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Raymond Walters, Ph.D.
Graduated from APU: 2008
Bio: Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Raymond Walters attended Azusa Pacific from 2005 to 2008, graduating summa cum laude from the Honors Program with a B.A. in Psychology. He then attended the University of Notre Dame, where he completed a Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology in 2014. During his time at Notre Dame he served as a faculty representative and co-coordinator for the Quantitative Studies Group, was recognized for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching by the Department of Psychology, and was named a Graduate Fellow of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics.
Dr. Walters currently works as a postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, where his research focuses on developing and evaluating statistical methods that offer new insights into the role of genetics in psychiatric disorders. His work on genetic modeling, machine learning algorithms, and applications of novel statistical methods has been published by a number of peer reviewed journals, including Bioinformatics, the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Nature. In 2014 he received the Thompson Award from the Behavior Genetics Association for a presentation of his work on the heritability of subjective health. He looks forward to contributing to the international collaborative effort of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium to advance our understanding of psychiatric disease.
Acknowledgements: Raymond thanks Dr. Annie Tsai and Dr. Alan Oda at APU, and Dr. Gitta Lubke and Dr. Scott Maxwell at the University of Notre Dame for their invaluable contributions to his academic development. He also thanks his family, friends and colleagues - too numerous to list here - for the love, camaraderie, laughs, late night chats, and general support which have made each new step not only possible, but enjoyable.
APU Statement: “My time at APU was full of formative experiences, both professionally and personally, for which I am grateful. The APU faculty played a critical role in introducing me to the field of quantitative psychology, and providing me a first taste of a career in research.”
Graduated from APU: May 2013
Bio: Growing up in Nigeria, West Africa opened my eyes to both the beautiful and the tragic parts of life. Traumatic experiences filled the community due to tribal wars and religious disputes. Yet I also witnessed the depth of resiliency and strength in the communities I lived in. Currently, I have dedicated my education to the pursuit of understanding trauma and how it impact young children’s lives. I am a PhD Clinical Psychology student at Alliant International University in San Diego. I have been given incredible opportunities to study trauma with nationally recognized experts in the trauma field. My program trains professionals in the research field as well as skills for clinical and therapeutic use.
Acknowledgements: PhD Clinical Psychology student at Alliant International University in San Diego; Research Assistant at the Trauma Research Institute with Dr. Constance Dalenberg; Research Assistant at the UCSD Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory working with children with Autism and EEG data; Advanced Statistics Teaching Assistant at Alliant International University; Intern at the San Diego Center for Children, a residential facility for children.
-Won “Outstanding Poster Award” for Division 56. Main presenter. Livesey, L., Ardill, M., Schawb, B.M., Johnson, A.I., Greenbaum, B., & Dalenberg, C.J. (2014). Non-Sexual Motivations of Child Molesters. Poster for the 122nd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.
APU Statement: "Attending APU brought me opportunities to connect with friends and professors who loved the Lord and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. My passion to be the hands and feet of Jesus was enriched through my experience in psychology at APU. I would like to thank Dr. Eck and Dr. Ecklund for believing that I could become a psychologist one day. They pushed me towards earning my doctorate in Clinical Psychology by encouraging me and guiding me along the way. I truly would not be where I am today without them."
Jill Alonzo, LMFT.
Graduated from APU: 2005
Bio: Jill Alonzo (Hoekman) is a bilingual licensed marriage and family therapist who has been working in the psychology field for 10 years. In her private practice in Monrovia, CA, she specializes in working with depression, anxiety, self-identity concerns, relationship difficulties and anger management therapy, and recovery for victims of sexual and physical abuse.Acknowledgements: After graduating from APU in '05, Jill graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary, accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), with two Master's degrees: Marriage and Family Therapy and Cross-Cultural Studies.Jill is a clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Jill has over ten years of experience working within the mental health field. Her extensive experience with Latino clients, parent-teen conflict resolution and relationship therapy. Jill is a professional commentator on family relationships sharing on a wide range of topics including parent-child relationships, parent-teen conflict resolution, postpartum depression, and anxiety. She contributes to publications such as: The Pasadena Star News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, and the Monrovia Weekly. In 2010, Jill was invited to speak on the subject of child abuse to the Spanish-speaking community on a syndicated show which aired on Telemundo 52. Jill is also a sought-after public speaker and has presented at the following locations: Arcadia Mother of Preschoolers (MOPs), APU, Chino MOPs, Crosspoint Church, First Church of the Nazarene MOPs (Pasadena), Glenkirk Church- iMoms (Glendora), Lake Ave Church MOPs, among many others.
APU Statement: “While at APU, I gained a firm foundation towards my career by participating in mentorships, the PEW College Society, research assistance, Psi Chi, and studying abroad in Costa Rica."
Sarah Wentworth, B.A.
Graduated from APU: December 2013
Bio: I grew up in the San Diego area to a family that always emphasized education and allowed me to pursue whatever dreams I had. Although I had desired to attend a different school, I ended up attending Azusa Pacific to pursue my dreams of working in the field of psychology, specifically in suicide prevention. The Lord placed this passion in my heart after losing a friend to suicide in high school and has recently been calling me to pursue a Masters in Suicidology beginning this year. My time at APU allowed me to pursue research in suicide prevention and intervention under Dr. Alan Oda and Dr. Priscilla Diaz –Castaneda. Since graduating from APU, I have worked as a addictions counselor at an adolescent drug and alcohol recovery center and now serve as an Administrative Director for the California School Project, a ministry that mentors high school students in how to do outreach for the gospel on their campuses.
Acknowledgements: Throughout college, I was a part of the Psi-Chi and Alpha Chi Honors Societies. I also had the privilege of presenting research at several conferences including the Association for Psychological Sciences in San Francisco, National Collegiate Honors Conference in Phoenix, New Orleans, and Boston, and the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology in Los Angeles. Upon graduating, I was awarded the Outstanding Senior Psychology Research Award.
APU Statement: “My time at Azusa Pacific had an incredible impact, not only on the direction of my career path, but also on my values and how I choose to live my life. Through many mentor relationship with professors, especially Dr. Alan Oda to whom I owe much of my growth and success, I was able to pursue my dreams and begin to grow into the person that Christ has created me to be. I had the privilege of being a studying under Dr. Priscilla Diaz-Castaneda, Dr. Rachel Castaneda, and Dr. Alan Oda in several different research capacities, in which I began to explore what I was passionate about. Each of these professors not only gave me the guidance and direction that I needed in order to succeed in my research endeavors, but also cared for and mentored me through many other aspects in life to help me become a well-rounded individual. I owe much of my success as an academic and as an individual to these incredible men and women of the Lord!