Dr. Joy Asamen, professor of psychology, and Dr. Kathy Church, assistant professor of education, were named recipients of the Howard A. White Excellence in Teaching Award at the faculty conference in October 2008. Both GSEP professors received a plaque of commendation, along with a cash award and a medallion to wear with their academic regalia. Asamen received the GSEP tenured faculty award, which commends one faculty member from that group. Church received the pre-tenure faculty award, which honors three faculty members from all of the Pepperdine University schools. One nomination for Asamen stated that she has an "inextinguishable dedication to students." In addition, "She makes herself available as a professor, advisor, and mentor, and models a disciplined work ethic…and has encouraged me to continue growing beyond what I initially envisioned for myself. In sum, it is because of Asamen that I was successful in the doctor of psychology program at Pepperdine University and continue to be successful as a psychologist."
A nomination for Church described her as "a strong individual with solid morals, empathy, and excellent leadership skills. In the classroom, she utilizes a vast array of engaging instructional strategies and, while she expects a lot from her students, she is very flexible and understanding…the students in our program are extremely lucky to have her as a professor, mentor, and friend."