Faculty

Visiting Faculty:

  • Dr. Scott Hahn - Professor of Theology, Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. (Winter 2012)
  • Father James Swetnam, SJ PhD - former vice rector and dean of the biblical faculty at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. (Fall 2012)
  • Dr. Julie Anne Stevens - Director of the Master's Program in Children's Literature, St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin (Spring 2012, Spring 2015)


Michael Barber - Professor of Theology, Scripture and Catholic Thought.

Michael has his Ph.D. in Theology from Fuller in Pasadena, CA. His dissertation was on the Historical Jesus and Sacramental Eschatology under the world famous scholar, Colin Brown. He has an MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and received his B. A. in Theology and Philosophy from Azusa Pacific University. He is the author of several books, including, 'Coming Soon: Unlocking the Book of Revelation and Applying Its Lessons Today' (Emmaus Road, 2006) and most recently, 'Genesis to Jesus: Studying Scripture from the Heart of the Church' (Servant, 2007), a Bible study co-authored with Kimberly Hahn. He is a Senior Fellow for the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology, founded by Dr. Scott Hahn.

Dr. Barber was granted the mandatum by Robert Brom, while bishop of San Diego, as an ecclesial recognition of Michael's posture and commitment to teach always in communion with the Church. Visit Michael's blog, 'The Sacred Page.' Back to Top


Vlad Bolsakov - Professor of Accounting

Vlad is the VP for Finance at JP Catholic University, He has over fifteen years of financial consulting experience working for Deloitte Tax LLP and Ernst & Young LLP. As a consultant for many large corporate clients, he performed financial forecasting, planning, budgeting, reporting, and financial project management. He has experience managing complex US Federal Tax projects primarily in the areas of Transfer Pricing, Extraterritorial Income Exclusion, and E&P studies. He knows GAAP, Federal and US International tax principles and has experience building financial analytical models.

Vlad has an MBA (Tax) and a BSBA (Finance) from Duquesne University in Pittsburg, PA.

Greg Breen - Professor of Finance

Greg is also the program manager for the MBA in Film Producing. He was formerly CFO at JP Catholic University. He has held a number of general management and operations management positions in several retail and service industries, including Dresser Wayne, Sears Roebuck, and Shell Oil Products. His expertise is in controlling costs, increasing revenue, while implementing strong operational controls.

Greg received his MBA from the UC, Irvine Graduate School of Management in 2002 and a BA in Criminology, Law and Society also from UC, Irvine in 1999.


Kevin Clarke - Adjunct Professor of Biblical Languages

Kevin Clarke has a Master's in theology with a specialization in catechetics from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He began his work in the media industry at 17 as an editorial assistant at The Roanoke Times, where he later served as a copy editor and page designer. He worked under Dr. Mark Miravalle, a renowned scholar on Our Lady, assisting in the publication of books, the production of radio shows and video, and the management of multiple Web sites. He previously taught theology, writing, journalism, and other subjects at St. Joseph Academy in San Marcos. In addition to teaching New Testament Greek at JP Catholic, he teaches theology at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano. He is the author of a chapter on Benedict XVI's Mariology in De Maria Numquam Satis: The Significance of the Catholic Doctrines on the Blessed Virgin Mary for All People (University Press of America, 2009), and has contributed to the New Catholic Encyclopedia. He writes regularly for Zenit News Agency on the theology of Pope Benedict XVI.

Derry Connolly - Professor of Business

Derry is President and a founder of JP Catholic University. While employed by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), he represented them 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, 125+ full time staff (academic and administrative), 1500+ part-time Instructors. 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


Lauri Deason - Adjunct Professor of Marketing

Lauri began her career in broadcast journalism at Fox News affiliate WSVN in Miami, Florida, and went on to work for CBS News before pursuing freelance opportunities in media. She has written and produced for radio and television, published numerous print and Internet articles, and served as writer-director for Revolution Of Hope, a 2007 documentary about the orphan crisis in Romania. Her vocation has taken her from Eastern Europe to Mexico to Southeast Asia – and, most recently, to Los Angeles where she now works as a writer and media consultant. Lauri has also helped develop journalism and screenwriting curricula at the high school and university levels, and is a guest lecturer and panelist at universities, writers’ conferences, and film festivals across North America and in Europe. She is a graduate of William Tyndale College and holds BA degrees in Journalism/Public Relations and Biblical Literature. Back to Top


Thomas Deason - Adjunct Professor of the Business of Film

Thomas is a producer, pilot, and executive management consultant who left his position with Alaska Airlines’ management team in 2005 to pursue an entertainment industry career. In addition to his work with Grammnet Productions and Hero Pictures, his credits include the documentary Revolution Of Hope as well as a number of commercials and award-winning short films like Mosca Amor, Jaded, Pie ‘N’ Burger and FooL4LuV. In 2007, he founded Fool’s Errand Entertainment with his wife and professional partner, Lauri. They are currently in development and pre-production on three feature films, a web series, two music videos, and a recording project to benefit the International Justice Mission. Thom also enjoys mentoring others who share his passion for social justice and quality, thought provoking entertainment. He co-founded The Ransom Project, an initiative that unites artists and abolitionists in the fight against human trafficking; and he currently serves on the development board of a Los Angeles inner-city school. Thom received his BS degree from LeTourneau University. Back to Top


Nick diNapoli - Adjunct Professor of Cinematic Visual Effects is the founder & creative director of Drive Studio, located in Carlsbad, CA. Nick has almost 2 decades of experience in the motion graphics industry. Drive Studio is a design and production resource specializing in network branding, identity creation, show packages, promotion and new media outlets. With a unique emphasis in designing and directing brands for international audiences, Nick's work spans the globe from the US to Scandinavia to Asia. In 2000, with his business partner, he formed Drive Studio to offer complete 'design through production' resource for the broadcast design and production industry.

Tom Dunn - Professor of Film Production

Tom began his professional career over 20 years ago on the Paramount Studios lot working for Entertainment Tonight in the post-production department. Since then he has gone on to produce, direct, write and edit hundreds of television commercials, documentaries, sports and entertainment programs and news stories. He has worked for local and national cable television networks, independent production companies and a local broadcast affiliate. Tom is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards for television production, including 4 Telly Awards and a Cable ACE Award. Tom served for 2 years as vice-president of the Orange County Chapter of the Media Communications Association International.

Tom received his BA in Television, Radio and Film Production from California State University, Long Beach. Back to Top


Lee Eskey - Adjunct Professor 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.


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 & music. He is also the founder 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 BA (summa cum laude) in Journalism & Mass Communications from Creighton University.

Martin Harold - Adjunct Professor of Politics

In his American Politics class, students engage the Western political tradition, philosophy, and the unique historical experience that shaped America’s founders and influenced the creation of America’s Constitution and political institutions. The course gives students a basic framework for understanding the structures of federal government and the ability to define terms and concepts relevant to American national government, including separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism. Students identify and engage competing ideologies in American political life, and study and explore different perspectives on current policy debates. While a student, he was the Founding Editor of and a regular contributor to Lumen Vincens - a Franciscan University literary magazine.

Martin holds an MBA and a BA in Political Science from Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. Back to Top


Jerry Jackson - Professor of Business

Jerry's 30-year career has included executive management positions at both small and large privately owned and publicly traded consulting firms. He's overseen the growth and transformation of firms involving hundreds of staff and $100s million of revenue. An engineer by education, Jerry has also pioneered the use of innovative technologies to treat water, wastewater, and hazardous wastes. His projects have been recognized as 'outstanding' by professional organizations, and he's accompanied the US Secretary of Commerce in international trade missions, and has testified before Congress on applicable legislation.

Jerry holds a BS, MS, and PhD in civil engineering, is a licensed professional engineer, and has been on the faculty at five universities in the United States and overseas. He is an avid runner, surfer, sky diver, and pilot. Back to Top


John Kincaid - Professor of Theology

In his thesis, entitled 'Recovering the Old Perspective on Paul: Augustine, Aquinas, and the Question of Participation in Christ,' he advocates for Augustine and Aquinas's reading of Paul regarding the nature of participation in Christ. John is the co-author with Scott W. Hahn of an article entitled, 'The Multiple Literal Sense in Thomas Aquinas's Commentary on Romans and Modern Pauline Hermeneutics,' which was published in 2012 by CUA Press in Reading Romans with St. Thomas Aquinas, edited by Matthew Levering and Michael Dauphinais. John's research interests center on the theological projects of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, contemporary Pauline studies, and the relationship between Modernity and contemporary biblical studies. John will apply for the mandatum of Robert Brom, bishop of San Diego, as an ecclesial recognition of John's posture and commitment to teach always in communion with the Church.

John is a PhD candidate, studying under Prof. Michael Waldstein, at Ave Maria University. He will defend his dissertation in late 2014. He received a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School and a M.A. in Theology (MA) from Covenant Theological Seminary.

John was granted the mandatum by Cirilio Flores, bishop of San Diego, as an ecclesial recognition of his posture and commitment to teach always in communion with the Church. Back to Top



Robert Kirbyson - Adjunct Professor of Cinematography

Robert's feature film debut, Snowmen, starred Bobby Coleman, Ray Liotta & Christopher Lloyd, and was produced by Steve McEveety (Braveheart, The Passion). It received the Top Narrative Feature at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2009, Robert wrote and directed the award-winning CTRL for NBC Universal, the first stand-alone web series produced by a major network. Recently named “Web Comedy of 2010” CTRL is based on Robert’s short Ctrl Z, which won the Delta Shorts Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2004, he directed The Christmas Orange, an adaptation of the award winning children's book for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Robert graduated from the University of British Columbia Film School, winning the 'Top Graduate' award, while the film he shot and produced swept the local student film festival awards. From 1997 - 2004, he served as a Cinematography instructor at UBC. He has a certificate in Television Studies from Universite St. Anne and a BFA with honors from the University of Manitoba. Back to Top


Rob Morgenroth - Adjunct Professor of Visual Effects

Rob is Executive Producer/Senior Director, Business Development with Dynasty FX, Sherman Oaks, CA with VFX and animation production resources in Beijing and Shanghai. Dynasty has produced visual effects for feature films, cartoon webisodes and a number of commercials. Prior, he was the Director of Development at the Visual Effects Society. He is an active in the visual effects community, currently serving as Chairman of the Program Committee for the Previsualization Society, and has been a moderator and panelist at industry events for many years, including the HD Expo, HDFEST and CASO, in addition to leading courses in VFX production at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Cal Arts in Valencia, CA. In 1990, Rob founded a boutique visual effects company, E=mc2 in Glendale, CA, where he and his team produced award-winning VFX for both television and feature films. In 2001, Rob and his team were honored with an Emmy award for the visual effects for the ABC mini-series, 'Frank Herberts Dune'. He sold the company to a Taiwan-based company in 2004, remaining on for a year as CEO and Executive Producer, and gaining valuable experience in Chinese operations.

Morgenroth graduated West Virginia Wesleyan College with a BS in Business, Marketing and did graduate studies in business management and the psychology of sales/marketing at Arizona State University. Back to Top


Vernon Mortensen - Professor of Film Producing and Distribution.
Director of the MBA Film Producing program & the Graduate Do.School


Vernon is Director of both the MBA in Film Producing program and the graduate Do.School. He 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 & 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 from Alliant International University; a Master of Professional Writing (screenwriting) from USC, where he studied under script guru Syd Field and was an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Fellow. He earned a BFA in Film from the world-renowned Art Center College of Design and a received a BS from Excelsior College. Back to Top



Jacqueline Nicolini - Adjunct Professor of Art

Jacqueline provides instruction in Life Drawing, Portrait Drawing and Painting and Anatomy in her San Diego studio and providing 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. Back to Top



Clare Oven - Adjunct Professor of Mathematics

Clare is the director of the Institutional Research Office at JPCatholic. She previously worked in the civil engineering industry.

Clare earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University, an M.Ed. with a Specialization in Best Practices from National University, and has also earned a California Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential for Mathematics and Chemistry. Back to Top



Christopher Riley - 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


Nathan Scoggins - Adjunct Professor of Film

An award-winning filmmaker, Nathan Scoggins' list of 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


Sam Shpigelman - Professor of Gaming & Animation

Sam is the Chief Creative Officer with HighTech Playground. He serves as an adjunct professor and the Head of Animation and Post Production Studies at San Diego State University, was a faculty/program advisor for the Casual Game Development program at UCSD Extension, and active industry professional with extensive experience in animation, game development, medical and architectural visualization, and product design and modeling. His work includes 'Enter the Dragonfly' - a PS2 title by Universal, R&D work for Sony Interactive, full cycle character development for multiple video game projects, and product design and modeling for the next generation of cell phones from Qualcomm.

Sam has an MFA in Computer Animation from Miami International University of Art and Design and a BS in Game Art and Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Back to Top


Jonathan Velasco - Adjunct Professor of Business Law

Jonathan is registered patent attorney with QUALCOMM, providing legal counsel in various wireless technologies including client counseling, patent procurement and prosecution, acquisition analysis, and infringement analysis. Prior to joining QUALCOMM, Jonathan headed the patent prosecution group of Kyocera Wireless Corp. as Sr. IP Counsel, where he developed a growing domestic and international patent portfolio. In addition to his corporate counsel experience, Jonathan has worked as an associate with a number of law firms, practicing in all areas of intellectual property law, with a particular emphasis on U.S. and foreign patent protection in a wide variety of technologies.

Jonathan received his JD from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, his BS in Electrical Engineering from University of California at Irvine and is currently pursuing his MA in Theology with Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Distance Program. Back to Top


Christine E. Wood - Professor of Theology

Christine's research and teaching interests include Christology, Biblical Theology, Liturgy, Moral Theology, the integration of Virtue Ethics with Ascetical and Mystical Theology, the Theology of Grace, and the Philosophy and Theology of St Thomas Aquinas.She was granted the mandatum by Robert Brom, while bishop of San Diego, as an ecclesial recognition of Christine's posture and commitment to teach always in communion with the Church.

Christine received her PhD in Systematic Theology from Marquette University, Milwaukee in 2011. Her dissertation was on 'The Metaphysics and Intellective Psychology in the Natural Desire for Seeing God: Henri de Lubac and Neo-Scholasticism.' She has an MA in Theology, as well as a Certification in Catechetics, both from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Christine received her BSc in Agriculture from the University of Sydney, Australia, and had a well-established career as an environmental scientist in Australia before embarking on her theological studies in the USA. Back to Top

Father Andrew Younan - Professor of Philosophy

Fr Andy serves as Rector of the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great, the seminary of the Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle for Chaldeans & Assyrians, and is the Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Chaldean Cathedral, where he holds Bible Studies on Tuesday nights. He was granted the mandatum by Robert Brom, while bishop of San Diego, as an ecclesial recognition of Fr Andy's posture and commitment to teach always in communion with the Church. Fr. Andrew has published two books since his ordination to the priesthood in the Chaldean Catholic Church, first 'The Book of Before & After,' a compilation and translation of prayers from the Chaldean Tradition, and recently his thesis, edited for publication

Fr Andy received MA in Philosophy and Theology in 2004 from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, with honors for his thesis: 'The Mesopotamian School and Theodore of Mopsuestia.' He received his BA in Philosophy from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit in 2001. Back to Top