Our Faculty

Each faculty member possesses specialized knowledge and personal experience in the fields of entertainment and/or education that is vital to providing a real perspective into those careers.

Jessica Caravella - Music Department Co-Chair

BM, Vocal Performance, California State University, Fullerton, 2006.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Music Degree with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from Cal State Fullerton where she studied with Janet Smith. She also studied at Chapman University under the direction of Dr. William Hall. Her performance career has spanned the world of Opera, Musical Theatre, Disney and Pop. Favorite opera roles include: Magda in La Rondine by Puccini, Constance in Dialogue of the Carmelites by Poulenc, and both Cunegonde and Paquette in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Jessica has been a featured soloist with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of John Williams, and also in Disney at The Hollywood Bowl.

She was honored to be a part of the West Coast premiere of the new musical Falling for Eve, written by David Howard with music by Bret Simmons. She performed at Disneyland and could be seen and heard in the world-renowned acapella group Groove 66 under the direction of Deke Sharon. She has been a featured singer at Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach and her voice has been featured at various theme parks including Sea World. She has sung background vocals for Gladys Knight, Sandi Patty, and Jodi Benson to name just a few. Jessica has also toured and been a featured soloist with The Boston Pops.

Jessica has been a Casting Director for Disneyland Entertainment and is also sought after as a Music Director. She has worked for Disneyland California and Mattel in this capacity.

As a Vocal Instructor, Jessica teaches Musical Theatre, Pop and Opera. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) and The Voice Foundation (VF). She is certified to teach Speech Level Singing and also certified in Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy. Her students have taken first place in both classical and Musical Theatre competitions in the state and participated nationally in major televised vocal competitions. You can see many of her students on the Broadway stage and in many national touring companies.

Aaron Kolberg - Music Department Co-Chair

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MM, Conducting, Azusa Pacific University, CA 2014.

BA, Commercial Music Arranging, Azusa Pacific University, CA, 2002.

Aaron Kolberg has spent the last 25 years dedicated to the study of music. He received his B.A. in Commercial Music Arranging and his M.M. in Conducting both from Azusa Pacific University. He spent 13 years teaching music and developing music programs at the High School level from Pasadena to Pomona. He has also had the pleasure of musically directing over 30 musicals at the High School, University, and Community Theatre levels. In addition to his teaching career, Aaron has also continued his pursuits in songwriting and freelance composition. He had the privilege of helping to establish the State of the Art recording studio at The SAE Studios in Pomona, and held the position of Head Engineer. Aaron has been studying voice for over 28 years under some of the most prestigious vocal instructors in the industry, and has been utilizing that knowledge in the instruction of voice privately, and now here at The Young Americans College for the Performing Arts. As Co-Chair of the Music Department, Aaron is excited to see the programs continue to challenge students and prepare them for the rigorous world of performance.

E. Jingle de Niet - Dance Department Chair

BS, Human Services, California State University Fullerton, CA, 2008.

Professional dancer with Dance Theater Philippines, Berkeley Ballet Theatre, Ontario Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Pacifica.

A professional ballet dancer for 23 years, Jingle was a Soloist with Dance Theatre Philippines, Ontario Ballet Theatre, Canada, and a Principal Dancer with Ballet Pacifica, USA. Jingle’s classical ballet training was with the Royal Academy of Dance – Philippines and passed all examinations under the R.A.D. She advanced her studies with various teachers in the Philippines, Canada, and the United States. Most recent influences are Molly Lynch, Janek Schergen, David Allan and Alaine Haubert. As a ballet instructor, she uses methods based on English and American styles that emphasize proper technique and placement required in classical ballet.

Kim Wimmer - Theatre Department Chair

MA, Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 2016

BA, Musical Theatre, Psychology minor, Birmingham Southern College, cum laude, 1993

Member of SAG, AFTRA, EQUITY.

Kim Wimmer has a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from The University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre and Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College. She was Miss Alabama and the Miss America Quality of Life Award winner in 1992.

In addition to serving as the Theatre Department Chair she is also on the faculty of the MAPP program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kim is committed to empowering performing artists to bolster their resilience, master their mindset, and flourish in their personal and professional lives. Free information and educational content can be accessed through www.TheInvincibleArtist.com or https://www.facebook.com/theinvincibleartist/.

Kim began her acting career working in Disney shows in Florida, Japan, New York, and California. She appeared off-broadway in Mr Pimm Passes By as well as at regional theaters around the country including Yale Rep (First Lady) and Indiana Rep ( world premiere of Les Trois Dumas.) She has starred in feature film and prime time network television, but she is likely best known for her role as the psycho-socialite Elyce Cantwell on Comedy Central’s Strip Mall for two seasons.

As the lead singer for the band, Clockwork, Kim and the group served as the house band at the Mirage, then the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip for 6 years.

In addition to teaching at Young Americans, at UPenn in Philadelphia, and in Hollywood at Lesly Kahn & Co, Kim continues to write music, articles and books, record, perform, coach, lead corporate trainings, teach workshops and online classes, and present at International academic conferences. She loves crafting, watercolors, gardening, entertaining, and cooking but detests the clean-up. She lives with her husband, Mark Totty, and their hilarious dog, Bodhi, in the foothills of Los Angeles.

Mohammad Shahismann - Breadth of Knowledge Department

MA, English, California State University Fullerton, 2009.

BA, English, California State University Fullerton, 2004.

Director of the Chaffey Review Music Compilation.

Co-Director of the Chaffey Review Film Festival.

Editor and Columnist of the Visual Massacre.

I was born in Shiraz, Iran, and my family came to the United States due to the war that was occurring between Iran and Iraq. Being a book nerd, pursuing English as a major was an obvious decision. After receiving an M.A. in English from California State University, Fullerton, I taught at different community colleges and at CSUF before becoming the Breadth of Knowledge Department Chair at the Young Americans.

Jonelle Allen - Theatre

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Born in New York City, Ms. Allen made her Broadway debut at the age of six in The Wisteria Trees. Allen returned to Broadway for a revival of Finian’s Rainbow, was in the cast of the original off-Broadway production of Hair at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, and also appeared in George M! before receiving critical acclaim and a Tony Award nomination for Two Gentlemen of Verona, which earned her New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Theatre World, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance.

Allen’s film credits include Cotton Comes to HarlemThe Hotel New Hampshire, and The River Niger, for which she won an NAACP Image Award. Other television appearances include Barney MillerThe Love BoatAll in the FamilyTrapper John, M.D.Hill Street BluesCagney and LaceyER, and Girlfriends.

Her most notable roles are Grace, the entrepreneurial cafe owner in the old west, that she played for seven years on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, as well as the flamboyant and outspoken Doreen Jackson on the NBC soap opera, Generations, and Lucinda Cavender, the vampire witch in the horror comedy film The Midnight Hour.

Roger Castellano - Theatre

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BA, Theatre, California State University Fullerton

Roger has studied with the prestigious Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Musical Theatre Workshop, holds a B.A. in theatre from California State University at Fullerton, and has been a guest lecturer for the University of California at Irvine, the University of California at Los Angeles, Pomona College, and Fullerton College.

He works extensively as a director/choreographer of theatrical and special events, creating original shows, parades and special events for Sesame Street Live, Sanrio Inc., and the Walt Disney Company. Recent theatrical credits include Frozen, Live at the Hyperion for the Walt Disney Company, the World Premier of South Street at the Pasadena Playhouse, World Premier of The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Laguna Playhouse, West Coast Premier of The Real Housewives of Toluca Lake at the Falcon Theatre, Legally Blonde and Xanadu for Music Theatre of Wichita and productions of Hello, Dolly!, Me & My Girl, and Show Boat in Japan.  Theatrical awards include: LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award Nominee for Best Choreographer (Jekyll & Hyde – Cabrillo Music Theatre, The Andrews Brothers – Musical Theatre West); LA Times Critic’s Pick (Me & My Girl – Musical Theatre West); Drama Logue’s Critic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – Best Choreography (A Little Night Music – The Center Theatre Group, La Cage Aux Folles and Oliver! – The Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities); Inland Theatre League Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – Best Director (Suessical – Performance Riverside); AriZoni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – Best Choreography (A Chorus Line – The Phoenix Theatre).

Roger had the pleasure of performing with The Young Americans from 1975-1981.

Gary Delk - Music

MA, Music Education, College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, 1966.

BA, Music Education, Otterbein College, OH, 1963.

Gary has taught music and handbells in schools for over 32 years. Gary is a master conductor, clinician, and teacher for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers annual conference. Has toured as associate director with The Young Americans for 34 years.

Joshua Foy - Music

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MFA, Performance, Composition, Herb Alpert School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, 2009.

BM, Music Composition, Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, Chapman University, CA, 2007.

Joshua is educator, composer, and pianist. He received his Bachelor’s of Music from Chapman University in Music Composition and his Master of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts in their Performer/Composer program. He has had the privilege of teaching at the California Institute of the Arts, and Duke University. He has served as the music director for the original musical In Bermuda! by playwright David Largman Murray and composer Bobby Halvorson which featured such actors as Bryce Dallas Howard and Josh Gad. He has also written award-winning film scores for The Newest Pledge, and (Romance) in the Digital Age.

Eric Furlong, Ed.D. - Communications

Ed.D. Organizational Leadership, Pepperdine University

MBA, Business Administration, Pepperdine University

BA, Liberal Studies, English Options, California State University, Long Beach

Shortly after earning his BA in English from CSULB, Eric returned to the classroom to earn an MBA from Pepperdine University.  After several years of holding leadership positions in marketing, finance, and operations in companies ranging from small software start-ups to large international corporations such as Epson America, Eric decided to pursue his passion for education.  With the support of his wife, Betsy, Eric went back to Pepperdine to earn his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership.  While working on his dissertation, Eric began teaching one class as an adjunct professor, and was later hired into a full-time academic administration position at Corinthian Colleges.  Having developed a passion for teaching rather than administering, Eric is proud to now be back in the classroom yet again, this time as an adjunct professor.  Eric has taught at Irvine Valley College, Santa Ana College, Fullerton College, Cal State Fullerton, and of course online at Young Americans College of the Performing Arts. In his free time, Eric enjoys cycling (both road and mountain), surfing, scuba diving, and other outdoors activities.

Dr. Gordon Goodman - Psychology & Sociology

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Ph.D., Entertainment/Clinical Psychology, Fielding Graduate University

MA, Media Psychology, Fielding Graduate University

MS, Counseling Psychology, California Coast University

BA, Business Administration, Loyola Marymount University

ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS:

Goodman, G. (2013 August). Actors and Fear: The role of Stage Fright. Poster presented at

the APA convention, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Goodman, G., & Kaufman, J. (In Review). Gremlins in my head:

Predicting stage fright in Elite Actors.

 

Gordon Goodman is an American psychologist known for research in the area of performance effects on the autonomic nervous system and the application of psychological principles in entertainment venues. As a professional singer, he has worked with Henry Mancini, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Jerry Herman, James Newton Howard, John Rutter and has appeared as a soloist with symphonies around the world.  An LA Ovation Award nominee for best actor, Gordon has appeared on Film, TV, or Stage with Bob Hope, Harve Presnell, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Tim Curry, Craig T. Nelson, Ed Asner, Barry Levinson, John Raitt, Leslie Uggams, Roger Moore; worked with comedians such as Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Shelly Berman, Rich Little, etc.  He has also been involved in all areas of pre and post production, including voice-over, film editing/compositing, and animation.  He is a published author and composer, an accomplished professional painter, illustrator, and graphic artist. He has two Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in psychology.  Dr. Goodman (“Doc”) has received commendations from both the California State Senate and the California State Assembly for his contributions to the arts.

JR Gooseberry - Dance

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J.R. Gooseberry is originally from Apple Valley, CA. He joined The Young Americans after high school in 2005. J.R. toured 13 times performing and teaching kids as the group’s lead male dancer, stage director, and company manager throughout 20 different countries including Japan, Russia, Germany, Spain, China, and South Africa. He has also performed twice in the 2nd longest running dinner theater in America at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

After his years with The Young Americans, he taught at a performing arts high school where he helped build the dance department from 3 to over 50 boys! He choreographed many school musicals such as Hairspray, Shrek the musical, and Aida. He even had the opportunity to write, produce, choreograph and direct 3 original shows. One of which, Blazing Tide, went on to be performed in Scotland at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

He is currently the Associate Choreographer of The Young Americans and a part of the dance faculty at The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts.

Alan Harper - Theatre

BA, Applied Studies, Summa Cum Laude, Brandman University, 2016

Founding Director of the StormSeekers Theatre Company. Former Staging Director with The Young Americans.

Brooke Harper - Music

BFA, Musical Theatre, California State University, Fullerton, 2002.

This sensational singer has traveled the world performing every style from Pop to Opera.

In between numerous theater engagements, Brooke sings in concerts, performs her own headliner shows, and has fronted bands on both coasts.   She has also performed at The Hollywood Bowl and Reprise!: L.A., where she shared the stage with some of the biggest stars, including John Lithgow, Kristen Chenoweth, and even Roger Daltrey!

While earning her degree from California State University, Fullerton she performed Shakespeare, Chekhov, British Comedy, and, of course, musical theater. She was a long time member of The Young Americans, where she currently teaches voice, and a frequent performer in regional theaters.  She has performed in 47 states.

Brooke has sung back-ups for Josh Groban and Sam Harris, been a featured vocalist at The Disneyland Resort, and she was a featured singer in A Tribute to Michael Jackson at The Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. She had the unique opportunity to see the world while traveling with the vocal quartet, Harmonix, on board the Crystal Symphony cruise ship. Her turn as Sylvia in Prather Entertainment’s tour of All Shook Up was met with rave reviews and standing ovations! www.brookeastonsings.com

Rozaena Naim - Mathematics

MA, Mathematics, California State University San Bernardino, CA, 2011

BS, Mathematics, California State University San Bernardino, CA, 2008

BA, Marketing, California State University San Bernardino, CA, 2008

Hi my name is Rozaena Naim, I teach Mathematics here at YA. I earned two Associate degrees at San Bernardino Valley College, one for Mathematics and one for Physics; I earned two Bachelors degrees at California State University San Bernardino, one for Mathematics and one for Marketing; at CSUSB I also obtained my Masters in Mathematics. I love math! But more than that, I love to teach math! It gives me pleasure when I can help my students overcome their math fears and actually start enjoying the subject! About my personal life, I got married in July 2013, got pregnant in August 2013 and had my first child, a gorgeous baby girl named Sofia, on June 6, 2014! I am living the nicest days of my life with her! I am working hard on being a caring mother and a great role model. I hope she likes math as much as I do! 🙂

Growing up in a musical family, I grew up having a passion for singing, dancing, and acting. Working here at the Young Americans has been one of the greatest things that have ever happened to me, I feel at home and I hope to continue working here for many more years to come.

Nada Nasserdeen - Music & Education

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MA, Education, Teacher Leadership

BA, Music, Vocal Performance, California State Long Beach

Executive Director of Arts, Encore Education Corporation.

Choral Director, Centennial High School, Corona, CA, 2 years

Performer, The Young Americans – 8 years

Staging Director, The Young Americans – 3 years

 

Nada is an accomplished woman with a diverse background. She has toured the world as a performance artist, has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and has coached and mentored thousands of individuals on the subjects of performing arts, self-empowerment, mindset, and leadership.

In 2004, Nada began traveling the world with The Young Americans, inspiring people in countries such as Russia, Japan, Gibraltar, and Spain. In 2011, Nada Lena became a top executive for an education corporation in Southern California, where she mentored a wide array of professionals in leadership and discussed best practices in teaching methods for K-12 students.

Nada has had the opportunity to speak and share her message as an educator, motivational speaker, facilitator, and thought leader across the United States, Lebanon, and Canada

Anna Ryu - Music

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MA, Piano Pedagogy, California State University, Fullerton, 2012.

Single Subject Teaching Credential, Music, University of Southern California, Irvine, 2014.

BM, Piano Performance, California State University, Fullerton, 2010.

Anna earned her Masters of Arts Degree in Piano Pedagogy in 2012 at California State University, Fullerton and received the Richard Chronister Piano Pedagogy Award upon graduating. In 2014, she completed her Teaching Credential in Music from University of California, Irvine and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Music in Piano Performance at Claremont Graduate University. She maintains an active career as a private piano teacher and an assistant band director at a public junior high school in Chino Hills. In 2015, she joined the music faculty of The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts and currently instructs music theory and group piano to all freshmen. Throughout her performing, teaching and academic career she accredits her teachers, family, and foremost God for her emerging success.

Patricia Shanks - Music

BS, Business & Management, University of Redlands, CA, 1991,

Patricia Shanks has taught voice for the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), the Gold Coast Theater Conservatory in Thousand Oaks, and the Conservatory at CSU Dominguez Hills. She directed the Amadeus Boys and Girls Choirs at Moorpark College, and has taught for over four decades in public and private school and theater settings.

As a professional chorister and member of the American Guild of Musical Artists, Patricia performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale where she was hand-picked by founding director Roger Wagner to sing in the chorus with visiting touring company Deutsche Oper Berlin at the Los Angeles Music Center. She sang with Opera Pacific and was a soloist and section leader with the Hour of Power Choir at the famed Crystal Cathedral, as well as one of the recorded voices for the annual Glories of Christmas and Easter productions. She recorded background vocals for pianist Roger Williams at Capitol Records, has shared the stage with soap opera star Eric Braeden, and has sung before members of Congress and other dignitaries in private performances.

Recipient of an Emmy® Award for writing, Patricia is also a voice actor and a former arts and entertainment TV news show host and producer, a former arts and entertainment columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News, and former host of a weekly radio jazz program for NPR affiliate station KCLU.

Patricia is a member of Music Teachers Association of California, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, SAG-AFTRA, and AGMA.

Dr. Laura Schoepf - Biology

Ph.D., Biology, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina 1994.

BS, Biology, Suma Cum Laude, Valedictorian, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina 1985.

Postdoctoral study at University of California, Riverside, 1995-1997.

Postdoctoral Fellowship, awarded by the National Research Council of Argentina, 1995.

Dr. Schoepf is an Adjunct Instructor of Human Biology at The Young Americans College. She has been a scientist and biology instructor for over 20 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Universidad Nacional del Sur, in Argentina. Dr. Schoepf arrived at Riverside, CA in 1995 to take a full-time faculty position at the University of California, where she studied vitamin D and bone physiology. Dr. Schoepf is the translator of the Spanish version of Biology, Concepts and Relations, by Neil Campbell and collaborators, published by Pearson Education.

Valerie Stanford - Theatre

MFA, Acting, California State University Long Beach, CA 2016.

BFA, Theatre Arts, Salem State University, Massachusetts.

Valerie Stanford is a professional actress, stage manager, director, and teacher who has worked in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, and Cape Cod. Recent credits include: S/he and Me (The Los Angeles LGBT Center), Clean House and The Tale of the Allergists Wife (CalRep at the Queen Mary), In The Next Room, Boeing Boeing, I Am A Camera (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre) The Full MontyWonder of the World, Copenhagen (Provincetown Theatre), The Little Dog Laughed (Gablestage) The Real Thing (Boomerang Rep) Rumors, Run For Your Wife, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Into the Woods( Salem Theatre), SubUrbia, Oklahoma City (Speakeasy Repertory) Miss Julie, Bloody Poetry, Hamlet (Boston Art Theatre) The Marriage (Off-Broadway), The Sadness of Others and Not Dead Yet (LaMama ETC), Offending the Audience (Bailiwick Rep) and Yield (St. Mark’s Church). As director: Wit and Thom Pain: Based on Nothing (Provincetown Theatreand On An Average Day (Boston Center for the Arts). She received her BFA from Salem State University, and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. She is currently a member of Buzzworks Productions in Los Angeles.

Library Team

The library team consists of:

Library Director, Dr. Melody Hainsworth, MLIS, Ph.D.,

Cheri Rauser, MA, MLIS, Head of Reference Service and User Experience, and

Samantha Sinanan, MLIS, Manager of Technical Services and Library Instruction.

 

The team has decades of combined experience serving all types of libraries, specializing in academic librarianship, where they work with faculty and students to promote lifelong learning by fostering information literacy skills. The team is passionate about helping students through their academic careers and enjoys being an integral part of student success.