News and Events
Maureen Mwanawasa, Former First Lady of Zambia, Presents Psychology Commencement Address 2009
Psychology students in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology will celebrate their 2009 graduation on Saturday, May 23. The event begins at 10:30 a.m., at Alumni Park on the Pepperdine University Malibu campus.
Scheduled to speak is her Excellency Maureen Mwanawasa, former first lady of the Republic of Zambia. The former first lady founded the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative in 2002 to help improve the standards of living of underserved families in Zambia.
This year's recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for the Psychology division is Dr. Neva Chauppette, graduate of the Doctor of Psychology program at GSEP. Chauppette is a licensed psychologist in part-time private practice in Los Angeles. She is the project director of a mobile medical clinic that provides free and comprehensive HIV, Hepatitis ABC, and STD services to at-risk individuals.
For more information about the commencement ceremony, visit the Graduate School of Education and Psychology Web site.
Her Excellency Maureen Mwanawasa
Her Excellency Maureen Mwanawasa
As the first lady of the Republic of Zambia, Maureen Mwanawasa was respected and admired by the citizens of Zambia for her commitment to social issues such as healthcare, poverty, education, and food availability. She became the first lady in January 2002 when her husband, Levy Patrick Mwanwasa, was elected to a five-year term as the President of the Republic of Zambia. Many in the Republic of Zambia called for Mwanawasa to run as the country's first female president, though she declined to do so when her husband passed away in August 2008.
In addition to founding the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative, Mwanawasa presided over the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS during her tenure as first lady of Zambia; the group advocates for increased awareness of HIV/AIDS, and the mobilization of regional, national, and international resources to combat the disease.
Dr. Neva Chauppette
Dr. Neva Chauppette, Alumnus
Neva Chauppette earned her doctorate in psychology from Pepperdine University in 1992, and has worked in the field of substance abuse and HIV since 1988. She is a consultant to numerous HIV and chemical dependency treatment facilities throughout several states, offering psychiatric consultation regarding individual psychotherapy clients of other providers/agencies, as well as program needs assessments, curriculum development and design, technical assistance, crisis intervention, and staff/client trainings.
Chauppette provides technical assistance to the California State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, the California State Office of AIDS and the Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policies. The services provided are statewide trainings, staff consultations, and program design/implementation. She is also on the Speaker's Bureau of several pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott, Roche, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Boehringer Ingelheim.
She has presented numerous psychology seminars and workshops on a range of pertinent topics, including the psychiatric manifestations of HIV disease, how to assess the parental competency of a dually diagnosed woman (mental illness and chemical dependency), and suicide assessment and intervention.
Chauppette earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1976, followed by a master's degree in applied behavioral analysis with a psychology focus from Jacksonville State University, Alabama, in 1981. She currently resides in Los Angeles.