Cohort 6 – Long Beach Community College, CA

Kyran Barr

Kyran Barr earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology from Saint Bonaventure University. He has presented papers at several academic conferences and published in the Journal for Specialists in Group Work. Barr served as a program research specialist for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Barr’s counseling experience includes a two-year internship as a group therapy facilitator at a continuing day treatment center for mentally ill adults. He was also a preventive social worker at the LaSalle School providing individual, group and family counseling to at-risk adolescents and their families.

In the field of education, Barr served as director of corporate and foundation relations at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts, where he was also an adjunct professor of psychology. He has spent the past fifteen years teaching psychology at several colleges and universities including Long Beach City College, Cerritos College, LA Harbor College and, California State University at Dominguez Hills.

Becky Black

Becky Black, RDN, MFT earned her A.A. from Long Beach City College, a B.S. in Dietetics and Food Administration from California State University Long Beach, was a Dietetic Intern at The Mayo Clinic Saint Marys Hospital, and received a graduate degree in psychology from Phillips Graduate University.

Black’s professional career reflects a blending of her skills as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Marriage Family Therapist in a variety of settings: Teaching, Clinical Dietetics, Consulting Nutritionist, and Private Practice.

In the field of education, Black has been taught nutrition at several colleges including Long Beach City College, California State University Long Beach, University of California Los Angeles, and Linfield College.  Currently, Black is an Assistant Professor in Food and Nutrition at Long Beach City College.

Nelly Brashear

This year marks my third as an adjunct instructor in the Department of English at both Long Beach City College and Cerritos Community College.  I also serve as a substitute teacher for the Bellflower Unified School District at Mayfair High School, a position I enjoy because I can spread the gospel about attending college to high school seniors who are preparing to further their education.

Prior to joining LBCC, I taught as a supplemental instructor at California State University, Dominguez Hills in the "Encounter to Excellence" program, where I worked closely with first-generation minorities to help them achieve permanent admission to the university.  As a first-generation Guatemalan-American, this position allowed me to share my own experiences and motivate students to achieve their educational goals.

I received both my bachelor's and master's degrees at California State University, Long Beach.  My teaching interests include first-year composition, critical thinking and argumentative writing, as well as various grammar and composition courses.  While at California State University, Long Beach, I worked on the editorial staff of the scholarly journal Watermark and was a member of the English Graduate Student Association, the Medieval and Renaissance Student Association, and Latinas at the Beach.  I received a nomination for the "Student Success Award" in 2015, as well a nomination for "Most Inspirational Educator" by LBCC's EOPS students in 2016.

My primary interests are in the field of community college leadership, and I am currently pursuing my Doctorate in Education from the John E. Roueche Graduate Center at National American University.

I reside with my wonderful family in Lakewood, California.  In my free time, I volunteer and serve as an executive board member and recording secretary for the Mayfair Monsoon Marching Corps.  I enjoy reading, traveling, cooking, knitting, music (I still play my trumpet), all things Disney, exploring the city on foot with my beloved German Shepherd, Bella.

Nohel Corral

Earned a Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).  In addition, earned a California Community College Graduate Certificate from CSULB.Earned a double major and minor from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).  The double major included Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in Sociology and Spanish.  The minor is in Physical Education with an emphasis in Athletic Coaching.Over the last 13 years, I have worked with a richly diverse student population in higher education. My professional experience is comprised of ten years in management/administrative positions, three years as a Counseling faculty member, instructor, and coordinator, and have served in several leadership roles on campuses with involvements in committees and partnerships with the local community. I have been fortunate to have the opportunities to work in positions at the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and community college systems.

I have made a significant effort to actively and productively engage in shared governance and have worked collaboratively with a variety of departments and services across campus in providing student access and supporting success.I have been at Long Beach City College (LBCC) since August of 2014 serving as the Dean of Counseling and Student Support Services.  Prior to my position at LBCC, I served in a variety of roles at Skyline College including interim dean of counseling, full-time faculty member, adjunct faculty member, director of the learning resource center and TRiO programs, and served as a program services coordinator.  I have also been a full-time tenure track counselor at Berkeley City College in Northern California. Before my Northern California experience, I was an assistant director for the Student Center for Professional Development (SCPD) in the College of Business Administration (CBA) at California State University, Long Beach.

I was a former Division I Track & Field sprinter and Big West Champion at UCSB, a sprints coach at CSULB, and competed at 400 meters (post-collegiate) attempting to qualify for the Mexico national team.  An opportunity to start my career in higher education presented itself and I left the track world to focus on serving students full-time. I am still active with running/sports and travel abroad at least once a year to help with work/life balance.  I have many interests including web development and supporting the Latino culture and community.  I currently have a clothing line with a focus on culture that is featured in a new George Lopez store in Oxnard, California. Proceeds help provide scholarships for high school and community college students seeking to further their education at the four-year level.

Susan Cully

I am a community college success story. I began my education with an AA from Los Angeles Community College where I developed a love of learning that has continued through all my education and professional career. I financed my education as a working student and began my career in accounting. However, my positive experience in community college kept beckoning me back; I wanted to have the opportunity to touch lives as mine had been.  I have been teaching for eighteen years and continue to be inspired by my students and colleagues every day. I am energized by the community we serve and believe the prevailing diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family, outdoors, indoors, sharing stories, and pursuing the ultimate in barbeque perfection.

Lee Douglas

Though not a native Californian I have lived in Southern California most of my life.  I completed my undergraduate work at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where I obtained a BA in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations.  Several years after completing the BA l decided to go back to school and obtained an MA in Education with an emphasis in the area of Counseling from California State University at Dominguez Hills.

I have worked in higher education for over 25 years at CSU, private and community college levels.  I've been employed at Long Beach City College since 2001.  The first 14 years at LBCC were spent as a full time faculty member and Department Chair in the Learning and Academic Resources.  Since August, 2016 I’ve had the pleasure of serving as the Dean of Language Arts and Communication.  As dean, I am responsible for providing support and leadership to the following areas; Communication Studies, English, ESL, Foreign Language, and Reading.

My lovely wife Marla and I enjoy travelling and spending time with our three sons (Christian, Robert, and Brandon).  I'm also very actively involved in several ministries at my church.  For enjoyment I love reading, watching sports and going to the gym.

Janet Hund

Janét Hund is a 20-year faculty member at LBCC, in the sociology department.  She has taught the following courses at LBCC:  Introduction to Sociology, Modern Social Problems, Race & Ethnic Relations in the U.S., Sociology of the Family, and American Pluralism and Identity.  In addition, she has advised a range of student clubs including:  Civic Engagement Club, ECO Club, Campus Progressives, and the Native American Club.  She also managed A WOMAN LIKE ME/MAN TO MAN Mentoring program in which LBCC students were paired with Long Beach middle school students, for one academic year.  With a passion for social justice, she is an involved community member.  She volunteers in her sons' elementary school, sits on the Executive Board of the NAACP, and is a member of the Coalition for Good Jobs and A Healthy Community.  She currently serves as the LBCCFA (faculty association) President.  One of her great joys in life is reading with her young children every evening - and listening to them read to her.  In her spare time, camping is a favorite pastime.

Miriam Lynch

I obtained my B.A. in Communications and my M.A. in Business Education from California State University, Los Angeles. I possess an American Bar Association approved Paralegal Certificate with an emphasis in Litigation. I hold certifications in Internet and Computing Core Digital Literacy (IC3), MyITLab, Microsoft Office Specialist (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access). As a professor of technology, I feel it is important to stay current in the field.

I worked as a paraprofessional for a large law firm in Los Angeles for many years. When the firm acquired its first computer system, I was asked to take on the role as the computer trainer. I loved teaching my colleagues how to effectively use a computer, and as a result, I decided to pursue a career in teaching. I have been teaching full time at Long Beach City College since 1999.

I was born in Italy and immigrated to the United States as a young girl. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, vacationing, taking spin classes, hiking, reading, gardening, cooking and listening to music.

Nancy Che Mahan

Hi, my name is Nancy Che Mahan, and I am a full-time math faculty at Long Beach City College. I graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics at University of California, Irvine and M.S. in Applied Mathematics at California State University of Long Beach.   I have taught college mathematics at UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach, Santa Ana College, Long Beach City College, and 3 online schools across the nation. Before I became a community college math educator, I taught English in Japan for a short while, I worked in the mortgage industry as a senior loan processing manager and as an underwriter for about 4 years, and I also entered into the sales industry as an account executive. I'm a single mom with two young boys, ages 2 and 4.  They are the love of my life and they surely keep me busy and active! I pursued mathematics because I love teaching it! I understand that it can be so intimidating and difficult, and I enjoy boiling it down into simple, step-by-step, non-intimidating strategies. I love the “ah-hah” moments.   When life seems so grey sometimes, math has a strategy, a right and a wrong, that makes sense and helps to bring order in an already chaotic life at times.

Although based on the above, I may seem like an extreme geek, I assure you that’s not the case!  I’m an avid beach volleyball player and tend to play very competitively. However, when I lose count of the scores, my teammate tends to question whether I truly have a math degree :). On the flip side, I also enjoy my quiet moments of playing the piano and blogging.    Overall, I am a teacher at heart that enjoys working with people and cares for their progress.  I also believe in creating a class environment in which students get to know one another and experience the "community" part of college.

Sharon McMahon

I am a product of public schools, first in Ohio, then in Texas. I moved to California after two years of studying music and business at North Texas State University, and finished my B.A. in Liberal Studies at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). I worked as a substitute teacher for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) while continuing my studies at CSULB, and earned a Multiple Subject K-12 Teaching Credential and M.A. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education. I spent the next nine years working as a counselor and case worker with women coming out of the state prison system. When I had my three children I left the workforce, and dedicated the next twenty years to being a stay-at-home mom and school and community volunteer.

I recently re-entered the workforce and completed a six-month staff assignment at Long Beach City College (LBCC) in Disabled Student Services (DSPS). I found working with community college students to be very rewarding, both personally and professionally. I was inspired by their determination to better themselves, and also saddened that they faced so many barriers. My goal is to help make the journey from high school to college, to career, more efficient, worthwhile, and rewarding for all students. I currently work in Academic Affairs at LBCC, assisting the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Department of Institutional Effectiveness.

Gregory Mortensen

Mr. Mortensen is a graduate of the Advanced Drama program of The Juilliard School for the Performing Arts in New York City. He holds a B.A. and M.F.A. in both Acting& Directing. He has performed on Broadway, Off- Broadway and many Regional professional companies. He is also a produced playwright, screen writer and Theatrical producer.

He has been a teaching faculty member at Long Beach State University, Los Angeles City College, Cerritos College, Rancho Santiago College as well as a Full-time Professor at Long Beach City College for eleven years. Professor Mortensen has taught a myriad of Theatre Arts curriculum as well as creating the Long Beach City College Theatre Academy and a twelve-course certificate program on “The Art of Show Business.” He has also taught s series of Humanities classes regarding “Hollywood vs. History”.

Mr. Mortensen enjoys keeping his hand in show business and maintains a working relationship with “The Actor’s Studio” “Brick Entertainment” and “Shakespeare L.A.” He is member of S.A.G., Dramatists Guild & Actor’s Equity Association.

Suman Mudunuri

I am an Assistant Professor in the Computer and Office Studies (COS) department at Long Beach City College. I hold a Master of Business Administration from Loma Linda University (LLU) and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Currently I am working on my Education Doctorate in Community College Leadership through National American University.

My experience in the field of education includes a range of adult-centered learning at the vocational and college level.  Through teaching I have learned many invaluable lessons in student learning. According to students, their sense of belonging is fostered by an instructor’s soft skills; their warmth and openness, encouragement of student participation, enthusiasm, friendliness and helpfulness, and overall organization and preparedness for class. I have always made it my mission to encompass all those valuable components in my classroom and meeting students where they are.

What brings me the most joy is seeing their eyes light up when they understand an idea or concept.  By creating immersive learning experiences I am able to make a difference in hundreds of lives every semester. I consider myself one of the lucky people in the workforce that has the privilege of doing the work I am most passionate about it; which is changing lives.

Heidi Neu-Stephens

I am a product of the community college system and fairly representative of our typical student population. Though I transferred to CSULB as an engineering major, I eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Arts in Linguistics with a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.

I have varied experience in post-secondary education, with classroom and administrative experience in the areas of Learning Assistance, Adult Education, English and ESL.  I’ve also had opportunities to work on career pathways and with CTE faculty and students. I enjoy keeping abreast of current and emerging needs and issues in post-secondary education.  Currently I am especially interested in curriculum design, implementation and leadership, as I am chair of our college’s technical review committee.  I enjoy creative problem solving, working on collaborative team projects and leading staff development, which I’ve had opportunities to do via leadership roles on our Promise Pathways initiative, the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and the Multidisciplinary Success Centers. When I can see the big-picture vision, I feel comfortable managing larger projects. Of course my “day job” as instructional specialist provides me with opportunity to learn about best practices for student success, which I enjoy sharing with my colleagues.  Keeping my skills up-to-date is important to me, and I am proud of the fact that I’m adept at Google Drive applications, have learned to use Camtasia and am successfully using our learning management system.

Born in Long Beach, I grew up in Torrance, California, and have lived in Redondo Beach and Athens, Greece.  I’m married and have three beautiful children with whom I have a lot of fun.  When I get time to myself, it’s usually spent reading, cooking, gardening, drawing or exercising; I love dancing, skiing and attempting to surf. I recently stepped down from a 10-year volunteer chairmanship of an art program serving 900 students in my children’s public school district.

John Pope

John Pope is the Director of College Advancement, Public Affairs and Governmental Relations at Long Beach City College, a 25,000-student campus recognized nationally for innovative programs such as the Long Beach College Promise. Mr. Pope oversees all major communications, marketing and public information functions of the college, including media, government and community relations, branding, promotional materials, advertisements, special events, crisis communications and more.  Prior to joining LBCC in January 2015, Mr. Pope served in management positions in the Port of Long Beach’s Communications and Community Relations Division for nine years, beginning in 2005. During this time he was centrally involved in the Port’s “Green Port” branding initiative and his projects included oversight of the communications and public outreach for a $1.3 billion construction project to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge.

Before beginning his career at the Port, Mr. Pope spent twelve years writing and editing for major media outlets in the greater Los Angeles market, including  the Los Angeles Times and the Long Beach Press-Telegram, where he also served on the newspaper's five-member editorial board. Mr. Pope holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Arts degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton. He is a member of the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO), The Community College Public Relations Organization (CCPRO), the Long Beach Rotary and Long Beach Toastmasters Gavel Club 11. He and his family make their home in Long Beach.

Amy Smith

Amy M. Smith is the Director of Career Pathways Support Services in the Student Services division at Long Beach City College (LBCC). Amy is dedicated to the development of K-16 pathways, which provide students with equitable, effective and efficient roadmaps to follow to reach their educational and occupational goals. In particular, she is focusing on aligning systems between educational partners, increasing early college credit opportunities for K-12 students, expanding student engagement in work-based learning, and delivering comprehensive employment preparation services for LBCC students. Amy joined Long Beach City College in 2010, and previously worked in the areas of resource development and workforce development. During her tenure at the College, she has contributed to acquiring more than $20 million in grant funding and managed multiple special-funded Career Technical Education (CTE) and K-16 pathways projects. Before joining LBCC, she coordinated workforce development grant activities at the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department.  Additionally, Amy currently serves on the board of directors for Long Beach Career-Linked Learning (LB CaLL), an intermediary organization focused on increasing work-based learning opportunities for K-12 students in the Long Beach Unified School District, LBCC and California State University, Long Beach. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Sonoma State University, and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration & Leadership from Adams State University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Community College Leadership from National American University.

Katie Sundara

I have served as the Career Technical Education Coordinator in the Academic Affairs department at Long Beach City College since July 2015. I oversee the day-to-day activities for Perkins and other CTE related grants; working with CTE instructors and Deans to support and enhance CTE programs for LBCC. Los Angeles Unified School District –Division of Adult and Career Education. I served as a technology instructor and CTE coordinator based at a Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center. An adult school that also served as an alternative high school located in South Central Los Angeles. I spent over a decade working with adults and traditional age school students who were very diverse in race and income. National Girls Collaborative Project—Engaging Girls in STEM, Association for Career & Technical Education and NEW-Nontraditional Employment for Women. I am a child of immigrants who fled a war torn country, leaving Laos when I was 6 months old; arriving in Anaheim (Disneyland) when I was 2, after living in a refuge in camp in Thailand. I am part of a first generation of siblings/cousins to access higher education and will be the first of my siblings who will receive a doctorate. My partner, Shannon, and I will be celebrating 10 years in 2017. Our little family, that currently includes two dogs and a nine-month old baby girl and we love the great outdoors. We do a week long camping trip everyone summer, this previous summer was at the Grand Canyon and next year we will attempt for Yellowstone. Lastly, I am a Candy Crush expert! 🙂