Colorado Christian University
Life Directions Center Team

Life Directions Center Team

Get to Know our Life Directions Center Team


Elyssa Hernandez portrait

Elyssa Hernandez

Elyssa has worked within the CCU community for over 5 years working in Dual Credit, Campus Ministries, Campus Activities, and has now joined the LDC as an advisor. She graduated from CCU in 2014 with a bachelor’s in business administration and is currently working on her master’s in organizational leadership. Elyssa’s passion is to walk alongside students as they navigate their time at CCU. She also oversees the ministry hours graduation requirement.


Kearsten Hobbs portrait

Kearsten Hobbs

Kearsten recently graduated from Denver Seminary with a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She spent three semesters serving CCU as a Counselor Intern in the Counseling Center. Through her work in the counseling center, she discovered a passion for helping college students explore their purpose and calling. In addition to her role as an advisor, Kearsten is the Student Success Coordinator for the LDC.


Mike Finnefrock portrait

Mike Finnefrock

Mike has spent his entire career working with students. He displays passion for seeing students maximize their God-given potential. He holds a bachelor and master's degree in special education both from the University of Northern Colorado. He also has studied at the graduate level at Denver University, obtaining his principal's license in the state of Colorado. He loves most of all, spending time with his wife, three sons and two daughter-in-laws, doing anything outdoors.


Zach Deboer portrait

Zach Deboer

Zach has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Moody Bible Institute and earned a master’s degree in Christian formation and soul care from Denver Seminary. Prior to coming to CCU, Zach served as the Program Coordinator for a study-abroad program in the Middle-Eastern country of Oman. He has a passion for journeying with students through their college experience and loves to explore and learn about other cultures. In addition to his advising responsibilities, Zach serves the student body as the International Student Services Coordinator and Study Abroad Coordinator.


Thomas Holsteen portrait

Tom Holsteen

Tom discovered a passion for student development during his undergrad while serving as a Resident Assistant at Louisiana State University. Since graduating from LSU in 2014, he has worked in various roles in higher education as well as in pastoral ministry. He joined the LDC team after completing his Master of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School. He loves being outside, reading obscure books, and talking about good food.


Sandi Altena portrait

Dr. Sandi Altena

Sandi is the Director of the Life Directions Center. She has been in Christian Higher Education for 17 years serving in all areas across campus including instruction, service learning, leadership, mentoring/coaching, and community development. Sandi is new to CCU and Colorado and very excited to be on the LDC team. Sandi and her husband have 7 children—4 of them internationally adopted. She loves to hike, bike, kayak, and eat good food. She has a daughter who is a student at CCU and is loving the experience! Sandi is passionate about helping students discover their calling and purpose and assisting them on their paths to success as students and children of God.


Derek Zeller portrait

Derek Zeller

Derek graduated from CCU in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in youth ministry and completed a master's degree in curriculum and instruction at CCU in 2010. In addition to his advising responsibilities, Derek is the LDC Assistant Director.


Kayla Duley portrait

Kayla Duley

Kayla graduated from CCU with a bachelor’s in business administration and an emphasis in interpersonal communication. After graduating, Kayla completed her masters of science in counseling/school counseling. She has enjoyed working with students ranging from middle to high school, as well as the adult students at CCU in her role as Student Service Advisor for the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Kayla is the Tutor Coordinator for the College of Undergraduate Studies. She has a passion for people and developing others God given gifts.


Carol Trejos portrait

Carol Trejos

Carol has worked in higher education for over 25 years at numerous universities. She has served in Residence Life, Campus Ministries, Athletics and Advising. She has a bachelor’s in psychology from Westmont College and a master’s in education from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Carol’s family is from Costa Rica, and she has lived there for a number of years. As the Associate Director, Carol both advises students and oversees the hiring, training, and supervision of LDC advisors. Carol loves journeying alongside students and sees it as a privilege. In her spare time, she loves to travel, read, and get outdoors as much as possible to hike and bike Colorado!


Cassie Branstrom portrait

Cassie Branstrom

Cassie brings a variety of experience to the Life Directions Center. She earned her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from University of Florida. She has enjoyed directing Youth Recreation Programs, Community Events and Inner City Ministry, as well as starting her own business teaching cooking classes to school-age children. She enjoys connecting with people through the outdoors, ministry opportunities, food and other creative activities.


Rachel Metcalf portrait

Rachel Metcalf

Rachel has worked in Residence Life as an RA, as Missions Coordinator for the Spiritual Life department, as an office assistant in the Registrar’s office for undergraduate students, as an office assistant for the Graduate Psychology Department, and as an Enrollment counselor in CCU’s Admissions department. She is passionate about missions programs after leading multiple trips in college and hope to encourage CCU students to make an impact worldwide with CCU2theWorld. Rachel advises nursing students.


Kristine Hunerwadel portrait

Kristine Hunerwadel

Kristine joined the LDC team in Fall of 2018 after working in student affairs at the University of Colorado Law School. She serves as the Undeclared Student Services Coordinator and loves getting to use tools like the Strong Interest Inventory to help students think about their interests and life goals for fields of study at CCU. Her educational background is in pediatric medicine, but a career change resulted in discovering her love for students and the academic environment. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Malone College, and a Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Master’s degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.


Shayna Laing portrait

Shayna Laing

Shayna graduated from CCU with a Bachelor's in Specilal Education and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Special Education with an Emphasis in Disabilities Services in Post-Secondary Settings. She has worked with diverse students at the K-12, transition, and post-secondary levels and has served as the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at a local church. Shayna has a passion to create inculsive learning environments that empower students of all abilities to reach their goals and better understand God's ideal for their lives. As the Coordinator of Student Success Services, she is honored to serve the students of CCU through accessibility and academic support.