Meet the Faculty
Dr. Michelle Paysan-Modina, DNP, AGNP, ANP-C
Dr. Michelle Paysan-Modina is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She holds an MSN in Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner from California State University in Long Beach (2001), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Brandman University (2013). She climbed the ladder by starting as an LVN then moving up to ADN, BSN, MSN, and finally DNP. She has taught for over a decade in traditional, hybrid, and online environments, both in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. She is a board certified Adult NP and practices clinically in a cancer detection program for the underserved and uninsured women in Los Angeles. She has held leadership positions and advocated for both RNs and NPs in health care organizations and nursing associations. Her nursing background includes critical care, emergency, outpatient services, women’s health, and primary care for the adult and geriatric population. She is committed to teaching/mentoring other members of the healthcare team. She joined West Coast University in 2010.
Dr. Christine Chandler, DNP, FNP, ANP-BC
Dr. Christine Chairez Chandler is a tenured Associate Professor at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Assistant Professor in West Coast University’s graduate Family Nurse Practitioner program, and Doctoral Chair with University of Phoenix. She received certificates in women’s health, adult, and family practice from Harbor-UCLA (1992-1995), an MSN from Cal-State Long Beach (1993), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Western University of Health Sciences (2012). She holds a board certification as Adult NP and has specialized in women’s health and HIV/AIDS for twenty-five years. She has worked for the Food and Drug Administration as a Consumer Representative, and has taught nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels for over twenty years. Throughout her career, she has advocated for vulnerable populations, spoken before state and community committees researching methods to improve care for vulnerable populations, and continues to speak locally and nationally on women’s health and spirit.
Julie Poepoe, MSN, FNP-BC
Julie Poepoe is an Assistant Professor in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She holds an MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of California Los Angeles (2003) and a BSN from San Diego State University (1997). She has taught in both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. She is board certified as a Family NP and practices clinically in a college health clinic in Torrance, CA. She is the president of the Alpha Tau Delta, National Fraternity for Professional Nurses and has been an active member of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners. Her nursing background includes emergency medicine, urgent care, college health and primary care. She joined West Coast University in 2013.
La Tonya Botshekan, CNM, RNP, MSN
La Tonya Botshekan joined West Coast University in 2013. She is an Assistant Professor in the graduate nursing program teaching Women’s Health in the Family Nurse Practitioner track. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach. She is a board certified Nurse Midwife, educated at San Jose State University, as well as a board certified Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner educated at Harbor UCLA. She has been a clinical preceptor to nurse practitioner and nurse midwife students for over 20 years. She currently practices midwifery in Los Angeles where she provides complete inpatient labor and delivery services, as well as complete clinical OB and GYN care.
Pippa A. Stewart, FNP-C, MSN, MBA
Pippa Stewart is an Assistant Professor in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She holds an MSN in Family/Occupational Nurse Practitioner from UCLA (1998), and an MBA from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks (2005). She has taught for over twenty years in traditional, hybrid and online environments in both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. She is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and is a Department Administrator for Kaiser Permanente overseeing several departments, including Family and Internal Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, Sickle Cell and a Nurse Clinic. Clinically, she practices at the Venice Family Clinic and the UCLA-Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center. Her nursing background includes emergency, critical care, recovery, critical care transport, and med-surg. She joined West Coast University in 2013.
Aileen Kizlinski, MSN, FNP-BC
Aileen Kizlinski is an Assistant Professor for the Family Nurse Practitioner program at West Coast University. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles (2003) and is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She practices at a community clinic in Long Beach providing care to the underserved and minority populations, as well as precepting student Nurse Practitioners since 2004. She is an active member and former secretary of the California Association for Nurse Practitioners. Her nursing background includes critical care experience working in the CT ICU, CCU, and telemetry/angioplasty units. She joined West Coast University in October 2015.
Marcia Harris-Luna, MSN, CPNP, FNP-BC, IBCLC
Marcia Harris-Luna graduated from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 1990, and a Master of Science degree in Nursing from UCLA in 1998 as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She earned a post-graduate certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Azusa Pacific University in 2011. She also holds certifications as a lactation consultant and clinical densitometrist. Currently, she is working on her Ph. D. in Nursing. She joined West Coast University FNP track in 2013 and teaches the pediatric theory and lab courses.
Dr. John Lazar, PhD, FNP-BC
Dr. John Lazar is an Assistant Professor of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. He holds an MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Phoenix (2006) and a Doctor of Philosophy focusing on nursing research and nursing education from Azusa Pacific University (2015). He has taught for over a decade in traditional, hybrid, and online undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. He is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and practices clinically in retail health care. His nursing background includes pediatrics, neonatal and pediatric critical care, nursing management, and primary care for pediatric and adult populations. He joined West Coast University in 2015.
Dr. Susan Stemmler, MPH, PhD, FNP, CNM
Dr. Stemmler is an Assistant Professor at West Coast University. Her Nursing Baccalaureate is from the University of Oklahoma (1972); Master’s in Public Health University of California Los Angeles, (1983), after which she completed a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center while simultaneously completing a Masters in Nursing at California State Long Beach (1993); FNP certificate at Harbor/UCLA (1995) and Nurse Midwifery certification at Frontier School of Nurse Midwifery and Family Nursing (2004) and PhD in Nursing at University of California Los Angeles (2012). Dr Stemmler has worked in a variety of clinical, educational, and administrative settings. She was the Executive Director of a multi-site community clinic, Family Planning Centers of Greater Los Angeles, Inc., for 14 years. She taught as a faculty member, transitioning to the Director of Education at the Harbor UCLA Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program. Finally she worked as a home birth and hospitalist nurse midwife. Dr. Stemmler’s research interests are women’s health, substance abuse, and American Indians. She is currently the American College of Nurse Midwives liaison to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Committee for American Indian/ Alaska Native Women’s. She joined West Coast University in 2015.