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Pepperdine University
Gareen Darakjian, Managing Editor, Pepperdine Magazine

Letter from the Editor

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The ubiquitous question is one that has the potential to either stump youngsters on the cusp of adulthood or stimulate their progress, goal planning, and discovery. In the case of the members of the Pepperdine community profiled in this issue of Pepperdine Magazine, the question may have been a fruitful exercise in determining their impact on the world.

Perhaps Michelle King (MS ’92) sat in her fourth-grade class at Windsor Hills Elementary School envisioning a future where she would have the opportunity to lead an increase in graduation rates across the district. This January, shortly after being named superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, King stopped by Windsor Hills Elementary on a tour of community schools to visit the place where her dreams first emerged.

As a student studying with biology professor Lee Kats in his Costa Rica summer program, would-be veterinarian Barbara Han (’02) reaped the benefits of high-impact learning while studying the ecology of the tropical environment and discovered a passion for infectious diseases linked to amphibian population declines.

In his grandfather’s dining room, Bryan Keene (’06) learned to wield a pencil and paintbrush at a table that sat just below a fresco of the Bay of Palermo in Sicily, an image that stimulated his curiosity about art and architecture of the Mediterranean island. He now continues his pursuits as assistant curator of manuscripts at the Getty.

Coming of age in the fairytale town of Santa Barbara in the company of some of the architecture world’s thought-leaders, School of Public Policy adjunct professor Wade Graham laid the foundation for a future investigating the urban and rural landscapes that define where we live, play, and work.

This issue celebrates the circumstances that help determine the rest of our lives, the mentors who nurture our journeys of discovery, and the passion that fuels our every inquiry.

Gareen Darakjian