After graduation as a Pepperdine undergrad, Tabatha Jones Jolivet took a job in the Student Affairs office; she thought she had found a way to lay low while preparing for law school.
Instead, she found a profession.
Now the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Seaver College, Pepperdine’s undergraduate school, Tabatha finds her work as fulfilling as ever. “We attract some of the most extraordinary students, and we have an important role in molding and shaping their lives,” she says, “but as much as we affect them, they affect us.”
She’s found Pepperdine to be a rare place that matches her personal interests and beliefs. “It’s unique within higher education to have an institution that is devoted to high academic quality for students, and at the same time bring faith to the conversation with great excellence.” She continues, “We’re not a bible college, but we’re not a big state school. We’re something different.”
Pepperdine’s dual mission is central to Tabatha’s work: training both the student’s mind and soul. “We have an obligation to use our privilege—our higher education—to do something good in the world,” she says, “and we’re preparing students to do that.”
What was supposed to be a hold-over job has, for Tabatha, turned into a deep lifelong passion: “I always tell students that, when considering a job, to also examine the organization you’re being asked to be a part of. Are you prepared to advance the mission of the organization? For me, that’s why I’m here at Pepperdine. I feel the mission is matched to who I am, so there’s a fit, and a great satisfaction as a result of it.”
You can reach Tabatha via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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