David P. Nystrom, PhD
Provost and Senior Vice President
Ph.D., University of California, Davis
M.Div, Fuller Theological Seminary
B.A., University of California, Davis
Dr. David Nystrom began his tenure as Provost and Senior Vice President at Biola University in August 2010, after serving as vice president for academic affairs at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., where he served since 2005. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at North Park University and North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, where he served as professor and chair of biblical and theological studies and director of the Institute for Christian Studies. He has also taught at Fuller Theological Seminary in an adjunct capacity, where he received his M.Div., and the University of California at Davis, where he received his B.A. and Ph.D.
Nystrom’s academic background includes expertise in Roman history, New Testament theology, and the history of Christianity. An award-winning teacher, sought-after speaker, published scholar and effective administrator, Nystrom was viewed as highly qualified to meet the diverse array of challenges that come with the top academic post at a nationally ranked Christianity university.
Nystrom has been married to his wife, Kristina, for 30 years and they have a 14-year-old daughter, Annika.
Favorite Verse: "The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me." - Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
Favorite Quote: "Thou hast formed us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee." - Augustine, Confessions, Book I
- Jackie Beatty, Executive Assistant
- Email: jackie [dot] beatty [at] biola [dot] edu
- Phone: (562) 903-4703
Vice President for Student Development and University Planning
Chris Grace serves as the Vice President for Student Development and University Planning at Biola, and is professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology. Dr. Grace serves on the President’s Administration Council, leads the effort for integrated strategic planning and oversees the area of Student Development. Dr. Grace graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in psychology in 1983. He earned his Master of Science and his Doctor of Philosophy degrees ('88) in Experimental Social Psychology from Colorado State University.
Dr. Grace began his career at Biola as a professor of psychology in 1988. From 2002 to 2008, he served as Vice Provost for Faculty Development and University Assessment, all the while continuing to teach the Introduction to Psychology course every year at Biola. He was honored with the Professor of the Year Award by Biola's senior class in 1994, received Biola's Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001 and has been recognized in "Who's Who Among College Professors" numerous times. Dr. Grace has served as an executive member of the WASC Re-Accreditation team and is currently an outside reviewer for other WASC universities. He also serves on the editorial review board of various journals and was chair of the undergraduate psychology department for six years. Dr. Grace has many publications and presentations in the field of psychology, and speaks regularly to churches on topics like dating, marriage and relationships. Along with his wife, Alisa, he provides seminars and marriage retreats at colleges and universities nationwide with the Center for Relationship Enrichment. Chris and Alisa have 3 children, including 2 who attend Biola.
Favorite Verse: "He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son." - Colossians 1:13 (NRSV)
- Kathi Luzzi, Executive Assistant
- Email: kathleen [dot] luzzi [at] biola [dot] edu
- Phone: (562) 903-4708
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Greg Vaughan has served at Biola since September of 1977. He began as the Sports Information Director and shifted to Academic Advising in 1980. In 1981, he became Director of Admissions, and in 1992 he assumed the role of Director of Enrollment Management. Appointed Vice President in July of 2008, Greg oversees a team of more than 120 full-time employees within six departments, including Graduate and Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid, Academic Advising and Student Retention, Ministry Outreach, and Athletics.
Greg is a graduate of Biola University and earned a Master of Arts in Social Science at Azusa Pacific University. In 1993, he received the Regional Service Award from the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals and in 1998, he was recognized with the President's Award for Exceptional Performance. He and his wife, Kathleen, a third grade teacher, have been married for 30 years and have two adult children - Corey and Erin, both recent graduates of Biola's art program. His outside interests include time with family, travel, golf, running, reading, fantasy baseball, movies, and church chorale music.
Favorite Verse: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8 (ESV)
Favorite Quote: "There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us." - Mike Leake
- Heather Pfaff, Executive Assistant
- Email: heather [dot] pfaff [at] biola [dot] edu
- Phone: (562) 906-4594
Vice President for University Communications and Marketing
Irene Neller has 26 years of results-driven and award-winning marketing experience in higher education. In 1987, Irene graduated from Bethany University with a B.A. in Communications. She received her M.A. in Communications ('96) from California State University, Fullerton. She is responsible for the university’s brand efforts and comprehensive communications programs for its six schools. Irene oversees all activities for public, media and community relations; promotional collateral and digital media; Biola magazine and four academic journals; university events; marketing research and advertising; crises management; and serves as chief public relations spokesperson for the media.
She has been recognized with various awards by industry groups and higher education agencies, such as Admissions Marketing Report, CASE, President’s Awards for Excellence and Exceptional Performance and the Public Relations Society of America. Irene has been published in Admissions Marketing Report, University Business, Non-Profit Communications Report and Building Brand Momentum, among others.
Irene serves on the national committee for communication and public relations officers for Christian Colleges and Universities. She directed Biola University's 100th Anniversary celebration and the inauguration of its eighth president, which drew national and international media attention resulting in the university's highest media coverage in its history. Irene spends her personal time volunteering her event planning skills to various non-profit organizations and leads a mentoring program for Biola girls. She has been married for 27 years to her husband, Brett (a Talbot and Rosemead graduate), and has two sons, including one who attended Biola.
Favorite Verse: "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." - John 3:30 (New Living Translation)
Favorite Quote: "Dear Jesus, help us spread your fragrance everywhere we go. Flood our souls with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that all our lives may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through us and be so in us that every person we should come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus." - Mother Teresa, Commencement Address, Harvard University, 1982
- Elizabeth Hedrick, Executive Assistant
- Email: elizabeth [dot] hedrick [at] biola [dot] edu
- Phone: (562) 777-4079
Vice President for Advancement
Adam Morris has devoted his career to working in Christian college advancement and has received widespread recognition for his involvement in the non-profit sector and now serves as the Vice President for Advancement at Biola University. He graduated from Biola University in 1990 with a B.S. in Business Administration. He received his M.A. ('97) in Theology and his Ph.D. ('02) in Christian Education from Talbot School of Theology.
Adam began working for Biola in 1990 as Annual Fund Manager/Director. He has also served in the positions of Campaign Director, Director of Major and Planned Gifts and Senior Director of Stewardship and Resource Development. In 1989, Adam received the Southern California Carnation Award for outstanding leadership in fundraising and volunteerism. He also received recognition from former President George H. W. Bush and was granted a national "Point of Light" award for his significant service to the community. Adam has been a contributing author to several publications in the field of fundraising and biblical stewardship. He serves on the Commission for Institutional Advancement Officers for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities along with a variety of other non-profit boards. Adam lives in Orange County with his wife, Faith, and has four children.
Favorite Verse: "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." - John 8:31-32 (ESV)
- Karen Bayless, Executive Assistant
- Email: karen [dot] bayless [at] biola [dot] edu
- Phone: (562) 903-4714
Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs
Mike Pierce joined the Biola University community in August 2010 as Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs. He arrived at Biola after serving as senior director of finance and administration at the Center for Innovation and Strategic Collaboration, a research and development company within St. Jude Medical, Inc. Mike has established an impressive record in the areas of business and financial management, serving with distinction in a variety of leadership roles. He also spent nearly 20 years in various capacities at the Johnson & Johnson Family of companies, working in such roles as senior accountant, marketing finance manager, finance controller and, ultimately, supply chain group manager. Mike now oversees the areas of Finance, Human Resources, Legal, and Information Technology.
Mike holds a B.S. in accounting from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an MBA in finance from California State University, Fullerton. He also holds both CPA and CMA licenses in the state of California. He and his wife, Brenda, live in Mission Viejo, and have two sons, including one who attends Biola.
Favorite Verse: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of the Jesus Christ." - Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
- Miriam Anderson, Executive Assistant
- Email: miriam [dot] anderson [at] biola [dot] edu
- Phone: (562) 903-4777
Vice President of University Services
Upon obtaining his bachelor’s degree in 1969, Greg Balsano taught for four years at the elementary level for the Roselle School District, a public school system in suburban Chicago. He held teaching credentials for both the elementary and secondary grades.
In 1973 Greg began his work in administrative management at Christian organizations as credit manager for Christian Life Publishers, Inc., and was later asked to head office and warehouse operations. He then broadened his management experience by beginning a 12-year employment relationship with Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., that included eight years in the role of director of personnel and administrative services.
Greg’s experience in human resource management prepared him to meet a need at Biola University in 1988 for someone who could develop and manage an employee training and development department. One year later, he was appointed to the position of director of human resources. His experience in directing a variety of administrative services led to his 1995 appointment as vice president for university services, which includes the departments of Auxiliary Services, Campus Safety and Facilities Management.
Favorite Verse: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
- Billie Bostrom, Executive Assistant
- Email: billie [dot] bostrom [at] biola [dot] edu
- Phone: (562) 903-4704