Class Notes, Summer 2008


Chris Anderson (MA), alumni of the MA in education program, was recently appointed to a position on the Anacortes School Board in Anacortes, Washington.


Elena DeVos (MS) is the president of Words at Work, an educational consulting firm she founded while earning her doctorate at Harvard University. Words at Work operates out of Los Angeles, California, and targets improving writing, reading, speaking, and people skills.

Timothy Peters (MS, Ed.D.) was recently appointed dean of the School of Business and Professional Studies at Concordia University in Irvine, California. Dr. Peters previously served as the dean of adult studies at Concordia.


Evelyn Gentry Howie (MS), a longtime educator, member of the NAACP, and artist, returned to her native Surry County, North Carolina, and encouraged a multiracial church gathering in Mount Airy, North Carolina, to complete the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-a process which she emphasized has a deadline. Sharing experiences from her childhood to motherhood and incorporating significant aspects of African American history, Howie expounded on a plan for residents to keep King’s dream alive during her “Our Heritage: Reflecting, Advancing, Uniting” presentation.


Robbin Cutler (MS) just completed her 20th year as a special education teacher with the Redlands Unified School District in Redlands, California.


Lynda Behrendt (MA, Psy.D.) operates her own private practice in the suburbs of Chicago, where she specializes in adult health psychology, spirituality, and cultural adjustments. She is also the director of professional affairs for the Illinois Psychological Association, which has over 1,400 members.


Michael Grant (Ed.D.) was recently selected as vice president of the Recognition Board of the World Congress of Arts, Sciences, and Communications.

Jo Ann Lee (MS) retired as Professor Emeritus of Business at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California, in December 2005 after 33½ years. She recently published The Law Office Reference Manual, 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill/Irwin Publishing. She is a mediator in small claims court cases on behalf of the Center for Conflict Resolution in Reseda, California.


Richard Alonzo (MS) is a superintendent with the Los Angeles Unified School District and was an honored guest at the Women in Educational Leadership Annual Mentor Dinner on March 3, 2008, in Los Angeles, California.


Jerome Front (MA) alumnus and adjunct faculty member, recently published an article on relational mindfulness for therapists in the January/February 2008 issue of The Psychotherapy Networker, the world’s largest therapist magazine.

Shirley Martin (Ed.D.) has been named superintendent of the Millbrae Elementary School District in Millbrae, California.

Marilyn J. Simpson (MA, Psy.D.) appeared on the Mark Isler Show on TalkRadio 790 KABC. Simpson fielded calls on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and misconceptions that people have about the religion.

Janet Keating (MS, Ed.D.) heads the new Online High School for Gifted Students, a pioneering distance learning program attached to Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth.


Monica Garcia (MA) was married in 1999 and now has a son who is 6 years old. Monica is working for Kaiser Psychiatry as a licensed marriage and family therapist with a part-time private practice.

Regan Schaffer (MA, Ed.D.) now serves as assistant professor for Seaver College. Regan has developed a program to allow students to study business while serving the community, which prepares students to work in the nonprofit sector. Schaffer has received attention in recent years from students looking to use their business skills to reach out to their communities.


Bonnie Nickle (Ed.D.) was recently promoted to vice president of academic services at Corinthian Colleges in Santa Ana, California. Dr. Nickle is responsible for academic
policy, assessment/testing, library resources, and the transfer center.


David Silverberg (MS, Ed.D.) was married in March 2006 and welcomed a new baby boy, Cal, in January 2007.


Kim Jones (MA) operates her own private counseling practice in San Diego, California, specializing in child and adolescent treatment. She also provides counseling to adults for a variety of treatment issues related to life transitions.


Barbara Sandusky (Ed.D.) is the administrator of instructional services for the Los Angeles Unified School District and was an honored guest at the “Women in Educational Leadership Annual Mentor Dinner” on March 3, 2008, in Los Angeles, California.


Otieno Okatch (MA) is the founder and executive director of PALS, Inc., which has recently opened a new, licensed, adult developmental disability daycare facility in El Monte, California, and also hired its 32nd full-time employee.


Wanda Clemmons (MA) started the Los Angeles Destiny Center-School of Destiny charter school along with her husband Nuoye. The Los Angeles Destiny Center is an educational institution that provides a rigorous standard-based college preparatory program for students in 6th through 8th grades, emphasizing mathematics, science, arts, and technology. Located in south Los Angeles the school prepares inner-city youth to be knowledge leaders in the digital and global economy of the 21st century and to be competitive in a rapidly changing world.

Willie Munoz (MA) won the KTVK TV3 (Phoenix, Arizona) Silver Apple award. She was nominated by one of her students and received $500 to be used toward classroom projects or materials. She was also featured in a story on TV3’s Good Evening Arizona.


Zarik Boghossian (Ed.D.) has joined MindFire, Inc., the leader in Web-based marketing automation technology, as the executive vice president of engineering.


Maryanne Campo (MA) alumna of the educational technology program, was hired as the director of distance education for Mount Saint Mary’s College in Newburgh, New York.

Michael Ghazi-Ford (MA) completed his MBA with a specialization in health care and is now a faculty member at the University of Phoenix. Michael and his wife also own their own company, HEX

John O’Connor (MA) has joined the Dallas litigation/regulatory practice office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, one of the world’s leading law firms.

Dustine Rey (MA) is currently enrolled in the EdD program at USC studying K-12 leadership and resides in San Diego County, California.

Mara Leigh Taylor (MA, MA), author and founder of Getting Out by Going In, has been selected by CNN’s global initiative, CNN Heroes, as one of 150 finalists. CNN Heroes was developed to showcase ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary deeds. Taylor was selected for her ongoing work with incarcerated men, women, and children.


Gady Levy (Ed.D.), alumnus of the EdD in organizational leadership, was featured in an article titled “UJ’s Levy Crafts Confab to Celebrate Authors.” Levy’s latest endeavor is the Celebration of Jewish Books, which will offer lectures and signings with 40 authors, music and dance performances, food, and a thousand titles for sale, provided by Borders and the Hebrew-language bookseller Steimatzky.


Celina (Flores) Guich (MA) is the cofounder and codirector of a nonprofit called The Niapele Project that is helping/educating children in refugee camps in Africa.

Linda Jungwirth (Ed.D.), education alumna and adjunct faculty member, received the 2007 Educator of the Year award from the California League of High Schools.

Angela Kahn (MA) is now a fully licensed marriage and family therapist working in private practice in Los Angeles, California, and specializing in self-injurious behavior in adults and teens. She gives talks at schools, counseling centers, PTAs, and various other organizations to help educate the public about this psychological issue.

Cheryl Montuya (MA) is teaching a kindergarten–first grade guidance opportunity classroom, working with referral students with behavioral issues that keep them from functioning in the regular classroom. Each student will be in her class for as long as it takes to get him or her back to their home school.

Reginald Sirls (Ed.D.) was awarded the 2007 Principal of the Year in the Inglewood Unified School District.


Mikel Hand (Ed.D.) has been collaborating with Dr. Randy Caine, professor of nursing at California State University, Los Angeles, and presented two evidence-based posters pertaining to breast cancer in men at the joint Southern California STTI conference in San Diego, California. Dr. Caine is a 1989 EdD institutional management graduate. On November 20, they headed “down under” to present two podium presentations at the Joanna Briggs Institute in Adelaide, Australia. Mikel Hand states, “I must say that although my dissertation was challenging, my Pepperdine education is serving me well and has put me in a position to give back to my students, my community, and my profession.”

Paul Reynolds (MA) president of FableVision, a creator and distributor of award-winning media and technology products, has released two new offerings—Animation-ish, an animation software program for novice and advance creators, and SmartMoves, a DVD product which leads one through body movements that function as a kind of calisthenics for the brain.


Channa Cook (MS) and Kristin Moody (MS ’06) both graduates of the educational leadership program, moved to New Orleans to help rebuild the city’s educational system. They have founded a charter school that will be opening there this summer.

Alma Cortez-Lara (MA) returned to the Napa Valley to teach underprivileged children after she observed the children’s needs and felt compelled to use the skills she had recently acquired to help them.

Bernie Bristow
, a doctoral student in the educational technology program, was featured in an article in the Herald News titled “He Advocates for Urban Education,” about his work to ensure that urban students have access and the know-how to use computers.

Kongit Farrell, current clinical psychology master’s student, published an article titled “Feel Good about Yourself, Regardless of Your Surroundings.” This article focuses on building and sustaining self-esteem.

Lani Fraizer, an educational technology doctoral student, was appointed as the chair of communications by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group: Information Technology Education.

Mark R. Gasta, who is currently working on his doctorate in organizational change, was appointed to the position of senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts, Inc., is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States.

Tina Johnson-Dunn, doctoral candidate in educational leadership, administration, and policy, wrote an article titled “Local Thinking Applied Globally” for the February issue of The School Administrator. This article focuses on educators making a difference not only in the individual lives of students, but also in the global community.

Jasmine Patterson, current student in the MA in education program, was quoted in an article titled “Clinton Speaks at UCLA .” Patterson spoke of her experience at UCLA in association with the GSEP Riordan Extreme Leaders program, and on the issue of global warming.

Denise Schaper (MA ’05), Jeanette Guignard, Michael Patterson, Mark Fawaz, and Jacqueline Fairney, all doctoral students in the organizational leadership program, coauthored a paper titled “Enrolling Student Participation in Collegial Consultation.” The paper was accepted by the 6th annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, which was cosponsored by GSEP.

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