Meet the Council Members
Pepperdine Ambassadors Council 2020–2021
Adya Kumar is a senior from Snoqualmie, Washington. She is pursuing her undergraduate degree in accounting. She spent this summer working as an assurance intern at Moss Adams in Seattle, and she hopes to become a CPA after graduating in the spring. Adya is currently working at the President’s Office as an associate, where she conducts research, writes, and curates articles, and does a variety of projects. In previous years, she worked as a research assistant for Pepperdine’s Prospect Research, where she conducted database searches and read local business journals to help identify prospective donors for fundraising officers. Adya is a member of Student Philanthropy Council, where she helps run Give2Pepp, as well as Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity. Adya spent her sophomore year studying abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland, which was definitely the peak of her Pepperdine experience. She got to travel extensively to 20 countries throughout Europe and even parts of Africa. Adya enjoys being outdoors, hammocking, hiking, jogging, and spending time with her friends and family. This is Adya’s second year on PAC; last year she served as the advancement liaison, where she worked closely with the Pepperdine Fund and the Office of Advancement. Adya is extremely excited and honored to be on PAC again!
Cassidy Woodward is a senior Regents Scholar from Fort Worth, Texas. She is currently pursuing her
undergraduate degree in integrated marketing communications, but her love of learning
has also prompted her to take art, creative writing, and education classes during
her time at Pepperdine. This is her second year on Pepperdine Ambassadors Council,
an organization that she is humbled, honored, and excited to be a part of. Her most
recent endeavor was a summer PR internship with Brown Books Publishing Group in Dallas,
Texas, a position that thrilled her as she hopes to go into the publishing industry
after graduation. Over the course of her three years at Pepperdine, she has studied
abroad in Heidelberg, served as both a student representative and a resident advisor,
worked in Human Resources and the Special Programs Office, led multiple club convos,
and participated in the Great Books Colloquium, one of her favorite opportunities
offered by the school. In her free time, she enjoys reading all varieties of books,
coffee dates with friends, and exploring Southern California. She is elated to be
on PAC again and looks forward to serving the University and community that has blessed
her so richly and to pursuing Pepperdine’s mission of purpose, service, and leadership.
Charlotte Lang is a senior Regents Scholar from Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. She is pursuing a degree in political science as well as a certificate in conflict management from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Caruso School of Law. Charlotte spent her sophomore year studying abroad in London, United Kingdom, in the fall and in Washington, DC, in the spring. While in Washington, she served as a spiritual life advisor and interned in the House of Representatives. The following summer, Charlotte returned to London to study and serve as a resident advisor as well as interning for Parliament’s House of Commons. Last summer, Charlotte further explored her interest in government by interning in state politics. On the Malibu campus, Charlotte participates in many areas of student life. She is a member of Student Philanthropy Council and served as its international ambassador while in London and its copresident in Malibu. Moreover, Charlotte is a member of the Pepperdine Waves Debate Team and has competed in tournaments regionally, nationally, and internationally, including a memorable experience debating policy in Kazakhstan. She also represents Pepperdine Waves Debate when she volunteers at a local elementary school teaching advocacy skills. Charlotte is engaged in political science research and has had the opportunity to present articles at conferences. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys getting boba with friends, traveling to new places and revisiting old ones, and learning new things. She is thankful for all of the opportunities Pepperdine has given to her and is honored to be serving Pepperdine and the broader Malibu community with the council.
Chase Nerison is a junior from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, currently pursuing a finance degree. During his sophomore year, Chase studied abroad in London, United Kingdom. He had the privilege of immersing himself in the British culture as well as traveling to many countries. His love and aspiration to travel has led him to meeting new people, a new passion for photography, and curiosity to explore more of the world. While at Pepperdine, he has been involved in many different organizations. As a community liaison student worker for the Pepperdine Crest Associates, he was able to see how well Pepperdine works with the surrounding area. Additionally, Chase served as a Club Convocation leader and New Student Orientation leader. As a proud member of Sigma Chi, his passion toward their values and his for finance led to his position as treasurer. It has only added to his leadership experience, as he was able to attend the Huntsman Horizons Leadership Summit in the summer of 2019. One of his favorite aspects of Pepperdine Greek Life is the importance placed on philanthropy. In his free time, Chase loves sports, surfing, finding good restaurants, and spending time with friends. With so much to offer at Pepperdine, taking advantage of every opportunity is his goal. The Christian mission and values have made a significant impact on his experience thus far. He is honored to serve as a member of the Pepperdine Ambassadors Council and represent this incredible University.
Cindy Guo is a junior from Palo Alto, California and is pursuing a degree in economics. She has always had a passion for people and service and is exploring possible career paths in the technology and entertainment industries. Cindy has interned at various tech startups in the Bay Area, leading various marketing and business development projects and teams. Last year she interned at a startup called Ticketdm and created a pitch deck that helped raise more than $250,000. At Pepperdine, she continues to serve in leadership roles for her business fraternity and the Pepperdine Volunteer Center. She is the current marketing specialist for Delta Sigma Pi and the all ages and abilities coordinator for the PVC. When she studied abroad in London, she served as the program's first spiritual life advisor. These outlets have given her the opportunity to interact, mentor, and serve many students and community members. In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing piano, painting, volunteering with children, learning French, and stargazing. Her favorite memories at Pepperdine include meeting the most encouraging mentors, hanging out with her freshman year suite mates, and leading a technology workshop at the Malibu Senior Center. Cindy is humbled by this opportunity to serve on Pepperdine Ambassadors Council and is excited to foster new relationships and represent her fellow students and University.
Emily Harris is a junior from San Antonio, Texas. She is pursuing her undergraduate degree in
international studies with an emphasis in political science and a minor in Hispanic
studies. She hopes to someday promote international peace and prosperity by working
in the US Foreign Service. Emily spent the last year studying abroad in Buenos Aires,
Argentina, where she had the opportunity to travel and learn from the array of people
and cultures she encountered as well as reinforce her passion for community, cultural
understanding, and the study of languages. On campus, Emily has participated in various
aspects of student life. She is an active member of her sorority and business fraternity
as well as the Student Alumni Organization’s alumni connections team. She has worked
with Give2Pepp as a student development officer for Waves on Call, volunteered in
both local communities as well as in Argentina, and participated in the Pepperdine
tradition of SongFest. Each of these unique experiences has brought Emily to have
a profound love for her school and its community. Emily had the opportunity this summer
to work for JurisMedicus, a medical expert sourcing company, as an accounting intern.
This year, she is serving as the preparations intern for the International Programs
Office as well as the corporate relations chair for Delta Sigma Pi. In her free time,
Emily loves to go on hikes, take impromptu trips with family and friends, listen to
music, and pet just about every dog she sees. Emily is thrilled to carry out Pepperdine's
mission in the cultivation of impactful relationships in its community. She is both
humbled and honored to serve on PAC 31 and to give back to the people and place that
has given her so much.
Heather Chaffin is a junior from Springfield, Missouri. She is pursuing a degree in international business with a minor in marketing. With a passion for travel, Heather spent a summer studying at the Pepperdine University Shanghai Icampus. In addition, she attended the Buenos Aires international program during the entirety of her sophomore year at Pepperdine. She greatly enjoyed learning about the vast differences among various cultures and hopes to use these experiences during her future career in international business as she continues to travel. During her time at Pepperdine, Heather has been involved with many rewarding organizations such as: International Programs, Step Forward Day, Tri-Delta, Project Serve, and UCC house groups. She is currently an active member of the professional fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and works for both the Student Programming Board and the Business Division Office at Pepperdine. In her free time, Heather loves to find any excuse to travel both domestically and internationally. She also enjoys painting, learning to surf, eating ice cream, and spending time with friends and family. Heather looks forward to building relationships with the Malibu community and the opportunity to serve the community as a member of PAC 31.
Joel Cox is a senior from Newbury Park, California, studying history and philosophy. While at Pepperdine, he has worked at the Religion and Philosophy Division office, in the Pepperdine Volunteer Center, in the Athletics Department as a tutor, has been a part of the Philosophy Club, the Veritas Club, and the debate team, and he has served as an international programs resident assistant and as copresident of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society. Joel studied abroad in Heidelberg, Germany, and he enjoys experiencing other cultures through traveling and listening to the stories of people from different walks of life. In his free time, Joel likes to play Dungeons and Dragons, watch Netflix, study up on current events, and have thoughtful conversations about philosophy and politics. He has been deeply impacted by the diverse and exceptional people he has met at Pepperdine, including his professors, the Heidelberg program staff and faculty, his fellow ambassadors on PAC 30, and other Seaver students. Joel has grown significantly through his experience at Pepperdine and on the council this last year, and he hopes to continue serving the University through his work on PAC this year.
Joey Gasperi is a senior from Kansas City, Kansas, pursuing his undergraduate degree in international studies with a concentration in Asian studies, as well as a certificate in conflict management from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. His strong interest in Chinese language and culture led him to provide English language lessons to native Chinese elementary students, later founding a program connecting advanced language learners with elementary students lacking resources to learn English. Joey then spent the most rewarding months of his Pepperdine experience studying at Fudan University in Shanghai. He also studied at Pepperdine’s Washington DC campus while serving as a policy intern at the White House, deepening his enthusiasm for policy making and government service. Additionally, having studied viola performance from a young age, Joey now runs a private music studio out of his living room, sharing his love for music with his students. Joey is also an active member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and proudly supports the chapter’s dedication to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Most recently, Joey began volunteering at All Tech Is Human, where he collaborates with ethicists and technologists as they seek to onboard individuals and organizations into the responsible tech movement. Joey is a viola performance scholarship recipient, a Pepperdine Faculty Staff Scholar, and a recipient of the Pepperdine Washington DC Emerging Leader Award. He cannot wait to serve Pepperdine and the Malibu community as a member of PAC 31.
Joshua Leow is a junior from Memphis, Tennessee. He is a religion major, while also pursuing pre-medicine coursework, with hopes of attending medical school. Highlights from his Pepperdine career thus far include studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany, his sophomore year as well as Amman, Jordan, in the summer. Both experiences allowed him to further his passion for understanding different people and different cultures. This multicultural drive comes from his own background of being born to a Taiwanese mom and a Malaysian dad, while growing up in the US. As a result, he greatly values the importance of understanding different world views in an effort to make personal connections with people. This passion ties into his career aspiration of working in medical missions in the future. In his free time, Josh loves to cook, grill, and hang out with his friends. Some of Josh's on-campus endeavors include being a member of the University Symphony Orchestra (violin), the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, the Inter-Fraternity Council Executive Board (as vice president of recruitment), and the University Church of Christ. He considers the opportunity to attend Pepperdine one of a lifetime and a dream come true, so he is beyond excited to be a part of a group devoted to giving back to the University.
Lindsey Marian is a junior Regents Scholar from Tampa, Florida. She is currently pursuing a degree in biology and a minor in Hispanic studies. As a Pepperdine Wave, Lindsey has fully immersed herself in several aspects of student life; she is an active member of Pepperdine's NCAA Division I Women's swim and dive team, a teaching assistant in organic chemistry, a tutor in biology and chemistry for the Athletics Department and the Student Success Center, and a lifeguard at the Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. The summer following her freshman year, Lindsey studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she lived with a homestay family and discovered her passion for the Spanish language and culture. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the beach, trying new restaurants, and exploring Southern California. Upon graduation, she aspires to attend medical school to pursue a career as a physician. Lindsey is both humbled and excited to serve on the Pepperdine Ambassadors Council and looks forward to serving and connecting with the Pepperdine community.
Luke Strauss is a senior from San Diego, California. He is pursuing an undergraduate degree in international management studies, with minors in Hispanic studies and marketing. He is also pursuing a certificate in conflict management from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Luke is passionate about social justice, and wants to apply this passion to his future career. Luke works in the International Programs Office as the resident advisor communications manager, following his previous role in this office as student development intern. He also currently serves as chancellor of the professional fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. Luke enjoys engaging with different cultures, which he had the opportunity to do extensively during his sophomore year while studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While in Buenos Aires, he also served as his program's resident advisor. His professional experiences outside of school include Spanish tutoring and a summer of direct sales experience. In his free time, Luke likes going to concerts and festivals, exploring restaurants, and spending quality time with his friends. He is honored to be a member of PAC 31, and is excited to give back to the Pepperdine community.
Madi Callahan is a junior from Danville, California. She is currently pursuing a degree in international studies with an emphasis in Latin America, along with minors in both Hispanic studies and nonprofit management. During her time at Pepperdine, Madi has become an active member of the Delta Gamma sorority and has volunteered at the L.A. Blind Children’s Center. The highlight of her Pepperdine experience, so far, was spending a semester in Washington, DC, interning at the McCain Institute. During her time at the Institute, Madi’s passion for human rights work grew exponentially, and she hopes to pursue a career in that sector after graduation. In her second semester last year she traveled to Argentina, which included many highlights such as visiting Brazil and spending evenings with her host family practicing her language skills. Madi is incredibly excited for the opportunity to represent the student body, while cultivating relationships with the faculty and surrounding Pepperdine community while serving on PAC 31.
Millie Vieira is a senior Regents Scholar from Austin, Texas. As the daughter of a Brazilian immigrant, Millie has grown up with a passion for learning new languages and experiencing new cultures. She is currently pursuing a degree in international studies with an emphasis in political science and a certificate in dispute resolution through the Straus Institute. This year Millie is serving as lead intern in the Office of Admission. Over the course of her time at Pepperdine, she has participated in and worked for a variety of areas of student life. She was a company member of Dance in Flight, a campus tour guide for the Office of Admission, an NSO leader, has volunteered for Step Forward Day, is an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and is a Regents mentor. She also spent her junior year serving as the media intern for International Programs. The highlight of her Pepperdine experience was spending her full sophomore year in Lausanne, Switzerland, traveling to 20 countries, building relationships with the people in her program, and growing stronger in her faith. In Lausanne, she served as the program's media coordinator and as the female Student Government Association representative. During her undergraduate career, Millie has had the opportunity to intern with Catalyst Marketing, Narwhal Media Group, Merge Ministries, and volunteer on a local political campaign in her hometown. Upon graduation, she hopes to go to law school and pursue a career in human rights advocacy. She is thrilled to advocate for Pepperdine's mission of service, purpose, and leadership while serving on PAC 31.
Natalia Escobedo is a senior studying theatre arts with a directing emphasis from Coronado, California. Growing up living on both sides of the USA/Mexico border, at an early age she developed a multicultural perspective and a passion for diversity. As a first-generation American and Jewish student, she actively works toward the inclusion of minority populations on campus. Natalia served both as freshmen class senator and later as vice president of administration for the Student Government Association. Her passion for inclusivity can be seen through her work on SGA and as the student representative on the Seaver Diversity Council. Natalia is proud to be a Hispanic Scholarship Foundation Scholar and Brenden Mann Jewish Studies Scholar. As a theatre creator, Natalia views theatre as a vehicle for change and seeks to use it as a medium to spark conversation about social justice issues with a commitment to celebrating diversity in all of her work. Her theatrical training spans across the globe in locations such as Mexico, London, and New York. On campus, she is the artistic director of the student-run theatre company, Pepperdine Student Players. Natalia has served as assistant director and dramaturg for Well, Futureproof, and The Cherry Orchard for Pepperdine Theatre. In her free time, she loves to travel and experience new cultures. Natalia is thrilled to advance Pepperdine's mission of purpose, service, and leadership while serving on PAC 31.
Samantha Sanderson is a senior from Pasadena, California. She is pursuing her undergraduate degree in religion and hopes to pursue a master's in divinity after graduation. Samantha spent her sophomore year studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she was able to grow academically and spiritually. When she wasn’t traveling to different countries like Brazil and Chile, she was staying in Buenos Aires with her Argentine family. Not only did she learn Spanish and imbue herself deeply in the Argentine culture, her experience abroad helped her gain discernment in her calling to ministry. While abroad, she was able to follow her passion for serving in a community called Adulam, where moms lived with their kids while experiencing homelessness. At Pepperdine, she has been given many opportunities to serve and practice her calling in ministry as well. She has participated in events like New Student Orientation, Step Forward Day, Younglife, wyldlife leader, and Pepperdine’s Next Generation Preacher Search. Additionally, she is an active member of Kappa Alpha Theta, where she gets the chance to help advocates who support children in need. In her free time, she loves hiking, finding hidden coffee shops, and going to the beach with friends. Pepperdine has been a place that has shaped her in ways she could have never imagined. Being part of PAC 31 is giving Samantha an opportunity to give back to the community that has given her more than she could’ve asked for. Samantha has a deep passion to help others in need and serve in her community. She is humbled to serve on Pepperdine Ambassador Council and is eager to start giving back to the community that has changed her life. As she leads on PAC 31 she is excited to foster new and improved community for her fellow students and University.
Umeesha D'Alwis is a junior from Cerritos, California. She is pursuing a double major in philosophy and political science. Originally born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Umeesha strives to use her immigrant background to achieve her version of the American dream. Her parents, Ushan and Astrid D'Alwis, have always been her most valuable supporters, and she believes that her parents crossed the border so that she could, one day, cross the stage with her degree in hand. From the very beginning, Umeesha has given her all to Pepperdine University. As a freshman, Umeesha was seen giving tours, hosting panel discussions, and assisting in admission events for thousands of Pepperdine visitors. She’s the voice of the Pepperdine virtual tour, and she spent her fall semester of sophomore year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she solo-traveled every weekend, leading to a total of 7 countries and 24 cities visited. Umeesha has also been involved in Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity as her pledge class [resident and the American Enterprise Institute’s Executive Council. With COVID-19 disrupting her internship plans, she created her own internship program called LawyerUp to help more than 100 students from all over the world meet and connect with practicing attorneys, legal recruiters, and career coaches. In her free time, Umeesha is always dreaming and coding her next website, app, or project. As a member of PAC 31, she looks forward to meeting the Pepperdine faces “behind the scenes” who work to provide us with the best college experience.
Zachary Ford is a junior from Libertyville, Illinois. He is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in international business with a minor in nonprofit management. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend law school in order to pursue a career in civil rights law. Zachary spent the entirety of his sophomore year studying at Pepperdine’s international campus in Heidelberg, Germany. While in Heidelberg, he was able to enrich his understanding of the world as he experienced new cultures, learned new languages, and explored his passion for traveling. During his time at Pepperdine, Zachary has engaged in a number of different organizations on campus, including: the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, student employment positions in the Office of Advancement and Central Receiving, and Pepperdine Young Life. Zachary has volunteered with Young Life since his freshman year at Pepperdine and has had the privilege of spiritually leading high school students throughout the L.A. area. At Pepperdine Zachary trains other students who are interested in becoming Young Life leaders. Through his passion for ministry, Zachary went on to intern at one of Young Life’s camping properties this past summer, Timber Wolf Lake. In his spare time, Zachary enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and exploring everything that Malibu has to offer. Zachary is honored to be representing Pepperdine’s mission and student body as a member of PAC 31, and he looks forward to giving back to the University that has graciously provided him with so many opportunities.