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University Staff

Key Academic and Administrative Positions

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University of Minnesota, Attorney, CPA, MBA
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, JD
Sogang University, Seoul, Korea, BA Business Administration

BA, Sogang University, Seoul, Korea. Graduated as the Top Honor Student of the College of Business Administration, summa cum laude.

President, Abraham Lincoln University, 1996-2010. Partner, Park & Kirwan Law & CPA Firm. Practicing Tax and Business Law, 1984-1995. Worked for Arthur Young & Co., one of the Big 8 CPA firms and other regional CPA firm. Major emphasis on tax, business and investment planning.

Director, Advisory Council to the Small Business Administration of the US, 1980-1984. Director and Vice President, Local Development Public Corporation under Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, 1981-1993. Trustee, Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Southern California, 1983-1995. Member of the Board of Trustees of Polytechnic School, Pasadena, California, 1994-2003. Member and Auditor, Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification of South Korea, 1993-1999. Advisory Board Member, Asian Program Office, Loyola Marymount University, 1990-2002. The authors of numerous published articles and professional research papers.

Dean Park graduated from Stanford University in 2005, with a BA in English Literature and was a Phi Beta Kappa honoree. She continued her education at Stanford Law School, graduating with a JD degree in 2010.

Since joining Abraham Lincoln University in 2010, Dean Park served in academic affairs, compliance and academic support departments and is a member of the law school faculty, teaching Future Interests & Mortgages. Dean Park was nominated to the Standards Committee at the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in 2015, serving three years as a member and three years as the Chair and receiving honors for her service to the DEAC community in 2022.

Since December 2020, Dean Park has served as a dean member of the Committee of State Bar Accredited and Registered Law Schools, an advisory committee to the State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners on matters relating to legal education regulated by the State Bar, including legal education at California accredited law schools and registered, unaccredited law schools.

I believe in the mission of providing online education to students who may need to access education in a more flexible way that supports their working adult lives. I enjoy how online sessions are focused on learning of subject matter, with a variety of perspectives from students who have had life experiences to draw from as they are learning new things. I also enjoy seeing how technology has evolved so that assessment of student learning can be a streamlined process within an online platform.

– Jessica Park

Bernadette Agaton’s career in distance education began when she accepted an academic advisor position at a correspondence law school over 17 years ago. She found that she really enjoyed advising law students, helping them with admission requirements for the State Bar of California, and navigating their way through the JD curriculum. When she was later promoted to roles of associate dean and then dean, she became responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the law school and the management of all graduate degree programs. She also took on a greater role with curriculum development, supervision and on-boarding of faculty, compliance, and accreditation.

Provost Agaton earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in American Literature & Culture and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles and quickly began working for a law firm where she gained experience practicing family law and was exposed to cases dealing with probate, juvenile law, and civil litigation.

I love playing a small role in helping people attain their dreams of becoming an attorney or earning a graduate degree. Typically, students at online universities work full-time and have other challenges that traditional students at brick-and-mortar universities don’t usually have to deal with. I never fail to shed a tear or feel elation when I hear that one of my students has passed the bar exam or used their legal education in a meaningful way at work or in their personal lives. – Bernadette Agaton
Academic and Student Affairs

Dr. Joy KlotzDr. Klotz has been teaching higher education courses both onsite and online for about 20 years. She has a PhD in Adult and Post-secondary Education, an MBA, a master’s degree in Education, and a post-master’s certificate in college teaching. Joy is passionate about education, loves teaching, and enjoys being a part of every student’s educational experience.

In the midst of studying for a Bachelor’s degree at Argosy University, Ms. Malagon was offered her first professional opportunity in Financial Aid. With four children, it was necessary for her to work full-time while studying, so she quickly learned the ins and outs of government regulation. She soon became the go-to resource for financial aid questions from both students and colleagues, and her career has been focused on advising students about College and University loans ever since. 

During her 10+ years in Financial Aid, Ms. Malagon has enabled hundreds of students to attend college with the help of government grants and loans. She vigilantly stays informed of all federal regulations and changes regarding financial aid so that students are advised accurately. 

Ms. Malagon works closely with students, advising them of their financial aid eligibility. Her primary goal is to help students to make educated decisions about the amount of loan funding they want to borrow so they do not go into unnecessary debt.

Lydia Liberio, ALU Associate Dean

Dean Liberio earned a JD degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, an LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution from USC, an MBA from Daniel Webster College, and a BA from UC Irvine as a Phi Beta Kappa honoree. She brings a diverse background of legal practice experience in civil business, employment, family, and estate planning law, as well as teaching law, editing law and project management textbooks, and creating academic curricula. Dean Liberio volunteers as a Judge Pro Tem and Daily Settlement Officer (mediator) for Los Angeles Superior Court; mediates for the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, U.S. EEOC, and California Lawyers for the Arts; and arbitrates for the Los Angeles County Bar Association ACMAS panel.

As Dean of Academic Success, Ms. Liberio’s primary responsibilities include academic support, faculty development, and curricular innovation. She serves as the main point of contact for all student-facing academic and academic support communications and mentors as academic advisor to students in the JD program.

Having completed an online MBA, I can appreciate the reasons why our students enjoy being part of an online learning community – focused faculty lectures, lively forums, thoughtful content, and extra time to study gained from skipping commutes and parking space searches. Inspired by student graduations and bar passage updates, I believe in Gandhi’s principle: ‘Live as if you were to die to tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.’ – Lydia Liberio

Ms. Lopez earned her Paralegal Diploma from Charter College in 2014 and has 14 years of experience in administration and collections. Her experience and legal education have proven invaluable as ALU’s Assistant Director of Operations. As a mother, Ms. Lopez also knows the importance of school/life balance and has enjoyed working for a school that “provides students the possibility to achieve their educational goals while working full-time and dealing with life events.”

Khalid Hoqoq began his journey serving adult students in the year 2009. Through his work at two other online universities, he has served in student services, advising, and management roles. Mr. Hoqoq has a master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Adult Education and Training. He lives with his family in Southern California and enjoys the outdoors.

Admissions and Marketing

Becoming a mom at 18, Courtney Leonard truly understands when life happens and your dreams have to go on hold. She is extremely passionate about assisting adults pursue their hopes and dreams. If you need a personal cheerleader, Mrs. Leonard has you covered! Positivity, encouragement and motivation are crucial in her process with everyone she interacts with. With 6+ years of admission, student support and management experience, she is a phenomenal well-rounded resource for our incoming students.

Ashanti Payton has 20 years of admissions experience. Working in admissions gives him the ability to help students shape their futures. Being a father of 10 (six girls and four boys) and having a career in education means that he is constantly pushing the agenda. Mr. Payton holds a bachelor’s degree in business and two master degrees, including one in educational leadership. He is passionate about helping students and getting them the information they need to make an informed decision.
Ashanti Payton has 20 years of admissions experience. Working in admissions gives him the ability to help students shape their futures. Being a father of 10 (six girls and four boys) and having a career in education means that he is constantly pushing the agenda. Mr. Payton holds a bachelor’s degree in business and two master degrees, including one in educational leadership. He is passionate about helping students and getting them the information they need to make an informed decision.
Mr. Sykes brings his knowledge and expertise to the IT department at ALU after decades of working as a database and web programmer. He has seen many changes in technology and the way it has evolved into today’s standards. He is passionate about discovering and learning about new technologies.

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Explore how ALU’s online distance education courses can work for you. As one of the top distance education universities in California for non-traditional students, our Admissions team has the information you need to help you with your application and succeed with our school. Additional information is available for those who seek transfer credit or want to study at ALU as an international student.

If you prefer to speak to our Admissions Team directly, give us a call at 213-252-5100.

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