News and Events
GSEP Holds Celebration of Excellence Event to Honor Student Scholarships and Donors
The Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) held its annual Celebration of Excellence event on Thursday, Oct. 30, in recognition of the 2008-09 student scholarship recipients and in appreciation of donors and friends of GSEP. The event, hosted at the Ayres Hotel in Manhattan Beach, included an evening reception, program, and dinner.
Nearly 100 attendees enjoyed presentations from scholarship recipients, donors, and faculty, including a message from GSEP dean Margaret Weber and Edward Shafranske, doctor of psychology program director.
Weber introduced the evening with the theme of heroes: students as heroes to society for the research they undertake, and donors as heroes to grateful students.
"The Celebration of Excellence event is always one of my favorites," she says. "We hear from two scholarship recipients and the impact the scholarship has made on their education and lives. Their stories are truly moving and inspiring."
Student Abi Morales, who is working toward her master of science and administration, shared a message of strength from her experiences at GSEP. Psychology doctorate student Maureen Dragan inspired attendees about being challenged at GSEP to feel a personal responsibility to solve problems in society.
The audience was then treated to a talk from donor Rosalyn S. Heyman. "She did an extraordinary job of telling her story as a donor, and received a standing ovation. She was truly outstanding," says Weber.
A long time supporter of GSEP, Heyman shared her story of growing up poor and learning the value of helping others after a neighbor made her prom dress when she couldn't afford to buy one herself. Now in her 80s, Heyman still has the treasured dress, and tries to mimic the kindness of her neighbor, including financial donations to the GSEP.
"We also recognized one of our donors, Evelyn Blake, who at her death left an endowment for psychology students to receive scholarships," says Weber. "One of her daughters provided a letter about her mother and her love for learning."
The newly established Evelyn B. Blake Endowed Scholarship will be awarded in her name annually to a doctoral student in the field of psychology. Shafranske gave a special presentation titled, "Spirituality and the Clinical Practice of Psychology," in honor of Blake ('68), who passed away in 2006 at age 91.
"With her appreciation of the contributions of psychology to education and her love of Christian education, Mrs. Blake bequest a gift to the university, which will be awarded to a psychology student based on academic merit," Shafranske explains. "Pepperdine doctoral students have contributed to scholarship research into positive correlations between religion or spirituality and health, including clinical dissertation research on religious coping when homeless, and by parents and caregivers of children with cancer."
In addition, the following scholarships were awarded to students: Alden Olson Psychology Scholarship, Associated Women for Pepperdine Scholarship, Benjamin M. Bendat Endowed Scholarship, Chester H. McCall Endowed Fellowship, Chiang Kai-Shek Scholarship, Earl V. Pullias Endowed Scholarship, Glen and Gloria Holden Scholarship, GSEP Diversity Scholarship, J. McDonald and Judy Williams GSEP Scholarship, Marco Garcia Memorial Fellowship, Olaf H. Tegner Endowed Scholarship, and Psy.D. Contribution to Diversity Scholarship.
For more information about scholarships and awards available at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, please visit the GSEP Scholarship Web site.