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New Year, New Professors

The new professors that joined the PLNU community this fall come from an array of backgrounds and expertise. The Point welcomes the latest faculty and wants to highlight them and their contributions to our university.  

Julia Sweeney, a PLNU alumna, is the new instructional services librarian and assistant professor who jumped at the opportunity to fill a job position and return to her roots in Point Loma. When Sweeney was a student here, she majored in Spanish and studied abroad in Chile for a semester. Her fondest college memories include “times spent connecting with people, especially hanging out doing nothing in particular with my roommates,” she says. Sweeney enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and participating in her local church.  

Professor Kellye Carroll is a member of the child development program and learned about PLNU through word-of-mouth. Her first personal experience with Point Loma was with her son’s baseball camp, where the PLNU baseball team volunteered with the youth sports camp. After her few interactions, she was persuaded to join our community because of the spirit of hospitality and love she saw. A photo of Carroll’s son and the Point Loma baseball team hangs on the wall in her new office to treasure that memory.  

Rachelle Wong, another PLNU graduate, is the current Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching and Credentialing Program at the School of Education. As a student, she was a resident assistant who hosted Bible studies for the girls in her hall. Wong grew up in Hawaii, loves to travel and do outdoor activities. 

Dr. Rosemond Lorona is a professor of psychology who is deeply fascinated by emotion, prejudice and stigma, and how people perceive mental disorders, especially within religious contexts. Her undergraduate degree is from Pepperdine University. She had the opportunity to perform research in clinical and social psychology while obtaining her Masters and Ph.D at Baylor University. Her education at religious institutions is what attracted her to PLNU. Lorona says she wishes to “reduce negative perceptions of psychological disorders because seeking help is very important for the well-being of the many people who experience mental health challenges.” Outside of work, she loves to hike, camp and sing, having recently joined a barbershop chorus group.

Karah Lain, a professor of visual art, painting and drawing, knew after visiting the campus late last semester that PLNU would be a great fit. She graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois and recollects going to the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago on class field trips where she always left inspired and reassured about her vocation in visual art. Lain said she is passionate about “elevating the role of women in society and how a feminist viewpoint can enrich the everyday lives of all people.” She enjoys reading memoirs and creative nonfiction. 

Dr. Kimberly Athens is the new associate professor of teacher education. After moving to Texas from her hometown of San Diego, she was a high school teacher for many years and is excited to be back to instruct future teachers at PLNU. Athens’ hobbies include going to the beach and boating with her three children and her high school sweetheart. 


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