Volume 10 Issue 2 Summer 2018
Chasing a Wave The Pepperdine surf team makes University history when a new member wins a national surfing competition
CO M M E N C E M E N T C RA S H E RS Guests at this yearâ€™s Seaver College graduation ceremony were moved to laughter and shrieks when two brown pelicans dove into the crowd and caused quite a commotion. The winged interlopers were ushered out of Alumni Park by two security guards and the University Events team, but not before leaving the 850 graduates and some 9,000 guests with the memory of a lifetime. Photo: Grant Dillion
Contents F E AT U R E S
14 Chasing a Wave The Pepperdine surf team makes University history when a new member wins a national surfing competition
20 Traumatic Effect After surviving a hate-fueled shooting spree as a child, a psychology graduate student reflects on the complexities of recovery
26 First Wordsmith During the George W. Bush administration, Troy Senik (MPP ’07) was one of the voices behind the most powerful man in the world. Today, he continues to shape public opinion in his own words
Located just a couple miles from campus, First Point at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach is one of the most popular surf spots in the US. Read about the Pepperdine surf team: page 14 Photo: Jared Price (’17)
VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 2 | SUMMER 2018 Pepperdine Magazine editor
Sara Bunch, Amanda Pisani, Jakie Rodriguez (MS ’13)
Mallory Bockwoldt (’16),
Ron Hall (’79)
interactive developer Kimberly Robison (’10)
The Return of Romar
Beyond the Badge
After a whirlwind career of wins, Lorenzo Romar is back at Pepperdine and ready to take the Waves to the top
At the Portland Police Bureau, Chief Danielle Outlaw (MBA ’12) is changing perceptions of policing nationwide
Published by the Office of Public Affairs Rick Gibson (MBA ’09, PKE 121) Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President for Public Affairs and Church Relations Matt Midura (’97, MA ’05) Associate Vice President for Integrated
Asking for Direction
Home Is Where the Hive Is
Students seek spiritual mentors to help guide them toward a deeper relationship with God
As the country’s honeybees face decimation, alumnus Jeffrey Lee (’90) has stepped up to save them
Marketing Communications Nate Ethell (’08, MBA ’13) Director of Communications and Brand Development Keith Lungwitz Creative Director Allen Haren (’97, MA ’07)
Director of Digital Media
From Craigslist to Calling
Beauty in the Broken
Senior Director of Operations
School of Law alumna Rebecca Harkness (JD ’07) pursues a life of purpose in children’s court
Seaver College student Tehya Braun is committed to creating art that will help fellow sexual assault survivors heal
Ed Wheeler (’97, MA ’99) Mauricio Acevedo Director of Digital Marketing Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends. It is published three times per year by the University’s
6 Inside Voices
32 Snapshot 48 The Cut
Public Affairs division and is produced with
Each issue of Pepperdine Magazine contains a limited number of half- or full-page advertising opportunities for University departments and initiatives. To learn more about advertising, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
cross section of the University community.
guidance from an advisory board representing a Send address changes, letters to the editor, and other queries to: email@example.com All material is copyrighted ©2018 by Pepperdine University, Malibu, California 90263. Pepperdine is affiliated with Churches of Christ, of
7 Campus Notes
which the University’s founder, George Pepperdine, was a lifelong member.
I Not too far!
never heeded my mother’s warnings when she stood where the sand met the sea in Malibu and called out to where I had waded—usually up to my waist or sometimes higher, much to her terror. She could sense the danger better than my 10-year-old brain could comprehend and knew that the waves building up on the surface of the ocean could sweep me up and carry me into the depths of the Pacific. I was defenseless, but at that age I couldn’t distinguish between fun and fear and held my breath as a “big one” came and hurled me headfirst into a whirlpool of sea foam and shoreline debris. Did my confidence set me up for potential harm? Yes. Did I do it anyway? Absolutely. Have you ever pondered the power of the sea? At once destructive and restorative, shapeless yet sure, it serves as a constant reminder of a great, big unknown that puzzles even the most sophisticated minds. But Seaver College student Cayla Moore doesn’t consider the water a mysterious force of nature. The champion surfer knows and understands it very well. Cayla’s ocean isn’t threatening or tempestuous and it doesn’t thrash. It’s as steady as land, allowing her to glide across its stillness and stand confidently against its inherent rage. In our cover story we learn that surfing is a daily prayer that allows Cayla to reflect on the wonder of God’s creation, especially as the day breaks on the tranquil waters in the repose of dawn. This June she navigated the crests and troughs of the waves at Dana Point and came in first in the women’s collegiate category at the National Scholastic Surfing Association championships—a victory that established Pepperdine as a contender in the surfing arena. In the pages of this issue, we meet others who have confronted seemingly untameable forces with great conviction and emerged with a renewed sense of identity and purpose, whether they were ensuring the welfare of the most vulnerable members of society in children’s court (page 42), attempting to heal the scars of sexual assault with the strokes of a paintbrush (page 47), or living in the aftermath of a deadly shooting spree that changed the course of a little boy’s life forever (page 20). Two decades later, I’m still drawn to the call of the sea, but today I’m a little more cautious and a little more sensitive to the potential dangers that caused my mother to fret so many years ago. I’ll stand at the mouth of the ocean and let the water dance around my ankles, sometimes higher. I’ll welcome the gentle mist that reminds me of what lurks just beyond that invisible line between comfort and catastrophe. And perhaps someday I’ll venture just a little bit farther and dive more confidently into the unknown knowing that the simple act of moving can produce the most beautiful outcomes.
GAREEN DARAKJIAN editor
Inside Voices “Pepperdine is listening and giving back to its alumni, and it’s doing amazing things to connect us once again.”
Coming Home By David M. Johnson (’92, MIB ’94) President-Elect, Pepperdine Alumni Leadership Council
I’m a “Tsunami.” That’s what some of us call a Pepperdine Wave who comes back for more than one degree. My undergraduate experience rivaled most dreams—from visiting the Soviet Union while studying in Heidelberg during the summer of 1989 to chipping away bits of the Berlin Wall a few months later during an excursion from Florence. Two years later I got to represent the University as part of the Pepperdine Ambassadors Council at the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where they unveiled a monolith of the wall I helped chip away. I subsequently returned for my Master of International Business (MIB) degree and studied in both Malibu and Germany. But I drifted away, as many alumni do. Around 30 of my MIB cohorts live all around the world, and it’s nearly impossible to plan a reunion when Maria is in Dubai and Frank is in Romania. I loved my time at Pepperdine and missed the great friendships, but I graduated before cell phone numbers were permanent and the internet could connect us at lightning speed. In my heart I was still a Wave, even though I hadn’t been on campus in two decades. That was when I saw President Benton again at my wife’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology commencement, and I wasn’t surprised when he remembered me. We discussed the idea of me getting more involved with the University again, and I told him, “The answer is yes. Now you tell me what I just volunteered to do.”
A month later I received a call from Jason Pates (’95, MPP ’99), a former freshman in the residence hall where I was resident advisor. He was now the president of the Alumni Leadership Council (ALC), a diverse group of active alumni that represents all five schools of Pepperdine. This was my chance to reconnect. The ALC is the highest-level alumni advisory board at Pepperdine, providing research and strategic advice to the executive administration. Our objective is to develop and strengthen lifelong relationships between the University and its alumni and to serve as leaders of the University mission. The ALC had a vision to invite all alumni to reconnect with their friends and affinity groups while also creating a vibrant career community. PeppConnect was our solution. This July, with the support of the University, it became a reality. PeppConnect is an online environment where alumni can meet each other at local, global, and virtual career events; where every business industry has a platform to chat and share opportunities; where every student will soon have an opportunity to develop a network for mentorship or job placement; and where affinity groups can create their own mini-communities and plan events or partner with an event already sponsored by Pepperdine. The ALC is now in its 11th year, and our advice has become the foundation of the University’s first-ever five-year alumni engagement strategic plan. It’s not just a departmental plan—the University has taken an earnest approach to alumni engagement, creating synergy in goals among all five schools and calling on the deans to adopt more effective alumni engagement strategies. Pepperdine is listening and giving back to its alumni, and it’s doing amazing things to connect us once again. Never has there been a better time to come back home. So, log in and find your friends, your career network, or your professors. Reconnect like I did. Contact Alumni Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org, join PeppConnect at connect.pepperdine.edu, or write to me at email@example.com. If you say yes, I’ll do my best President Benton impersonation and reconnect you.
Campus Notes PEPPERDINE PEOPLE
Mark Lauren As fire season heats up in Malibu, Pepperdine’s lieutenant of fire and safety preparedness tackles hot topics.
Along with Lauren, fire inspector Jason
Jensen and fire life safety officer Cris Anzo Andrade compose the primary DPS fire life safety staff and are supported by DPS officers. Together they manage the safety systems, construction project inspections, and other fire- and medical-related emergency responses.
When he was in the fourth grade,
a local fire prompted Malibu native Mark Lauren’s teacher to abruptly leave class to check on her home. The fire also came dangerously close to Lauren’s own home, an experience that inspired him to pursue a career in the fire service.
Malibu campus fire safety protocol calls
While working as a fire captain in Carmel Highlands, Lauren once extricated
“Our vegetation is strategically managed
an operator from a crane overturned on a bridge 300 feet above the ground in Big Sur. When a sheriff’s deputy crawled into the cabin to attach a rescue harness to the victim, Lauren stepped in to assist in the rescue of both men.
for sheltering in place should a wildland fire break and threaten the Malibu campus. This is essential, as traffic on narrow canyon roads can block entry points for emergency vehicles.
to remove fuel from a fire’s path. We also look at previous burn patterns to determine which areas of campus require greater focus.”
DPS monitors the global Pepperdine community 24/7 and is prepared to initiate the appropriate responses specific to each campus for virtually every situation.
Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers are uniquely cross-trained as wildland
“As the father of five children, I know just
firefighters, which requires special training courses and completion of the California State Fire Marshal’s 40-hour Wildland Firefighting Academy certification program.
how much Pepperdine’s planning, training, prevention, and dedication mean to families. The welfare of our community is paramount. It is truly our privilege to serve its needs.”
Faith Figures Take a closer look at the attendees and events that explored “The Spirit-Filled People of God” at Harbor | PBL 2018. Highest attendance rates by state:
were 21% registrants 4% first-timers 17% 1,062 7 34% of
on-campus beds occupied
20% 50-59 19% 60-69 15% 30-39 12% 40-49
219 speakers 227 sessions 10 keynotes 3 morning exercise activities
26 meal gatherings
Most popular meal gathering:
600 attendees daily
Source: Office of Church Relations | pepperdine.edu/spiritual-life/church-relations
Campus Notes SOUND BITES C H AT T E R As news of President Benton’s impending departure spread throughout the community, Waves near and far shared their fondest memories of Pepperdine’s distinguished leader.
“Justice systems are actually built by leaders of uncommon virtue, and in particular, the virtue of a love for others that does not go away when things get hard.” Gary Haugen, founder and CEO, International Justice Mission
EVENT: 45th Annual School of Law Dinner
“If we address emotional well-being, we have the power to transform our society. But to address emotional well-being requires us to recognize emotional well-being as being important. It requires us to recognize emotions not as a source of weakness, but in fact as a source of great power.” Vivek Murthy, surgeon general of the United States (2014–2017)
Petition to keep bringing back his band for MyTie forever! #LoveAKB #WavesUp
EVENT: 2018 Future of Healthcare Symposium
@CHEFKENMEALPREP Thanks for having an open heart and mind for so many great changes we proposed during our time there.
“The headlines [about global warming] are meant to get you into a state of anxiety. The way we’re talking about global warming is guaranteed to disengage 99 percent of the people in the world . . . yet we persist in communicating in such a way to turn most people off.
@MATTCOCCO Anytime I ran into President Benton I got the feeling he knew who I was, as if he memorized every student attending his school.
Paul Hawken, environmentalist, author, activist EVENT: Climate Calling 2018
This year the brand-new Oasis Pizzeria & Noodle Bar opened at Waves Cafe, featuring customizable artisan pizzas and a variety of Asian and worldwide noodle entrees.
“Give up on the notion of balance. It’s really not about ‘balancing.’ It’s about integrating our work priorities with all the other things in life that matter to us. Be clear on what those things are, and be intentional about where you spend your time.” Jacki Kelley (’88), COO, Bloomberg Media EVENT: Living Your Calling
FROM THE ARCHIVES The Promenade called the 1942 opening of the Oasis student center on the George Pepperdine College campus “the greatest impetus to student relations during the school year.” In this photo dated 1990, the year of its rededication on the Malibu campus, the campus community gathers in the newly reimagined space on the annual Founder’s Day.
Source: Pepperdine Libraries Special Collections and Archives
Pepperdine University Celebrates 42nd Annual Pepperdine Associates Dinner In the grand ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, members of the Pepperdine community gathered for the 42nd annual Pepperdine Associates dinner held Saturday, April 7, 2018. The event’s theme, “The Spirit of Inquiry,” set the tone for the evening’s festivities, particularly in the personal storytelling of keynote speaker Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, who shared tales from his leadership journey and the lessons he learned as he rose through the ranks of the multinational retail corporation. In his opening remarks, Chancellor Michael F. Adams welcomed guests to the celebration of Pepperdine’s successes of the year and its greatest supporters, including both new and longtime members of the George Pepperdine Society who were escorted through the room by members of the Pepperdine Ambassadors Council. Keith Hinkle, senior vice president for advancement and public affairs, echoed Adams’ sentiments as he acknowledged the impact of the supporters—nearly 3,200 individuals—who generously gave during the second annual Give2Pepp, Pepperdine’s Giving Day. “We never have need to doubt that a community as caring and close-knit as our Pepperdine family will step up to support our University and help sustain the schools, programs, and people that make it great,” Hinkle proclaimed to the attendees before introducing the theme of the evening.
Referencing the Spirit of Inquiry and the University’s affirmation statement, President Andrew K. Benton remarked, “We gather tonight believing Pepperdine makes a difference in faith and education. We refuse to choose between being faithful to our founding mission and being the best that we possibly can be in the halls of academia. Pepperdine makes a difference as we engage in spirited inquiry, believing that ‘truth, having nothing to fear from investigation, should be pursued relentlessly in every discipline.’ We believe that.” Taking the stage, McMillon shared his successes and failures on his rise to his current role at the helm of Walmart and drew parallels between the entrepreneurial visions of George Pepperdine and Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, who was a source of great inspiration to McMillon at the beginning of his career. His reflections on his time under Walton’s tutelage illuminated how the core value of putting people first helped shape both his own and Walmart’s enduring philosophy. “The winning bet over time is going to be on people,” McMillon said. “It will be the way that our people, their spirit of inquiry, their passion, their desire to be servant leaders, and the values that Sam Walton taught us to have as a company, that will differentiate us. If Pepperdine can continue to teach tomorrow’s leaders how to combine character, values, ethics, and purpose together with critical problem-solving skills so they can solve the next day’s problems, not yesterday’s problems, we’re all going to be OK.”
Headlines Pepperdine University Names Two New Members to Board of Regents Pepperdine University announced two new additions to its Board of Regents, the University’s governing board, this June. Brett Biggs is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walmart. He is responsible for Walmart Enterprise Solutions, which includes all finance functions, as well as Global Business Services. Biggs is also involved in various civic functions, including serving on the board of directors for MANA, a nonprofit group focused on acute malnutrition in African children, and the Walton Arts Center Board. He recently joined the board of trustees of the National Urban League and also serves as Walmart’s corporate representative on the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council at the University of Texas. Within Walmart, he serves on the Walmart Foundation Board and as an
Chancellor Michael F. Adams Concludes Three-Year Appointment Michael F. Adams, who was named chancellor of Pepperdine University in August 2015, concluded his three-year appointment on July 31, 2018. Adams, former president of the University of Georgia from 1997 to 2013, is an award-winning educator and political communication specialist. He also served as vice president for university affairs at Pepperdine from 1982 to 1989. As chancellor, Adams focused on cultivating existing relationships and developing new partnerships to extend Pepperdine’s reach throughout Southern California and around the globe. Following the success of the Campaign for Pepperdine, which concluded on December 31, 2014, Adams took a leadership role on major initiatives and helped strengthen the University’s endowment. “I have particularly appreciated Chancellor and Mrs. Adams’ strategic engagement in planning, friend- and fund-raising, and their apparent love for this University and our community,” said President Andrew K. Benton. “They are champions for our students in the theatre, on the athletic playing courts, and as we plan for the future of the University. It has been a joy and privilege working with them these past three years.”
10 Pepperdine Magazine
executive sponsor for the HispanicLatino Resource Group. Seth A. Haye (’02) is an executive director and portfolio management director at Morgan Stanley and a senior partner of the Oaks Group, where he provides leadership and guidance regarding all financial matters that impact the lives of his clients. Haye’s role as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley began in 2004. He and his wife, Jolyn (’02), are involved with multiple boards and organizations both domestically and abroad. Seth previously served on the University Board at Pepperdine University, and the couple recently established an endowed scholarship for Christian leaders at Pepperdine.
ཁཁRead more: magazine.pepperdine.edu/regents-2018
School of Public Policy Hosts 2018 Global Simulation Competition Site On February 24, 2018, the School of Public Policy served as the Southern California host site that welcomed graduate students from 10 universities to participate in the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. This year’s competition—a partnership between the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy—connected more than 500 students at 15 global host sites through competitive, computer-based simulated gameplay. Developed by the Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming, the event placed students in leadership roles within a time-sensitive, fast-paced environment where they worked together to minimize the impact of a deadly infectious disease threatening humanity. “Simulation-based learning is an incredibly valuable tool, offering some of the most exciting, intense, and impactful learning on the planet for public affairs education,” said NASPAA executive director Laurel McFarland. “In the classroom, our graduate students have been trained to be problem solvers, team players, and analysts. These simulations enhance students’ abilities to tackle complex policy problems they may face in the real world. They’ll be ready for the next global pandemic—or whatever crisis they might face in their public service career.”
Pepperdine Hosts Harbor | PBL 2018 From May 1 to 4, 2018, more than 200 guest speakers from around the nation gathered at the Malibu campus to lead Harbor | PBL 2018. On the 75th anniversary of the beloved weeklong Pepperdine Bible Lectures, the speakers presented on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit as they explored the 2018 theme “The Spirit-Filled People of God” under the event’s new identity of Harbor. Rick Atchley, senior teaching minister at The Hills Church in Texas and the first keynote speaker of the four-day event,
examined the depths of John 16. Don McLaughlin of the North Atlanta Church of Christ discussed 1 Corinthians 12–14 during his keynote address and also led the three-part lecture “The Tale of the Dove (The Shocking Untold Story of the Holy Spirit).” Musical guests included United Voice Worship, College Praise, Campbell Praise, ZOE Group, and Pepperdine’s student-led six-member a cappella group, Won by One.
ཁཁLearn more about this year’s Harbor: page 7
Pepperdine Announces Business School Name Change Pepperdine Theatre Department Presents Medea
Effective March 19, 2018, the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management became known as the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, a shift that dean Deryck J. van Rensburg explains more accurately captures the school’s efforts under one banner with a unified vision for the future. “As we approach our 50th anniversary, I’ve been reflecting on what an incredible honor it is for me to lead and serve our students, faculty, and alumni,” said Dean Van Rensburg. “One of my goals when I first became dean was to advance our clarity of purpose and sense of mission. Today we are observing an important milestone in renaming our school Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. In doing so, we are also building on 50 years of values-based education, preparing students to be Best for the World Leaders in a smart machine age.” The renaming is one of the first steps outlined in Van Rensburg’s vision for the business school in a document called ASPIRE 2025, a comprehensive strategic plan developed in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Graziadio School. ASPIRE 2025, which Van Rensburg says will allow the business school to “reach for new horizons and unleash its organic potential” into the next seven years and beyond, focuses on enhancing the student experience, elevating faculty as thought leaders, facilitating business partnerships, and establishing the Graziadio School as an employer of choice.
Students of the Seaver College Fine Arts Division performed the Euripides tragedy Medea throughout the first week of April. The performances were based on a version of the play developed by British playwright and dramaturge Ben Power, which premiered in 2014 at the Royal National Theatre in London. Pepperdine associate professor of theatre Bradley Griffin directed the student cast, which featured senior Sara Barney as Medea, freshman George Preston as Jason, and junior Kathryn Semple as the nurse. The production also featured an original musical score composed by professor of music N. Lincoln Hanks. “It’s one thing to read a Greek tragedy in a classroom setting. It’s another thing entirely to experience that same story on stage,” said Griffin. “In an era when some new atrocity scrolls across our news feed every day, the students in this production have committed themselves to telling this harrowing story as a way of bearing witness to the pain of betrayal, while also exposing our desperate need for a more just, equitable world.”
Headlines Authors Charles Marsh and John M. Perkins Lead 2018 Veritas Forum Charles Marsh and John M. Perkins, coauthors of the book Welcoming Justice: God’s Movement Toward Beloved Community, addressed the question, “Does God Care About Justice?” at the 2018 Veritas Forum on March 27, 2018. The speakers modeled “lived theology” and examined an interdisciplinary project that emphasizes theology, history, and social leadership. Marsh is the commonwealth professor of religious studies and the director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia. Perkins is a minister, civil rights activist, Bible teacher, and philosopher who has served under five US presidents and holds 14 honorary doctorates from various colleges and universities across the nation.
Erewhon Founder Paul Hawken Keynotes 2018 Climate Calling Conference For the fifth consecutive year, Pepperdine University and the Malibu Public Library Speaker Series cohosted the three-day Climate Calling conference at the Pepperdine campus in Malibu from April 10 to 12, 2018. Climate Calling 2018: Student and Community Responses to Climate Change aimed to encourage participants to work toward stopping climate change and to foster a more sustainable future. The first day of the conference featured a sustainability and wellness fair that emphasized keeping our planet healthy. Environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, and activist Paul Hawken, known for effectively changing
the way the world relates business to the environment, served as the keynote speaker on the second day. On the final day of the conference, student researchers discussed their respective topics during an academic poster session as part of a spring semester course that included a climate change component. The day also included the Climate Calling Media Festival, where students and alumni gathered to share their responses to climate change through film, photo, and spoken word.
School of Public Policy and Straus Institute Partnership Introduces New Specialization The School of Public Policy announced a partnership with the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution to create a new dispute resolution specialization within its Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree curriculum. The new program, which will begin enrolling students this fall, establishes Pepperdine as one of America’s only graduate policy programs to offer a concentration of its kind within its MPP program and the country’s only joint MPP/MDR program.
Adam Schaechterle Named Pepperdine Men’s Tennis Head Coach Longtime college tennis coach Adam Schaechterle was announced as the new head coach of the Pepperdine men’s tennis program on May 14, 2018. Schaechterle is the 16th head coach in the program’s history. Most recently serving as the associate head coach at the University of Notre Dame, he has also spent time at the helm of the University of North Florida and assisted at his alma mater, Northwestern University. “I want to thank Dr. Steve Potts and President Benton for the opportunity to lead the Pepperdine men’s tennis program,” said Schaechterle. “Pepperdine tennis has an incredible tradition, and it’s a dream come true for me and my family to be part of that legacy. We look forward to building a program that represents the values of the University and competes for championships.”
“We often say that we’re a school committed to ‘bringing the public back into public policy.’ This new specialization—with its focus on how we can solve our public challenges in more collaborative ways—is a logical extension of this mission,” explained School of Public Policy dean Pete Peterson. “We’re living in an era known for its polarization, especially in the public square. Through this course work, we intend to prepare leaders with both policy expertise and the skills to work across differences, whatever they may be.”
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Tradition meets innovation at the newly renovated Payson Library. Experience the Spanish revival architecture and inspiring views of the Malibu coastline in a space that offers virtual reality and 3D printing equipment, global access to digital resources, and librarians available in person and online.
Supporting Learning. Supporting Innovation. Supporting Community.
Chasing a Wave Photos: Ron Hall (â€™79) Aerial photos: Grant Dillion
She paddles out from the sea mouth using her arms to propel the five-foot, nine-inch board into the great, big blue. At ease and effortless, it’s as though she were born to buoy in the endless ocean that surrounds her.
The Pepperdine surf team makes University history when a new member wins a national surfing competition By Sara Bunch
“I’m so comfortable in the ocean that surfing feels like walking or breathing, and paddling is second nature,” says Seaver College junior Cayla Moore. Moving nearly 2,500 miles away from her close-knit family for college, Moore discovered that surfing was the only surefire activity to remedy her homesickness, especially in the two years she spent in Santa Barbara before relocating to Malibu. “Being in the ocean puts me at ease. It’s a time for me to reflect on my day and my emotions without anyone else around,” she says. “Surfing early in the morning is especially calming because I can watch the sunrise and appreciate the day before it has even begun. It helps me feel centered and more connected to God because I am reminded that he made it all.” Moore’s parents, both avid swimmers in high school and college, introduced their youngest daughter to the water as a baby on the south shore of Oahu. As she got older, her childhood days were split between the backyard pool and the warm Pacific. The Honolulu native learned how to swim at 7 months old, began surfing at age 2, and became a two-time national surf champion while still in high school. As a freesurfer in college, she landed brand sponsorships from Hurley, J. Kashiwai Surfboards, and Tonic Hair Care. By 21, the first-year member of the Pepperdine surf team was the second-ranked surfer in the women’s individual category after competing against students from other West Coast schools during the 2017–2018 season.
Operated through Campus Recreation, the nine members of the Pepperdine surf team practice regularly under the guidance of dedicated professional coaches and travel and compete against teams from other universities. Surf team members are selected each year through tryouts, and the team must include two women, six men, and one longboarder, a position that is open to both male and female teammates. This year the team received a substantial gift from Pepperdine parents Scott and Audrey Blum, who will continue to extend their support each year that their son Will is enrolled at the University. This notable generosity from the Blum family has helped deliver a flood of new resources for the surf team, providing students with much-needed assistance to expand their opportunities, particularly by covering travel expenses to compete in an array of surfing competitions along the California coast.
The surf team was founded and is headed by University Board member and former professional surfing champion Takuji Masuda (’93, MFA ’17), who previously served on the World Surf League (WSL) board. With connections to both Pepperdine and surfing that span decades, Masuda is actively changing the direction of the surf team to equip students with the necessary skills to eventually represent the University at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles—a mission contingent upon the results of introducing surfing as an official sports category at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “My team’s athletes are not simply trained to compete by WSL standards. The goal is to integrate them into the surf industry and into other opportunities around surf culture,” Masuda reveals. “As an alumnus, this has been a delightful and meaningful experience for me.”
Right of Wave While rule enforcement depends on the location of each surf break, abiding by the following surf etiquette can help create a better experience for locals and visitors alike.
No “Drop-Ins” When two surfers paddle toward the same wave at about the same time, the surfer who rides the wave first and is closest to its breaking point has the right of way. No “Snaking” Don’t purposely paddle closer to a wave’s breaking point after noticing that another surfer is already riding that wave. No Cutting When paddling out, don’t cut through the lineup of surfers waiting ahead of you. No Loose Items Hold on to your board, because if you lose your balance and let go, its fins can injure nearby surfers on forceful impact.
Along with Masuda, Pepperdine has produced other notable alumni who have found success in entrepreneurial ventures at the intersection of surfing and business. After graduating from Seaver College, Richard Woolcott (’89) became the cofounder of popular sports apparel company Volcom—a brand that sold for $608 million to Kering, the Paris-based group that owns multiple luxury designer brands, including Balenciaga, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent. Fellow alumnus Enich Harris (’95), former Billabong marketing director and past president of the Pepperdine surf team, has also established himself as a leader in the industry as the previous global vice president of marketing at Fox Head, Inc., a sporting goods company that produces
clothing and accessories for athletes and fans of extreme sports. “I can completely envision Cayla playing a massive role in the surfing industry,” Masuda says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she became the youngest CEO of the WSL.” In addition to the surf team, Campus Recreation also oversees the student-run Surf Club that is currently composed of about 50 members. Seaver College junior Sierra Perry, Surf Club president, plays a significant role in recruiting candidates for the surf team and sensed Moore’s undeniable athletic prowess during New Student Orientation. “I knew right away after tryouts and talking with my coaches that Cayla was on a different level than anyone else at
Pepperdine,” says Perry. “She is extremely talented and made it to finals at every contest we attended.” This June Moore competed at the NSSA Championships in Dana Point, in which Pepperdine was a first-time contender. She won first place, a familiar position for the 21-year-old whose sister Carissa Moore is a three-time WSL champion. While she makes unfathomable endurance and flexibility appear effortless, Moore dedicated countless hours to training with three coaches at both Zuma Beach and The Cage fitness facility on campus. She even practiced her moves at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch for a few days in May—a highly coveted adventure for any surfing enthusiast.
Features Earth, Wind, and Science Surfing facts from Seaver College professor and Surf Convo leader Robert Shearer and his son, School of Law student Will Shearer
Energy from the sun creates uneven temperatures around the globe, producing storms that generate waves that can travel thousands of miles across the open ocean to your local surf break.
Gravity pulls a surfer and the board down into the water, while the board’s buoyancy pushes it back up. When riding on a wave, gravity pulls the surfer down the face of the wave.
He’enalu, the Hawaiian word for surfing, translates to “wave sliding.” The original Hawaiian surfboards did not have fins, while modern surfboard shapers include them for directional stability and control.
Wetsuits are built to trap a layer of water between your skin and the fabric. As surfers start to paddle, their bodies warm up, heating up the water layer and keeping them comfortable in the cold ocean.
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“I’m so comfortable in the ocean that surfing feels like walking or breathing.” – Cayla Moore
With days that begin before sunrise and include a jampacked schedule of rigorous schoolwork, Moore thrives on balancing her athletic and academic commitments. Although the ocean is undisputedly her happy place, the business administration major’s ultimate goal is to pursue a career in the surf industry, specifically in the planning and coordination of projects for major events hosted by the WSL. Conveniently headquartered in Santa Monica with a regional office in Hawaii, Moore will have the option to stay in Malibu or move back home after graduation. “The fieldwork, research, and communications that go into event planning interest me beyond the glitz and glamour that people see when they attend large functions,” explains Moore, who spent the spring semester assisting the Pepperdine University Events team with various administrative assignments. With the tremendous strides that the Surf Club and surf team have made recently in terms of leadership, talent, and endowments, Moore believes that she picked the perfect school. “I never expected that surfing would bring me to Pepperdine, especially around the time that it is being included in the Olympics,” Moore says. “I am exactly where I want to be right now.”
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Effect After surviving
By Sara Bunch
shooting spree as a child,
graduate student reflects on the complexities of recovery
The North Valley Jewish Community Center was six-year-old Josh Stepakoff’s safe place. It was where he spent five days a week playing with other children enrolled in the same day camp program. It was where, for as long as he could remember, the day would begin with his father dropping him off and lead to a game of capture the flag with friends that felt like family.
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But his life was permanently changed on August 10, 1999, when a known neo-Nazi entered the facility and fired 70 gunshots as “a wake-up call to America to kill Jews.” In less than one minute, two bullets had pierced through Stepakoff’s hip and leg, barely missing his spine and vital organs and reshaping his sense of security forever.
Source: Los Angeles Daily News archives
People show up. People are supportive.
But those people start to go away, and you’re left to deal with it on your own because nobody else can deal with it for you. —JOSH STEPAKOFF 24 Pepperdine Magazine
“I was in a place that I considered home. I felt safe and beyond comfortable there. I was the happiest that I could be,” Stepakoff recalls about the center prior to the incident. “For this shooting to happen in my happy place, where I was safe and around people I loved—that threw me for a loop. To this day there’s no place where I truly feel safe.” Now pursuing a clinical psychology degree at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP), Stepakoff explains that while the details of the incident remained at the top of national news headlines for a short time, his personal recovery would require more than a decade of sessions with therapists and psychologists, as well as a brief period of psychiatric treatment. The immediate symptoms of his diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder were triggered by any sight or sound related to law enforcement and emergency first responders. With his sense of security completely lost, the sound of helicopter blades, police and ambulance sirens, or loud noises in general would stir the young Stepakoff into a massive panic attack. At home, his triggers would push him to make sure every door and window was properly locked while blasting the stereo or television to mask the intrusive sounds. When triggered in public, he would desperately beg his parents to return home where the threat of danger seemed more manageable. “My parents were extremely understanding,” he remembers. “They knew that there wasn’t any logic to my behavior and would explain that these things are meant to protect us. But my mind just didn’t see it that way, and there was no telling me otherwise.” Thema Bryant-Davis (MDiv ’16), associate professor of psychology at GSEP and licensed clinical psychologist specializing in trauma, contends that parents can play a significant role in children’s recovery by creating a safe, accessible environment for them to openly share their intrusive thoughts or nightmares. “Clearly communicating to children that this was not their fault and that they don’t have to be ashamed of what someone else did can have a
significant impact on how survivors adjust as adults,” she explains. In the 19 years that Stepakoff has diligently worked to overcome his fears and anxieties, he has noticed that the amount of emotional support resources extended to trauma survivors often dissolves too quickly, typically after another newsworthy story obscures the prior tragedy. “People show up. People are supportive. But those people start to go away, and you’re left to deal with it on your own because nobody else can deal with it for you,” he contends. “For the consumer, [the trauma] disappears. They don’t deal with it anymore. But the person going through it will deal with it for a long time, if not forever, and we have to remember that. There are people out there who do continue to be supportive and helpful. You just have to find those people.” Having treated countless clients in the process of overcoming trauma, BryantDavis explains that supporters are afraid of bringing up the past because it may trigger the survivor’s painful thoughts and memories. “In reality, the survivor is already thinking about it and suffering in silence, which leads to isolation,” she explains. Instead, Bryant-Davis recommends that friends and family check in with the survivor and ask whether they can provide any help or support. “The survivor may say everything is fine, but by asking about the trauma and its effects, the survivor knows that they do not have to deal with it alone.” As a way to accelerate his own recovery while helping others in similar circumstances, Stepakoff serves on the board of directors for Women Against Gun Violence, a Los Angelesbased organization that specializes in developing laws, raising community awareness, and creating educational programs focused on gun violence prevention. Alongside his leadership role, Stepakoff is also a member of the organization’s Speakers Bureau, granting him the opportunity to speak at various middle and high schools, college and university campuses, places of worship, with politicians, and in front of parent and religious groups.
“It’s not as rare as it once was, but getting shot is not something that everyone can relate to or understand,” Stepakoff says, adding that his active involvement with community outreach projects has been crucial to his healing process. Although he has spent the greater part of his life working toward a career in clinical psychology, a recent epiphany revealed that he was much more fervent about discussing trauma publicly with the community rather than privately with clients. As he puts it, “I get to share my story and engage in thoughtful conversation, which is far more therapeutic and fun for me than helping people in a therapy room.” This new path allows Stepakoff to continue lobbying politicians about creating new legislation related to gun violence—an immense passion that he hopes will empower him to leave a memorable mark on modern society. “I want to have a legacy,” he admits. “I want people to know that I tried as hard as I could to prevent this national epidemic from getting any worse. I want to demonstrate that whether I succeed or fail, I gave it all that I could in a way that was both therapeutic for me and helpful for everybody else.” As a survivor who was specifically targeted because of his faith—and raised by parents who made sure the event didn’t alter his belief system—Stepakoff defines success as demonstrating unfading strength and endurance despite the profoundly depraved plans his attacker had devised for him. “This man had a hatred toward Jews. I don’t know how he came to feel that way, but I accept it. I also understand that he failed, and he will spend the rest of his life in jail for that.” Stepakoff continues, “I’m now 10 times prouder to say that I am Jewish and that he was unable to dictate what I do with my life. I get to continue to live and make the best of every single day. I make a solid effort to make every situation a fun one. I try not to let things get me down because I accept that each day could be my last. I was lucky enough to survive this one time, but if next time I’m not so lucky, I want the people around me to know that I lived my life as best as I could.”
F I R S T W O R D S M I T H By Gareen Darakjian 26 Pepperdine Magazine
DURING THE GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION, TROY SENIK (MPP ’07) WAS ONE OF THE VOICES BEHIND THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD. TODAY, HE CONTINUES TO SHAPE PUBLIC OPINION IN HIS OWN WORDS
In a Mother’s Day radio address dated May 10, 2008, then-president George W. Bush celebrated matriarchs far and wide for their contributions to their families and to their nation. In the days leading up to the sentimental 448-word proclamation, 24-year-old White House speechwriter Troy Senik, with the help of four fact-checkers, was gathering documents to help President Bush reference a historical—and fairly famous—declaration of love by Abraham Lincoln to his mother. After extensive review, it became an open question as to whether Lincoln was speaking about his biological mother or his stepmother, a detail that did not materially affect the speech, but sent the speechwriting staff on an 18-hour quest to try to deduce from the historical tea leaves who Lincoln was actually referring to. In the end, the fact-checkers could not resolve the question with perfect clarity, and the line was struck from the speech.
“There was a lot of pressure,” recalls Senik, who, over the course of his career in the White House, was responsible for sorting through both obscure facts that were difficult to track down and those that were so universally known that they were never questioned. “Nobody wants to be responsible for letting one get past the goalie.” But it would be hard for Senik, whose writing mostly focused on economics, trade, and foreign policy, to fumble so spectacularly. Political speechwriting is intensely collaborative, and drafts of each speech he and the five other staff writers crafted were shared with multiple departments of the White House—sometimes up to 18 different offices—including the communications team, chief of staff, all associated policy or political areas, and the appropriate cabinet departments. These groups would, after heavy review, return the drafts with their respective set of notes to the writers to synthesize and revise in order to produce a final draft of the speech for the president. Not all assignments were fraught, however, and the speechwriting team enjoyed many lighthearted moments, such as one Senik remembers about the work they produced on the occasion of the unveiling of President and Mrs. Bush’s official portraits at the National Portrait Gallery.
“The writers had gotten into a secret contest to see if we could find a way for the president to mention every one of his predecessors in the speech,” he recalls. At the podium, President Bush dutifully shared an anecdote the team had written about the portrait collection and referenced some of the past presidents featured in the gallery—a total of seven: John Q. Adams, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan. Spoken word, Senik explains, is central to the public’s understanding of a political message, and the degree to which it is fine-tuned has deep and wide implications for the person in power and the public he or she hopes to influence. “Most people don’t have the time to get into incredible depths on any of these particular issues, and that’s what makes this type of communication so important,” says Senik, who also spent time wordsmithing political prose for notable politicians Arnold Schwarzenegger and Newt Gingrich. “[Speechwriters] must be able to distill complicated ideas into short, pithy, and intelligible formulations for people who just don’t have enough time to go deeper.”
Today Senik serves as vice president of policy and programs at the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank. While his work is a bit removed from his speechwriting days in Washington, it accomplishes a similar goal: presenting complicated ideas in a way that makes sense to people who haven’t spent a lifetime studying them. “Obviously, the most important goals for us are to make arguments that are persuasive and to get people to change their minds,” he says. “But even if people don’t agree with us, we still count it as a victory if we’ve made the issue clear for them and if they feel like they have a better sense of what’s going on and what’s actually being debated.” A master of the written and spoken word, Senik, over the course of his career, has influenced public debate in the realms of public policy and media as opinion editor at the Daily Journal, vice president of programs at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, editor in chief at Ricochet.com, columnist and member of the editorial board at the Orange County Register, and host of a podcast series at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University before signing on with the Manhattan Institute. Senik’s current role is to identify and recruit those individuals— scholars, writers, and people with backgrounds in government— who have original ideas, can communicate them to the public, and have the potential to shape what public policy debate looks like. This team of subject matter experts, and their research of the law, economics, energy, education, and beyond, engages in discourse through written word, testifies at government hearings, and sparks national conversation through TV, radio, social media, and other various media.
Now nearly 10 years and two administration changes after Senik’s stint in the White House, presidential speech has evolved and taken on a new meaning thanks to the advent of the unfiltered medium of social media and the immediacy of communication between a political leader and his or her public. Trends over the last decade, however, indicate that presidential popularity often increases when the frequency of their appearances or communications decreases. Senik explains that, after a while, audiences become desensitized to repeated arguments and suggests that people in positions of power, especially commanders in chief, should make themselves more scarce in order to get more value out of the speeches they deliver. “[Presidents] become such ubiquitous figures, and I think that most would probably be more effective if they were more selective about when they decided to give a big speech, especially one that was intended to move public opinion,” he says. “One of the difficulties you face now is, ‘Does anybody have the attention span to get through an entire presidential speech?’” Data says no. A watershed study conducted in 2008 by Lloyds TSB Insurance discovered that the attention span of the average American is limited to five minutes—a whopping seven minutes
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â€œ[Speechwriters] must be able to distill complicated ideas into short, pithy, and intelligible formulations for people who just donâ€™t have enough time to go deeper.â€?
fewer than when the study was conducted 10 years prior. While duration matters, Senik says the most engaging and memorable speeches throughout history are those delivered by individuals who talk in parables—“people who give you a story and a principle embedded in that story that illuminates the bigger issue.” He explains that this type of speech tends to be more persuasive than merely verbalizing facts that can be found on a spreadsheet, a format that would undoubtedly contribute to the loss of the already brief focus of the average audience member. “It’s the way the human brain processes information,” he says. “If you embed it in a narrative, it tends to be a little more memorable.” When Senik recalls the American presidents who have had a lasting impact on the public far beyond their time in office, he notes that they all have something in common: a significant rhetorical legacy. “When we talk about modern presidents,” he says, “the average person is more likely to call to mind a line in a speech; they might recall Reagan’s ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall’” before they go through a litany of legislative accomplishments or talk about a tax bill. And this is uniquely amplified when it comes to presidents because they’re on TV every night, so you hear every utterance. For the people who are really good at it, I think it’s a real accelerant to being historically important.”
After establishing his own voice in the realm of public influence, Senik still credits the School of Public Policy—and its liberal arts approach—with uniquely equipping him to navigate and weave together the many threads that intersect in the world of public policy. “Pepperdine gives students the same content as other programs—the economics, the statistics, the quantitative analysis, and the case study work that puts them in the strategic management mind-set,” he says. “But it also provides the political philosophy and the American history and constitutional law. Nothing [in the world of public policy] is just an economics issue. There’s also going be a legal component to it. There’s going to be a political component to it. There’s going to be a philosophical component to it. There’s going to be an ethical component to it. The comprehensive and global way Pepperdine thought about policy has provided me with the tool kit I need to do my job here. I wouldn’t have had it otherwise.”
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I’m already thinking of those in Sacramento I will insist address me thenceforth as Doctor Reagan.
FIRST PEPPERDINE GRADUATION June 6, 1938 4 graduates
50TH GRADUATION April 18, 1987 343 graduates
RONALD REAGAN Then Governor of California, Honorary Doctor of Laws, February 9, 1970
SEAVER COLLEGE commencement ceremonies on the the Malibu campus were first held at the Amphitheatre; then Firestone Fieldhouse; then Alumni Park.
After witnessing a moving BAGPIPE
at a Founder’s Day celebration, Bill Henegar, former Pepperdine associate vice president for public affairs, suggested making the tradition part of future commencement ceremonies.
IN COORDINATED FASHION the graduating Class of 2008 quickly swapped their mortarboards for Dodger caps as longtime Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully took the podium.
entertained the crowd with his signature wit at the first commencement ceremony in Malibu in 1973.
ELI BROAD accepted his honorary doctoral degree from the Graziadio Business School in 2007.
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“POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE” or the “Graduation March” was first played at a Yale graduation in 1905, the year its composer, Sir Edward Elgar, received an honorary Doctor of Musical Arts from the school.
THE DIPLOMA has been known to be printed on sheepskin and parchment and is sometimes called a testamur, Latin for “we testify.”
HIGH WINDS IN MALIBU KNOCKED DOWN nearly 3,600 chairs set up at Alumni Park for the next day’s commencement ceremony.
JOURNALIST AND NEWS ANCHOR
LESTER HOLT addressed a smaller audience than he’s used to at the 2012 Seaver College graduation ceremony. His son, Stefan Holt (’09), is now an Emmy Award–winning reporter for NBC 4 New York.
KERMIT THE FROG is the only nonhuman to receive an honorary degree from a university. Southampton College in New York famously awarded Kermit, who also gave the commencement address, an Honorary Doctor of Amphibious Letters.
GENE AUTRY traded his cowboy hat for a graduation cap when he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on December 17, 1971.
UPON RECEIVING THEIR
Pepperdine president William S. Banowsky (center) congratulates historians
WILL AND ARIEL DURANT on receiving honorary doctorates from the University.
OFFICER CAPS at graduation, the United States Naval Academy Class of 1912 tossed their midshipmen hats into the air as a symbolic end to the four-year program, thus beginning the tradition at universities nationwide.
I honestly believe your happiness in life will be determined by the fulfillment you receive from those who need your love. B A R B A RA B U S H Then First Lady of the United States, Honorary Doctor of Laws, April 16, 1992
After a whirlwind career of wins, Lorenzo Romar is back at Pepperdine and ready to take the Waves to the top BY GAREEN DARAKJIAN
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Lorenzo Romar almost missed his chance at a national championship title. As assistant coach and lead recruiter of the UCLA men’s basketball team in the early 1990s, Romar was working with the Bruins under Jim Harrick, a former Pepperdine head coach who led the Waves to four NCAA appearances between 1979 and 1988. Wayne Wright, Pepperdine’s athletic director at the time, was trying to persuade him to switch teams. The first time the opportunity came up, Romar declined. The Bruins, with Romar’s help, went on to defeat the University of Arkansas in what would be known as the Los Angeles native’s crowning achievement. Two years later, opportunity knocked again, and this time Romar was certain that signs were pointing him in Pepperdine’s direction. “We lived in Calabasas when I was working at UCLA, and I would see a sign at the Las Virgenes exit that said Pepperdine Next Right every day when I drove back home from work,” he remembers. He eventually made the switch in 1996, and after an aggressive attempt at rebuilding the team in his first season in charge of the Waves, Romar led Pepperdine to 17 and 19 wins over his next two seasons, as well as a spot in the National Invitation tournament in 1999. He left after that year to become the head coach at Saint Louis University, but players that he recruited for Pepperdine would go on to make the NCAA tournament in 2000 and 2002. Now back in California after a 15-year stint at the University of Washington, his alma mater and the institution where he became the second most winning coach in the history of the basketball program,
Romar plans to incorporate his decades of experience and track record for excellence into his latest gig. “When I first became a head coach, there was a lot of trial and error and learning on the fly,” Romar explains of the time he spent working with the Waves. “Now, I have a better understanding of exactly what I want to do as head coach with this program. Since that time, I’ve just learned what worked for me. You can’t be someone that you’re not. I understand now what my personality allows me to do and what can help me be the most effective coach and leader.” His first plan of action: establishing trust with a new team. “They have to be able to believe that if Coach says something, they can trust him at his word and his actions,” Romar explains. “If trust is established and kids feel that you have a general level of competency about what you’re talking about, I think they’ll try to do whatever they can to be the best they can for you.” What Romar promises to bring to the team is his intrinsic intensity that is revealed during game time. Despite his laidback, approachable, and nurturing demeanor off the court, Romar has a no-nonsense approach to basketball. His non-negotiables: “play hard and be on time.” “[Former head coach Marty Wilson and his staff] did a great job of identifying kids with character,” Romar says. “These are really, really good kids. It gives you a good head start to continue to recruit those types of athletes and bring them in.”
Romar first felt the rush of sinking baskets in the third grade at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School in Compton, California. “I picked up a ball at recess and shot a basket. ‘Wow that was nice. Try again,’” he remembers thinking. “‘Man, it didn’t go in. Let me try again.’ I became addicted at that point.” His obsession with basketball led him to study the art of the game intensely. “I lived it, I drank it, I ate it,” he says. “It formed who I was as a basketball person.” It also enabled him to stay away from the people and behaviors that were detrimental to his progress and the accomplishment of his goals. “I grew up in a neighborhood where you could go left and get involved in one thing, or you could go right and get involved in another thing,” he says. “I had to make decisions of right versus wrong early on in my life—I’m not going to join a gang, I’m not going to smoke, I’m not going to drink—because I had a goal. I wouldn’t trade where I grew up for anything. It allowed me to learn so many life lessons.” These life lessons are embedded in his personal value system, which he makes sure to instill in his players. “The Bible says, ‘Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all for the glory of God.’ If you have a particular goal or ambition, you’re probably going to be OK if you do it right.” Another value that Romar refuses to compromise is a commitment to academics and making sure his players know how hard it is to make it in professional sports. In fact, according to the NCAA, only 1.2 percent of men’s college basketball players make it to the pros. Romar says most college athletes don’t make it and stresses the importance of completing their degrees. Throughout his career Romar has seen countless student-athletes succeed both on and off the court. At Washington, 44 of the 45 players he coached went on to graduate, a result he refers to as “a huge highlight” of his time as the head of the Huskies.
“I didn’t realize how hard it was to make it until I made it,” remembers Romar, who spent five years in the NBA playing point guard for the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Detroit Pistons. “When you’re climbing, you’re basically just surviving,” he says. “But then when you look down, you gain that perspective of, ‘Wow, I climbed this far. I had no idea I went this far.’ It can help guys to see that [making it to the NBA] is not easy at all. It’s everybody’s goal, but most don’t make it.” While Romar maintains the difficulty of achieving professional status after college, an impressive number of his Washington players were selected in the NBA draft—13 to be exact, 10 of whom were firstround picks. Future NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas also played for Romar at Washington and was one of 16 Huskies that went on to play in the league during his tenure. This success is partly due to Romar’s keen sense of identifying a player’s potential, a quality he calls having “a feel” for the game. “They just know how to play,” he muses. “When they see there’s danger, they pull the ball back out.
In 2006 Romar was awarded the John Wooden “Keys to Life” award, an honor bestowed upon a former player or coach who demonstrates exceptional character, a strong commitment to faith, and superior leadership skills. As he assumes what he says is his last professional endeavor before retirement, he admits even he is not immune to the challenges that come with starting over with a new team. “There are always challenges as a leader, even more so in the landscape of college basketball now. It’s a challenge to just keep your team together for three or four years,” he says, referring to the high transfer rate among college athletes and the possibility of signing with a professional team before graduating. “But, right now, our goal is to get our guys to believe. We have eight new players coming in, and we have to get them to mesh with the eight that are already here, get on the same page, become a team, pull for one another, and develop a winning mentality. That’s the immediate challenge. That’s the immediate goal.”
“I HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO DO AS HEAD COACH WITH THIS PROGRAM.”
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They see the next pass before anyone else sees it, before they even have the ball or sometimes as soon as they catch it. We try to assess what someone’s potential is and make sure they understand that we’re not going to rest until we get that potential out of them at whatever stage they are in their life. We get them to take ownership of the potential we see in them.”
DIRECTION Students seek spiritual mentors to help guide them toward a deeper relationship with God
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By Sara Bunch The Bible contains numerous illustrations of spiritual mentorship. Figures like Moses, David, Naomi, John, Paul—and of course Jesus himself— lovingly and patiently imparted their knowledge of God with community members in an effort to develop future leaders to guide the next generation of believers. Inspired by Jesus’ example when mentoring his own disciples, the practice of spiritual mentorship focuses on reconciliation between humanity and God, requires leading by example, and actively embraces spiritual disciplines and friendship. Pepperdine chaplain Sara Barton explains that to be truly formed, people should be in relationships with individuals who have overcome spiritual obstacles similar to their own. “One misconception about mentorship is that people will grow if you just provide them with information, which is a very Western way of approaching spiritual growth,” she says. “Instead of more information, people need a relationship with someone who is experienced in their spiritual journey.” According to Barton, the student demand for spiritual mentorship has increased substantially at Seaver College over the last few years, especially among seniors. In order to effectively meet this demand, the Office of the Chaplain pairs interested student mentees with faculty and staff mentors. In some cases, students act as mentors to help guide their peers.
Spotlight With more than 20 years of combined spiritual direction, coaching, and mentorship experience under his belt, associate chaplain Eric Wilson explains that around the year 2000, Christian communities nationwide witnessed a notable rise in youth ministries, school campus ministries, and faith-based camps for kids and teens. As a result, current college students who grew up in that era are familiar with—perhaps even reliant on—receiving spiritual counseling. Now on the verge of leaving the comfortable environment they have called home for the last four years, students suddenly sense a need to seek spiritual counseling to ensure they are equipped to make sound decisions as independent adults. “In this 18-year span, the power and the strength of Protestant and Catholic churches have waned because people are searching for actions much more significant and robust than just going to the same church, hearing the same sermons, and practicing the same rituals,” Wilson says. “Freshmen in college may feel off-balance and overwhelmed, so they understand the value of a competent spiritual mentor
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normalizing their experiences for them. During their senior year, they want a mentor to help them understand the mysteries that lie ahead in the real world.” For students like Madison Chisholm, the spiritual mentorship she receives at Pepperdine is one of the only practices that has helped form and reinforce her spiritual identity. “I’m the only Christian in my family,” reveals the Seaver College junior who admits she found it difficult to nurture her faith at home. Growing up ambivalent about the notion of institutionalized religion, Chisholm turned to Barton for spiritual mentorship at the beginning of her junior year. The relationship became particularly meaningful when Chisholm offered to lead a Club Convo group that examined the most notable women of the Old Testament. “It’s helpful to get guidance from someone with such strong convictions, especially when you’re teaching girls how to find their voice within the Bible and become empowered by viewing the women in the Bible as role models,” notes Chisholm. Through her sessions with Barton, the political science major learned how to historically analyze the Old Testament and urged club members to imagine themselves experiencing the same scenarios that they were reading about, along the way evaluating the hardships and blessings of women like Leah, Rachel, Ruth, and Esther. “The Old Testament can be intimidating and therefore deter people from seeing how women were treated in the years before Christ,” Chisholm shares. “But Sara taught me to explore how God used these women in the context that they were in and how we can appreciate the foundations that they established.” To moderate engaging conversations rather than present a scripted lecture, Chisholm tapped into Barton’s public speaking and teaching expertise to better understand how to maintain the young women’s interests and inspire them to participate. After consulting with her spiritual mentor, Chisholm intentionally paused at different points in each chapter to ask what stood out to each group member, how it related
to her personal experiences, and what lessons could be learned from the story. After weeks of hosting rich, honest discussions in an encouraging, nonjudgmental space, Chisholm found deeper connections with her Club Convo members as each one uncovered internal conflicts they would have otherwise kept concealed. “This experience showed me that if you’re struggling to define your identity and looking to the Bible for affirmation, there is so much to appreciate about the Old Testament and the routines people applied before Jesus stepped into human history and came to teach us about life,” Chisholm explains. “Because of my time with Sara and the Club Convo, I grew tremendously in my ability to look toward the Old Testament as well as the New Testament for guidance.” When it comes to connecting Seaver College mentees with mentors, Wilson points out that while cases vary based on individual needs and goals, each relationship is founded upon intentionality and a commitment to invest in the process. As Wilson puts it, “Mentors are intentionally leveraging their own relationships with God for the sake of bettering students’ relationships with God.” Pauline Van Backle (MS ’16), a graduate student who meets with Wilson for spiritual mentorship and who acts as a mentor to undergraduates, has certainly proven Wilson’s philosophy to be correct. Van Backle, who is currently enrolled in the master’s in divinity program at Seaver College and serves as a student affairs intern in the Office of the Chaplain, mentors select students about how to ease the massive pressures of competing commitments among academics, athletics, relationships, family, and impending careers. Managing various social, professional, and scholastic elements herself, Van Backle combines principles from her ministry education at Pepperdine, self-care and soul care routines, and yoga-based breathing techniques to help students cope with a busy season. “My goal is to encourage students to think about how they can tend to their spiritual lives while remaining invested in multiple
demanding projects,” she notes. “I ask them to take a step back and consider how they can successfully maintain their daily responsibilities alongside God, rather than placing God in a corner and slaving away alone.” Through her multidimensional approach, Van Backle assists students in exploring their spirituality on a daily basis so that they can eventually form their own method of regaining peace by continually communing with God. “Rather than provide answers, I help them come up with their own solutions. Spiritual mentorship is about being in discovery with the students—meeting them where they are and discovering the journey with them,” Van Backle says. “At the end of the day, spirituality is not just one single aspect of our lives. It is a life process that we have to express regularly, and one way to do that is through relationships with each other and with God.”
SPIRITUAL MENTORSHIP IS ABOUT BEING IN DISCOVERY WITH THE STUDENTS— MEETING THEM WHERE THEY ARE AND DISCOVERING THE JOURNEY WITH THEM. —Pauline Van Backle
School of Law alumna Rebecca Harkness (JD ’07) pursues a life of purpose in children’s court By Amanda Pisani
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I have to leave the room every time. I just can’t . . . Rebecca Harkness lets her voice trail off. There are simply no words for the pain in her heart as she watches a social worker remove a child from her mother’s arms. Knowing that the child’s well-being is at stake doesn’t diminish the profound sadness of the moment. When Harkness began looking for work after graduating from Pepperdine Law, she thought that she might like to work with children. But the market for young lawyers was in decline, and she found herself scrolling through the job listings on Craigslist. It was there that she found a job representing parents in foster care cases, and a calling to serve families in need took shape. Harkness later advocated for children in foster care cases and now represents foster care social workers for the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services. Upon a judge’s approval, the department has the authority to remove children from their families, with the ultimate goal of protecting the safety of the county’s children. The number of cases and types of decisions that are made in children’s court are immense. In the face of overwhelming factors to consider, Harkness distills her focus to a single question: “How can I help the judge in this case make the best decisions for this child?” Once jurisdiction over a child is established, the judge must resolve seemingly countless questions. Where is the child going to stay? When should the parents visit? May the parents see the child unmonitored? If a monitor is necessary, who will serve in that role? What services does the child need? What services do the parents need? Each decision must consider the child’s best interests and must be made in alignment with federal and state regulations. Managing the latter can pull Harkness beyond the limits of lawyering. For example, government regulations require
that a caregiver’s home have a certain number of bedrooms. Eager to retain custody of her grandchildren, the caregiver/ grandmother in one of her cases found an apartment suitable under the law, but the rent was beyond her income. It fell to Harkness and the social worker to work out a budget with the caregiver so that she could then find a place she could afford. “All I want to do is help people,” explains Harkness. “Even if it’s as small as ‘Let’s do a budget for you.’ I want that grandma to keep those kids because but for her, those kids will be in foster care with strangers. So if I can do little things to facilitate that, I will.” Harkness appreciates working in California because placing children with relatives or friends is strongly supported by state law. Studies show, she says, that being removed from their parents and placed with strangers is very distressing for children. “It’s traumatic enough to be abused,” she explains. “When we can, we try to streamline these kids to someone they know, preferably a relative.” Harkness recalls one little boy she became very fond of. The child had tragically discovered the body of his mother after her suicide, and he was “just broken.” The boy had no relatives to look after him, but he did know the name of his mother’s best friend, who lived in Texas. It meant the world to him to get to know this friend, and Harkness and her colleagues found a way to make that happen. California law is also supportive of expeditious family reunification, and recent changes in that area show an understanding of how difficult it can be for children to be in limbo. “Kids need to know what’s going to happen in their lives,” Harkness maintains. Now the parents of a
child under 3 years old have six months to establish that they’re ready to reunify with the child, or the department will start looking at adoption. But such systemic improvements can be doubleedged. About five years ago, local papers published several critical articles condemning the department for a variety of failures. The results of the articles were positive—some of the attorneys are managing more reasonable caseloads, and the oversight of the department has substantially improved. They also spurred an even stronger effort to identify and secure every child in the county who is at risk, thereby protecting more kids and bringing more cases into the system. Harkness says she can see as many as 30 families in one day. While the hallways of family court can be raucous and crowded, Harkness refuses to lose sight of the dignity of the people and the system she’s sworn to serve. “I try to make sure that I wear a suit every day, and I try to be as respectful as I can on the record, and to the parents and the children.” In the face of daunting, nonstop challenges, it might be tempting to just move on to the next case, Harkness says. “But for that parent, that child, that is their life—that’s a huge moment in their life. Something really big is happening for them.” So she steels herself and moves through her day, always checking herself with the critical question: “How can I help the judge in this case make the best decisions for this child?”
“I try to be as respectful as I can to the parents and the children. Something really big is happening for them.”
At the Portland Police Bureau, Chief Danielle Outlaw (MBA ’12) hopes to change perceptions of policing nationwide By Gareen Darakjian
BEYOND THE BADGE It’s 9:30 AM on a Tuesday, and Danielle Outlaw has just returned from a community meeting. In her nine months as chief of police of the Portland Police Bureau, the Northern California native has spent countless hours showing the citizens of Stumptown the human being behind the badge, a person she describes as a values-driven bridge builder. “We have to build trust not only in the external community, but also internally,” she says. “I can talk about best practices in the policing profession all day, but what the public really wants to know is that we’ll keep our promise to hold ourselves accountable. The challenge is that I’m one person and there are thousands of people here that want to see me. Today.” The Oakland, California, native is not only the first outsider hired by the bureau since the 1990s, but she’s also the first African American woman to lead it. This is all the more significant given the Pacific Northwest’s second largest urban center’s reputation as the “Whitest City in America.”
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“While the minority population here is very small, it’s also very vocal,” Outlaw contends. “But that’s where the trust building has to take place because of the history between the black community, other underrepresented communities, and the police bureau. I would like to be able to say I’ve brought people together that would have never otherwise sat down at the same table.” Outlaw’s own history, with roots in a hometown with its own well-known efforts toward social justice, has uniquely prepared her to address the city’s internal turmoil as well as to respond to and help redefine changing perceptions of policing.
“I want to make sure we frame our own narrative, to tell our own story,” she says of the growing, often one-sided media coverage of police activity. “The challenge is that people want to hear how we’ve messed up or what the latest scandal is. And that’s not just here in Portland, that’s everywhere.” As a high school sophomore, Outlaw attended a career exploration program that introduced students to local businesses and the different professions available to them. With some apprehension, she signed up to visit the Oakland Police Department. “At that point, I hadn’t had any positive interactions with the police, so I went in with a pretty negative perception of who the police were and what they did,” she admits. Spending entire shifts in patrol cars alongside the officers gave Outlaw a chance to discover that they were human beings just like her. They liked the same movies that she did and even exposed her to hidden gems in the city.
She was then invited to join the Oakland Police Explorers Program, a volunteer position that involved learning the ins and outs of law enforcement. Through the program she saw the inner workings of the department in a new way, and when she graduated from high school, she was asked to become a police cadet, a role she dutifully filled until her graduation from the University of San Francisco with a degree in sociology. While perceptions of policing have changed since her days with Oakland PD, much of the public’s attitude about law enforcement has not. Outlaw suggests that an emphasis on the value of soft skills— those typically possessed by women—can help officers better communicate with different communities, as well as help to deescalate potentially critical situations. “Many years ago, officers were instructed to get out, make arrests, and get people off the streets,” she says. “We weren’t being taught about doing it in a compassionate way or making sure that the person you’re addressing is given a voice and is respected. What we know for a fact is that interpersonal skills are at the forefront of what we need in any profession today.” While Outlaw laments that not many young girls aspire to become police officers, she is hopeful that her appointment and work can make an impact on a new generation of leaders. “Society has long told us, particularly in this profession, that [soft skills] aren’t high on the value list,” she says. “To see someone [like me] in the police chief position, someone who was actually hired and valued for all the qualities that make me who I am,
helps to change aspirations of our young people. The fact that we value and embrace these soft skills needs to be reinforced throughout the entire organization. Whether it’s a male or female that displays these qualities, we need to reward them.” When it came time to determine the next step in her academic journey, Outlaw, who had originally planned to become a social psychologist, knew that her lifelong commitment to social justice would play a significant role. She wanted to pursue a challenge that would push her out of her comfort zone and away from public administration and criminal justice. She also wanted to differentiate herself from the rest of the professionals in her field and broaden her experience. Enrolling at the Graziadio Business School was, she enthuses, “one of the best things I could have ever done.” “Even though we’re a police department, we’re still a business,” Outlaw says. “But our bottom line isn’t dollars and cents. It’s the trust—and the authority we get through trust—from our community. We nonetheless need to have the same type of performance measures in place.” While her colleagues at Graziadio didn’t initially have a clear understanding of how business tied into policing, Outlaw explains that the conversations that resulted led to another opportunity in her education. “I learned how to be quiet and listen to others’ perspectives, and that helps me in accomplishing what I have to get done [at the bureau and in the community],” she says. An officer’s time is limited, and moments of deep reflection and strategic thought often arise in the most unexpected
Chief Outlaw meets with the 2018 Rose Festival Court
Even though we’re a police department, we’re still a business. But our bottom line isn’t dollars and cents. It’s the trust—and the authority we get through trust— from our community. — DANIELLE OUTLAW ways—like scribbling notes on a napkin while sitting in a police car. Outlaw says a significant highlight of her time at the Graziadio School was the curriculum’s focus on strategy that is applicable to many professions. “When you’re hired as a police officer, you’re not thinking big picture,” she says. “You’re not thinking about your role in the system or how your actions might impact it. But the higher up you go, the more people you’re responsible for. When I ask the public for more money for my budget, taxpayers want to know about my plans and what I’m doing with their money. The ability to think strategically has been invaluable. Sometimes Outlaw enjoys taking a break from leading and appreciates just being a regular community member. Her greatest joy by far is being around her two sons. She loves to cook and admits she wishes she had more time to explore the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. But above all, she hopes to make a difference in the great city of Portland however she can. “Whether I’m involved in a community cleanup or volunteering at a senior center, I appreciate being able to have that outlet and the ability to provide a service that’s not seen as being part of the police bureau,” she says. “It’s just Danielle.”
Photos: Portland Police Bureau
HOME Is Where the
Is HIVE As the country’s honeybees face decimation, alumnus Jeffrey Lee (’90) has stepped up to save them By Amanda Pisani
ost of us recall being college freshmen, and we can relate to a twinge of homesickness and to some small comfort we longed for to remind us of home. But how many of us missed our bees?
Unlike most of us, Jeffrey Lee was never afraid of the stinger-wielding insects. As a boy he roamed his neighborhood looking for bumblebees’ nests, marking the flitting, feisty creatures with Liquid Paper in an effort to take a census of the population. At age 13, his parents allowed him to order two honeybee hives from a beekeeper in California, and he soon had about 100,000 bees in his suburban backyard. His apiary grew over the years, and when he arrived at Pepperdine, Lee longed for the company of his honeybees. With the help of natural science professor Stephen Davis (who still recalls the freshman’s enthusiasm), he bought some hives from a beekeeper in the Conejo Valley just 20 miles north of campus and set up shop near the law school in the Malibu hills. “Once I was able to get bees on campus, it really felt like home again,” he muses. Lee’s fascination with entomology led to his study of organic chemistry at Pepperdine and later at Duke University. Why chemistry? According to Lee, it’s critical to his success as a beekeeper, in part, because “bees communicate chemically through the use of pheromones,” he explains. Lee continued to keep honeybees as a hobby while earning his PhD in North Carolina and during a stint as an organic chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. Although the widely reported collapse of the bee population was about five years off, Lee was aware that honeybee numbers were declining, and he decided that his passion could no longer serve as a pastime. Saving the bees was too important to do on a part-time basis. A number of factors have contributed to the decimation of the country’s honeybees since 2010, but Lee points specifically to two causes. A massive infestation of nonnative varroa mites, parasites that pierce the honeybees’ exoskeletons and pass on viruses and bacteria, is a major contributor. A second factor in the collapse of the country’s honeybee colonies is the commercial use of pesticides. One class of insecticide is particularly insidious, as it not only kills bugs that feed on treated plants, but it also leaches into the groundwater and is incorporated into the surrounding wildflowers, which in turn poison the bees that feed on them.
KEEPING BEES before it was cool.
It’s no exaggeration to say that honeybees are crucial to life as we know it. Lee points out that nearly all the fruits and vegetables grown in this country—from almonds and berries to cucumbers and melons—are dependent on pollination by honeybees. Bees are also responsible for pollinating the alfalfa and clover that feed our livestock. Without honeybees, the entire food supply of both humans and wildlife would be seriously compromised. Lee notes that scientists’ efforts to propagate crops in other ways, such as developing self-pollinating plants, can’t begin to match the pollinating power of a colony of 50,000 honeybees. With the demise of virtually all wild honeybees in the US, and so few successful bee farmers in business today, Lee’s 2,000 hives play a small but significant role in maintaining the overall bee population and in producing the food we eat. Lee’s bees travel each February to California to pollinate the almond crop and later in the year they spread the pollen of blueberries in Maine and in Lee’s home state of North Carolina. Accordingly, it’s critical that he keep his bees as healthy as possible. He uses organic chemicals to keep the mites away from his bee families and feeds them protein supplements and multivitamins to vary their diet and keep them strong. To further ensure success, he maintains a number of different bloodlines in his operation; a virus that destroys one race may not have a great impact on another. The future of the honeybee is precarious, but Lee has hope. He says that scientists are working to develop more resistant bees for breeding, and research in bee health has expanded greatly. Interest in beekeeping has grown in recent years too. “I was keeping bees before it was cool,” he quips. His commitment to ensure that honeybees survive and continue to serve their vital role to life on the planet is palpable. In order to accommodate our conversation, Lee had to take a break from treating his bees for parasites— at 10 PM on a Monday evening. For Lee, maintaining healthy, productive bee colonies is a round the clock responsibility—a small price to pay by the young man who, a long way from home for the first time, found comfort in their company.
in the BY JAKIE RODRIGUEZ (MS ’13)
Seaver College student Tehya Braun is committed to creating art that will help fellow sexual assault survivors heal As a young woman preparing to embark on her own path, Tehya Braun, a senior psychology major with a minor in sports medicine and studio art, often wondered what type of mark she would leave on the world. What she never could have imagined were the marks the world would instead make on her. Sexually assaulted by her varsity high school basketball coach, an experience that, she explains, “tore apart my sense of reality, security, identity, and safety,” Braun felt ashamed and blamed herself. In the time that followed the trial of a oncetrusted individual, she developed post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative amnesia. Her path to healing has taken years of therapy and support from family, friends, and professors, and she has found profound inspiration in Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life. The book, which centers on the thought that “from brokenness
comes abundance,” employs a metaphor of a broken seed. “If you just focus on [the brokenness], you might think it’s a terrible thing,” Braun says. “But the seed has to be completely broken, wholly undone, for it to create a crop that brings abundance.” Determined to find the abundance from an experience that left her broken, Braun, who comes from a creative family and has been painting since she was a child, had the idea of developing an artistic series for survivors of sexual crime. While she was not quite sure how to begin, Gretchen Batcheller, associate professor of studio art, applied for a grant from the Center for Women in Leadership at Pepperdine on Braun’s behalf. Braun was selected as the center’s first grant recipient to receive funding to pursue an original creative research project as part of the Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative. She used the funds to begin developing a series of works in spring 2017 with Batcheller offering her support along the way. “A large part of that initial research, for an artist, is to process through experiences,” Batcheller says. “I primarily
Tehya Braun, Many Faces, 2017, oil on canvas
focused on creating a safe environment for her to risk and explore her impulses.” Using her own experience as a sexual assault survivor, Braun completed four individual pieces for the series featuring human subjects that mirror her physical features. The completed pieces depict “a woman trying to rip parts of her skin and a woman being separated into three different entities as if she were breaking apart,” she says. While Braun’s original research is not yet complete, her goal is to create art that will make fellow survivors feel that they are not alone. The collection will be composed of individual pieces that each show a different type of fragmentation, a common feeling
among sexual crime survivors, as well as one larger piece that will have multiple figures, both female and male, holding hands. Text that reads “We are not what’s broken” will be superimposed over the figures. Described by Batcheller as a pay-it-forward type of person, Braun hopes to start a foundation to help fellow sexual assault survivors. Once her collection is complete, she plans to showcase the pieces and make them available for purchase. Proceeds from the sales will go to scholarships for survivors of sex crimes. “As I apply paint to canvas,” Braun says, “my hope is that I will finally be able to make my mark on this world.”
“AS I APPLY PAINT TO CANVAS, MY HOPE IS THAT I WILL
FINALLY BE ABLE TO MAKE MY MARK ON THIS WORLD.”
Star Maps EACH SEASON’S SKY HOSTS A DIFFERENT SET OF CELESTIAL OBJECTS . While the night sky looks basically the same as it did for the ancient civilizations, it changes drastically throughout the year due to Earth’s orbit. Gerard Fasel, assistant professor of physics and coordinator of the 3/2 engineering program at Seaver College, offers a brief tour of the delightful displays that decorate the summer sky.
The Summer Triangle is an asterism
(a group of stars that make up a visible pattern) made up of Deneb, Vega, and Altair, three bright stars in three different constellations. Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation of Cygnus, exudes a light that was originally emitted around 600 AD.
The constellation Scorpius is visible at night and contains the red
supergiant Antares, a dying star that will eventually collapse and explode as a supernova. Antares is about 645 times the diameter of the sun.
Venus is visible just as the sun is setting in
the west. It continually moves higher in the western sky until it reaches its highest point and then moves lower until it disappears from view. When it passes between the earth and the sun, it will be visible early in the morning.
The Sagittarius constellation
and its prominent “teapot” asterism appear in the southeast night sky from July through September. Galactic gas and dust create the appearance of steam coming out of the teapot’s spout. Beyond the spout is the center of the Milky Way.
The apparent magnitude of a celestial object is the measure
of its brightness as observed from Earth. The brighter an object appears, the lower its magnitude value. The sun, the brightest object in the sky, has an apparent magnitude of -26.7.
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When looking at the night sky, you might not see shapes and patterns at first glance. They will suddenly start to pop out when you really gaze at the sky, take it all in, and ponder it. — GERARD FASEL Photos: ESA/Hubble
Akira Fujii & Digitized Sky Survey
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Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, and friends. T...
Published on Jul 25, 2018
Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, and friends. T...