News and Events
Pepperdine Welcomes New Faculty
Jonathan Burke, associate professor of economics. B.A. (mathematics-applied science), UCLA; Ph.D. (economics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Burke has authored more than 10 published scholarly articles and has written his own textbooks for all courses that he teaches. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the International Honor Society in Economics. He brings with him several years of teaching experience from Texas A&M University, University of Texas, and most recently, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
Caleb Clanton, assistant professor of philosophy. B.A. (philosophy), University of Alabama in Huntsville; M.A. (philosophy), Ph.D. (philosophy), Vanderbilt University (dissertation: The Problem of Religion in the American Public Square: Toward an Open Socratic Model). Clanton has authored an original manuscript and four scholarly articles in addition to numerous presentations. He has received several teaching awards while at Vanderbilt University, including Pi Beta Phi and Lotus Eaters Sophomore Honor Society’s Most Outstanding Professor, Gamma Phi Beta Honor Society’s Outstanding Faculty Member Recognition, Kappa Alpha Order Distinguished Faculty Award, Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Sciences Most Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, and the Franklin J. Machette Teaching Excellence Award (twice).
Dyron Daughrity, assistant professor of religion. B.A. (history of Christianity/Biblical studies/human communication), Lubbock Christian University; M.A. (interreligious dialogue/history of Christianity/Christian theology), Abilene Christian University; Ph.D. (world Christianity/interreligious dialogue/colonialism and Christianity), University of Calgary (dissertation: A Genuinely Human Existence: A Historical Investigation into the Conflicted Life of Bishop Stephen Neill up to the Termination of his Bishopric (1900-1945)). Daughrity was awarded four research scholarships by the Disciples of Christ (Canada) to travel to various countries including Switzerland, Malaysia, China, and India in order to conduct research. His Ph.D. dissertation has been accepted for publication, in addition to a book chapter and four scholarly articles that have been published.
Kindalee De Long, assistant professor of religion. B.A. (English), M.Div., Pepperdine University; Ph.D. (theology), University of Notre Dame (dissertation: Surprised by God: Praise Responses in the Narrative of Luke-Acts). De Long received a President’s Scholarship, Faculty Scholarship, and the J. P. and Gloria Sanders Scholarship while attending Pepperdine. She went on to receive a four-year Presidential Fellowship and a Graduate Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame. De Long already has several years of work experience at Pepperdine, having worked in the (previously named) Corporate and Foundation Relations Office, School of Law, and as coordinator of the Christian Higher Education Project. In addition, she served as an adjunct instructor for six years and visiting instructor for two years.
Chris Doran, assistant professor of religion. B.A. (biology), M.Div., Pepperdine University; Ph.D. (systematic and philosophical Theology), Graduate Theological Union (Dissertation: Implicit Presuppositions Made Explicit: A Critical Appraisal of the Theology of Intelligent Design as Found in the Work of William Dembski). Doran is the cofounder and president of Faith and Education Scholarship Fund, a national nonprofit corporation committed to providing undergraduate scholarships to members of Churches of Christ. He was awarded the Christian Scholarship Foundation Fellowship and selected as a Graduate Theological Union Teaching Scholar. Doran served as a summer adjunct faculty member at Seaver College for four years.
Andrei Duta, assistant professor of organizational behavior/management. B.A. (accounting), M.S. (religious communications), Abilene Christian University; Ph.D. (organizational communications), Texas A&M University (dissertation: Leadership Succession – A Dialogic Approach to Governance and Executive Director Dynamics in Two Nonprofit Organizations). Duta is the founder and president of His Little Ones, Inc. and also served as vice president of the board of directors of the Central Texas Children’s Home. He has received numerous awards including honorary membership in the Golden Key International Honour Society, Texas A&M Regents Fellowship, and the Change the World Award (alumni award) from Abilene Christian University. Duta brings with him teaching experience from Montgomery College and Texas A&M University.
Keli Finnerty, assistant professor of communication. B.A. (communication studies and Spanish), Azusa Pacific University; M.A. (communication), Pepperdine University; Ph.D. (communication), University of Arizona (dissertation: Sex on Entertainment Television: Comparing Audience Responses to Different Types of Negative Consequence Portrayals). Finnerty has been a secondary author on at least six scholarly articles, and the primary or secondary author of at least seven conference papers. Twice she was awarded the University of Arizona Graduate College Fellowship as well as the University of Arizona Graduate Registration Scholarship. She also received the Department of Communication Dissertation Fellowship. Finnerty served as both a teaching associate and research associate during her time at the University of Arizona.
Theodore Gardner, assistant professor of psychology. B.A. (psychology), Oregon State University; M.A. (psychology), Pepperdine University; M.S. (psychology), Ph.D. (clinical psychology) University of Oregon. Gardner is the primary author on one published and two under review/in process scholarly articles, as well as five conference papers. He received a two-year National Institute of Mental Health Predoctoral Research Fellowship Training Award in Developmental Psychopathology. Gardner has served as an intern at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and at Wasatch Mental Health, and has also taught at the University of Oregon.
Vassilis Polimenis, associate professor of finance. Diploma (engineering, computer Information and Informatics), University of Patras, Greece; M.S. (Computer Science), University of California, Berkeley; M.S. (Finance), Ph.D. (Finance) Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania (dissertation: Essays in Discrete Time Asset Pricing). Polimenis received a Dean’s Fellowship while attending the University of Pennsylvania, and was named a finalist at the Lehman Brothers Fellowship for Research Excellence in Finance in New York. At University of California, Berkeley, he received a Regent’s Fellowship for Distinguished Merit. He has written a number of journal articles and monographs/technical reports, in addition to several conference presentations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He brings with him teaching experience from the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Riverside.
Sarah Stone Watt, assistant professor of speech. B.A. (rhetorical studies), California State University Long Beach; M.A. (communication and journalism), University of Wyoming; Ph.D. (communication arts and Sciences), The Pennsylvania State University. Stone Watt has a number of published scholarly articles and has participated in more than 15 conferences and panels. She has received several debate honors including All American Debater, Outstanding Policy Debater, Top Speaker, and two First Place Open Division Policy Debate Awards. She served as the debate coach at the Wyoming Forensics Institute, University of Wyoming, and Marist College, and brings with her teaching experience from The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wyoming.
John Struloeff, assistant professor of English. B.A. (English), Oregon State University; M.A. (English), Ph.D. (English), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (dissertation: Spirit Wrestler: A Novel). Struloeff has just completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, serving as the Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellow. He has authored several works including poetry, fiction, a novel, and a story collection, and has received awards for his poetry and short fiction. In addition to his time at Stanford University, Struloeff brings with him teaching experience from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Valerie Terry, assistant professor of public relations. B.S. (advertising), M.A. (public affairs) University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D. (public affairs and issues management), Purdue University (dissertation: Lobbyists and Symbolic Convergence in the Public Policy Arena: Exploring the Nature and Significance of Persuasion in Lobbying-Style Communication). Terry traveled to the Republic of Kazakhstan as a Fulbright Scholar, and has twice been a U.S. State Department international grant participant, traveling to Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan to teach public relations. In addition to her work experience at various advertising agencies, she brings with her teaching experience from Texas State University, the University of Texas-Brownsville, the University of Oregon, Oklahoma State University, Boston University, and Purdue University.