Faculty & Staff

All of the professors in the Organizational Psychology program are seasoned faculty with real-world experience. You can read more about each of them below.

Directors

Biography

Dr. Andrew earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from California State University, Long Beach and her PhD from Regent University in Virginia. Her research interests include family communication, organizational communication and crisis management. She has taught at both private and public colleges and universities. Some of her past courses include Public Speaking, Workplace Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Organizational Communication, Journalism, and Interviewing. Dr. Andrew enjoys working at Concordia University because it allows her to combine her love of teaching and leadership with her Christian beliefs. Dr. Andrew resides in Northern California with her husband Brian and their daughter Brilie Kate.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Communication, Regent University
  • M.A., Communication Studies, California State University of Long Beach
  • B.A., Communication Studies, California State University of Long Beach
  • Christmas Thomas, Margaret Christmas Thomas, Margaret
  • Associate Dean of the Townsend Institute, Faculty
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Christmas Thomas, Margaret

Biography

Dr. Christmas Thomas joined Concordia University ten years ago where she is an Associate Dean and was a leader in starting the Townsend Institute and has been instrumental in program design and launching of the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Prior to Concordia she led National Counseling/Academic services for the world’s largest human services provider and consulted internationally in the areas of counseling, education and special education services. She has helped host several national conferences for counselors and educators, provided coaching consulting and presented on these topics across the United States and the United Kingdom.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Education and Leadership, Barry University
  • M.A., Counselor Education, University of Central Florida
  • B.A., Psychology, University of North Florida

Adjunct Faculty

Courses Taught

IOP/NPL 345, Social Psychology

Biography

Dr. Chase Espinoza is a professor at Concordia University Irvine and three other institutions, providing instruction in the various fields of psychology including clinical, forensic, and organizational at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. He also acts as an advisor for student research. He is a proud member of the Heterodox Academy, an organization dedicated to academic freedom and first amendment rights.

He is a licensed psychologist, currently practicing in neuropsychology, clinical psychology, and forensic psychology. He provides neuropsychological evaluations, neurofeedback, and diagnostic EEG services in a hospital-based neurology department. He also completes forensic, clinical, and psychoeducational assessments at multiple practices in Orange County. Dr. Chase practices psychotherapy for diverse populations and across a wide range of clinical and relational problems. He will present on empathy at the Creating Healthy Organizations Conference (CHOC) in July 2018.

Courses Taught

NPL 460, Fundraising and Resource Management

 

Hooper, Heath

Capstone adviser/course professor

Biography

Dr. Hooper joined the Shorter faculty in 2012 as Assistant Professor of Sport Management and has served as chair of the Department of Sport Management. As dean, Dr. Hooper leads the Ledbetter College of Business, which offers undergraduate degree programs in Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Sport Management as well as the Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy programs. Dr. Hooper holds a Bachelor of Science in Sport Studies from Reinhardt College, a Master of Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University – Irvine, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a specialization in Sport Management from Northcentral University. Prior to higher education, He has served three years as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Reinhardt University and Young Harris College. Dr. Hooper also serves as an adjunct instructor for Concordia University-Irvine.

Dr. Hooper resides in Rome, Georgia with his wife, AnnMarie Hooper and their son Tyler Wesley Hooper.

View Curriculum Vitae

Fugitt, Gilbert

Biography

Gilbert has an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and a M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University. He currently is the Dean of Students at Concordia University Irvine and has taught Christianity and Contemporary Culture for several academic programs throughout campus as one of Concordia's most endeared instructors. In addition to his leadership and teaching roles at Concordia, he has worked for many years as a Director of Christian Education at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arcadia, California, where he developed servant leaders within the church and the youth ministry. At Concordia University, he is passionate about developing wise, honorable, and cultivated student leaders. He has conducted numerous presentations on servant leadership, community service, and many relevant issues critical to college age students.

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Organizational Leadership, Pepperdine University
  • M.A., Psychology, Pepperdine University
  • B.A., Theology, Concordia University, Seward, NE

Courses Taught

IOP 431, Training and Talent Development

Biography

Melanie Nichols is the World Wide Director of Organization Effectiveness for Ingram Micro. Prior to joining Ingram Micro, she spent twelve years working in values-driven, faith-based, not-for-profit organizations. Melanie specializes in transforming organizational culture; closing the gap between the stated and lived organizational values and engaging the workforce. She is known in industry for elevating and sustaining excellence by focusing on leadership development, human factors, structures and processes. Achievements of her internal customers include: Best Places to Work - National (Modern Healthcare), Best Places to Work - Texas, Magnet Designation, Top 100 Hospital (Thomas Reuters) and Highest National Ranking -Patient Satisfaction. Additionally, Melanie has been part of organizational teams when they have earned the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award and been named a Prism Coaching Finalist (International Coaching Federation).

Courses Taught

IOP 421, Measurement of Human Performance

Biography

Dr. Peters led the development of the CU Accelerate program in 2000, and the MAIS degree that grew from the university's work in China. The other programs were added to the school under the umbrella of business and adult instruction.

Prior to his present role, he was a professor in the School of Education and managed the student teaching program. Prior to his joining Concordia in 1994 he served as a Lutheran Elementary school principal in various locations. His wife, Dr. Becky Peters, is a professor in the School of Education. He has two grown children and two grandchildren.

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D. Institutional Management, Pepperdine University
  • M.A. School Administration, Pepperdine University
  • B.A. Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University, Chicago, IL

Professional/Scholarly Presentations

Council for Adult and Experiential Education (CAEL), November 12, 2004, Chicago: Presented on the topic: Adults Learn Even When They Are Not Present
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) Chicago, Illinois 2004 Conference Presentation: Adult's Learn Even When They are Absent
Lutheran Educator's Conference, Palm Spring California 2004 Conference Presentation: Beat the Odds- Team Ministry Lessons Learned from Marriage
AIP-OC (Association of Internet Professionals), April 16, 2003 Presenter on the topic: "Online Education and Distance Learning: How it works with Careers in Technology"
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Mission Planters Institute, July, 1999 Conference Presentation: Entrepreneurial Leadership

Professional Involvement

Chairman, Board of Elders, St. John's Lutheran Church 2001 - present.
Chairman, Board of Directors, Pacific Southwest District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, 1993-1999. Member of the board, 1985-1999.
Served on various committees including strategic planning committee. As Chairman led complete restructure of the district's governance to a policy based approach, hired a Chief Administrative Officer, Member, Board of Directors, Lutheran High School of Orange County, 1994-1999

Expertise

  • Leadership Development
  • Organizational management
  • Strategic planning

Special Interests and Activities

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Sailing
  • Sports cars

Courses Taught

IOP/NPL 483 Business Ethics

Courses Taught

IOP 411, Employee Motivation and Attitude Theory

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