Dr. Earnestine Thomas-Robertson (’69, MA ’73, EdD ’03), an alumna of George Pepperdine College, the Pepperdine School of Professional Studies, and the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, has been selected as the second annual recipient of the GSEP Waves of Service Award. The Waves of Service office presented Thomas-Robertson with the award at the GSEP Celebration of Excellence Dinner on October 21, 2011.
“Thomas-Robertson’s Pepperdine University undergraduate and graduate degrees, and even her dissertation, show her early and clear realization of her purpose to globalize college education,” comments Greg Porter, director of the Waves of Service program. “Each of the dozen organizations who have benefited from Dr. Thomas-Robertson’s volunteer service are, in complementary ways, serving the same purpose. Her innovative leadership as a community college administrator has resulted in astounding accomplishments toward making a college education more accessible.”
Thomas-Robertson is the president of the Los Angeles-Lusaka Sister City Committee, vice president of business relations for Born Ready Industries, Inc., and Dean Emeritus of Los Angeles Southwest College. Her dedication to education and civic leadership has benefited both local and global communities and is the basis for her nomination and selection.
As a leader of the L.A.-Lusaka Sister City Committee, she recognized the need for women entrepreneurs in Zambia, Africa, and initiated programs to provide microloans and to fund business ventures that has enabled recipients to either start a viable business or improve an existing one. Under her direction, the organization has donated and delivered medical equipment and pharmaceutical supplies to hospitals in Lusaka, Zambia, as well as providing medical, self-help, and classroom textbooks to Evelyn Hone College in the same region.
Among her global development pursuits, Thomas-Robertson has been committed to local educational initiatives, empowering and teaching her students the importance of community involvement and participatory government. She has conceived and implemented the Strategies for the Development of the African American Manchild Conference, held for over 15 years on community college campuses throughout Los Angeles County, which brought business, industry, education, medical, political, and motivational leaders together for one day to interact with members of the community. Her implementation of International Day at Los Angeles Southwest College afforded students and members of the community the opportunity to experience cultures from across the globe through food, music, dance, and history.
The Waves of Service movement celebrates, supports, and connects Pepperdine alumni committed to volunteerism and careers of service worldwide. Developed by the Alumni Leadership Council at the encouragement of Pepperdine president Andrew Benton, Waves of Service began to flow in 2009 with the unwritten motto: “Serve where you are.” Today, Pepperdine graduates are fulfilling Mr. Pepperdine’s founding vision around the globe.
To learn more about Waves of Service, call (310) 506-4464 or visit the Waves of Service website.