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Waves of Innovation Winners Announced

Winners of Pepperdine's first annual Waves of Innovation were announced at the Waves of Innovation Talks yesterday, Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Smothers Theatre in Malibu.

Of the eight finalists who presented their ideas to President Andrew K. Benton and the Waves of Innovation Committee, six were awarded substantial grants to implement their ideas to improve Pepperdine and make it a more agile and sustainable institution. The next round of submissions are due October 15, 2014.

"The Waves of Innovation Talks brought together our community, faculty, staff, and students from all five schools to hear eight inspirational talks about how to make Pepperdine a better place," reflects Lee Kats, Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives and Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science. "Each talk presented a unique approach to change; change that could help others, our students and our university. President Benton and the Waves of Innovation Committee were so impressed with the ideas that they heard last night that they made six different awards, each over $25,000."

Watch the Livestream broadcast of the Waves of Innovation presentations and award ceremony.

Winners include:

Rhiannon Bailard (Pepperdine University, Staff) — $150,000 award
The Eden Project

A proposal to transition an existing residence hall into an identified sustainable living project to educate students about sustainable living, reduce energy and water consumption, test sustainable building solutions, respond to the students' desire for emphasis on sustainability and recruit prospective students.

Teri Tompkins (Graziadio School of Business and Management, Faculty) — $83,000 award
Designing a Curriculum and Delivery System for Next-Generation Executive Students

A proposal to study how Pepperdine can create a next-generation EMBA program that allows students from other parts of the country (and outside of the USA) to attend Pepperdine classes, and allows our traditional EMBA students greater opportunities to take emphasis courses.

Mark Chen (Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Faculty) — $82,800 award; People's Choice Award: $1,500
Center for Gameful Design

A proposal to develop a games center for Pepperdine to support gameful learning initiatives for post-secondary instruction in addition to also providing a space for designers and researchers to make and study games and gaming practice.

Joe Fritsch (Seaver College, Faculty) — $69,300 award
Biodegradable Plastics Prepared with Optimized, Environmentally Friendly Catalysts

A project which seeks to prepare plastics from environmentally sustainable resources with environmentally friendly catalysts. The purpose is to make our school one in which research to replace plastics made of poly-ethylene with more environmentally friendly plastics manufactured with Poly-lactic acid promoting student research and learning as well as providing grant opportunities and entrepreneurial partnerships with polymers companies.

SueJie Oh and Jennifer Escoto (Seaver College, Undergraduate Students) — $35,000 award
College Connection

A proposal to provide inner city students with a service group formed of Seaver College undergraduates who will act as mentors and provide support and advice during their college application process. The goal is to educate and inspire these students about the various opportunities that are within their reach and to, hopefully, have them enroll on four-year universities.

Michael Ditmore and Ted McAllister (Seaver College and School of Public Policy, Faculty) — $26,400 award
Pepperdine Executive Preceptorial

A proposal to establish faculty facilitated preceptorials bringing together 15-20 professionals who seek opportunities to combine social and intellectual stimulation, who want the structure of a class to read interesting and often classic works and who enjoy the give and take of mature conversation about serious subjects.

Following a University-wide call to participate in the creative process of change and innovation at Pepperdine in August, faculty, staff, and students submitted over 150  proposals to improve Pepperdine and make it a more agile and sustainable institution.

The Waves of Innovation Committee and President Benton reviewed the submissions and narrowed the field to eight semi-finalists, each of whom has a chance to be awarded substantial grants to implement his or her idea.

Successful submissions, evaluated on their potential to increase the net resources available to support Pepperdine and/or to improve the University's reputation, received grants up to $5,000 to help them prepare a complete proposal for Phase II. Phase II will provide 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.