President Spence's Welcome

Welcome to Washington Adventist University! WAU is a Christ-centered institution of higher education that supports a culture of excellence where all feel valued. I encourage you to read the WAUPlan and review our strategy for sustaining this culture in our roadmap to academic excellence.

Our vision as an Adventist university is to produce graduates who bring moral leadership and competence to their communities. WAU graduates get great jobs and enter top graduate programs.

Our campus has an internationally and culturally diverse population with over 40 countries and nearly every state represented by students, faculty, staff, and administration. We are next to the country's richest mix of faith, history, and culture, and just moments away from great outdoor pursuits such as hiking, wind surfing, whitewater rafting, and skiing.

Our student/teacher ratio of 13 students for each faculty member means that our students receive the individual attention they deserve, and assures that everyone will be a name, not a number. Our students develop personal relationships with faculty and staff members who enjoy leading and aiding in intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth.

I welcome you to come for a visit, and I challenge you to stay for an experience you can't get at any other university. As our graduates leave WAU, they embark through the “Gateway to Service” as stated in our motto. You too can be a part of this great journey. We look forward to helping you reach your full potential as the Christ-centered individual God intended for you to become! We look forward to hearing any suggestions you may have and invite you to take part in the Continuous Quality Improvement Program.


Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., R.T.


Patrick Farley, Executive Vice President, Finance

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Patrick Farley earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland and a Communications degree from Washington Adventist University. He also holds a M.S. in Finance from the University of Baltimore.

Farley has been in this position since July, 2004. From 2002 to 2004, he served as controller at WAU. Prior to joining WAU, Farley worked in the communication and government contracting industry as controller, senior accountant and staff accountant.




Cheryl Harris Kisunzu, Ph.D., MSN, FNP, RN, Provost

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Cheryl Harris Kisunzu has been appointed provost of Washington Adventist University (WAU), effective August 2013. She is the former executive dean and director of nursing at Mountain View College Dallas, Texas.

Kisunzu holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI; M.S. in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Rush University, Chicago, IL; and B.S. in nursing, also from Andrews University, Berrien Springs. Her special area of interest is that of leading change for progressive excellence in higher education as defined by Kotter’s 8-Step Model . Consistent with this passion, the focus of her doctoral research is the analysis of performance excellence at our nation’s three Malcolm Baldrige Award winning institutions through which she determined strategies used, by academic leaders of distinction, for anchoring change in higher education.

She has held senior level positions of progressive academic and administrative leadership, including grant administrator at Eastfield College Mesquite, Texas for its historic 1.4 million dollar Texas Workforce Commission Grant, Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development as well as the administrator for the Life Science Human Services Division and Director of the Nursing Program at Harper College Palatine, IL She has also over 14 years of teaching experience achieved through faculty appointment at Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN, Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA, St. Louis Community College Meramec St. Louis, MO and Harper College Palatine, IL. She currently retains an adjunct faculty position in the doctoral program of leadership at Andrews University. As the WAU chief academic officer she serves as Professor. Of significance is that Dr. Kisunzu believes in the unique value and potential of each student entrusted to the university’s care. She considers it a joy to lead in a manner which ensures that  learning prepares students for Daniel 1:20 distinctiveness such that their life service responds to the needs of our global society in a manner that is both relevant and progressively enriching.


Lincoln Roo McKenzie, Ph.D., Vice President, Advancement and University Relations

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Lincoln McKenzie is the vice president for advancement and university relations. He began his tenure on July 1.

Prior to joining WAU, he served as an Education Evangelist for the Southeastern California Conference to teach and preach the Biblical principles of Christian education.

McKenzie earned his Bachelor’s in Theology from Northern Caribbean University. He later earned an M.A. and doctorate in Administration and Leadership from Loma Linda University and a certificate in fundraising from Indiana University.

McKenzie has served in education since 1967 and brings over 14 years of fundraising experience, including a wide background in higher education. His philosophy and practice of philanthropy is the belief that since God gave us everything, we should give back to our Giver by giving to others for “living is giving and giving is living.”

McKenzie is guided further by the life and teaching of Mahatma Gandhi, adopting as his mantra’s the leaders’ edict: “Live simple so others can simply live.”


Baraka Muganda, Vice President, Ministry


Baraka Muganda holds a doctorate in education, and an M.A. in religion from Andrews University.. He earned his B.A. in theology from Solusi University, Zimbabwe. Prior to joining Washington Adventist University, Muganda served as president of the Tanzania Adventist College in 1984 and as the World Youth Director of the Seventh-day Adventist church from June 1995 to June 2010. Both positions offered a wealth of multicultural and multinational experience.

Muganda also lectures on youth ministry leadership at the Adventist University of Africa and is an advisor in the doctoral program at the Andrews Seminary in Michigan.



Jean Warden, Vice President, Student Life

Jean Warden earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of LaVerne, LaVerne California and a master of arts from California State Polytechnic. She began her tenure as Vice President for Student Life in July, 2002. Prior to joining WAU, Warden served as minority recruitment director, and director of diversity at Southern California University of Health Sciences and executive director, Los Angeles Opportunities Industrialization Center, in addition. She also served as adjunct faculty at American River College. Her experience in higher education spans more than 20 years.




Janette Neufville, Associate Vice President, Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Janette NeufvilleJanette Neufville is the Associate Vice President of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. For twenty-five years prior to joining WAU, she served as an analyst, business consultant and program manager at various Fortune 500 companies, including Nasdaq, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), EDS (now Hewlett Packard), and Sprint Nextel. Neufville earned a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Neufville is responsible for institutional research; institutional effectiveness; institutional data integrity; and support of assessment, accreditation, and strategic planning.




David Almaraz, Interim Vice President, Information Technology Systems


David Almaraz is the Interim Director of Information Technology Systems at Washington Adventist University. He is responsible for the University's IT systems including strategic planning, management, business applications, network Infrastructure, network security, help desk and academic technology resources.

David Almaraz earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from then Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University. He later earned a Master of Science degree in Information Technology, Information Assurance Track from the University of Maryland University College in College Park, MD; and a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington Adventist University. He is a Microsoft Certified Technician and is the lead computer forensic specialist on campus.




Rythee Jones, Associate Vice President of Human Resources


Rythee Jones earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hood College and her master of General Administration from University of Maryland University College.  She joined WAU September 2011 and assumed her current role in August 2012.  Jones has 25 years of human resources experience, including seven years at the executive level.  Her background includes assignments in talent development, employee relations, organizational development, compensation, and human resource information systems.  She also has served as an executive coach to leaders in higher education, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Computer Science in 1995.

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