News and Events
Defending Democracy: Juniors Kevin Mills and John Deniston
Imagine going into a restaurant and having to empty your pockets, take off your hat, and walk through a metal detector, all before deciding whether or not you want fries with your order. In the United States, we've come to expect searches at government offices and at airports, but as Seaver College juniors Kevin Mills and John Deniston experienced in August 2005, heightened security is a way of life in Tel Aviv, Israel.
John Paul Lam: Pursuing a Passion
As a person committed to his faith and to music, Pepperdine senior John Paul Lam has combined his two passions and shares them with the world. With his first album, Nineteen, already recorded, Lam is quickly capturing the attention of the music world and may be on the brink of a very successful music career.
Walking the Talk: GSBM Associate Dean Charles Kerns
Warning: derailment ahead if managers fail to match words to actions, and lack accountability, honest leadership, and an ethical framework. These may seem like small things, but each can result in questionable behavior capable of toppling business giants like Enron, Arthur Andersen, Adelphia, WorldCom, and Tyco. Pepperdine University's Charles Kerns helps current and future executives navigate the complexity of modern management by mapping out values-centered leadership, in the classroom and in his new book.
Full of Bright Ideas: 2005 Fulbright Recipient Evelyn Baca
Evelyn Baca, who graduated from Pepperdine in May 2005, has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State. Baca, who holds bachelor's degrees in international studies and Spanish, will be teaching English in Madrid, Spain, to school children and studying their primary education system. "I'm looking forward to the direct interaction I will have with the people of Madrid through my teaching position and research," says Baca, who left September 9 for a yearlong sojourn.
Spirit of Significance
Using fear to encourage people to live a life of excellence may not be the most typical tactic for motivational speakers. But Tony Magee is not your typical motivational speaker. He warns that most people die surrounded by their unfulfilled hopes, unwritten books, and unachieved accomplishments. He says, "Their talents and gifts, all of them, will be looming over them thirteen feet tall with big, large, angry eyes - like monsters - saying, 'You were chosen to bring us to life and you didn't, and now we must die with you.'"
A Labor of Love: One Land, One Hope
Spending 30 days of summer vacation serving in a country wrought with intense humidity, poverty, and internal political struggles requires a certain degree of resolve, a kind that six Pepperdine students and alumni possessed in July. Along with four adults and six students from three other Southern California universities, Christopher Chang, Nikhil Jacob, Romesh Jayawardene, Bethany Rogers, Elizabeth Kerns, and Morgana Wingard witnessed and mourned the devastating affect the December 2004 tsunami had on the coast of Southeast Asia.
Truth Behind the Fiction
Last winter, Pepperdine alumna Linda Mandrayar's son came home from school with a reading assignment about a 13-year-old Indian widow who had been banished to the holy city of Vrindavan. The story, illustrating the rampant mistreatment of widows in India, piqued Mandrayar's curiosity and came as a shock to both her and her husband, Dharan, a filmmaker born and raised in India.
A Woman on the Go: Dorothy Stotsenberg
At 91-years-young, Dorothy Stotsenberg means it when she says, "You have to keep moving; you just can't just sit around!" Fidgeting around in a chair outside Smothers Theatre, waving to people who pass by, she can barely sit still long enough for an interview before an afternoon walk with friends on Pepperdine's track, which bears the Stotsenberg name. After enjoying careers as a writer, editor, and publicist; raising prize-winning American saddle bred horses; becoming an avid runner at 66; and devoting much of her time to the arts, philanthropy, and community organizations, the longtime Malibu resident and Pepperdine benefactor has added a new title: Author.
The Secrets to Her Success: Elizabeth Unruh, Class of 2005 Valedictorian
As Pepperdine welcomes the Class of 2009 to its campus, one person who knows how to maximize the undergraduate experience is Elizabeth Unruh, Seaver College's Class of 2005 valedictorian.
Bringing Truth and Light to Local News: KABC Reporter and GPC Alumnus Henry Alfaro
Everywhere he goes in Los Angeles, people recognize Pepperdine alumnus Henry Alfaro. Some wave or speak to him like an old friend, while others stumble over their words and marvel about being in the presence of a celebrity. Alfaro, who graduated from George Pepperdine College in 1957, is honored by the recognition.
The Texan & the Belle
He is tall, lean, and straight. His soft Texas accent and cordial manner contribute to his warm, winning charm. Many hundreds of people consider him a close personal friend - because he cultivates friendships like some people cultivate roses: with consistent and persistent care. But that is only the dignified exterior of Charles B. Runnels, chancellor of Pepperdine University. Inside is a certain sturdiness and toughness of character that has been forged by hard work, hard times, and a heritage of honor.
Vocal Students and Alumni Share Their Talents Worldwide
When Margaret Lane first visited Pepperdine's campus, she thought that swimming was her best ticket in. "I dropped off my resume and videotape with the swimming and diving team thinking that I'd never hear back from them," says Lane, whose friends call her Maggie. "Three months later, I found out that I was one of the top recruits by Nick Rodlonoff, head coach of the swim team."
Loving Mother: GSEP Professor Shelly Harrell
They're called the "baby boomers" - a spirited group of newcomers with new ideas and new ways of doing things. Today many boomers can be tagged with another label - the "sandwich generation." Shelly Harrell can claim membership in both.
Shannon Meairs: The Brain Behind The Scholar
Pepperdine alumna Shannon Meairs has joined that elite group of men and women who know what it's like to pitch a network television show and see it actually come to fruition. When ABC's The Scholar premiered on June 6, Meairs had the rare pleasure of seeing a very large dream materialize on a very large stage.
Mastering Public Policy: GSBM Alumnus David Rodriguez
As the old saying goes, the best way to learn about something is by doing. That's exactly what alumnus David Rodriguez believed when he decided to pursue a career in politics and government. Rodriguez is one of eighteen Senate Fellows, a graduate level education program in the California state government sponsored by the Center for California Studies, the Office of the Governor and California State University, Sacramento.
From the Frontlines: Alumna Carrie C. Batson, Captain USMC
When Carrie C. Batson enrolled at Seaver College, gazing across the rolling hills to the Pacific Ocean, she never imagined being caught in the center of a combat zone fighting to free the citizens of Iraq. But Batson was always struck by Pepperdine's philosophy of "Freely ye received, freely give," and upon receiving a degree in history in 1999, she joined the United States Marine Corps. "After I graduated, I began looking for something that would allow me to serve," she says. "I also wanted to travel around the world, be physically active, and do something challenging." Little did she know how challenging it would become.
London Calling: Professor Colleen Graffy Gets a SEAL of Approval
Colleen Graffy, academic director of Pepperdine's London Law Program, has become the new chairwoman of the Society of English and American Lawyers (SEAL), an organization designed to promote friendship, co-operation and understanding among English and American lawyers.
Glass Act: Chihuly Exhibit Shatters Museum's Attendance Records
The Chihuly exhibit, which ran from November 2004 to March 2005, was by far the most well attended exhibition in the history of the Pepperdine's Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art. Michael Zakian, director, had the kind of a hit on his hands that curators often only dream about.
Steve Rodriguez Lives the Pepperdine Tradition
When Steve Rodriguez was hired as the sixteenth head coach in the history of the Pepperdine baseball program in June 2003, he was well aware of its rich heritage. Having received a bachelor's degree in public relations from Pepperdine in December 2001, this two-time Waves All-American helped Pepperdine claim its only national championship in the 1992 College World Series, when he was named West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year.
Freedom Fighter: Alumna Jessica Dominguez
"I like to get involved with cases that present an unusual challenge," says Pepperdine alumna and immigration lawyer Jessica Dominguez "I'm not saying that I can get a victory for everyone but I always think it's worth a try." With a passion for fighting injustice and constant support from her family, last year Dominguez took on a case that other attorneys had deemed hopeless, and freed a client who had spent more than 22 years behind bars.
Never Too Young
Helen Young will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Oklahoma Christian University on Monday, Apr. 29, and will travel to Oklahoma to receive the honor at the school's graduation. She has been described by Richard Hughes, professor of religion and director of Pepperdine's Center for Faith and Learning, as "perhaps the most visible and influential woman among churches of Christ in the second half of the 20th century."
Fields of Dreams
Soprano Jessica Rivera has all the elegance and beauty of Susanna in Mozart's acclaimed opera, The Marriage of Figaro. It is, in fact, the role that the 1996 Seaver graduate performed recently with the Los Angeles Opera at the prestigious Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
From Art Lover to Gallery Owner
It's easy for passersby to miss the M. Hanks Gallery hidden among the liveliness and crowded streets of Santa Monica, California. But as art appreciators and curious wanderers know, inside the space awaits a cultural, historical and artistic treasure at oldest African-American owned art gallery operating in Los Angeles.
Where the Heart Is
With determination to excel in a field where less than five percent are female, Pepperdine alumna Emily A. Farkas (Seaver, 1994) has become the first woman accepted into Yale University Hospital's cardiothoracic surgical training in its 50-year history.
The Gift of Music
The soothing sound of a student practicing an aria fills the hallways of the Ahamanson Music Building and filters into Milt Pullen's office. Music seems to find its way to Pullen, who is a professor of music and director of Pepperdine's Concert Choir.
Telling Stories That Travel Books Ignore: The Adventures of Rob Pyles
As a child, Rob Pyles spent his summers on the picturesque shores of Wellfleet, Cape Cod, an area where the edges of history and myth blend in a seamless garment that makes for an intriguing history. However, much to his dismay, young Pyles discovered that his knowledge of the tall tales and adventures of Wellfleet were missed by the many visitors who flocked to the quaint beach town. Growing up, he was determined to share Wellfleet's history and legends with other people.
As a child in Baltimore, Maryland, Katrina Scott (Seaver College, 2003) had always dreamt of leaving the inner-city and living a better life with more opportunities. Upon receiving a full scholarship offer from Pepperdine, the internal debate began. She had to choose to stay in her hometown and attend John Hopkins University, or move to a Southern California beach town that was vastly different from the urban, north eastern district of Baltimore in which she grew up.
A Lasting Trail
Running three miles is a feat for anyone. Running three miles at 80 years old is remarkable. And coaching nearly 20 college girls to race three miles at 80 years old? Well, that takes a special person: Coach Richard Kampmann, Pepperdine's head cross country coach.
George Rowe, a 1992 Seaver College graduate and 1995 graduate of Pepperdine's School of Law, Rowe is earning a fast growing reputation as a talented recording artist.
Bishop N.T. Wright of the Church Of England to Launch the 2005 Distinguished Lecture Series
N.T. (Tom) Wright, highly acclaimed theologian and Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, will present three addresses at Pepperdine January 9, 10 and 11, launching the University's 2005 Distinguished Lecture Series. His appearance at Pepperdine also serves to inaugurate the University's Frank Pack Distinguished Christian Scholar Lecture Program.
Growing up the daughter of a public school teacher who taught in the poorest neighborhood in the state of Arizona, Kimberly Yee (Seaver College, 1996) saw firsthand how important education can be in the lives of children. Yee has fond memories of joining her mother on classroom field trips, but was also profoundly affected by the children she met.
High School Student's Tragic Death Gives New Life to a Perfect Stranger
Those who knew 15 year-old Kimberly Kimble Gast might agree that she had a deeper understanding of life after the unexpected loss of her mother who died during routine surgery. Although she deeply mourned her mother's passing, Kim fully embraced life.
Pepperdine's Study Abroad Programs Place Fifth in a Major National Survey
Pepperdine University recently placed fifth in the nation among the top doctoral/research institutions for undergraduates participating in study abroad programs, according the latest survey by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
School of Law Students Give Hope to the Homeless
Growing up in Long Beach, California, where her father was an associate pastor, Pepperdine School of Law alumna Brittany Stringfellow-Otey was accustomed to seeing poverty and homelessness.
School of Law Alumnus, Pierre Prosper
School of Law alumnus Pierre Prosper personifies the mission of Pepperdine which calls for the University to "strengthen students for lives of purpose, service and leadership. As U.S. Ambassador-At-Large for war crimes issues, he holds a key position in the federal government and the impact of his work is felt around the world.
Thirteen May Be Enough
Alumna, faculty, and staff member of Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Margot Condon, discovered the rewards of adoption. She and her husband see adoption as a way to fulfill their two life goals: to give to others, and to live life to the fullest. Even before her students presented her with Pepperdine's Distinguished Teaching Award, she and her family earned the "Family of the Year Award."
For thirty years, Dr. Paul Foster Jr. has worked in aviation maintenance - a profession that has always brought him sincere joy and satisfaction. And for thirty years, he has wondered why so few women and minorities choose to pursue the same path.
A Change of Heart
Most people would call this particular work depressing. Elder abuse attorneys Greg Johnson and Jody Moore investigate and prosecute civil patient abuse cases involving nursing homes and care facilities. And while the work is grisly, both lawyers say it is extremely rewarding.
Poet Michael Collings Finds Inspiration in Unlikely Places
It was January 1979, and a young professor from UCLA was worried. Michael Collings and his wife, Judi, had three small children and a fourth on the way, when he learned that the university would not renew his contract.
School of Law Alumni Become Premier Central Coast Winemakers
Proving for the umpteenth time that a legal education provides a foundation for achieving excellence in a number of fields, several alumni of Pepperdine's School of Law are focusing their attention on the rich fields of California's Central Coast. There, in the Santa Ynez Valley and surrounding areas, they are producing a bountiful wine harvest. Here are glimpses into their lives, their work, and dreams...
Helping the Homeless in Malibu
A trailer sits in the parking lot of the Malibu, California courthouse. Around it each morning, men and women gather and wait for a chance to work. Supported by the city's efforts to give homeless and struggling individuals a chance to get back on their feet, these "day laborers" eye an approaching Saab with anticipation.
Eye of the Needle
Claudia B. Sangster, director of philanthropy services at myCFO, helps the nation's wealthiest individuals and families change the world for the better by advising them on philanthropic opportunities. If she asks you to pinch her, it is because she sometimes feels she is living a dream.