Class Notes, Spring-Summer 2009


Todd Coston (MA), was named Standout Colleague of Excellence for Online Teaching by his peers at Bakersfield College. In addition, Coston is part of his district’s Leader ship Academy, which involves meeting with legislators to advocate for community colleges.

Emilio Pack (EdD) is the assistant director of the school administration program at Loyola Marymount University. Pack also runs the Charter Leadership Academy for students seeking an administrative credential with a specialization in charter schools.

Jon Pease (MA) established nonprofit Not the Target to provide children with assertiveness training in the event that they are confronted by a bully. Pease offered this training to the GSEP community through a recent Clinical Connections presentation.

Jennifer Predolin (PsyD) presented a poster “Understanding Police Officers’ Stress Experience and Coping Strategies” at the Los Angeles County Psychological Association meeting.

James Sulton (EdD) is principal at Oakland Aviation High School; previously he served on the board.


Emily Chen (MA) won the Christian Association for Psychological Studies’ annual Student Paper Competition for her piece “The Impact of Childhood Sexual, Physical, and Combined Sexual/Physical Abuse on Religious Behaviors for Male Veterans.” Chen is a doctoral student at Fuller Theological Seminary.


Fereshteh Amin (EdD) published her first book, Success Strategies of Iranian American Leaders. Based on her dissertation research, the text is in Farsi. Amin is a professional coach and business consultant in Los Angeles.

Paul Reynolds (MA), president of FableVision, hosted Boston mayor Thomas Menino for the launch of a major gaming initiative in support of the city’s $200 million digital-game industry.


Chris Bigenho (MA) authored an article on Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary (RSS) in the education trade publication Learning and Leading.


John Anderson (MA) started a new business called Orange County Debt Settlement Group.

Deborah (Greene) Dellvon (MS) and her husband Robert are expecting twins in July. They are living in Hampton, Virginia, while he completes his career with the U.S. Navy.

Ena LaVan (MS) is principal of the William & Carol Ouchi High School in Los Angeles, California, recently recognized by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction as a California Distinguished School.

Jennifer Neuhauser (MA) was named director of alumni relations at Northwestern College in Iowa.


Roberto Estrada (MA ’98, MS ’03) is principal of Lennox Middle School. He attended schools in the district as a child and began working with the district as a teacher’s assistant in 1992.


Bertha Benavides (MA) was awarded GSEP’s California Association for Bilingual Education Visionary Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and education of English-language learners. Benavides teaches at Segerstrom High School, Santa Ana Community College, and GSEP.

Sean Iversen (MA) was promoted to deputy probation officer III with the Los Angeles County Probation Department.


Cathy Lynn Hasson (EdD) works for the San Diego Community College District as director of institutional research and planning.


Marianne Pesci (PsyD) was promoted to senior community health psychologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, where she has worked for more than seven years.


Ted Hamory (MA) established the New City Schools in Long Beach, California. The schools are bilingual and focus on the arts, community involvement, and student leadership.


Randy Peebles (EdD) was appointed to the top administrator position at the Advanced Technology and Education Park in Tustin, California, part of the South Orange County Community College District.


Amelia Walsh (MA), published her first book, a science fiction novel entitled Second Summer: The Turnback Time. Walsh is a licensed therapist in Colorado.


Lauren Walters (MS ’90, EdD ’99, MS ’00), current adjunct professor at GSEP, was awarded executive leadership of one of the new Los Angeles Unified School District schools being built on the site of the Ambassador Hotel. Walters is a National Board Certified classroom teacher of second- and third-grade students at Weems Elementary.


Dennis Palumbo (MA), was a recent guest on the NPR radio show Word of Mouth, which addresses trends in science, technology, health, and popular culture. He discussed psychological techniques for overcoming job loss. Palumbo also presented a “Best of Pepperdine” lecture during homecoming based on his book Writing from the Inside Out. He continues to blog for the Huffington Post.

Leanne Neilson, (’85, MA ’88, PsyD ’92), was appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at California Lutheran University (CLU). Neilson had been interim provost since 2008, and associate provost for graduate/adult programs and accreditation since 2004.

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