Waves of Innovation II Winners Announced | Pepperdine University

Waves of Innovation II Winners Announced

February 12, 2015  | 3 min read

Following a University-wide call to participate in the creative process of change and innovation at Pepperdine, faculty, staff, and students submitted nearly 100 proposals to improve Pepperdine and make it a more agile and sustainable institution.

Winners of Pepperdine's second annual Waves of Innovation were announced at the Waves of Innovation Talks Thursday, Feb. 5, at Smothers Theatre in Malibu.

“I am continually inspired by the initiative that the members of our community take to live out the founding vision of George Pepperdine,” says Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton. “The overwhelming number of submissions to the Waves of Innovation initiative further proves that our faculty, staff, and students believe in and are committed to strengthening the future of the University.”

Of the six finalists who presented their ideas to President Benton and the Waves of Innovation Committee, three were awarded substantial grants to implement their ideas. The next round of submissions are due spring 2016.

"Once again, the Pepperdine community responded to the Waves of Innovation initiative with creative, energetic, and rich ideas,” says Lee Kats, Pepperdine vice provost and Waves of Innovation Committee chair. “Each of the six presentations last week was excellent. President Benton and the Committee were left with a difficult choice, but I believe the three projects that were selected offer the best opportunities for making Pepperdine an even better university than it is now."

Winners include:

The Financial Literacy Initiative
– $109,239 award

Derek Stoutland (Seaver College, student)

A proposal that seeks to educate young adults on the foundational concepts of personal finance. The goal is to instill a sense of financial competency in Pepperdine students through instruction and coaching on the practical applications of money management.

Center for Women in Leadership
– $148,769 award

Bernice Ledbetter (Graziadio School of Business and Management, faculty)
Regan Harwell Schaffer (Seaver College Business Administration Division, faculty)
Lauren Cosentino (Chief Officer, Human Resources and Insurance and Risk, staff)
Alexandra Marmion Roosa (Director, Research and Sponsored Programs, staff)
Kerri Heath (Senior Advancement Officer, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, staff)

A proposal for a collaborative pilot initiative between the Seaver College Business Administration Division, Graziadio School of Business and Management, and Pepperdine University Human Resources to develop a Center for Women in Leadership. The goal motivating this initiative is to establish Pepperdine as a premier university for women who aspire to be leaders in their countries, communities, and organizations while taking full advantage of the growing number of women entering business programs. This would allow the opportunity to respond to this trend of women’s increased interest in business education.

Developing, Launching, and Implementing a New Degree Program: Master of Science in Applied Analytics
– $150,000 award

Mark Chun, (Graziadio School of Business and Management, faculty)

With an anticipated demand in 2018 for nearly half a million industry professionals who possess skills and competencies in business analytics, the faculty members of Decision Sciences and the Information Systems and Technology Management disciplines intend to launch an interdisciplinary program that provides an applied/practice‐oriented program focused on educating analysts with strong technical and quantitative skills. This program will provide students with deep analytical training to make informed evidenced‐based decisions in business.


Successful submissions were evaluated on their potential to increase the net resources available to support Pepperdine and/or to improve the University's reputation, and received grants up to $5,000 to help them prepare a complete proposal for Phase II. Phase II provides additional funding to facilitate expansion and implementation of selected concepts.

The Committee also evaluated submissions specifically on their potential to:

  • Enhance teaching and learning, foster scholarly and creative activity
  • Create new revenue opportunities through increased enrollment, new programs, community involvement, or collaboration with corporations and industry
  • Streamline our organization, physical plant, and operating processes
  • Strengthen the Pepperdine University "brand" and reputation

For more information, visit the Waves of Innovation website.