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Pepperdine Professor Named Outstanding Higher Education Professional

Longtime Pepperdine professor John F. McManus was recently named the 2015 Outstanding Higher Education Professional by the Neag School of Education Alumni Society of the University of Connecticut. McManus, who earned his PhD from the Neag School, was recognized for his four decades of service in higher education, of which he has spent 37 years at Pepperdine University. He has held many leadership roles at the University and is currently a professor of education in Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

“Dr. McManus has, quite remarkably, taught in every program we offer at Pepperdine: undergraduate studies, law, graduate business, public policy, and of course, our graduate programs in education. It seems he can do it all,” said Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton.

McManus joined Pepperdine in 1979 as the director of computer services. In 1983, he became a professor of education. He has served as the associate dean of the education division in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology; director of Graduate and Business Programs; and interim dean of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

McManus has taught courses in statistics, education research, and computer applications at both the master’s and doctoral levels. He has chaired dissertation committees and has authored many publications, including textbooks for high school and college students. McManus also has brought his talents to the courtroom, where he served as an expert witness in a number of court cases in California, often working pro bono.

He is on the Board of Regents, and serves as the unpaid director of technology integration for the DaVinci Schools, three high schools in an economically depressed area of Los Angeles. The schools have been recognized by the Los Angeles Unified School District as a best practice demonstration site for establishing a regional model of real-world learning, and received a prestigious Next Generation Learning Challenges grant, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundations.

“John has influenced hundreds of people in his career. He has mentored generations of graduate students who are now international leaders in the fields of business, education, and health care organizations,” says Dean Richard Schwab of the Neag School of Education.