Communication Professor Craig Detweiler Named Variety Magazine’s Education Mentor of the Year

April 28, 2016  | 2 min read

Craig Detweiler, professor of communication and creative director of the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine University, has been selected as Variety’s “Education Mentor of the Year” in the magazine’s 2016 Education Impact Report.

Both the nomination and win were a complete surprise to Detweiler, who credits the recognition to the dedicated film students he has worked with over the years.

“I’ve been blessed to have some really sharp students who studied under me, who have done very well all across the industry,” he reveals. “The award recognizes education and mentoring, and I’ve been honored to have some talented people to mentor.”

Detweiler explains that working as a university professor is about legacy, and that the focus is not so much on what professors accomplish, but rather on empowering students to do more and become more than they originally thought possible.

He is particularly proud of occasions when former students call him with the news that they have just received a Hollywood offer and need an agent, which he experienced earlier this year when alumnus Jeff Loveness (’10) won the Writers Guild Award for his comedy writing on Jimmy Kimmel Live: 10th Annual After the Oscars Special. Another notable moment for Detweiler was in 2015, when producer Taylor Johns (’12) was on the red carpet at the 87th annual Academy Awards to represent the film Last Days of Vietnam.

Detweiler also expresses gratitude toward fellow Pepperdine faculty members, saying it’s “an honor to work alongside those who have been tracking with students for decades in film and media, with people like Don Shores, Susan Salas, and Joi Carr, who have been investing in students for decades.”

Over the course of his career, Detweiler has authored, coauthored, and edited several books, including iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives (2013), worked with the Directors Guild of America, received multiple awards from nationally recognized institutions, and been featured on ABC's Nightline, CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, NPR, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.