Meet the Council Members

Pepperdine Ambassadors Council with President Benton

Pepperdine Ambassadors Council 2015-2016

Trevor Alvord

Trevor Alvord is a senior from Montrose, Colorado. He is a Sports Medicine major with a Spanish minor. He loves hiking, running, reading, and almost any other activity that can be accomplished with a few great friends. His experiences during his time at Pepperdine, including Pepperdine Family Camp, Songfest, Step Forward Day, and Greek Life, have encouraged him to give back to his community. Trevor spent his sophomore year studying abroad in South America. He is excited to return to PAC and finish out his senior year strong.

Emily Amundson

Emily Amundson is a senior from Bellevue, Washington. As a Psychology major with a pre-health emphasis, Emily's passion is in the field of preventative medicine and Epigenetics. Emily spent her sophomore year in Lausanne, Switzerland and returned her junior year to serve as a Spiritual Life Advisor for freshmen girls. Her interests include running, writing, cooking for others, and traveling abroad. Emily plans on pursuing a PhD in the field of epidemiology after she graduates next spring. Through PAC, she is so excited to continue to serve and represent such an outstanding University that has taught her how to truly live a life with purpose, service and leadership.

Marissa Baly

Marissa Baly is a senior from Washington, DC. A Political Science major, she plans on pursuing a career in public policy after graduation. In her free time, Marissa enjoys golf, reading, collecting postcards from her travels, and representing all things "East Coast." At Seaver College, Marissa is the Lead Ambassador for the International Programs office, student assistant for the Great Books Colloquium, and a representative on Pepperdine's American Enterprise Institute Executive Council. She is immensely grateful for all that PAC has taught her and for introducing her to her amazing mentor from the Crest Board. Marissa looks forward to serving the Pepperdine community on PAC for her second year.

Rahje Branch

Rahje Branch is a junior from Los Angeles, California, pursuing a degree in political science and a minor in rhetoric and leadership. A former girl scout, Rahje has led a life dedicated to public service and improving the quality of education for those in her community. Most recently, she interned at the White House, in the Office of the First Lady working on the Reach Higher Initiative. Currently, Rahje serves as a Vice President of Pepperdine's Black Student Association. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. Rahje is honored to serve on PAC this year and looks forward to working with others in the Malibu community to bring innovative ideas to fruition.

Jacqueline Cisneros

Jacqueline Cisneros is a senior from Orange County, California. She is majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. On campus, Jacqueline spends her time interning in Seaver College's Office of Admission, serving on the leadership team of Pepperdine's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and cultivating friendships through her sorority. Her interests include traveling, watching movies, visiting Disneyland and attending theatrical performances. After graduation, Jacqueline hopes to pursue a career in public relations and eventually earn her MBA. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve on PAC and looks forward to sharing Pepperdine's mission with others.

Joan Daly

Joan Daly is a junior from River Edge, New Jersey. She is majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications, and minoring in Multimedia Design. On campus, Joan is an intern at the Seaver College's Office of Admission, a writer for Currents magazine, a volunteer for events such as New Student Orientation and Step Forward Day, and enjoys being an active member of her sorority. Aside from school, she enjoys road trips with her friends, painting, and running half marathons. Joan is excited and honored for the opportunity to be involved in PAC this year, and looks forward to serving the Pepperdine community, just as it has served her.

Ayesha Diatta

Ayesha Diatta is a junior from New York, majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications. During her time at Pepperdine, Ayesha has travelled the world through three of Pepperdine's international programs: Florence, Washington D.C. and London. While in Washington DC and London, Ayesha interned for the Smithsonian Institution and the World Travel & Tourism Council. Some of Ayesha's favorite activities include an avid love for soccer, adventure and volunteering. After graduation, she hopes to join the Peace Corps before pursuing a career in international marketing. Ayesha looks forward to being back in Malibu and giving back to the Pepperdine community that shaped who she is today.

James Gehrels

James Gehrels is a junior from Tucson, Arizona. He is pursuing a degree in Sports Administration with a certificate in Conflict Resolution. He aspires to be an Athletic Director at a large NCAA Div I Institution. Outside of the classroom much of James' time is taken up with Pepperdine athletics as he is an outside hitter on the Pepperdine men's volleyball team. He also interns in the athletic department in marketing and is the co-president of the Pepperdine student athlete-advisory committee. James is honored and humbled to have been chosen to be on PAC and is looking forward to spreading and building Pepperdine's brand in Malibu and beyond, while emphasizing the importance of athletics in an academic institution.

Lauren Griffin

Lauren Griffin is a junior from Dallas, TX, double majoring in International Studies and Political Science. During her time at Pepperdine, she has been involved with the Model United Nations team, Greek Life, and the Veritas Forum. Her hobbies include hiking, sweet-tea drinking, jewelry making and teaching spin classes. Lauren is looking forward to serving on PAC in order to further the University's mission of service, purpose, and leadership, in addition to fostering lifelong relationships among community members.

Emily Hirsch

Emily Hirsch is a senior from Barrington, Illinois. She is majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Business Management, minoring in Industrial Organization Psychology and earning a Certificate in Conflict Management/Dispute Resolution through Pepperdine's School of Law. Outside of academics, Emily enjoys spending her time traveling, reading, skydiving and doing Crossfit. Her goals post undergraduate include working for a top management consulting firm and attending graduate school down the road. Emily looks forward to serving the Pepperdine community through her commitment to PAC during her senior year.

Rhett Johnson

Rhett Johnson is a junior from Temecula, California, who is currently pursuing a major in Finance, with a minor in Accounting. Post-graduation, he plans to sit for his CPA before obtaining an MBA, in hopes of one day becoming a CFO. Rhett's dream job would be to find a way to integrate his passion of finance with his love of sports. Outside of the classroom, Rhett enjoys exploring LA, trying unique foods, and playing sports. Rhett recently returned from his year abroad in Shanghai, China and cannot wait to take all the experiences he has learned, and share them with the greater Pepperdine community. Rhett is thankful for his position on PAC and intends to become a liaison between the student body and the greater Malibu area while spreading Pepperdine's mission.

Jesse Jones

Jesse Jones is a senior from Longmont, Colorado, majoring in Integrated Marketing Communication. His greatest passion lies within sports. He loves to play, watch, study, and talk about just about any sport. His favorite team is the Denver Broncos. In line with Jesse's passion for sports, he hopes to someday work in the sports industry in some facet or another. Jesse is also an aspiring entrepreneur who plans to start his own company upon graduation. Aside from his obsession with sports, Jesse cares deeply for his family; he has two older brothers and one younger brother. As a member of PAC, Jesse hopes to develop meaningful relationships with various members of the Pepperdine community and represent Pepperdine to the Malibu and greater Los Angeles areas.

Anna Kitsmarishvili

Anna Kitsmarishvili is a senior and an international student from Tbilisi, Georgia. She is majoring in political science and has completed the Certificate in Conflict Management at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Upon graduation, Anna plans to attend law school. Throughout her time at Pepperdine, Anna has participated in numerous internship programs, both domestically and abroad. In Lausanne, she interned at Medair, a Swiss-based humanitarian aid organization; in Washington D.C., she interned at the U.S. House of Representatives; in Tel Aviv, she interned at the Peres Center for Peace, an NGO aimed at building lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; and finally in Shanghai, she interned at Dentons, the largest international law firm in the world. Anna loves to journal and is a yoga-enthusiast. This will be her second year serving on the Pepperdine Ambassadors Council.

Grant Lacey

Grant Lacey is a senior from Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He is an economics major while following the Pre-Medicine route. Grant is either interested in attending Medical School after Pepperdine or pursuing a career in business. In his free time, he enjoys attending concerts, watching sporting events, golfing, and eating food. All of these activities are, of course, preferred with friends. In his time at Pepperdine, Grant studied has abroad in Lausanne, served as a Resident Assistant, traveled to the Dominican Republic and San Carlos, AZ for Project Serve, and will serve as Project Serve Coordinator his senior year. Grant is excited to serve on PAC because he will be further involved with what makes Pepperdine such a unique place: the people.

James McCutchen

James McCutchen is a senior from Seattle, Washington. He is earning his undergraduate degree in Finance and plans to continue on and obtain his MBA in Finance. James enjoys traveling and spent a year studying abroad in Switzerland; he appreciates the opportunity to experience new places and cultures whenever possible. Additionally, James appreciates a good game of basketball, whether watching or playing. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a CFA and work as an investment and financial advisor. His involvement on campus as the Vice President of Finance for the Inter Fraternity Council, and interning in the Finance Office under the University's Controller, has provided him with hands on experience in his field of interest while serving the Pepperdine community. Through PAC, James intends to represent the strong mission founded in Christ taught by the University.

Amanda McKee

Amanda McKee is a senior from the great state of Texas. She is majoring in French and International Studies, with a double emphasis in Political Studies and Middle Eastern/North African Studies, and she recently completed a Certificate in Conflict Management/Dispute Resolution through Pepperdine's School of Law. After completing her undergraduate studies, she plans to attend law school and later pursue a career with the State Department. Outside of academics, Amanda is an avid traveler with a deep passion for culture, history, languages, and food. Her year abroad with Pepperdine's Lausanne Program, where she served as the community Service Coordinator, was one of her most impactful Pepperdine experiences, as she was able to combine her love of traveling and culture with her heart for service and leadership. She is honored to be a part of this year's council, and is looking forward to serving alongside some of Pepperdine's most accomplished students as they work to give back to their university and community.

Michael Mitze

Michael Mitze is a senior from Malibu, California. He is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Marketing. He loves traveling, swimming, reading and playing golf. His experiences at Pepperdine include serving as Sigma Phi Epsilon's vp of Communications, participating in songfest and conducting research on issues the telecommunications industry faces today. Along with this he has also had the privilege to intern with the Salvation Army in their London lobbying offices as well as work at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in Washington, DC. Following graduation he aspires to work in Washington, DC representing the telecommunications industry in government. As a member of PAC he is very excited to continue to build the relationship between Pepperdine and his home community.

Stuart Slayton

Stuart Slayton is a junior from Plano, Texas. He is majoring in Psychology with an emphasis in law, minoring in Rhetoric and Leadership, and obtaining a certificate in Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management. Outside of his studies, Stuart has served as executive board member and philanthropy chair for his fraternity, Psi Upsilon, participated in mock trial, National Model United Nations, and New Student Orientation on campus. Off campus, he spends his free time working closely with two energy and technology companies of which he is a shareholder. Upon graduating, Stuart hopes to attend law school before pursuing his vocation. Stuart is honored to serve his University, fellow students, and the greater Malibu community through the Pepperdine Ambassadors Council.

Mark Vega

Mark Vega is a senior from Orange, California, majoring in Advertising with a concentration in Business. Mark is passionate about running, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family. After graduation, he hopes to work for an innovative organization after having spent this past summer interning with IBM. During his time at Pepperdine, Mark has been on the cross country and track teams, studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has also spent his time working with the Pepperdine Micro Enterprise Program, Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and Graziadio School of Business and Management as a marketing intern. Mark look forwards to serve on PAC by building the communities inside and outside of Pepperdine and bridging them together, while sharing Pepperdine's mission with others.

Jenna Wall

Jenna Wall is a senior from Oak Park, California. She is majoring in Finance with an Applied Mathematics minor, and currently serves as the VP Finance for her sorority and the co-president of the Microfinance Club. She loves traveling, running, nutrition, photography, and exploring the great outdoors with friends and family. During her time at Pepperdine, Jenna has studied abroad in Germany and Italy, participated in Songfest, Step Forward Day, and Project Serve, and enjoyed her involvement in Greek Life and Campus Ministry. She is also grateful to have gained leadership experience in HRL as the Spiritual Life Advisor for international students. As a third generation Wave, Jenna has a deep-rooted connection to Pepperdine. Through her service on PAC, Jenna looks forward to further investing in the institution that has so greatly impacted her and her family.

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