Emperor’s College Board of Directors

Albert Setton, completed his three-decade administrative career at the University of California, Los Angeles as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies which provided resources and essential services to graduate students, postdoctoral and visiting scholars, departments and faculty, fostering their success.  In his role he had oversight of six units: Academic Services; Budget & Personnel; Diversity, Inclusion & Admissions; Fellowships & Financial Services; Information Technology & Institutional Research; and, Operations & External Relations.  Previously the Deputy Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Health in the Student Affair Division for over two decades, Mr. Setton devoted his attention to supporting the physical, psychological, intellectual and emotional wellbeing of UCLA students. The Student Development and Health Unit was comprised of the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center; the Student Psychological Center; the Office for Students with Disabilities and the Women’s Resource Center.

Rick Csintalan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and serves as the chief of the Department of Orthopedics at Kaiser Permanent, Orange County.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Long Beach State University, and worked as a physical therapist at Long Beach Veterans’ Administration Medical Center.  Dr. Csintalan completed his medical degree at St. Louis University School of Medicine, followed by a residency at UC Irvine and a fellowship in sports medicine at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.  Dr. Csintalan has a special interest in nutrition and lifestyle changes, and he teaches a Healthy Living Class at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County.

Michele Pearson is an educator and health care administrator who completed a 32 year career at the UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center. Her roles as the Chief of Administrative Services and an instructor for Life Skills courses have given her a broad range of experience from oversight of a multi-million dollar budget to strategic planning to direct interactions with students and their needs. In 2000, Ms. Pearson was instrumental in making possible Emperor’s College’s externship program at UCLA, when it became the first UC campus to offer acupuncture services to its student body. Ms. Pearson received a BA in English from UCLA and holds lifetime high school teaching credentials.

James Vasquez is the Associate Dean of Operations and CIO  for the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he has managed the school’s Technical Services and Operations team since 1999. He has overseen more than 40 construction and renovation projects, including the $60 million building, Wallis Annenberg Hall. He has extensive experience in higher education, including in admissions, financial aid, and student services.  He earned an executive MBA from the University of Southern California.

Ding-Jo Currie is Distinguished Faculty in the Higher Educational Leadership Program at California State University Fullerton, College of Education.  She also serves as President of Lingnan Foundation, a small, grant-making private foundation devoted to education for service.  Dr. Currie also serves as founder and CEO of United Education Alliance – dedicated to connecting and improving the world through education leadership training and development.  As a nationally and internationally recognized leader, Dr. Currie has more than 35 years of experience in higher education under various roles.  She retired as Chancellor of Coast Colleges with oversight of three outstanding colleges in Orange County, California – Orange Coast College, Golden West College, and Coastline College.  Prior to becoming Chancellor, Dr. Currie served as President of Coastline Community College, a premiere leader in technology and distance learning.

Rufus Fuller has over 20 years of health service experience. Following his graduate education at Emperor’s College, he opened SOTAS Integrative Medicine practice (SOTAS – Standing on The Ancestors’ Shoulders) in 2018. Since that time, he has offered over a thousand treatments for both acute and chronic conditions and weathered the storm through a global pandemic as a minority small business owner. Demonstrating service as the cornerstone of his professional legacy, he has co-facilitated a variety of community health clinics and organized educational outreach programs to advocate for health equity among underserved populations. Dr. Fuller earned his DAOM and MTOM from Emperor’s College. He completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Amber Johnson earned her DAOM and MTOM from Emperor’s College and received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Johnson served as the Emperor’s College Director of Admissions from 2017-2020. She is currently in medical school at St. George’s University, in Grenada, West Indies. Dr. Johnson brings years of experience working with the black community and underrepresented students in her role as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the first African-American sorority established in the United States (1908) with its mission to encourage high scholastic and ethical standards amongst college women and promote diversity and social justice on college campuses.

Patrizia Paiar earned her MTOM from Emperor’s College and received her MS in kinesiology from UCLA. She served at the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles from 1981 to 2018 and, as a Senior Consular Officer, was responsible for special projects and university relations. Her achievements include the creation of a network of Italian researchers and scholars working in local colleges, universities and research institutions -which grew into the current Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation – with the purpose of fostering connections and cooperation among Italian scientists and between American and Italian institutions. In 2018 the president of the Republic of Italy bestowed on her the title of Officer in the Order of the Star of Italy for her service. Ms. Paiar maintains an acupuncture practice in Los Angeles.

MARGARET E. PHILLIPS, PhD – Director Emerita
Maggi Phillips has been a teacher, researcher, and consultant in the fields of cross-cultural management, international business, and organization theory and design for over 30 years. Dr. Phillips retired from the Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University as Professor Emerita. She currently sits on the governing boards of several not-for-profit organizations with culturally diverse stakeholders, and she previously served on the Emperor’s College Board of Directors from 2008 to 2018. Dr. Phillips earned a BA in Psychology from UCLA’s College of Letters and Science, an MS in Administration from the Merage School at UC Irvine, and a PhD in Management from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Director Emeritus
Eugene P. Kim earned his PhD in Comparative Education from UCLA and serves as Dean of Asia Programs at Concordia University Irvine (CUI). He currently works in Shanghai, China where he leads the university’s effort to develop programs, initiatives and partnerships in the P.R.C. Dr. Kim oversees an MA in International Studies program which allows students to study, travel and work in China for one year and earn a Masters degree. In addition, he is developing programs in areas of TESOL, TCSOL, Sports Leadership, International Teaching Credentialing, and International Lab Schools. Dr. Kim is the founder of the Foundation for Transformative Leadership (FTL), a non-profit that provides scholarships for under-resourced Chinese students to attend integrated and holistic schools in China. He served as Emperor’s College Chairman of the Board from 2006-2008.