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Hi I'm Tony Piña

I am a husband, father, Puerto Rican, university dean, educational technology leader, guitarist and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I have been happily married to my bride, Teresa, for over 25 years and our lives are richly blessed by our six terrific children who came to us through a combination of birth and adoption: Heather, Kellie, Lisa, Emily Serena and Alex. I was born to wonderful parents who instilled the values of work, education and service. I am blessed to have a loving younger sister and a great extended family. I am an educator by profession. My career focus has been on how learning and teaching can be enhanced using technology particularly through online/distance learning. In my current assignment as Dean, I oversee the academic side of the online programs at Kentucky’s largest private university. I am very active in my professional associations and publish and present regularly on topics related to instructional technology and distance learning. I have an eclectic taste in music, from classical to classic rock, from old blues to new blues, from old standards to new jazz, from old country to new country, and from choir to soul. I have enjoyed playing guitar in many styles, venues and bands since my early teens. The list of my musical influences is far too long to post here, however, my all-time favorite band remains the Beatles. In the church, Teresa and I have been blessed with opportunities to serve in various teaching and leadership positions in the five states in which we have lived. Each of these has been a vital learning and growing experience for both of us.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints primarily because I have undergone a four-fold conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His restored gospel: 1) Social: Wherever I travel, I can enter an LDS chapel or temple and find myself at home, with those who believe and live as I do. While local customs and traditions may vary, the doctrines, ordinances and programs of the Church are world-wide. Whenever my family has moved to a new state, we are welcomed by our brothers and sisters in the faith. Through my local congregation, I learn how to serve others, both within and outside of my faith. 2) Practical: The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ provides practical guidelines, standards and teaching to help me be a good husband, father, employee and citizen. When I apply the principles of the gospel to my family, relationships, career and interactions with others, they “work.” 3) Intellectual: The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ answers all of the “big questions” regarding where we came from before we were born, what our purposes are in this earthly life, and what happens to us after death. The eternal perspective provide by the gospel puts the temporary unfairness, inequity and evil of this life into an eternal perspective. No other belief system that I have encountered—religious, philosophical or empirical—has provided such a complete set of answers. 4) Spiritual: My conversion to and testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel is my most powerful and significant conversion, yet it is as Orson Scott Card, once described, “an attempt to explain in words what words cannot explain, to people who cannot understand you unless they already know.” My conversion to Jesus Christ and His restored gospel was not a singular event, but is a lifelong journey. Over the years He has given me many insights, some through experiences through which I was led and others by direct spiritual promptings and communication.

How I live my faith

The gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ as taught through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides an eternal perspective for me in a world concerned primarily with temporary things and instant gratification. I have learned that I need to live my life so that I am the same person on Monday as I was in Church on Sunday. I am far from perfect, but I am trying to be the best husband, father, employee, colleague and friend that I can. I am grateful for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that gratitude is what motivates me to try to emulate Jesus’ life of service as best I can. Sometimes I fall short and I am grateful for the gifts of prayer, scriptures, repentance and forgiveness (which also means that I need to forgive others). I find no value in denigrating the faith of others and find great value in associating with people of faith. I love to discuss my faith with others and to learn about their faith.