Seaver College | 2000
Facility Research Director, DoD-VA Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence
Shawn Farrokhi is distinguished in the field of biomechanics, physical therapy, and clinical research. He is responsible for the successful implementation of new programs and protocols from the initial planning phase all the way through to execution.
What does being an honoree of the Outstanding Alumni in Healthcare campaign mean to you?
I am absolutely honored to be considered by my alma mater as an Outstanding Alumni in Healthcare. This honor is particularly meaningful to me because one of the reasons I pursued a career in healthcare was to help improve lives. I am elated to be considered among a group of amazing healthcare professionals who have graduated from Pepperdine University over the years who strive to positively impact peoples' lives.
Describe your road to success.
Describing my road to success is tough for me because so much has happened over the years that has influenced where I am in my career today. Obviously, everyone's path is different and there is no "one size fits all" sort of method that can conclusively tell you when you've made it in life. While it might sound obvious, the desire to be successful was perhaps the most important element that kept me on the right path and helped me get through the tough times. Additionally, the direct link between success and education was instilled in me from an early age by my parents. Education helped me view the world differently and refined my values and goals for success; and it all started here at Pepperdine. With every educational opportunity (one undergraduate and three graduate degrees), a new door opened up for me and the path to success became clearer. The culmination of these experiences has led me to my current job as a clinical scientist dedicated to improving the quality of life and quality of care for our service members and veterans with limb injury and amputation, which is a dream come true! There is no better feeling than helping those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the very freedom that we enjoy every day.
Who has helped you achieve success in your career?
I truly feel that it takes a village to find success. I have been blessed throughout my career to receive advice and mentorship from a long list of amazing individuals. My parents set me on the right path by teaching me the value of education and hard work. My older siblings operationalized our parents' values and became great role models for me to follow. My wife and kids provided me with unconditional love and support so that I can strive to be a better version of myself. I have also had plenty of guidance from some amazing career and life mentors who shared their experiences with me that kept me from going astray.
Describe a lesson you've learned from a challenging time in your career or life.
Life is filled with ups and downs, good and bad, failure and success, positive and negative. What I have learned from challenging times is that life is in a perpetual state of change. The best we can do is to enjoy the scenery when life is good and try to persevere during the hard times knowing a better future awaits us.
How do you prepare for a busy day?
In general, I'm a type of person who likes being busy, but there are times that my days have been so packed that important things get lost in the shuffle. First and foremost, I try to make time to kick start my day with some form of exercise, which allows me to begin my day in the right frame of mind. Then I look at my daily to-do-list and decide on what can be postponed, eliminated, or delegated. Fortunately, I have a fantastic team around me that I can lean on for completing various projects on time and at high quality. Time is always limited, so setting daily milestones and goals allow me to stay on task and feel accomplished at the end of the day.
"What I have learned from challenging times is that life is in a perpetual state of change. The best we can do is to enjoy the scenery when life is good and try to persevere during the hard times knowing a better future awaits us."
Shawn Farrokhi ('00)
What's next for you?
There's an old saying, "If you love your work, you'll never work a day." And I do honestly love what I do. My goals for the future are to continue to lean in and lift up those around me so that we can continue to make a difference together. Contributing to the health and quality of life of service members and veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom has been an absolute honor and I look forward to continuing on this path. Moving forward, my goals also include training the next generation of physical therapists to become indispensable members of the healthcare community dedicated to helping others in need.
What is your mantra or favorite quote?
"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand." —Vince Lombardi