Class Notes, Fall-Winter 2009


Savannah Wallace Chalifoux (MA), hosted a luncheon honoring Doris Spaulding Gilmore, an alumna of George Pepperdine College, Class of 1941. Chalifoux was a student in Gilmore’s sixth grade class at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School in Compton, California, from 1942 to 1943. Gilmore and her husband, Roland, also a Pepperdine graduate, are both 92 years old and have been married for 71 years.


Janice Phelps (MA) is an adjunct professor in the new urban education program at the University of Northern Colorado.

Marilyn Wright (MA ‘89, PsyD ‘95) represented the Latter Day Saints church community by attending the Mass of Installation of Bishop Salvatore Cordileone at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California. She is a GSEP Distinguished Alumnus.


Claudia White (MA) is owner and president of White Sand Consultants in Orange County, California. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Time Warner and Levi Strauss.


Susan Baker (MA), a licensed marriage and family therapist and adjunct professor of psychology, was spotlighted in the Acorn, a local newspaper in the Conejo Valley in California, for her research on the mind-body connection. Baker has been promoting the trend toward somatic psychology in her practice.


Michelle Rosensitto (’90, MA ’91, EdD ’99) began her business, “The Writing Coach,” in 2007. She provides graduate students with dissertation help and general writing assistance. She also teaches “Research Methods” as an adjunct faculty member at the Irvine Graduate Campus.


Miatta Snetter , (MA ’00, PsyD ’07), a military sexual trauma counselor at the Los Angeles Veterans Resource Center, is a narrator on The Colony, a new Discovery Channel reality television show that follows 10 volunteers tasked with rebuilding society in a post-apocalyptic world setting.


Kim Johnson (EdD) is director of education and academic dean at Everest College. She oversees the matriculation of more than 720 students and professional development of 35 faculty members.

Kristy Hirschberg (MA), director of education for eLearn Training Systems, was quoted on “E-learning provides people with different learning styles the opportunity to learn in a fun environment and at their own pace, resulting in better comprehension and job performance.”


Janice Keener (MA ’04, PsyD ’08) is fulfilling a postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Orange County, California, where she primarily works in the pediatric intensive care unit.


Sean Johnson (MA) joined Life Adjustment, an organization that implements practical solutions for clients seeking mental health treatment. He credits the GSEP Career Fair for this opportunity.

Bernice Ledbetter (EdD) will begin a full-time faculty position at the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management in the area of organizational theory.

Anthony Culpepper (MBA ’97, ’05 EdD) was appointed dean of the business school at TUI University in Cypress, California.


Lisa Montana (MA) is a science teacher at Glassboro Intermediate School in New Jersey.

Brad Poorman (MA) is vice president of information and support services at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. He has been charged with developing a service component to the university’s merit-based scholarships and is applying action research skills to create the program.

Tom Kuhlmann (MA) launched Articulate, a company dedicated to rapid e-learning. His blog on the subject attracted 18,000 subscribers in eight months.

Scott Hildebrand (MA) is director of instructional technology services at Elon University in North Carolina. He oversees digital signage, emergency communications, and video teleconferencing.

Paul Reynolds (MA), president of media company FableVision, presented the “Lure of the Labyrinth” middle school math gaming project with Maryland Public TV and the U.S. Department of Education at the Maryland Association of Educators Using Technology Conference. In addition, Reynolds’s five-year old family business, The Blue Bunny, was recognized by Best of Boston in the bookstore category.


Tracy Kovacs Bevington (MA) is a private practice intern specializing in adolescent therapy at Empowering Teens in Beverly Hills, California.

Liz Coleman (MA) studied climate change with the Earthwatch Foundation in Louisiana with a teaching fellowship. She shared this experience with her students each day via Skype Web conferencing and an online blog where she posted photos and video from the field.

Dave Harmeyer (EdD) was appointed associate dean of University Libraries at Azusa Pacific University and to the board of the Journal of Religious and Theological Information.

Michael Moodian (EdD) received the 2008-2009 Teacher of the Year Award at Chapman University, where he is assistant professor of social science. He teaches courses in empirical research methods, communication, and organizational leadership.

Robert Martellacci (MA), president of MindShare Learning and publisher of the MindShare Learning Report, collaborated with the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., to host a reception coinciding with the 2009 National Educational Computing Conference. Guests included Nancy Knowlton, chief executive officer of SMA RT Technologies, the world’s leading producer of interactive whiteboards for the classroom.


Janet McCollum (EdD) presented at the Academy of Management Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Tom Taylor (EdD) discussed the “Essential Qualities of an Excellent Leader” and “Winning Diversity the John Wooden Way” at the 2nd California Diversity and Leadership Conference. He also spoke on “The Servant Leadership of John Wooden” at Greenleaf Center’s 19th International Conference.

Mona Shenassa Toubian (MA) was a keynote speaker at the National Association of Women MBAs in Los Angeles program “Career Transitions: Navigating the Shifting Employment Landscape,” hosted by the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Heather Schneider (MA), a science educator, joined the crew of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research ship Gordon Gunter to collect plankton samples in the Gulf of Mexico.

David Rose (MA) is the supervisor of instructional technology and professional development for Southfield Public Schools in Michigan. He presented on using cell phones in the classroom to harness the power of learning at the National Educational Computing Conference.

Faculty and Students

Doctor of psychology student Natalie Feinblatt (MA ’05) was awarded the California Psychology Internship Council Mental Health Services Act Stipend Award for her 2008 – 2009 internship.

Armond Aghakhanian, a doctoral student of organizational leadership, completed a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., to make “the moral, historical, and genocide-prevention case for official U.S. condemnation and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide,” and to advocate for human rights legislation as a representative of the Armenian National Committee of America.

Learning technologies doctoral student Theresa Stanley was promoted to library director at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, where she will be in charge of the Downtown Campus library, serving more than 9,000 students each year.

Shalen Bishop; a Seaver alumnus and current doctoral student in the educational leadership, administration, and policy doctoral program at GSEP; was promoted to principal for the high school level of Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy in Los Angeles. He received kudos for his contribution to the school’s Academic Performance Index score of 820.

Dr. Diana Hiatt-Michael, Emeritus Professor of Education, was awarded Emeriti Membership status by educational honor society Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) in Bloomington, Indiana. She was a member of the first group of women to join PDK and hold a leadership position, and helped coordinate the GSEP chapter of PDK.

Visiting professor Dr. Gary Stager discussed 1-to-1 programs, which aim to equip every student with a laptop or mobile device, in “Digital Education,” a popular blog hosted by Education Week.

Dr. David Levy, professor of psychology, provided his professional opinion on one of the most interesting unsolved mysteries of the 20th century in National Geographic’s The Skyjacker That Got Away. The documentary discussed the public’s obsession with discovering the identity of D. B. Cooper, a U.S. citizen who hijacked a commercial airplane for ransom then jumped into the sky, never to be heard from again.

Dr. Steven Sultanoff, adjunct faculty and humor therapist, was quoted throughout the extensive article “Medicinal Mirth: The Health Benefits of Laughter” in the August issue of Ode Magazine.

Former GSEP dean Nancy Magnusson on will join Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, as senior vice president. She has been with Pepperdine for 30 years, most recently serving as senior vice president for planning, information, and technology. Her accomplishments have included the implementation of PeopleSoft; improvements to the library collections, services, and facilities; and the development of the University Strategic Plan. She will assume her new role in January 2010.

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