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Beth M. Laux Named Executive Director of International Programs

Beth M. LauxBeth M. Laux has been named executive director of international programs at Pepperdine University. Laux, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of international education and currently serves as the director of learning abroad at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, will commence her new role on August 1, 2019.

“Pepperdine University has a national reputation of excellence, and Seaver College has positioned international programs as a cornerstone of the undergraduate Pepperdine experience,” said Laux. “Studying abroad was the most powerful experience I had in college. It influenced me academically, personally, and spiritually, which made a career in international education a natural fit. My continued commitment to international education stems from its impact on students.” 

Throughout her career, Laux has experienced the benefits of international programs firsthand as a student, faculty, and administrator, having witnessed that college students who participate in international programs gain intercultural competence, are more likely to graduate on time, are better positioned for career promotions, and are more engaged with their communities. 

“Beth is imminently qualified and prepared to lead international programs into the future. I am excited to work alongside her to advance our existing programs and to explore new opportunities that provide students with opportunities for intellectual, social, personal, and spiritual transformations,” explained Michael Feltner, dean of Seaver College. “Beth follows two prior deans, Dr. William Phillips and Dr. Charles Hall, both of whom are exceptional leaders. From them she inherits a program supported by outstanding faculty and staff, equipped with exceptional facilities across the globe. I am confident that from this foundation Beth will lead international programs to even greater heights.”

Hall, the current dean of international programs and associate professor of sociology at Seaver College, will continue to fulfill his role through July 31 before returning to the Seaver College faculty following a sabbatical next year. A special celebration commemorating his 14 years of service as dean will be held on May 17.

A recognized leader in the field of international education, Laux discovered her professional passions when she traveled to Costa Rica and Spain as an undergraduate student at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After earning her degree in Spanish and political science, she returned to her alma mater to serve as the director of international education and programs. 

In 2004 Laux left her position at Aquinas and spent two years as a missionary in Guatemala and El Salvador, primarily focusing on educational programs and faith development in underserved communities. After completing her mission, Laux earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Toledo. She also served as an intern for the United States Department of State before transitioning back to international education.

Laux’s professional background includes education abroad policy development, curriculum integration, international education leadership, assessment, and program design. She has taught political science and Spanish, served as an onsite program manager in Latin America and Europe, and advocated for a wide range of international education initiatives at both the state and national levels. Her research interests include outcomes assessment and the intersection between course design and intercultural competence. 

Laux has also worked with nonprofit, government, and education entities in more than 18 countries. An active contributor in the national dialogue, she has delivered more than 25 conference presentations and frequently publishes on high-impact practices in a global context. In 2017 she received a Fulbright International Education Administrators Award in Germany and Belgium. 

Laux is currently pursuing a doctor of education degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.