Jennifer has presented at conferences through the Western Association of College Admission Counseling, End Now: A Human Trafficking Conference, and the Christian College Leadership Conference.  Her research interests include the cultural formation and identity of Japanese American college students.

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Kelley Montz, Research Associate
BA, Human Development, Azusa Pacific University
MA, Education, Azusa Pacific University

Kelley Montz is currently a PhD student in Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University. She has been employed within the field of higher education for over five years and has served in a variety of roles within the School of Nursing at Azusa Pacific University. She is currently the Program Manager for International Programs as well as the Program Coordinator for the doctoral nursing programs. Her research interests include Whiteness studies, Critical Race Theory, campus safety, and social justice in higher education.

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Nate Risdon, Research Associate
B.Mus, Vocal Performance, San Jose State University
MDiv, Worship, Theology, and the Arts, Fuller Theological Seminary

Nate Risdon is a Research Assistant and PhD student in the Higher Education Department at Azusa Pacific University.  He currently serves as the Program Director for the Brehm Center at Fuller Theological Seminary and serves on Fuller’s Diversity Council.  As part of the Diversity Council, Mr. Risdon serves as an anti-racist ally with the hope of raising awareness of systemic racism in campus policies and procedures. He has worked in education for nearly 15 years. In his research, Mr. Risdon hopes to explore the relationship between White privilege, racism, religious, as well as denominational traditions in White students.

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Gyasmine George-Williams, Research Associate
BA, Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles
M.S, College Counseling & Student Development, University of La Verne
M.Ed, Educational Counseling & PPS Credential, University of La Verne

Gyasmine George-Williams has served in higher education for twelve years and is currently the Assistant Director of Academic Initiatives and Student Success at California State University, San Bernardino and Multicultural Psychology professor at the University of La Verne. As Assistant Director, she oversees all academic initiatives and support in Residential Education which includes Faculty in Residence, Academic Mentors, and all Living Learning Communities. She develops, implements and leads strategies aimed at building inclusive educational experiences through diversity for a meaningful collegiate experience for all students. As a Multicultural Psychology professor, she actively equips her students with the tools to engage and develop multicultural competencies as well as challenge ideologies. At both La Verne and CSU San Bernardino, she has created formal mentoring programs for students of color aimed at sustaining a safe and welcoming climate for both students, faculty and staff.

Gyasmine is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University in California.  Her research interests include student-athlete activism, anti-deficit approaches to the study of Black male student-athletes, student-faculty interaction among students of color and Critical Race Theory in Higher Education.

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Redgina Hill, Research Associate
BA, General Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
MBA, Master of Business Administration, Indiana Wesleyan University

Redgina Hill is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Bethel College in Mishawaka, IN and has served 10 years within higher education.  Prior to her role as Director, she worked in the Office of Admission where she has helped to grow enrollment for students of color, served on the Multi-Ethnic Resource Team, co-advised the Billy Kirk Minority Leadership Scholars Program, advised the Black Student Fellowship and founded the Women’s Empowerment Hour.  Prior to Bethel College, she worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Notre Dame.

Redgina is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in higher education from Azusa Pacific University where she was selected for the 2015 Social Justice and Diversity Fellowship.  Her research interests are the experiences of diversity change agents in Christian higher education. She has traveled the country presenting at conferences, corporations, and universities on the importance of diversity and inclusion.

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Greg Veltman, Research Associate
BA, Philosophy, Calvin College
MA, Higher Education, Geneva College

Greg Veltman lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He works as an Institutional Research Analyst for Ambrose University. Additionally, he coordinates the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy within the Department of Diversity & Human Rights at Mount Royal University. He is currently a PhD student in Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University. He has worked in various higher education positions over the past decade in both faculty and administrative roles at Calvin College, Grand Valley State University, The University of Pittsburgh, and Geneva College. His research interests are in social justice and anti-racism work within higher education and the intersections of contemporary culture, particularly the prominence of social media and internet technologies.