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

Monthly Newsletters

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. You can register for the session today.

  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.  You can register for the session today.

  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.  You can register for the session today.

  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. You can register for the session today.  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.

December 2021

  Translating Your Military Skill Set

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles Career Development Initiative along with special guest, Alex Noguera, from Raytheon Technologies will host a resume and interviewing tips session for veterans and transitioning service members. This is a great chance to talk directly to a military talent acquisition liaison and find valuable ways to translate your military experiences to civilian employment opportunities on Thursday, December 2nd, 11 AM-12 PM.  Contact for more information and to RSVP.

  Mentorship Opportunities

Veterans and military members (and spouses) can setup free 1-hour mentoring phone calls with successful professionals.  Veterati allows you to choose your own mentors and as many as you like; their average mentee has 4 mentors (some have 25+ mentors). You'll have unlimited and free access to thousands of volunteer mentors including CEOs, recruiters, and entrepreneurs. Also, Post-9/11 veterans can receive civilian career planning assistance through customized one-on-one mentorship with business leaders nationwide (typically one hour per month for one year) through 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 can help equip mentees with resume and interview skills; searching for meaningful employment; building a professional network; and refining career goals.  Feel free to apply for ACP mentorship.

  Vet Center Service and Support
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 and active 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.  Use this web link to find the Vet Center nearest to you.
  Office of Community Belonging Survey
This semester, the Office for Community Belonging (OCB) is inviting students to participate in a short survey to help discover strengths upon which Pepperdine can build to create a more authentic community of belonging.  After these inputs, the OCB will assemble data and echo it back to students to gain their input on envisioning programs and initiatives they would like to see enacted. The ultimate goal is an OCB Strategic Plan to be completed in summer 2022. Visit the OCB website for more information.
  American Legion Post 283 Gives to PeppVets
The American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) recently donated 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. Thank you Post 283!
  VA Monthly Enrollment Verification

As a reminder, beginning with terms starting after December 17th, 2021 (i.e., Spring 2022), 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 their Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA).

The VA is encouraging students to sign up for text message verification. This will provide students a simple and convenient verification option and ensure they receive MHA uninterrupted. After December 17, 2021, all impacted students with a US mobile phone number on file will receive an opt-in text as their next enrollment period approaches. Students who do not have a mobile phone number on file with the VA will not be able to use text verification. They will be automatically enrolled into email verification. Recommend contacting the Education Call Center (ECC) to ensure your correct email and cell phone is in the system. The ECC can be reached by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551) between 7AM-6PM CT (Monday-Friday).

  National Guard Birthday
On December 13, 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 United States Army and the United States Air Force. Happy birthday to the Army and Air National Guard; the oldest component of the Armed Forces.
  Space Force Birthday
On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law legislation creating the first new armed service since 1947, the U.S. Space Force. The direct antecedent of the Space Force, Air Force Space Command, was formed on 1 September 1982 with responsibility for space warfare operations. Happy birthday to the youngest component of the Armed Forces.
  Featured Student: Carlos Hidalgo (PGBS)

featured student Carlos Hidalgo

Carlos Hidalgo is originally from Hollywood, California. He served as a corporal from 1999-2003 in the Marine Corps as a Legal Clerk in Camp Pendleton, CA, and a Pay Chief for the Central Personnel Administration Center on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan.

After serving, Carlos spent the next 11 years working for several companies such as The Home Depot, Verizon Wireless, Wells Fargo, and various security companies. For the past six years, Carlos has worked in a combination for the Los Angeles County Superior Courts and the Los Angeles County as a Consumer & Business Affairs Representative with the Department of Consumer & Business Affairs Office.

Carlos currently lives in Azusa, California, with his wife and kids, and is in his 3rd trimester with the Graziadio BSM program and plans to obtain his MBA next.  When not working or at school, Carlos enjoys fishing, camping, and attends baseball & hockey games with his family.

November 2021

  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 in November to support and celebrate those that served and our families. We hope you will mark your calendars and participate in activities you're interested in and available to attend. Have a wonderful and happy Veterans Day!

  Virtual Career Fair
The next virtual career fair will be held on Thursday, November 4th, 9-12 AM by the Los Angeles Career Development Initiative. Participating employers currently include Boeing, Braun, BTAS Inc., Cedars Sinai, FedEx, Geico, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Tecolote Research, and Unite Us. It is recommended you have a resume available for review and editing.  You will also have an opportunity to participate in mock interviews.   
  In-Person Greater LA Job Fair
U.S.VETS has worked with RecruitMilitary to help registration for the in-person Greater Los Angeles Veterans Job Fair on Thursday, November 4th, 11 AM-3 PM at SoFi Stadium (Inglewood CA). Over 30 exhibitors are currently scheduled to attend and the event is free for veterans, military spouses, and active military.  Check out the registration link to sign-up or for more information.
  Classrooms to Careers Webinar (Vets Week)
Join your Veteran Affairs team, GSEP Career Services, Alumni Affairs, and a panel of distinguished alumni for an informational career and professional development discussion for our Pepperdine military-connected community on Monday, November 8th, 12-1 PM. This is a great opportunity to hear from alumni veterans who successfully transitioned to civilian careers and learn what career resources Pepperdine offers to support the military-connected community.
  Barracks to the Boardroom Webinar (Vets Week)
Join your Veteran Affairs team, PGBS Career Services, PeppVet Council, and alumni for an interactive discussion about taking military leadership experience from the barracks to the business world and beyond!   A number of current students and alums who served our country will share their career experiences with our community.  This virtual event for Pepperdine military-connected students will be held on Wednesday, November 10th, 12-1 PM. Please register or contact for more information.
  Veterans Day Lunch – 11 Nov (Vets Week)
Pepperdine will salute its veterans (students, staff, and faculty) at a luncheon at the Brock house on November 11th. Invitation notices have been sent out; please RSVP by November 4th.
  Guest Speaker – VADM (Ret) Thomas Jr. (Vets Week)
Join your Veteran Affairs team, PeppVet Council, and Pepperdine Libraries as we host Vice Admiral (Ret) Robert L. Thomas Jr. at Payson Library (Surfboard Room) on Friday, November 12th, 12:30-1:30 PM.  VADM Thomas served in the U.S. Military for 38 years and is now a Professor of Practice at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy.  He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and holds a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from the National War College.
  "Take the Hill" Fun Walk/Run (Vets Week)
Join your PeppVet Council and Veteran Affairs team for a 2-mile run (or walk) from Alumni Park to Heroes Garden on Saturday, November 13, 10 AM.  We'll meet at Alumni Park in the morning, fuel up on water, coffee, and donuts and take the hill. This will be a great opportunity to meet other military-connected students as we get some exercise and enjoy the view.  Shuttles will be running from the start and finish locations throughout the event. 
  Yoga Session (Vets Week)
Join your Veteran Services team for a yoga session being held at Westlake Yoga Co on Sunday, November 14, 10:30 AM.  This will be a special class open to Pepperdine's military-connected students and great way to connect with others and experience the full benefits of yoga.  Space is limited and will be offered on a first come first serve basis.
  VA To Require Monthly Enrollment Verification

Beginning with terms starting after December 17th, 2021 (i.e., Spring 2022), 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 their Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA).

The VA is encouraging students to sign up for text message verification. This will provide students a simple and convenient verification option and ensure they receive MHA uninterrupted.  After December 17, 2021, all impacted students with a US mobile phone number on file will receive an opt-in text as their next enrollment period approaches. Students who do not have a mobile phone number on file with the VA will not be able to use text verification.  They will be automatically enrolled into email verification. Recommend contacting the Education Call Center (ECC) to ensure your correct email and cell phone is in the system.  The ECC can be reached by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551) between 7AM-6PM CT (Monday-Friday).

  Childcare Assistance Stipend Program

The Foundation for Women Warriors' childcare assistance program provides stipends to women veterans and active-duty women for daycare (children ages 0-5), camp assistance (summer, winter, and spring) for 1st through 6th grade, as well as distance learning, learning pods, and hybrid learning.

This program allows working or student veteran mothers to maintain employment and pursue their educational goals while offsetting the cost of childcare.  Stipends are paid directly to licensed care providers of the veteran's choice. For more information, eligibility, and to apply, visit their website.

  VA Welcome Kit and Benefits
Whether you're a new veteran or have been one for many years now, the VA Welcome Kit can help guide you to the benefits and services you've earned. The guide can help you understand your eligibility and allows you explore how the VA can support you both now and in the future.
  U.S. Marine Corps Birthday
November 10th, 2021 will mark the U.S. Marine Corps' 246th 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: Patrick Resetar (GSEP)

Patrick Resetar featured student

Patrick Resetar is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania. He served as an Army Infantry Officer from 2011-2015, mostly out of Fort Wainwright, AK with a brief deployment to Afghanistan.  He has served as a Stryker Platoon Leader, Mortar Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and a Battalion S4 (logistics).

After leaving active duty, Patrick moved to New York City to work in finance and met his wife.  He spent the next
five years working across a variety of industries from financial services to retail, mostly focusing on finance/business analytical problem-solving in operations.

Patrick is currently a PeppVet Council member (GSEP VP) this academic year and co-leads the Student Veteran Support Group (SVSG). He is enrolled in the Master's in Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy program. Patrick is passionate about mental health and welcomes anyone to reach out and connect.  He currently lives in Pasadena with his best friend and wife, Lauren.

October 2021

  Military-Connected Women's Group

The new military-connected women's group will now meet monthly (first Monday of every month) starting in October. The group's continuing goal is to help build community by enabling PeppVet women (as well as spouses) to connect and engage. Please email Christine Deeter if you have any questions or would like to RSVP for the upcoming meeting on October 4th at 7PM.

  Networking Hour with Amazon

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles Career Development Initiative team will host a networking hour with recruiters from Amazon as they discuss employment opportunities for Area and Operations Manager positions. This is a great chance to talk directly to a military recruiter from Amazon on Monday, October 11th, 11 AM-12PM. Contact for more information and to RSVP.

  Veteran Peer Access Network Info Webinar
Join your Veteran Affairs team and representatives from the Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) for an informational session for Pepperdine military-connected students on Wednesday, October 27th, 12:30-1:30 PM . This is a great opportunity to learn about VPAN and how this new 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 by October 25th to receive the Zoom link.
  International Programs - Study Abroad!
The Veterans Affairs team and the International Programs (IP) office are here to help our student veterans and military-connected students take advantage of the life-changing opportunities that studying abroad affords them.  Numerous student veterans and military-connected students have already taken part in our nationally-ranked and recognized study abroad programs.  Check out the IP website to learn how VA benefits (Post-9/11 GI Bill & Yellow Ribbon Program) and other available scholarships can help you get there!
  Know Your Resources
There are many valuable resources out there for veterans and military-connected students, from 24-hour peer-support and counseling lines, to health and wellness coaching, to mentorship and employment opportunities.  Just knowing these resources are out there and available is often the first hurdle.  To help, we've consolidated many of these resources on the Veterans at Pepperdine's Resources page.  We recommend you take some time to become familiar with these local and national services and resources and, of course, use them when needed.  If you have any questions or additional resources you'd like to see highlighted, please let me know.
  California Transition Assistance Program

The California Department of Veterans Affairs Transition Assistance Program (CalTAP) office offers free webinars on numerous veteran-focused subjects such as maximizing benefits, resiliency, employment, and starting a new business.  You can find upcoming webinars by visiting their website.

Their resource book is also a great way to learn about and access 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.

  U.S. Navy's 246th Birthday
October 13th, 2021 will mark the Navy's 246th birthday (officially established in 1775).  Happy birthday to those who served, or continue to serve, in the great United States Navy!
  PeppVet Lands Post-Grad Opportunity

Joseph Castro

Pepperdine Caruso Law recently recognized student veteran Joseph Castro as its latest "bell-ringer" in recognition of post-graduate employment success. Following graduation later this year, Joseph will serve as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas L. Parker, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.   For Joseph, the position is his dream job. Joseph is a first-generation law student. He was born and raised in the Philippines, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2010. He immigrated to the United States a month after graduating from college. Joseph served for eight years as a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman serving in Europe, the Middle East, and on both coasts of the United States. He separated from the military on a Friday and began as a Caruso Law first-year student the following Monday.

At Caruso Law, Joseph currently serves as President of the Veterans Legal Society and as Note and Comment Editor for the Pepperdine Law Review, where he received the Sorenson Award for the most outstanding student law review article submitted. He is currently a Legal Research and Writing teaching assistant and will also serve as a Constitutional Structure teaching assistant. Congrats Joseph from your PeppVet community!

   Featured Student: David Pennoyer (PGBS)
 

David Pennoyer - featured student

David Pennoyer was born and raised in New Canaan, Connecticut.  At the height of the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the Air Force on 2 June 1965 and after basic training was assigned to Lowry Technical Training Center to attend Missile Systems Electronics.  After graduation from training he was assigned to Okinawa Japan for 18 months. Upon return he was assigned as a missile systems technician at Perrin AFB near Sherman Texas.  From Texas he embarked on multiple overseas and stateside assignments including Cam Rhan Bay Vietnam, Korat RTAB, Thailand, Clark Air Base, the Philippines, Kunsan Air Base , ROK, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, George AFB, California, Langley AFB, Virginia, Los Angeles AFB, California, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico and finally retiring after 28 years from Patrick AFB, Florida.  He has held positions as a missile systems apprentice, technician, supervisor, superintendent and two assignments as Command Chief Master Sergeant.

David was married to Laura Pennoyer and they have two sons Edmond and Matthew.  The chief lost his wife of 47 years after a long battle with cancer in May of 2019.  The Chief is a NASCAR racing fan, holds a second-degree black belt in Korean karate, and enjoys riding his new Harley Davidson low rider.  Two crowning events in his military career are being part of the test team that successfully launched the first successful Anti-Satellite missile into low earth orbit from an F-15 over the pacific that had a direct hit on a dead satellite.  The second was being named one of the 12 Outstanding Airman of the Year in 1987 and being invited to the White House to meet then President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office.

David is currently employed at Tyto Athene as a Senior Special Business Systems Analyst. He has also worked in similar positions for Government Research Corporation, Inc and AT&T Government Solutions.  He brings a wealth of acquisition logistics and management experience over a period of 50 plus years.  He holds an Associate Degree in Electronic Systems Technology from The Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from La Salle University, and will graduate from Pepperdine University in August with a Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Management.

September 2021

  PeppVet Council President Message

Fellow veterans and military-connected students, I'm honored and privileged to serve as the PeppVet Council president this year. Across the campus, our veteran and military-connected community is nearly 700 students strong, which adds up to a wealth of experience and knowledge to leverage and connect with. As the president, I am looking forward to all the new initiatives our community is tackling, from support groups to Veterans' Week. This academic year is shaping up to be different from what any of us expected as we adapt to the ongoing updates due to COVID-19. Luckily, our community has faced challenges in our past to make us resilient, focused, and connected; these different challenges bind us as a community. That is why I will ask you to look to the left and right of you, to cover those that are having a hard time; we always look out for our "battle buddies," "shipmates," etc. I want us to extend that concept by always looking out for our community and being ambassadors across campus. As many have not endured the crucible and overcome our community's challenges, we should have the good grace to share that experience to help our community. I also want to remind you our community is here for you as well, we all face hard times, and the connections we have in our lives allow us to persevere through them.

On another note, I would like to take a second to highlight a few important things. The first is to ask everyone to join us on Peppervine and PeppConnect this allows us to build touchpoints for interaction and outreach. The second is to remind everyone we have Zoom sessions to do initial meet and greets on September 7–9; if you are available, please log in to one of these days so we all can learn faces and connect. On top of these events, we have the 9/11 20th Anniversary Commemoration event (Sept. 11) and a host of events for our Veterans' Week (Nov. 8–13). For me, 9/11 holds a lot of significance as it was the defining moment of my life and generation. 9/11 was the day I received my driver's license after barely passing parallel parking. It was also the day I made up my mind to join the Army, the decision that has driven me on for almost 20 years now.

I am looking forward to seeing you all on campus. If you need to contact me directly, please feel free to email me. Lastly, thank you for being part of this community dedicated to service, and have a great month!

  Honoring the Heroes of 9/11 Events

On September 11, the Pepperdine community will gather to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. We have scheduled a day of activities to mark the milestone beginning with a silent tribute and wreath-laying event in the early morning at Heroes Garden. Our featured ceremony, in Alumni Park, will begin at 2 PM on Saturday. If you have a uniform, you are welcome to wear it to the event, but it is optional.  All Pepperdine veterans will be asked to stand and be recognized during the program.  Please email if you would like to reserve seating for the event. Parking will be available in the Firestone Fieldhouse lot, across from Alumni Park.

  Student Veteran Support Group
Starting during the fall semester, a weekly virtual (Zoom) Student Veteran Support Group (SVSG) will be available for all part-time or full-time student veterans attending any of Pepperdine's campuses or online programs. SVSG will be led by a counselor from the Malibu Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP Clinical Psychology student. Meetings will be every Thursday from noon to 1 PM, starting September 16, 2021. Please email student veteran Patrick Resetar (PeppVet Council representative/vice president for GSEP) or Esther Lee (Malibu Counselor) for the Zoom link to the meetings and with any questions you may have.
  VA Benefits Webinar with CalTAP
Pepperdine Veteran Affairs in partnership with the California Department of Veterans Affairs Transition Affairs Program (CalTAP) office will offer a webinar covering important veteran benefits information and reminders on Wednesday, September 15, 12–1 PM. CalTAP will provide an overview of CA veteran benefits, important tips, and reminders, and introduce you to the Local Interagency Network Coordinator (LINC) for VA issues and coordination. The more you know about the benefits and resources you earned the better. Please RSVP by September 13 to receive the Zoom link.
  Career Development Webinar
Join your Veteran Affairs team and U.S.VETS (Patriotic Hall Los Angeles) for an informational session for Pepperdine military-connected students on Friday, September 17, 12–1 PM. This is a great opportunity to learn how the U.S.VETS Career Development Initiative team can help you create and refine your resume, conduct mock interviews, source internships, increase networking opportunities, and prepare for the job search ahead. Please RSVP by September 15 to receive the Zoom link.
  Make Sure the VA Can Contact You

Does VA have your current contact information? If you've recently moved, changed your email address or you're just not sure, contact the Education Call Center (ECC) to ensure we have your correct mailing address, email, and cell phone. Ensuring the VA has your current information will enable you to access VA processes more quickly and efficiently. The ECC can be reached by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551) between 7 AM–6 PM CT (Monday-Friday).

Later this year (date to be determined), the VA plans to require all Post-9/11 GI Bill students to verify monthly (via phone/text) that their enrollment status has not changed prior to processing monthly housing allowance disbursements. VA notifications and emails are expected to be sent to students as this requirement rolls out later this academic year.

  PeppConnect to Community Peers and Alumni
The "Pepperdine Veterans/Military-Connected Community" group was established in PeppConnect for you. PeppConnect is an opt-in forum to help build connections, share information, and career and mentorship opportunities between military-affiliated students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Please 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. PeppConnect is the university's exclusive online networking platform.
  Military-Connected Women's Group
The new military-connected women's group will convene virtually, and at times in-person, with the goal of building community and enabling PeppVet women (as well as spouses) to connect and engage. The group, hosted by student veterans Christine Deeter (Seaver) and Samantha Jones (PGBS/PeppVet Council Senior Vice President) will help forge new relationships and comradery through community outreach, social/virtual events, and ongoing conversations. The group will meet on Zoom on Monday, September 13 at 4 PM, and again on Monday, September 27, at 4PM. Please email Christine Deeter if you have any questions or would like to RSVP for the upcoming meetings.
  U.S. Air Force 74th Birthday
September 18, 2021, will mark the U.S. Air Force's 74th 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 in 2019. Happy Birthday to those who served or continue to serve and protect in the U.S. Air Force.
  POW/MIA Day

On September 17, 2021, we remember 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 of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, and veterans' facilities.

  Featured Student: Whitney Bussell (Seaver)
 Whitney Bussell

Whitney Bussell served 5 years as a Navy Seabee. Whitney served the majority of her 5 years overseas where she worked to help build clinics, schools, and maternity wards. She first served in Naples, Italy where she worked as the water treatment supervisor overseeing bases in the immediate area.

Following her time in Italy, she deployed to Southeast Asia on humanitarian missions where she supported the U.S. Allied forces. Following the Navy, Bussell remained in southern California where she began a career in journalism. She is finishing her final year at Seaver where she will complete her degree in journalism. She lives in Simi Valley with her partner Albert, a cat named Turk, and Stuart the dog. She enjoys the solace of nature, getting to hear people's life stories, and serving others in her community.

August 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

To all those of you who are new to Pepperdine and those finally returning back to campus, welcome! The Pepperdine team is proud to serve student veterans and other military-connected students who currently exceed 560 students. This includes 396 veterans, 162 family members, and seven cadets participating in Reserve Officer Training Corps programs. The PeppVet Council and I are looking forward to welcoming you all back on campus at some point and meeting you either in person or virtually throughout the year. The Council has been busy working the stand-up of a Pepperdine-wide Student Veteran Club that will serve and represent all of you throughout the year (and years to come). Their outreach to you will begin this month (including new support groups advertised below); we're looking forward to your involvement and feedback moving forward. If you need to contact me directly, please feel free to email me anytime. Thank you for your time and service. Have a great month!

  New Student Veteran Support Group
Starting during the fall semester, a weekly virtual (Zoom) Student Veteran Support Group (SVSG) will be available for all part-time or full-time student veterans attending any of Pepperdine's campuses or online programs. Student veterans face a unique challenge transitioning from or currently being in the military. SVSG is a safe space where you can connect with other student veterans, learn about campus resources, and discover strengths from your time in service that can benefit you during your time in school. The support group will occur weekly, and you can attend as many or as few of the meetings as you choose. SVSG will be a place where you can discuss topics related to your service, the transition from the military, challenges associated with being a student, and any other topic brought forward by the group. SVSG will be led by a counselor from the Malibu Counseling Center with assistance from a GSEP clinical psychology student. Specific dates, times, and how to join the Zoom meeting will be released once finalized in August. Any questions and interest regarding the support group can be sent to student veteran Patrick Resetar (PeppVet Council representative/vice president for GSEP).
  New Military-Connected Women's Group
Beginning this fall, a new military-connected women's group will convene virtually, and at times in person, with the goal of building community and enabling PeppVet women (as well as spouses) to connect and engage. The group will be hosted by student veterans Christine Deeter (Seaver) and Samantha Jones (PGBS/PeppVet Council senior vice president). The aim of this group is to help forge new relationships and camaraderie through community outreach, social/virtual events, and ongoing conversations about our unique experiences and the commonalities we share. The group will meet on a bi-weekly basis starting Monday, August 30, 2021. If you have any questions or would like to RSVP for the upcoming meeting, please email Christine Deeter by Monday, August 23, 2021.
  Waves of Flags Endowment Campaign
Each September, Pepperdine stages the Waves of Flags display honoring the lives lost in the 9/11 terror attack with nearly 3,000 flags in Alumni Park along Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road—one for each innocent victim, including a national flag for each foreign country that lost a citizen in the attack. Started by students in 2008, Waves of Flags has become a Pepperdine tradition, one that attracts attention and admiration from across the country. This year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and a Waves of Flags Endowment Fund was recently created to ensure permanent support for this tradition and establish a legacy that will last in perpetuity. The new $1 million endowment will generate $50,000 annually, funding the display and underwriting a patriotic ceremony on our campus each year. Funds raised above and beyond our goal will benefit student veteran programs and services at Pepperdine. Anyone can donate, so please help spread the word.
  Federal Career Fair
A federal agency career fair will be held on Friday, August 20, 2021, from 11 AM to 2 PM by the Los Angeles U.S.VETS Career Network. Participating agencies include the Department of Justice, FEMA, TSA, US Customs and Border Protection, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is recommended you have an updated resume available to share as you discover career opportunities in the federal government. Get your ticket or contact for more information.
  Mock Interviews and Resume Review
U.S.VETS of Los Angeles will host a virtual workshop covering resumes and conducting mock interviews with the help of General Atomics recruiters on Thursday, August 26, 2021, from 1 to 3 PM. Space is limited for this unique opportunity to connect with recruiters in the aerospace and defense industry. Contact for more information and to RSVP.
  Your School Certifying Officials
As an important reminder, it is 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 hours are important to make sure your benefits are not impacted and you stay on course to graduate. For GSEP, SPP, and CSOL students, your SCO is Lucas Saucedo. For PGBS students, your SCO is Sara Turki . For Seaver students, you may contact either SCO for assistance. Also, remember to diligently read through all correspondence the VA sends you as well as periodically review and track your benefits status on the eBenefits website. This requires keeping your mailing address and bank account information updated.
  US Coast Guard 231st Birthday
Wednesday, August 4, 2021, will mark the US Coast Guard's 231st birthday. The Coast Guard's official history began on August 4, 1790, when president George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of 10 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 and protect in the United States Coast Guard.
  Featured Student: Jon Smedley (PGBS)

Jon Smedley

Jon Smedley , a Navy veteran of 27 years, spent the first part of his career on submarines. After completing his chief of the boat tour, he joined the command master chief program, spreading his wings with naval aviation and deploying onboard the USS Ronald Reagan and later leading the Navy's E2 Hawkeye and C2 Greyhound wing.

After retiring from active duty, Jon and his wife grew their own very successful equine services business. Jon also consults for a
technology solutions company out of Dayton, Ohio, where he led the development of the Digital Engineering Cloud. A member of Pepperdine's Executive MBA program, Jon is a member of this year's PeppVet Council. He lives in Oxnard and shares his love of surfing and horseback riding with his best friend and wife, Sarah Mae.

July 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Happy July! I'm hoping you're finding these monthly newsletters informative and a good resource for military-connected news and information. If you ever come across something you believe should be shared in the newsletter, please don't hesitate to submit the topic and information to me for consideration. We'd like to get your input, hear your stories, share interest in forming a peer group, and crossflow information including upcoming event, hobbies, and outreach opportunities you'd like to highlight. The more information, ideas, initiatives, and veteran-focused activities shared is all the better. Please continue to stay safe this summer and have a great 4th of July!

  U.S.VETS Virtual Hiring Event

U.S.VETS is on a mission to end veteran homelessness and is looking for passionate individuals to join their team. Join them on Thursday, July 15, from 12 to 3 PM for a virtual hiring event to hear directly from U.S.VETS leadership, learn about open positions, and network with HR representatives from locations across the nation. 

  Careers in Showbiz
Join an informative workshop with Ray Upton and Gayle Ocheltree from Britlin Entertainment and U.S.VETS on Tuesday, July 6, from 9 to 10:30 AM as they cover career options for veterans in showbiz. This is an opportunity for you to meet and greet with a production company, ask questions and cover important information to be successful in the entertainment industry. Contact U.S.VETS for more information and to RSVP.
  Effective Networking Class
Join the U.S.VETS Career Development Initiative for an informative workshop hosted by Andrew Dennis and the Indeed Military Team to discuss the importance of networking during your job search and how to network effectively on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at 11 AM. Contact us for more information and to RSVP.
  U.S. Veteran Identification Card
Did you know the VA-provided Veteran ID Card (VIC) is a form of photo ID you can use to get discounts offered to veterans at many restaurants, hotels, stores, and other businesses? Find out if you're eligible for Veteran ID Card and how to apply on the VA Website.
  Featured Student: Albert Lai (PGBS)

 

Albert Lai

Albert Lai is originally from Long Island, New York. After commissioning from UC Berkeley, he served in the United States Army as an Air Defense Officer from 2016-2020. During his military career, he served as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Operations Officer.
Albert is currently enrolled in the full-time MBA program at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and recently completed his first year. This summer, he will be interning at Amazon as an Operations Manager through their Pathways Leadership Program. Albert lives locally in Redondo Beach and loves going to the beach to take full advantage of LA weather. Albert is also part of the PeppVet Council for the upcoming school year and is always available as a resource for veterans.

 

June 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Summer is here! I hope you're all excited and have some fun plans for the summer while always staying motivated and well. This month we celebrate two special events on the same day. 14 June is both Flag Day and the U.S. Army's birthday. On Flag Day we celebrate the adoption of the official flag of the United States on June 14th, 1777. A few years earlier in 1775, the American continental army was approved by Congress. To mark the occasion this year, a small group of veterans (from the PeppVet Council) and staff will participate in a tribute ceremony at Hero's Garden on the morning of the 14th. Happy birthday to our U.S. Army and Old Glory! May our colors always wave proudly for our great country and those who have and will serve in its defense.

  PeppVet Council (2021-2022)

I'm pleased to announce that the new PeppVet Council for the upcoming academic year is almost fully formed. The council will build on the initiatives from last year's council and continue to help build a military-connected community at Pepperdine where everyone feels valued, included, supported, challenged, and prepared for God's plan for their lives. Council members serve as valuable points of contact, advocates, and ambassadors to fellow students and will develop an annual action plan and implement a variety of initiatives over the academic year to cultivate community, connection and fellowship. This year's council includes Jay Weisbecker (PGBS/Council President), Samantha Jones (Seaver & PGBS/Council Senior Vice President), Patrick Resetar (GSEP), Albert Lai (PGBS), Edwardo Castillo (PGBS), Jimmy Kim (PGBS), Jon Smedley (PGBS), Joe Castro (CSOL), Whitney Bussell (Seaver), and William Wilson (SPP).

  Summer Virtual Career Fair
The next virtual career fair will be held on Friday, June 4, 2021, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM by the Los Angeles Career Development Initiative. Participating employers include Amazon, Atlantic CommTech, ebay, California State Parks, General Atomics, Home Depot, UnitedHealth Group, and Wells Fargo. It is recommended you have a resume available for review and editing. You will also have an opportunity to participate in mock interviews. Get your ticket or contact us for more information.
  Budgeting & Financial Independence
U.S.VETS of Los Angeles, with guest speaker (Andrew Thomas) from Edward Jones, will host a financial wellness webinar on Friday, June 25, 2021, 1-2 PM. The virtual session will focus on ways veterans and military families can achieve financial freedom, tips on creating a personal budget and the importance of retirement planning. Contact us for more information and to RSVP. 
  Veterans at Pepperdine Website (Updated)

We're pleased to announce the next round of updates to the Veterans at Pepperdine website is now online. The website provides useful information and resources for Pepperdine's veterans and military-connected students. We hope you continue to find the site a useful tool for information, resources, and how to connect throughout your Pepperdine journey. Users can 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 located at https://www.pepperdine.edu/veterans.

  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.
  PeppConnect to Military 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 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. PeppConnect is the university's exclusive online networking platform.
  Featured Student: Thurgood Wynn, CSOL

Thurgood Wynn

Thurgood Wynn is originally from Rockville, MD. He served in the United States Navy as an Information Warfare Officer from 2014-2019. Throughout his military career, He served as a Base Communications Officer, Joint Fleet Telecommunications Watch Officer, Information
Systems Security Manager, and Cyber Security Officer. Thurgood will graduate from Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in May 2022 with a Juris Doctor and Masters in Dispute Resolution. He currently lives in the San Fernando Valley and is interested in pursuing a career in criminal law after graduation.

May 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Last month, we celebrated the Month of the Military Child. I want to say a happy belated thank you to all our military-connected students and children of current service members and veterans. We're so glad you're part of our Pepperdine family. I would also like to congratulate those graduating this month and this summer! Included in that group is my own son, Jacob, who graduates from Seaver later this month. He was born in Belgium while Kim and I were on our second assignment. 10 moves later, he found a home at Pepperdine where he was able to live and grow in a special place for the longest timeframe (4 years) in his entire life. Although this past year has been far from typical for all of us, I pray we all will remember in tough times, God is always in control and working for our good. Have a great month PeppVets!

  Military Appreciation Month

May is a special month for both those in and out of the military. Not only do we pause on Memorial Day, May 31, to remember the sacrifice of those who gave all, but May also holds several other anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day, May 7, and Armed Forces Day, May 15. The third Saturday in May is 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/or support those that currently do, we thank you today and every day for your dedication to our country and each other.

  Memorial Day

Observed on the last Monday of May, on Memorial Day we reflect on the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day began as a response to commemorate the fallen from the Civil War. In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans wherever they are at 3 PM, local time, on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity, duration: one minute. The time 3 PM was chosen because it's the time most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom. It helps, in a small way, to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In our remembrance, I pray we can continue to heal and reconnect as Americans in the land of the indivisible brave with justice for all.

  PeppVet Earns 2021 George Award

John Powers holding George Award

John Powers, PGBS, was recently awarded the 2021 George Award for Outstanding Full-Time MBA student. Recipients exemplify integrity, stewardship, courage, academic excellence and demonstrate outstanding leadership in the classroom. John served as a Ground Intelligence Officer and MAGTF Intelligence Officer in the United States Marine Corps from 2013 to 2019.

Throughout his career and time as an MBA candidate, John placed an emphasis on global experiences and building his leadership skills. In June 2020, he began a Summer MBA internship with Bank of America in Digital Platform and Products. Most recently, he completed a Fall MBA internship with Fox News Media in Business Intelligence. John graduated last month and is looking forward to becoming an active member in the Graziadio and PeppVet Alumni Network.

  Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN)

Launched to streamline services, resources, and opportunities for veterans and their families in LA county, VPAN supports and also 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 (9 AM-9 PM daily), or fill out the VPAN Referral Form located on their website.

  One Phone Number to Reach the VA

You now only need to remember one number for information on VA care, benefits, and services or to speak with a live agent for assistance. 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411) serves all members of the veteran and service member community seeking information or assistance. When you call, press 0, and you will reach a live agent for immediate assistance or connection to the right VA experts.

  Borne the Battle (VA Podcast)

Borne the Battle is a weekly, interview-based podcast that recognizes each battle, challenge, and sacrifice our veterans endure during and after their service. Spotlighting important resources, offices, and benefits the VA offers our Veterans. Visit their website for information on VA Podcasts.

  Education Career Fair

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles will host a zoom session focused on careers in education. You'll meet recruiters, the founder of Operations Socrates and learn more about certificate and non-certificate opportunities in the Los Angeles area on Friday, May 7, 2021, from 2-4 PM. RSVP for the Workshop.

  Interviewing with Confidence

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles with guest speakers from General Atomics Aeronautical will host a virtual workshop covering techniques for remote interviewing, the importance of researching your potential employer, interview attire, and preparing great questions for your interviewer on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 from 9-10 AM. RSVP for the Workshop.

  Personalized Career Support

U.S.VETS Career Development Initiative is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to serving veterans and helping them transition to employment. Free services include resume and cover letter drafting, LinkedIn profile reviews and edits, interview prep, job search and placement, and career coaching and mentoring. Connect and Get Started Today.

  Summer Virtual Career Fair

Mark your calendars for Friday, June 4, 2021 from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM for the next Los Angeles Career Development Initiative career fair. Participating employers include Amazon, Ebay, Home Depot, Atlantic CommTech, and Wells Fargo. It is recommended you have a resume available for review and editing, and you will have an opportunity to participate in mock interviews. Contact Jennifer Delatte with questions. Register for the Summer Virtual Career Fair Today

  Veteran Mentoring Network

Service members, veterans, and military spouses can now set-up free 1-hour mentoring phone calls with successful professionals. Veterati allows you to choose your own mentors and as many as you would like. Their average mentee has 4 mentors, some have 25+ mentors. You will have unlimited and free access to thousands of volunteer mentors including CEOs, recruiters, and entrepreneurs. Get Started with the Veterati Network Today.

  Featured Student: Samantha Jones, Seaver College

Samantha Jones with her family

Samantha Jones is originally from Cocoa Beach, FL. She served in the United States Navy as an aviation electrician's mate from 2010-2018. Throughout her military career, she served as an MH-60R helicopter technician, Public Affairs Officer assistant, and production supervisor.

Samantha has been an active member of the Seaver Veteran Club since 2018. She is graduating from Seaver College this semester with a bachelor's degree in Sports Medicine. This fall, she will be attending Graziadio Business School to pursue an MBA. Samantha lives locally with her active-duty husband, Zachary, and their two children. Whenever they get the opportunity, they enjoy going hiking, fishing, and camping.


April 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

This semester is already flying and I'm very excited for the positive changes 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. Please contact me if you would like to be considered to sit on the PeppVet Council next year.

This year's PeppVet Council has been awesome, I'm so thankful for their work this past year. Thanks again to your council representatives for all their efforts: John Powers (PGBS), Lauren Konrath (PGBS), Arrio Granum (PGBS), Joe Castro (CSOL), Angela Ziccardi (GSEP), Carlos Olivas (Seaver), Dimitri Smith (Seaver), and John Hayes (SPP).

  PeppConnect to Fellow Military-Connected Peers & Alumni
The new "Pepperdine Veterans/Military-Connected Community" group was created in PeppConnect just 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 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. PeppConnect is the university's exclusive online networking platform.

  Veteran Mentoring Program

Post-9/11 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. Last year, nearly 2k veterans found new employment with the help of their 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. American Corporate Partners Veteran Mentoring program has 3,800 mentors ready and waiting to connect this year.

  City of LA Networking Hour
U.S.VETS of Los Angeles will host a networking hour to connect with recruiters from the City of Los Angeles to learn about career opportunities within local government and the application process on Monday, April 19, 10-11 AM. RSVP for the event.
  American Legion Post 283 Gives to PeppVets!
The American Legion Post 283 (Pacific Palisades) recently donated $25K to support veteran services at Pepperdine. Funds will be used for various initiatives including new student veteran stipend programs in GSEP and CSOL and will also support future events such as this year's Vets2Employers event this month. Thank you Post 238!
  Featured Student: Parker Bembry, Seaver College

Student veteran Parker Bembry salutes with a flag in the background.

Parker Bembry was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Since immigrating to America, various members of Parker's family served in the military and in intelligence roles, predisposing Parker to military life. Because of these influences and role models, like his grandfather Colonel Henry Michelini; Parker knew from a young age that he wanted to serve in the Armed Forces. Parker won the 4-year National Army ROTC Scholarship and participated with the UCLA

Bruin Battalion ROTC program while enrolled as a full-time student at Pepperdine University. Parker is a senior majoring in International Business. He has greatly enjoyed every moment at Pepperdine, from studying abroad in Switzerland to surfing the waves in Malibu. According to Parker, Pepperdine has provided a lot of unique opportunities and memories to last a lifetime. Upon graduation next month, Parker will commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army as a Military Intelligence Officer. He will be stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He's looking forward to carrying on his family's tradition of serving in the military and reciprocating what this nation has afforded his family and to pay it forward for the generations to come. Congratulations on your accomplishment Parker! We're proud of you and the start of your service to our country!


March 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Getting and staying connected is more important these days than ever. Last month, our new website was launched to provide information directly to and for you. This month, I'm proud to announce a new veteran community group on Pepperdine's online networking platform, PeppConnect, that will allow our community to connect and engage like never before. I hope you'll take time to reach out to each other and our veteran community, engage alumni, and expand your networking and mentorship opportunities with this new group. Through your involvement, we'll build new connections and support each other throughout the journey here at Pepperdine and beyond. See the article below for all the details and please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or recommendations.

  Connect with Pepperdine Vets & Military-Connected Community

A new "Pepperdine Veterans/Military-Connected Community" group has been created in 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 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. PeppConnect is the university's exclusive online networking platform. Which allows the Pepperdine community to:

  • build relationships;
  • join affinity groups of interest;
  • search the Directory of over 100,000 alumni, faculty, students, and staff;
  • find a Mentor for career advice or job connections, or offer to be a mentor and support other Waves;
  • list of virtual events that you can attend, or even post your own event;
  • and a Business Directory to find alumni-owned businesses and discounts near you.

Start Connecting Today

  Feedback Needed for Vets2Employers Event

We need your help to shape and schedule this year's virtual event. The annual employment and networking mixer brings together Pepperdine's military-connected students from all 5 schools and connects them with alumni and employers who are actively engaged in hiring veterans and military family members. Previous companies that have attended include: Facebook, Live Nation, Morgan Stanley, Mattel, Deloitte, Google and many others. Please complete the Vets2Employers survey by March 8.

  Virtual Career Fair

U.S.VETS of Los Angeles will host another virtual career fair for veteran students on Monday, March 1, 2021 from 10 AM-1 PM. Participating employers include Amazon, Geico, General Dynamics, Hyundai, Metro Water District, Raytheon, and Tesla. It is recommended you have a resume available for review. Contact Jennifer Delatte for more information. Join the session via Zoom.

  Career Development Initiative Webinar

Join your Veteran Affairs team and U.S.VETS for an informational session for Pepperdine military-connected students on Friday, March 19, 12-1 PM. This is a great opportunity to learn how the U.S.VETS Career Development Initiative team can help you create and refine your resume, conduct mock interviews, source internships, increase networking opportunities, and prepare for the job search ahead. RSVP for the event.

  Conducting Effective "Indeed" Job Searches
Join U.S.VETS and the Indeed Military Team for a virtual presentation about effective job search strategies for veterans and military-connected students on Monday, March 29, 2021 from 3-4 PM. The interactive discussion will focus on live job searches, navigating tools, and resources on the Indeed website available to all job seekers. Contact Jennifer Delatte for more information. Join the session via Zoom.
  Have Financial Concerns?
We understand that this may be a very difficult time for some students with job losses, pay or hours reductions or other out of the usual financial strains. Please know you're not alone and we're here to help you throughout your journey at Pepperdine. If you are experiencing financial hardship, areas can include books & supplies, childcare, technology, living/housing expenses, food insecurity, etc.; and need help with resources and guidance, please let us know. As a reminder, the Student Care Team and your academic advisors are also there when needed. If you are anticipating expended VA education benefits, please ensure your school certifying official (SCO) is aware so we can help you stay on course to graduate. Students at GSEP, SPP, and CSOL, your SCO is Lucas Saucedo and for PGBS, your SCO is Sara Turki. Seaver students, you can contact either SCO, Lucas Saucedo or Sara Turki, for assistance.
  Research on Veteran Homelessness
Janice Filer, a Doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, is conducting research on veteran college students who have experienced homelessness in the past. The research is for veterans interested in sharing information on the types of support that provided permanent housing in their journey from homelessness to housing. She would like to interview student veterans through zoom. If you'd like to participate and/or review the researcher's letter of recruitment to veteran students for the study, please contact Janice Filer.
  Student Veterans of America - Washington Week
All student veterans, military-connected students, and supporters interested in the latest public policy initiatives and advocacy priorities affecting them are welcome to join SVA's Government Affairs team for Washington Week, March 1-4, 2021. Virtual events include a preview of policy priorities for 2021 session, March 2, testimony before the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, March 3, and an open Policy Panel discussion with Capitol Hill staff regarding the White House's priorities for the year ahead. Register Now.
  PeppVet Deploys to Support Inauguration
Did you know we have active members of the Reserves and National Guard in our PeppVet community? We certainly do! Sean Fox (CSOL) was recently activated to deploy with his CA National Guard unit and spent several weeks in Washington D.C. near the White House before, during, and immediately after the inauguration. After the inauguration, his team moved to different points around the Capitol to provide security in case of any potential unrest. While in D.C., Sean did his best to stay on top of his online coursework. Sean was active duty in the Army from 2013 to 2020 and immediately joined his NG unit where he was quickly called up to support COVID response efforts before joining us here at Pepperdine.

 

Thank you for your continued service, Sean. We're glad you're back from your recent deployment and proud you're a PeppVet!

  PeppVet Promoted to Major

Jay Weisbecker

Congratulations to Jay Weisbecker (PGBS) on his promotion to major effective March 1, 2021. Jay joined the Army in response to the 9/11 attacks when he was 17 years old and has been in the military for the last 18 years. This promotion is a culmination of service that has spanned almost two decades with multiple combat and operational deployments spanning the globe.

Jay has served in a variety of positions from his strategic level command billet to small special mission element lead positions providing critical input for senior-level decision-makers. He has played a part in Operations FAITHFUL PATRIOT, ATLANTIC RESOLVE, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, FREEDOM's SENTINEL, and INHERENT RESOLVE; he also supported the humanitarian efforts in Slovenia Ice Storm and DoD support of Hurricanes Florence, Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Jay continues on active duty while attending and earning an MBA, class of 2022, at Pepperdine through the Army's Graduate School Option of the Career Satisfaction Program. Jay could have picked any graduate school in the United States to earn his graduate degree. He chose Pepperdine. Fine choice Jay, thank you for your continued service, and congratulations again on your promotion. We looking forward to your postponed ceremony later this summer!

  Featured Student: John W. Hayes, SPP
John W. Hayes

John W. Hayes is originally from Bowling Green, KY. After commissioning from West Point, John served in the United States Army for 8 years as a lieutenant and then captain; he was stationed in Germany, Afghanistan, Alabama and Kentucky at Ft. Knox. John's last role in the Army was as a Company Commander of 470 soldiers tasked with providing logistical support to CENTCOM.

John is currently enrolled in the Master's Program at Pepperdine where he is studying state and local policy along with environmental sustainability. John enjoys hiking, surfing, reading and exploring new places. John is also part of the Pepperdine Veteran (PeppVet) Council this year.

John will graduate this summer and hopes to land a local job with a sustainability consultancy agency. Down the road, John is also considering running for local office in either California or back home in Kentucky.


February 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Welcome to February! Although it looks like our in-person sessions must still wait for now, our collective ability as veterans to overcome and adapt will continue to serve us well. Veterans are a resilient group, strengthened by diverse experiences, background, and leadership. The missions and people I served with over the years made me a better person. I’m sure most of you can say the same. We are all in this and stronger together. As we continue to build a veteran community at Pepperdine where everyone feels valued, included, supported, challenged, and prepared for God's plan for their lives, I want you to know your voice matters. If you have a suggestion to help improve our community and sense of belonging at Pepperdine, please do not hesitate to let me know.

You may also contact a fellow student on the PeppVet council. Members currently include:

PGBS: John Powers, Lauren Konrath, Arrio Granum
CSOL: Joe Castro
GSEP: Angela Ziccardi
Seaver: Carlos Olivas, Dimitri Smith
SPP: John Hayes

We're here to help and support your journey!

  New Pepperdine Veterans Website

We’re pleased to announce the new Veterans at Pepperdine website is now online. The website provides useful information and resources for Pepperdine’s veterans and military-connected students. We hope you find the site is a useful tool for information, resources, 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.

  Feedback Needed for Vets2Employers Event

Pepperdine is ramping up for the annual Vets2Employers Networking Event. This annual event, hosted by Career and Professional Development at Graziadio, is a networking mixer bringing together student veterans from all 5 schools at Pepperdine and connecting them with alumni and employers who are actively engaged in hiring veterans. It's a great opportunity to connect with Pepperdine student and alumni veterans, and companies across multiple business sectors. Previous companies that have participated, include Facebook, Live Nation, Morgan Stanley, Mattel, Deloitte, Google and many others. This year the event will be virtual and we'd love to get your feedback as to what type of virtual event you'd like this to be and the companies you'd be interested in networking with. Please complete the Vets2Employers survey by February 13, 2021.

We'd love to hear your thoughts. Thank you and keep a lookout for more details later this Spring. For information or questions email Jessica Cheng.

  Recovery Peer Support Group

A recovery peer support group is now available to address alcohol and drug recovery journey during the pandemic. Share experiences, get connected with your peers, and know that you are not alone. Sessions will be held on Mondays, 3-4 PM. Contact Sofia Fang for the Zoom link.

  Stay in Contact with Your School Certifying Official

As an important reminder, it is 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 hours are important to make sure your benefits are not impacted and you stay on course to graduate.

Students at GSEP, SPP, and CSOL, your SCO is Lucas Saucedo and for PGBS, your SCO is Sara Turki. Seaver students, you can contact either SCO, Lucas Saucedo or Sara Turki, for assistance.

Remember to diligently read through all correspondence the VA sends you, as well as periodically review and track your current benefits status on the VA website. This includes keeping your mailing address and bank account information updated.

  Featured Student: Keith Wainwright, CSOL
Keith Wainwright

Keith was raised in Norfolk, Virginia, and is an alum of Norfolk State University, class of 2011. Keith is the CEO/Founder of Reel Independence, Co-Founder of RI Consulting Group, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, and a law school graduate. As an entrepreneur, Keith developed a startup company that provides a social media platform for creative artists in the film industry to be able to network as well as get exposure for their projects. Through strategic planning, Keith has raised funds for not only his own personal endeavors, but for community projects and private organizations.

Reel Independence is a social media-based platform that will allow creative minds to network and collaborate to make their new and unique ideas come to life. Users will be able to communicate with professionals within the entertainment industry as well as individuals willing to invest in new and creative film ideas. This innovative platform is designed to facilitate the flow of original ideas from the script to the silver screen, while also building and promoting an environment where independent artists can thrive in today's extremely competitive film industry.

Keith is currently pursuing a Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) and will graduate this summer. He plans to use his degree and experience at Pepperdine to improve his business, broaden his networking, and enhance his capabilities as a future attorney.


January 2021

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Happy 2021! I hope everyone had a great and safe Christmas and new year. I'm so excited for this year at Pepperdine and looking forward to a year full of new hope and positive change. As we start the year, please remember the veteran services team is here for you anytime, so please let us know when you have any need or concerns that we might be able to assist and/or provided direction. We're really looking forward to meeting you in person and hosting special events later this year. Have a great and blessed new year... stay happy and motivated!

  Networking Hour with Epirus Systems

U.S.VETS will host a virtual networking hour on January 5, 2021. Epirus Systems is seeking qualified veterans to fill roles in their aerospace & defense systems start-up in Hawthorne, CA. Positions include engineers, IT professionals, and other professional skills. RSVP to jdelatte@usvets.org for the Zoom link to the event.

  Traditional & Federal Resume Writing Clinics
U.S.VETS will host 2 sessions this month; the first session will focus on traditional resumes (January 7, 11 AM) and the second session will focus on federal resumes (January 14, 11 AM). Please be prepared with your entire professional history so you can be scheduled for follow-on one-on-one appointments to update resume information and formatting. To take advantage of these clinics, RSVP to jdelatte@usvets.org.
  Research on Veteran Homelessness
Janice Filer, a Doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology is conducting research on veteran college students who have experienced homelessness in the past. The research is for veterans who would be interested in sharing information on the types of support that provided permanent housing in their journey from homelessness to housing. She would like to interview student veterans through zoom. Contact Janice if you'd like to participate and/or review the researcher's letter of recruitment to veteran students for the study.
  2021 Tillman Scholars Program
Applications for the 2021 Tillman Scholars Program will open February 1, 2021. Veterans and military spouses may apply for the program starting February 1 through February 28. Take some time to check out this unique and completive program; the latest information on applying to be a 2021 Tillman Scholar is now available.
  Featured Student: Dan Soto, PGBS

Veteran Dan news feature

"I pursued my MBA at The Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine to expand my ability to contribute and perform to the next level. I'm confident that I would not have accomplished my goal of completing my MBA while concurrently being married (to the love of my life) and a father to our seven children, becoming a published author and guest speaker, completing an award-winning documentary while actively managing our non-profit Warrior Angels Foundation had it not been for Pepperdine's Fully Employed Masters of Business Administration (FEMBA) program. I required a flexible program tailored to my unique needs and that is exactly what the program delivered. I was able to work with and around my schedule and take in-person weeknight courses at every Southern California campus offered in addition to on-line and hybrid courses (a mixture of in-person and on-line). The Faculty and Administration went out of their way to work with me, streamline the process, and remove all barriers so I could focus on the task at hand. This was not specific to me; this is how Pepperdine takes care of all its students. In my personal experience, if one is willing to put in the work, Pepperdine will deliver an individually tailored and first-class learning experience where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership."


December 2020

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

Happy December! I hope everyone had a great Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. The holidays are a special time for friends, family and reflecting on our many blessings. As your new advocate at Pepperdine, my goal is that you will feel supported throughout your journey here and find genuine connection to the school and each other. Veterans have been a part of Pepperdine for over 70 years. As nontraditional students, veterans and military-connected students can and should make a huge impact on their school. Don't hold back to make a positive difference in all that you do. Your diversity of experience and background puts you in a perfect position to help provide unique insight and perspectives to any challenge. I encourage you to always look for ways to positively engage and use your life experiences to influence and help others grow. Your voice and leadership will continue to make positive changes in the years ahead.

I'm so proud to be a veteran and part of Pepperdine where our faith cherishes the dignity of every human being and celebrates diversity as a true representation of God's love and creative expression. We must always look for ways to improve ourselves and others while leaving room to be thankful, humble, and making allowance for each other's faults (Ephesians 4, NIV). We live in a great nation, served a great nation, and great days are always ahead. Please remember I am here for you, I'm proud of you, and look forward to helping you succeed now and in the future. Have a Merry Christmas and awesome new year!

  Fall Virtual Career Fair

Mark your calendars for the Los Angeles Career Development Initiative hosted by U.S.VETS of Los Angeles on Friday, December 4, 2020, 10 AM–1 PM. Participating employers include Anheuser-Busch, Hyundai, Union Pacific Railroad, and Amazon Web Services. It is recommended you have a resume available for review and editing. Get Your Tickets

  Together We Served: National Veterans Roll of Honor

The VA recently launched Together We Served, a new National Veterans Roll of Honor. The online resource is a tribute to the service of servicemen and women registered on Together We Served; one of the most complete and easy to look up formats available. Also honored are every soldier, sailor, Marine, airman and Coast Guardsman who gave their life serving our country, from the Vietnam War to Afghanistan, as well as many thousands who died during WW2 and the Korean War. A preview, which does not require a login is available online.

Over 2 million veterans are currently represented on the Roll of Honor. Veterans can join at no cost and search for and find people they served with by entering their years of service at the top of the Roll of Honor and conducting a simple name search. Contact can be made through the VA administrators or by joining Together We Served.

  Warrior Angels Foundation

Former US Army Special Forces Green Beret, Andrew Marr ('20), returned from his third deployment, a quietly broken man. The explosives expert suffered a multitude of concussions while detonating hundreds of blasts in Afghanistan. Unable to cope with his illness, he fell into a spiral of drug and alcohol abuse; even contemplating suicide at one point. When it was nearly too late, he met Neuroendocrinologist Dr. Mark L. Gordon, who properly diagnosed his condition as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Andrew and his brother coauthored Tales from the Blast Factory: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret's Journey Back from the Brink. Andrew is also the co-founder of the Warrior Angels Foundation. His story and others are featured in a new documentary, Quiet Explosions. View the Trailer

For more information, email the Warrior Angels Foundation or by phone at 479.553.9063.

  National Guard Birthday

On December 13, 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 United States Army and the United States Air Force: the Army National Guard of the United States for the Army and the Air National Guard of the United States for the Air Force. Happy birthday to our oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States.

  Space Force Birthday

In 2019, President Trump signed into law legislation creating the first new armed service since 1947, the U.S. Space Force. The direct antecedent of the Space Force, Air Force Space Command, was formed on 1 September 1982 with responsibility for space warfare operations. Happy birthday to our youngest component of the Armed Forces of the United States.

  Featured Student: Angela Ziccardi, GSEP

Veteran Angela news feature

Angela Ziccardi is originally from Chicago, IL. She served in the United States Navy as a Submarine Officer from 2015–2020. Her duties included acting as her submarine's Reactor Control Assistant, Strike Officer, and Quality Assurance Officer. Her favorite part of submarining was driving the ship on the surface of the Indian Ocean. She is currently pursuing her MS in Leadership in Higher Education and will graduate next year.

Angela is also part of the Pepperdine Veteran (PeppVet) Council this year. Angela has lived in 10 cities in the last 10 years and is looking forward to settling down in Philadelphia, where she plans to earn her MBA from The Wharton School.


November 2020

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, we will celebrate another Veterans Day. As a new veteran this year, I am blessed to have wrapped up my military career to join Pepperdine in serving those who freely served our great nation. This entire year, including Veterans Day, is just different. We have all been in a bit of a fight this year; feeling a little battle worn. Too many challenges to count, and more are on the way. We feel like soldiers in a war that seems to be getting worse and more complex by the day. However, as a Christian, I am excited about our mission and finding strength in what matters most because in the end, there is just one enduring victory, one amazing rescue story, one battle that is always worth our fight. Trials and tough times are part of the human condition. My prayer for the coming months, for all of us, is that we find peace in what is good, what is kind, and what is everlasting. Better days are ahead. Have a wonderful and happy Veterans Day!

  Pepperdine Veterans Day Video

We invite you to join us in celebrating Veterans Day by viewing a special video commemoration that will go live on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. The presentation will include inspiring stories from veterans among the faculty, staff, alumni and student body at Pepperdine as well as special remarks from President Gash and a prayer offered by California State Guard veteran and Graziadio Business School administrator, Ken Murphy. With so many veterans working and learning alongside us at Pepperdine, we hope you will take this opportunity to salute those who freely served our country. The video links will be sent out via email prior to the event.

  VA Benefits Update

The recent passage of H.R.8337; Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021; and Other Extensions Act has extended the special COVID-19 rules through December 2021. Post 9/11 GI Bill students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID-19 will continue to receive their housing payment rate for resident training until December 2021, or until school resumes in-person classes. 

  Starting a Small Business

Pepperdine's Veteran Services, along with the California Transition Assistance Program (CalTAP), will be offering two events in a webinar series that will 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.  Webinars will be offered on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, from noon-1 PM and Friday, November 6, 2020, from 4-5 PM.

  Transitioning from Military to Civilian Careers

We invite you to join an event Pepperdine Graziadio Business School will host on November 11, 2020, noon-1:30 PM, regarding career transition. Featured testimonials, including alumni veterans, will share how they transitioned from military to civilian careers.

  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 Friday, November 13, 2020, at 3 PM via Microsoft teams. The LAUSD Recruiting team will host the event, which will provide a great opportunity for veterans to network directly.

  Fall Virtual Career Fair

Mark your calendars for the Los Angeles Career Development Initiative hosted by U.S.VETS of Los Angeles on Friday, December 4, 2020, 10 AM-1 PM.  Participating employers include Anheuser-Busch, Hyundai, Union Pacific Railroad, and Amazon Web Services. It is recommended you have a resume available for review and editing.

  U.S. Marine Corps Birthday

November 10, 2020, will mark the U.S. Marine Corps' 245th birthday, officially established in 1775. Happy birthday to those who served, or continue to serve, in the great United States Marine Corps. Once a Marine, always a Marine... Semper Fidelis!

  Featured Student: Carlos Olivas, Seaver College

Veteran Carlos news feature

Carlos Olivas is originally from La Puente, CA. He served in the United States Marine Corps as an Administrative Specialist from 2012-2015 and later as a Marine Security Guard from 2015-2018. His duties included protective services at US Embassy's in Denmark, Russia, and Jordan. Carlos has remained a travel enthusiast and so far has traveled to 27 countries. He is a Political Science major at Seaver College and will graduate next year.

Carlos is planning to stay in California where he hopes to work as an Accident & Health Insurance Broker.


October 2020

  Director of Student Veteran Affairs Message

To those of you who are new to Pepperdine, like myself, welcome! To those of you who are returning, welcome back! I am honored to serve student veterans and other military-connected students who currently exceed 360 students. This includes 274 veterans, 83 family members, and 8 cadets participating in Reserve Officer Training Corps programs. As the director, I'm excited to be an ambassador for Pepperdine, its faith-based mission, and you! Even though this semester is completely different from what any of us expected it to be when the year of 2020 first began, I am confident that better days are ahead. Online learning and remote services can be a challenge, but the entire Pepperdine family and veterans support team are still here for you. Stay focused, remain resilient, and take courage in the fact that we will be stronger on the other side of all this. I am looking forward to the day when I get to welcome you back to campus and help you make on-the-ground waves at Pepperdine. If you need to contact me directly, please feel free to email eric.leshinsky@pepperdine.edu. Thank you for your time and service, and have a great month.

  Pepperdine Veteran (PeppVet) Council

A new steering committee (PeppVet Council) has been created to help build a veteran community at Pepperdine where everyone feels valued, included, supported, challenged, and prepared for God's plan for their lives. The council will include the director of student veteran affairs, school-certifying officials, student veterans from Pepperdine's five schools (each serving a term of one academic year), and other key advocates. Council members will serve as valuable points of contact, advocates, and ambassadors to fellow veterans and will endeavor to create and implement a variety of different initiatives, such as increasing vet-to-vet connections and fellowship. This year's council student veterans include Dan Soto (Graziadio), John Powers (Graziadio), Lauren Konrath (Graziadio), Joe Castro (CSOL), Carlos Olivas (Seaver), Dimitri Smith (Seaver), Michael Hardin (GSEP), and John Hayes (SPP).

  Meet Our Pepperdine Student Veterans Campaign

Over the course of this academic year, we will be featuring personal stories from various members of our diverse veteran community. If you would like to volunteer to share your story, please contact me at eric.leshinsky@pepperdine.edu.

  Translating Your Military Skillset: Resume and Interviewing Tips

US VETS of Los Angeles Career Development Initiative presents Translating Your Military Skillset: Resume and Interviewing Tips. This virtual workshop will feature special guest Sharon Stevens, military recruitment liaison at JPMorgan Chase on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11 AM PST. RSVP to jlynn@usvetsinc.org or rfarrell@usvetsinc.org to receive the link.

  Optimizing LinkedIn

US VETS of Los Angeles Career Development Initiative will also be presenting a virtual workshop on learning how to create your LinkedIn profile and best acquire the experience you need to help optimize your job search. This workshop will take place on Thursday, October 1, 2020 from 2–3 PM PST. RSVP to jlynn@usvetsinc.org.

  Volunteer Services Networking Hour

US VETS will be offering a networking hour with special guest Alexia Lunningham, chief of voluntary services, Department of Veterans Affairs, on Monday, October 12, 2020 from 11 AM–noon PST. RSVP to jlynn@usvetsinc.org.

  Transitioning from Service to School

Transitioning from military service to school can pose many lessons and challenges, but it can also provide some incredible opportunities. Everyone's journey looks a bit different, yet fellow veterans encounter many of the same hurdles. Pepperdine's Veteran Services along with CalTAP will be offering Zoom sessions for student veterans and other military-connected students to share concerns, lessons learned, and tips for continued success on Monday, October 26, 2020 from noon–1 PM and also on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 5–6 PM PST. RVSP to eric.leshinsky@pepperdine.edu by October 22, 2020 to receive the Zoom link.

  Track Your Benefits

The importance of keeping track of your benefits and resources after you leave military service cannot be overstated. The VA Benefits and Services Participant Guide is a great resource for how to do just that. In addition, while using education benefits, I urge you 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 updated). For your convenience, attached is a California Veterans Benefits Overview highlighting some state-level benefits. Your Pepperdine VA Education Benefits (Registrar's Office) points of contact are Sara Turki (sara.turki@pepperdine.edu) and Lucas Saucedo (lucas.saucedo@pepperdine.edu).

  One-Year Career Planning Mentor Program for Post-9/11 Veterans

Post-9/11 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 17,000 veterans have found success with an American Corporate Partners (ACP) mentor. Last year, nearly 2k veterans found new employment with the help of their 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.

  California Transition Assistance Program (CalTAP) Webinars

The California Department of Veterans Affairs CalTAP office is offering free webinars on numerous veteran-focused subjects such as maximizing benefits, resiliency, employment, and starting a new business. Previously recorded seminars of interest to veterans are also available.

  Pepperdine Counseling Services

All counseling services for the fall will take place via telehealth. These services, provided by dedicated and professional staff, are free and kept separate from educational records to ensure complete confidentiality. Students can make an appointment by emailing student.counseling.center@pepperdine.edu or calling the counselor 24-hour access at 310.506.4210.

  US Navy's 245th Birthday

October 13, 2020 will mark the Navy's 245th birthday (officially established in 1775). Happy birthday to those who served, or continue to serve, in the great United States Navy.