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Meet the staff

Dr Marty Harris

President

*Presidential Cabinet Member

PhD, Washington State University 

MS, Washington State University 

BA, University of California, Irvine

Dr. Martin Harris holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Irvine. He received an M.S. and PhD in clinical psychology from Washington State University (APA accredited). After, completing a professional psychology internship at UCLA (APA accredited), Dr. Harris carried out postdoctoral work at Cornell University. While at Cornell he developed a research program for students interested in working with migrant farm workers. Dr. Harris received several university awards for this work including the President’s “James A. Perkins Prize” award for Interracial Understanding and Harmony.

Subsequent to Cornell, Dr. Harris served as a Program Officer for the American Psychological Association. In this role, he managed and wrote grants from several federal agencies including, NIMH, NIA, SAMHSA, CSAP, CSAT & others.

Dr. Harris has served as a tenured faculty member at Vanguard University and Bethany University and has taught and/or served as adjunct faculty at Washington State University, Pepperdine University and UCI College of Medicine. Administratively, Dr. Harris has served in the roles of Department Chair, Graduate Director, Associate Provost, Acting Provost, Diversity Officer and Vice President of Enrollment, Advancement and Student Life.

From 2009-2012, Dr. Harris served as Campus President/Dean of Academic Affairs for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, Westwood and Irvine Campuses.  In this role he oversaw all aspects of campus operations, student services, and academic house including all faculty hires, annual program review, academic program growth, curriculum design, program specific accreditation, regional accreditation issues, implementation and related policy and practice.

For over ten years Dr. Harris has served as a pastor (licensed and ordained) to a homeless church in Santa Ana, California.

Fluent in both English and Spanish, Dr. Harris has carried out research, developed academic partnerships, lectured and facilitated faculty exchanges with universities in Mexico, including CETY’s University in Baja California and La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico City). He currently teaches counseling psychology (in Spanish) at Azusa Pacific University.

From 1995 to present, Dr. Harris has served on the APA Minority Fellowship Program initial review board. In this capacity, he has helped allocate millions to funding doctoral students specializing in clinical psychology, gerontology, neuroscience and medicine.  Dr. Harris has participated as a presenter, consultant or grant reviewer to several state and federal agencies. Including, the U.S. Department of Justice OJJP & ONDCP, SAMHSA, TCADA, HACU and others. In 2003, he developed and directed the first ever federally contracted conference (CSAP) on the efficacy of faith-based approaches to substance abuse treatment, prevention and education.

A published researcher, Dr. Harris serves on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture. Dr. Harris has extensive experience in developing, and leading academic programming, including those that require specific accreditation and or state approvals. These include programs for licensing in psychology, marriage and family therapy and applied behavior analysis.

Dr. Harris more recently served as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean, College of Science and Integrative Health, and Professor (full) at Southern California University of Health Sciences.

Nehemias Romero

Provost

*Presidential Cabinet Member

 

MA, Fuller Theological Seminary

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

Nehemias graduated from LABI in ‘09, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Vanguard University in ‘11, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in ‘15. He currently works at LABI as Dean of Academic Affairs and as an Adjunct Professor teaching courses such as New Testament, Old Testament, Kingdom of God, and Penteostal Theology. He also oversees the LABI's accreditation progress, as well as LABI's application for federal student aid. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles, CA. 

Ruben Mora

Campus Pastor & Vice President of External Relations

*Presidential Cabinet Member

MS, Vanguard University (candid)

BA, Latin American Theological Seminary
Asc, LABI College

Ruben originally joined LABI College in 2010 working as CFO until 2018 and as Vice-President of Advancement until his new appointment.

Prior to joining LABI College, Ruben worked as District Youth Director for Southern Pacific District from 1998 to 2006 and as Christian Education Director from 1998 to 2002. He has also done extensive missionary outreaches through Central and South America, Europe and Africa. He has led many Missions Trips into various settings, most recently leading some LABI College students into the jungles of Ecuador to minister the Waodani tribe. He has preached the Gospel in many different settings, some include prisons, conventions (youth, men, and women), camps, churches, universities, hospitals, stadiums, and multiple street evangelism settings. He has seen countless numbers of people come to Christ because of his efforts. He has also assisted other evangelistic outreaches as crusade director.

Ruben is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and Southern Pacific District since July 2008. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Theological Studies from Vanguard University. He is an LABI College alumnus (1995) and Latin American Theological Seminary (2006).

Gabriela Mora-Alvarez

Chief Financial Officer

*Presidential Cabinet Member

MBA, Azusa Pacific University (candid)

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

 

Gabriel Mora-Alvarez is both an LABI and Vanguard Alumni. Gabriela serves as the Chief Financial Officer, some of her duties include overseeing Human Resources and payroll, as well as student accounts, student payments, accounts receivable and payable, donations, employee hiring, projections, and all departmental budgets.

Gabriela has worked with LABI since 2015. She is passionate about doing business as her ministry and loves being able to not only work within the college operations but also being able to pour out into the students. Currently, Gabriela is an MBA candid at Azusa Pacific University.

Erika Ramirez

Office and Facilities Manager

*Presidential Cabinet Member

Asc, LABI College (Candid)

 

Erika Ramirez serves as Assistant to the President and Front Office Manager and has been part of the Staff since 2017. She has a very caring, charismatic, and loving heart that welcomes everyone who steps into the campus. Her administrative, organizational, and detail-oriented persona make her the perfect fit for her role. 

Erika and her husband have served as pastors for plenty of years and planted a church in Maui Hawaii in 2008. Currently, they serve as lead pastors at Centro Cristiano Kairos in the city of Baldwin Park. She has four beautiful daughters and one granddaughter whom she loves dearly.

Steve Valdez

Librarian

*Presidential Cabinet Member

MS, Emporia State University

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

 

Steve Valdez is the Librarian at LABI College. In this role, Steve manages the library team by providing support to all aspects of the Dr. Simon Melendres Library, including providing support for research resources, and leading the Dr. Joel Torres Writing Center.

A big believer in higher education, Steve supports the LABI College community by maintaining the library. Steve Valdez is a qualified Librarian and holds a Master of Library Science degree from Emporia State University.  

Steve is no stranger to the field of librarianship. Having spent 2 years as a Library Associate at Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, California and 2 years as Library Director Librarian at LABI College where he has grown into the school’s Librarian.

Prior to starting his work in the library field, Steve also has worked in business administration, Steve spent 2 years as a Edward B. Cole Academy public charter school.

Has a Alumni of LABI College, Class of 1999, Steve has a heart for LABI College, the students, and the mission of the school.

Cindy Miranda Storey

Dean of Spiritual Formation

*Presidential Cabinet Member

 

Cydelia "Cindy" Storey, has a passion for education, the church and community. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California, (B.A., Sociology) and Biola University (M.A., Intercultural Studies) While she was at USC, she worked at the Joint Educational Project, a service-learning program, in which she negotiated with professors for class involvement. She recruited fellow students to volunteer as tutors and mentors to underserved elementary students. She also trained, monitored and graded USC students in their volunteering efforts and volunteered her time befriending and offering support to women and children at an abuse shelter in South Central Los Angeles, CA. This began her experience working  with and in a community of the marginalized. Over the last twenty years she has served as vice-president and conference coordinator for Tim Storey Ministry, co-host as "Hope for LA" television program for TBN. She served as coordinator of S.T.I.T.C.H.E.S. ( saving the inner city through Christ's hope and eternal salvation), scheduling training seminars and developing cross-cultural Christian curriculum for sites in South Central LA and East Los Angeles. She has served as associate pastor for Living Faith in La Mirada, CA and has been professor at the Latin American Bible Institute in La Puente, CA.( She is founder of "sHe community ", an English women's ministry for the Southern Pacific District Region 6, that develops and equips '21st century women, to live a Proverbs 31lives'.

Marilyn Campos

Director of Admissions 

*Presidential Cabinet Member

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

 

Marilyn Campos after graduating from LABI College in 2014 pursued higher education and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Vanguard University of Southern California. Her experience as a LABI Alumni and her integration of education makes a great addition to the LABI Staff. She loves to help and guide those who have a calling and willingness to pursue higher education to serve God’s kingdom. Currently, Marilyn is serving at Echoes Church, a Church Plant in the city of South Gate.

Jose Luis Saavedra

Dean of Certificate Program 

Jose Luis Saavedra began his work in Latin American Bible Institute (LABI) in November 2010. planning, organizing, directing, and controlling extension centers. 

He came to LABI with extensive experience in economic and financial areas, working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as Coordinator and Director of the PL-480 program at the agency Project Concern International (PCI) regional area  in Bolivia. The developmental programs that he directed were focused on improving food security in countries of extreme poverty. Prior to that, Jose worked as Chief Financial Officer for Bread of Life, a company distributing Christian literaturenationwide.

Jose received his degree in Financial Auditing from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia. His postgraduate work was in Public Finances with a minor in development and strategic planning, with a specialty in international development. He did his biblical-theological studies at Alberto Mottesi University and Fuller Theological Seminary, obtaining a Master's Degree in Arts, Theology and Ministry.

 

In his newly expanded role, The Dean of LABI Extension provides visionary leadership for all LABI Extension sites, leading the development of a strategic plan that articulates a unified vision for the extension program and contributes powerfully to the fulfillment of LABI’s vision. In addition to strong in-class programs, the Dean will explore and lead the development of alternative deliveries such as online, hybrid, and accelerated programming. The Dean works closely with faculty and staff to assure that students receive first-rate instruction and spiritual formation consistent with the mission of LABI. 

Berenice Valencia

Registrar 

Asc, LABI College

 

Berenice Valencia was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved to La Puente, CA in 2017 to pursue higher education as one of our students here at LABI College. She graduated from the Associate's in Bible and Ministry program in the Spring of 2019 and is now a part of our Academic Team as the Registrar and Academic Support. Berenice has a love for people that is expressed through her relationships, work, educational goals, and ministry. 

Yvette Robles

Dean of Students

*Presidential Cabinet Member 

MS, La Verne University

BA, Bethany College

_

Yvette Robles earned a bachelors degree in Psychology from Bethany College and a Masters of Science in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. Her leadership experiences have ranged from church administration to youth ministries and adolescent probation programs from the juvenile justice system.

 

She has extensive years as an executive assistant and administrator at Centro Cristiano Las Buenas Nuevas. She also comes from a psychology background where she served as a mental health coordinator for youth. Her passion is empowering current and future leaders in healthy spirituality to enhance Kingdom work.  As Ministry Formation Coordinator Yvette she focuses on internships, practicum, chapel planning, and bilingual ministries. Yvette is from Whittier and serves alongside the Director of Student Life.

Caleb Vazquez

Admissions Specialist

MFT, California Baptist University (Candid)

BA, Vanguard University

Asc, LABI College

 

Caleb Vazquez has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Vanguard University and is currently pursuing his Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy at California Baptist University. Caleb is a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God and Southern Pacific District (SPD) and currently in the ordination process. He serves at his church Hemet Assembly as a Youth Pastor and enjoys working with youth. He also serves as Pastors Kids Director for SPD.  His passion for youth and for ministry make him an excellent Admissions Specialist.

Antonio Reyes

Assistant Campus Pastor

Asc, LABI College

Pastor Antonio Reyes joined the LABI team in 2018 as the Men’s Campus Pastor.

In 2019 he became Assistant to the Campus Pastor and has been working very closely with the pastoral leadership to create a great environment for the students. 

In addition, Antonio is the Campus Pastor of Echoes, and Revive church, in the city of South Gate, California. He’s a dynamic communicator and loves to challenge others to be the best version of themselves. Him and his wife, Gabriela, are committed to the local church and are convinced that the greatest gift they can give someone that walks through the doors of their church is a relationship with Jesus.

Johnmark Rivera

Residence Director

Asc, LABI College

Johnmark Rivera is an LABI alumni class of 2019. He has served for 10 years at IDV Church and he now serves as Residence Director, Admissions Specialist, and Associate campus pastor here at LABI College. He strives in excellence and is passionate about seeing young people answer the call of God and helping them prepare for ministry.

Terry Bonfil

Assistant to CFO & Human Resources

*Presidential Cabinet Member

BS, California State University Dominguez Hills (Candid)

Asc, LABI College

Terry Bonfil is the Director of Human Resources and Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer at LABI College. As Director of Human Resources, Terry Bonfil helps oversee the management and development of employees here at LABI College. As Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer, Terry Bonfil helps assist in the small-scale operations within the Business & Finance Office, such as overseeing student accounts and the implementation of financial policies, rules, and regulations. 

 

Terry has been part of LABI's legacy since 2016, when she was admitted as a transfer student from Cal State University, Northridge. She became a LABI Alumni in May 2018. During her time as a student, Terry served as Academic Support to the Dean of Academics in 2017. Later in October 2018, Terry was invited to join LABI''s staff once again to work alongside the Chief Financial Officer where she continues to serve to this day. In the near future to come, Terry Bonfil will also serve as the appointed Title IX Officer for LABI College. 

Joshua Escandon

Director of Marketing & Enrollment Management

*Presidential Cabinet Member

Asc, LABI College

Josh is a very passionate creative mind with excellent skills, he takes his creativeness to heart and his work speaks tremendously of his art. He has been part of the LABI Staff as a creative and Director of Marketing since 2015. He also serves as part of the Creative Team at one of the most relevant churches in Los Angeles, Mosaic South Pasadena.

 

Josh is passionate about bettering the aesthetics and branding of the school in hopes that he will continue to inspire others to pursue and express their creativity through the gift they have been given.

Chef Mario Ramirez

Director of Dining Commons

Asc, LABI College

Alma Rincón

Spanish Certificate Program Office Assistant

Asc, LABI College

Ericka Alvarez

Assistant to the Chef

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