As a child, I was raised Catholic and had to attend mass and catechism every week from first grade through senior year. I always felt guilty if I didn’t go to church and thought I would get a flat tire or something bad would happen. I enjoyed some of the social aspects of church, but never fully understood God and the Bible.
During college I was very selfish and wrapped up in material things and ended up with a huge credit card debt. I wasted a lot of time in college with no real direction or career path. I was lost with no real purpose in life. Eventually, I became attracted to tarot card and numerology readings, and psychics. I then began exploring different belief systems searching for meaning, direction and peace.
A few years later, I started helping a friend who had hereditary ataxia, which affected her motor skills. She needed help getting from the car to her church service on Sunday mornings. So, I would take her in and sit with her, then help her back to the car when it was over. After 6 months of listening to the pastor, I invited my fiancé to join me since she was Christian and I thought she might enjoy the service. For years I had made jokes about her beliefs and Southern upbringing, but this moment felt significant since we were beginning our 4-week marriage counseling prior to the wedding.
Toward the end of the service, the pastor gave an invitation to transform my life by following God and accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I heard this same altar call every Sunday for 6 months, but something happened in that moment. Surrounded by hundreds of people, my right hand flew up without me raising it. I, along with a few others, repeated a prayer to make my conversion official. Afterwards I cried uncontrollably as years of sin and regrets were being released from me. My senses became so acute that I could have heard a pin drop from a mile away. I remember my fiancé was also filled with emotion because she and her family had been praying for my salvation for years.
That was over 20 years ago and my life has never been the same. I am not the same person I once was; I can tell you that my relationship with God has grown and my life is full of purpose and joy. Besides being a professor, I am also a youth pastor serving middle and high school students. God has given me so many opportunities to do what I love and use my gifts and talents to make a difference.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas
Friends describe me
Compassionate, caring, creative
Playing & coaching high school basketball, biking, traveling, filmmaking, photography
Fantasy dinner guests
Stephen Curry, Taya Smith, Pope Francis
Best advice I ever received
My undergrad alma mater
Academy of Art University
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
be a college basketball coach.
Bible, Love Does, Metamorphosis
Enter the Dragon, Un Chien Andalou, Intouchables, My Octopus Teacher
Don't drink coffee but enjoy jasmine green tea with honey
Nobody knows I
was Pluto dancing down Main Street USA in the Disneyland Parade.
My latest accomplishment
Excellence and Innovation Teaching Award
Trauma-informed Pedagogy, Contemporary Issues In Photography, Understanding and Relating to Asian American Youth
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