Beloved DJAM Professor Michael Kitada is Leaving Biola


DJAM’s very own Professor Michael Kitada will be leaving at the semester’s end. Students and faculty are sad to see him go. As a professor of photojournalism and advisor for The Torch, Professor Kitada has touched the lives of many students and faculty here at Biola; he will be dearly missed. 

Dr. Longinow was part of hiring Professor Kitada to teach photojournalism and bring him on staff full-time. He recognized Kitada’s heart for providing the best opportunities for students and encouraging them to produce their best work. 

I co-taught some classes with Mike Kitada and we were like Abbott and Costello or some other comedy team. I was the boring guy; he was the funny guy,” said Dr. Longinow. “I taught reporting; he taught visual journalism. And, students came away with a holistic approach to journalism that neither of us, individually, could pull off.” 

Faculty call Kitada the “resident pastor,” and the “unofficial chaplain” for the program. “He was the guy who asked how everybody’s doing – individually, in their office. He asked because he cared,” said Longinow. 

“I had many moments with Prof. Kitada over the years,” Professor Stewart Oleson fondly recalls. “We have offices right next to each other… so I frequently wander into his office to sit on his COMFY sofa and chat…I will miss him and those moments very much.” 

Students and faculty will miss Professor Kitada. “We were building this program to such an amazing place and Prof. Kitada’s dreams were all wrapped up in it,” said Dr. Tamara Welter. “I can’t imagine doing this without him, but I’m hopeful to see where God leads him and excited to learn about this next chapter God takes him into.”

Prof. Kitada’s time here at Biola will always be remembered.