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Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology to Host 2019 Commencement

Commencement ceremonies for the two divisions of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology will take place at Alumni Park on the Malibu campus on Saturday, May 18.

The psychology division ceremony will take place at 10 AM, and will bestow an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Jessica Henderson Daniel.

The education division ceremony will take place at 2:30 PM, and will bestow an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Frank E. Baxter.

Jessica Henderson DanielDaniel is an associate professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School and an adjunct associate professor in the clinical psychology program at Boston University. She also serves as the director of training in psychology with the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Daniel is a leader in her professional community; she is currently a member of the board of directors of the American Psychological Association, having served as the group’s 2018 president. 

Her career has focused primarily on training and mentoring, and she successfully advocated for Massachusetts regulations requiring psychologists to be instructed and trained about people of color, the only state in the country with such regulations. She has published several articles on mentoring and diversity-cultural training, and her contributions to the field have been recognized with awards from Harvard Medical School, the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, among many others.  

Daniel received her BS from Fayetteville State College, and an AM and PhD from the University of Illinois-Urbana. 

Baxter is founding chair of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools. He served as the United States Ambassador to Uruguay under George W. Bush, from 2006 to 2009. 

Since 1986 Baxter has been an activist in improving K-12 education for low-income students, and began work as a supporter of charter schools in Oakland and Los Angeles in the 1990s. In 2004 he was one of the founders of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, a high-performing Los Angeles charter management organization that now has six middle schools and 15 high schools serving 9,500 inner-city students. He has served as chair and co-chair since the organization’s inception. In 2010 the alliance started a transition to blended learning, a model that integrates teachers with 21st-century technology. Now seven schools use the blended learning alliance school transformation program.

Baxter is chair emeritus of the global investment bank Jefferies Group Inc. He has also served as board chair for After-School All Stars, board member of the California Institute of the Arts, a member of the Governor's Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth, vice chair of the Los Angeles Opera board, and chair of the executive committee of the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Baxter was also a trustee for the University of California, Berkeley Foundation and the I Have a Dream Foundation, Los Angeles Chapter. He is a former director of the National Association of Securities Dealers, served on the NASDAQ board, and was director of the Securities Industry Association.

Baxter graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in economics with honors in 1961. Before college, he enlisted in the Air Force for four years. He is the recipient of the Bet Tzedek, House of Justice and the Getty House (Mayor's Residence) City of Angels awards, and is the winner of the 2018 Savas Award for Public-Private Partnerships presented by the Reason Foundation. 

For additional information, visit the Graduate School of Education and Psychology Graduation website.