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Pepperdine University

IEMSC Workshop Series

IEMSC Workshop Series: Introduction to Understanding and Defending Against Disinformation Techniques

Introduction to Storytelling for Entertainment, Media, and Law 

Online | January 13, 2021 | 4–6 PM PDT

Incorporating the Tried-and-True Techniques of Hollywood Filmmaking to Win Over Your Audience

Audiences have been indoctrinated through film and television to ingest information in a specific manner. This workshop will teach you proven Hollywood techniques and methods that can help you refine, enhance and deliver your stories and presentations more effectively in the fields of entertainment, business, and the law. Through a series of questions, this workshop will guide you on how to craft a compelling story that your target audience will connect to. Once your story is refined, we will teach you how to properly present your story using proven Hollywood formulas, so the audience stays emotionally connected to your story.


Introduction to Understanding and Defending Against Disinformation Techniques

Online | October 24, 2020 | 1–4 PM PDT 

The modern information environment is a world where bad actors are constantly trying to manipulate the thinking and behaviors of others, and it can often feel quite impossible to separate truth from fiction. This reality is never more apparent than during an election cycle as the public is bombarded with messages meant to manipulate and mislead—all while driving, watching television, surfing the web, scrolling through social media platforms, reading emails, and even just glancing at a text message. How do we determine what to believe?

Join the Pepperdine Institute for Entertainment, Media, Sports, and Culture for a workshop on disinformation techniques that will help you recognize and defend against attacks as we head into Election Day 2020. This three-hour interactive session will feature a mix of lectures, discussions, and guided exercises that will introduce participants to the information and skills needed to identify several common disinformation methods—including rumors, character assassination, political campaign dirty tricks, and the use of digital forgeries such as deep fakes—and understand the thought behind the application of these techniques from both the attacker's and defender's points of view.

This workshop will be led by Rand Waltzman, deputy chief technology officer at RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that helps improve public policy and decision-making through research and analysis; Theresa de los Santos ('01, MA '08), associate professor of communication, Seaver College Communications Division, and the IEMSC academic director for journalism; and Keith Montgomery, principal and vice chairman of CyberOi, a certified diversity-owned consulting firm with expertise in next-generation technology and systems integration. Exercises will include identifying, designing, and reviewing manipulation attacks from multiple angles and give participants the confidence to start defending themselves against disinformation attacks.


Students: $15
Alumni: $25
General Admission: $25

Meet the Instructors


Rand Waltzman

Rand Waltzman
Deputy Chief Technology Officer, RAND Corporation

Rand Waltzman has created, planned, and managed major research and development programs and massive scale data analytics in areas of insider threat detection and applications of social media. He is currently deputy chief technology officer at RAND Corporation. His previous positions include acting CTO and associate director of research of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, program manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, chief scientist in the Distributed Systems Lab of Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories and associate professor of computer science at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. His 36-year career in artificial intelligence started in 1983 as a knowledge engineer at Teknowledge Corporation, the world's first commercial artificial intelligence company.

Theresa de los Santos - Pepperdine University

Theresa de los Santos ('01, MA '08)
Associate Professor of Communication, Pepperdine University

Theresa de los Santos is an associate professor of communication in the Communication Division at Pepperdine University. She is an Emmy Award–winning television news producer, formerly working at FOX 6 in San Diego and on the FOX 11 Morning News and Good Day LA at KTTV in Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the effect of discrete emotions, such as anger and hope, in news coverage on attitude, opinion, and behavior change. She is currently engaged in a research project with the Reagan Library aimed at understanding the use of simulations and training videos to increase news literacy awareness among high school students. She is published in the Handbook of Media Effects and Psychology and the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

At Pepperdine, de los Santos teaches in the areas of journalism and research methods and leads the television news co-curricular program. She obtained a BA in broadcast journalism and a MA in media communication from Pepperdine, and earned her PhD in media communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Keith Montgomery

Keith Montgomery
Principal and Vice Chairman, CyberOi

Keith Montgomery is a serial entrepreneur and a NextGen technology specialist. He is cofounder of several technology companies focused on artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud, cybersecurity, and enterprise transformation. As the creator of the sustainable disruption management framework, Montgomery formulated a method for individuals, teams, and organizations to be resilient in the face of extreme change at home, work, or globally. Acknowledging the asymmetric power of technology, he is deeply passionate about empowering all people to use the potency of technology to improve country relations as well as create a sustainable ecosystem on earth.

Frequently Asked Questions

  Who should attend this workshop?

This workshop is intended for those interested in understanding more about disinformation techniques and how to defend against them. It was designed to help you better understand and participate in the modern information environment.

  What can participants expect to learn?

Participants will learn how to spot disinformation and identify disinformation techniques, explain how disinformation works, and observe media with a critical eye.

  What technology is needed to attend?

IEMSC recommends using a laptop or desktop computer for the optimal experience, as some webinar features may not be available when using  mobile applications.


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