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Focused on academic, personal, and professional success for Pepperdine's veterans and military-connected students.

Monthly Newsletters

February 2024

  Annual PeppVet Event @ Reagan Library

The 3rd Annual PeppVet Celebration and Family Day BBQ at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum will be hosted on Saturday, April 6th, 12:30-4 PM. The event for Pepperdine military-connected students, their families, and guests will begin with a private BBQ buffet under Air Force One (12:30-1:30 PM) followed by self-guided and/or private tours of the museum and an exhibition of Star Wars. This will be a great event to socialize with fellow PeppVets, congratulate those that are graduating, and tour the amazing Reagan Library. This is a Pepperdine Veteran Affairs sponsored event. Early registration of PeppVets, family and guests are now been accepted.  RSVP to reserve your seats.

  PeppVet Council and Student Org

The PeppVet Council and leadership of the Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student (PeppVet) Organization continues to build on initiatives each semester and helps support the military-connected community at Pepperdine so everyone feels included and connected. These leaders serve as valuable points of contact, advocates, and ambassadors to fellow students and manage an annual action plan on a variety of initiatives over the academic year to cultivate community, connection and fellowship. This year’s council includes Brandon Olson (President/Seaver), Samuel Miller (Senior Vice President/Seaver), Mark Rafla (GSEP Vice President), Carlos Simental (PGBS Vice President) and Suren Shanto (CSOL Vice President/VLS). Feel free to reach-out to any of them with questions, suggestions, volunteer to help or just to connect.

  Resume Bootcamp

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an informative session on steps to create, manage, and focus your master resume on Tuesday, February 6th, at 1 PM. Tailoring your resume with the skills and responsibilities in a job description helps make it obvious to a potential employer that you're up to the task. Your goal is to draw the shortest line possible between your background, professional experience and what's stated in the job description. Learn how to work from your master resume to produce tailored resumes that get noticed.  You can register for the session today.

  Super Bowl Bash

Join PeppVets and other local veterans at the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 11th (2 PM). This special event at the Post (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) will include a big screen for the game and plenty of hamburgers and hotdogs to go around. RSVP today!

  PeppVets & Coffee (and Bagels)

Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy some good conversation and coffee (and bagels) with fellow veterans and other Pepperdine students with military connections on Wednesday, February 14th, 10 AM-1 PM at the PeppVet Center (Thornton Administrative Center-TAC, 1st floor, room 114). Whether you can only drop by for a few minutes or want to hang around for a while, we hope you take some time out to connect. Pick-up a PeppVet hat and/or challenge coin while you’re there too!

  PeppVet Bible RECON

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of your PeppVet community for a monthly Zoom session to explore the bible and foundations of the faith. Whether just staring your Christian walk, looking to strengthen your spiritual fitness, or just wanting to participate and share your faith, we’d love to be part of your journey. If you’re interested in participating, just let me know.  You’ll receive meet-up details for our next Zoom session on Monday, February 19th, 3 PM after signing up.  We hope you join us and help build resiliency through faith.

  PeppVet Hike to the Cross

Join the PeppVet Student Organization as they host another meet-up and hike event to the cross overlooking the Malibu campus and the SoCal coast on Wednesday, February 21st, 4 PM. We’ll meet at the top of Baxter Drive on the Malibu campus to gather and start our journey up.  For questions or to RSVP please contact the PeppVet lead for this event.

  Student Veteran Welcome Night

Join fellow PeppVets and other local student veterans (and family members) at the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for a special lounge & social night to welcome and connect local area student veterans. This special night at the Post (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) will be Thursday, February 29th (5-10 PM). This is a Post 283-sponsored/hosted event and you don’t need to be a current member of the Post to participate in these events.  The social is free for student veterans but please RSVP.

  Women Veterans Event

Join PeppVets and other local veterans at the American Legion Post 283 (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) on Saturday, March 2nd, 10 AM for a special event geared to connect women veterans with local professionals offering career guidance and support, medical care advice and assistance, education opportunities, and other veteran benefits. Keynote speaker for the event will be Virginia Wimmer, Deputy Secretary, Women Veterans Affairs (California Department of Veterans Affairs). The event includes a free lunch, raffle prizes, and vendor booths supporting women veteran interests.  Register today.

  Boat Trip to the Channel Islands

Join your PeppVet Council, fellow PeppVets, and other local veterans as we explore the Channel Islands National Park on Saturday, March 23rd, 9 AM. This American Legion Post 283-sponsored event will be a great opportunity to have fun in the outdoors and network with both the American Legion and student veterans from around the LA area. The trip to Santa Cruz island (Scorpion’s Cove ) will allow time for picnicking, hiking, and/or just relaxing on the beach. The trip will depart from Ventura (1691 Spinnaker Drive #105B, Ventura, CA 93001) and requires a small $5 surcharge for each participant. Space is limited so RSVP today! 

  PeppVet Center Reminders

As a reminder, the PeppVet Center, located in the Thornton Administrative Center (TAC), 1st floor (room 114), is open daily from 7 AM-6 PM (Mon-Fri). All Pepperdine military-connected students have badge-in access to the space using their ID code. If you don’t know your Pepperdine ID code, simply log into WaveNet and there is a link 'ID Card PIN Look Up' that you can use to see your assigned PIN. Please feel free to use the space to study, check your email, host a meeting, or simply enjoy a coffee and/or conversation. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs.

  PeppVets Surf Free @ Boardriders

PeppVets can now get a free rental board and wetsuit anytime you want to try to hang ten in Malibu. In partnership with Boardriders-Malibu (18820 Pacific Coast Hwy), simply show your Pepperdine ID and mention you’re a PeppVet to get a free rental board and wetsuit. Be on the lookout for our next group surf outing at Boardriders in March. Looking forward to seeing you at the beach!

  Tennis Lessons Anyone?

The PeppVet Student Organization is helping connect folks with a passion to learn and play tennis. Open play and practice sessions will be scheduled based on availability and location. Whether you’re new at the sport, need to borrow a racket, or ready to hit the circuit, we’d love to get you out on the court with fellow PeppVets.  Email if you have questions or to RSVP.

  PeppVets Attend NatCon 2024

This year, two student veterans, Mark Rafla (GSEP) and Ervin Mercado (PGBS), joined your Director of Student Veteran Affairs (Eric Leshinsky) and Hannah Majuelo (PGBS Part-Time Programs) at the 16th Annual Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference (NatCon) in Nashville, TN.

This year’s NatCon provided an excellent opportunity to connect with student veterans from around the country, meet organizations supporting veterans throughout their transition to civilian life, and share the growing opportunities at Pepperdine with military-connected students. “Attending NatCon as a student veteran was immensely beneficial, combining opportunities for community engagement and professional development. My involvement at the PeppVet booth allowed for meaningful interactions with both prospective students and fellow veterans, instilling a sense of camaraderie combined with shared experiences.” Mark Rafla (GSEP/PeppVet Council). We’re looking forward to new veterans finding their way to Pepperdine and sending more PeppVets to NatCon next year!

  Free Veteran Financial Health Program

The VA's Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) has now added VetCents, a free online program designed specifically to help veterans and family members improve their financial wellbeing.  VetCents offers veterans ways to gain financial knowledge, skills, and confidence and was specifically designed to provide an engaging and interactive experience that will help achieve financial health and security.

  CalVet Women Veterans Survey

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is currently conducting the 2024 CalVet Women Veterans Survey, an initiative aimed at understanding the unique challenges and opportunities faced by women veterans in California. Your insights and experiences will help shape a better future for fellow veterans.  The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes of your time, and your identity and all data collected will remain confidential and anonymous.

  Featured Student: Michael Howard (PGBS)

featured student michael howard

Michael Howard is an active-duty student originally from Saugus, CA. He attended the University of California Santa Cruz for his undergrad, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Michael joined the military in December 2016 as a Warrant Officer Candidate. After BCT (Basic Combat Training) and WOCS (Warrant Officer Candidate School), he graduated from Flight School at Fort Novosel (Formerly Fort Rucker) as a UH-60M Blackhawk Pilot in September 2018. He PCS'd to 3-4 AHB 4 CAB, Fort Carson, and immediately rotated to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve until February 2019. He has attended JMRC (Joint Multinational Readiness Center) in Germany (2018), JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) in Louisiana (2019), and NTC (National Training Center) (2021) in California as the assault aviation asset for training rotations in my time with 4th CAB.

Michael deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom Sentinel in July 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and the last rotational unit in Kandahar. Today, Michael is stationed at Fort Wainwright, AK, as the Maintenance Test Pilot for the Medical Evacuation Company in the 1-52 General Support Aviation Battalion and recently returned from Operation Talisman Saber in Townsville, AUS.

Michael is attending Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School as an Online MBA student. Michael plans to focus his degree on Finance and hopes to work in the accounting/auditing industry after exiting the military in July 2025. He enjoys hiking around Alaska and Denali National Park. When it’s warm enough, Michael and his wife, Catherine, kayak the local rivers and in the winter, they snowshoe to get some fresh Alaskan air.

January 2024

  Veterans Orientation (Virtual Event)

The Ventura County Veteran Services Office and will host a career search and VA benefits Zoom session on Tuesday, January 9th, 10 AM-11:30 AM. Military & veteran-related service and benefits experts will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits. Call (805) 288-8400 for additional information and the Zoom link.

  Monthly PeppVet Meeting

The PeppVet Student Organization will host their monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 10th, 12 PM via Zoom. This is a great opportunity to connect with the PSVO leadership team and other Pepperdine military-connected students to discuss shared topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan upcoming activities. We hope you can join in the discussion.  Please RSVP for the meeting.

  PeppVet Welcome & Info Zoom Sessions

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and the PeppVet Council for a welcome and informational Zoom session (your choice) on Wednesday, January 17th, 12:30 PM or Thursday, January 18th, at 5 PM. We’ll discuss on-going initiatives, veteran support services, benefits, and highlight some upcoming events/activities planned this year. We hope you'll be able to join us for one of the sessions. Please let me know if you have any questions and RSVP for the Zoom link that you’re available to attend.

  PeppVet Surf Outing @ Boardriders

Join your PeppVet Council and fellow PeppVets as we try to hang ten again on Saturday, January 20th, 10-12 PM. The event, hosted by Boardriders Malibu (18820 Pacific Coast Hwy), will include free lessons, board rental, and wetsuit. We hope you can join us at the beach.  Please RSVP because space is limited.

  PeppVet Bible RECON

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of your PeppVet community for a monthly Zoom call to explore the bible and faith. Whether just staring your Christian walk, looking to recharge, or just wanting to participate and share your faith, we’d love to be part of the journey. If you’re interested in participating, just let me know. You’ll receive meet-up details for our next session on January 22nd after signing up.  We hope you join us and help build resiliency through faith.

  PeppVet Counseling Info Session

This semester the Counseling Center will again offer personal discussion sessions dedicated for veterans and military-connected students. Sessions provide easy access (mix of Zoom and in-person) to informal, brief, and casual consultations with a counselor. These casual and confidential sessions can help you access support, explore resources, and gain different information and perspectives. The January session will be offered over Zoom on Wednesday, January 24th, 12:30-1:30 PM and will cover an introduction to campus counseling, what they have to offer, and how these services may differ from other resources including the VA. These sessions are being hosted by Chiconia Anderson, Adjunct Professor/Staff Counselor, at the Pepperdine University Counseling Center.  Please contact for more information or to sign up for the session.

  Monthly Social @ American Legion

Join PeppVets and other local veterans (and family members) at the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for their monthly lounge & social night every 4th Thursday. The next lounge night social at the Post (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) will be Thursday, January 25th (5-10 PM). This is a Post 283-sponsored/hosted event and you don’t need to be a current member of the Post to participate in these events. Post 283 has waived annual membership fees for all enrolled students. The social is also free to student veterans but please RSVP here.

  Contact your School Certifying Official

Spring 2024/Winter 2024 VA unit certifications will be submitted by our School Certifying Officials (SCO) on January 2nd, 2024. As a reminder, it’s critical that you notify the SCO moving forward especially if any changes are made to your course schedule. Randi Redman and Sara Turki can both be reached using the group email: vabenefits@pepperdine.edu

  Monthly VA Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month. Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments. If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information. When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  2024 Tillman Scholars Program

Applications for the 2024 class of Tillman Scholars are now open! Veterans, military service members and spouses may apply for the program empowering them with academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development opportunities, and a diverse/global community of high-performing mentors and peers through February 1st. Take some time to check out this unique and completive program; the latest information on applying to be a 2024 Tillman Scholar is now available.

  Student Health Center Reminders

The Student Health Center is excited to welcome and welcome back PeppVets as part of the Thrive Wellness Program which offers many services at no charge for all registered students. The health center is located in the Student Assistance Center (SAC) on the Malibu campus and are open Monday through Friday, 8AM-5PM. All actively registered students may schedule an appointment by calling (310) 506-4316, option 3. The Wellness Program also offers no-charge, 24/7 virtual care with the Timely Care app available anywhere, anytime which may be especially useful for students seeking after-hours care or those not attending classes in Malibu. All incoming spring admit students attending the Malibu campus are reminded to complete their health insurance requirement for the spring/summer policy period (1/1-8/14/2024) and encouraged to log onto their Patient Portal to complete their immunization requirement if required by your academic program. If you are in doubt about your immunization requirements, simply log onto your Patient Portal and check the immunizations option on the left-hand side of the screen for a red dot. The presence of a red dot indicates you have outstanding immunization requirements. Visit the Student Health Center website for more information on all available services, links to the annual health insurance requirement, and the immunization requirements (if applicable to you).

  Tennis Anyone?

The PeppVet Student Organization is looking to connect more folks with a passion for serving and rallies. Play will be scheduled based on availability and location. Whether you’re new at the sport, need to borrow a racket, or ready for Wimbledon, we’d love to get you out on the court with other PeppVets.  Email if you have questions or to RSVP.

  Featured Student: Samantha Bonilla (CSOL)

featured student samantha bonilla

In 2016, Samantha was introduced to Navy SEAL Michael Sauers, CEO/Founder of Forged® and The Murph Challenge®, and volunteered her time to assist with the company's digital marketing and fundraising campaigns.
In 2019, she was officially hired as their Marketing Manager and Concept Producer. Through her marketing efforts, Samantha heavily promoted the Forged® “Blue Line” shirt, helping the company and the San Diego Police Officers' Association (SDPOA) raise over $76K for the family of Jonathan 'JD' DeGuzman, a San Diego Police Officer who was fatally shot while on duty. In 2019, she and Michael partnered with actor Chris Pratt, and through her tireless and persistent marketing efforts, Samantha helped Forged® to raise just over $53K for the Brain Treatment Foundation, a charity of Chris Pratt's choice. The campaign gained national publicity and a special feature of Samantha on Fox News. Forged® began The Murph Challenge® in 2012, which has become an annual, worldwide Memorial Day tradition in honor of fallen Navy SEAL LT. Michael P. Murphy. Through The Murph Challenge® fundraiser, Samantha has directly assisted in raising more than $2M for the LT. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation and Murph SEAL Museum. Samantha prides herself in partnering with highly-ranked military and first responder-affiliated, non-profit organizations to continue giving back through the campaigns she generates at Forged® and The Murph Challenge®.

Samantha is also a professional model and social media influencer having modeled and influenced for several companies to include 5.11 Tactical, Black Rifle Coffee Company, Aqualung, Gatorz Eyewear, LALO Tactical, Rockwell Time, Rip-It Energy Drinks, Recoil & OffGrid Magazine, and other patriotic, first responder and military-inspired brands.

December 2023

  Your PeppVet Center is Open

The PeppVet Center, dedicated office and lounge for all Pepperdine military-connected students, is now fully opened.The PeppVet Center, located in the Thornton Administrative Center (TAC), 1st floor (room 114), is open daily from 7AM-6PM (Mon-Fri).


All Pepperdine military-connected students now have badge-in access to the space. If you don’t know your Pepperdine ID code, simply log into WaveNet and there is a link 'ID Card PIN Look Up' that you can use to see your assigned PIN. Please feel free to use the space to study, check your email, enjoy a coffee and/or conversation. Please remember to leave the center looking better than you found it and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs.

  Veteran’s Resources Webinar

CalVet and the California Transitional Assistance Program (CalTAP) office will host a virtual benefits and resources workshop on Tuesday, December 5th, at 10-11:30 AM. The webinar will cover an array of topics from state employment opportunities, qualification and application processes, and insight into resources specifically available for veterans.  Register today.

  PeppVet Meeting @ PeppVet Center

The PeppVet Student Organization will host their monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 6th, 12:30-1:30 PM at the PeppVet Center. This is a great opportunity to connect with the PSVO leadership team and other Pepperdine military-connected students to discuss shared topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan upcoming activities. We hope you can join in the discussion. Please RSVP for the meeting.

  Virtual Career Summit

Hiring Our Heroes' career services will host a virtual career summit for transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses on Wednesday, December 6th, at 10 AM.  Network in real-time with 45+ employers across multiple industries and access on-demand career preparation workshops. Employers including APi Group, Aramark, AstrumU, Boots2Roots, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bristol Myers Squibb, Chewy, FASTPORT, Fiserv, Hilton, Jabil, Leidos, Power Home Remodeling, Spectrum/ Charter Communications, Walmart, Wells Fargo, Wounded Warrior Project, and dozens more are scheduled to participate. Whether you're looking for work now or exploring future possibilities, representatives are ready to meet and answer your questions. Register today.

  Toys for Tots Event

Join the Malibu Navy League for their annual Toys for Tots community open house celebration on Thursday, December 7th, 5:30-7 PM.  The open house will be co-hosted by and at the First Bank Malibu (3822 Cross Creek Road, Suite 3850, Malibu CA). Feel free to stop by and enjoy some free snacks and conversation as we kick off the annual toy drive. No RSVP is required and dress code is casual. Collections of unwrapped gifts will continue at First Bank until December 16th when USMC personnel will pick-up the toys for distribution. Hope you can attend and help kick off this great military tradition of giving back to the community.

  Veterans Orientation in Los Angeles

The LA County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs will host Los Angeles Veterans Orientation on Thursday, December 7th, 6-9 PM at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall (1816 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The orientation will provide newly transitioned service members and those new to Los Angeles with peer support and information to navigate their benefits and to be successful in their transition to civilian careers. Register to attend.

  PeppVet Surf Outing @ Boardriders

Join your PeppVet Council and fellow PeppVets as we try to hang ten again on Saturday, December 9th, 10-12 PM. The event, hosted by Boardriders Malibu (18820 Pacific Coast Hwy), will include free lessons, board rental, and wetsuit. We hope you can join us at the beach.  Please RSVP because space is limited.

  Veterans Orientation - Virtual Event

The Ventura County Veteran Services Office will host another career and VA benefits Zoom session on Tuesday, December 12th, 10-11:30 AM. Military & veteran-related service and benefits experts will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits. Call (805) 288-8400 for additional information and the Zoom link.

  Vet Center 101 @ PeppVet Center

Join a representative from the Ventura Vet Center for an informational briefing on Wednesday, December 13th, 12:30-1:30 PM at the PeppVet Center. Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans and active service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. Readjustment counseling and related support is offered to help make a successful transition from military to civilian life. We hope you can join us to learn more about local Vet Centers. Please RSVP in advance.

  VA Benefits Session @ PeppVet Center

Join representatives from the LA Co Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN), including a local Veteran Services Officer (VSO), for an info session for Pepperdine military-connected students on Friday, December 15th, 12:30-1:30 PM at the PeppVet Center. The briefing will discuss the VA’s Veteran Readiness & Employment (Ch 31) education benefits, provide insight into other VA resources, and will be a great opportunity to learn more about VPAN and how this LA County program connects veterans and their families with the many services available to them. VPAN is a free and confidential service that supports and hires veterans as “battle buddies” and systems navigators to connect others with available resources and services including employment, legal assistance, VA healthcare, mental health, substance misuse support, housing, family services, benefits navigation, and other information.  Please RSVP to attend.

  Annual PeppVet Event @ Reagan Library

Mark your calendars!  We’re pleased to announce the 3d Annual PeppVet Celebration and Family Day BBQ at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum will be hosted on Saturday, April 6th, 12:30-4 PM . The event for Pepperdine military-connected students, their families, and guests will begin with a private BBQ buffet under Air Force One (12:30-1:30PM) followed by self-guided and/or private tours of the museum. This will be a great event to socialize with fellow PeppVets, congratulate those that are graduating, and tour the amazing Reagan Library. This is a Pepperdine Veteran Affairs sponsored event and RSVPs will kick-off March 1st and run throughout the month of March.

  Funding for Study Abroad Opportunities

We still have limited funding support available for veterans interested in study abroad opportunities. So, if you’re interested in studying abroad, we want to help get you there. For more information about Pepperdine’s international studies, how VA benefits can be utilized, and more, visit the IP website and contact for potential funding support.

  PeppVet Bible RECON

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of your PeppVet community for a monthly Zoom call to explore the bible and faith. Whether just staring your Christian walk, looking to recharge, or just wanting to participate and share your faith, we’d love to be part of the journey. If you’re interested in participating, just let me know.  You’ll receive meet-up details for our next session after signing up. We hope you join us and help build resiliency through faith.

  Tennis Anyone?

The PeppVet Student Organization is looking to connect folks with a passion for serving and rallies. Play will be scheduled based on availability and location. Whether you’re new at the sport, need to borrow a racket, or ready for Wimbledon, we’d love to get you out on the court with other PeppVets. Email if you have questions or to RSVP.

  Veterans Resource Book

The California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) Resource Book can assist you in learning about and accessing the wide variety of services and benefits available to California veterans and family members. The book covers items including California unique benefits, VA claims and benefits, health care, education, employment, advocacy and assistance. Check out the Resource Book online.

  National Guard Birthday

On December 13th, 1636, the National Guard was established. Today, the National Guard of the United States is a joint activity of the United States Department of Defense composed of reserve components of the Army and the Air Force. Happy birthday to the National Guard; the oldest component of the Armed Forces!

  Space Force Birthday

On December 20th, 2019, the Space Force because our first new armed service since 1947. The U.S. Space Force defends our country and freedom to operate in space; keeping it secure, stable and accessible for military space power and new waves of innovation. The Space Force turns 4 this year; happy birthday to our Guardians and the youngest component of our Armed Forces.

  Featured Student: Jessica Hillis (GSEP)

featured student jessica hillis

Jessica Hillis is a California native from a small town in Northern California and is a second-year student at Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology in Irvine, California. With a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy, Jessica hopes to give back to Active Duty, veterans, and their families who are in desperate need of mental health services.

Coming from a lower income family, Jessica originally joined the Navy to pay for school; however, she quickly found a love for healthcare as a Hospital Corpsman. She trained in combat first aid, pre-hospital life support, and tactical field care, but also found a love for teaching and giving back when stationed at the Navy Medicine Training Support Center, San Antonio, Texas, where she trained young Corpsman basic hospital and field medical skills. During that time, she attained her bachelor's in psychology and her Master of Science in Psychology, with the intention to pursue research. Despite feeling incredibly fulfilled in teaching, there was always something missing, and she realized her heart was not in research but in counseling.

Jessica is currently completing her practicum at Waymakers in Orange County, working with at-risk youth. In her free time, she loves to go outside, either to the beach or one of the many parks in South Orange County.

November 2023

  Veterans Day Luncheon (Vets Week)

Join us at our annual Veterans Day lunch at the Brock House (President’s home @ Malibu campus) on Saturday, November 11th, 1-3PM. Invitation notices have been sent, RSVP deadline is today, November 1st . Our guest speaker this year is Michael Frueh, 1991 Pepperdine graduate and Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits at the Veterans Benefits Administration. This year’s event is co-sponsored by the American Legion Post 283 and will include and a special performance by the West Point Cadet Drill Team. We hope to see you at our annual celebration.

  PeppVet Surf Outing @ Boardriders

Join your PeppVet Council and Veteran Affairs team as we try to hang ten on Saturday, November 4th, 10-12PM. The event, hosted by Boardriders Malibu (18820 Pacific Coast Hwy), will include free lessons, board rental, and wetsuit. We hope you can join us at the beach. Please RSVP because space is limited. We’ll offer another Surf outing in December.

  PeppVet Center Grand Opening (Vets Week)

We’re excited for the opening of the dedicated office and lounge for all Pepperdine military-connected students.  The PeppVet Center, located in the Thornton Administrative Center (TAC), 1st floor (room 114), will host a small grand opening ceremony on Monday, November 6th, 2PM.  All Pepperdine military-connected students will have badge-in access to the space after the opening. If you have any questions or suggestions, contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs.

  Veterans & Military Night @ Waves Basketball (Vets Week)

Pepperdine will host our Veterans & Military Appreciation Night at the basketball home opener game on Monday, November 6th, 7PM. This will be a special night with free reserved section seating for PeppVets and our military-connected community (family/friends included) as we come together to cheer on the Waves and have a friendly competition at halftime between some of our PeppVets.

You can get your free tickets today (select the 6 Nov game and then select seats in Sections 4, 2, D, or B; Promo Code at checkout is PEPPVET). The first 100 registered guests to check-in will receive exciting giveaways and a concession stand food voucher! Register and arrive early to be a part of this great evening

Please email if you have any questions and/or want to represent your service in the halftime shooting competition.

  Counseling 101 @ PeppVet Center (Vets Week)

This semester the Counseling Center will offer personal discussion sessions dedicated for veterans and military-connected students. Sessions will provide easy access (mix of Zoom and in-person) to informal, brief, and casual consultations with a counselor. These casual and confidential sessions can help you access support, explore resources, and gain different information and perspectives. The November session will be offered in-person on Wednesday, November 8th, 12:30-1:30PM at the PeppVet Center. The meeting will cover an introduction to campus counseling, what they have to offer, and how these services may differ from other resources including the VA. These sessions are being hosted by Chiconia Anderson, Adjunct Professor/Staff Counselor, at the Pepperdine University Counseling Center. Please contact for more information or to sign up for the session.

  Virtual Veterans Day Symposium (Vets Week)

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Benefits Administration will host a special virtual symposium on Thursday, November 9th, 10AM-12PM. The session will help educate veterans, service members, and family members about valuable VA resource and provide information on VA benefits, disability claims including a tutorial on local Vet Centers and the Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. You can click here to join the session online or via phone at 1-833-558-0712 (Access Code: 2761 819 9241).

  One-on-One with Mike Frueh @ PeppVet Center

The PeppVet Center is excited to host Mike Frueh, 1991 Pepperdine graduate and Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits at the Veterans Benefits Administration, for a unique opportunity to meet and discuss veteran benefits, challenges, and upcoming policy initiatives on Friday, November 10th, 3:30PM at the PeppVet Center (Malibu Campus, TAC Room 114).
All military-connected students are invited to attend. Please RSVP for this opportunity to meet a Pepperdine alum making waves at the Veterans Benefits Administration. Hope you can join us.

  PeppVets & Coffee @ PeppVet Center

Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy some good conversation and coffee (and donuts) with fellow veterans and other Pepperdine students with military connections on Wednesday, November 15th, 12-1PM. Whether you can only drop by for a few minutes or want to hang around for a while, we hope you take some time out to connect. Pick-up a PeppVet hat and/or challenge coin too!

  LA Clippers Military Hero Night

Join your PeppVet Council and fellow PeppVets at the LA Clippers’ Military Hero Night on Saturday, November 25th, 7:30PM.  Limited free tickets are available for this special night as the Clippers take on the Dallas Mavericks and recognize military service members, veterans, and their families. Join us for a free military hero commemorative coin, reserved PeppVet section, and Jumbotron shout-outs during the game. Parking is not included, but please RSVP for free tickets before they’re gone.

  The Guardian Project

In addition to their annual Ride to the Flags (motorcycle charity ride from Pt. Mugu to Malibu Bluffs Park) event that benefits wounded warriors and coincides with Pepperdine Waves of Flags display on Alumni Park every year, White Heart Foundation also serves Post-9/11 veterans dealing with mental trauma as a result of their service through their Guardian Project. Guardian Project takes groups of no more than 12 veterans on remote one-week outdoor excursions with the goal of improving mental and physical wellbeing for those battling post-traumatic stress and other service-related trauma. The program creates a unique environment and comfortable space where veterans can open up and relate to others who have had similar experiences. Trips to Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado will occur in June, July, August, and October and are offered at no-cost to the eligible participants. Learn more, and if interested and eligible, apply for the Guardian Project today.

  Funding for Study Abroad Opportunities

Thanks to funding received, we have the ability to provide some financial support to veterans interested in study abroad opportunities.  So, if you’re interested in studying abroad, we want to help get you there. For more information about Pepperdine’s international studies, how VA benefits can be utilized, and more, visit the IP website and contact for potential funding support.

  PeppVet Bible RECON

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of your PeppVet community for a monthly Zoom call to explore the bible and faith.  Whether just staring your Christian walk, looking to recharge, or just wanting to participate and share your faith, we’d love to be part of the journey.  If you’re interested in participating, just let me know.  You’ll receive meet-up details for our next session after signing up.  We hope you join us and help build resiliency through faith.

  Student Veterans of America - NatCon 2024

Here’s an opportunity to join your Veteran Affairs team and PeppVet Council at the 16th Annual Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference scheduled for Thursday, January 4th to Saturday, January 6th, 2024 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Veteran Affairs is looking for a few PeppVets interested in attending NatCon and bringing back their experience to possibly serve on next year’s PeppVet Council.  Please RSVP today because space and funding are limited

  Tennis Anyone?

The PeppVet Student Organization is looking to connect folks with a passion for serving and rallies. Play will be scheduled based on availability and location. Whether you’re new at the sport, need to borrow a racket, or ready for Wimbledon, we’d love to get you out on the court with other PeppVets.  Email if you have questions or to RSVP.

  Finding the Right Job, the First Time

American Corporate Partners (ACP) offers numerous platforms, webcasts, and workshops geared to help veterans with their transition to the civilian workplace. Whether you are actively searching for a new career, a mentor, or just looking for advice about how to be more successful, ACP's customized programming is designed to assist you on your path toward rewarding, meaningful employment.  Check out their resources page for more details and their events page for upcoming and past event recordings for review.

  Military Honor Cords @ Commencements

As a reminder, Pepperdine honors military-connected graduates who are military veterans, currently serving (active duty, National Guard, or Reservists), or Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets who will begin their military service upon graduation. Each graduate receives a commemorative red, white and blue honor cord to be worn at their commencement ceremony, signifying Pepperdine's gratitude for their service and sacrifice. Each school has a POC that organizes their ceremonies and each has integrated the military honor cords into their processes. Eligibility and cord requests are collected from the students via their school’s commencement prep actions once they begin.

  U.S. Marine Corps Birthday

November 10th, 2023 will mark the U.S. Marine Corps' 248th birthday (officially established in 1775). Happy birthday to those who served, or continue to serve, in the great United States Marine Corps. Semper Fidelis!

  Featured Student: Christian Peralta (GSEP)

featured student christian peralta

Christian Peralta is pursuing a PhD in Global Leadership and Change from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) with research interests in leadership development, retention in higher education, and team performance in high-stress environments. He specifically would like to examine the retention of student-veterans in higher education and increasing veteran higher education leaders.

In addition to being a PhD student at GSEP, Christian serves as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Southern California.

His military background includes 15 years of service in the U.S. Army, which began during his time as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and at the UC Irvine ROTC program. He graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was a George C. Marshall Award recipient. During his tenure on active duty, Christian distinguished himself as a Ranger-qualified infantry officer and earned a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Columbus State University. Notably, he commanded two units at the National Training Center, where he served as an enemy opposition force commander in the California Mojave Desert.

After his active duty service, he joined the California National Guard as a squadron operations officer. Simultaneously, he pursued an Executive MBA at UC Irvine. After completing his degree, Christian worked at Amazon.com as a Military Pathways Operations Manager. He later pivoted to higher education, taking on the role of Associate Director at UC Irvine’s Leadership Development Institute at the Paul Merage School of Business, and transitioned into the U.S. Army Reserve as a major supporting West Point Admissions and Army ROTC.

Christian is married to Melody and is a proud father to Izzy, who's five, and Max, who's just two. When he's not cherishing moments with his family, he enjoys reading books, trying to keep fit with regular exercise, and occasionally playing PC video games (if there’s time.)

 

October 2023

  Pepperdine Veterans Day Luncheon

Our annual event is almost here! Pepperdine will salute veterans (students, staff, faculty, family members, and local community) at the annual Veterans Day lunch at the Brock House (President’s home @ Malibu campus) on Saturday, November 11th, 1-3 PM.  Invitation notices have been sent, but please RSVP by November 1st . Our guest speaker this year is Michael Frueh, 1991 Pepperdine graduate and Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits at the Veterans Benefits Administration.  This year’s event is co-sponsored by the American Legion Post 283 and we’re also planning an Army flyover and a special performance by the West Point Cadet Drill Team.  Please register for yourself and guests ASAP.  Don’t forget to encourage your professors and staff personnel to attend this community-wide celebration of those that served and support. We hope to see you at our annual celebration.

  Veterans & Military Appreciation Night @ Waves Basketball

Mark your calendars and get your tickets! Pepperdine will host a Military Appreciation Night at the Pepperdine Basketball home opener on Monday, November 6th, 7 PM. This will be a special night with free reserved section seating for PeppVets and our military-connected community (family/friends included) as we come together to cheer on the Waves and have a friendly competition at halftime between some of our PeppVets.
You can get your free tickets today (select your Reserved seats in Sections 4, 2, D, or B; at checkout select Promo Code and enter PEPPVET). Please email if you have any questions and/or want to represent your service in the halftime shooting competition.

  PeppVet Center on Malibu Campus

Mark your calendars! We’re excited for the opening of the dedicated office and lounge for all Pepperdine military-connected students. The PeppVet Center, located in the Thornton Administrative Center (TAC), 1st floor (room 114), will host a small grand opening ceremony on Monday, November 6th, 2 PM.  All Pepperdine military-connected students will have badge-in access to the space after the opening.  If you have any questions or suggestions, contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs.

  PeppVet Table @ Waves Weekend

Join the PeppVet Student Organization at a table representing PeppVets at the Family and Alumni Picnic on Saturday, October 7th, 11 AM-2 PM, on Waves Weekend. We'd love to see you there and help represent current PeppVets and also meet a few Pepperdine alumni veterans, access free food trucks, lawn games, and enjoy fellow student and alumni performers.  Please email to sign-up or if you have any questions.

  Veterans Orientation (Virtual Event)

The Ventura County Veteran Services Office and will host a career search and VA benefits Zoom session on Tuesday, October 10th, 10-11:30 AM. Military & veteran-related service and benefits experts will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits. Call (805) 288-8400 for additional information and the Zoom link.

  Veteran Spiritual Wellness Jam @ Patriotic Hall

The LA County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs will host their first Veterans Spiritual Wellness Jam on Wednesday, October 11th, 4-7 PM at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall (1816 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The event includes free live music, drinks, and parking.  A resource fair will also be available to help connect with organizations that are dedicated to supporting veterans in their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Register to attend.

  Open House @ Patriotic Hall

The LA County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs will host an Open House on Friday, October 13th, 9 AM-2 PM at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall (1816 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The open two panel discussions with Veterans Peer Access Network/Veteran Mental Evaluation Teams & the Military and Veteran Affairs staff, luncheon, and building tours. Come out and see what initiatives and efforts their planning for the next year. Register to attend.

  PeppVet Counseling Group Sessions

This semester the Counseling Center will offer personal discussion sessions dedicated for veterans and military-connected students. Sessions will provide easy access (mix of Zoom and in-person) to informal, brief, and casual consultations with a counselor. These casual and confidential sessions can help you access support, explore resources, and gain different information and perspectives. The October session will be offered over Zoom on Wednesday, October 18th, 12-1 PM and will cover an introduction to campus counseling, what they have to offer, and how these services may differ from other resources including the VA.  These sessions are being hosted by Chiconia Anderson, Adjunct Professor/Staff Counselor, at the Pepperdine University Counseling Center.  Please contact for more information or to sign up for the session.

  PeppVet Hike to the Cross

Join the PeppVet Student Organization as they meet-up to hike to the hilltop cross overlooking the Malibu campus and the SoCal coast on Wednesday, October 18th, 5 PM. We’ll meet at the top of Baxter Drive on the Malibu campus to gather and start our journey up. Remember to bring some water and a snack for the 2-hour hike.  Email if you have questions or to RSVP.

  Monthly Social @ American Legion

Join PeppVets and other local veterans (and family members) at the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for their monthly lounge nights every 4th Thursday.  The next lounge night social at the Post (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) will be Thursday, October 26th (5-10 PM).  This is a Post 283-sponsored/hosted event and you don’t need to be a current member of the Post to participate in these events. Post 283 has waived annual membership fees for all enrolled students.  The social is also free to students and but please RSVP.

  School Certifying Official Update

If you’re utilizing VA benefits at Pepperdine, it’s critical that you keep in contact with your School Certifying Official (SCO) in the Registrar’s office throughout your journey at Pepperdine. With Sara Turki recently being selected for the Registrar position, Randi Redman will be the primary POC for any questions or issues you may have and can be reached using the group email: vabenefits@pepperdine.edu Also, please remember to diligently read through all correspondence the VA sends, periodically review and track your current benefits status (this includes keeping your mailing address and bank account information updated), and complete your monthly enrollment verifications.

  Funding for Study Abroad Opportunities

Thanks to funding received from the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades), we have the ability to provide some financial support to veterans interested in study abroad opportunities. So, if you’re interested in studying abroad, we want to help get you there. For more information about Pepperdine’s international studies, how VA benefits can be utilized, and more, visit the IP website and contact for potential funding support.

  PeppVet Bible RECON

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of your PeppVet community for a monthly Zoom call to explore the bible and faith. Whether just staring your Christian walk, looking to recharge, or just wanting to participate and share your faith, we’d love to be part of the journey. If you’re interested in participating, just let me know.  You’ll receive meet-up details for our October session after signing up. We hope you join us and help build resiliency through faith.

  Vets4Warriors

Vets4Warriors is an independent peer-to-peer support network serving the military and veteran communities for over a decade with over 800K successful connections. Their veteran team offers empathetic, confidential support, ensuring no one in the military community feels alone. Housed at Rutgers University, they operate separately from the VA, providing preemptive and confidential support to prevent crises, emphasizing that together, no problem is insurmountable. You can also volunteer to become V4W Ambassador to help build relationships, connections, and help change lives. Learn more about their ambassador program.

  U.S. Navy's 248th Birthday

October 13th, 2023 marks the Navy's 248th birthday (officially established in 1775). Happy birthday to those who served, or continue to serve, in our United States Navy!

  Featured Student: Wallace (Mike) Mains (GSEP)

featured student mike mains

Mike is originally from New Orleans, LA. He is a retired United States Marine Corps Sergeant Major who operated 27 Recruiting offices in the state of Arizona covering 113,000 square miles. He performed data analysis and instituted strategic sales tactics to improve overall efficiency and led day-to-day operations of 90 Recruiters to accomplish 100% mission objectives for 24 consecutive months winning the “Recruiting Station of the Year Award.”

Retiring from the Marines in 2013, after 25 years of service, Mike joined Joe Verde Sales & Management Training, Inc. to help train automotive Dealers, Managers, and Salespeople on how to increase their productivity throughout the organization and to implement a “Leadership First” approach with an exclusive formula for success.

Mike began attending Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) in 2019 for his Doctorate in EDOL and is scheduled to graduate in May 2024. He plans to return to the workforce where he can incorporate his 25+ years of service in the Marine Corps, subsequent years with Joe Verde Sales & Management Training, Inc., and his Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University to provide world-class management and leadership training. His training has empowered him to help individuals, teams, and organizations grow and reach higher levels of success.

Mike enjoys attending church and watching football. He is a big New Orleans Saints fan and spends his free time with his daughters Launa and Madison, and his fiancé Marilyn. Additionally, Mike is a member of the American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291 whose mission is to help fellow veterans and many local children and civic organizations in and around Orange County, CA.

September 2023

  PeppVet Council/Student Organization

On behalf of the PeppVet Council and the Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization, we’re excited to welcome all new and returning community members. We’re excited to meet you and see you at events this year. We’re planning many exciting initiatives this year, including new community outreach events, veteran networking opportunities, and the opening of our on-campus PeppVet Center. Here are just a few upcoming events (more details on a few are provided in this newsletter):


2 Sep (10AM) - Waves of Flags–First Flag Ceremony (Alumni Park)
7/8 Sep (5PM/1230PM) - Welcome back Zoom sessions (2 options)
9 Sep (3-8PM) - Ride to the Flags Step Forward Day volunteer event (Malibu Bluffs Park)
10 Sep (12-2PM) - Ride to the Flags Social for PeppVets/Community @ Malibu Bluffs Park
11 Sep (9AM) - 9/11 Commemorative Ceremony (Alumni Park)
28 Sep (5-10PM) - American Legion Post 283 social for local student veterans
29 Sep (12-1PM) - PeppVets & Coffee - Free Java & Conversation @ Starbucks (Malibu camp)
6 Nov (2PM) - Grand Opening of the PeppVet Center (TAC - Room 114)
*Veterans Day, Saturday, 11 Nov (1-3PM), Malibu campus - Veterans Day Luncheon
*Guest speaker for our Veterans Day Luncheon this year will be Michael Frueh, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Mike is a graduate of Seaver College (Class of '91). We hope you, your family, and guests can attend. Mark your calendars!

Below are the members of the PeppVet Council and the Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization this academic year. You can expect an email from your school’s representative within the next couple of weeks. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, or recommendations.
Brandon Olson, President
Sam Miller, Vice President, Seaver
Mark Rafla, Vice President, GSEP
Arthur Gonzalez, Vice President, PGBS
Jonathan Gereige & Suren Shanto, Veteran Legal Society, CSOL

We look forward to seeing you on campus and at our events. If you need to contact me directly, please feel free to email; we can always use help and suggestions.

  Pepperdine 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

All PeppVets are cordially invited to attend a September 11th Remembrance Ceremony on Monday, September 11th, 9AM, on Alumni Park. Military members and veterans are encouraged to wear their uniforms. A small reception will immediately follow the event. Hope to see you there.

  Veteran Spirit Hike

Join local veterans (and family members) at the American Legion Post 283-sponsored Spirit Hike on Saturday, September 23rd, 830AM-1PM at YMCA’S Simon Meadow (15602 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA). This first annual spirit hike, meant to bring veterans and the community together, is co-sponsored by the American Legion Post 283. The event will feature a 1.6-mile roundtrip hike on Temescal Ridge Trail, lunch, resource booths & followed by a special guest speaker, Jessica Lynch, former PFC (U.S. Army) and POW (Iraq War).  Visit the website for more information and to register.

  American Legion Monthly Social

Join PeppVets and other local veterans (and family members) at the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for their monthly lounge nights every 4th Thursday. The next lounge night social at the Post (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) will be Thursday, September 28th (5-10PM). This is a Post 283-sponsored/hosted event and you don’t need to be a current member of the Post to participate in these events.  Post 283  has waived annual membership fees for all enrolled students.  You do not have to RSVP or register for the event, but if you’d like to receive event updates from Post 283, feel free to register here.

  PeppVets & Coffee

Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy some good conversation and coffee with fellow veterans and other Pepperdine students with military connections on Friday, September 29th, 12-1PM.  Whether you can only drop by for a few minutes or want to hang around for a while, we hope you take some time out to connect. Pick-up a PeppVet hat and/or challenge coin too!

  PeppVet Bible RECON

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of your PeppVet community for a monthly Zoom call to explore the bible and faith.  Whether you’re just staring your Christian walk, looking to recharge, or just wanting to participate and share your faith, we’d love to be part of the journey.  If you’re interested in participating, just let me know.  You’ll receive meet-up details sent to you after signing up. We hope you join us and help build resiliency through faith.

  Feedback Needed for PeppVet Events

The PeppVet Council and the Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization would like your input to help shape future events (large and small) as we develop our strategic action plan for the coming academic year.  We’re inviting you to participate in a short survey to determine what you would be interested in seeing and possibility participate in over the next year.  We’ll evaluate all inputs and start building our future events schedule. Please email if you have any questions and/or want to volunteer to help out with an event. Thanks in advance for participating!

  Veterans & Military Families Career Night

The Employment Engagement Coordinator at the Career Center at USC has invited PeppVets and family members to participate in a career recruiting night on Wednesday, September 6th, 5:30-7:30PM.  This recruiting event is open to the entire veteran community members, and their families, where they will have the opportunity to meet and network with top employers looking to hire great talent for full-time and internship roles.  Register today.

  Stay in Contact with Your School Certifying Official

As an important reminder, if you’re utilizing VA benefits at Pepperdine, it’s critical that you keep in contact with your school certifying official (SCO) in the Registrar’s office throughout your journey here at Pepperdine. Keeping your SCO aware of concerns with VA payments, certification, financial aid, and changes to your enrollment are important to make sure your benefits are not impacted and you stay on course to graduate. Sara Turki and Randi Redman are here for any questions you may have and can both be reached using a new group email: vabenefits@pepperdine.edu.  Also, please remember to diligently read through all correspondence the VA sends you as well as periodically review and track your current benefits status (this includes keeping your mailing address and bank account information updated).

  VA Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, students currently using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month. Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments.  More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  KinderCare Centers

Pepperdine has partnered with KinderCare Learning Companies to provide all students and employees with a 10% tuition discount on child care costs when utilizing a KinderCare Center. This benefit is applicable to children between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years old. KinderCare has provided a brief 6-minute webinar for the Pepperdine community here.

  Make the Connection

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. There are numerous options for getting expert help when a friend, a family member, or you are looking for assistance.  The key is knowing your options and reaching out when needed. Local Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active-duty service members (including National Guard and Reserve components), and their families.  Readjustment counseling is offered to help transition from military to civilian life. Individual, group, marriage, and family counseling are offered in addition to referrals and connections with other VA and community services.  The VA website can help you find the nearest Vet Center.  You can also check out other counseling and peer-support services available to you on our Veterans at Pepperdine resources page.  As a reminder, PeppVets can also make an appointment with the Pepperdine Counseling Center by emailing or calling the counselor 24-hour access line at (310) 506-4210.

  POW/MIA Day

On Friday, September 15th we’ll observe National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  National POW/MIA Recognition Day was established in 1979 through a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter.  Since then, each subsequent president has issued an annual proclamation commemorating the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  A national-level ceremony is held on every National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Traditionally held at the Pentagon, it features members from each branch of military service and participation from high-ranking officials.  In addition to the national-level ceremony, observances are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, and veterans' facilities.

  Featured Student: Arthur Gonzalez (PGBS)

featured student arthur gonzalez

Arthur Gonzalez is a California native from Mid-City Los Angeles and a second-year Fully-Employed MBA graduate student at Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School. With a concentration in Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, Arthur is driven to combine his work experience and education to build a successful and responsible business. After graduating from high school, Arthur attended Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he became a motor transport operator.


He deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and provided essential support for combat operations for the 32nd Georgian Infantry Battalion. Currently, Arthur is a small business owner, operating his landscape maintenance business. As a veteran small business owner, Arthur is eligible to bid on government contracts, which increases his chances of selection. One of his goals is to position his business to be able to compete and win these contracts. While serving his clients and making their landscapes aesthetically pleasing is fulfilling, Arthur knows there is much more to accomplish. He is confident that the education and experience he gains at Pepperdine will help him position his business for more success.

Arthur is a current member of the PeppVet Council and the PGBS representative on the Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization.

 

August 2023

  Waves of Flags Volunteer Day

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of the PeppVet Council for our volunteer event on Thursday, August 10th, 2PM-330PM at Alumni Park (Malibu campus). We've been invited to help prepare the flags for this year's Waves of Flags.  We need volunteers, family, friends to help assemble flags and poles for the annual display for just a few hours.  If you can come out, let me know and sign-up at the link.  You’ll receive meet-up details sent to you after signing up.

  PeppVet Day at the Rams/Chargers Gam

Join us for PeppVet Day at the LA Rams and LA Chargers game (SoFi Stadium) on Saturday, August 12th, 6PM.  Limited free tickets are available for this special event. Tickets are for PeppVets (+1 guest). Please RSVP for tickets before they’re gone!  Let me know if you can attend and if you need one or two tickets; also if you're interested in carpooling (limited parking passes are available).

  ROTC Recruiters at Waves Expo

Recruiters from our local Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) will be on campus for Waves Expo on Thursday, August 17th, 12-2PM. If you’re interested in learning more about their programs, scholarships, and opportunities, feel free to stop by during the event. For general information on ROTC visit our website or email the Director of Student Veteran Affairs.

  Malibu Campus Veteran Center

Significant progress has been made over the summer to prepare for the opening of the dedicated office and lounge for all Pepperdine military-connected students.  The center, located in the Thornton Administrative Center (TAC), 2nd floor, will be opening later this year.  If you have any questions or suggestions, contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs.

  New Goodwill Scholarships

Goodwill Southern California Veteran Services is launching $500 scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year to assist military-connected students and family members with hardships related to education expenses.  Deadline to apply is August 18th, 2023.  Applications can be via video (no more than 5 minutes) or written essay (no more than 2 pages).  Scholarships will be awarded on September 12th, 2023.  Apply today.

  Veterans Orientation - Virtual Event

The Ventura County Veteran Services Office and will host a career search and VA benefits Zoom session on Tuesday, August 8th, 10AM-1130AM. Military & veteran-related service and benefits experts will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits. Call (805) 288-8400 for additional information and the Zoom link.

  Veterans Orientation Night - Los Angeles

The LA County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs will host Los Angeles Veterans Orientation on Thursday, August 24th, 6-9PM at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall (1816 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The orientation will provide newly transitioned service members and those new to Los Angeles with peer support and information to navigate their benefits and to be successful in their transition to civilian careers.  Register to attend.

  Waves of Flags - First Flag Ceremony

Mark your calendars!  Join your PeppVet Council and Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization as we participate in the first flag event on Saturday, September 2nd. Meet-up with fellow PeppVets on Alumni Park (near the tower) as we connect with university leadership, alumni, fellow veterans and students to commemorate the installation of the first flag for this year’s Waves of Flags. If you’d like to attend and participate in the Waves of Flag installation immediately following the ceremony, please contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs to sign-up.  You can also participate in the flag lowering day on Thursday, September 21st, if desired.

  New Veterans Career Podcast

American Corporate Partners (ACP) has launched a new podcast (The Veterans Career Compass) to help guide you through every step of the journey. Available on all major platforms, you can join in to hear insightful conversations, expert advice and inspiring stories. As a reminder, veterans and service members can receive civilian career planning assistance through customized one-on-one mentorship with business leaders nationwide with an ACP volunteer mentor. ACP handpicks a mentor for you based on career interests and professional history.  You and your mentor will create a tailored action plan and speak monthly to make progress on your goals, and ACP staff will help guide you through the mentorship experience. Whether you are actively searching for a new career, newly employed, or looking for advice about how to be successful, ACP's customized program is designed to assist you on your path toward rewarding, meaningful employment.  Veterans and service can apply for mentorship today. ACP also offers career events and industry discussions through their webinar events.  Check out their events page to stay up to date and to sign-up. Past event recordings are posted for review.

  Student Health Reminders

The Student Health Center is excited to welcome and welcome back PeppVets as we prepare for the new academic year. They are part of your Thrive Wellness Program that offers many services at no charge for active registered students including in-person office visits at The Student Health Center. They are located in the Student Assistance Center (SAC) on the Malibu campus and are open Monday through Friday, 8AM - 5PM. All actively registered students may schedule an appointment by calling 310-506-4316, option 3. The Wellness Program also offers no-charge, 24/7 virtual care with the Timely Care app available anywhere, anytime which may be especially useful for students seeking after-hours care or those not attending classes in Malibu.

Any student attending on the Malibu campus is reminded to complete their annual health insurance requirement and incoming students are encouraged to log onto their Patient Portal to complete their immunization requirement if required by your academic program. If you are in doubt about your immunization requirements, simply log onto your Patient Portal and check the immunizations option on the left-hand side of the screen for a red dot. The presence of a red dot indicates you have outstanding immunization requirements. Visit the Student Health Center website for more information on all available services, links to the annual health insurance requirement, and the immunization requirements (if applicable to you).

  VA Enrollment Verification - Summer Sessions

As a reminder, students currently using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month. Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments. If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information. When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  U.S. Coast Guard 233rd Birthday

August 4th will mark the U.S. Coast Guard’s 233rd birthday. The Coast Guard’s official history began on 4 August 1790 when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten vessels, referred to as “cutters,” to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. Today, the U.S. Coast Guard keeps our nation’s waterways safe, playing a critical role in national security. Happy birthday to those who served or continue to serve in the USCG!

  Purple Heart Day

Purple Heart Day is observed on August 7th each year and is a time for Americans to remember and honor the brave men and women who were either wounded on the battlefield or paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. Purple Heart Day is also known as National Purple Heart Day, Purple Heart Recognition Day, and Purple Heart Appreciation Day. The holiday was first observed in 2014 and is considered an unofficial national observance.

  Featured Student: Carlos Panfilo Vazquez (PGBS)

featured student carlos vazquez

Carlos is a California native from Boyle Heights. He’s attending the Fully Employed Masters of Business Administration program at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School where he plans to focus concentration on Leadership and Managing Organizational Change. He currently does not have a specific career path but is open to all networking opportunities.

As a first-generation America, he was the first to graduate college and join the military. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree(s) from Whittier College where he majored in Business Administration and Spanish Language & Literature. He was also a 4-year member of the Men’s Water polo team where they captured the D3 NCAA championship and also won the SCAIC championship. While pursuing his degrees, he enrolled in the Army ROTC program at Cal State University of Fullerton his junior year and shortly commissioned as a Military Police Officer. He deployed twice in support if Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Spartan Shield, and Operation Inherent Resolve. He spent time in Guantanamo Bay where he was in charge of engineering projects within the base. He also spent some time in Kuwait, Iraq and Syria where he helped fortify physical security around the Northeast Syrian region.

Carlos is still a reserve member in the Army as a captain where he enjoys mentoring younger soldiers and lieutenants sharing his experience and knowledge. When he is not busy working, drilling or studying, he enjoys live music events; his favorite genre is ska, playing sports, exercising, reading and traveling where he’s been to 9 countries so far. If there’s a piece of advice he can provide fellow PeppVets (and really anyone), it’s to not worry too much, trust the process because it always seems to work out.

 

July 2023

  PeppVet Summer Q&A Session

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and members of the PeppVet Council for a Zoom session to help answer general questions that you may have regarding VA benefits, services, events, opportunities, and whatever else might be on your mind. Do you want to get involved or have a suggestion for future military-connected activities and events? If so, please join our session on Friday, July 7th, 12PM. RSVP today for the Zoom link. 

  GI Bill® Webinar

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an informative session on the GI Bill® on Thursday, July 6th, 1PM.  The session will cover the intricacies of using the GI Bill® from starting the application, requirements for credit hours as well as stipends and school payments. As a reminder, the Veteran at Pepperdine website also has a good rundown of frequently asked questions and useful information on the GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program.  You can register for the webinar session today.

  Veteran Job & Benefits Expo

Mark your calendar! The Ventura County Veteran Services Office and the Ventura County Office of Education will host a free job and VA benefits Zoom session on Tuesday, July 11th, 10AM-1130AM.  Military & Veteran-related service and benefits experts will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits.  Call (805) 288-8400 for additional information and Zoom link.

  Los Angeles Veterans Orientation

The LA County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs will host the Los Angeles Veterans Orientation on Thursday, July 20th, 6-9PM at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall 1816 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The orientation will provide newly transitioned service members and those new to Los Angeles with information and support to be successful in their transition to civilian life - from help navigating resources to expanding their social network. This is a starting point for connections to resources in Los Angeles in a more comfortable environment. The orientation will promote peer networking and veteran support systems.  Sign-up for an evening of peer support, information, and resources.

  Feedback for PeppVet Events

The PeppVet Council and the Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) would like your input to help shape future events (large and small) as we develop our strategic action plan for the coming academic year. How about a local fishing trip, day at the ballpark, or volunteer opportunity? We’re inviting you to participate in a short survey to determine what you would be interested in seeing and possibility participate in over the next year.  We’ll evaluate all inputs and start building our future events schedule.  Please email if you have any questions and/or want to volunteer to help out with an event.  Thanks in advance for participating!

  Veteran Career Readiness Program

The Veteran Career Readiness Program offered by FourBlock is designed to equip transitioning service members and veterans with the tools they need to develop professional knowledge and build relationships necessary to successfully transition to meaningful civilian careers.  They partner with top companies (Wells Fargo, Comcast, PwC, Blackstone, Boeing, etc.) from across the country to provide program participants with career transition support.  The Career Readiness Program is offered twice a year (during each fall and spring academic semester) in major metropolitan cities across the country and also virtually, at no cost to veterans. The program is taught by Career Readiness Instructors and guest lecturers who are professionals and executives from leading companies. Each week program participants meet with employer representatives from different companies and industries to learn about corporate culture, develop and practice the technical competencies needed for an effective career search, and most importantly, gain access to both veteran and civilian employees with whom relationships can be built.  The Fall 2023 application period is now open!  Find out more and apply today.

  Veterans Resource Book

The California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) Resource Book can assist you in learning about and accessing the wide variety of services and benefits available to California veterans and family members.  The book covers items including California unique benefits, VA claims and benefits, health care, education, employment, advocacy and assistance.  Check out the Resource Book online.

  LA VA Regional Office Appointments

The Los Angeles VA Regional Office now allows you to make virtual or in-person appointments for veteran services and benefits using one website. You can input your zip code and choose the Los Angeles Regional Office or the nearest office to you.  For virtual appointments, a VA employee will call you at the date/time you select.

  Featured Student: Jack Medosch (CSOL)

featured student jack

A week after turning eighteen, Jack shipped off to Coast Guard basic training in Cape May, New Jersey.
Five weeks into the eight-week program, Jack was given orders to report to the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, a 225-foot-long buoy tender in Honolulu, Hawaii. The boats’ main mission was to fix and maintain buoys throughout the Pacific, from the different islands of Hawaii all the way to American Samoa. Jack served as a deck seaman, working on the buoy deck and handling lines when coming in and out of port.

Eight months after reporting to Honolulu, the crew of the Kukui were given orders to transfer to Charleston, South Carolina. Taking the boat from Hawaii to the east coast took two months, making multiple stops along the way for fuel and food throughout Central America. Jack worked as a deckhand in Charleston for almost three years, working on buoys in the various islands of the Caribbean. St. Thomas and Cuba were his favorite ports to pull into for relaxation.

After his time in Charleston, Jack transferred to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, near the Outer Banks. There, Jack underwent a rigorous five-month training program to become a certified helicopter mechanic and aircrew member.  After graduating third in his class, Jack was sent south to be stationed at Air Station Miami, Florida. Jack’s last three years in the Coast Guard were spent fixing and flying on helicopters in South Florida, accumulating 320 flight hours and saving three lives. In August of 2022, Jack existed the military and entered Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law (class of 2025).

 

June 2023

  Jobs with Veteran Readiness & Employment

The VA, in partnership with Hire G.I., will host a Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) national virtual career fair on Wednesday, June 7th, 8 AM-12 PM and simultaneous in-person recruiting events in 4 locations (Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; and Phoenix, AZ) on June 7th.  This national event is open to all veterans, service members and military spouses wanting to learn about community resources and VA career opportunities.  Participants can register today.

  PeppVet Zoom Meeting

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PSVO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Thursday, June 8th, 3 PM. This is a great opportunity to connect with the PSVO leadership team and other Pepperdine military-connected students. We hope you can join in the discussion. Please RSVP for the Zoom link.

  NBCUniversal Internship Program

NBCUniversal Internship Program applications for Fall 2023 and their new Academic Year program are live until June 9th.  Academic Year internships span the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters and are available in some departments across the NBCUniversal Internship Program.  These opportunities will be noted in the job postings.  Academic Year opportunities provide students the stability of an internship for multiple semesters while being able to take on more robust and meaningful work. Fall only internships will still be available and also noted in the online job postings.  Check out the opportunities and apply today.

  Talents ASCEND Connects You with Employers

Talents ASCEND helps match you directly with employers without a resume or job boards.  Founded in 2018 by a Navy veteran, Talents ASCEND provides priority services to military veterans and their family members. Candidates that use their AI Skills matching platform match to employers based on the skills they want to use in their next careers.  Talents ASCEND does not require resumes or applications and there are no job boards to search through. Candidates create a free profile and then are directly matched to job profiles created by employers intentionally looking to connect with candidates.  You can attend a Walkthrough session that covers the profile process, how the platform works, and how to maximize your potential matches. Sign up for a Walkthrough here.

  Career Mentorship

Veterans and service members can receive civilian career planning assistance through customized one-on-one mentorship with business leaders nationwide with an American Corporate Partners (ACP) mentor. ACP handpicks a mentor for you based on career interests and professional history. You and your mentor will create a tailored action plan for the mentorship and speak monthly to make progress on your goals, and ACP staff will help guide you through the mentorship experience to ensure success. Whether you are actively searching for a new career, newly employed, or looking for advice about how to be successful, ACP's customized program is designed to assist you on your path toward rewarding, meaningful employment. Veterans, service members, and military spouses can apply for mentorship today. ACP also offers career events and industry discussions through their webinar events. Check out their events page to stay up to date and to RSVP. Past event recordings are also posted for review.

  Feedback Needed for PeppVet Events

The PeppVet Council and the Pepperdine Student Veteran Organization (PSVO) would like your input to help shape future events (large and small) as we develop our strategic action plan for the coming academic year. We’re inviting you to participate in a short survey to determine what you would be interested in seeing and possibility participate in over the next year. We’ll evaluate all inputs and start building our future events schedule.  Please email if you have any questions and/or want to volunteer to help out with an event. Thanks in advance for participating!

  Counseling and Peer-Support

There are numerous options for getting expert help and assistance when a friend, a family member, or you are in need. The key is knowing your options and reaching out when needed. Local Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active-duty service members (including National Guard and Reserve components), and their families. Readjustment counseling is offered to help transition from military to civilian life. Individual, group, marriage, and family counseling are offered in addition to referrals and connections with other VA and community services.  The VA website can help you find the nearest Vet Center.  The Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) also supports and hires veterans as “battle buddies” and systems navigators to connect their brothers and sisters in need with resources that will help.  Resources and services available include employment, mental health, substance misuse support, housing, family services, benefits navigation, and other information.  VPAN is a free and confidential service. To request assistance or services, email VPAN, call (800) 854-7771 (ext. 3) for veteran services (9AM to 9PM daily), or fill out the VPAN Referral Form located on their website.  As a reminder, PeppVets can also make an appointment with the Pepperdine Counseling Center by emailing or calling the counselor 24-hour access line at (310) 506-4210

  VA Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month.  Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments. If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information. When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  Contact your School Certifying Official

The processing of Summer 2023 VA unit certifications have been submitted. As a reminder, it’s critical that you notify our school certifying officials (SCO) moving forward especially if any changes are made to your course schedule. Sara Turki and Randi Redman can both be reached using the group email: vabenefits@pepperdine.edu

  Featured Student: Shante Clarke (PGBS)

featured student shante clarke

“You can’t have a million-dollar dream on a minimum wage work ethic.” Shante Clarke is no stranger to hard work. Raised in an immigrant household in New York City, she quickly learned the value of diligence and discipline. At the age of 19, Shante joined the Navy in which she served 5 years as a Seabee stationed in Ventura, California. Shante served on three deployments in which she was able to complete many humanitarian projects and devoted her time to community service that built long lasting relationships between the United States and allied countries. While on active duty, Shante completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition at Purdue University. After the Navy, Shante hung up her boots but remained dedicated to the fleet in a different light. She worked as an Executive Assistant for a year and currently works as a program analyst supporting NAVSEA.

As education has been a fundamental principle throughout her childhood, Shante is currently working on her Master of Science in Business Administration at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. She dreams of one day founding her own catering business and to further her education to a PhD. As a wife and stepmother of three, Shante spends most of her free time planning family activities and in the kitchen which she believes is the foundation of genuine happiness. She also enjoys hiking, dancing, event planning, traveling and quality time with family and friends.

 

May 2023

  Feedback Needed for PeppVet Events

The PeppVet Council and the Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) would like your input to help shape future events (large and small) as we develop our strategic action plan for the coming academic year.  We’re inviting you to participate in a short survey to determine what you would be interested in seeing and possibility participate in over the next year.  We’ll evaluate all inputs and start building our future events schedule.  Please email if you have any questions and/or want to volunteer to help out with an event. Thanks in advance for participating!

  Starting Your Own Business

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an informative session on the general process and steps to open a business on Tuesday, May 2nd, at 1 PM.  Starting a business involves planning, key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities.  PVA will cover a step-by-step approach to starting a small business, and the many free community and veteran specific resources available.  You can register for the session today.  Also, with PVA’s Veterans Career Live, you can now access career information and register for a free seminar with a Veterans Career Program employment expert or browse recorded seminars on a range of career topics for veterans.

  Career Readiness Workshop

Join the two-hour virtual workshop for all military-connected job seekers geared to help significantly increase personal and professional career readiness on Thursday, May 4th, 12–2 PM.  This interactive event will feature the Amazon Military Event Team as they cover the Amazon interview and selection process and how to create a game plan for your job search and career fair strategy.  The webinar will include a moderated panel and ample time for questions.  RSVP today.

  Veteran Services Orientation

The Employment Development Department & the America's Job Center of California in Oxnard invites you to attend a Zoom orientation of services provided by experts in veterans issues including employment and training programs, transition services, VA and medical benefits on Tuesday, May 9th, 10–11:30 AM.  Military & veteran-related service providers will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits.  Contact 805-288-8400 for additional information and Zoom link.

  Take Action LA - Mental Health Event

Join the Community Veterans Justice Project as they host a morning resource fair that will begin with breakfast, breakouts, and a lived-experience veterans panel on Wednesday, May 17th, 9 AM–1 PM, at the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in LA.  The resource fair will rap-up with a luncheon to recognize and celebrate the community agencies and members helping to serve veterans and the needs around them.  RSVP today.

  PeppVet Zoom Meeting

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Wednesday, May 17th, 5 PM.  This is a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership team and other Pepperdine military-connected students.  We’re also looking for a handful of student veterans interested in sitting on next year’s Pepperdine Veteran (PeppVet) Council.  It’s a great opportunity to lead and develop new initiatives that help support our entire military-connected community.  If you would like to be considered for the council next year, please email us for more information and/or join in the discussion at the Zoom meeting.  We hope you can join in the discussion.  Please RSVP for the Zoom link.

  American Legion Monthly Social

Join PeppVets and other local veterans (and family members) at the newly remodeled and reopened American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for monthly lounge nights every 4th Thursday. The next lounge night social at the Post (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) will be Thursday, May 25th (5–10 PM).  This is a Post 283-sponsored/hosted event and you don’t need to be a current member of the Post to participate in these events.  Post 283 is excited about enduring activities and engagement with PeppVets and has waived annual membership fees for all enrolled students. The American Legion is a great way to connect with local veterans (young and senior); so we hope you’ll stop by for some great conversation and free food. You do not have to RSVP or register for the event, but if you’d like to receive event updates from Post 283, feel free to register here.

  PeppVets Celebrate at Presidential Library

Dozens of PeppVets, family members, and guests recently celebrated our end of semester special event on April 1st at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The event included a private BBQ Buffet under Air Force One followed by private tours of the museum providing a unique and casual opportunity for PeppVets to engage, congratulate those that are graduating, and tour the amazing library. We’re already looking forward to next year’s events!

  Student Health Insurance Plan

The Student Health Center (SHC) would like to offer its congratulations to all the recent graduates and remind all students enrolled in Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) that their benefits are effective through the summer months not ending until August 14th, 2023, with no referral requirement during this time.  Graduating students enrolled in SHIP have the option of continuing an additional semester of SHIP (8/15-12/31/23) by using the Academic Health Plans Enrollment page, selecting “Continuation Insurance,” and completing the application as early as May 15th or no later than September 5th, 2023.  All incoming and returning students may begin completing the annual health insurance requirement on their Insurance Dashboard as early as May 15th. For any questions regarding the Student Health Center or the services available to you there, please visit the SHC website or call 310-506-4316 option 3.

  Military Appreciation Month

May is a special month for those in and out of military service. Not only do we pause on Memorial Day (May 29th) to remember the sacrifice of those who gave all, but May also holds several other anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 12th) and Armed Forces Day (May 20th).  The third Saturday in May is always set aside to celebrate and pay tribute to the men and women who currently serve in the U.S. armed forces.  To all those in the Pepperdine community who currently serve and support those that do, we thank you for your dedication to our country and each other.

  Missed a Newsletter?

If you’re looking for information you may have seen in a previous newsletter and need to find it, look no further than your online resource – our Veterans at Pepperdine website.  In addition to being a great reference for resources, previous news and event information can be found at the bottom of the main page. And remember, if you have any content and/or resource you would recommend adding to our newsletter or website, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

  Featured Student: Andrew Snively (CSOL)

featured student andrew snively

 Andrew is originally from Kansas City, MO. He was a Budget Analyst for the United States Air Force and ran the budget for the 388th Fighter Wing Operations Group out of Hill AFB, UT. After leaving the Air Force, Andrew began attending Caruso School of Law and is scheduled to graduate in May 2024; although he’s trying to aim to graduate a semester early. He interned with the Coast Guard JAG office in Alameda, CA last summer and wants to return to active duty after law school as a JAG officer although he has an interest in sports law as well.

Andrew is a huge Kansas City sports fan and has played sports essentially his entire life. He also loves trivia and was a finalist on Jeopardy auditions at one point. This past year he served as the President of the Veterans Legal Society (VLS) and helped support and connect more veterans in the Pepperdine community through the VLS and the PeppVet Council. Andrew will be passing the VLS to new leadership this coming year but is always ready to help in whatever way he possibly can!

 

April 2023

  PeppVet Council (2023-2024)

This semester has flown by and we’re excited about the ongoing initiatives and for next Fall.  Speaking of next Fall, we’re looking for a handful of student veterans to sit on next year’s Pepperdine Veteran (PeppVet) Council.  It’s a great opportunity to lead and develop new initiatives that help support our entire military-connected community.  If you would like to be considered for the council next year, please email us for more information.  This year’s PeppVet Council has been great and we’re thankful for their work and ongoing outreach this year.  Thanks again to our council leads for all their efforts: Brandon Olson (Seaver/PeppVet Council and Student Org President), Samantha Jones (CSOL/PeppVet Council and Student Org Senior Vice President), Arthur Gonzales (PGBS Vice President), Mark Rafla (GSEP Vice President), Stephen Shields (SPP Vice President), and Andrew Snively (CSOL/Veteran Legal Society President).

  PeppVets on TV!

Three of our PeppVets (Samantha Jones/ CSOL, Brandon Olson/Seaver, and Stephen Shields/SPP), were recently featured in a Pepperdine segment for “Operation Education: Paving A Path to Success for Our Nation’s Heroes”; a special edition airing on the Military Makeover: Operation Career show on The Lifetime Network hosted by Montel Williams.  The show travels around the country capturing stories of military veterans who are transitioning out of the military and back to civilian life.  Our PeppVets shared their military backgrounds and what brought them to Pepperdine. The episode aired on March 24st and March 30th.  You can check out the Pepperdine episode now streaming.

  Volunteer Positions Lead to Employment

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Team as they host an informative session for National Volunteer Month on Thursday, April 6th, at 1PM.  Engaging in volunteer activities can help reinforce skills you've already learning at work/school, develop new skills and possibilities, and provide another venue to build leadership skills. All opportunities can potentially make you a more qualified and desirable candidate for the next job.  Join PVA as they discuss how to find volunteer opportunities and leverage them towards employment. 

  Monthly PeppVet Meeting

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Wednesday, April 12th, 5PM.  This is a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership team and other Pepperdine military-connected students to discuss topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan the months ahead. We hope you can join in the discussion.  Please RSVP for the Zoom link.

  Veterans Golf Tournament & BBQ

We’ve been invited to participate in another free golf tournament for local veterans at the Heroes Golf Course in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 22d, 9AM-2PM.  The event, hosted by the Vets Whole in One (VWIO) organization, will include a free breakfast, meditation session, golf clinic (provided by the USC Golf Team), BBQ lunch provided by Texas De Brazil, and awards.  Register today!  Be on the lookout for a joint Pepperdine/VWIO-hosted event in the fall.

  American Legion Hosts Monthly Veterans Social

Join PeppVets and other local veterans at the newly remodeled and reopened American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for new monthly lounge nights every 4th Thursday.  The first lounge night social at the Post (15247 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades) will be Thursday, April 29th (5-10PM). This is a Post 283-sponsored/hosted event and you don’t need to be a current member of the Post to participate in these events. Post 283 is excited about enduring activities and engagement with PeppVets and has waived annual membership fees for all enrolled students.  The American Legion is a great way to connect with local veterans (young and senior); so we hope you’ll stop by for some great conversation and free food.  You do not have to RSVP or register for the event, but if you’d like to receive event updates from Post 283, feel free to register here.

  PeppVet Selected for DOJ Honors Program

Joseph Castro (JD ’22), former PeppVet Council member and Veteran Legal Society President, was recently selected for the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Honors Program. Joseph will serve as a trial attorney with the Criminal Enforcement Section of the DOJ Tax Division in Washington, D.C. this coming fall.  Joseph is currently serving as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Parker in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Congrats on your next professional opportunity and step forward, Joe… we’re proud of you!

  Connect with PeppVets & Alumni

The "Pepperdine Veterans/Military-Connected Community" group was created in PeppConnect for you. PeppConnect as an opt-in forum to help build connection, share information, and career and mentorship opportunities between military-affiliated students, alumni, faculty, and staff.  Please join the group (Veterans and Military Connected Community ) and feel free to post/share information, employment/internship opportunities, events, photos, etc.  Update your profile and mentoring settings if you’d like to be matched with another Wave.  If you're not on PeppConnect yet, you'll need to log in and sign up first.

  Hiring America helps Veterans

Hiring America is the first TV series dedicated to helping veterans find jobs.  They help feature companies with outstanding veteran hiring initiatives, share insights from CEOs, career counselors and HR specialists, and give valuable information to veterans to ease their transition into the civilian workforce.  Their website includes an active blog, inspiring veteran stories, and events like Wells Fargo’s Operation Stagecoach and multiple job fairs available on their events calendar.  Hiring America also has a weekly newsletter for new career opportunities and resources.

Hiring America also now helps support veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs in a new way through Military Made.  Military Made is a marketplace for veteran-owned businesses to feature their products and is a great way to support veterans, help their small businesses thrive, grow and in turn create more jobs for veterans.

  Student Veterans of America’s MySVA

Student Veterans of America’s MySVA website helps veterans throughout their higher education journey. You can browse their "career center" and "partner directory" to find helpful tips on tailoring your resume and finding veteran designed programs with big companies such as Boeing, Google, and Raytheon.  Additionally, you can use their "Vmock" tool to strengthen your resume to companies and their "Veterati" program to find a mentor to guide you through the job search process and interview process.  Our Pepperdine Student Veteran Organization (PSVO) is an official SVA chapter where you can see our current members designated by their position and connect. You can become a member and search for Pepperdine to add yourself to the list.  Check out MySVA today.  Feel free to contact the PSVO whenever you have any questions or suggestions.

  Free VA Career Counseling

If you’re eligible for VA education benefits, then you’re also eligible for personalized career planning and guidance.  The benefit provides career counseling to help you decide which civilian or governmental jobs you want.  Educational guidance can help you find the appropriate training programs and adjustment counseling can help address issues or barriers that may get in the way of your success.  Resume support and goal planning can also be provided.  Visit their website to learn more and to apply.

  VA Enrollment Verification Update

Post-9/11 GI Bill® students can now verify their enrollment online at VA.gov in addition to the text or email methods.  This provides another option to verify your enrollment each month. If you are opted into email or text and your enrollment verification link expires, you can utilize online verification option instead of calling the Education Call Center to verify. As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month.  Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance payments. If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information (or now use the new VA.gov option).  When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information.

  Featured Student: Daniel Tapia (PGBS)

featured student daniel tapia

Daniel Tapia is a veteran of the US Navy. During his tenure in the Navy, Dan served as an enlisted sailor before accepting a seat at the US Naval Academy. While attending the Academy, he had severe injuries to his head and neck, cutting his career short. After a year in DC following his Naval experiences, Dan moves back to Phoenix
briefly where he was raised. It did not take long for him to realize that a life away from the sea was unable to fill his spirit, so he moved to Los Angeles. Dan moved all over the city, trying out each nook and cranny of LA, loving every spot for its own unique flavor. Before, after, and a little bit during, Dan worked in restaurants. He has been a busser, barback, dishwasher, line cook, bartender, server, sous chef, manager, and sommelier. He worked fast paced dive bars and ran wine lists in two Michelin star restaurants.

After an exceedingly bad experience working for a California celebrity chef, Dan decided to never work for another bad boss again, and he started his own restaurant. Fourth & Olive opened in 2016 in Long Beach. The restaurant had two unique missions; first to bring high quality handmade plates to Long Beach and the second to build a restaurant around a staff made of disabled veterans. The restaurant maintained at least three quarters staff of vets, some of whom had not had jobs in upwards of ten years. Dan had Fourth & Olive built to spec to specifically accommodate far beyond the ADA. Fourth & Olive had a great run, earning the top spot in LA Weekly’s best restaurants in Long Beach, but closed at the onset of COVID.

With the support of his wife and three beautiful children, Dan is now here at Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School to prepare for the next venture, one that is just as dedicated to the community, but better prepared to endure a changing and volatile market. He’s thankful to be here and excited to meet everyone and contribute to the PeppVet community.

 

March 2023

  PeppVet Celebration at Reagan Presidential Library

Don’t miss our end of semester special event on Saturday, April 1st at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Join Pepperdine Veteran Affairs and fellow PeppVets as we host a unique lunch and tour for Pepperdine military-connected students, their families, and guests.  The event will begin with a private BBQ Buffet under Air Force One (1230-130PM) followed by self-guided and/or private tours of the museum.  This will be a great event to meet fellow PeppVets, congratulate those that are graduating, and tour the amazing library.  This is a Pepperdine Veteran Affairs sponsored event and seating is limited, so please RSVP no later than March 17th.

  Resume Tips & Techniques Webinar

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Team as they host an informative session on the steps to making the most out of your resume on Tuesday, March 7th, at 1PM. PVA's Career Program representatives will discuss resume formats and how tailoring them and showing your value in order to get the interview and land the job. 

  Virtual Career Fair

Hire Heroes USA will be hosting a virtual career fair for all transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses on Thursday, March 9th, 9AM-1PM.  The career fair will provide a unique opportunity to connect with employers actively hiring for a variety of roles and industries across the country.  The employment assistance team recommends attending if you are eligible to start employment within the next six months.  RSVP today!

  Veterans Golf Tournament

We’ve been invited to participate in a free golf tournament for local veterans at the Heroes Golf Course in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 11th, 9AM-2PM.  The event, hosted by the Vets Whole in One (VHIO) organization, will include a free breakfast, meditation session, golf clinic (provided by the UCLA Golf Team), lunch and awards.  If you would like to participate in the upcoming match with fellow PeppVets and get some golf and life tips along the way, please RSVP by March 6th.  Also, be on the lookout for a joint Pepperdine/VWIO hosted event in the fall.

  Monthly PeppVet Meeting

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Wednesday, March 15th, 5PM.  This is always a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership team and other military-connected students to discuss topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan the semester ahead.  We hope you can join in the discussion.  Please RSVP for the zoom link.

  PeppVet Hike

Last month’s hike was postponed due to weather, so please join the PeppVet Student Organization as they host a hike to the Hollywood Sign overlook for some of the most beautiful views of the iconic sign and the Los Angeles skyline on Saturday, March 25th, 9AM.  RSVP by 20 Mar; participants will be provided with meet-up details and location.  Please email if you have any questions or want to sign-up.

  PeppVets & Coffee

Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy good conversation and some coffee with the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, fellow Veterans and other Pepperdine students with military connections on Wednesday, March 29th, 12-130PM.  Whether you can only drop by for a few minutes or want to hang around for a while, take some time out to experience and connect.  We’ll meet just outside the Starbucks in Mullin Town Square. Hope to see you there!

  Student Veteran Support Group

The weekly student veteran support group (SVSG) is available for all student veterans attending any of Pepperdine’s campuses or online programs. SVSG is led by a counselor from the Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP Clinical Psychology student veteran.  The sessions are held online every Friday at 1PM PST. Feel free to join in anytime you feel like participating and connecting.  Please email to get the link or if you have any questions.

  Scholarship Opportunities

As a military-connected student, you could be eligible for numerous organizational scholarships that you may not even know exists. For example, some currently open scholarships include the Marines’ Memorial 2023 Scholarship Program that includes opportunities for students that served honorably in any branch of the Armed Forces (deadline is March 17th this year) and numerous scholarships being facilitated through the Student Veterans of America.  Just knowing these resources are out there and available is often the first hurdle; so even if you don’t need the extra help now, you may in the future so it’s always good to do some homework early.  To help, we’ve consolidated many of these scholarship resources on our Veterans at Pepperdine’s Scholarships page.  We recommend you take some time to become familiar with these local and national resources and, of course, use them and apply when ready.

  Reagan Education Intern Program

The Ronald Reagan Foundation is currently looking for university students with a passion for leadership and communication to make a difference in the lives of middle and high school leaders.  Their paid summer (June 12th-August 11th) interns’ primary responsibility will be to help facilitate the Student Leadership Program.  However, they will also assist in Foundation events, initiatives, and projects.  Interns will have the opportunity to meet and connect with various organizational departments, while experiencing the ins and outs of a world-class non-profit.  Apply before the March 24th deadline.

  Military Honor Cords

Pepperdine honors military-connected graduates who are military veterans, currently serving (active duty, National Guard, or Reservists), or Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets who will begin their military service upon graduation.  Each graduate will receive a commemorative red, white and blue honor cord to be worn at their commencement ceremony, signifying Pepperdine's gratitude for their service and sacrifice.  Each school has a POC that organizes their ceremonies and each has integrated the military honor cords into their processes.  Eligibility and cord requests are collected from each student via their school’s commencement prep actions once they begin.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

  Featured Student: Ji Yong Kim (CSOL)

featured student ji kim

Ji is a first-first year law student at Pepperdine's Caruso School of Law (Class of 2025). He was raised in an active duty Army family and was able to travel the world. He grew up in multiple locations including South Korea, Washington, Texas, and California. Ji earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside in 2017.

After graduating college, he served as an active duty Army armor officer for 4 and a half years. Ji was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he completed Armor Basic Officer Leader Course and the Army Reconnaissance Course. He served as a platoon leader and the S4 (logistical operations officer) at the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Ji got married to Jin Park in Hawaii in 2019. He and Jin currently live in Los Angeles and loves to watch movies, travel, and go on date nights together.

 

February 2023

  PeppVet Event at Reagan Presidential Library

We’re pleased to announce an upcoming end of semester special event in April at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Join Pepperdine Veteran Affairs and fellow PeppVets as we host a unique lunch and tour for Pepperdine military-connected students, their families, and guests on Saturday, April 1st. The event will begin with a private BBQ Buffet under Air Force One (1230-130PM) followed by self-guided and/or private tours of the museum. This will be a great event to socialize with fellow PeppVets, congratulate those that are graduating, and tour the amazing Reagan Library. This is a Pepperdine Veteran Affairs sponsored event and seating is limited, so please RSVP no later than March 17th. 

  PeppVet Council and Student Org

The PeppVet Council and leadership of the Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student (PeppVet) Organization continues to build on initiatives each semester and helps support the military-connected community at Pepperdine so everyone feels valued, included, and connected. These leaders serve as valuable points of contact, advocates, and ambassadors to fellow students and manage an annual action plan on a variety of initiatives over the academic year to cultivate community, connection and fellowship. As a reminder, this year’s council includes Brandon Olson (President/Seaver), Samantha Jones (Senior Vice President/CSOL), Mark Rafla (GSEP Vice President), Stephen Shields (SPP Vice President), and Arthur Gonzalez (PGBS Vice President). Feel free to reach-out to any of them with questions, suggestions, to volunteer or just to connect. 

  Monthly PeppVet Meeting 

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Thursday, February 16th, 6PM. This is always a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership team and other military-connected students to discuss topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan the semester ahead.  We hope you can join in the discussion.  Please RSVP for the zoom link.  

  PeppVet Hike

Join the PeppVet Student Organization as they host a hike to the Hollywood Sign overlook for some of the most beautiful views of the iconic sign and the Los Angeles skyline on Saturday, February 25th, 9AMRSVP by 20 Feb; participants will be provided with meet-up details and location. Please email if you have any questions or want to sign-up. 

  Funding for Study Abroad Opportunities

Thanks to recent funding received from the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades), we now have the ability to provide some additional financial support to veterans interested in study abroad opportunities. So, if you’re interested in studying abroad, we want to help get you there. For more information about Pepperdine’s international studies, how VA benefits can be utilized, and more, visit the IP website and contact for potential funding support. 

  Master Resume Bootcamp

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an informative session on the steps to create and manage your master resume on Tuesday, February 7th, at 1PM.  Your master resume is a document that lists all of your work experience, training, and achievements. While a targeted resume should only be 1 to 2 pages, your master resume can (and should) be much longer.  A master resume will save you time so you can apply for more positions.

  Employment Workshops for Military Spouses

Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses and Caregivers (TEAMS) is a series of Department of Labor (DOL) employment workshops that extend the Department’s Transition Assistance Program to assist military spouses and caregivers as they plan and prepare for their job search in pursuit of their employment goals.  All TEAMS workshops are instructor-led training, provided at a variety of times, to meet the needs of individuals stationed throughout the world.  TEAMS workshops are stand-alone training modules.You can take all of the workshops or just a few and they can be taken in any order that fits your availability and schedule.  Sign-up for an upcoming workshop today.

  Wellness Wednesday Financial Education

The VA in partnership with Prudential Financial, Outreach, Transition and Economic Development offers transitioning service members, veterans, spouses, their family members, and caregivers the opportunity to participate in the Wellness Wednesday Financial Educational series.  The series is comprised of two programs, 1) an online website portal which contains tools, tips, and insights of financial literacy information and resources available and, 2) the Wellness Wednesday Financial education series; offered the 3rd Wednesday of every month that focuses on a variety of topics such as: 1) purchasing a home; 2) paying for college; 3) planning for retirement; and 4) learning the building blocks of how to save, budget, and make a return on investments.  Visit their link to see information and sign-up for upcoming classes.

  Student Veteran Support Group

The weekly student veteran support group (SVSG) is available for all student veterans attending any of Pepperdine’s campuses or online programs. SVSG is led by a counselor from the Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP Clinical Psychology student veteran.  The sessions are held online every Friday at 1PM PST.  Feel free to join in anytime you feel like participating and connecting.  Please email to get the link or if you have any questions.  The Counseling Center offers a range of services, from in-person counseling to telehealth appointments, therapy groups & support groups.  Students can call us at 310.506.4210 or email to schedule an appointment and learn more about the services that are available.

  American Corporate Partners Webinars

In addition to providing career planning assistance through customized one-on-one mentorship opportunities with business leaders nationwide, American Corporate Partners (ACP) offers career events and industry discussions through their Webinar Wednesday events.  ACP’s aim is to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce.  Check out their events page to stay up to date and to RSVP! Past event recordings are also posted to review.

  Special Programs Summer Employment

The Office of Special Programs is seeking Pepperdine students for part-time summer jobs.  Traditional job compensation includes room & board (2 meals a day) on the Malibu campus and an hourly salary. Interested applicants must be able to commit to working from May 14th to August 4th. Summer office hours will be 7AM-10PM, 7 days a week, with multiple available shifts to cover all the hours. Duties include, but not limited to: Shuttling, making beds, sorting/washing linen, and at least one night on-call shift.  Applications are due by March 2nd.  You can apply on Handshake or contact for more information.

  Monthly VA Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month.  Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments.  If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information.  When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  Featured Student: Charlotte Michaels (GSEP)

featured student veteran charlotte michaels

Charlotte Michaels is originally from Buffalo, New York and is a 3rd year EDOL doctoral student for GSEP’s Organizational Leadership program. She volunteered to become a United States Marine and is also a Navy Veteran. She has 26 years’ experience in higher ed and organization development emerging technologies.
 
She is a former Navy Command Career Counselor and ambassador with The Navy Band. Her post military experience resides in Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Regulatory Affairs at Abbott Pharmaceuticals, Virtual Conferences at Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Organization Development for Frontier Corporation, and Standards Publications + Usability Studies at GS1HQ Princeton. She was the Director of Distance Learning at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Head MBA at Webster University Leiden, Netherlands.

Charlotte spent time as a corporate trainer for first responders with the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center in support of America’s Most Wanted. She also chaired a corporate fundraising campaign for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Rochester, New York raising $3.5M. She received her Master of Arts from Webster University, Master of Science at George Washington University in Systems Engineering, and her Bachelor of Sciences from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an Expert Marksman, has a farm for reforestation, writes articles for Princeton magazine, performs jazz, loves travel, chess, photography, and enjoys working on vintage BMWs. Her doctorate will help elevate C-Suite and their organizations to use applied systems development for deep learning models.

 

January 2023

  Military Appreciation Night @ Waves Basketball

You won’t want to miss the Pepperdine Military Appreciation Night at the basketball game on Thursday, January 26th, 7PM.  This will be a special night with free reserved section seating for PeppVets and our military-connected community (family/friends included) as we come together to cheer on the Waves and we’ll even have a friendly competition at halftime between some of our PeppVets.  You can get your free tickets today (click the 26 Jan game date & time and use the seat map to select your free Military Appreciation Night tickets in our section).  Please email if you have any questions and/or want to represent your service in the halftime shooting competition. Show up early to get your free PeppVet swag while it lasts! 

  PeppVet Hike to the Cross

Join the PeppVet Student Organization and the Office of the Chaplain office as they host a prayer and hike to the cross overlooking the Malibu campus and the SoCal coast on Tuesday, January 10th, 4PM.  No RSVP is required.  We’ll meet at the top of Baxter Drive on the Malibu campus to gather and start our journey up.  Please email if you have any questions

  PeppVet Welcome & Info Zoom Sessions

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, our School Certifying Officials, and the PeppVet Council for a welcome and informational Zoom session (your choice) on Tuesday, January 17th, 1230PM or Wednesday, January 18th, at 1230PM or 5PM.  We’ll discuss on-going initiatives, veteran support services, benefits, and highlight some upcoming events/activities planned this year.  We hope you'll be able to join us for one of the sessions.  Please let me know if you have any questions and RSVP for the Zoom link that you’re available to attend.

  Starting a Small Business Webinar

Join the California Transition Assistance Program (CalTAP) for the webinar on Thursday, January 19th, 10-11AM as they highlight benefits and services available to veterans and their family members interested in starting a Veteran-Owned Business.  The event will cover key strategies for starting a small business as a veteran. In partnership with CalTAP, various speakers will provide a wealth of information that can assist those of you who, along with your families, pursue small business opportunities.  Register today!

  Jobs at Cedars-Sinai Webinar

Join Veterans Affairs as we host a presentation by the Veteran Program Administrator at Cedars-Sinai on Thursday, January 19th, 12-1PM .  Since its beginning in 1902, Cedars-Sinai has evolved to meet the healthcare needs of one of the most diverse regions in the nation, continually setting new standards for quality and innovation in patient care, research, teaching and community service. Cedars-Sinai is widely known for its national leadership and because of their outstanding veteran hiring initiatives, they were named one of Military Times 2022 Best for Vets Employers! This informative session will cover some of the hundreds of jobs they currently have posted and future opportunities.  RSVP for the session or contact the Veteran Program Administrator directly for more information.

  Monthly PeppVet Meeting

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Friday, January 20th, 5PM.  This is always a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership team and other military-connected students to discuss topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan the semester ahead. We hope you can join in the discussion.  Please RSVP for the zoom link.

  Veteran Career Readiness Program

The Veteran Career Readiness Program offered by FourBlock is designed to equip transitioning service members and veterans with the tools they need to develop professional knowledge and build relationships necessary to successfully transition to meaningful civilian careers. They partner with top companies (Wells Fargo, Comcast, PwC, Blackstone, Boeing, etc.) from across the country to provide program participants with career transition support. The Career Readiness Program is offered twice a year (during each fall and spring academic semester) in major metropolitan cities across the country and also virtually, at no cost to veterans. The program is taught by Career Readiness Instructors and guest lecturers who are professionals and executives from leading companies. Each week program participants meet with employer representatives from different companies and industries to learn about corporate culture, develop and practice the technical competencies needed for an effective career search, and most importantly, gain access to both veteran and civilian employees with whom relationships can be built.  Find out more and apply today!

  Student Veteran Support Group

A weekly virtual (Zoom) student veteran support group (SVSG) is available again this semester for all student veterans attending any of Pepperdine’s campuses or online programs. SVSG is led by a counselor from the Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP Clinical Psychology student veteran. The sessions are held online every Friday at 1PM PST. Feel free to join in anytime you feel like participating and connecting. Please email to get the link or if you have any questions.

  Contact your School Certifying Official

The processing for Spring 2023 VA unit certifications have been submitted. As a reminder, it’s critical that you notify our school certifying officials (SCO) moving forward especially if any changes are made to your course schedule. Sara Turki and Randi Redman can both be reached using the group email: vabenefits@pepperdine.edu

  2023 Tillman Scholars Program

Applications for the 2023 class of Tillman Scholars are now open! Veterans, military service members and spouses may apply for the program empowering them with academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development opportunities, and a diverse/global community of high-performing mentors and peers through February 28th.  Take some time to check out this unique and completive program; the latest information on applying to be a 2023 Tillman Scholar is now available.

  Featured Student: Karina Rosas (SPP)

featured student karina rosas

Karina Rosas is a California native from Sylmar. She is a second-year full-time graduate student at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy where she is double specializing in American Politics, National Security and International Relations.
As a first-generation American, she was the first member of her family to join the United States armed forces. At age 19, she joined the Air Force and served as an Airborne Mission Systems Operator aboard the JSTARS aircraft. Karina accrued more than 1,000 crewmember flight hours and deployed twice in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel and Operation Inherent Resolve. After her active-duty service, she joined the California Air National Guard and loves the opportunity to mentor the junior ranks and help equip the next generation of warfighters.

In 2018, Karina returned to California. Soon after, she worked for the Department of the Navy as a civil servant while completing her undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership. In 2020, Karina was mobilized with the Air National Guard distributing food through the Ventura County areas and deployed for riot control.

This past summer, Karina had the distinct opportunity to intern in Israel for two months at the International Institute of Counterterrorism where she studied global terrorism threats. Most recently, she was one of four women to be selected as a Non-Profit Management Fellow by the Women’s Public Leadership Network and will learn how to prepare women for public office. When she is not working, Karina is a busy soccer mom that enjoys watching her son grow and develop with his soccer club team.

 

December 2022

  Military Appreciation Night @ Waves Basketball

Mark your calendars and get your tickets! Pepperdine will host a Military Appreciation Night at the Pepperdine Basketball game on Thursday, January 26th, 7 PM.  This will be a special night with free reserved section seating for PeppVets and our military-connected community (family/friends included) as we come together to cheer on the Waves and we’ll even have a friendly competition at halftime between some of our PeppVets.  You can get your free tickets today (click the 26 Jan game and use the seat map to select your free Military Appreciation Night tickets in our section).  Please email if you have any questions and/or want to represent your service in the halftime shooting competition.

  Monthly PeppVet Meeting

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Wednesday, December 7th, 5 PM. This is always a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership team and other military-connected students at Pepperdine’s five schools to discuss topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan the months ahead.  Please RSVP for the zoom link.

  Toys for Tots Event

Join the Malibu Navy League for their annual Toys for Tots community open house celebration and toy drive on Wednesday, December 7th, 5:30 to 7 PM.  The open house will be co-hosted by and at the First Bank Malibu (3822 Cross Creek Road, Suite 3850, Malibu CA). Feel free to stop by and bring a new unwrapped toy for this annual toy drive for children at Christmas time. No RSVP is required and dress code is casual.  Collections will continue at First Bank until December 15th when USMC personnel will pick-up the toys for distribution. Hope you can participate in this great military tradition of giving back to our community.

  Personalized Career Mentorship

Veterans and service members can receive civilian career planning assistance through customized one-on-one mentorship with business leaders nationwide with an American Corporate Partners (ACP) mentor.  ACP handpicks a mentor for you based on career interests and professional history. You and your mentor will create a tailored action plan for the mentorship and speak monthly to make progress on your goals, and ACP staff will help guide you through the mentorship experience to ensure success. Whether you are actively searching for a new career, newly employed, or looking for advice about how to be successful, ACP's customized program is designed to assist you on your path toward rewarding, meaningful employment.  Veterans and service can apply for mentorship today.  ACP also offers career events and industry discussions through their webinar events. Check out their events page to stay up to date and to RSVP.  Past event recordings are also posted for review.

  Counseling Service Options

There are numerous options for getting expert help and assistance when a friend, a family member, or you are in need.  The key is knowing your options and reaching out when needed.  Local Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active-duty service members (including National Guard and Reserve components), and their families. Readjustment counseling is offered to help transition from military to civilian life. Individual, group, marriage, and family counseling are offered in addition to referrals and connections with other VA and community services.  The VA website can help you find the nearest Vet Center. You can also check out other counseling and peer-support services available to you on our Veterans at Pepperdine resources page.  As a reminder, PeppVets can also make an appointment with the Pepperdine Counseling Center by emailing or calling the counselor 24-hour access line at (310) 506-4210.

  Student Veteran Support Group

As a reminder, a weekly virtual (Zoom) student veteran support group (SVSG) is available again this semester for all student veterans attending any of Pepperdine’s campuses or online programs.  SVSG is led by a counselor from the Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP Clinical Psychology student veteran.  The sessions are held online every Friday at 1PM PST. Feel free to join in anytime you feel like participating and connecting.  Please email to get the link or if you have any questions.

  VA Health & Benefits App

The new VA Health and Benefits mobile app provides a fast, secure, and on-demand access to the health care and benefits they’ve earned. You can use the mobile application to access VA services wherever and whenever needed. This includes access to health and benefits information including appointments, claims and appeals status, securely message VA health care teams, download critical VA letters and documents, access VA vaccine records, find a local VA facility, and provides quick and direct access to the VA Crisis Line.  Visit the VA website for more information.

  National Guard Birthday

On December 13th, 1636, the National Guard was established.  Today, the National Guard of the United States is a joint activity of the United States Department of Defense composed of reserve components of the Army and the Air Force. Happy birthday to the National Guard; the oldest component of the Armed Forces!

  Space Force Birthday

On December 20th, 2019, our first new armed service since 1947 was created and signed into law; the U.S. Space Force.  The Space Force defends our country and freedom to operate in space; keeping it secure, stable and accessible for military space power and new waves of innovation.  The Space Force turns 3 this year; happy birthday to our Guardians and the youngest component of the Armed Forces!

  Featured Student: Steve Kim (PGBS)

featured student Steve Kim

Steve Kim served in the Army from 2002 to 2011 in the Transportation Corps.  Steve has lived in the LA area for most of his life but spent some time in the Bay Area for a civilian employment opportunity as well as in various parts of the South and the Pacific Northwest during his time serving in the Army.

Steve is currently attending the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School working on his Master’s in Business Analytics and will be graduating this month.  After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in analytics/data science in the entertainment and media space.  Most of Steve’s spare time is spent with his family and shuttling kids from their various sports activities.  However, in his limited personal time, Steve is a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Congrats to Steve and to all of our graduating PeppVets!

 

November 2022

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

This month, we celebrate National Veterans and Military Families Month. We’re excited about the events (both virtual and in-person - listed below) that will occur this month to celebrate and support those that served and their families. We hope you’ll participate in activities you're interested in and available to attend. Have a wonderful and happy Veterans Day!

  Veterans Day Luncheon (Vets Week)

The big event!  Pepperdine will salute its veterans (students, staff, and faculty) at the annual Veterans Day lunch at the Brock House on Friday, November 11th, 12:30-2 PM. Invitation notices have been sent out, but please RSVP by November 2nd . Our guest speaker will be a wounded warrior with a great message of strength, resilience, and fellowship. Don’t forget to encourage your professors and staff personnel to attend this community-wide celebration of those that served and support.  

  Military Appreciation & Recruiting Event (Vets Week)

Join your PeppVet Council and Veteran Affairs team as we host a military appreciation and recruiting event on the Malibu campus (Mullin Town Square) on Monday, November 7th, 12-2 PM.  Members of the PeppVet Council and representatives from our local Army & Air Force ROTC detachments, Los Angeles Army Recruiting Company and the Navy Recruiting Command (Pt. Hueneme) will be here to answer questions and discuss potential career opportunities.  Come get your PeppVet coins and hats while we have them!

  LA Clippers Military Heroes Night (Vets Week)

Join your PeppVet Council and Veteran Affairs team at the LA Clippers Military Heroes Night on Monday, November 7th, 7:30 PM. Limited free tickets are available for this special night as the Clippers take on the Cavaliers and recognize military service members, veterans, and their families. Join us for free military hero hats, reserved PeppVet section, and Jumbotron shout-outs during the game.  Parking is not included, but please RSVP for tickets before they’re gone.

  PeppVet Hike to the Cross (Vets Week)

Join the PeppVet Student Organization and the Office of the Chaplain office as they host a prayer and hike to the cross overlooking the Malibu campus and the SoCal coast on Tuesday, November 8th, 4 PM. No RSVP is required. We’ll meet at the top of Baxter Drive on the Malibu campus to gather and start our journey up.

  PeppVet Beach Fun Walk/Run (Vets Week)

Join your PeppVet Student Organization and Veteran Affairs team for a 2-mile beach fun run (or walk) on Thursday, November 10th, 7 AM on Zuma Beach (near lifeguard tower #10). Parking is available right along the PCH or use the paid parking lot for Zuma.  Please RSVP by November 8th so we can get a good headcount. Follow-up details for the morning event will be provided to those who sign-up.  Come out and get some morning exercise with your fellow PeppVets!

  Light to Unite (Vets Week)

Pepperdine’s Phillips Theme (cross) Tower will be lit up on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11th.  Pepperdine is participating in a national Light to Unite initiative led by the National Flag Foundation and the Military Order of the Purple Heart to commemorate the 240th anniversary of our nation’s Purple Heart Medal and to celebrate Veterans Day.  Buildings across America, including One World Trade Center in New York City, will light up in purple and/or red, white, and blue on Veterans Day!

  Former National Security Advisor Lecture

Register today for a unique opportunity to explore the many dimensions of American policy and politics as the School of Public Policy hosts a wide-ranging conversation with one of the country's top diplomats, former National Security Advisor, Robert C. O'Brien, on Friday, November 11th, 6 PM.  With each passing day, the news seems to present us with another global "hotspot" - from Eastern Europe to the South Pacific to Sub-Saharan Africa. How do these challenges rank as issues Americans should be concerned about?  Are there others we should be considering? Register today for this intriguing discussion. Seating is limited.

  Connect to PeppVet Community Peers & Alumni

The "Pepperdine Veterans/Military-Connected Community" group was created in PeppConnect for you.  PeppConnect as an opt-in forum to help build connection, share information, and career and mentorship opportunities between military-affiliated students, alumni, faculty, and staff.  Please join the group (Veterans and Military Connected Community ) and feel free to post/share information, employment/internship opportunities, events, photos, etc.  Update your profile and mentoring settings if you’d like to be matched with another Wave. If you're not on PeppConnect yet, you'll need to log in and sign up first. 

  American Legion Gives to PeppVets

The American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) has recently dedicated another $25K to support veteran services at Pepperdine. Funds will be used for various initiatives including new student veteran stipend programs and to help support future study abroad opportunities.  Post 283 is excited about enduring activities and support for PeppVets and has even recently waived annual membership fees for enrolled students.  The renovation of their entire facility in the Pacific Palisades is almost complete and we’re already planning professional and social engagements with Pepperdine’s veterans, alumni, and their families.  The American Legion is simply a great way to connect with local veterans and help positively impact the communities around them. Visit the Post 283 website for more information and membership details.

  Student Veteran Support Group

As a reminder, a weekly virtual (Zoom) student veteran support group (SVSG) will be available again this semester for all student veterans attending any of Pepperdine’s campuses or online programs. SVSG is led by a counselor from the Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP Clinical Psychology student veteran. The sessions are held online every Friday at 1PM PST. Feel free to join in anytime you feel like participating and connecting.  Please email to get the link. or if you have any questions.

  Veteran Readiness and Employment Program

The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program helps veterans with service-connected disabilities and employment handicaps prepare for and find employment opportunities.  The program can be used to address and fund training and education needs. The VA has recently come out with a new VR&E website tool to better explain VR&E to program participants and initially prompt users with a few basic eligibility screening questions. If the individual appears to be eligible, the tool continues with the orientation of the VR&E program by presenting detailed information and short videos explaining VR&E’s tracks. At the end of the orientation, if you decide to apply, you'll be directed to VR&E’s How to Apply webpage to access the VR&E’s application.  For more information on VR&E (Chapter 31) program tracks, eligibility, and how to apply, visit the VA website.

  VA Monthly Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits will be required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month. Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments. Students who opted into text message enrollment verification will now receive enrollment verification texts from the number 44354. Getting texts via this short code means you’ll receive them faster and more consistently than ever. Since short-code senders are verified by mobile carriers, you can trust that it’s the VA contacting you. Please be on the lookout for messages from the new number and continue verifying your enrollment as usual. If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information. When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  Military Honor Cords at Commencements

All five schools have approved military honor cords at all Pepperdine commencement ceremonies. Pepperdine honors military-connected graduates who are military veterans, currently serving (active duty, National Guard, or Reservists), or Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets who will begin their military service upon graduation.  Each graduate will receive a commemorative red, white and blue honor cord to be worn at their commencement ceremony, signifying Pepperdine's gratitude for their service and sacrifice.  Each school has a POC that organizes their ceremonies and each has integrated the military honor cords into their processes.  Eligibility and cord requests are collected from the students via their school’s commencement prep actions once they begin.

  U.S. Marine Corps Birthday

November 10th, 2022 will mark the U.S. Marine Corps' 247th birthday (officially established in 1775). Happy birthday to those who served, or continue to serve, in the great United States Marine Corps. Semper Fidelis!

  Featured Student: Tamika Stallworth (CSOL)

features student - tamika

Tamika Stallworth is an Arizona Native. Immediately after high school, she went into the military and is a US Navy Veteran. As a part of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), the Department of Veterans Affairs assisted Tamika in obtaining a position as a contractor with the Arizona Department of Revenue, where she is now the Southern Regional Office Director and has been a proud public servant since 2003. Using her GI Bill®, Tamika earned her Associate of Science in Criminal
Justice from Remington College and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Kaplan University, graduating Kum Laude. She is currently a student at the Caruso School of Law pursuing a degree for her master's in Dispute Resolution. She is the mother of 5 and Glam-Mother of 2 princesses. Tamika was a foster parent with Black Family Services for eight years, Arizona Youth Football board member, Church of Christ at the Vineyard Youth director, Maricopa County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and part-time Licensing Specialist with Gwen's Advance Care LLC contracted with State of Arizona DES/DDD providing services for adult members of the community with developmental disabilities. She is also the full-time care provider for her developmentally disabled brother. Through her service, Tamika is a committed servant to the great state of Arizona and is dedicated to the unity and reconciliation of Arizona communities.

Tamika has been instrumental in further strengthening veterans' employment opportunities with the State of Arizona and was recently featured in the Arizona Governor's AZ Hires Vets campaign (Video link). Her recent promotions speak to her commitment to serving taxpayers and reflecting the agency’s ongoing mission of funding Arizona’s future through excellence in innovation, customer service, and continuous improvement. She was also nominated by her colleagues for the 2020 Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce for Public Sector Young Professional Athena Award.

Tamika is heavily involved in her church, Church of Christ at the Vineyard, as she mentors and volunteers to assist with programs. She serves as the personal assistant to the church leadership, sings in the choir, is the Hospitality Ministry Chair, and just recently added to the Communication Ministry to ensure Church Services continue online during this COVID-19 Crisis. She guides and mentors the youth at her church and is an honoree Senior in Training hosting and coordinating events and activities for the senior saints of the church. Her efforts epitomize servant leadership and as a youth director at her church, she positively influences youth by demonstrating Christian love through relationship building.

 

October 2022

  PeppVet Meet-Up & Hike Event

Join the PeppVet Student Organization as they host another meet-up and hike event on Saturday, October 8th, 9 AM. Connect with fellow PeppVets for a morning hike at the Piuma trailhead just off Las Virgenes Rd. For questions or to RSVP please contact the PeppVet student leads for this event. Follow-up details for the hike will be provided to those who sign-up.

  Evening of Honor

On behalf of The American Legion Ronald Reagan-Palisades Post 283 in coordination with the Military and Veterans Appreciation Trust (MVAT) Foundation and Heroes Linked, PeppVets are cordially invited to attend an Evening of Honor on Thursday, October 6th at 6 PM . The Evening of Honor brings the veteran community together through an open reception and Medal of Honor panel focused on business networking and mentoring. Reception is from 6-645PM and includes beverages and hors d'oeuvres. The 30-minute moderated Medal of Honor panel features recipients Clinton Romesha, James McCloughan, and Gary Littrell. MVAT Foundation Board vice-chair Bob Jerome will moderate the panel and ensuing Q&A. The event will be held at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel located in Brentwood. Parking is available at the hotel at no cost. This event is provided free to the veteran community courtesy of The American Legion Ronald Reagan-Palisades Post 283. To attend, simply RSVP by      4 Oct. This event is limited to 100 attendee

  Student Veteran Support Group

Starting back up this semester, a weekly virtual (Zoom) student veteran support group (SVSG) will be available for all student veterans attending any of Pepperdine’s campuses or online programs.  SVSG will be led by a counselor from the Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP Clinical Psychology student veteran.  The sessions will be held online every Friday at 1 PM PST.  Feel free to join in anytime you feel like participating and connecting. Please email to get the link or if you have any questions.

  Monthly Meeting for all PeppVets

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their monthly Zoom meeting on Thursday, October 20th, 5:30 PM.  This will be a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership team and other military-connected students at Pepperdine’s five schools to discuss topics of interest, upcoming events, and help plan the year ahead.  Please RSVP for the zoom link.

  American Legion to Host Veteran Social

Join fellow PeppVets and leadership from the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for a veteran-focused social at Rosenthal’s (18741 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu) on Friday, October 21st (5:30-7 PM). This will be a Post 283-sponsored and hosted event. The American Legion is excited about enduring activities and engagement with Pepperdine veterans and have even recently waived annual membership fees for enrolled students. The American Legion is a great way to connect with fellow veterans and their families and help positively impact the communities around them.  Please RSVP by 17 Oct for this event.

  Veterans Day Lunch – Save the Date!

Mark your calendars, Pepperdine will salute its veterans (students, staff, faculty) and supporters at a luncheon at the Brock House (Malibu Campus) on Friday, November 11th, 12:30-2 PM. Invitation notices with event details and RSVP deadline will be send out later this month.

  Employer Session with USAA

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an employer session with USAA on Tuesday, October 4th, at 1 PM. As a member of the military community, there's a good chance you or someone you know is a USAA member. During this session you will hear from Roy Lopez, Diversity & Military Talent Advisor at USAA, about their corporate culture, job opportunities and benefits in areas such as banking, insurance, auditing, customer service, compliance, IT and risk management. 

  Seasonal Hiring Opportunities

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they discuss seasonal job opportunities on Thursday, October 6th, at 1 PM. Are you interested in learning about seasonal positions that may allow some great work from home and other in-the-community opportunities? This session will cover part-time jobs that are great for veterans, spouses, and caregivers; and how these jobs provide extra money, career growth and potential transition to regular employment - many of them from the comfort of home. Y ou can register for the session today.

  NBCUniversal Veterans Event

The NBCUniversal and invites you to join their first-ever Veterans Day event in L.A., in person event on the Universal Studios Lot on Tuesday, October 18th, 9 AM-4 PM. Designed to honor, educate, entertain, and inspire veterans, this unique immersive experience includes a behind-the-scenes look at career opportunities across NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships. Veteran staff members will share their journey of connecting, belonging, and thriving as veterans at NBCU. RSVP NLT October 3rd at their event link.

  Small Business Workshop

Join Veterans Affairs as we host a presentation by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Los Angeles District office on Thursday, October 20th, 12:30-1:30 PM.  Have you ever thought about starting a business? Do you know how to access funding and veteran-focused support for your business?  Find out how the SBA can help your small business start, grow, expand and recover. Resources are available that provide no-cost consulting and training for small businesses throughout the community.  Register for the zoom link today.

  Your Career-Your Choice Webinar

Join Veteran Affairs as we host author and Air Force veteran, Mark Brenner, for an informative civilian career search discussion on Thursday, October 27th, 12:30-1:30 PM.  Mark has spent over 40 years working in staffing and human resources and will present “real-world strategies” helpful for your transition and the entire job-search process. Since the hiring process has dramatically changed in the past 20 years, the webinar will include Mark’s real-time guide to assist veterans in their search to identify the right career choice for them. Mark is the founder of Veterans Career Xchange and recently authored a book titled IT’S YOUR CAREER – IT’S YOUR CHOICE.  RSVP by Oct 24th to receive the Zoom link.

  Hire Our Heroes (HOH) Fellowship

Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) offers fellowships for transitioning service members, Veterans, and military spouses wanting to work in the tech/cloud-based industry.  The HOH Salesforce Fellowship Program, in partnership with Salesforce, has placed more than 200 Salesforce-certified professionals with 100% remote, paid 12-week fellowships across 55 companies. Through this program, fellows gain hands-on work experience leading to employment opportunities. The program currently has a 95% job offer rate and average salary of $88,500 for fellows. The next application deadline is October 13th, 2022.  For more information about becoming a Salesforce fellow through Hiring Our Heroes and to apply, visit their website.

  Local Student Intern Jobs

The Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) in Los Angeles County is now hiring student-interns for Digital Marketing Specialists (DMS). DMS help managing multiple social media accounts and monitoring online presence and these positions can earn up to $1600/mo. tax free working part-time in a virtual environment. Any veteran, spouse or military dependent currently enrolled in a VA educational benefits program is eligible.  Email your resume or questions today.

  Resources for Women Veterans

The Women Veterans Call Center is your resource for information about a variety of services and benefits that you have earned and deserve through your military service.  This service is free and confidential, and you can call as many times as you need. All calls are answered by women, some of whom are veterans themselves.  Call or text the Women Veterans Call Center at 855-VA-WOMEN (855-829-6636) or use the online chat feature. Women Veterans Call Center representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 10 PM ET, and Saturday, 8AM to 630PM ET, excluding federal holidays. If you contact the Women Veterans Call Center after hours and leave a message, you will receive a return call the next day the call center is open.

  Legislative Fellowship

2 weeks remain to apply for the 2023 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship. The program provides up to 10 exemplary student veterans the opportunity to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill and in their communities. Your background, experience, and values can make a big difference in the world around you. Application deadline is October 15th.  For more information and to apply visit their website.

  U.S. Navy's 247th Birthday

October 13th, 2022 will mark the Navy's 247th birthday (officially established in 1775). Happy birthday to those who served, or continue to serve, in our United States Navy!

  Featured Student: Blaine White (GSEP)

featured student blaine white

Colonel Blaine A White, US Army (USA), has served honorably for over 30+ years in the US Army on either active, guard, or reserve status. His service began in the 1980s, supporting counterdrug offensive operations in Honduras, as well as multiple combat service support deployments in the Middle East for Operations' Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. COL White is also a graduate of the very selective US Army War College in Carlisle Barrack, PA. He is currently an active member of the US Army Reserves as a Senior Training Officer for the 1st Brigade/91st Training Division in Orange County, CA, and is planning to retire in 2023.

Blaine is near completion of his doctoral studies at Pepperdine's Educational Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (EDOL) program, where he is conducting his dissertation research on knowledge management within the US military. He currently works as a Logistics Analyst for a defense contractor in support of Space Force in Los Angeles. Blaine resides in Corona, CA.

 

September 2022

  PeppVet Council/Student Org President Message

Fellow veterans and military-connected students, on behalf of the PeppVet Council and Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO), we are thrilled to welcome all new and returning veteran community members! My name is Samantha Jones (CSOL), and I am honored to serve as the PeppVet President this year. Throughout my four years at Pepperdine, the unwavering support I’ve seen for our veteran community never ceases to amaze and inspire me. As president, I aim to continue this legacy of support and advocacy for student and mil-connected veterans. Please join us on Peppervine and PeppConnect to stay informed about upcoming events, community news, and veteran benefits information.

The PeppVet Council and PVSO are planning many exciting initiatives this year, including community outreach events and veteran networking opportunities. I hope to see you all at upcoming events:

7/8 Sep (12:30/5 PM start times) – Welcome back Zoom (#3 total) sessions
10 Sep (11:15 AM) – Waves of Flag – First Flag Ceremony (Alumni Park)
10 Sep (12:30-2PM) – PeppVet In-Person Welcome (Zuma Beach; Tower 10)
11 Sep (7 AM-2 PM) – Ride to the Flags (Pt. Mugu & Malibu Bluffs Park) Events
12 Sep (11 AM) – 9/11 Commemorative Ceremony (Alumni Park)
21 Sep (6 PM) – PVSO Zoom Meeting for all PeppVets
7-11 Nov – Veterans Week (multiple events to be announced including our Vet Day lunch)

One of Pepperdine’s greatest aspects is the community; our veteran network is an extension of this. The veteran and military-connected community totals over 550 students, university-wide. I hope you find strength in our numbers and never hesitate to reach out for support when you need it. Our community is here to empower each other to persevere through hard times and celebrate each other’s successes. We don’t leave each other behind.

Without further ado, I’m excited to introduce the remaining members of the PeppVet Council for the academic year 2022-2023. You can expect an email from your school’s representative within the next couple of weeks. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, or recommendations.


Brandon Olson, Senior Vice President, Seaver College
Stephen Shield, Vice President, SPP
Mark Rafla, Vice President, GSEP
Taylor Conn, Vice President, PGBS
Andrew Snively, Veteran Legal Society President, CSOL


I am looking forward to seeing you all on campus. If you need to contact me directly, please feel free to email me; we can always use more help and suggestions.  Lastly, thank you for your time and for being a part of this community dedicated to service.

  PeppVet Welcome & Info Zoom Sessions

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, and the PeppVet Council for a welcome and informational Zoom session (your choice) on Wednesday, September 7th, 12:30 or 5 PM or Thursday, September 8th, at 12:30 PM. We’ll discuss on-going initiatives, veteran support services, benefits, and highlight some upcoming events/activities planned this year. We hope you'll be able to join us for one of the sessions. Please let me know if you have any questions and RSVP for the Zoom link that you’re available to attend.

  Waves of Flags – First Flag Ceremony

Join the PeppVet Council and Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization as we participate in the first flag event on Saturday, September 10th, 11:15 AM. Meet-up with fellow PeppVets on Alumni Park (near the tower) as we connect with university leadership, alumni, fellow veterans and students to commemorate the installation of the first flags for this year’s Waves of Flags. Also, if you’d like to participate in the Waves of Flag installation immediately following the ceremony, please contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs to sign-up. You can also participate in the flag lowering day on Friday, September 23d, if desired.

  PeppVet Beach Welcome & Social

Join your Veteran Affairs team and PeppVet Council/PVSO as we host a family-friendly welcome and social on Saturday, September 10th, 12:30-2 PM on Zuma Beach (near lifeguard tower #10). This will be a great event to meet and socialize with fellow PeppVets and make some new connections moving into the new academic year. An epic sand volleyball match could break out! Food and drink will be provided. Parking is available right along the PCH or use the paid parking lot for Zuma. Please RSVP by September 7th so we can get a good headcount. Follow-up details for the social will be provided to those who sign-up.

  Ride to the Flags – Volunteers Needed!

As a student, Pepperdine alumnus Ryan Sawtelle (’08) looked for ways to raise funds for his envisioned waves of flags 9/11 memorial on campus. Today, the display consists of 2,977 flags paying tribute to those we lost on 9/11. That visionary project took on a life of its own as well as Ryan's White Heart Foundation which now incorporates Pepperdine’s Waves of Flags into one of the organization’s annual fundraisers, Ride to the Flags (motorcycle charity ride from Pt. Mugu to Malibu Bluffs Park), to benefit wounded warriors and coincides with the 9/11 display on Alumni Park.

For this year’s Ride to the Flags, the honoree is former EOD2 (Navy), and wounded warrior, Jordan Stevenson. Funds raised will go towards retrofitting Jordan's bathroom for access and building a physical rehab area in his home. More info and video is available on their website. The ride from Pt. Mugu south to Malibu Bluffs Park on September 11th will be a special one and will require volunteers. If you would like to volunteer to help support the event, please contact the PeppVet leads looking for volunteers on the afternoon of Saturday, September 10th (3-6 PM) at Malibu Bluffs Park and/or at Pt. Mugu on Sunday, September 11th (6:30-10 AM). Please volunteer by September 8th so we have a good headcount and can provide you the details.
 

  Ride to the Flags – Music & Food

After the ride from Pt. Mugu to Malibu Bluffs Park earlier in the day, the White Heart Foundation will host a social for all participants, community partners, and PeppVets (21 years and older) at the Malibu Bluffs Park on Sunday, September 11th, 12-2 PM.  Come out and enjoy the festivities as we honor veterans, first responders, and all those that support those who serve.

  Pepperdine 9/11 Commemorative Ceremony

All PeppVets are cordially invited to attend a September 11th Commemorative Ceremony on Monday, September 12th, 11-11:30 AM on Alumni Park. Military members and veterans are encouraged to wear their uniforms.  A small reception will immediately follow the event.  Please register to attend the event.

  PVSO Zoom Meeting for all PeppVets

The Pepperdine Veteran Student Organization (PVSO) will host their first meeting of the academic year on Zoom on Wednesday, September 21st, 6 PM. This will be a great opportunity to connect with the PVSO leadership and other military-connected students at Pepperdine to discuss and help plan the year ahead.  Please RSVP for the zoom link.

  Stay in Contact with the School Certifying Officials

As an important reminder, if you’re utilizing VA benefits at Pepperdine, it’s critical that you keep in contact with your school certifying official (SCO) throughout your journey here at Pepperdine.  Keeping your SCO aware of concerns with VA payments, certification, financial aid, and changes to your enrollment are important to make sure your benefits are not impacted and you stay on course to graduate.  Sara Turki and Randi Redman are here for any questions you may have and can both be reached using a new group email: vabenefits@pepperdine.edu

Also, please remember to diligently read through all correspondence the VA sends you as well as periodically review and track your current benefits status on the eBenefits website (this includes keeping your mailing address and bank account information updated).

  VA Enrollment Verification

Post-9/11 GI Bill® Students who opted into text message enrollment verification will now receive enrollment verification texts from the number 44354. Getting texts via this short code means you’ll receive them faster and more consistently than ever. Since short-code senders are verified by mobile carriers, you can trust that it’s the VA contacting you. Please be on the lookout for messages from the new number and continue verifying your enrollment as usual. As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month. Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments. If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information. When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  Legislative Fellowship

To help empower tomorrow’s leaders, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Student Veterans of America (SVA) will once again host the 2023 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship, providing up to 10 exemplary student veterans the opportunity to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill and in their communities. Your background, experience, and values can make a big difference in the world around you. The application deadline is October 15th.  For more information and to apply visit their website.

  Virtual Employment Workshops

As an extension to the Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program, The Off-Base Transition Training (OBTT) pilot program is an opportunity earned through service for veterans, members serving in the National Guard and Reserve, and their spouses to take control of their career through workshops to help meet their employment goals. Workshops cover job search techniques, resume essentials, interview skills, federal hiring, LinkedIn, employment rights, and more.  You can register for an upcoming workshop today.

  Veteran Services Orientation

The Employment Development Department & the America's Job Center of California in Oxnard invites you to attend an orientation of services to veterans provided by experts in veterans issues including employment, transition services, VA and medical benefits on Tuesday, September 13th, 10-11:30 AM. Military & veteran-related service providers will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits. The event will be held at 2901 N. Ventura Road, Third Floor, Oxnard, CA. For additional information, contact the Employment Development Department Veteran Representative at (805) 288-8400.

  U.S. Air Force 75th Birthday

September 18th will mark the U.S. Air Force’s 75th Birthday. The Air Force was officially created in 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act that year. It is now the second youngest branch of the Armed Forces with the creation of the U.S. Space Force back in 2019. Happy Birthday to those who served or continue to serve and protect America in the air, space, and cyberspace.

  POW/MIA Day

On Friday, September 16th we’ll observe National POW/MIA Recognition Day. National POW/MIA Recognition Day was established in 1979 through a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter. Since then, each subsequent president has issued an annual proclamation commemorating the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. A national-level ceremony is held on every National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Traditionally held at the Pentagon, it features members from each branch of military service and participation from high-ranking officials. In addition to the national-level ceremony, observances are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, and veterans' facilities.

  Featured Student: Abby Butikofer (SPP)

featured student abby butikofer

Abby Butikofer is a second-year graduate student at the School of Public Policy. She was raised in an active duty Air Force family and grew up around the country and the world, in places including Washington, DC, Georgia, South Korea, and Brazil, just to name a few. She got her bachelor’s degree at Utah State University where she double majored in Applied Mathematics and Spanish. Growing up in the Air Force instilled in her a love of travel and adventure, and in college Abby was able to study and work abroad multiple times in Peru, Spain, and Ghana.

Abby married her sweetheart Bryan in 2019 and they moved to Santa Monica in 2021 for her to begin graduate school at Pepperdine. Abby believes strongly that good people who stand up for what is right need to be involved in the political process, which is why she is so passionate about public policy. In her free time, Abby likes to visit national parks, bake cookies, and do yoga.

 

August 2022

  PeppVet Meet-Up & Hike Event

Join the Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization as they host a meet-up and hike event on Saturday, August 13th, 9AM.  Meet-up with fellow PeppVets for a morning hike in Malibu Creek State Park just off Las Virgenes Rd. We are also considering starting a PeppVet “Group Me” to advertise and host future events like this, so let us know if you’re interested in participating in future meet-up/fitness activities even if you’re not available for this event and continue to follow us on Peppervine to connect to the PeppVet student club serving all five schools.  For questions or to RSVP please contact the PeppVet lead for this event.  Follow-up details for the hike will be provided to those who sign-up.

  Resume Tips & Techniques Webinar

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an informative session on the steps to making the most out of your resume on Tuesday, August 2nd, at 1PM.  PVA's Career Program representatives will discuss resume formats and how tailoring them and showing your value in order to get the interview and land the job. 

  Veteran Job Fair & Expo

The Ventura County Veteran Services Office and the Ventura County Office of Education will host a free job and VA benefits expo on Saturday, August 20th, 10AM-2PM.  Military & Veteran-related service providers will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits while hosting the area’s largest veteran job fair. The event will be held at 5100 Adolfo Road, Camarillo CA.  Visit their website or contact for more information.

  Tell Us Your PeppVet Story

The PeppVet Council and your Veteran Affairs team want to help tell your service story and the impact you will continue to make in world around you. We’d love to share your PeppVet story, event and/or accomplishment with our military community or highlight your journey as a featured student in an upcoming newsletter.  If interested, please contact the Director of Student Veteran Affairs.

  New Veterans Crisis Line Number

Last month the VA initiated a shorter crisis line number to make it easier for veterans and those who care about them to reach lifesaving support without having to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care.  Simply dial 988 then Press 1 to connect with caring, qualified responders for 24/7 crisis support.  Over the past 2 years, the VA has added hundreds of crisis line employees and responder staff, with still more hiring underway, and has strengthened their call center infrastructure. So now it’s easier to connect and get help when needed.

  U.S. Coast Guard 232nd Birthday

August 4th will mark the U.S. Coast Guard’s 232nd birthday. The Coast Guard’s official history began on 4 August 1790 when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten vessels, referred to as “cutters,” to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling.  Happy birthday to those who served or continue to serve in the United States Coast Guard.

  Featured Student: Sean Davis (CSOL Alum)

featured student sean davis

Sean spent his youth years growing up in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah.  At age 19, he spent 2 years volunteering as a missionary in the Kansas City area.  During his time in Kansas City, Sean took an interest in preventing crime and serving those who were affected by it.  Upon return from his mission, he attended Southern Utah University and studied criminal justice.  It was a year before completing his degree that he enlisted in the Marine Corps.

In keeping with his interests and goals, he spent 5 years in the Marine Corps as military police.  During those years, he completed security missions for submarines undergoing refueling/defueling operations and provided security at a base in Jordan to facilitate Operation Eager Lion in 2015.  He wrapped up his time performing traditional law enforcement functions in Okinawa.  Sean completed his undergraduate degree via online classes while in the Marine Corps and decided that he wanted to go to law school.  While in Okinawa, he prepared for and took the Law School Admission Test.  The day after getting his discharge from the military, he toured Pepperdine Law School and immediately felt at home.

At law school, Sean had the opportunity to be on the Pepperdine Law Review editorial staff, wrote an article that was published in the Lincoln Memorial University Law Review, and had internships with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Leonard Wood.  Sean graduated this past May, and after passing the bar, will work as a prosecutor at the County Attorney's Office for Gallatin County, in Bozeman MT.

 

July 2022

  PeppVet Summer Q&A Session

Join the Director of Student Veteran Affairs, Eric Leshinsky, for a Zoom session to help answer general questions that you may have regarding VA benefits, services, opportunities, and whatever else might be on your mind.  Do you want to get more involved or have a suggestion for future military-connected activities and events?  If so, please join our session on Friday, July 22nd, 12 PM. RSVP today for the Zoom link.

  Northrop Grumman Recruiting Event

The Northrop Grumman military team will host an informational session for veterans transitioning to civilian life on Wednesday, July 20th, 1 PM. Learn more about Northrop Grumman (NG) and all their internal programs that support veterans and opportunities in their workforce. Contact fellow PeppVet and NG recruiter, Cameron Markowitz, to RSVP or visit their website for more information.

  Veteran Job Fair & Expo

Mark your calendar! The Ventura County Veteran Services Office and the Ventura County Office of Education will host a free job and VA benefits expo on Saturday, August 20th, 10 AM-2 PM.  Military & Veteran-related service providers will be on hand to help with federal and state benefits while hosting the area’s largest veteran job fair. The event will be held at 5100 Adolfo Road, Camarillo CA.  Visit their website or contact for more information.

  Yellow Ribbon Program Expands

Starting August 1, 2022, active-duty service members who qualify at the Post-9/11 GI Bill® 100% level (already served on active duty for at least 36 months) will become eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.  Also, active-duty spouses using the transferred benefits of an active-duty service member who meets these qualifications will also be eligible for the first time.  Contact the VA Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify benefits and obtain an updated Certificate of Eligibility.

  Counseling Services Near You

Local Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active-duty service members (including National Guard and Reserve components), and their families. Readjustment counseling is offered to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage, and family counseling are offered in addition to referrals and connections with other VA or community benefits and services. Vet Center counselors and outreach staff, many of whom are veterans themselves, are experienced and prepared to discuss the tragedies of war, loss, grief, and transition after trauma.  The VA website can help you find the nearest Vet Center. As a reminder, PeppVets can make an appointment with the Pepperdine Counseling Center by emailing or calling the counselor 24-hour access line at (310) 506-4210.

  Career Mentor Program for Post-9/11 Veterans

Veterans can receive civilian career planning assistance through customized one-on-one mentorship with business leaders nationwide (typically one hour/month for one year).  Since 2008, more than 17k veterans have found success with an American Corporate Partners (ACP) mentor. ACP mentors are volunteers from one of 85+ corporate partners, including: Deloitte, Disney/ESPN, Lockheed Martin, Major League Baseball, USAA, PepsiCo, and Wells Fargo.  Mentors seek to help by equipping mentees with resume and interview skills; searching for meaningful employment; building a professional network; and refining career goals.  Service members and veterans can apply for mentorship today. 

  Update Address and Contact Info Online

Have you relocated, currently receiving benefits or prescriptions, or enrolled in VA health care and want to know how to change your address?  You can update your personal contact information anytime, anywhere through VA.gov.  Log in or create a free VA.gov account today.

  Featured Student: Brandon Olson (Seaver)

featured student brandon olson

Brandon Olson is originally from Temple City, California. Growing up, Brandon played tons of baseball until heading off to Community College. At 19, he volunteered for the Army and completed his basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. From there, he attended airborne school and served as an enlisted Army paratrooper in Vicenza, Italy. Brandon served in Operation Atlantic Resolve 2016 while working with Eastern European allies to deter Russian aggression. After being honorably discharged, he worked several odd jobs such as a house cleaner, sushi waiter, waffle cook and warehouse worker. Just as he was about to begin electrician training, God told him to go back to school. Brandon earned an associate degree at Citrus Community College raising his overall GPA from 1.9 to a 3.3.

After Community College, Brandon decided to live the van life for eight months traveling across the United States and back. During his journey, Brandon applied to colleges and he landed at Pepperdine. He’s currently majoring in English with hopes of becoming a professor.

Some of his hobbies include basketball, camping, hiking, reading, writing, playing ping pong, working out, and spending time with friends. Brandon will serve as the Senior Vice President of the Pepperdine Student Veteran and Military-Connected Student Organization and Veteran Council this coming academic year. Brandon hopes to leave Pepperdine even better for future veterans and their families.

 

June 2022

  2022-2023 PeppVet Council and Student Org

We’re pleased to announce that the new PeppVet Council and leadership for the Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student (PeppVet) Organization for the upcoming academic year is almost fully formed. They will build on initiatives from last year and continue to help foster a military-connected community at Pepperdine where everyone feels valued, supported, challenged, and prepared for God's plan for their lives. These leaders serve as valuable points of contact, advocates, and ambassadors to fellow students and develop an annual action plan on a variety of initiatives over the academic year to cultivate community, connection and fellowship.  This year’s council include Samantha Jones (President/CSOL), Brandon Olson (Senior Vice President/Seaver), Mark Rafla (GSEP Vice President), Stephen Shields (SPP Vice President), and Taylor Conn (PGBS Vice President).  Peppervine is a great way to connect to the PeppVet leaders serving all five schools.

  Aerospace & Defense Career Fair

An Aerospace and Defense career fair will be held on Thursday, June 2nd, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM by the Los Angeles U.S.VETS Career Network. Participating agencies currently include Boeing, Epirus, General Atomics, General Dynamics, L3Harris, and Raytheon. It’s highly recommended you have an updated resume available to share as you discover and discuss upcoming career opportunities.  RSVP today!

  Career Search Webinar

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an informative session on the steps to making the most out of your career search on Thursday, June 2nd, at 1 PM.  PVA's Career Program representatives will discuss tips and the various tools available that can help you select and find your dream job. 

  Veteran Services Orientation

The Employment Development Department (EDD) and America’s Job Center of California invites veterans to attend an open house on Tuesday, June 14th, 10-11:30 AM.  Experts will provide an orientation of services including employment and training programs, counseling and rehabilitation to get back to work and civilian life, and information on federal loans, medical, and other benefits. The orientation will be held at 2901 N. Ventura Road (Third Floor), Oxnard CA. You can reach an EDD veteran representative at (805) 288-8400.

  Google VetNet Career Week

The Google’s Veterans Network will host the Google VetNet Career Week 2022, a virtual three-day event from June 21st-23rd offering veterans, military spouses, and service members the tools, support, and advice needed to advance their careers.  The 3-day program will include panels providing an overview of specific job functions and industries found in corporate society today, exclusive fireside chats between executive leaders from Google and partner companies, free skill building sessions, and the opportunity for a 1:1 personal resume review with a Googler.  The Registration deadline is today, 1 June!

  Yellow Ribbon Program FAQs

If you’re using the Post-9/11 GI-Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program at Pepperdine, you can find updated frequently asked questions and answers to many of the general issues & processes on our Veterans at Pepperdine website - FAQs.  We hope you’ll continue to use our website to find information, resources (both on- and off-campus), career and mentoring opportunities, VA resources, counseling services, and how to connect throughout your Pepperdine journey.

  VA Enrollment Verification

Post-9/11 GI Bill® Students who opted into text message enrollment verification will now receive enrollment verification texts from the number 44354.  Getting texts via this short code means you’ll receive them faster and more consistently than ever.  Since short-code senders are verified by mobile carriers, you can trust that it’s the VA contacting you. Please be on the lookout for messages from the new number and continue verifying your enrollment as usual.  As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month. Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments. If you do not receive a text or email on the last day of the month to verify that month’s enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information.  When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage.

  Make The Connection

Make the Connection is an online resource designed to connect veterans, family members, friend and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.  Watch veterans and their family members share real stories of strength and recovery, find useful self-help information, mental health resources, and explore ways to show your support.  Visit their website for more details and information.

  Featured Student: David Schirmer (PGBS)
featured student David Schirmer

David Schirmer is from Jacksonville Florida. He played hockey and baseball in high school, then went to school at Auburn University. He joined the Navy and served from 2011-2021. He was stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia where he deployed as a tactical watch supervisor on the Iwo Jima in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Yemen. He then transferred to Point Mugu, California, where he finished out his ten-year career as a facility watch supervisor for the Point Mugu airfield.

After separating he started his MBA program at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School with a concentration in Business Analytics. In addition, he is becoming a peer support mentor at LMU to help veterans recover from PTSD and trauma.

On David’s off time, he spends it with his wife, Elizabeth, and their Frenchie, Zoey. David loves all music and goes to any festival or concert he can.

 

May 2022

  Vote for PeppVet President

We’re now in the process of identifying the student veteran that will lead next year’s Pepperdine-wide Veteran and Military-Connected Student (PeppVet) Organization.  The PeppVet org and PeppVet council will take-on new initiatives that will help support our entire military-connected community. The election of 2022/23 PeppVet President will take place via online Ballot on Peppervine. In order to vote, PeppVet members must officially join the PeppVet (SVA Chapter) on Peppervine.  The ballot will run from 1-13 May; members need to simply head to the PeppVet homepage on Peppervine or follow this link to the PeppVet Presidential Ballot.

  Starting Your Own Business

Join PVA’s Veterans Career Program as they host an informative session on the general process and steps to open a business on Tuesday, May 3rd, at 1PM.  Starting a business involves planning, key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities.  PVA's Veterans Career Program Director, Charles McCaffrey, will cover a step-by-step approach to starting a small business, and the many free community and veteran specific resources available.  Also, the with PVA’s Veterans Career Live, you can now access career information and register for a free seminar with a Veterans Career Program employment expert or browse recorded seminars on a range of career topics for veterans.

  Google Networking Hour

U.S.VETS will be hosting a networking session with Google on Thursday, May 5th, 10-11AM. The networking hour, for veterans and military spouses, will cover opportunities in technology, software engineering, recruiting, finance, and sales. Contact for more information or register to attend this online event.

  Aerospace & Defense Career Fair

Save the date! An Aerospace and Defense career fair will be held on Thursday, June 2nd, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM by the Los Angeles U.S.VETS Career Network. Participating agencies currently include Boeing, Epirus, General Atomics, General Dynamics, L3Harris, and Raytheon.  It’s recommended you have an updated resume available to share as you discover and discuss upcoming career opportunities.  RSVP today!

  Build your Pepperdine Network

The Pepperdine Veterans/Military-Connected Community group was created in PeppConnect for you to connect with other military-affiliated students, alumni, faculty, and staff.  PeppConnect as an opt-in forum to help build connection, share information, and career and mentorship opportunities. Join the new group (Veterans and Military Connected Community) and feel free to post/share information, employment/internship opportunities, events, photos, etc. Update your profile and mentoring settings if you’d like to be matched with another Wave.  If you're not on PeppConnect yet, you'll need to log in and sign up first.  Peppervine is also a great way to connect to the PeppVet student organization serving all five schools.

  RallyPoint Community

RallyPoint is a social network made by, for, and about service members and veterans. From recruitment to retirement and beyond, RallyPoint helps provide tools to help connect and find jobs.  You can network with other veterans in a secure environment, contact old friends, and explore career and peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities.  Check out their website for more information.

  Free American Legion Membership

Our local American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) has recently waived annual membership fees for enrolled students.  Post 283 is in the process of completely renovating their facility in the Pacific Palisades and is excited about starting new activities and engagement with Pepperdine veterans, alumni, and their families.  The American Legion is a great way to connect with fellow veterans and help positively support and impact the communities around us.  Visit the Post 283 website for more information.

  Military Appreciation Month

May is a special month for those in and out of the military. Not only do we pause on Memorial Day (May 30th) to remember the sacrifice of those who gave all, but May also holds several other anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 6th) and Armed Forces Day (May 21st).  The third Saturday in May is always set aside to celebrate and pay tribute to the men and women who currently serve in the U.S. armed forces.  To all those in the Pepperdine community who currently serve and support those that currently do, we thank you for your dedication to our country and each other.

  Missed a Newsletter?

If you’re looking for information you may have seen in a previous newsletter and need to find it, look no further than your on-line resource – our Veterans at Pepperdine website.  In addition to being a great reference for resources, previous news and event information can be found at the bottom of the main page.  And remember, if you have any content and/or resource you would recommend adding to our site, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

  Featured Student: Josiah Anderson (Seaver)

featured student josiah

Josiah Anderson just graduated from Pepperdine, majoring in Business Administration. He was also an Air Force ROTC cadet who will be commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant shortly after graduation. He was born and raised in Topanga, CA and loves surfing, snowboarding, backpacking, and anything outdoorsy.

Before college, Josiah competed for an AFROTC scholarship and committed to attending Loyola Marymount's program
while a Pepperdine Student. During his freshman year, he began work at the Office of Financial Assistance, visited the Air Force Academy for its skydiving program, and toured several military bases. During his sophomore year, he took a break from ROTC to study abroad in London for the fall semester, visiting over ten countries. During COVID, he helped adapt the ROTC training program to fit a virtual environment. After his junior year, he went to Field Training at Camp Shelby, MS and spent over 2 weeks conducting mission training and leadership exercises with cadets from all over the country.

Josiah was selected to attend pilot training in 2023 at Laughlin AFB, TX and is going to be an Air Force Gold Bar Recruiter in Encino, CA while waiting for his training to begin. He highly recommends ROTC as a route for anyone considering military service. He has been able to pay for college, obtain his dream job, and still have a normal college experience all through AFROTC. If you have any questions about the AFROTC program or the Air Force in general, feel free to reach out to him at josiahmiguelanderson@gmail.com.

Congrats, Josiah, on the start of your military service that will inspire others to follow.

 

April 2022

  Military Honor Cords at Commencements

We’re happy to announce all five schools have approved the use of military honor cords at future Pepperdine commencement ceremonies. Beginning this year, Pepperdine will honor military-connected graduates who are military veterans, currently serving (active duty, National Guard, or Reservists), or Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets who will begin their military service upon graduation.  Each graduate will receive a commemorative red, white and blue honor cord to be worn at their commencement ceremony, signifying Pepperdine's gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

  Next PeppVet Council

We’re still in the process of looking for a handful of student veterans at each of the schools to sit on next year’s Pepperdine Veteran (PeppVet) Council.  It’s a great opportunity to lead and develop new initiatives that will help support our entire military-connected community; we're looking for members that have a passion to collaborate, support, and foster belonging across our community.  If you would like to be considered to sit on the Council next year, please email us for more information.

  American Legion Hosts Veteran Social

Join fellow PeppVets and leadership from the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) for a veteran-focused social at Rosenthal’s (18741 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu) on Friday, April 8th (5:30-7 PM). This will be a Post 283-sponsored event.  The American Legion is excited about starting enduring activities and engagement with Pepperdine veterans and have even recently waived membership fees for enrolled students. The American Legion is a great way to connect with fellow veterans and their families and help positively impact the communities around them.  Please RSVP by April 6th for this event.

  VA GI Bill® Summit

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Education Service will be hosting a first-ever GI Bill® Summit virtually on Thursday, April 14th, 9-10 AM.  This will be your opportunity to engage directly with VA leadership to get your education benefits questions answered and hear the latest updates about how they are trying to modernize the GI Bill® experience.  You can submit your education benefits questions in advance and RSVP for the event today.

  Interview with Confidence

U.S. VETS of Los Angeles Career Development Initiative will host a webinar to help prepare yourself for the job interviews ahead on Thursday, April 7th, 9-10 AM. This webinar will take you through the process step-by-step on how prepare and will include special guest Lauren Ogburn, Veteran Recruiter, at Raytheon Technologies.  Contact for more information and to RSVP.

  Resume Writing Workshop

Join an informative webinar with PVA’s Veterans Career Program on Thursday, April 7th, at 1 PM as they cover the key steps and attributes of good resume writing.  Whether starting from scratch or just needing to update your current resume, this workshop will help you learn how to create and edit a resume to entice employers and land job interviews.  Register today.

  LAUSD Veteran Networking Hour

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles will be hosting a networking hour with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for any veteran who is interested in learning about careers (certificated and non-certificated) within education.  The virtual networking event will take place on Monday, April 11th, 4 PM. The LAUSD Recruiting team will provide a great opportunity for veterans to network directly.  Contact for more information and to RSVP.

  Small Business Workshop

Join Veterans Affairs as we host a presentation by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Wednesday, April 20th, 12:30-1:30 PM.  Have you ever thought about starting a business? Do you know how to access funding and veteran-focused support for your business?  Find out how the SBA can help your small business start, grow, expand and recover. Resources are available that provide no-cost consulting and training for small businesses throughout the community.  Register today.

  Your Career-Your Choice Webinar

Join Veteran Affairs as we host author and Air Force veteran, Mark Brenner, for an informative civilian career search discussion on Friday, April 22nd, 12:30-1:30 PM.  Mark has spent over 40 years working in staffing and human resources and will present “real-world strategies” helpful for your transition and the entire job-search process.  Since the hiring process has dramatically changed in the past 20 years, the webinar will include Mark’s real-time guide to assist veterans in their search to identify the right career choice for them.  Mark is the founder of Veterans Career Xchange and recently authored a book titled IT’S YOUR CAREER – IT’S YOUR CHOICE. RSVP by April 19th to receive the Zoom link.

  Google Networking Hour

Save the date! U.S.VETS will host a networking session with Google on Thursday, May 5th, 10-11 AM.  The networking hour, for veterans and military spouses, will cover opportunities in technology, software engineering, recruiting, finance, and sales.  Contact for more information or register to attend this online event.

  Featured Student: Heroes of the Game!

hero of the game photo

Congratulations to our recent PeppVets being recognized for their military service during LA Kings games as the Hero of the Game. Thurgood Wynn (CSOL), who served in the Navy from 2014 to 2019, was recognized at the game on February 28th. Whitney Bussell (Seaver), who also served in the Navy for 5 years and was on the PeppVet Council this year, will be recognized during LA Kings’ Pepperdine Night at the upcoming game on April 7th.

Thurgood will graduate in May with a Juris Doctor and Masters in Dispute Resolution. Whitney will graduate this month with a degree in Journalism.

Congrats to you both and to all our graduating heroes!

 

March 2022

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message
This semester is quickly moving and I’m very excited about the ongoing initiatives ahead and for next Fall.  Speaking of next Fall, we’re looking for a handful of student veterans at each of the schools to sit on next year’s Pepperdine Veteran (PeppVet) Council.  It’s a great opportunity to lead and develop new initiatives that help support our entire military-connected community.  If you would like to be considered to sit on the Council next year, please email us for more information.  This year’s PeppVet Council has been awesome, I’m so thankful for their ongoing work and outreach this past year.  Thanks again to your Council representatives for all their efforts: Jay Weisbecker (PeppVet President), Samantha Jones (PeppVet Senior Vice President), Albert Lai (PGBS Vice President), Jon Smedley (PGBS), Jimmy Kim (PGBS), Eduardo Castillo (PGBS), Joe Castro (CSOL/Veteran Legal Society President), Patrick Resetar (GSEP Vice President), Whitney Bussell (Seaver Vice President), and William Wilson (SPP Vice President). 
  PeppVet Event at Reagan Presidential Library

We’re pleased to announce a special end of semester event in April at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.   Join Pepperdine Veteran Affairs and fellow PeppVets as we host a unique lunch and tour for Pepperdine military-connected students, their families, and guests on Saturday, April 9th .  The event will begin with a private BBQ Buffet under Air Force One (1230-130PM) followed by self-guided and/or private tours of the museum. This will be a great event to socialize with fellow PeppVets, congratulate those that are graduating, and tour the amazing Reagan Library.  This is a Pepperdine Veteran Affairs sponsored event and seating is limited, so please RSVP no later than March 24th.

  Spring Virtual Career Fair

The Spring 2022 virtual career fair for veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses will be held on Tuesday, March 15th, 9 AM-12 Noon by the Los Angeles Career Development Initiative.  The event will be hosted on Zoom with breakout rooms for all participating employers. Over 22 employers are expected to include ABM Industries, Alliance Environmental Group, Amazon, Cal Fire, Esri, FEMA, Geico, iBASEt, KPMG International, Pepsi, and U.S. Department of State.  To RSVP or for more info contact.

  PeppVets & Coffee

Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy some good conversation and coffee with fellow veterans and other Pepperdine students with military connections on Friday, March 18th, 12-1:30 PM.  Look for our table in the Mullin Town Square near Starbucks on the Malibu campus.  Whether you can only drop by for a few minutes or want to hang around for a while, we hope you take some time out to connect.

  Jobs and Internships!

Join your Veteran Affairs team and U.S.VETS (Patriotic Hall Los Angeles) for an informational session for Pepperdine military-connected students on Wednesday, March 23rd, 12:30-1:30 PM.  This is a great opportunity to learn how the U.S.VETS Career Development Initiative team can help you search for jobs and internships!  They can also help create and refine your resume, conduct mock interviews, source internships, increase networking opportunities, and focus the job search ahead.  Please RSVP by March 18th to receive the Zoom link.

  ViacomCBS Networking Hour

Join an informative workshop with Erik Avila from ViacomCBS and U.S.VETS on Tuesday, March 29th, from 12-1 PM as they cover career options for veterans and spouses at ViacomCBS.  This is an opportunity for you to meet and greet with their recruiting team, ask questions and cover important information to be successful in the entertainment industry.  Contact for more information or register to attend this online event.

  Pepperdine’s PeppVet Website

As a reminder, our Veterans at Pepperdine website provides valuable information and resources for Pepperdine’s veterans and military-connected students.  We hope you will use the site to find resources (both on- and off-campus), career and mentoring opportunities, VA resources, counseling services, and how to connect throughout your Pepperdine journey. Users will be able to search for the site using Pepperdine's homepage and a link has also been added under Student Life in the homepage menu.  The site is at https://www.pepperdine.edu/veterans.

  Veteran Readiness and Employment Program

The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program helps veterans with service-connected disabilities and employment handicaps prepare for and find employment opportunities.  The program can be used to address and fund training and education needs. Join an informative webinar offered by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) PVA’s Veterans Career Program on Tuesday, March 8th, at 1 PM as they cover how to apply and be successful using the VR&E program.  Register for the PVA session today. For more information on VR&E (Chapter 31) program tracks, eligibility, and how to apply, visit the VA website.

  VA Monthly Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits will be required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month.  Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments.  The VA is encouraging students to sign up for text message option. All impacted students with a US mobile phone number on file with the VA will receive an opt-in text. Students who do not have a mobile phone number on file or opt out of text verification will be automatically enrolled into email verification. The official VA text (or email) to verify enrollment should be received on the last day of each month.  If you did not receive a text or email on the last day of the month (31 January) to verify January enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information.  When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information. More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage

  Veterans Support Group Workshop

The Student Veterans Support Group in partnership with the Counseling Center will host two workshops via Zoom this semester on topics that have been identified as areas of interest. In March, the workshop’s topic will be “Identifying, Owning, and Shaping Your Skills/Strengths from Your Time in Service” and will be hosted on Thursday, March 31st, 12-1 PM . The only way to truly take the good forward with you is to identify it, pick it up, and put it in your tool belt. Learn how to identify, own, and shape your previous experiences and apply it to the next chapter in your life. This workshop will contain a short presentation and a skills/strengths exercise followed by an open discussion among the group.  To RSVP or for more information contact.

  “Let’s Talk” Sessions

The Counseling Center is offering personal discussion sessions dedicated for veterans and military-connected students.  Let's Talk provides easy access (mostly over Zoom) to informal, brief, and individual consultations with a counselor.   These casual and confidential sessions can help you access support, explore resources, and gain different information and perspective.  Sessions are free and will be offered on a first come first served basis. Sessions will be available every Friday at 11-11:30AM & 11:30-12PM (30 minutes each).  Please contact for more information or to sign up for a session.

  Veteran Family Wellbeing Center

The UCLA/VA Veteran Family Wellbeing Center (VFWC) helps veterans and their families throughout the state of California learn techniques that are designed to improve communication, problem solving, emotional regulation, and other important relational skills essential for building resiliency.  They offer services and workshops to couples, parents, entire families, and individuals.  Services are free and offered virtually or in person on the West Los Angeles VA campus.  They can also offer free rides to and from appointments within Los Angeles County. Visit the VFWC website for more information or contact for referrals.

  Connect to PeppVet Community Peers & Alumni

The "Pepperdine Veterans/Military-Connected Community" group was created in PeppConnect for you.  PeppConnect as an opt-in forum to help build connection, share information, and career and mentorship opportunities between military-affiliated students, alumni, faculty, and staff.  Join the new group (Veterans and Military Connected Community ) and feel free to post/share information, employment/internship opportunities, events, photos, etc.  Update your profile and mentoring settings if you’d like to be matched with another Wave.  If you're not on PeppConnect yet, you'll need to log in and sign up first.  Peppervine is also a great way to connect to the PeppVet student club serving all five schools.

  Featured Student: Isaac Torres (Seaver)

 

Isaac Torres is a former US Marine Sergeant who served for five years (2014-2019) as a military policeman and was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. He was born in Riverside, California, but raised in Baja California, Mexico.

Isaac was a patrol supervisor and instructed a team of 30 military and civilian police officers in specific police officer tasks and techniques. Ensured police officers handled investigations,
interrogations, evidence collection, scene security, and other general police responsibilities according to department guidelines and regulations. After his service, he became an undergraduate at Pepperdine in Fall 2019. He is now a senior and will be graduating with his Bachelor of Arts degree in integrated marketing communication (IMC) in December 2022.

Isaac is currently studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "I am having a great time in Argentina," Isaac said, "and I am glad I took advantage of this cultural learning experience. I want to encourage other Pepperdine veteran students to take advantage of this life-changing opportunity that studying abroad offers."

Through our monthly PeppVet Newsletter, Isaac found out that study abroad funding support was available for veterans. "This contribution," Isaac said, "from the local American Legion Post will help me in covering the extra cost of studying abroad. Because of their generosity, I am traveling and living in a new country for a semester financially stress-free, which is incredible and thrilling."

When Isaac returns from studying abroad, he will begin his summer internship with Amazon. "If anyone wants to talk," Isaac said, "about internships/job interviews with Amazon or about studying abroad, please feel free to contact me."

 

February 2022

  School Certifying Official Change

We are currently down to one school certifying official (SCO) at Pepperdine: Sara Turki.  Until another SCO can be brought on board, it's important that you keep Sara aware of any concern with VA payments, certifications, and/or changes in your enrollment hours to make sure your benefits are not impacted.  For initial questions or issues regarding your Student Account (SA), recommend you first contact the respective school SA Office for the latest account information and assistance.

  Valentines for Vets

Join PeppVets and fellow students in writing valentine well wishes to local veterans on Friday, February 11th, 10 AM-1:30 PM.  Look for our table in the Mullin Town Square on the Malibu campus. We hope you stop by and pen a special note to someone who served. 

  PeppVets & Coffee

Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy some good conversation and coffee with fellow veterans and other Pepperdine students with military connections on Friday, February 11th, 12-1:30 PM, near Starbucks in the Mullin Town Square (Malibu campus).  Whether you can only drop by for a few minutes or want to hang around for a while, we hope you take some time out to connect.

  PeppVet Family Day at the Ballpark 

On Saturday, February 19th, 12-3PM, Veteran Affairs and the PeppVet Council will host an in-person get-together for local PeppVets and their families at the Pepperdine baseball game against Villanova (game starts at 1PM).  We plan to tailgate prior to the game for some fellowship and refreshments.  Food and admission will be provided for family members (students are free with their Pepperdine ID); please RSVP as soon as possible as seats may be limited. Further details will be provided during the week of the game to those who RSVP.

  Vet2Peer Career Fair

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles will host a virtual career fair for Social Service, Non-Profit, and Peer Support job seekers on Thursday, February 3rd, 11 AM-1 PM.  Participating employers currently include Community Veteran Justice Project, Department of Veteran’s Affairs (West LA VA Campus, Voluntary Services & Direct Hire Opportunities), New Directions for Veterans (West LA VA Campus), St. Joseph Center, Veteran Peer Access Network, and U.S.VETS Long Beach.  Contact for more information and to RSVP.   

  CA State Parks Career Webinar 

Join the CA Parks Recruitment Team as they cover the various career opportunities with CA State Parks on Friday, February 4th, 10-11 AM.  The recruitment team will review the hiring process steps as well as the various career positions available.  Join the event at the webinar link or contact for more information. 

  Spring Virtual Career Fair

Mark your calendars for the Spring 2022 virtual career fair for veterans and transitioning service members and spouses to be held on Tuesday, March 15th, 9 AM-Noon by the Los Angeles Career Development Initiative.  Participating employers currently include ABM Industries, Alliance Environmental Group, Amazon, Cal Fire, Esri, Geico, iBASEt, KPMG International, and U.S. Department of State.  To RSVP and for more info contact.   

  VA Monthly Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits will be required to verify their enrollment with the VA at the end of each month.    Failure to verify for 2 consecutive months will impact Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments.  The VA is encouraging students to sign up for text message option.   All impacted students with a US mobile phone number on file with the VA will receive an opt-in text.  Students who do not have a mobile phone number on file or opt out of text verification will be automatically enrolled into email verification.  The official VA text (or email) to verify enrollment should be received on the last day of each month.  If you did not receive a text or email on the last day of the month (31 January) to verify January enrollment, you will need to call the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to verify enrollment and contact information.  When contacting the ECC, they will need your social security number to access your account and information.  More info can be found at the VA’s Enrollment Verification Webpage

  Veterans Support Group Workshop

The Student Veterans Support Group in partnership with the Counseling Center will host two workshops via Zoom this semester on topics that have been identified as areas of interest.  In February, the workshop’s topic will be “Purpose in Career and Life” and will be hosted on Thursday, February 24th, 12-1 PM. Purpose starts with understanding your personal values. So come explore and identify your personal values and better understand how they are or are not influencing your life and career.  The workshop will contain a short presentation and a values exercise followed by an open discussion among the group.  To RSVP or for more information contact

  “Let’s Talk” Sessions 

The Counseling Center is offering personal discussion sessions dedicated for veterans and military-connected students.  Let's Talk provides easy access (mostly over Zoom) to informal, brief, and individual consultations with a counselor.  These casual and confidential sessions can help you access support, explore resources, and gain different information and perspective. Sessions are free and will be offered on a first come first served basis.   Sessions will be available every Friday at 11-11:30AM & 11:30-12PM (30 minutes each).  Please contact for more information or to sign up for a session.

  Veterans Technology Education Courses

If you want to gain computer experience to start or advance your career in the high-tech industry, find out if you’re eligible for the VA’s Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program that matches you with a leading training provider to help you develop high-tech skills.  You can get training in one of these high-demand areas: Computer software computer programming, data processing, information science, and media applications.  VET TEC is a 5-year pilot program and won’t count against GI Bill® entitlement and you need only one day of unexpired GI Bill® benefits to participate.  Visit the VA site for more program eligibility info and to apply.

  American Corporate Partners Webinars

In addition to providing career planning assistance through customized one-on-one mentorship opportunities with business leaders nationwide, American Corporate Partners (ACP) now offers career events and industry discussions through their Webinar Wednesday events. ACP’s aim is to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce.  Check out their events page to stay up to date and to RSVP!  Past event recordings are also posted to review.

  Featured Student: John Jadovitz (Seaver)

featured student john jadovitz

John Jadovitz is originally from Palmdale, California.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2016 and served for five years as a medical laboratory specialist, spending most of that time with the Army Public Health Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. There, John tested air, paint, and drinking water samples from military installations for heavy metals, in order to ensure their safety.  He also worked part-time as a medical laboratory technician at an urgent care center from 2019 to 2021. 

John is now working towards his B.S. in Sports Medicine at Seaver College with the goal of becoming a Physician Assistant.  He lives in Woodland Hills with his wife, Allison.  In his free time, John enjoys watching movies, playing board games, and spending time outdoors.

  PeppVets Attend NatCon 2022

Pepperdine veterans at NatCon 2022

 

    

Last month, Pepperdine Veteran Affairs sponsored four PeppVets (David Schirmer, Albert Lai, Whitney Bussell, and Jay Weisbecker) to attend the 2022 Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference (NatCon) in Orlando (Disney’s Coronado Springs).  This year was a special year for NatCon after the previous year of “remote” conferences; and the venue also did not disappoint.  The event was three days of informative break-out sessions, workshops, and network building that will be applied here on campus to improve the military-connected community experience. The whole point of SVA and PeppVets is to help build a better sense of community among military-connected students and to find creative ways to improve and support the experience. Part of that is understanding and leveraging the opportunities out there for our community; then connecting and building upon those opportunities. Thanks to NatCon, the PeppVet leaders are also now linked in with the other SVA chaptered schools in the surrounding area to plan and coordinate future co-host events and activities. NatCon continues to be an amazing opportunity for building skills and networking with like-minded individuals; we’re already looking forward to the next one!  Contact for more information on NatCon.

 

January 2022

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. We’re so excited for 2022 at Pepperdine and looking forward to some great activities.  As we start a new year, please remember the veteran services team and PeppVet Council are here for you anytime, so please let us know when you have any need or concern that we might be able to assist.  We’re really looking forward to meeting more of you in person and hosting special events this year.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or want to get involved in our programs and outreach. Have a great and blessed new year!

  New “Let’s Talk” Sessions

This semester the Counseling Center will offer personal discussion sessions dedicated for veterans and military-connected students. Let's Talk provides easy access (mostly over Zoom) to informal, brief, and individual consultations with a counselor.  These casual and confidential sessions can help you access support, explore resources, and gain different information and perspective. Sessions are free and will be offered on a first come first served basis.  Sessions will be available every Friday (starting January 14th) at 11-11:30AM & 11:30-12PM (30 minutes each).  Please contact for more information or to sign up for a session.

  Optimizing LinkedIn Webinar 

U.S. VETS of Los Angeles Career Development Initiative will host a webinar to help build and optimize your LinkedIn profile on Thursday, January 6th, 9-10AM.  This webinar will take you through the process step-by-step on how to build a LinkedIn page and ways to optimize it for maximum networking opportunities.  Contact for more information and to RSVP. 

  Starting Your Own Business Webinar

Join an informative webinar with PVA’s Veterans Career Program on Tuesday, January 18th, at 1PM as they cover the key planning steps, financial decisions, and legal activities necessary when starting a business. The Veterans Career Program Associate Director, Charles McCaffrey, will provide step-by-step approach to starting a small business and the many free community & veteran specific resources available.  Register today.

  Funding for Study Abroad Opportunities

Thanks to recent funding received from the American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades), we now have the ability to provide some financial support to veterans interested in study abroad opportunities.  So, if you’re interested in studying abroad, we want to help get you there.  For more information about Pepperdine’s international studies, how VA benefits can be utilized, and more, visit the IP website and contact for potential funding support. 

  Vet2Peer Career Fair 

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles will host a virtual career fair for Social, Veteran, and Human Services job seekers on Thursday, February 3rd, 11AM-1 PM.  Participating employers currently include Community Veteran Justice Project, Department of Veteran’s Affairs (West LA VA Campus, Voluntary Services & Direct Hire Opportunities), New Directions for Veterans (West LA VA Campus), St. Joseph Center, Veteran Peer Access Network, and U.S.VETS Long Beach.  Contact for more information and to RSVP.  

  Contacting your School Certifying Official

As a reminder, it’s important that you keep in contact with your school certifying official (SCO) throughout your journey here at Pepperdine. Keeping your SCO aware of concerns with VA payments, certifications, and changes in your enrollment hours is important to make sure your benefits are not impacted. For students at GSEP, SPP, and CSOL, your SCO is Lucas Saucedo and for PGBS, your SCO is Sara Turki.  For Seaver students, you can contact either SCO for assistance. 

  2022 Tillman Scholars Program

Applications for the 2022 Tillman Scholars Program will open February 1, 2022.  Veterans and military spouses may apply for the program starting February 1 through February 28.  Take some time to check out this unique and competitive program; the latest information on applying to be a 2022 Tillman Scholar is now available.

  Featured Student: Philip William Sheppard (PGBS)

featured student phillip sheppard

Phillip served in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 1989.  Upon witnessing his father serve in the Marines from 1942 to 1963, Phillip felt compelled to follow in his footsteps. While involved in advanced individual training as a student first sergeant, Phillip was frequently named Soldier of the Week, Soldier of the Month, and Soldier of the Quarter.   Prior to transferring to Germany to work a Staff Office (S1) position in a helicopter and transportation company, he joined the Defense Finance Accounting Service, where he worked alongside a component of the Pentagon in conjunction with the National Crime Information Center. 

After leaving the Army, Phillip was recruited to work as a special agent with the United States Department of Defense, conducting background investigations for individuals requiring security clearances, and later served briefly at two other federal agencies.

With more than 30 years of experience working as a senior executive at software technology companies, Phillip applied the skills he learned as a military specialist to embrace leadership roles in corporate settings.  Currently enrolled in the PGBS presidents and key executives MBA program, Phillip (who has appeared twice on the CBS television series Survivor and is the author of the novels: The Specialist, The Legend of Things Past, and The Russian Job) notes that Pepperdine is preparing him for his professional future by providing the additional leadership skill required to serve as an executive producer in the film industry.