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Johana Nevarez


Executive Assistant to the President


Johana transitioned from the corporate world where she served as the Talent Acquisition Manager for a property management company since 2015 to homeschool and Christian education. She brings strategic administrative skills along with a passion for empowering and encouraging families in their educational journey. 

She holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts degree in Sociology from San Diego State University and enjoys creative writing and life-long learning. 

Johana and her husband, Erik, have four wonderful children and are the proud owners of a small catering business. They have been honored to serve Awaken Church since 2014, with a desire to build the kingdom and leave a legacy that will echo into eternity.


Karla Rivera 


Director of Public Relations

Karla has served in public relations, publicity, and project management since 2002. Prior to coming to CVCU, she worked as an adjunct professor in Journalism and Public Relations and as an entertainment publicist for several networks and television studios, including Fox, 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Brothers, and the CW. Additionally, she has worked as a Communications Specialist for government agencies and nonprofit organizations.


Karla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and Journalism from California State Polytechnic University. Karla and her husband, Tony, have a three-year-old daughter, Ellie Grace, and a one-year-old son, Nathaniel. They are passionate about building strong Christian schools for the next generation. 

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Alex Cervantes



Chief Financial Officer


Alex brings a wealth of experience and a spirit of excellence to his work at CVCU. Alex has served as an accountant in Chula Vista for over 10 years. He is the owner of HDW Tax Services and is committed to supporting Chula Vistans with excellence in accounting and tax preparation.


Alex and his wife, Dulce, live in Chula Vista with their two GenZ daughters, Candy and Destiny. Alex is passionate about seeing marketplace professionals develop strong financial portfolios. 

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Pastor Pam Padgett

Curriculum Development &

Instructional Methodology

Pam has worked as a consulting teacher, coach, and mentor since 2002. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and  Communication Disorders from the University of Vermont, a Master of Education degree with a concentration in Special Education from Saint Michael's College, and a National Board Teacher Certification for Exceptional Needs Children. Pam has three GenZ children, and as both a mom and  a professor, she is passionate about instructional methodology that creates authentic connection in the college classroom. 

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Giselle Martinez


Social Media Manager

Giselle is a photographer and social media manager born and raised in San Diego. Homeschooled from kindergarten all through high school, she discovered her passion for visual arts at a young age and since then has pursued creative careers. Before working with CVCU, she managed Cherish, the women's ministry media for Awaken Church, and was involved in many other marketing campaigns and event planning experiences with Awaken Church. She teaches photography and yearbook at Awaken Academy Eastlake, where she was recently awarded teacher of the year. Giselle is thrilled to work with CVCU to see the university's social media presence and influence flourish!

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Kyle Hermann


University Support Specialist

Kyle was born and raised in East County, where he was active in both extracurricular activities and  his home church, Skyline, all the way through college. Kyle recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from PLNU and is currently pursuing his Master's degree at Liberty University. Kyle is passionate about learning from the past as well as leading others to do the same. As a senior in college, he ran for office, and he currently serves as secretary of the Valle de Oro Community Planning Group. As one of the youngest elected officials in San Diego County, Kyle hopes to inspire others to be civically engaged and to take steps to become courageous and just leaders in their realm of influence. 

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Coach Chris Brown


Director of Athletics 

Coach Brown is an Internationally recognized rugby coach known for bringing diverse populations together, shifting mindsets, and building culture and performance strategies that achieve exponential results. He is also a business coach, life coach and speaker. Chris was born and raised in New Zealand before moving to South Africa in his early 20s. After completing various coaching assignments across Africa, Chris and his wife Thelma relocated to California to coach the US Olympic team. They now live in San Diego and have three beautiful daughters, Kianna, Alisa and Millicent. Chris is passionate about helping people uncover their gifts and shifting how people see themselves and the world they live in. 

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Audra Nelson


Homeschool Admissions Advisor

Audra has served as a homeschool community leader and homeschool educator for over 15 years. Her youngest son is now a freshman in college, and her oldest son has earned a prestigious full-ride graduate school scholarship at Hillsdale College, where he is currently working toward his Master's degree in Political Science. Audra has been married to her husband Rob, a Battalion Chief for the Chula Vista Fire Department, for the last 25 years. Audra understands the process of navigating the transition from the homeschool environment to the college classroom, and she is well-versed in CVCU's educational methodology from both the parent and the student perspectives.