Kathryn Anderson, MA ’10 currently serves as the Talent Acquisition Manager at Lakeshore Learning Materials. In her role, Kathryn leads strategic planning and innovation for the Talent Acquisition team and manages special projects and initiatives within the HR function. After earning her B.A. in Art History from Vassar College, Kathryn started her career in education as a Teach For America Los Angeles corps member teaching 9th and 10th grade English at Frederick Douglass Academy High School. During this time she earned her Master’s in Urban Education with a focus on Administration and Policy at LMU’s School of Education. Her thesis focused on art education in the charter school setting. After her corps service, Kathryn joined Teach For America Los Angeles regional staff where she served for 10 years. Her roles at TFA included leading alumni efforts in the region and managing the New Teacher Pathway team to select, recruit, and onboard over 160 corps members each year. In this role she partnered closely with the School of Education staff to ensure all corps members successfully completed enrollment and certification. As a Westchester resident, LMU’s campus is quite literally right next door and Kathryn has enjoyed campus activities as both an alum and neighbor. On the weekends you’ll find her chasing around her 2 year old, Rose, and devouring a good book.


    Nancy Atehortua, MA ’15 BA ’13

    Nancy Atehortua is a high school Resource Specialist teacher at a small high performing Alliance-College Ready Public School in downtown Los Angeles. She has been an educator for over ten years. Nancy graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Political Science in 2013 and an M.A. in Special Education in 2015. During her Master’s program, Nancy was part of the Teach for America (TFA) Los Angeles Corps. Nancy currently serves as Vice President for the Arts In Action Community Charter Schools Board. In her role as a board member, she provides strategic guidance for the charter schools, and effectively oversees and reviews the schools management.

    Richard Ballesteros, M.A. ’12 is a Los Angeles native and first-generation college graduate who has served as a coach, educator, and mentor to high school and college students for the last fifteen years. He is an advocate for educating the whole person and for educational equity to give students the opportunity to thrive. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management to learn best practices on how to lead well and effectively attain organizational goals. Richard made a career change from retail management to education after having a realization when he volunteered to coach youth sports. He pursued studies in education to earn a Master of Arts in Education at Loyola Marymount University. Serving as director of religious education for youth and young adults, he rebuilt the program that fostered personal growth, developed leadership skills, and promoted a call to action in community service. His most valued lessons were experienced while volunteering with incarcerated youth in juvenile hall and guiding a youth leadership team. Richard continues to work towards creating safe learning spaces where students feel respected, accepted, included, and important. He enjoys hiking with his dog, spending time at the beach, and cooking for his family.   


    Joselyn Barrios-Villagran, MA Higher Education Administration, 2020

    Joselyn Barrios-Villagran '16, M.A ‘20 graduated from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) with a BA in English in 2016 and received her MA in Higher Education Administration from LMU’s School of Education in 2020. She currently serves as a senior campus recruiting coordinator for Deloitte and was previously an undergrad admission counselor at LMU. As a first-generation college graduate she is passionate about education and equity in college access.In her free time, she enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time with her puppy Peach.

  • Tanisha Barnett, Ed.D. '16 brings public, private and charter school knowledge. She has been an educator for 19 years, 15 of which have been spent at a public charter school. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in African American Studies from UCLA. She later pursued further studies in Education at Pepperdine University where she earned her Teaching Credential and Master’s Degree. She then went on to earn her Administrative Credential from Cal State University of Dominguez Hills and finally earned her Doctoral Degree from Loyola Marymount University.

    Tanisha is a strong advocate of a safe and orderly learning environment for faculty, staff and students. She aims to establish a fair, honest, and respectful school community. Tanisha works tirelessly to create positive home and school relationships while disciplining with integrity and supporting student success. Tanisha's priority is to keep the atmosphere positive and the lines of communication open among staff, students, and parents. 


    Sharla Berry, PhD Master of Arts - Elementary Education, 2011

    Sharla Berry, PhD graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in History (2009) and a Master of Arts in Elementary Education (2011).  Dr. Sharla Berry is an Assistant Professor of Education Leadership at California Lutheran University, and an expert in the field of digital equity and online learning. Her research has been featured in many academic journals including Online Learning and the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, and at academic conferences including the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). Additionally, she is the author of the forthcoming book, Creating Inclusive Online Communities: Practices that Support and Engage Diverse Students.


    Andrew Boven, Urban admin, '19

    Andrew is a resident of Long Beach and currently a special education teacher for IQ Academy. He has been teaching special education for seven years and graduated from the Loyola Marymount School of Education in 2019. He got his masters in Urban Education Policy and was a corps member for Teach for America. Andrew also serves as the vice president for IQ Academy Teacher's Association. Prior to teaching he worked as a reporter in Midland, Texas and for campaigns in Los Angeles County. In his spare time he likes to travel as he has been to 47 states and 26 countries. He is also a big sports fan and plays flag football on Santa Monica Beach in a league for young professionals


    Christina Brooks, MA Higher Education Administration, 2017

    Christina Brooks, MA '17, has worked in higher education and non-profits in various capacities for over a decade, including working in undergraduate admissions, international education, and relationship development and management. She is currently the Communications Manager for CEA Study Abroad, a study abroad provider. 

    Christina was part of LMU's first Higher Education Administration MA program cohort and cherishes the experience and the opportunity to help provide insight and feedback to this incredible program. She received bachelor's degrees in Spanish and Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin where her love of higher education was sparked as a Peer Advisor and Tour Guide in the Office of Admissions. Christina is passionate about access and inclusion in higher education and is a strong advocate for international education as a part of a well-rounded undergraduate experience. 


    Nat Brown, M.A. ’16, J.D. Candidate ‘23, is an educational advocate and litigation paralegal at a civil rights law firm specializing in education and disability rights law. Passionate about law and policies governing K-12 and higher education systems, she taught primary school concurrently while earning her Master’s in Education Policy and Administration and is currently pursuing her JD at Loyola Law School. Nat has extensive experience in education law, special education and disability rights law, as well as experience providing legal research and consulting support for K-12 educational organizations. She is an ardent advocate of equity and inclusion in education and has worked with non-profit education organizations to promote representation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields of study as well as college and career readiness for low-income students and students of color.


    In addition to equity and inclusion, Nat is also passionate about the role information and communication technologies play in education, including innovating how teachers and students engage learning as well as data and information security in K-12 and higher education, and has experience working with online education organizations to manage risks associated with implementing EdTech.


    As a double Lion and devoted member of the LMU community, Nat seeks to utilize her background, network, and expertise to support the Board’s commitment to the continued excellence of the School and to assisting current students and alumni in their professional and intellectual pursuits.

    goal of visiting all of the National Parks in the United States, and have visited thirty so far!  

  • Emmely Canela ’18, M.A. ’20 graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Liberal studies in the spring of 2018 and an M.A. in Urban Education in the spring of 2020. While in her Master’s program, Emmely taught 4th grade through Teach for America’s Program for 2 years. Emmely is currently a 7th-grade math and science teacher for Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles and serves as head of the math department at her school site. She is a TFA LA Inaugural Alumni member, LMU Latino Alumni Association Ambassador, Beta Sigma Phi Member, LMU Tau Sigma Alumna, and a Teach for America 2018 Alumna. Emmely looks forward to pursuing her Doctorate of Education this upcoming year.

  • Maria Corral MS ‘19 BA ’16 currently serves as the Assistant to the Dean in the School of Education. She has had the distinct opportunity to work with three deans; Shane P. Martin, PhD., Mary K. McCullough, PhD., and most recently with Michelle D. Young, PhD. In her 20 years at LMU, she has served in various roles in both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. She is most proud to have been nominated by her peers to serve on the Staff Senate as the Vice President. Maria earned her Bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Chicano/a Studies and a MS in Systems Engineering. In 2017, Maria left LMU to pursue her childhood dream of working in law enforcement. She quickly realized her heart was at LMU and returned in 2018! Prior to coming to LMU, Maria held a career in Healthcare Information Systems. Besides the work she does with the SOE Alumni Association, she also manages the SOE Board of Visitors. She is a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and Kappa Delta Pi (KDP). In her free time, she enjoys learning, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.



    Edgar Hernandez currently serves as the coordinator to the office of the  Dean in the School of Education. He has been with LMU for 6 years previously working in assessment and accreditation. Besides the work he does with the SOE Alumni Association, he also manages the SOE Board of Visitors. In his free time, he enjoys learning, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

  • JulieAnne Howe '18 is a 5th grade Associate Teacher at Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. She received her M.A. in Elementary Education from LMU’s Graduate SOE and is beginning her second year of teaching during the 2019-2020 school year. Prior to receiving her Masters and Teaching Credential from LMU, JulieAnne spent three years working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, working with children with Autism at home and in school to help build independence, boost social skills, and strengthen academic foundations. JulieAnne enjoys traveling, hiking, running, and eating her way through Los Angeles in her spare time. 

  • Marcus Hughes, Ed.D. ’17 A native of South Los Angeles and a father of three, I am deeply invested in providing an excellent education for our students in the city of Los Angeles. In my current role at the Partnership of Los Angeles Schools, I serve as the Elementary Coordinator of School Transformation. In this role, I am responsible for coaching and mentoring educators in pedagogy, praxis, and professional leadership. I began my career in public education as a Teach For America corps member, where I taught six years as an elementary teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. I eventually left the classroom to serve as the Executive Director of the Longfellow Youth Academy that focused on mentorship and leadership development of young Black males. Before joining the Partnership of Los Angeles Schools, I mentored and coached teachers for Teach for America Los Angeles. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Marketing from Morehouse College, a Masters in Theology from Regent University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. In my spare time, I mentor young men through my travel baseball organization, West Elite Baseball.


    Liam Joyce, after graduating from Boston College in 1988, I entered the Jesuit Volunteer Corp.  My one-year assignment was as a childcare worker at the Alcohol Center Teenagers in Tulare, CA and living with 6 other JVs.  Afterwards, I moved to Los Angeles and worked with Covenant House in Hollywood. During this time, a substitute was needed for third grade at Dolores Mission.  So, what the heck, give it a try, how hard could teaching be?  Paper mache with third graders as a substitute, insane!  Well, my three day assignment turned into 5 years teaching multiple grade levels, coaching, and the added hat of assistant principal.  While attending LMU, I jumped into many of the programs in the School of Education: Multiple Subject Credential, Master’s in Counseling, PPS and Administrative Credentials finishing up with the Ed.D. in 2009.  I was fortunate to work at Santa Monica High School as the at-risk counselor 1994-2002.  The past 18 years I have been principal of Topanga Elementary 2002-2010, Webster Middle 2011-2014, R. J. Frank Middle 2014-2017, and currently blessed to be at Crespi Carmelite High School 2017-present. Fr. Tom Batsis and Dr. Mary McCullough have been so helpful and supportive over my nearly 30 years in education.

  • Lynna Landry is a proud product of Catholic elementary, high school, and graduate education. She is especially grateful to have the opportunity to receive that formative education rooted in the spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Jesuits. At St. Marys' Academy she firmly believes in forming young women to become all of which they are capable, mind, body, and soul. She "became a Belle" at St. Mary's Academy in 2011 as a teacher through Loyola Marymount University's PLACE Corps while pursuing her Master's degree in Secondary Education. Throughout her time here she has made her classroom a place where students are challenged to bolster their academic toolkit with new strategies and skills of learning and thinking. She is passionate about helping students and teachers seek "excellence" the CSJ way--through "gentleness, peace, and joy." 


    Ms. Landry came to SMA with a wide range of experience in youth education. Prior to teaching at SMA she was the director of after school and supplemental learning programs at an elementary school for three years in Santa Ana, was a foundational level mathematics tutor and California High School Exit Exam tutor at a continuation high school for four years, and served as a youth ministry leader of ten years at her parish. Ms. Landry continues to broaden her knowledge of American History, Government, and Economics by spending her time reading books, watching documentaries, and listening to fascinating podcasts about the subjects she teaches. She also regularly attends teacher professional developments taught by noted historians and professors, often traveling throughout the country to do so. When she's not teaching or helping out at SMA, Ms. Landry enjoys great television, live theatre, yoga, cooking, playing handbells, and winning at board games.

  • ** bio coming soon **

  • Stephen McCray, Ed.D. '13 has been involved with K-16 education for over 30 years, and has served as a bilingual teacher, administrator in public schools, lecturer for the School of Education at California State University, and field consultant for School Support Services at the California Department of Education. He has worked as a national consultant, keynote speaker and trainer on student achievement, leading change, high impact instructional leadership, safe schools, parent involvement, and cultural relations in educational communities. With an unwavering commitment to educational innovation, equity of access, and social justice, Dr. McCray’s most recent areas of focus have been Innovative Schools that Work for Low-Income Students of Color, High Achieving Low Income Students, The Power of Dialogic Classrooms, Student and Parent Voices for Empowerment, Healing Race in Education, and Preparing Students of Color for 21st Century College and Career Success. Co-author and presenter of two videos on successful learning communities and safe schools, he received a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master’s in Education from UCLA, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from LMU. Formerly a Principal in the Lawndale School District, Executive Director of School and Community Relations, and winner of the CSBA Golden Bell Award for creating Family Friendly Schools, Dr. McCray is currently serving as the Director of Instructional Support Services for Para Los Niños, educational consultant, and a keynote speaker.

  • Mary McCullough, Ph.D., Ex-officio for Faculty


    Heather McManus, Ed.D, 2018

    Heather McManus, Ed.D. is the Chief People Officer (CPO) at NewSchools Venture Fund (NewSchools). As the CPO, Heather is responsible for developing and implementing an inspiring vision for a strong organizational culture focused on learning and continuous improvement as well as the strategic and operational aspects of human resources and talent related work at NewSchools. Prior to being promoted to CPO, Heather was a Partner on the Innovative Schools team. In this role, Heather managed a team who sought out diverse leaders with bold ideas to open schools across the country that reimagined learning for underserved students. Her team provided leader coaching, financial support, and other development for over 80 schools across the country serving more than 53,000 students.  For most of her career, Heather served as a K-8 Principal and Chief Learning Officer within Camino Nuevo (CNCA) in Los Angeles, where she led the school to be nationally recognized for its academic performance and inclusive culture. One of her greatest accomplishments at CNCA was creating a full-inclusion model, which resulted in the school receiving the GOAL award from the special education advisory commission at the California Department of Education. Heather has a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from California State University, Northridge, and an Ed.D. from Loyola Marymount University.

    In 2018 and 2019, Heather has also taught in both the doctoral program and the school leadership program at Loyola Marymount University. Heather’s dissertation, “Nevertheless, She Persisted: The Challenges and Opportunities Experienced by Novice, Female Charter School Principals,” chaired by Dr. Shane Martin, examined the historical reasons for educational administration being a male-dominated field, and explored the challenges and opportunities specifically for novice female charter school principals through the theoretical frameworks of organizational socialization and social role theory. The dissertation allowed Heather to find her that her true passion is in coaching and supporting people to become the best version of themselves.

  • Melissa Papp, M.A. ’15 serves as a computer science instructor and free-lance web developer. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Colorado State University and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. In May of 2015, she earned her Master’s in Secondary Education and single-subject social science teaching credential at Loyola Marymount University.  She chose LMU School of Education because of its strong and sincere commitment to social justice. Melissa decided to continue to serve her country by teaching government, history, and sociology at Culver City High School and Alliance Collins High School in South Los Angeles.

    As a high school teacher for over five years, she facilitated an environment where students felt comfortable to advocate for themselves and their community. Her teaching style is focused on using technology through project-based learning. She has observed that when students are challenged to stretch their imagination and create tangible things, they gain confidence, and become life-long learners.

    Melissa has recently returned to school for computer information systems and web development. Her hope is to merge education reform and technology to create a more equitable learning environment for everyone. She aims to inspire her female, LGBTQ+, and students of color to get involved in the STEM fields and produce content that represents all voices. Her hobbies include spending time with her nieces, cooking, and traveling.

  • Daniel Rios - M.A.’16, B.A.’12 is an 11th & 12th grade English teacher at Crossroads School for the Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, CA and serves as the English department chair. Prior to Crossroads, he taught at Villanova Preparatory School, an Augustinian high school in Ojai, CA, where he served in the various capacities of Faculty, Department Chair and Director of Academics. He holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Secondary Education and an M.A. in Educational Studies from LMU. Being a product of lifelong Catholic education, he values the mission and vision of Catholic education and the role it plays in the educational landscape of Los Angeles. At certain points in his career, he has tutored foster students in LAUSD, participated in WASC accreditation visits and helped schools transition towards becoming International Baccalaureate certified schools. In his free time, he enjoys travel, art museums, reading and attending concerts.


    Neeraj Satyal (Ed.D, ‘15) is the founder of the Math Yogi’s, a math education consulting organization focused on happy and healthy teachers and excited and educated math students. A National Board Certified Teacher, he was previously a network math coach and later an Assistant Principal focused on mathematics at the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools. He was also Department Chair at Wilders Preparatory Academy which during his tenure was recognized as a California Distinguished School and later gaining Blue Ribbon status. A South LA resident, his wife Sree are parents to a daughter Jackie, and a fur baby (dog), Griffey.


    Anne Scerbak '19, M.A. '20 graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2019 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and again in 2020 with an M.A. in Educational Studies. Anne always dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher and focused her passions by concentrating in Early Childhood Education and Literacy. She was also a member of Gryphon Circle, an LMU Service Organization with a focus on serving through education and social justice. While attending LMU, Anne was the 2019 School of Education Scholar, 2019 Elementary Education Program Scholar, and the 2019 recipient of the Cura Personalis Award from the Center for Undergraduate Teacher Preparation. She is also a member of the Kappa Delta Pi and Alpha Sigma Nu honors societies. Anne began her teaching career in 2019 and is currently a first grade teacher at Playa Vista Elementary.

  • Erin N Solari-Jones, BA '06, MA '15, has been the Junior High English Teacher at Visitation School since 2015. 
    Erin is a Westchester native. She attended St. Jerome's Catholic School followed by Notre Dame Academy. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, followed by a Master’s in Education from the same institution. 

    Prior to teaching, she was an editor in the Aerospace industry but never felt truly fulfilled in that field. She was given the opportunity to change career paths and became a teacher. Now, she never works a day in her life! She encourages her scholars to ask tough questions, delve deep into varying texts to make connections, and push themselves everyday to be the best they can be.

    In her free time she loves watching movies with her husband, David, loving on her dog, Darla, visiting the LMU campus and learning new ways to be the best teacher possible. 

  • Martinique Starnes, Ed.D. '15 is the Manager of Diversity, Outreach, and Community Development for the California Charter Schools Association. In her role, Dr. Starnes is responsible for creating and implementing strategies to improve the pipeline to school leadership for educators of color. With over 15 years in the field, Dr. Starnes understands the varied educational experiences of students of color including the educational inequities that continue to impact them. She is a champion for equity and inclusion and works tirelessly to ensure that diverse voices are included at all levels of the education space. Prior to her role at CCSA, she served for 10 years as the Dean of Counseling and Student Affairs at Verbum Dei High School, a Cristo Rey Network school located in the Watts community. She also serves as an adjunct professor of Communication Studies at Long Beach City College.   

  • Paul Vu, Ph.D., Ex-officio for the Religious


    Brent Walmsley, Urban Education, 2011

    Brent Walmsley is an ELD/Current Events Teacher at Synergy Quantum Academy.  Prior to that, he taught English at schools in Los Angeles and Compton.  He earned a MA in Urban Education from LMU in 2011, and earned his Master of Divinity in 2009 from Fuller Seminary, and that year joined Teach For America.  In his free time, he enjoys cooking, cycling, reading, and walks with his dog, Renzo.  He and his wife have a goal of visiting all of the National Parks in the United States, and have visited thirty so far!  

  • Michelle D. Young, the incoming dean of the LMU School of Education, begins her tenure July 1, 2020. She comes to LMU from the University of Virginia, where she has been a professor of educational leadership and policy and chair of the department of education leadership, foundations and policy.


    Young has co-edited or co-authored six books and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Her scholarship focuses on how university programs, educational policies and school leaders can support equitable and quality experiences for all students and adults who learn and work in schools.


    She has edited two editions of the “Handbook of Research on the Education of School Leaders,” and is currently editing the “Handbook of Critical Research Methods in Education.” Young has been the recipient of multiple awards for her writing, including the William J. Davis Award for most outstanding article, an Emerald Literati Award for Excellence, and was recently awarded the prestigious Edwin M. Bridges Award for her contributions to research on the preparation of education leaders.


    Throughout her career, she has developed and sustained a reputation as an innovative, civic-minded, ethical leader with a strong commitment to diversity and social justice. Young recently completed her 19th year as executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), an international consortium of more than 100 research institutions with master’s and doctoral level programs in educational leadership and administration. In that role, she was instrumental in increasing and leveraging the significant benefits of diversity.


    From efforts to diversify the education leadership professoriate and the school leadership pipeline (e.g., mentoring programs, policy initiatives, research projects), to developing a diverse board of directors for UCEA, she searched for and found new opportunities for impact and growth. For example, as UCEA executive director, she led the development of the Barbara Jackson Network, a program to provide doctoral students of color with a system of support, significantly expand the number of faculty of color in colleges of education, and enhance the ability of universities to recruit people of color into K-12 administrative programs. The Jackson Scholars program fundamentally changed the diversity of UCEA membership, increased the diversity of the educational leadership professoriate, and influenced the priorities and decisions of UCEA as an organization.


    Equity, improvement and capacity development have been central to Young’s work as a researcher and an organizational leader. While leading UCEA, she developed and supported programs and initiatives focused on increasing the focus of research on leadership preparation and bringing research to bear on the work of faculty members, educational leadership and policymakers. She led national standards work for leadership practice, preparation and accreditation, and she worked with key stakeholders in designing and coordinating state and national legislative initiatives and events. During her tenure at UCEA, the budget for mission-focused activities quadrupled and the investment portfolio saw a seven-fold increase. Upon completion of her tenure with UCEA, she was granted emeritus status.