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Faculty

Our faculty are experts in their fields and dedicated to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to share the Gospel and care for all of God’s people.

Main Nursing department number: (949) 214-3280

  • Buenaventura, Cara, MSN, RN, CCRN
  • Concordia-Spectrum Campus
  • (949) 214-3637
  • [email protected]
Buenaventura Cara

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Critical care RN 1992-present, CCRN certified 2011 to present, former MET (medical emergency team) member St Joseph Hospital Orange, California

AACN/GLBOC member, ACNL member, and ANA member

AFSA and ACE (Academic Curriculum) committee member.

Recently performed outcomes for spring and summer 2019 for ACE committee while member on sabbatical.

Sigma Theta Tau chapter board member from 2017 to 2023. Currently, helping to oversee by-laws.

Bethany Church Greeter (Long Beach) for hospitality committee 2014 to 2022.

Women’s ministry Bethany Church table leader 2022-2023.

Former MOMS (making our mothering significant) 2008-2015 with prior core leadership which helped to train new table leaders to invest in being new mothers and helping guide families to reach our communities in Long Beach.

Part of faculty who participate in information sessions and interviewing new staff

Education

  • Master of Science in Leadership and Education, Vanguard University, 2016 with follow-up Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharm and Advanced Health Assessment (2021-2023)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Cal State Fullerton, 2010 (RN to BSN)

Teaching

Have taught all levels of ABSN from 2016 to current. Pharm Theory Instructor 2017 to 2019. Some clinical to date include preceptorship for seniors with seminar. Juniors for advanced med-surgical and mental health. Also, have taught in the pharm lab and skills lab. Have a passion to remind students about resilience and how to focus on self-care.
I teach mental health theory from 2020 to 2023 and have been the mental health clinical course coordinator 2020 to 2023.

Research

  • Recent participation in nursing research at St. Joseph Hospital for Early Nutrition 2018.
  • Interventions in Critical Care for 2018
  • Resilience Training in new graduates 2018

Publications/Presentations

Have been involved with clinical narratives that was published for St. Joseph hospital as part of the clinical ladder.

Buenaventura Cara

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Heather Chatwin graduated from Concordia University’s ABSN program cohort 9, in 2013. She began her nursing career on an orthopedic, spine, joint, and bariatric unit. She spent some time working as a float pool nurse, home health nurse and alongside adults with disabilities. She began teaching at Concordia in 2018 as a Mental Health and Medical Surgical clinical instructor. In 2022, she transitioned to a full-time faculty member.

Education

    • M.S.N. Education, Western Governors University - 2021
    • B.S.N., Concordia University, Irvine - 2013
    • B.S. Public Administration/Criminal Justice - Cal State Dominguez Hills - 1996

Teaching

    • NUSA 401 Health Assessment
    • NUSA 203 Med/Surg Theory
    • NUSA 292 Med/Surg Clinical
    • NUSA 396 Psych/Mental Health Clinical
  • Cottrell, James T., DNP, MSN, RN, CPN, VA-BC
  • Concordia-Spectrum Campus
  •  
  • [email protected]
Cottrell, James T.

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Tom Cottrell has been a pediatric nurse since 2009. He began teaching for Concordia University as a clinical instructor in 2014. He became a member of the nursing faculty at Concordia University in 2020. Tom has spent much of his nursing career educating students, nurses, and medical staff on pediatric vascular access and methods of limiting harm and pain associated with vascular access devices. When not teaching or at the hospital, Tom enjoys traveling with his wife, Rainnie.

Education

  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Capella University, 2023
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Concordia University, Irvine, 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Texas Arlington, 2013
  • Associate Degree in Nursing, Mount St. Mary’s College, 2008

Teaching

  • NUSA 307 Pediatric Theory
  • NUSA 400 Advanced Senior Preceptorship Clinical
  • NUSA 409 Advanced Senior Preceptorship Seminar

Professional Associations/Certifications

  • Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses
  • Association of Vascular Access
  • Board Certified Vascular Access Nurse
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse
  • Pediatric Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society

Publications/Presentations

  • Professional Publication – The Journal of Vascular Access – June 2020
    Title: Ultrasound-Guided Placement of Peripherally Inserted Intravenous Catheters Increases Catheter Dwell Time in Children DOI: 10.1177/1129729820929826
  • Poster Presentation – Pediatric Academic Societies 2020 Meeting – May 2020
    Title: Ultrasound-Guided Placement of Peripherally Inserted Intravenous Catheters Increases Catheter Dwell Time in Children
  • Poster presentation – AVA National Scientific Meeting – September 2017
    Title: Retrospective Comparative Study of Dwell Time between Ultrasound-Guided and Traditionally Placed Peripherally Inserted Intravenous Catheters in Hospitalized Children
  • Dahl, Jennifer, EdD, RN, RNC-OB
  • Concordia-Spectrum Campus
  • (949) 214-3283
  • [email protected]
Jennifer Dahl

Assistant Director of Nursing/Assistant Professor of Nursing

Jennifer Dahl began teaching at Concordia University Irvine in 2014 and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Nursing. She began her nursing career an oncology nurse until she transitioned to the maternal-newborn population where she spent over 20 years as a labor and delivery nurse. Jennifer has a love of the nursing profession and strives to educate students to be compassionate and holistic nurses who serve the population.

Education

  • Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, University of La Verne, in progress
  • 2014- Master of Science in Nursing, Emphasis on Clinical Informatics, Grand Canyon University
  • 2011- Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Grand Canyon University
  • 1994-Associate Degree in Nursing, Rio Hondo College

Teaching

  • Course Coordinator: Maternal-Newborn & Pharmacology Lab
  • NUSA 207: Pharmacotherapeutics
  • NUSA 303: Maternal-Newborn Theory
  • NUSA 296: Pharmacology Lab

Assistant Director of Nursing Programs/Assistant Professor of Nursing

Chelsea started teaching at Concordia as an Adjunct Faculty in 2020 and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Nursing Programs. She began her nursing career as a Critical Care nurse and works in a mixed CCU setting and Rapid Response Role. Chelsea enjoyed serving on Hospital committees and furthering nursing education through involvement in hospital committees. Chelsea was also the lead author for the AACN Beacon Award for her CCU Unit where they placed Silver.

Education

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Western University of Health Sciences
  • Master of Commerce in Organizational Management (M.COMM) - University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication (B.A.) - Concordia University, Irvine

Teaching

  • Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing Theory
  • Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing Clinical
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing Clinical
  • Skills Lab
  • Pharmacology Lab
  • Advanced Preceptorship Clinical

Publications

  • American Association of Critical Care Nursing (AACN) - Silver Award, 2016

Memberships

  • American Association of Critical Care Nursing (AACN)
  • Sigma Theta Tau International
Dr. Carol Holt

Professor of Nursing

Carol's RN experience includes critical care nursing for adult neurosurgical, trauma, open heart, transplant and general critical care patients; as an advanced practicing nurse experience as a Heart Transplant Coordinator and as a Pediatric Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Program development, administration and instructor at Concordia University.
China Mission Trip 2014
American Heart Association Membership
American Holistic Nursing Association Membership
Active volunteer at St. Juliana Church in Fullerton

Education

  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing, University of California at Los Angeles, 2005
  • Master of Nursing, Medical/Surgical Nursing Concentration in Critical Care, University of California at Los Angeles, 1989
  • Bachelor of Science Nursing, University of Tulsa, Tulsa Oklahoma, 1982

Committees

  • Chairman, Assessment Curriculum & Evaluation (ACE) Committee

Teaching

  • Advanced Medical/Surgical Nursing Theory and Clinical
  • Pathophysiology in RN to BSN and MSN Programs
  • Advanced Preceptorship Clinical and Seminar
  • Wellness Alternative Therapy
  • Leadership Theory and Clinical RN to BSN

Research

  • Editorial Board Member; Journal for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2004-now
  • IRB Committee Concordia University; evaluate research applications, develops protocols and guidelines. 2016-2019
  • Weight as a Determinant of Survival in Patients With Heart Failure, Poster Presentation Sigma Theta Tau Conference, Carol Holt RN MN and Lynn Doering RN PhD, October 2001
  • Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural China. Concordia University President’s Showcase. Carol Holt, PhD., RN, CNS – Faculty Mentor & Phyllis Alvarez, RN, Spring 2015
  • An Investigation of the Influences of Planned Exercise on Food Selection in School Age Children. Dissertation for partial fulfilment for UCLA School of Nursing doctorate degree, 2005
  • Weight as a Determinant of Survival in Patients With Heart Failure, Carol Holt RN MN and Lynn Doering RN PhD, Poster Presentation Sigma Theta Tau Conference, Spring 2001
  • The Effect of Cardiopulmonary Bypass on Lung - Surfactant of Newborn Infants. A. Alkallay MD.......C. Holt. RN....J. Pomerance MD. Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Data collector & wrote portion of protocol, 1992 – 93
  • Nursing Strategies to Allow Early Discharge After Cardiac Transplantation: Is It Safe? Carol Holt RN MN……Hillel Laks MD. Principle Investigators. Poster presentation at International Heart Transplantation conference, April 1990
  • Collected data & computer input for NANDA diagnosis of the dying patient. Research Assistant, Jan-June 1989
  • Catastrophic Events and Their Concentration of Occurrence Around Change of Shift. Master's Thesis, UCLA, June 1989

Publications/Presentations

  • Wellness Assessment Content for Nursing Curriculum; Poster Presentation, American Holistic Nursing Association 38th Annual National Conference; Niagara Falls, New York, June 2018
  • Wellness/Prevention Content for Nursing Curriculum; Oral and Poster Presentation, NETNEP 2018 7th International Nurse Education Conference; Banff Canada, May 2018
  • Wellness/Prevention Content for Nursing Curriculum; Poster Presentation, ATI Summit 2018, Salt Lake City Utah National Conference; May 2018
  • Speaker at St. Joseph’s yearly symposium; The Future of Healthcare. Lecture title: Wellness Assessment; Preventative Care. October 2014
  • Health Tips column for Concordia school newspaper, 2011-12
  • Weight as a Determinant of Survival in Patients With Heart Failure, Poster Presentation Sigma Theta Tau Conference, Carol Holt RN MN and Lynn Doering RN PhD, October 2001
  • Holt, C., The Care of Children. Chapter 16: Alterations in Cardiovascular Status. W. B., Saunders Co. March 1998. pg 781-862.
  • Sludge Can Be A Drudge; Hepatic Failure, 22nd Annual Critical Care Symposium, AACN Tulsa Chapter. February 1996
  • Holt, C., Clinical Care Plans for Pediatric Nursing. Contributing Author - Eating Disorders. McGraw-Hill, April 1994.
  • Congenital Heart Disease, Pediatric Continuity of Care Coalition, San Diego, July 1994
  • Congenital Heart Disease, Pediatric Continuity of Care Coalition, San Diego, July 1994
  • Congenital Heart Disease & Cardiovascular Assessment, Peds-CCRN Review, Children's Hospital of Orange County, October 1994
  • Cardiopulmonary Assessment , Scripts La Jolla Hospital, San Diego, California, March 1994
  • Preparing a Child for Cardiac Catheterization. Symposium, Cardiac Catheterization in Children, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA; Physician/Nursing Conference, February 1992
  • Holt, C., Gaskill, L., Case Studies in Neuro Science Critical Care Nursing Chapter 6, Spinal Cord Injury, Aspen Publishing. 1991, pg. 104 - 44.
  • Congenital Heart Disease in the 90's; Lillian & Harvey Silbert Perinatal Conference; Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, February 1991; Physician/Nursing Conference
  • Nursing Strategies to Allow Early Discharge After Cardiac Transplantation: Is It Safe? (poster presentation), Carol Holt RN MN,...Hillel Laks MD.; Tenth Annual Meeting of the International Society for Heart Transplantation. April 1990
  • Nursing & Coordination in Cardiac Transplantation. Carol Holt ......Barbara Schulman RN. (panel discussion); International Heart Failure & Transplantation Symposium; UCLA School of Medicine (medical conference), January 1990
  • Catastrophic Events and Their Concentration of Occurrence Around Change of Shift (poster presentation), Second Annual UCLA School of Nursing and Gamma Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Research Day. June 1989.
  • Omery, A., Holt C.. Time and Time Perception. Emphasis on Nursing Fall 1989, 3:2.
King, Lydia

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Lynda King began her career in the Northwest as an acute post-surgical nurse, then transitioned to an operating room nurse. In 2015, Lynda and her husband moved back to Southern California. While working as the Clinical Coordinator for Robotics, Lynda discovered her passion for teaching. She returned to school obtaining her Master of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in education. Lynda began teaching at Concordia University as an adjunct instructor for clinical and pharmacotherapeutics and joined the nursing department as a full-time faculty member in October of 2020. Aside from teaching, Lynda also enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, children, and Boston Terrier Rosie.

Education

  • ∙ M.S.N., Grand Canyon University - 2019
  • B.S.N, Boise State University - 2015
  • A.D.N., North Idaho College – 2013
  • Certified Nurse in the Operating Room, CNOR, 2017 - present
  • Gerontological Nursing Certification, GERO-BC, 2020 - present

Teaching

  • NUSA 401 Health Assessment
  • NUSA 207 Pharmacotherapeutics
  • NUSA 292 Med/Surg Clinical
  • Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing Clinical Coordinator
  • Mationg, Lizette, MSN, RN, PHN, CNOR, RNFA
  • Concordia-Spectrum Campus
  • (949) 214-3284
  • [email protected]
Lizette Mationg

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Prof. Mationg has been a practicing operating room nurse since 2001. She has been teaching in nursing education since 2007 and specifically for Concordia University’s ABSN program since 2009. Prof. Mationg has been a part of multiple mission trips during her time at Concordia University Irvine including trips to China, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize. She has been practicing as an RN First Assist (RNFA) since 2017 and actively works in this field while concurrently teaching in the ABSN program. She is an active volunteer at her local church along with her husband and two sons.

Education

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, Chatham University, projected completion 2024
  • Registered Nurse First Assist Program, National Institute of First assisting, 2017
  • Lactation Educator Counselor, University of California San Diego, 2010
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Walden University, 2008
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, California State University Long Beach, 2001

Teaching

  • Concordia University Irvine - Current: Pathophysiology & Community Health Clinical, faculty applications for Blackboard, Microsoft Office, and Google Drive
  • Previously co-taught: Fundamentals of Nursing, Med-Surg Nursing theory, Research, Pharmacology Theory, Pharmacology Lab
  • Other – Kaplan NCLEX prep
  • CNOR Prep Curriculum (MSN Capstone project)
  • LVN Med-surg theory and lab

Certifications

  • BLS (Basic Life Support)
  • ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support)
  • PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support)
  • Certified Nurse in the Operating Room (CNOR)
  • Certified Registered Nurse of First Assisting (CRNFA)

Specialty Roles

  • Documentation Technology Coordinator
  • Outcomes Coordinator
  • Mission Trip Coordinator
  • ACE Committee Member
  • MSN Thesis Project Committee Member

Clinical Workplaces

  • St. Joseph Hospital, Orange
  • Main Street Specialty Surgery Center, Orange
  • Saddleback Surgery Center
  • Specialty Surgical Center, Irvine
  • Providence Building, Orange
  • Restore Orthopedics, Orange
  • Surgical Staff, Inc., Culver City
  • SONA Med Spa, Costa Mesa
  • Natalini-Whitmore, Tiffani, EdD, MSN, RN, PCCN-K
  • Spectrum Campus, Office 2
  • (949)-214-3801
  • [email protected]
Tiffani Natalini-Whitmore

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Dr. Tiffani Natalini-Whitmore joined the faculty of the nursing department as a full time faculty member in July 2018 after teaching in an adjunct capacity at Concordia University Irvine for the previous 5 semesters. Tiffani has a B.S. in movement science from The University of Michigan, an M.S. in ergonomics also from The University of Michigan, an A.D.N. from College of the Desert, an M.S. in nursing from The University of Phoenix, and an EdD in nursing education from Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Natalini is interested in developing faculty and her dissertation was entitled The Effect of Mentorship on Structural Empowerment for Novice Clinical Adjunct Nursing Faculty. Dr. Natalini is named on a federal patent for 4-point seatbelt design. The work she did while working in the research lab for Ford Motor Company helped lead to this patent. Dr. Natalini is originally from Michigan but has lived in Southern California since 2001. Aside from teaching, she also enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling the world, and learning about different cultures and people.


Dr. Natalini teaches in the ABSN program focusing mainly on medical-surgical nursing theory, pharmacology lab, and clinical instruction. Dr. Natalini also serves on the Assessment, Curriculum, and Evaluation Committee as well as serving as a faculty advisor for Concordia Nursing Student Association, the student-led nursing organization for the ABSN program at the Spectrum Campus.

Education

  • Ed.D. in nursing education (2023), Southern Connecticut State University
  • M.S.N. (2015), The University of Phoenix
  • A.D.N. (2005), College of the Desert
  • M.S. in industrial and operations engineering, ergonomics focus (2001), The University of Michigan
  • B.S. in kinesiology (1999), movement science focus, The University of Michigan

Teaching

  • NUSA 203 Adult Medical/Surgical Theory
  • NUSA 292 Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing Clinical
  • NUSA 294 Nursing Skills Lab
  • NUSA 296 Pharmacology Lab
Dina Neeman

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Education

  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice 2015 Western University of Health Sciences
  • Masters of Science in Nursing 2012 Western University of Health Sciences

Teaching

  • Community Health Course Coordinator
  • Advanced Medical Surgical Nursing
Caroline Rae

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Dr. Caroline Rae began her career in adult medical/surgical nursing and spent several years as a critical care nurse before transitioning into academia. She began her teaching career as an adjunct clinical instructor at Golden West College and joined Concordia University full time in 2014. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing. Dr. Rae has completed the Watson Caring Science Institute’s Caritas Coach Education Program ®. She serves on the Academic Student & Faculty Affairs Committee and is Faculty Advisor for Concordia University’s Nursing Student Association.

Dr. Rae is also an active community volunteer with extensive experience in disaster preparedness. She has served as the Chairperson of the Advisory Board for the Orange County Medical Reserve Corps and as a Captain with Anaheim’s Community Emergency Response Team and is a Red Cross volunteer. Dr. Rae is also a certified Stop the Bleed and CPR/BLS instructor.

She was a founding member of Psi Theta-at-Large (Concordia University Irvine's chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society) where she currently serves as Vice-President. Previously, she served 2 terms as the Chairperson for the Orange County/Long Beach Consortium for Nursing.

Education

  • Caritas Coach ®, Watson Caring Science Institute, 2023
  • Doctorate of Education (EdD), University of La Verne, 2021
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Vanguard University Southern California, 2013
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, California State University Long Beach, 1992

Teaching

Coordinator: Nursing Skills Lab, Open Lab, & Adult Medical/Surgical Clinical

  • NUSA 201 Foundations of Nursing
  • NUSA 294 Nursing Skills Lab
  • NUSA 292 Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing Clinical
  • Smythe-Padgham, Cheryl, DNP, RN, WHNP-BC
  • Concordia-Spectrum Campus
  • (949) 214-3635
  • [email protected]
Dr. Cheryl Smythe-Padgham

Assistant Dean and Director of Nursing

Dr. Smythe-Padgham joined Concordia University Irvine in 2017 and serves as the Assistant Dean and Director of Nursing. She began her career as a labor and delivery nurse over 25 years ago. She went on to attain her Masters of Science in Nursing and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner license in 1992 and worked in both private and community care settings in Orange and Los Angeles counties practicing primarily in underserved communities in order to serve the needs of women, mothers and babies. In 2009, she began her career in academia as a nursing faculty member. During her tenure, she served as an Assistant Dean and Interim Dean. She now proudly serves as the Assistant Dean/Director of Nursing in the Concordia Department of Nursing.

Education

  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), Southern California State University Consortium
  • Master of Science in Nursing and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, University of California, San Francisco
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Southern California

Teaching

  • Women’s Health Care
  • Physical Assessment
  • Foundations of Nursing
  • Leadership/Management

Research

DNP project: Nurse Practitioner’s knowledge and use of the internet for adolescent health information

Publications/Presentations

  • (2016) contributions were added to the textbook Transcultural Nursing: Assessment and Intervention by Dr. Joyce Newman Giger.
  • (2015, March) Poster presentation of research at CANP Conference, Newport Beach, CA
  • (2014, November) Poster presentation of research at STTI Odyssey Nursing Research Conference, Ontario, CA
  • Vega-Belluscio, Elizabeth, DNP, RN, CNE, CHSE
  • Concordia-Spectrum Campus
  • (949)-214-3555
  • [email protected]

Assistant Professor of Nursing / Simulationist

Nursing has been a dream and calling for me since I was four years old. While serving in the military as a computer technician, I studied nights and weekends to meet the prerequisites to get accepted into nursing school. Upon graduation from a traditional BSN nursing program with a minor in Nutrition, I was deployed to an overseas naval hospital in the Mediterranean area where I served for a term.

Labor & delivery was the bedside specialty area of my choice for twelve dynamic years. Academics recruited me with a post card asking “Could you see yourself as a Nursing Educator?” So I went back to school for a Masters with a specialty in Nursing Education. I entered the classroom as a lecturer in an Associate’s Degree program back east with additional areas of responsibility as the skills & sim lab coordinator. Certification as a Nurse Educator and in Healthcare Simulation Education followed.

Externally, I serve as a current member of the National League for Nursing, the Society for Simulation Health, the International Nursing Association Simulation Clinical Learning and Sim GHOSTs. I am a reviewer for the Journal of Christian Nursing. Internally, I serve on the Institutional Review Board and the Academic Faculty and Student Affairs committee, where I champion teamwork & collaboration.

I promote the military for the wealth of cultural diversity, educational opportunities, and the lifelong comradery of the uniformed services. Volunteering for Concordia Serves and Angel Tree with Mission Hills Church is my kiddo therapy and service to the Orange County, California community at large. Ministry service to the worship team at Mission Hills Church is ongoing and a creative outlet.

Education

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, Union University, 2014
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Walden University, 2006
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Rhode Island, 1993

Certifications

  • Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (2018)

Teaching

  • Clinical Nurse Educator for Preceptorship, Community Health and Maternal/Child Health.
  • Facilitation of clinical-simulation based learning activities using simulation best practices for student-learners in the sophomore, junior, and senior levels in an ABSN program.

Research

  • Graduate research projects: Preconception Care: Building awareness for folic acid intake before you get pregnant (2006)
  • The exploration of how to retain aging nurse faculty and recommendations from deans and directors of nursing programs (2014)

Publications/Presentations

  • Journal article published in Journal of Christian Nursing, Divine Appointment (2015).

Nursing Staff

Shannon Stoneham

Operations Administrative Coordinator

Biography

Shannon is the Operations Administrative Coordinator for Concordia University Irvine's Department of Nursing. In her role, she provides administrative support in the day to day operations of the Department of Nursing including but not limited to creation and maintenance of nursing courses, schedules, calendars, and student registration and matriculation. Additionally, she collaborates with Human Resources on the interviewing, hiring and onboarding of Nursing Department candidates.

  • Caterinicchio, Maria Jean, MSN, RN, NE-BC
  • Concordia-Spectrum Campus
  • (949) 214-3614
  • [email protected]
MJ Caterinicchio

Assistant Director, Academic Clinical Partnerships

Biography

Maria-Jean, “MJ”, is the Assistant Director of Academic Clinical Partnerships for Concordia University Irvine. In her role, Ms. Caterinicchio provides leadership in implementing and managing relationships with both current and future clinical partners. She is responsible for building clinical partnerships, identifying and generating new clinical agency opportunities and managing the clinical partnerships to ensure that student learning and course objectives are being met.

Maria-Jean has extensive leadership experience in healthcare, working for nonprofit, community and university teaching hospitals as well as within a national professional nursing organization, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Maria-Jean has significant experience in designing, implementing and evaluating systems to support strategic and organizational initiatives, leading project teams and facilitating organizational change.

Jennifer Mallender

Clinical Coordinator

Jennifer (Jen) is the Clinical Placement Coordinator for Concordia University Irvine's Department of Nursing. In her role, she provides support to the students and faculty of the Department of Nursing including clinical placement assignment to meet the affiliation requirements. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Graphic Design from Grand Canyon University.

Lab Manager

Biography

Melissa Scharfe joined Concordia University Irvine in 2021 and started as the lab technician to the Nursing department. She has since risen in her ranks to the Lab Manager that supports Simulation, Skills, Pharmacy, Health Assessment, and Community Health. Melissa started her healthcare career as an Emergency Medical Technician. She has been part of multiple international startups to underprivileged communities, while teaching undergrads the skills of triage. In 2015 Melissa started her move to the formal educational institutes and was part of supporting surgical anatomy for graduate level healthcare departments in Southern California schools.

Education

  • Master of Science in Medical Sciences, Southern California University of Southern California University of Health and Sciences (2023)
  • Master of Science in Public Health, West Coast University (2019)
  • Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside (2011)

Research

  • Mesenchymal stem cell growth in the presence of signaling paths from oncogenes (2011)
  • Cortisol effects on the body in relation to the stress from extreme courses (military use). (2011)
  • Surgical advancements for the purpose of education basic skills (2015-2020)

Publications

  • (2022) contributions were added to The Posterior Atlantooccipital Membrane: The Anchor for the Myodural Bridge and Meningovertebral Structures by: Dr. Frank Scali

Nursing Admissions Team

Henny Halim

Associate Director of Graduate Admissions

Biography

Henny Halim joined Concordia University Irvine in 2008 as a student for the MBA graduate department. Her unique ability to speak 6 languages (Bahasa Indonesia, English, Chinese-Mandarin, Chinese-Taiwanese, Indonesian - Javanese and Cantonese) was a great help when she then decided to come back and start her career with the Admissions team as the only admission counselor in Nursing. From there she has risen within the years at Concordia to the Associate Director of Graduate Admissions for Nursing and Healthcare programs (2021). In this time Henny has been a significant part of the expansions of cohorts and secondary site for the Nursing department. Henny will be starting an Ed.D. program in Organizational Leadership beginning of Fall 2023.

Henny was elected to be a member for Concordia Staff Council (2022) and was elected as Vice Chair (2023).

Education

  • Master of Business Administrations, Concordia University Irvine, 2008
  • Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, California State University Long Beach, 2006
Alicia Redira

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Biography

Alicia came to Concordia University Irvine in the Summer of 2022 as a counselor for the Graduate Admissions team for the School of Health and Human Sciences. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Azusa Pacific University in 2015 while competing on the volleyball team and earned her Master of Arts from CSU Long Beach in 2018. In her spare time, Alicia enjoys warm summer days at the beach and spending time with her family and friends.

Brian Tressler

Graduate Admission Counselor

Biography

Born and raised in Southern California, Brian is a local of the Orange County landscape. He came to Concordia University Irvine with a strong background in higher education and serves as an Admissions Counselor for the School of Health and Human Sciences. He received his BA and MBA from Hope International University, and also competed in Cross County/Track while earning is degrees. One of his favorite things about serving in higher education is navigating potential applicant’s through the admissions process as they aim to reach their goals. Outside of the office, he enjoys photography, music, movies, and spending quality time with the people close to him.

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