Anthony Lee, Ed.D., M.B.A.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Anthony Lee is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Westcliff University in Irvine, California. He has experience working in and leading many key areas in higher education including admissions, marketing, finance, operations, compliance, accreditation, and student services. Dr. Lee has served in many leadership positions across numerous universities, colleges, and schools in the US and internationally. He has lead several schools through initial accreditation at the university and K-12 levels. With expertise in innovative online and hybrid programs, Dr. Lee has launched new campuses and created new programs that are delivered through distance education, combining technology with campus-based classes.
Dr. Lee earned his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, where he focused on strategy and marketing. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Irvine, where he majored in economics and minored in management.
David C. McKinney, Ph.D.
Chief Academic Officer
Dr. McKinney received his Doctorate in City and Regional Planning in 1976 and his Master of Science in Planning in 1968, as well as his Bachelor of Architecture in 1967 from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
With more than 30 years of teaching experience, he has previously taught at such schools as: National University, Western International University, College for Financial Planning, the GIA School of Business, Santa Fe Community College, Arizona State University and Butler University. He has conducted seminars and management training programs throughout the world in such locations as: London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Tokyo, Mumbai, and Johannesburg.
Dr. McKinney has accumulated more than 35 years of practical business experience in both the public and private sectors. He was the managing CEO of 26 businesses simultaneously which he had started. He has had international assignments in Italy, the UK, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Indonesia, Mexico, Iran, China and India.
His expertise in business management, economics, entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and finance is globally respected and has been utilized by several U.S state legislatures, the Hudson Institute think tank and hundreds of various corporate clients.
George Sayegh, D.B.A.
Dean of College of Business
Dr. Sayegh received his Doctorate in Business Administration and Information Systems from Argosy University Orange County in 2009, a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Business Management degree from Mercy College in 2000, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from California State University, Northridge, in 1990, an Associate of Science degree in Engineering in 1983, and an Associate of Science degree in Electronics Technology and Computers from Moorpark College in 1982.
Dr. Sayegh has conducted postgraduate research in speech recognition for improving medical productivity among physicians, and has co-authored 2 published papers in the areas of Information Systems and Applications in the Medical Field, Mobile Work, and Wireless Companies.
In addition to owning and operating a Computer Retail & Consulting company, Professor Sayegh has been employed by such organizations as NASA at JPL , Wangtek Drive Systems, Ferranti Aerospace Missile Systems, Hewlett Packard, Computer City, Micropolis Drive Systems, Mercy College, National University, Hope International University, and Argosy University.
Professor Sayegh has taught classes in Computer Science and Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Technology and Business, Mathematics, Business, Financial Management, Critical Thinking and Planning, and Management and Leadership.
Julie Ciancio, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Education
Dr. Julie Ciancio is the Dean for the College of Education at Westcliff University in Irvine, California, where she oversees the TESOL Master’s program and TESOL Certificate program, among others. Previously, she was the TESOL program administrator at California State University, San Bernardino, where she managed the TESOL master’s program, several TESOL certificate programs, and Intensive TESOL Teacher Training programs. She is adjunct faculty for the CSUSB College of Education, where she has taught and developed many courses. She has published numerous articles, conducted professional development workshops, and teacher training workshops on TESOL around the world. She is an English Language Specialist for the US State Department, Bureau of Educational Affairs. She was a Senior English Language Fellow also for the US State Department, Bureau of Educational Affairs in Gujarat, India for two years, stationed at Ahmedabad Management Association, where she taught in the MBA program and led many workshops and lectures. During her time in India, she conducted teacher training workshops and led seminars in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Delhi. She was an EFL teacher, teacher trainer, university professor, and director of the language department at IESB University in Brasilia, Brazil while she lived in Brazil for 13 years.
She has a Master’s in Applied Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Brasilia (UnB), Brazil, where she conducted research on the influence of acculturation on second language acquisition. She also holds an MBA in International Business from California State University.
Rebeca Zarate-Cervantes has extensive management experience, having served as a Division Director and Compliance Officer at The Center for Employment Training (CET), a nationally recognized non-profit employment training agency, for over 25 years. She is also a former member of the Workforce Investment Boards (WIB) of Ventura County, Orange County, Santa Ana, and Anaheim.
Ms. Cervantes obtained a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, from California State University, Los Angeles in 2002. In addition, she completed the Latino Leadership Program from the Center for Nonprofit Management from Cal State LA, also in 2002.
Sean Murray, B.S.
Chief Financial Officer
Sean Murray is the Chief Financial Officer for Westcliff University. He has over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting. Prior to joining Westcliff, Sean worked for Fortune 500 Companies including Price Waterhouse and Boeing in various areas including Audit, Asset Management, Quantitative Analysis, Strategy and Project Management. In addition, he has assisted smaller businesses plan and manage for growth. Sean holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University.
April Vuong, Ed. D.
Director of International Affairs
April Vuong received her Ed.D in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration in 2016. Dr. Vuong also received her Master of Arts in TESOL from Westcliff University in 2013 and her Masters of Arts in International Studies from Concordia University in 2008.
She lived in Shanghai, China for 2 years teaching English as a foreign language and continues to travel abroad for leisure and business. Through her overseas experience, she found her passion working with international students to help them embark on a unique journey of cultural exchange. As the Director of International Affairs for Westcliff University, she works directly with faculty and students both domestically and internationally. She is currently developing study abroad programs for domestic and international students for Westcliff University.
Guy Lopatin, B.A.
Director of Admissions
Guy Lopatin has extensive experience in College Admissions. Over the past 15 years his roles have varied from Director of Admissions to VP of Admissions.
Guy excels at building and motivating strong admissions teams to help students reach their goals.
Guy’s role at Westcliff University will be to increase the University’s presence on both and International and Domestic levels. His goal is the continue to build and maintain a strong admissions department that strives to help students in an effective and ethical manner.
Guy earned his Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Sage O’ Toole, M.S. Candidate
Associate Director of Student Services
Sage O’Toole received her Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently a candidate for her Master of Science in Biological Science and Educational Media Design from the University of California, Irvine.
Sage has a true passion for both the sciences and education. After graduating from Berkeley, Sage joined Teach For America and taught middle school science in San Antonio, Texas before returning to California and pursuing a career in higher education. Her current research examines the use of media to enhance existing teaching practices and the utilization of available technologies to provide meaningful professional development and learning opportunities for students and teachers. Sage brings extensive knowledge of virtual learning technology and media and develops purposeful resources for both students and teachers in order to ensure their continuing success in the classroom.
Victor Nguyen, M. Eng.
Director of Technology
Victor Nguyen received both his Bachelor and Master degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. He has extensive experience as a technical adviser and consultant for various companies, charged with multiple projects in designing structural roads and infrastructure. He has taught courses in Civil Engineering while in Vietnam.
In addition to his passion for civil engineering, Victor Nguyen also enjoys fields in Information Technology and Computer Science. His role as the Director and Coordinator of Technology at Westcliff University enables him to work on various projects simultaneously as he oversees all the technical aspects at the University. He supports other departments, and manages all aspects of educational online platforms utilized to deliver curriculum. His technological acumen spans a variety of resources including, hardware, software, E-Learning, Moodle, teleconferencing applications, and library resources. He is ultimately responsible for the seamless integration of all these technologies and to ensure that they operate smoothly and efficiently in an effort to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff alike.