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Graduate School of Education and Psychology Introduces Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Project for Equity Research

July 29, 2021  | 2 min read

Graduate School of Education and Psychology - Pepperdine UniversityIn a continued effort to create and foster a diverse community of inclusion, equity, and belonging, the Education Division of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) will launch the inaugural Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Project for Equity Research (PEPPER) on September 1, 2021. As part of the program, two alumni of the PhD program in global leadership and change will be selected in mid-August 2021 to complete a one-year, part-time postdoctoral fellowship to engage in teaching and research in partnership with the Education Division faculty.

“The Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Project for Equity Research is an extension of the diversity, equity, and inclusion work we have been doing for the past year. If we expect to drive change in the space around inequity and injustice, we need to address inequities wherever we see them, and this program—while not a complete solution—is a culmination of those efforts,” explains Gabriella Miramontes (’01, MA ’02, EdD ’08), director of the Center for Global Partnership and Learning and GSEP visiting professor with expertise in change management, leadership, and qualitative research. “We are proud to be able to offer this opportunity to support our students not just in the classroom while they attain their degrees, but also as they progress to the next step in their journey. After all, what better way to prepare our students for lives of service, purpose, and leadership, if not through our modeling and support of those very values.”  

Through the framework of PEPPER, GSEP aims to provide opportunities for research and scholarship and maximize the impact of diversity through pedagogy in order to increase both the number of professors who value diversity as a means to enhance the education of all students and the overall diversity in higher education. 

“Many recent doctoral graduates often find it challenging to enter the professoriat or academic career tracks,” shares Farzin Madjidi (MBA ’88, EdD ’91), associate dean of the Education Division and professor of leadership at GSEP. According to Madjidi, students with previous work experience or relationships with strong mentors in the academy experience fewer challenges when seeking career opportunities in their chosen field of study. However, “this is not a pathway that is generally available to all students, especially those who systemically and historically have not had access to these mentorships or relationships,” Madjidi says. “The Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Program for Equity Research creates the needed support for our recent PhD graduates to spend a year with us in teaching and scholarship to better prepare them to enter academia.