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Volume 10 Issue 3 Fall 2018

Out– standing HOW WILL




The class of 2022 gathered for the President’s Reception at Brock House, President Andrew K. Benton and First Lady Debby Benton’s home on campus, during New Student Orientation (NSO) week this August. Students danced the night away to tunes provided by Mesa Peak Band headed by the president himself, a beloved tradition that marked his final NSO at Pepperdine.




14 Outstanding Alumni Abroad Meet 20 of Pepperdine’s outstanding alumni abroad who are dedicating their skills and talents to improving lives around the world

20 Room to Grow Pepperdine’s newest residence hall takes sociability, accessibility, and sustainability to new heights

26 Graziadio Gold The new Seaside Residence Hall on the Malibu campus offers students ample space for rest, recreation, and reflection. Learn more about Pepperdine’s largest undergraduate housing structure to date: page 20


Pepperdine Magazine


Fall 2018

In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Graziadio Business School celebrates its entrepreneurial heritage and its dean’s vision for the future

V O LU M E 1 0 | I S S U E 3 | FA L L 2 0 1 8 Pepperdine Magazine editor

Gareen Darakjian

senior designer

Courtney Gero


Sara Bunch, Amanda Pisani, Jakie Rodriguez (MS ’13)




Town Haul

Mind Games

The School of Public Policy partners with one of the nation’s most diverse cities to empower its residents to create a shared vision for their community

A former Pepperdine student-athlete becomes the first full-time mental health resource for Boise State University Athletics

38 Bursting the Communication Bubble In a culture dominated by diverse voices and divisive opinions, the need for ethical communication has never been greater

Ryan Kotzin


Ron Hall (’79)

copy editor

Amanda Pisani

production manager

Jill McWilliams

interactive developer Kimberly Robison (’10)

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)

Hope in a New Home

Marketing Communications

One GSEP alumna has made faithdriven philanthropy her second full-time job

Nate Ethell (’08, MBA ’13)

Screen Queen An independent film producer’s critically acclaimed movie breaks new ground in Hollywood

The Adventure Venture

Mallory Bockwoldt (’16),




graphic designers

If you’re looking for a customized travel adventure, one Pepperdine alumnus will book you a flight to your inner self

Associate Vice President for Integrated

Director of Communications and Brand Development Keith Lungwitz Creative Director Allen Haren (’97, MA ’07) Director of Digital Media Ed Wheeler (’97, MA ’99) Senior Director of Operations 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

1 Moments

9 Headlines

6 Inside Voices

32 Snapshot 48 The Cut

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

Public Affairs division and is produced with guidance from an advisory board representing a cross section of the University community. Send address changes, letters to the editor, and other queries to: 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.


Editor’s Letter

There is a section at my local Whole Foods Market that never fails to stop me in my tracks every time I find myself perusing the aisles on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have what you would call an adventurous palate, and nothing brings me greater joy than taking advantage of an opportunity to try a new and unfamiliar flavor, no matter how pleasant or perplexing or, in this case, pungent. On one particularly ordinary day, I found myself in my favorite section of the store that you can smell long before you can see and in front of my gateway to faraway lands: the under $5 cheese basket, a sort of divine marriage of affordable luxury and risk-free discovery. It was there that I first found my penchant for the nutty Comté and the bloomy rind of a complex camembert, both of which were no doubt personally selected by the store’s global cheese buyer whose job description grants her the luxury of traveling the world to discover great cheesemakers and to encourage people like me to explore worlds beyond my own. Beyond the cheese aisle, I am inspired by our very own Pepperdine community, especially the 20 outstanding alumni who left the worlds they knew so well and ventured to far-off lands to, quite literally, change the world with their unique skills and passions. I remain in awe of the Seaver College students who, each day, accept the challenge to engage in ethical communication and expose themselves to perspectives that stand in opposition to what they believe but listen and understand and welcome anyway. And I look forward to learning about the change brought about by the citizens of a small town in Northern California who banded together to give their forgotten community a voice. I am proud to share these stories with readers far and wide, introducing them to our corner of the world, widening their perspectives and, perhaps, their palates.



Pepperdine Magazine


Fall 2018



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Inside Voices “I envision my role here at Pepperdine as not only a researcher or teacher, but also as a mentor to help train and prepare the group of next-generation policy makers who will become competent and thoughtful leaders.”

Bringing the Personal to the Public By Anna Choi James Q. Wilson Visiting Professor of Public Policy Pepperdine School of Public Policy


Pepperdine Magazine


Fall 2018

When I received the phone call offering me the opportunity to join the School of Public Policy as the inaugural James Q. Wilson Visiting Professor of Public Policy, I nearly dropped my phone. It could have been too much excitement, joy, sweat, or all of the above. Many things happen in life that can be called fate or coincidence, but I saw this as a calling to train the next generation of leaders— not just capable leaders, but those with a caring heart and motivation to serve the public and the community. As cliché as it sounds, I am most driven by the potential to make a difference by combining what I enjoy doing with what I’m good at doing. The intersection of these elements led me to study economics and public policy, particularly the different economic approaches and quantitative methods for policy analysis, tools that help us understand how policy changes and interventions can affect both individuals’ outcomes or behaviors and our society. After completing my PhD studies at Cornell University, I started working as a policy analyst at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquartered in Paris, France. Its mission, “Better policies for better lives,” is lived out through the production and analysis of data, publications, and research reports that draw upon best practices and challenges for various policy issues. I was excited to work on projects focused on skills development in the context of education with many policy makers, leaders, and experts from around the world. Throughout my three years working at the OECD, I gained firsthand experience in how policies are developed and analyzed in different countries.

I also observed that what we learn in class may not always work in the real world due to factors beyond data, statistics, economic indicators, and academic research when it comes to policy making and evaluation. The first project I worked on involved the development of social and emotional skills (or noncognitive skills) in education to improve the well-being and long-term outcomes of children and adolescents. Improving levels of social and emotional skills, such as perseverance, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and self-esteem, plays a crucial role in children’s success later in life. Research has shown that students who are motivated, resilient, collegial, and goal-driven are more likely to cope better with difficulties and overcome setbacks in life and also perform well in school and the labor market. Social and emotional skills are malleable and learnable and also interact with cognitive skills development, as skills beget skills. Now I have the opportunity to practice and apply what I learned through my studies and work experience at the OECD and help students to become more motivated, resilient, and responsible. I will use my training and experience at the OECD to study pertinent issues affecting not only California, but also the world, incorporating various elements of social- and emotional-skills development in and out of classroom settings. My ultimate goal is to train students to think like real policy makers through different assignments, discussions, and interactions. Along with the practical knowledge I gained at the OECD, particularly how to manage the delicate details of policy making and analysis, I plan to teach them how to communicate effectively, focusing on professional writing and presentation. Engaging in policy research myself is one way of using my skills and expertise to influence Pepperdine and the local community. I envision my role here at Pepperdine not only as a researcher or teacher, but also as a mentor to help train and prepare the group of next-generation policy makers who will become competent and thoughtful leaders. I firmly believe that the opportunity to put my OECD background to work at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy is not a coincidence, but a calling.


Jodi Tompkins

The University participated in a pilot program for mental health screenings of student-

athletes, which was incorporated into the athletic physical assessment process at the beginning of the 2018–2019 academic year.

A psychologist brings her A game to Pepperdine as the University’s first-ever athletics counselor.

Tompkins worked at the Pepperdine Counseling Center for two years to

earn her practicum hours while enrolled in the psychology doctorate program at Fuller Theological Seminary.

“Student-athletes may be vulnerable to basing their sense of self on only

“Student-athletes generally do well in therapy because they’re used to being coached and receiving feedback, and they give serious

athletic performance and the expectations of others rather than a broader understanding of who they are. They often worry about the possibility of disappointing their parents, coaches, and teammates.”

consideration to what we discuss and make strong efforts to improve.”

Leading group therapy sessions at a medium-to-maximum security men’s prison in San Diego revealed to Tompkins how

Pepperdine Athletics is on the cutting edge of collegiate mental health by collaborating with the Pepperdine Counseling Center to hire an athletics counselor to support Pepperdine student-athletes.

much identity issues can impact older adults if not properly addressed earlier in life.

Beyond providing student-athletes with one-on-one therapy sessions four

“People often wait until they’re really distressed before seeking mental health help. We want Pepperdine’s

days a week, Tompkins also leads three identity development Convocation groups: one for student-athletes, one for the general undergraduate population, and one for resident advisors and student life advisors.

student-athletes to know that we care about their overall health and well-being. Our goal is to make mental health resources readily accessible.”

New Kids on the Quad Get a glimpse of the comings and goings of brand-new Waves and their families during New Student Orientation week in August.

64 100



& 30

guests in attendance


& 1,200





900 Approximately







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Campus Notes SOUND BITES C H AT T E R “There are different ways of showing up for each other. We can do it with our wallets. We can do it with our feet. You can find your own way, but the important thing is that we need to do it when we see it.”

Pepperdine parents and students share their excitement about settling into the new school year. @SWESTYYY Remember when your parents dropped you off at summer camp and then you realized it’s not camp, you’re just at Pepperdine NSO?

Caron Gentry, Senior Lecturer, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews EVENT: “This American Moment: Feminism, Theology, and Politics in an Age of Anxiety”

“There is a reward to being a preceptor [at the School of Law]. For me, it’s been getting to know remarkably bright and terrific students who have reaffirmed my faith in the future of the [legal] profession . . . It’s a blessing, I hope, to the students, but it’s also to those of us on the other side of it.” The Honorable Terry A. Bork (JD ’85), Judge, Superior Court of Los Angeles County EVENT: “The Power of a Mentor”

@KELLYINCOOLPLACES My suite-sisters starting off law school together! We are going to kill it . . . and then get an acquittal! LEAH MARIE MILLER My daughter just moved into the dorm at Pepperdine, and older students unloaded both our cars and helped in any way we needed. They were happy, friendly, and positive!

“There are different types of entrepreneurs: those who can make the company bigger and better and those who start their own business. A lot of people have a great idea to start a business, but only a few actually have what it takes to become an entrepreneur.” Derek Folk (MBA ’18, PKE 139 student), President, Williams Tax & Financial Group, Inc.

“I implore you with all your might to contend for the ideal of civilization and goodness and oughtness and rightness for all that is honorable among humankind to the very best of your ability.” Andrew K. Benton, President, Pepperdine University EVENT: Founder’s Day

EVENT: “Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur”



Nearly 300 items were collected across six Pepperdine campuses when the University partnered with School on Wheels to provide school supplies for homeless youth.

FROM THE ARCHIVES George Pepperdine College cheerleaders ride on an antique car during the 1960 homecoming celebration.

Source: University Archives Photograph Collection


Pepperdine Magazine


Fall 2018


Jimmy Webb and Ashley Campbell (’09) Perform at Smothers Theatre On September 22, 2018, in a performance sponsored by the Office of the President, legendary Grammy Award–winning songwriter Jimmy Webb and alumna rising star Ashley Campbell joined together to celebrate the life and legacy of country music legend Glen Campbell, Webb’s best friend, through songs and humorous behindthe-scenes stories. Singer-songwriter Ashley, Glen’s youngest daughter, opened the show with songs from her debut album, The Lonely One, while Webb, who became popular with cross-genre hits including “Wichita Lineman,” “MacArthur Park,” “Up, Up, and Away,” and “Highwayman,” shared songs and personal anecdotes from his music career. Together, the elegant duo performed a selection of songs from the Webb/ Campbell Songbook. “It was such an honor to be able to come back to Pepperdine as a professional performer. I used to stand on that stage at Smothers Theatre and dream about what kind of life I would lead and what other stages my acting or musical careers might lead me to,” Campbell recalled of her days as an undergraduate student. “Playing at Smothers again was a really beautiful full-circle moment for me. After the show, my theatre friends and I tap danced together on the empty stage next

to the ghost light, reliving so many fond memories in that venue.” The international performer expanded her musical skills by learning how to play banjo after being cast in a Pepperdine Scotland theatre production during her senior year at Seaver College. This experience eventually led her to play banjo and provide background vocals on her father’s tour through Australia and New Zealand. “I was only able to fit in three or four banjo lessons before heading to Scotland as part of the theatre program. It was such a joyful period of exploration for me musically, because even though I had just started playing the banjo, I already had to showcase what I had learned in front of an audience,” Campbell shared. “I have always found that being thrown straight into the frying pan is the best way to learn. I had so much fun walking up and down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh playing banjo while my friends handed out flyers for our play.” Throughout all her global experiences, both on and off the stage, the alumna actively maintains her alma mater’s mission of purpose, service, and leadership by “always being an ambassador for love and acceptance.”


Headlines School of Public Policy Hosts Toward a Conservatism of Connection: Reclaiming the American Project

L-R: Andrew K. Benton, Frank W. Cornell, Sherry Cornell, Paula Biggers, Edwin L. Biggers

Seaside Residence Hall Opens to Seaver College Students for Fall Semester This August, Seaside Residence Hall, a four-story, three-building, suite-style hall that accommodates approximately 418 undergraduates at Seaver College, opened its doors to students as the fall semester got underway. Pepperdine’s largest undergraduate housing structure to date, Seaside Residence Hall, part of the Campus Life Project, is the most significant addition to the Malibu campus footprint since the development of the Drescher Graduate Campus in 2003. A ribbon-cutting ceremony held on October 12, 2018, recognized the generous donors who helped support Seaside’s various development phases, including Pepperdine Board of Regents chair Edwin L. Biggers and his wife, Paula, and Frank W. Cornell (MBA ’78, EdD ’04) and his, wife, Sherry, after whom the new Biggers Tower and Cornell Commons is named. University administrators, architects, and contractors involved in the project also gathered to witness how students have brought the building to life. During the ceremony, student speaker Diana R. Inguito shared her experiences about the positive impact Seaside has already had on her life, particularly upon returning to Malibu after studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during her sophomore year. The new residence hall has allowed Inguito, and other students like her, to remain connected to friends made while partaking in the University’s international programs. “This type of impact was one of the main results that we had hoped for in adding over 400 beds to campus,” said Austin Oakes (’07, MBA ’13), executive director of planning, operations, and construction. “We wanted to create a home for juniors to help them plug back into the community after coming back to Southern California from one of our international campuses.”

ཁཁLearn more about Seaside Residence Hall in this issue: page 20

From June 27 through June 29, 2018, the School of Public Policy hosted Toward a Conservatism of Connection: Reclaiming the American Project, a national conference featuring more than 40 speakers celebrating the American Constitution and the intricate system of a tiered government, civic institutions, and engaged citizenry it both devises and on which it depends. The three-day conference examined crises of polarization, alienation, and loneliness through conversation with researchers, followed by an analysis of the “Conservatism of Connection” through the lenses of public policy, religious liberty, and foreign policy. Panels and keynote sessions included topics on the social psychology of a nation coming apart, the wisdom of Solomon, viewpoint diversity, the art of connection, what presidents Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan can teach us, and the evolving role of foreign engagement for America.

ཁཁLearn more about the American Project:

Faculty and Students Find Link Between Invasive Species and Disease in Southern California In a new study published in Conservation Biology, a team of Seaver College faculty and students discovered a link between invasive species and disease in Southern California. The research team, composed of Gary Bucciarelli, adjunct biology professor and the paper’s lead author; Lee Kats, vice provost for research and strategic initiatives and professor of biology; and now-alumni Avery Davis (’16) and Dan Suh (’16), found that areas within the Santa Monica Mountains with a significant presence of the invasive red swamp crayfish were

related to higher numbers of mosquito larvae in the area, a particularly problematic discovery as the increase in the incidence of the diseasecarrying flies poses a greater risk to human health. “The general public is deluged with information from the media about the importance of native species and protecting environments and restoring natural ecosystems,” Bucciarelli says. “This is a very clear example of how the dimensions of human diseases and natural healthy ecosystems directly impact the public’s well-being.” From left, Avery Davis and Daniel Suh. Photo: Lee Kats

10 Pepperdine Magazine


Fall 2018

School of Law Celebrates Rededication of Henry J. and Gloria Caruso Auditorium and Lon V. Smith Atrium The Pepperdine community gathered at the School of Law on September 6, 2018, after a 16-month renovation period for the rededication of the Henry J. and Gloria Caruso Auditorium and Lon V. Smith Atrium and to see for the first time the new Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation Grand Staircase. Integrating seamless technology and interactive student space at the heart of the School of Law, the refurbishments will serve 21st-century law students through increased functionality and an elevated sense of community. Renovations to the Caruso Auditorium include major upgrades to the existing space, installation of new,

fixed tables, movable partitions, and state-of-the-art learning technology and audio-visual equipment. The renovation also boasts new finishes, lighting and acoustical updates, ADA accessibility upgrades, and additional and expanded restroom facilities in close proximity to the auditorium. The two-level Smith Atrium was also refurbished and modernized, improving connectivity between the levels with a new, grand staircase. Seeing the completed renovation for the first time, the Honorable James Hahn (’72, JD ’75) noted, “It makes me proud to have a Pepperdine degree when I come to a place like this.”

L-R: Rick Caruso, Tina Caruso, Linda Stack, Richard L. Stack

Associated Women for Pepperdine Changes Name to Pepperdine Legacy Partners The Associated Women for Pepperdine (AWP) executive board announced a name change to Pepperdine Legacy Partners (PLP), a new designation that reflects the ongoing collective efforts of both women and men partnering together to continue George Pepperdine’s legacy of equipping students to live purposeful Christian lives as servantminded leaders throughout the world. “The board sees this name change as one that reflects the heroes of our story: the students at Pepperdine; the deep legacies of George Pepperdine and Helen Young; and the partnership that we have with students, parents, donors, and members who make Pepperdine Legacy Partners the leading scholarship fundraising organization for Churches of Christ students at Pepperdine University,” said Lydia Folkerts, president of PLP.

Weisman Museum Presents Pop! 50 Years of Art & Popular Culture from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation The unique influence of Pop art is explored in Pop! 50 Years of Art & Popular Culture from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, on display through December 2, 2018. The collection was organized into two exhibitions, the second of which was on view through October 13, 2018, at the Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery at Santa Monica College. Featuring vintage examples of historic Pop art combined with work by younger artists, the exhibition features more than 50 pieces and looks at the varied ways contemporary art continues to reflect mass media and daily life.

“Andy Warhol created his first Campbell’s Soup Cans paintings in 1962—more than 50 years ago. Although the style is more than half a century old, the imagery still strikes us as new and fresh,” said Michael Zakian, director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art. The exhibition includes works by artists such as Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist. Highlights include Richard Artschwager’s whimsical Exclamation Point, Keith Haring’s explorations of graffiti art, and Yayoi Kusama’s famous polkadotted pumpkins, among other fascinating artworks.


Headlines Falling Performance Sheds Light on Families Affected by Autism Students of the Seaver College Fine Arts Division performed Falling, a play that boldly explores the dynamic and complicated reality of a family with an autistic young man. When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown out of equilibrium, with everyone trying to balance what is best for the family and what is best for each of them individually. The play bravely addresses topics of love, family, hopes, and dreams, while asking, “How do you love someone who is difficult to love?” Hollace Starr, associate professor of theatre at Pepperdine University, directed the all-student cast, which featured Nate Bartoshuk, Leyla Dillig, Sara Eakman, Gabrielle Meacham, and George Preston. “It’s a privilege to work on this production, which is a semiautobiographical work about playwright Deanna Jent’s family’s own struggle with autism,” Starr explains. “If we tell this story well, Falling should resonate with any family, both those whose lives have been touched by autism (of which there are so very many) and those whose lives have been shaped by other struggles.” A panel discussion, which featured representatives from various Malibu-based special needs organizations, including Malibu Special Education Foundation, Hand in Hand, and the Aurelia Foundation, followed each performance.

The cast also hosted a talk-back panel discussion with Adel Najdowski, autism spectrum disorder expert and associate professor at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology; Rachel Taylor, CEO of the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis; and Nick Yates, an individual diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as a young boy who no longer qualifies for the diagnosis since completing an applied behavior analysis program.

Pepperdine Celebrates Waves Weekend 2018

Pepperdine Honors 2018 Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees

For the ninth year in a row, Seaver College Alumni Relations hosted Waves Weekend, welcoming back Pepperdine University graduates to the Malibu campus to engage in a variety of social and athletic events from October 12 through October 14, 2018. Special events spanning the three-day weekend were Madness Village, Blue and Orange Madness, a series of outdoor activities including surfing lessons, ocean kayaking, hiking, tours of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum, University Church fellowship and worship services, and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony.

Olympians, allAmericans, and the “first family” of Pepperdine were inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame on October 14, 2018. The inductees included former studentathletes Julie Evans Castillo (’89), women’s volleyball; Carolina Llano Gonzalez (’06), women’s golf; Matt Rigg (’88), men’s volleyball; and Marilyn White (’67), women’s track. Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton and his wife Debby Benton were also feted in the special achievement category. Additionally, women’s basketball alum Miranda Ayim (’10) was voted into the Hall of Fame, but because of professional commitments, her induction will take place in a future year. “These impressive individuals who competed for Pepperdine contributed so much to our department and their teams’ legacies,” said Pepperdine director of athletics Steve Potts (JD ’82). “We also have the opportunity to thank Andy and Debby Benton for their leadership and support of the department over many decades.” This year’s group will join 125 individuals, 14 teams, and 8 special achievement recipients who have already been enshrined since the establishment of the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 1980.

ཁཁMeet this year’s inductees:


Pepperdine Magazine


Fall 2018

THE ROAD TO AN ENDURING LEGACY IS BEST TRAVELED WITH FRIENDS. Since the University’s founding in 1937, YOU, our faithful supporters, have provided vital financial resources to ensure Pepperdine’s continued leadership in Christian higher education. We are deeply grateful for your generosity and we honor our longest-standing donors reaching milestone years of support, whose steadfast commitment is the cornerstone of our University. 50 YEARS


Amy Jo Runnels (’00) Charles B. Runnels (in memoriam)

Jack R. Barnhart (’75)

Peggy W. Huffman (’62)

Betty A. Richli (JD ’77)

Robert L. Beck

Sara Young Jackson (’74)

Frederick L. Ricker



Ruth N. Johnson

Jennifer A. Ricker (’76)

George J. Boose (’56) Lorraine H. Brinton (’60) James A. Brinton (’57) Dorothy B. Straus Doris Matson Tomlin (’52)

Edwin L. Biggers Margo C. Neal Harry R. Nelson (’50) Diane E. Reilly (’58) Ken K. Rice (’57)

A. Ronald Berryman (’62, MBA ’67)

Terry A. Schroeder (’81)

Norman E. Blatt, Jr.

Carol Becker Kapp (MS ’75, MS ’80)

John K. Brown

Loretta M. Katch (’84)

Cynthia G. Smith (’72)

Rick J. Caruso (JD ’83)

Kay K. Koontz (’70)

Dan C. Smith, BS (’74)

Ellen L. Cohen

Hiram Kwan

Donald T. Sterling

Miles R. Cooperman (JD ’75)

Hung V. Le (’87 MA ’03)

Melvin R. Storm (’70, MA ’74)

Frank W. Cornell III (MBA ’78, EdD ’04)

Cindy P. Marshall (’79)

James Thomas

Julie A. Mazurowski (’81)

Joseph O. Costello (JD ’80)

Karen C. Misas (’87)

James J. Trimble (’82, JD ’85)

Donald A. Cox (’52)

John F. Monroe (’79)

Robert F. Davey (MBA ’82)

Val W. Moore (’52)

Janet C. Davis

Frances W. Neely

David Davis

Michael D. O’Sullivan (MS ’74, EdD ’87)

35 YEARS Andrew K. Benton Debby Benton H. F. Boeckmann II Dieter K. H. Boegner (MBA ’74) Velma D. Brown (’77, MA ’79) Daniel E. Carpenter (MBA ’72) Robert M. Earl (MBA ’78) Lo Ree Ewing Robert A. Fairfield (JD ’76) Grant M. Freeman (’83) Howard K. Griggs (MBA ’73) Timothy J. Grzesiakowski (MA ’79) Bruce Herschensohn Diana Hiatt-Michael

Clarence Wesley Hibbs Barbara L. Ingram Peter B. Laubach Walter C. Little, Sr. (’49) Dennis W. Lowe (’75, MA ’77) Lawrence H. Morrison Tari F. Rokus (’76) B. Joseph Rokus (’76) Scot E. Sheldon (JD ’79) Marion G. Shouse (’45) Philip W. Wall (’62) John F. Wilson L. Claudette Wilson Charles K. Wolhaupter (’79)

Nancy Magnusson Durham Richard E. Ellison (’78, MBA ’84)

Brian Oppenheimer

Richard A. Flamminio

Kenneth L. Perrin

Richard C. Fyke (’68)

Russell L. Ray, Jr.

Alan N. Goldberg (JD ’83)

Audrey Z. Ray

Harold J. Hoffmann (’49)

Ervin F. Regehr (’51)

John T. Payne

Edward P. Shafranske

Linda L. Truschke (’86, MS ’97) Andrew B. Wall (’85, MS ’89) Carrie R. Wall (’87) J. Stanley Warford (’66) Kenneth E. Waters (’72, MA ’74, MA ’77) L. K. Whitney Wesley S. Wolford Gary Charles Yomantas (MBA ’81)

Together, we will travel many more miles—and reach new milestones—on our path to preparing values-centered, purpose-driven leaders.



Out– standing Abroad Features




This question is seared in the hearts and minds

of many college students as they survey their careers and callings while on the road to graduation. Pepperdine alumni around the world have demonstrated their commitment to this mission by showing up in the places where the greatest needs intersect with their personal passions, keeping the values that they cultivated during their time at Pepperdine at the center of it all. Selected from hundreds of nominations, meet 20 of Pepperdine’s outstanding alumni abroad who are dedicating their skills and talents to improving lives around the world.


Pepperdine Magazine


Fall 2018



Melinda (McClung) Aleme (’00, MA ’14)

Christopher J. Chetsanga (’64)

Regional Program Director and Cofounder, Lighting the Ethiopian Path

Professor of Biochemistry, University of Zimbabwe

I learn something new every day about the injustice that has created extreme poverty and a lack of freedom and dignity [in the world]. Fortunately, I also learn new ways that God has prepared me for this vocational journey as I go. Fighting for change and creating meaningful systems that promote change with those who have overcome [hardships] has meant confronting my own fears and resting in the provision of a loving creator. The co-creation of an organization that empowers the oppressed and the resulting understanding that has deepened in a God that makes change possible are the achievements that I hope will live beyond my lifetime.


At 83 years old, professor Christopher Chetsanga continues to lecture in biochemistry at the University of Zimbabwe, training future generations of young scientists. Among a long list of breakthroughs and findings, Chetsanga’s research has focused on DNA and RNA structural and functional details as they relate to cellular metabolism and disease development. Chetsanga, who serves as a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences, discovered an enzyme that repairs damage to DNA caused by cancer-causing chemical agents. “My scientific career has been characterized by efforts to advance mankind’s higher goals in science,” he says. In 1993 Chetsanga was appointed by the president of Zimbabwe to serve as the director general of the country’s Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre and served in that capacity until 2003. His leadership in education also contributed to the establishment of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences in 1994, where he served as the school’s inaugural president for two five-year terms.


Bradley ChristiansonBarker (’05)

Jonathan Butcher (MA ’12) Cofounder/Chief Operations Officer, The Lily Project While serving a rural Nicaraguan community with the country’s Ministry of Health, Jonathan Butcher became aware that women living in rural villages did not have satisfactory access to health services and were in danger of life-threatening diseases that modern medicine had reduced significantly in other countries. Butcher and his local partner—who lost her mother to cervical cancer in 2008—set out to make an impact on the staggering statistics by launching the Lily Project, an NGO devoted to women’s health. By employing the World Health Organization’s standards and procedures regarding cervical cancer early detection and treatment, Butcher and his team have saved more than 500 lives since 2015. Furthermore, through an innovative health education program utilizing a simple, coloredbead bracelet, they have brought holistic-based sex education to more 15,000 young girls.

Pastor, Open Door Church Bradley Christianson-Barker describes the Open Door Church as a place of refuge for those disenfranchised by other churches—some for their questions or theology, some for their gender identity or sexual orientation, and others for their socioeconomic status or family makeup. A few years ago, Christianson-Barker led the Open Door Church congregation through conversations around LGBTQ issues, pairing individuals’ personal testimonies with biblical passages and historical context in an effort to nurture a more inclusive church.

The challenge at Open Door is to consistently ask the question, ‘How do we disagree and still maintain our love and respect for one another and our wholeness as community?’ These conversations were no different. Our values centered in God’s love led us to a truly welcoming posture of hospitality as we recognized that the image of God is found not only in the individual, but also in the diversity of our community.




Taylor Clayton (’12)

Caitlin Dunn (’06)

Environment and Trade Consultant, United Nations Environment Programme

Program and Operations Manager, John Snow, Inc.

Pepperdine provided me with so many formative experiences that paved the way to my current career: a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a fully funded month-long language exchange program in Mexico, a service trip to the Dominican Republic, and course work in international economics, intercultural communication, and more. Pepperdine cultivated my curiosity for the world, and I am grateful for the open, investigative mind-set, love for foreign languages, and spirit of adventure that was refined during my time at Pepperdine.

D E L H I , I ND I A

Jonathan Derby (JD ’04)

Caitlin Dunn has been making important contributions to the field of international public health for years in the areas of maternal/fetal health, reproductive health, and the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Through her position with John Snow, Inc., in the past five years she has supported projects focusing on maternal and family health and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in Pakistan, Mozambique, and Zambia. Dunn’s support and leadership on USAID/PEPFARfunded Supporting an AIDS-Free Era and USAID-funded District Coverage of Health Services is focused on capacity development and empowering sustainable scaling up of local health networks and infrastructure through collaboration between the public and the private sector. After Pepperdine, Dunn spent three years in Zambia as a Peace Corps Volunteer working in rural education development and health programming for youth. She has also served as a research assistant at the Carter Center where her work addressed neglected tropical diseases.

H O , G H A NA

Joseph Kwame Dzamesi (’98)

Founder, Counsel to Secure Justice “One of my most significant achievements is remaining faithful to pursuing a career aligned with my values and desire to help the vulnerable who suffer injustice,” says Jonathan Derby. This commitment to pursuing values-driven leadership led to the development of Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ), an organization that provides free legal and psychosocial care services during criminal proceedings to survivors of child sexual abuse in Delhi. Derby’s proudest achievements are seeing how CSJ has provided opportunities for bright and talented young Indian professionals to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in Delhi, and how the team, individually and collectively, has gained credibility and developed as a leader in the field. Through the guidance of School of Law professors Bob Cochran and Jeff Baker, CSJ has partnered with the Sudreau Global Justice Program at Pepperdine Law to provide students with opportunities to conduct research on rape trials in Delhi district courts and to help understand the justice system’s response to rape victims in Delhi.


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Founder and Administrator, Sonrise Christian High School Joseph Dzamesi was able to attend Pepperdine University on a full scholarship through the Lydia Hayne Scholarship for African students. The son of the first Church of Christ preacher in the Volta Region of Ghana, Dzamesi’s ultimate goal was to return to Ghana to offer young people the opportunity to receive a quality Christian education. In 2003 Dzamesi founded Sonrise Christian High School to provide a superior senior high school education to junior high graduates with limited access to public schools. He and his team believed that they could transform admitted students, most of whom were considered “not good enough,” into high achievers and give them the opportunity to attend college. Dzamesi explains that these students, who typically come from underdeveloped areas of the country, are given “the gift of higher expectation.”

We wanted Sonrise to be a school that does not educate only the mind, but also the heart and, ultimately, leads students to Jesus.



Charlie “Chuck” Engelmann (’01)

Dan Hentschl (’09) Missionary, IberoAmerican Ministries

Director, Pepperdine University Shanghai Program Many Pepperdine alumni tout the University’s international programs as offering one of the most transformational experiences of their undergraduate lives. Chuck Engelmann, who attended the Heidelberg program from 1998 to 1999, says his time abroad changed the trajectory of his life and ultimately led him to establish a career in China. After pursuing a wide range of professional experiences, including serving as the editor in chief of a Shanghaibased business magazine, host of numerous television shows in China, and corporate spokesperson for ExxonMobil, Engelmann says his greatest honor has been leading the Pepperdine Shanghai program, which gives him a platform to invest in students’ lives in truly meaningful ways.

I hope to continue building a strong culture in the Pepperdine Shanghai program by investing in students’ personal, social, intellectual and spiritual growth.


Maisy Ho Chiu Ha (’93)

Since the launch of the Water4 Liberia program in 2017, Dan Hentschl has been integral to the development and incubation of two locally owned welldrilling enterprises, the completion of 105 manually drilled borehole wells in three regions that serve approximately 62,000 people, and the development of a replicable model for well maintenance that will ensure villages have safe water and functional wells into the next generation. While serving the indigenous Mapuche people in southern Chile prior to the Water4 initiative, Hentschl’s team designed and implemented a rainwater harvesting system that the government began developing at scale for more than 1,000 families in the Araucanía region. “The Pepperdine Volunteer Center and School on Wheels in Downtown Los Angeles offered me my first real opportunity to confront poverty and understand the role I could play in alleviating it,” Hentschl recalls. “My experience traveling abroad with Project Serve allowed me to comprehend the outsized role I could play in the lives of others if I chose to use my education and resources to serve abroad. My studies created a path for me to combine the nonprofit sector with market principles to make substantial contributions in the lives of entrepreneurs in the undeveloped world.”


Tomi Jaiyeola (’09, MPP ’15)

Executive Director, Shun Tak Holdings Limited For the last 14 years Maisy Ho Chiu Ha has championed education and lifelong learning services for youth in her community, including youth exchange programs between Hong Kong and mainland China, youth community programs, and student mentorship programs. First as director and later chair of the board of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, the oldest and largest charitable organization in Hong Kong, Ho directed the development of education services of the Tung Wah Group across its kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, and college. “The education I received at Pepperdine formed my belief that the success of future generations is measured by how much formal education young people receive,” she says. “Learning opportunities beyond the academic realm are also imperative to form well-rounded individuals grounded in values like respect, responsibility, kindness, empathy, and generosity.” Ho has also used her corporate operation management know-how to assist a social enterprise dedicated to training and employing people with disabilities through the production of quality baked goods. Starbucks Hong Kong now sells iBakery’s cookies at 50 of its locations.

Program Manager, CodeLagos With an established career in the field of education, Tomi Jaiyeola leads a variety of learning-based projects, including CodeLagos, an initiative that has taught thousands of Lagos residents how to code and master logical reasoning, problem solving, design thinking, and creativity. She is also actively involved in ReadySetWork, an entrepreneurship and employability program that prepares college seniors across Lagos for the job market, gathering the largest volunteer-based faculty in Nigeria to train more than 5,000 students in soft skills and business tools to better equip them to join the workforce.

The words ‘purpose, service, and leadership’ have never left me. They are part of

my personal ethos . . . No matter how insane things get, I remember why I do what I do and the many individuals I get to serve through my work.


Features LA G O S , NI GE RI A


Kate Kearns Jaskolski (’08)

Minyi “Victoria” Li (MBA ’04)

Artistic Director, CDC Inclusive Theatre, Children’s Developmental Centre Lagos

Partner, Lys Executive

Though I am honored to be included as part of Pepperdine’s Outstanding Alumni Abroad, I am more excited to share the work that my team of adults and adolescents with disabilities is doing in Nigeria to fight stigma and advocate for inclusive societies. The team’s commitment and passion for challenging our communities to see past disability, and its bravery in sharing their stories, is my inspiration. We are proudest of using theatre, song, and dance to address the fears of and discrimination against those with disabilities, forming genuine relationships, influencing policy change, and creating opportunities for not only our company members, but for all Nigerians with disabilities.


Nandor F. R. Kiss (’11) US Army Judge Advocate, United States Army As a judge advocate, Nandor F. R. Kiss has spent the last year in Baumholder, Germany, serving as an attorney helping soldiers and their families with their personal legal issues. Kiss organized the army’s first expeditionary legal aid mission to Eastern Europe to aid soldiers deployed as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the NATO effort to deter Russian aggression, an endeavor that earned him and his colleagues the American Bar Association’s Excellence in Legal Assistance to Military Personnel award. In May 2017 Kiss was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he worked for NATO Resolute Support training and advised Afghan officials to establish the rule of law, counter corruption, and promote human rights. He was tasked with advising high-ranking Afghan officials, including the general staff legal advisor, minister of defense, and ultimately the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, who invited Kiss and his team to the Afghan presidential palace to present proposed legislation to improve the structure of the Afghan National Army. During his time in Afghanistan, Kiss also programmed and developed NATO’s first comprehensive human rights violation tracking system, R.I.G.H.T.S., which was later presented at a NATO conference focused on protecting children in armed conflict.

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Harnessing 18 years of crosscultural experience in market research, consulting, and project management in consumer goods, retail, technology, and entertainment industries in the US and China, Victoria Li has spent the last three years developing her own consulting firm that focuses on senior executive recruiting and career-development counseling. Beyond her corporate success, which includes providing analytic consulting to Procter & Gamble in Greater China, Li has been dedicated to the development of young people. As a recently certified Global Career Development Facilitator, Li leverages her senior executive recruiting experience and strong network to provide practical career development counseling to youth in China. One of her greatest joys is serving as a volunteer with La Leche League in China, a nonprofit organization that organizes advocacy, education, and breastfeeding training in 89 countries around the world.


Chandra Lynn (Duistermars) Melton (’99, JD ’02) Owner, Haven Studio, SZ The Haven Studio was born from founder Chandra Melton’s desire to create a space for herself and other likeminded individuals to escape city life and find solace in a peaceful place to train and retreat. Chandra’s vision is for all who enter Haven to be transformed as they focus on their physical fitness and mental awareness, activities that can be enhanced by a sanctuary-type environment.



Radu Oprea (MPP ’08)

Erin Valentine (PsyD ’10)

President, Young Entrepreneurs Association from the South-East Region of Romania

Clinical Psychologist in Women’s Mental Health and Developmental Pediatrics, Sidra Medicine

After moving back to his native Romania after graduation, Radu Oprea demonstrated his passion for participative democracy and entrepreneurship in 2015 through Start UP Smart, a project funded by the European Commission’s Human Resources Development that trained 400 people in entrepreneurship and organized a business plan competition that granted 42 winners with €25,000 of seed funding. He is currently developing Start UP Smart 2.0, training 350 new entrepreneurs and selecting 42 new beneficiaries who will each receive €33,000 of seed funding. Oprea’s other primary focus is Cudalbi 2020, a $4 million initiative to provide Galați County’s marginalized village of Cudalbi with the educational and financial assistance required to improve the region’s living conditions. As part of the multilayered project, Radu and his team are working toward renovating and supplying homes with gas, establishing entrepreneurship and job training courses, offering recreational and educational programs for children and families, encouraging middle school education through a cash award competition, incentivizing companies to hire Cudalbi residents, and organizing a citizen engagement program with 20 world cafes to engage residents in basic policy making.


LtCol Jason Quinter USMC (MS ’10, MBA ’17) Commanding Officer, Region 7 (North and West Africa), Marine Corps Embassy Security Group As the commanding officer of Region 7, LtCol Jason Quinter has emphasized to his team of marines the importance of being involved in each of the United States’ 23 respective embassy and consulate communities. He mobilizes his team to regularly volunteer at Children’s Relief Ministry, orphanages, assisted-living facilities, and hospitals across North and West Africa to make a difference in some of the most impoverished countries in the world. Earlier this year, Quinter’s marines partnered with Saint Edward the Confessor Parish in Dana Point, his home church in Southern California, to raise funds for Saint Bakhita Girls Orphanage in Accra, Ghana. Quinter also coordinates the preparation and delivery of meals for families of injured US service members staying at Fisher House at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany while their loved ones are admitted to the hospital there.

As one of the first psychologists to join Sidra Medicine in 2017, Erin Valentine helped develop two evidence-based parent education class series for parents of children with autism. These were the first of their kind offered in Qatar, and Valentine’s contributions to the endeavors helped to establish world-class psychological care in Doha. Services for children with autism and their families are still in the early stages of development in Qatar, and, because of the success of Valentine and her colleagues, the parent education classes will be expanding to multiple sites in the next year. Valentine hopes to remain at Sidra Medicine continuing to build the hospital’s psychology service program, with a focus on increasing awareness and understanding of infant mental health in the coming years.


Helen Winter (LLM ’17) CEO and Founder, R3SOLUTE While enrolled in the School of Law’s exchange program in Augsburg, Germany, Helen Winter became aware of the more than one million refugees who were arriving in the country seeking asylum from Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq, Kosovo, and Syria. As Germany became the European country to host the most refugees, Winter shifted her research focus to alternative dispute resolution to systemically and successfully mitigate conflict connected with the refugee crisis. R3SOLUTE, a Berlin-based nonprofit organization specializing in conflict management with a focus on empowering refugees to manage conflicts in their communities through peer mediation and mental health awareness, was born shortly after Winter’s graduation from the Straus Institute. R3SOLUTE offers workshops that cumulatively sensitize participants to trauma-related issues, create a platform for open dialogue, build competencies in conflict management and dispute resolution, and train refugees as peer mediators in their communities to engage in conflict as third-party neutrals. Winter also serves as a trainer for conflict resolution and mediation and as a mediator and consultant for intercultural mediations. While pursuing her PhD researching how Western peer-mediation practices can be best modified to suit the needs of refugees, she is also involved in master’s research in mediation and conflict management at European University.




GROW Pepperdine’s newest residence hall takes sociability, accessibility, and sustainability to new heights By Sara Bunch

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“ CO LLEGE L IF E BU I LDS RE LAT IONSHIPS,” says Hannah Novak (’15), “but experiences abroad create emotional connections in unique ways.”


ovak, now the office manager of Housing and Residence Life at Pepperdine, remembers returning to Malibu after spending a semester abroad during her sophomore year studying in Florence, Italy. She treasured the intimate ties she built traveling with her fellow students and notes the intimacy that developed while navigating a shared experience. “There is something special about taking long train rides and running through a city to catch a flight on time that makes you feel closer to people in new ways,” she recalls. “We had eaten three meals a day together for an entire year, so we were used to seeing each other all the time. It felt strange coming back to campus and being separated from the classmates I had become good friends with in Florence.” Novak’s experience is exceedingly

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common among juniors returning from study abroad trips, and in December 2016 the University took a proactive approach to providing a more seamless transition for this unique subset of the campus population. Seaside Residence Hall, the newest residence hall development on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus, was born out of the need to provide returning juniors with a distinct space to re-enter student life more comfortably after spending a semester abroad and to expand campus housing offerings in general. Driven by the University’s Planning, Operations, and Construction department, the 120,000-square-foot residence hall is the most significant addition to the Malibu campus footprint since the development of the Drescher Graduate Campus in 2003. Pepperdine’s largest undergraduate housing structure to date, Seaside

Residence Hall opened its doors this August to a group of 418 sophomores, juniors, and seniors, raising the total percentage of on-campus undergraduate residents from 60 to 70 percent.



easide Residence Hall features 54 eight-person, four-bedroom suites, each with spacious, deluxe bathrooms offering three separate sinks, two private water closets, and one ADAcompliant shower with frosted glass doors. While these units include luxury vinyl tile flooring in the common areas and carpeting in 54 of the bedrooms, 13 of the bedrooms were constructed with all-vinyl tile floors specifically customized for students sensitive to allergens found in carpet’s synthetic fibers. The University’s goal to help students connect better with one another and develop lasting friendships is also intricately woven into the fabric of Seaside’s overall framework. From a student life perspective, Austin Oakes (’07, MBA ’13), executive director of planning, operations, and construction, contends that students who live in residence halls exude a stronger sense of community and deeper affiliations with Pepperdine, both of which have proven to inspire higher rates of successful educational outcomes. “During the most challenging moments of developing this complex, I would remind everyone that there is a purpose behind this building,” he recalls. “The intentional focus was to create spaces that support the academic mission and provide the safe home environment that allows students to grow personally, spiritually, academically, and in new, lifelong relationships.”

Special attention was given to developing inviting living spaces, particularly on the first floor, which features a student common area with a large television and a state-ofthe-art shared kitchen where students can watch movies together, cheer on their favorite sports teams during games, and cook meals as a group. Adjacent to that common area is a 1,200-square-foot fitness center exclusively for use by Seaside residents. The common areas continue to the building’s exterior between Seaside and the Lovernich Residential Complex, where students can enjoy patio seating, gas grills, and a firepit, further encouraging them to get to know their neighbors and build camaraderie. The grassy area behind the building features a concrete platform ideal for

displaying an inflatable movie screen to host outdoor movie nights for up to 200 guests. “The Pepperdine team has worked so well with the architects to make the building fit so seamlessly into the greater visual setting of the Malibu campus,” notes Lance Bridgesmith (JD ’99), associate vice president of planning, operations, and construction. “That means all of our buildings have to be functional and perform the jobs they are intended for, but they also have to stay true to the architectural integrity of the rest of campus. It takes very intentional design work to make sure all the old and new visual elements are complementary.” Beyond the aesthetic and communal considerations of the new space, Planning, Operations, and Construction also considered the myriad needs of the diverse campus community, which includes accessibility in the physical environment. “We wanted to make sure students with accessibility needs could live on any floor and on either side of the building, so they could be on the second floor with a mountain view behind them or on the fourth floor with an ocean view in front of them,” explains Oakes. “We wanted to eliminate these types of limitations, so we installed accessibility components throughout the building.” Reflecting on the past couple of years of structural innovation, Bridgesmith points out that “Austin has a connection to Pepperdine that allows him and our other alumni from the department to draw from their personal experiences as Pepperdine students to make this the best possible experience for the next generation of Waves.”



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he opportunity to design and construct a new building from scratch allowed Planning, Operations, and Construction to think critically about creative and innovative ways to incorporate elements of sustainability throughout the structure. “A lot of thought went into making this building,” Oakes shares. “From the low-e glass that we put in our windows, which reduces heat gain and keeps UV rays out, to the type of insulation we purchased, to the light wells throughout the building, numerous sustainability components are highlighted within Seaside.” Outdoor breezeways constructed from the ground floor all the way up to the roof of the building help promote cross-breezes between units, a phenomenon that is impossible to achieve in the windowless corridors of typical apartment buildings.

The intentional focus was to create spaces that … [allow] students to GROW personally, spiritually, academically, and

recognizes the University’s commitment to understanding and addressing students’ needs first and foremost. Aside from the building’s unique technical and physical attributes, Oakes looks forward to another benefit of life at Seaside: the promise of new friendships between neighbors, a renewed relationship with God, and the hope of building lasting relationships with fellow students. Based on his own experiences as a student and staff member, Oakes enthusiastically believes that “within a year of living at Seaside, some students will come to know the Lord in this building because of the conversations that will take place in the common areas. “What’s different about Seaside compared with buildings on most other college campuses or commercial properties is that residents have direct and intentional access to spiritual life advisors who live among them in the residence hall,” he says. “The growth that we desire to see in the students truly began on the first day they moved in.”

in new, LIFELONG RELATIONSHIPS. Austin Oakes (’07, MBA ’13)

Seaside accommodations also come equipped with radiant floor heating that supplies heat from the floor upward and into the air. This efficient approach generates gentle warmth rather than a concentrated blast of heat and avoids stimulating the circulation of surface dust and dirt. Now that construction is complete, Pepperdine anticipates Seaside will receive a LEED Silver building certification—an honorary accolade from the US Green Building Council that




By Gareen Darakjian

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GOLD In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Graziadio Business School celebrates its entrepreneurial heritage and its dean’s vision for the future

1968 The Board of Regents approves Don Sime’s proposal to create a school of business at Pepperdine College. The MBA II program (now the PartTime MBA program), designed to educate people who are already working full time, is first offered.




Don Sime becomes the first dean of the School of Business (1969-1978).

The fully-employed MBA launches as Pepperdine College achieves university status.

The name of the business school is changed to the School of Business and Management.

Thomas Dudley teaches the first class of what becomes the Presidents and Key Executives MBA program.


Features George L. Graziadio lived by the credo,

“The money you earn feeds your family. The money you give away feeds your soul.”

t was that particular motto that moved the benefactor of Pepperdine’s business school to achieve remarkable success as an entrepreneur, first as a residential and commercial real estate developer and later as the coowner of Imperial Bank. And while his means continued to multiply, it was the promise of a nourished soul that energized Graziadio’s desire to contribute to the development of future generations of business leaders, a cause and commitment that was incredibly dear to his heart. In fact, it was Graziadio’s largerthan-life presence and extraordinary ability to mobilize all around him to catch his vision that inspired Graziadio Business School dean Deryck J. van Rensburg to consider innovative ways to commemorate the golden anniversary of the business school. “He would be thinking really big, and that’s something I kept in mind,” recalls Van Rensburg, of the events


Fall 2018


possible, then good isn’t enough. It wasn’t just a saying. It was a life value that he instilled in everybody. — S T E VA N C A LV I L L O

1988 The School of Business and Management is relocated to Pepperdine University Plaza, a high-rise building in West Los Angeles.

Arnold Beckman donates the first gift to the business school for a center for the management of technology.

The business school faculty refines the MBA track for more experienced managers by offering a new Executive MBA.

The School of Business and Management expands to educational centers in Encino and Long Beach and moves to a larger location in Irvine.

The Bachelor of Science in Management degree program launches.


as “my students,” remained intimately involved with the University until his death in 2002, just months before the Drescher Graduate Campus in Malibu was completed. “He wanted to make everything the best it could be. He wanted to do the most for other people,” says Graziadio’s daughter Alida Calvillo. “My dad didn’t just want his name on the school. He didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, so seeing the business school succeed was very important to him.” “He would be very pleased to see the strategic directions and the innovation that’s occurring under Dean Van Rensburg,” says Stevan Calvillo, Graziadio’s son-in-law. “The dean also comes from a business community, and they’d probably think alike about how to make the Graziadio School the best business school. George believed that if better is possible, then good isn’t enough. It wasn’t just a saying. It was a life value that he instilled in everybody.”

George believed that if better


The JD/MBA degree program and master of science in organization development (MSOD) degree, the first of its kind, is established.

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surrounding the launch of ASPIRE 2025, a comprehensive strategic plan developed in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Graziadio School. The plan focuses on enhancing the student experience, elevating faculty as thought leaders, facilitating business partnerships, and establishing the Graziadio School as an employer of choice. “I thought, ‘Let’s not execute the way we’ve always executed. Let’s execute along the vision and passion of our benefactor.’ George would be excited and delighted, and he’d want us to make a big impact.” This year the Graziadio Business School celebrates 50 years of entrepreneurship, integrity, and academic excellence, values that were paramount to its founders in 1969, namely founding dean Donald Sime and the faculty. This group was committed to designing programs that emphasized the application of theory and experiential learning in small class settings to address the educational needs and enhance the significant work experience of working professionals.

Twenty-seven years later, in 1996, Graziadio, through a friendship with former Pepperdine president and Imperial Bank board member Norvel M. Young, recognized in the University the same philosophies that drove his own professional success—things like considering the realities of the business world rather than relying solely on history or theoretical concepts—and gave $15 million to endow the school in his name. “George thought the school had a philosophy similar to what he considered to be the bank’s best asset: it was run by people who knew how to run businesses,” recalls Mike Sims, who served as executive officer for corporate and external relations at the Graziadio School from 2001 to 2014 and worked directly with Graziadio at Imperial Bank as senior vice president in charge of marketing for many years prior. “That match in the philosophy got him very much intrigued.” Graziadio, who referred to Pepperdine’s business scholars

an Rensburg says the Graziadio culture is uniquely designed and nurtured to develop the leaders that will lead the advances necessary to thrive in the Smart Machine Age, a period of advancement that will transform organizations through artificial intelligence and other technologies. He maintains that a values-based curriculum is an integral component of driving innovation at both the Graziadio School and industry at large. A recent Oxford University study found that by the year 2060, 47 percent of jobs in the United States will be impacted by automation, a near-future reality that will require people to be reskilled, retrained, and reoriented in profound ways. The study, which surveyed machine learning researchers, also revealed a 50 percent chance of artificial intelligence automating all human jobs in the next 120 years. “When you look at the skills that will be required in that new era—things like creativity, emotional intelligence, listening skills, and even spirituality—many of them are directly related to how we deliver management education at the Graziadio School,” he explains, referring

1996 The School of Business and Management is named after benefactor George L. Graziadio Jr. after receiving a gift of $15 million, at the time one of the largest gifts ever made to a business school.

to the corporate citizenship focus of the SEER Certificate program, the mentorship relationships developed through the Microenterprise Program, and the efforts to close the leadership gender gap through the Center for Women in Leadership. “We have been pioneers in the behavioral aspects of leadership that will become more important in the future. That’s an important contribution.” In the vision outlined in the ASPIRE 2025 plan, Van Rensburg

acknowledges that technology is an essential part of business and that advancements in technology drive necessary change in pedagogical methods, business tools, thought leadership, and organizational effectiveness. “Curriculums have to change, and we have to continuously evolve our relevance as an institution, especially by ensuring that material is available online these days,” he says. “Students are increasingly going to look for the experiences that will meet



The Full-Time MBA program launches.

The Graziadio School of Business and Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

2003 The Drescher Graduate Campus is completed.



their needs, whether that’s simulations, gamification, or experiential methods of learning. We need to play a role there in terms of the way we provide education.” In a 2015 study released by the Survey of Online Learning, it was reported that more than 5.8 million students completed course work online in the year prior. Ranked as one of the top 25 online MBA programs by both U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review this year, the Graziadio School’s online MBA program was developed to provide students unparalleled access to transformational learning. This July the University announced a partnership with 2U, a global leader in education technology, to expand its online education offerings through weekly live classes and faculty-developed interactive course work via an online platform that can be accessed from nearly anywhere by computer or mobile device. The Graziadio online MBA degree program will commence in January 2020. “People want education on their time, wherever they are, especially working adults,” says Van Rensburg. “I don’t see it as a substitute for the in-class experience, but it’s something we have to participate in. In the past we would try and open campuses around the city to be where the working adults are. Online is an even more efficient way of doing that.”

We have been pioneers in the behavioral aspects of

leadership that will become more important in the future. — DERYCK J. VA N R E N S B U R G

And while Van Rensburg believes in the importance of educating students to be focused leaders at the top of their field, he says that it is also essential to empower them to be compassionate leaders cognizant of the impact their business decisions have on their local and global communities—the secret ingredient that develops

Graziadio School students into leaders who are not only the best in the world, but are best for the world. “The human leader in that environment has to bring something smart machines can’t bring,” he maintains. “How do you create community? How do you develop an organic, creative work environment? How do you stimulate trust and empathy? Because a machine is never going to have empathy with humans. It’s just going to have the right answers. It’s not only a business issue. It’s a societal issue. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will not only impact business, it will also impact communities. We’re still at the early stages of understanding all that.” “If [business schools] are investing in people who are giving back to communities and back to society, that effort is going to elevate the overall health of everybody,” he continues. “That spirit of generosity is beyond serving your personal needs. It’s about serving others.”



Academic programs proliferate with innovative new programs including master’s degrees in applied finance, global business, management and leadership, human resources, and applied analytics, as well as new centers and programs including the SEER Program; Microenterprise Program; and the Centers for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Applied Research, and Women in Leadership.

Pepperdine University partners with AEG to launch sports- and entertainmentfocused programs.

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2018 The school is renamed Graziadio Business School. The Executive Doctor of Business Administration launches. Classes are first offered at the Calabasas Campus.

For 50 years our core values have guided our mission to cultivate leaders dedicated to inspiring positive change in their organization and beyond. Through our comprehensive suite of executive, MS, and MBA programs, Pepperdine Graziadio students are taught to lead with integrity, find courage with compassion, embrace their pioneering spirit, and take action “today, not tomorrow” as they thrive in today’s global business environment. LEARN MORE:


Mountain Lion Watch The National Park Service believes that at any given time, there are approximately 10 to 15 lions in the Malibu-adjacent Santa Monica Mountains south of the 101 Freeway. Although mountain lions have long inhabited the foothills of Pepperdine’s neighboring Santa Monica Mountains, more frequent sightings at the Malibu campus are a recent occurrence.

The noticeable increase in mountain lion visibility in the area is related to several factors. It is likely that a mature female lion and two young lions began using the Malibu campus more regularly than lions had in the past. The drought has likely further increased the presence of deer, the main prey of mountain lions. – Lee Kats

Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives

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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, an agency that oversees the protection of mountain lions and their habitats, estimates that there are between 4,000 and 6,000 of the large cats statewide. Learn how Pepperdine is addressing recent mountain lion activity around the Malibu campus.

In an effort to avert the mule deer population at Pepperdine, thereby reducing the presence of mountain lions on campus, the University’s Department of Facilities Services is working with the Seaver College Natural Science Division to test and implement a variety of deer deterrents.

While Pepperdine has requested relocation of the mountain lions, experts from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will not relocate the animals, stating that, due to their territorial nature, doing so would destabilize the territory and could actually invite additional cats to the area.

Safety is the University’s paramount concern. Pepperdine routinely provides information and safety guidelines through community-wide notices and hosts on-campus educational sessions with state and federal agency experts. The University continues to work with the overseeing agencies and independent experts to address the presence of the cats.



The School of Public Policy partners with one of the nation’s most diverse cities to empower its residents to create a shared vision for their community

By Sara Bunch

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“Has anyone seen Rosie?” asked a woman in her 80s, her voice exuding both hope and desperation, as she scanned the crowd gathered at Palma Ceia Park in Hayward, California, to find a friend she had lost touch with more than 30 years earlier. Holding an invitation to Palma Ceia Fest, a special block party organized by the city and Hayward-based Chabot College, she shuffled through the audience of college students, government employees, and neighbors whom she had never met, eager to connect with someone. The possibility of seeing her friend Rosie again filled her with a joy she hadn’t felt in quite some time. The event marked another milestone: for the first time in many years, residents of South Hayward, a community located within the city of Hayward, were able to enjoy a safe public venue to casually congregate and interact with one another. Hayward, located about 30 miles southeast of San Francisco, is nicknamed “Haystack” and recognized by both residents and the government as a community that has experienced substantial disinvestment over the past few decades. A place on a map that many either innocently overlook or intentionally avoid, its low-income residents are plagued by failing local businesses, insufficient nutrition in the midst of a food desert, and rising housing costs. While primarily known as a commuter community with poor socioeconomic conditions, South Hayward holds one distinction that makes it arguably the most exquisite neighborhood on the West Coast. With more than 50 languages actively spoken in the relatively small region, it is the number one most ethno-racially and linguistically diverse city in California and the third most in the United States. Home to a fraction of Hayward’s nearly 160,000 residents, South Hayward natives have long encountered social isolation resulting from the absence of community. Beyond its underused parks and corner stores, South Hayward’s outdated strip malls along Tennyson Road do not offer designated spaces for social gatherings. “There are often five to seven people living in each home, so if they need time to themselves or want to get away for a while, the only place they can go is their bedroom, which is a shared space,” explains Mary Thomas, management analyst at the City of Hayward Fire Department. Food options are also limited, and with the exception of one Mexican market in the neighborhood, residents must drive or take a bus for a few miles to get to the closest supermarket or healthy food source. The combined fear of the busy city thruways and lack of social venues has jeopardized local businesses, most of which cater only to very specific immigrant communities.

Chabot College students at Palma Ceia Fest Photos: Sean McFarland




Chabot College students at Palma Ceia Fest

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Last year, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the School of Public Policy presented the City of Hayward with the 2017 Public Engagement Grant funded by the James Irvine Foundation to help engage resident voices in local policy decisions. The grant was specifically used to develop a fresh vision for Hayward’s long-term future by identifying residents’ needs and exploring potential solutions that address their specific concerns. Thomas initially contacted Ashley Trim (MPP ’09), executive director of the Davenport Institute, to inquire about the grant. With nearly 10 years of experience serving the City of Hayward in various roles, Thomas knew that Pepperdine could be the key to getting this vision-planning project off the ground. “The concept of ‘civic engagement’ is often mentioned in academic and political conversations, but not everyone understands what that actually looks like in practice,” Thomas shares. “The Davenport Institute’s approach to encouraging civic engagement is unique because they actually show students what steps to take in order to become actively involved in the process.” The grant allowed the city to partner with the Student Initiative Center at Chabot College and execute a plan through which students could gain hands-on experience in the realm of civic engagement. The plan was for English and journalism students to interview residents about their experiences living in South Hayward and to report their findings to the city for further evaluation, follow-up outreach efforts, and eventual improvements in challenge areas. In January Trim traveled to Hayward to cohost a one-day project kick-off workshop with students and city employees intended to encourage discussions to help define the appropriate parameters, goals, and expectations. With specific hours dedicated to each group, as well as one inclusive meeting at the end of the day, Trim explored the city’s primary fears about engaging the community, the biggest questions students planned to ask residents, and the elements of a successful interview. According to Trim, “College students are typically not experts in government procedures. The School of Public Policy wanted to make sure that they had an understanding of city government and the limitations of what local government can do. We also wanted to make sure that the government employees had fully determined how to use the expected input, so that what the residents said would actually have an impact on the city.” Named the Tennyson Corridor Strategic Initiative—referencing South Hayward’s main public street—the project paired 125 students with community members to start collecting neighborhood narratives during the spring semester. This was an especially strategic move on the city’s part, as most Chabot College students live in South Hayward and possess extensive prior knowledge of the neighborhoods’ assets and troubles. This meant that they were able to interview residents whom they already knew, primarily close relatives and friends, which helped generate more candid responses than if the interviews had been conducted by government employees. The students were further able to gather significant details because language barriers were not a concern, as students and subjects were paired based on a shared native language. There was, however, one communication gap that neither party had prepared for: the confusion surrounding the project’s official name. “One frequent issue that came up during interviews was that students were asking residents what they liked about living in the ‘Tennyson Corridor,’ and the residents were reacting with blank stares because they had never used that term to identify themselves or their community,” explains Trim. “This discrepancy between the government and the people truly highlights the necessity of public engagement.”

College students are typically not

Needles in a HayStack: A Community Art Exhibit

experts in government procedures. The School of Public Policy


wanted to make sure that they

After a few months of interfacing with community members, students created original artwork depicting the stories they had generated through the interviews. The art collection, Needles in a HayStack: A Community Art Exhibit, promoted through direct mail postcards designed by the students, remained on display at Hayward City Hall for 10 days in May 2018 and was attended by 50 community-based organizations and dozens of South Hayward residents. Attached to each art piece was the biographical profile the students had written about the residents depicted, along with their own proposed solutions to prevalent problems. City staff also developed a digital geographic information system displaying an interactive map of South Hayward on the city’s official website, where students were able to upload their articles over the parts of town on the map where the residents live. Residents who were not interviewed were also able to upload their own stories on the website. City employees relied on this aspect of the project to read through the stories and identify recurring themes. The city’s next goal is to complete the review and analysis of each story by spring 2019 and to develop Hayward’s new visionplanning document by next fall. Sifting through the stories, the city discovered that although South Hayward’s crime rates have decreased over the last decade, physical safety remains a top concern, stemming from the fear of people not knowing their neighbors. “The desire is there for people to get to know each other, but no one wants to take initiative and be the first to knock on their neighbor’s door and introduce themselves,” reveals Thomas.

had an understanding of city government and the limitations of what local government can do. — A S H L E Y T RI M ( M PP ’09)

THE SECOND CITY The substantial amount of information that the city gathered about South Hayward through the Tennyson Corridor Strategic Initiative is a powerful testament to the influential nature of civic engagement, demonstrating that positive social impact and desired change are achievable, even amid “forgotten” neighborhoods. As the first Davenport Institute partnership of its kind, “This started as an experiment to see how a city and college can work together to improve a community,” says Trim, noting that once select philanthropists learned about the results of the partnership between Hayward and Chabot College, they offered to donate private funds to help sustain these types of initiatives in the future. “Now we have a template for how to continue on with this project in the years to come, even without our funding in the equation. We hope that other local governments and colleges team up to pursue civic engagement in this way.”






By Jakie Rodriguez (MS ’13)

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In a CULTURE dominated by diverse voices and divisive opinions, the NEED FOR ETHICAL COMMUNICATION has never been greater




crolling through a list of movies personally recommended for him, Bert Ballard attempts to find something that will pull him in and entertain him for a while. After a long day of teaching, he needs something to help clear his mind.

“I don’t watch movies to think. Thinking is a big part of my job. I want to come home and watch something with a simple narrative that I know is not realistic,” says the associate professor of communication at Seaver College. Although the precise algorithms of popular streaming services offer an abundance of recommendations that align with Ballard’s personal preferences, he admittedly is missing out on exposure to a number of other genres available to stream. While computer-generated formulas and numeric sequences are responsible for these filtering systems, individuals around the world are creating their own “filter bubbles”—a sort of intellectual isolation that results when algorithms only display content based on a user’s personal preferences— containing only the information and news they consume and the conversations they engage in. Filter bubbles, and their perpetuation of an environment where individuals choose to only consume or be exposed to information that complies with their existing beliefs, present a challenge for communication ethicists like Ballard. He explains that creating a space for an opposing viewpoint to be shared allows for another to be heard and that making an effort to truly hear one another, without disruption or interruption, is a personal decision that results in better understanding. “In a world where it’s easy to just talk to people who are like you, it takes courage—that ethical difference— to be a little different and to look at viewpoints that differ from your own,” Ballard says. One way to burst the filter bubble, he recommends, is to cultivate diverse news sources that present differing viewpoints while being mindful of the source. Elizabeth Smith (MA ’03, EdD ’16), assistant professor of communication at Seaver College and director of Pepperdine Graphic Media, agrees. “While ‘fake news’ has been around as long as news has, we now have much more access [to many different voices],” she explains. People are consuming news at such a high frequency that they’re just not paying much attention to where it’s coming from.” Consuming content from verified news sources across a variety of social media channels can be a challenging practice to adopt at first, Ballard notes. However, learning more about opposing perspectives does not equate with one having to suspend his or her own beliefs or values. “Understanding does not preclude disagreement,” he says. “It’s okay to disagree. Disagreement is healthy. The problem arises when we think that disagreement means we’re losing or that we can’t be a part of a conversation.”

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At its most basic level, Ballard explains that the central tenet of communication ethics is concerned with “the nature of how others impact us and how we impact others.” Messages posted on online forums are important considerations as the culture of social media often facilitates an environment where comments can easily be taken out of context or reach an audience that they were not originally intended for.

on timely topics including DACA, veterans, cultural diversity on campus, and the Higher Education Act of 1965. Each session was moderated by Seaver College senior Kelly Rodriguez (’18) and concluded with a question and answer session. The goal of the series was not for all students to leave in agreement, but rather for them to have a better understanding of the issues being discussed. Although a variety

students for the three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. In an effort to better prepare younger generations for interpersonal conflict and encourage productive discourse, Ballard recommends adding an additional R to the curriculum: relationships. “Relationship skills that focus on how to deal with conflict, how to foster resilience, and how to take responsibility in your speech both on and offline are important

In a world where it’s easy to just talk to people who are like you, it takes courage—that ethical difference— to be a little different and to look at viewpoints that differ from your own. — Bert Ballard In an online disagreement, participants lose the urge to be sensitive or to grant the opposing side a chance to be heard. “Social media makes that worse,” Ballard says. “I can tell you what I think and I don’t have to listen to what you say. If I disagree with you, I can just block or unfriend you.” This form of one-sided communication harms a core component of democracy—the ability to acknowledge multiple beliefs and engage civilly. Both Ballard and Smith agree that important conversations need to take place offline and in person. In an effort to bring students together in a physical space to discuss controversial issues offline, Pepperdine Graphic Media hosted a town hall series on the Malibu campus last year focusing

of viewpoints were represented during each session, participants were able to discourse respectfully. “Knowing that Pepperdine is growing in diversity, the ability to create a space to build bridges in the face of differences becomes a must,” Rodriguez says. Smith plans to bring back the town hall series this year and says, “It’s so important that, as educated people, we are coming out of the University being able to hear differing viewpoints and being able to express ourselves in a civil manner.” In addition to a willingness to foster respectful and face-to-face dialogue, Ballard shares that the next generation needs to be better prepared to handle conflict. At its core, education at the elementary level is designed to prepare

for navigating life and recognizing that you can’t just tweet things or post things without it having an impact somehow,” he shares. In a society where messages can be communicated with the click of a button and new information can be consumed as soon as a page refreshes, the need to be mindful of one’s impact, more intentional with how one communicates, and more discerning about how one chooses to receive communication has never been greater. While algorithms and technological advances continue to alter the medium, frequency, and audience one communicates and engages with, Ballard offers one simple message: “Slow down and dare to be just a little different than what the world would have you be.”



THE ADVENTURE If you’re looking for a customized travel adventure, one Pepperdine alumnus will book you a flight to your inner self


By Amanda Pisani

George Harrison sang, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” But if your journey is one of self-discovery, Michael Bennett (MBA ’06, EdD ’13) would disagree. While studying for his MBA in Copenhagen, Bennett learned firsthand how personally transformative travel could be. He saw that the Danes never forgot the value of hygge (pronounced hue-guh), their word for all that is friendly and comforting. Bennett left with a very different understanding of political and social norms and with an appreciation for a more fluid cadence of daily life. He also learned that the soft skills of business—successful team and organizational dynamics—were his passion as a professional. After a few years as a personal growth consultant, he returned to Pepperdine, this time to GSEP with the intention of getting an EdD in personal leadership. He was certain that to help adults grow as business leaders, they needed to release their assumptions about themselves and how the world worked. Because Bennett believed “there was nothing more powerful than travel to get us out of our comfort zone and change what we thought we knew,” he decided to study how travel can serve as a conduit for personal development.

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Photos: Benjamin Davies and Mathias Jensen


TRAVEL WITH PURPOSE Know why you’re going and what you hope to get from the adventure.


If something feels weird or uncomfortable, so what? Go with it!


Think, write, and talk about what you’re learning. How can you use it to create a richer life?


Implement the new actions and behaviors that express the lessons. And enjoy being a happier, more authentic you.

Remarkably, a friend of a friend had abandoned his research into that precise idea and turned his many taped interviews over to Bennett. Bennett selected the most complete and reflective accounts for analysis, and he found that those who had had deeply meaningful, life-changing travel experiences followed the pattern of the traditional hero’s journey identified by Joseph Campbell. They were called to leave home, and they traveled purposefully. They immersed themselves in the foreign culture, the food, and the practices, pushing their physical and experiential limits. They conversed with the residents and shared a commitment to using the trip as a source of personal revelation. Lastly, nearly all of them developed a clear vision of how they wanted to change their lives when the trip was over, and they took deliberate action toward effecting that change.

this adventure?” he asked. The client tearfully responded that she was on the verge of a divorce and that she needed to not just disconnect from the stress of her home life, but to make a new plan for her future. “I ended up being her life coach throughout her entire trip,” says Bennett. “She’s been back for two months now, and I still talk with her fairly regularly about her discoveries and her vision for her life moving forward.” Bennett identifies the three pillars of an Explorer X trip as collaboration, conscious itinerary design, and client engagement. Collaboration with clients helps clarify the motivation for, and goal of, the trip. Conscious itinerary design uses that information, along with the traditional “where to” question, to make a plan with the traveler. (According to Bennett, research has shown that a full 50 percent of travelers’ “vacation happiness” derives from

It’s really up to the person . . . It’s about their perspective and not about the experience itself.” With a transformational travel template in hand and convinced that most people wanted to get more out of their vacations than some social media clout, Bennett eventually partnered with a Seattle travel company. That business, now called Explorer X, provides travelers with the tools and resources to create their own self-discovery journey. Its offerings are for anyone interested in letting go of an old way of being for a deeper sense of who they are, using Bennett’s research as the framework for the experience. Unlike most travel agents, one of the last questions Bennett and his co-travel mentors will ask is where you want to go. The trip that they explore is internal: What do you want to get out of the experience? Bennett recently worked with a married mom in her late 30s who wanted to go on a solo vacation. “What’s calling you to

planning and anticipating their trip.) The final pillar, client engagement, is undoubtedly the most critical aspect of the experience. “It’s really up to the person,” explains Bennett. “They have to dive into the new environment if they’re going to get a lot from the trip in terms of feeling differently about themselves and their place in the world. It’s about their perspective and not about the experience itself.” Bennett finds that by seeing the world differently—that is, getting to know who they are without the trappings of their loved ones, possessions, and routines—inspires his clients to live in way that is more expressive of their purpose when they return home. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re from America or Afghanistan, getting outside of your culture and seeing how other people live their lives is going to be a positive experience.”



MIND GAMES A former Pepperdine student-athlete becomes the first full-time mental health resource for Boise State University Athletics By Sara Bunch

Photo: Rawpixel

“If you vigorously shake a closed soda bottle, opening the lid will cause an explosion. This is similar to how the human body processes stress,” explains licensed clinical professional counselor Stephanie (Prince) Donaldson (’03). “Ideally, you cope with your stress before that much buildup is accumulated. But if you don’t deal with it and constantly push it down, eventually you will have to succumb to a release, which can feel like an internal explosion.”

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Donaldson is Boise State University’s first-ever director of athletic performance focused on the mental health of studentathletes—a position that was created specifically for her after 10 years of part-time consulting with the school to help this particular population. Part of Boise State Athletics’ new Sports Performance, Health and Wellness department, she is a key member of a critical team of professionals and clinicians specializing in sports medicine, strength and conditioning, sports

nutrition, and mental health created to treat the minds and bodies of student-athletes. According to Donaldson, student-athletes face the same time management challenges as other college students, especially while attempting to keep up with hefty academic assignments and creating new friendships in an unfamiliar setting. Student-athletes in particular, however, must additionally adapt to the demands of a collegiate athletic career.

“Nowadays, with so much scrutiny and social media exposure, student-athletes are also trying to manage college life in the public eye, and that pressure can be immense,” she says. “Yet, the drive and passion that can make student-athletes be overly critical of themselves, if channeled in a positive way, can be instrumental traits that create opportunities and success for the rest of their lives.” In her new role, the former collegiate athlete stays visible and accessible and harnesses her own experiences as a Division I swimmer at Pepperdine to relate to student-athletes on a deeply personal level. In an effort to help students prioritize the essential need for mental well-being, Donaldson attends as many practices, games, and events as possible, and is often seen conversing with student-athletes during training and rehab sessions. Through one-on-one counseling sessions with student-athletes, meetings with her department colleagues to discuss stress management, and the NCAA’s mental health best practices guidelines, Donaldson has discovered that student-athletes have a desire to express their feelings of pressure and stress and to break the stigma that exists around mental health challenges. She endeavors to be “just another” professional resource they can regularly utilize and to help normalize the process of seeking mental health referrals. “The public frequently talks about ‘mental illness’ and focuses on stories of struggle,” she contends. “This is important and impactful, but we need to start these conversations [before the point of struggle] and talk about mental health just like we talk about physical health.” Although mental health concern rates between student-athletes and their nonathletic peers are about the same, studies suggest that student-athletes may be less likely to seek help. “This may stem partly from the mental toughness that athletes are expected to possess—the ‘put your head down and power through,’ ‘be tough,’ or ‘just work it out on the field’ sports mentality,” Donaldson says. “As an athletic department, we are in a unique position to create a culture shift where seeking help is seen as a strength, not a weakness.” In fact, Donaldson witnessed the results of this constructive culture shift firsthand during her freshman year at Pepperdine. “I was definitely homesick and put a lot of pressure on myself in the pool and in the classroom,” she recalls, admitting that these tough times led to harmful coping methods that further deteriorated her health. Fortunately, then head coach Tim Elson

Photo: Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

(’78, MA ’80) recognized Donaldson’s internal battles and immediately notified her parents. “In 1999 there wasn’t much talk on any college campus about mental health, so the fact that Tim took the time to get to know his swimmers and realize when we deviated from our baseline functioning speaks to the caliber of Pepperdine coaches. With the support of the Pepperdine Athletics staff, I quickly got the help I needed,” she reveals. “At Pepperdine I was around influential coaches like Nick Rodionoff and dedicated administrators who cared about me not only as an athlete, but as a person. They considered my well-being enough to notice when I was having difficulty coping and had the appropriate conversations with me. For that, I am forever grateful.”

Nowadays, with so much scrutiny and social media exposure, student-athletes are also trying to manage college life in the public eye, and that pressure can be immense.

Through a partnership between the Pepperdine Counseling Center and the Department of Athletics, Pepperdine student-athletes now have access to a dedicated counselor specifically brought on board to address their mental health needs. For the first time, Pepperdine Athletics incorporated a mental health component in student-athletes’ physical fitness screenings at the beginning of the fall 2018 semester. “Our staff provided feedback on the screenings by having one-on-one conversations with each student-athlete to emphasize that mental health is important to their coaches and the administrative staff,” says Nivla Fitzpatrick, licensed psychologist and director of the Pepperdine Counseling Center. “This connection has opened up the lines of communication between our office and studentathletes, and we hope this removes any potential stigma or embarrassment about reaching out.”




ope in a new OME

Her first assignment was to become an expert. Fast. Marilyn Simpson Wright (MA ’89, PsyD ’95) was called by her church leadership to get involved with refugee assistance work. In the four years since, Wright, a full-time psychologist from Walnut Creek, California, has not only learned how to orchestrate the efforts of a bevy of volunteers and resettlement agency caseworkers, but has also found creating a home for those starting a new life in the Bay Area to be a tremendously gratifying way to serve.

With essentially no experience in the complexities of refugee resettlement, one of her first tasks was to get acquainted with who she would actually be welcoming. “At the time, I don’t think I could have told you the difference between a refugee, an immigrant, or an asylee. And there are very clear differences.”

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In addition to the State Department-sanctioned refugees arriving in northern California, Wright, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, works with many Special Immigrant Visa holders. These individuals are often Afghans or Iraqis who have served for at least two years in the US military as translators. The government offers them the opportunity to emigrate as a way to thank them and protect them from reprisals at home. The newcomers have a wide spectrum of needs, and one of Wright’s main jobs is to ensure those needs are met by working with resettlement agency personnel and volunteers from her own church and organizations such as Catholic Charities, International Rescue Committee, Lao Family Community Development, Jewish Family Services, and No One Left Behind.

By Amanda Pisani

One GSEP alumna has made faith-driven philanthropy her second full-time job

“It takes a village, a caring community of folks, to tend to the temporal, spiritual, and psychological needs for refugees through this transition.” Together, they help locate housing for the newcomers—a significant challenge in the Bay Area—as well as provide them with ESL tutoring, take them to medical appointments, show them where to buy familiar foods, offer career mentoring, and provide recreational activities for the youth. Recently, volunteers created “welcome to America” digital books that showed refugees how to access resources in their neighborhood, such as free parks and museums and where the bus stops and local urgent care offices are. Wright herself frequently

of transition because . . . to varying degrees, we are believers. Because we love our Father in Heaven and our savior Jesus Christ . . . and we look to Christ’s example in how to be with one another.” She stresses that part of the unique satisfaction that comes from this service is to see the unifying aspect of very different groups helping those in need. “The spiritual and physical needs of those around us require goodwill and cooperation among very diverse people. This is not a problem. God loves our diversity . . . he invented it. I believe that he loves the differences we each possess.” For Wright, balancing her private practice, her support

“God loves our diversity . . . he invented it.” greets those arriving at the airport. She explains that to be the first American someone meets after what may be a years-long effort to get here is a very moving, and humbling, experience. “Displaying kindness, empathy, and ministering to others is vital to our growth as Christians, as communities, and as citizens of the world,” Wright explains. “We make the time to volunteer and serve refugees through a profound time

for Pepperdine as a member of the GSEP Board of Visitors, her large family, and her service to refugee resettlement, is simplified somewhat by her faith. “On any given day I just try to get on my knees and hope I do a decent job in any of those areas,” she says. “And when I wonder if I’m doing any of it right, I am comforted by my faith and hope that my choices demonstrate the things that I value.”

An independent film producer’s critically acclaimed movie breaks new ground in Hollywood By Sara Bunch

“I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GETTING MYSELF INTO.” “No one is actively looking also proves that humans are to hire a producer without able to construct multiple any experience and fresh personas and realities through out of film school,” says these devices and platforms Natalie Qasabian (MBA with the option to effortlessly ’18). Three years ago, switch from one to another the former producer’s whenever required or desired. assistant quit her job to This unique approach to pursue her own career storytelling led to additional with filmmakers she met victories at Photo: Andrew Jeric while studying at the USC Sundance, as School of Cinematic Arts. producer Sev The entertainment industry This year Qasabian’s hit Ohanian and suspense thriller Searching has become much more director Aneesh debuted to rave reviews Chaganty, who corporate than ever…[you] at the Sundance Film co-wrote the Festival and instantly script, were have to justify and explain Photo: Elizabeth Kitchens caught the attention of presented with executives at Sony Pictures creative decisions using the Alfred P. Worldwide Acquisitions, Sloan Foundation stunts, crowd scenes, and a car chase, took business terms. who purchased world grant for the use of science over a year to complete—with Qasabian rights to the movie for or technology in a feature enrolled at the Graziadio Business School -NATALIE QASABIAN $5 million. Capturing a film. Adobe also presented the entire time. In fact, she also co-produced father’s desperate attempt the filmmakers with the Rainbow Time and Take Me, and produced to locate his missing teenage daughter by Audience Award in the NEXT category. Duck Butter and All About Nina while earning hunting for clues hidden in her laptop, Originally entitled “Search,” Ohanian and her business degree at Pepperdine. Searching compels audiences to consider how Chaganty specifically drafted the script with “I had just taken a marketing class they manage their digital identities. The film Korean American actor John Cho in mind. when we went to Sundance, so attending was released nationwide on August 31 and With Cho in the lead role, the thriller offers a marketing meetings with Sony and hearing exceeded expectations for box office success, revolutionary component often omitted from their strategies was like a live case study,” earning $8.1 million in just a week. mainstream Hollywood movies: substantial Qasabian explains. “The entertainment Featuring celebrated actors Debra Messing representation of Asian Americans, industry has become much more corporate and John Cho, and enlisting the talent of particularly in roles unrelated to martial arts than ever. You are obviously expected to several crew members Qasabian met at USC, instructors, organized crime leaders, or other demonstrate creativity, but you also have to Searching explores visual storytelling solely justify and explain creative decisions using characters typically portrayed by actors of through the viewpoint of digital screens. From Asian descent. business terms.” Five feature films and one master’s degree mobile phones displaying revelatory text “I read the script and immediately became later, Qasabian reflects fondly on the day she messages and social media posts to computers jealous at the idea of someone else producing left a stable office job and took a leap of faith unveiling secret emails and hosting video it. That was a sign that I would regret passing to break into producing work. chats, Searching illustrates how heavily reliant up on this opportunity,” Qasabian shares “Landing a deal with Sony felt like a humans have become on digital devices and about what she calls “a conventional story complete fairy tale,” she admits. “I’m still highlights the immense volume of personal told in an unconventional way.” amazed that my leap of faith to chase my and confidential information shared on While Searching was shot in just 13 days, dreams has been affirmed.” popular digital platforms every day. The film editing the footage, which includes dramatic


The Cut

NEGOSHEATION Studies show that for equal work, women earn on average 20 percent less than men, and for women of color, the pay gap reaches as low as 60 cents on the dollar. While multiple factors contribute to these disparities, a body of empirical research points to a significant trend: women negotiate differently from men. Stephanie Blondell, associate director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and assistant professor of law and practice at the School of Law, shares tips for increasing your effectiveness as a negotiator.

INCREASE YOUR SENSE OF WORTH While the numbers vary across industries, a majority of employers are willing to pay 10 percent to 15 percent above their initial offer. Increase your executive presence in salary negotiations by writing down a number that is a bit beyond your comfort zone. Carry it around in your pocket and look at it until you become comfortable with it. Then, when that number feels right, replace it with a number that is five percent higher.

PREPARE FOR “MOMENTS OF NO” Fear of rejection is enough to prevent women from speaking up in the first place. Planning how to respond when faced with a rejection can help ease the dread. Write it down. Practice saying it out loud. Have three prepared responses for the “moment of no.”

OVERCOME NEGOTIATION ANXIETY While both men and women experience anxiety during negotiations, such discomfort is more likely to dissuade women from asserting themselves. Many women fear their assertiveness will negatively impact their relationship with their supervisor while men are confident that speaking up will build the relationship. Whether negotiating for a 10 percent discount or a change in your job duties, look to those moments as opportunities to build rapport.

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LEVERAGE THE “WE” While women are less assertive than men when negotiating for themselves, data says that they claim as much if not more value when negotiating for others. Remember you are negotiating for your parents who someday may need ongoing care or to put your children (or future children) through college.

PRACTICE THE ASK Statistics show that women get less— two percent less on average—even when they ask. Whether caused by gender bias or unsuccessful negotiations, women are encouraged to exercise their skills by practicing their negotiations in their daily lives. Negotiate a lower gym membership or ask for a loyal customer discount at your local farmers’ market.

ASK Research reveals that men are four times more likely to negotiate a higher starting salary than women with the same qualifications. Over the span of a career, this fear of asking for more—money, benefits, or perks—adds up. Studies show that colleagues— male or female—who negotiate once at the beginning of their career may retire with a vacation home based simply on that moment of courage!

A Tradition of Giving Is Our Recipe for SUCCESS We are deeply grateful for your generous support this holiday season and all year ’round. Enjoy this taste of the season from our kitchen to yours as an expression of thanks for all the ways you fill our hearts with abundance.

Cranberry-Glazed Pumpkin-Vanilla Panna Cotta Cups Recipe courtesy of Sodexo 2 cups heavy cream ⅓ cup sugar 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin

1 cup pure pumpkin puree 1 teaspoon vanilla ⅓ cup cranberry jam 8 ginger cookies (optional)

Warm the cream in a saucepan on medium heat. Add sugar and gelatin and heat until combined. Separate basic panna cotta mixture into two bowls. Add pumpkin puree to the first bowl and vanilla to the second bowl. Fill ramekins halfway with vanilla panna cotta and chill in refrigerator until firm, at least 4 hours. Pour pumpkin mixture on top of the chilled vanilla panna cotta, leaving room for a thin layer of cranberry jam topping. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Before serving, warm cranberry jam and add a thin layer to the top of the panna cotta. Garnish with a ginger cookie if desired. Makes 8 servings

Establish a tradition of giving.


Online: | Mail: The Pepperdine Fund 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263-4579

PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY 24255 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90263-4138



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Pepperdine Magazine Vol. 10, Iss. 3 (Fall 2018)  

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, and friends. T...

Pepperdine Magazine Vol. 10, Iss. 3 (Fall 2018)  

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, and friends. T...