Professor Gash

Unity in Mind

"A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel."

Intellectual curiosity is the bedrock of Pepperdine University. Historically, the Restoration tradition was rooted in methodologies associated with inductive reasoning and empiricism, which today retain their epistemological power to create knowledge and analyze previous insights and discoveries—endeavors central to higher education research and scholarship. The modern academy, even one grounded in a heritage of faith, must be built on the search for truth and cultivated through a breadth of academic programs and faculty perspectives.

Our philosophy is simple. By making a vast array of topics accessible to our students, we allow them to become exposed to the original ideas and inventive solutions necessary for improving their lives, communities, and society. Through an uncompromising commitment to scholarship and open discourse, we bring attention to important issues in the lives of students, promote active civic and global engagement, and position ourselves as leaders in the marketplace of ideas.

Students who study in this learning environment, under the tutelage of a diverse and distinguished faculty, will not only broaden their personal perceptions of the world, but will also learn that those who initially seemed so different from us often share the same emotional responses, religious beliefs, and scholarly perspectives that we uphold. As they explore deeper questions of meaning and purpose, it leads them to become like-minded with fellow classmates and faculty members in the present, while preparing them with servant hearts to become well-rounded individuals and successful professionals in the future.


Robert deMayo

The Graduate School of Education and Psychology launched in fall 2016 a new master of science degree in behavioral psychology, preparing students for careers in specialized behavior training to support individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

"The program is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes—including compassion and respect—necessary to be of assistance to people with autism and their families," says Robert A. deMayo, associate dean, professor, director of the master of arts in psychology program, and winner of the California Psychology Association's 2016 Silver Psi Award.

DeMayo, along with associate professor and program director Adel Najdowski, leads the two-year program that trains students to become board certified behavior analysts. Through the program, students learn about human development throughout the lifespan; psychopathology; and the process of diagnosis, treatment planning, and intervention to assess and treat children and adults.

Diversity Week

The School of Law hosted the second annual Diversity Week, a series of events that celebrates the rich diversity of the student body, faculty, and staff. As part of the program, the School of Law community came together for Global Village Day, which recognizes and celebrates national, regional, and ethnic cultures through food, music, and fashion with presentations by the ethnic student organizations of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Student Bar Association.

Furthering the conversation, faculty members from various spiritual backgrounds participated in a moderated panel titled "Discussing Religious Diversity with Pepperdine Faculty," while students Ashley Crump and Brittany Hughes led a presentation highlighting inclusion called "My Story: Individualizing Diversity."

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Theatre students who participated in the 2016 Pepperdine Scotland summer program received the prestigious Scotsman Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for their work on the play The Interference. Written by Scotland-based playwright Lynda Radley, The Interference is a fast-paced drama about a campus rape victim's struggle for justice.

In a cross-cultural exchange that annually immerses Pepperdine theatre students in the Scottish theatre community, the production also enabled a collaboration between different resources across the University—the Counseling Center to offer guidance on self-care as actors performing a difficult scenario, the School of Law to provide nuance and clarity about American law surrounding such issues, and the Pepperdine SaVE committee composed of representatives across the University who unite to address issues of sexual assault on campus.

Seaver College senior Sarah Barney, who stars in the production as a journalist who takes up the cause of the victim, says, "I appreciated the opportunity to talk about such a hot-button topic in a way that was not condemning or victimizing, but intent on telling the story of travesty experienced by thousands of individuals worldwide."

National Endowment for the Humanitites

The National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access awarded a $300,000 grant to Pepperdine University Libraries to develop a sustainable preservation storage environment for important humanities materials.

Dean of libraries Mark Roosa notes, "As a 21st century library, we bear a responsibility to provide sustained access to rare, valuable, and historically significant materials. A sustainable preservation space for mixed media collections will provide assurance that researchers will have access to primary resources for many years to come."

Deryck J. van Rensburg

Deryck J. van Rensburg, former president of global ventures at The Coca-Cola Company, was named dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Van Rensburg brings to Pepperdine over 30 years of business experience in corporate leadership roles, where he held international positions in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Romania, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.