News from Pepperdine University Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences. http://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/seaver Read how the Pepperdine University Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences is making headlines. en-us Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:06:57 -0700 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Drupal Jennifer Harriger on Barbie and Body Image | Psychology Today https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/07/jennifer-harriger-barbie-and-body-image-psychology-today/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/seaver/2019/07/jennifer-harriger-barbie-and-body-image-psychology-today Pepperdine Faculty’s latest research on body image was featured in Psychology Today. Fri, 12 Jul 2019 17:00:00 PDT

Jennifer Harriger, associate professor of psychology, and her latest research were referenced in an article in Psychology Today. The article explored how internalized biases regarding shape and size may impact the way children treat each other. Harriger’s latest study, published in Body Image in 2019, used Mattel’s Fashionista Barbie dolls to understand girls’ internalized attitudes toward body shape and size. She argued that a Barbie marketed as “size inclusive” might not be enough to help young girls work through this bias. 

Read “Young Girls Reject Mattel’s ‘Curvy’ Barbie” on Psychology Today.

Find Harriger’s latest research on Pepperdine Research News.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Kristen Dowling Named Head Coach of Waves Women's Basketball Team https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/07/kristen-dowling-named-head-coach-waves-womens-basketball-team/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/07/kristen-dowling-named-head-coach-waves-womens-basketball-team Kristen Dowling will return to Pepperdine as the eighth women's basketball head coach in program history. Wed, 10 Jul 2019 12:15:00 PDT Kristen Dowling (MA ’07), former Pepperdine women’s basketball assistant coach who has led the Athenas at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps since 2012, will return to Malibu as the eighth head coach in program history.

“Pepperdine Athletics exists to further our institution’s Christian mission, to provide an enriching, rewarding experience for our student-athletes that results in graduation, and to compete for championships,” said Pepperdine director of athletics Steve Potts (JD ’82). “Kristen Dowling gives us a perfect fit for those objectives. She brings a strong Christian faith, a true commitment to our student-athletes’ well-being as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Redlands, and is dedicated to building a championship-caliber women’s basketball program. We are excited to have Kristen leading our women’s basketball program for many years to come.”

Dowling posted a 147-46 (.762) record as the head coach of the Division III Athenas, including six straight 20-win seasons and at least a share of six consecutive SCIAC regular-season championships. Her squads won the SCIAC Tournament four consecutive years between 2014 and 2017 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each time.

“I am elated to lead the Pepperdine women’s basketball program,” said Dowling. “I want to thank President Benton, President-elect Gash, Steve Potts, and Karina Herold for entrusting me with the leadership of this program. Pepperdine’s Christian mission and commitment to academic and athletic excellence are core to who I am, which makes this role an absolute dream come true. I am excited to get to know the current team, encourage them to compete with purpose, and build upon their success. The future of Pepperdine women’s basketball is incredibly bright.”

Dowling’s first team at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps posted a 9-16 record in the 2012–13 season, but she turned the program around quickly and recorded a school-record 24 wins in the following season. The Athenas have hit 24 wins two more times since then and had at least 23 wins in five of the last six seasons. She led Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to its first NCAA Tournament victory in 2016, and the Athenas again won a first-round game in 2017.

Dowling was named SCIAC Coach of the Year in 2015. Over seven years, she posted a 93-19 (.830) record in conference play, with a remarkable 88-8 (.917) record the past six seasons. Her student-athletes won two SCIAC Player of the Year awards and were named to the All-SCIAC first team 10 times.

This will be Dowling’s third stint at Pepperdine. She was a graduate assistant and academic advisor during the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons, then returned as an assistant coach for the 2010–11 and 2011–12 campaigns under former head coach Julie Rousseau (MA ’12). The Waves went 32-27 during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. They placed third in the West Coast Conference in 2011 and advanced to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

In between those two stays at Pepperdine, Dowling worked as an assistant coach at California State University, Bakersfield, for the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. The Roadrunners went 35-23 those two years and made their first-ever Division I postseason appearance in the 2010 Women’s Basketball Invitational.

Dowling is a 2004 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Redlands, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in physical education. As a student-athlete, she helped the Bulldogs to their second-ever SCIAC title in 2004 and a WBCA Class Act Achievement Award. Dowling also earned a master’s degree from Pepperdine in educational technology in 2007.

She is a graduate of Nike’s “So You Want to Be a Coach” program, as well as the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy. In 2018 she served as an on-court coach for the USA Basketball U17 World Cup Team Trials.

Dowling takes over a program that was on the rise under Delisha Milton-Jones. The Waves went 22-12 last season, tied for third place in the WCC (the best showing since 2011), made the WCC Tournament semifinals (for the first time since 2010), and won the program’s two first postseason games in the modern era, making it to the Round of 16 in the WNIT.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Six Seaver Alumni Receive Fulbright Fellowships https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/07/six-seaver-alumni-receive-fulbright-fellowships/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/seaver/2019/07/six-seaver-alumni-receive-fulbright-fellowships Awarded Fulbright fellowships, six graduates will serve around the world from 2019 through 2020. Tue, 09 Jul 2019 16:30:00 PDT Six Fulbright scholars smile for professional portrait.

Six Seaver College alumni—Anthony Adducci, Erika Bartlett, Brianna Beiler, Chanel Diaz, Rachel Munzar, and Rebecca Pankratz—received prestigious Fulbright fellowships for the 2019-2020 grant year in which they will perform independent research or serve as English Teaching Assistants (ETA) around the world.

As the largest United States exchange program, Fulbright sponsors international study, research, and teaching opportunities for over 1,000 students each year. Fulbright is highly selective, and applicants are considered for their professional, academic, and personal achievements. Seaver College seeks to equip Fulbright applicants with the experiences they need to be competitive. Additionally, "Seaver’s fellowship office partners with students throughout the application process,” states Dana Dudley, assistant dean of special academic programs. 

Adducci was awarded a grant in Slovenia to perform conservation genetics research on the local brown bear population. He is excited to “explore everything Slovenia has to offer,” and he credits the Summer Undergraduate Research in Biology (SURB) program at Pepperdine for preparing him to be a strong applicant and providing him with the tools to complete meaningful research. Bartlett, a graduate from the business administration and religion divisions, will travel to Germany to serve as an ETA from September through June.

Near the end of August, Munzar will begin her ETA fellowship in the Czech Republic with a four-day orientation on the education system. “I am most looking forward to forming connections with my students,” Munzar shared. Beiler and Pankratz, both graduates from the International Studies division, will spend around 13 months teaching English in South Korea. Their fellowship begins with a six-week training course to orient them in South Korean language and culture before they are placed in a school. Diaz, another graduate from the International Studies division, was awarded an ETA in Morocco, where she will teach English with faculty at Morrocan public universities. Diaz begins a three-week orientation in late August and will remain through early July of next year.

Pepperdine and its students commit to fostering global relationships through Fulbright and other graduate fellowships. If current students are interested in applying for a Fulbright, the campus deadline is September 11, 2019. More information on Graduate Fellowships at Pepperdine can be found here.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Center for the Arts Announces 2019–2020 Performances and Exhibitions https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/06/center-arts-announces-2019-2020-performances-and-exhibitions/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/06/center-arts-announces-2019-2020-performances-and-exhibitions Season subscribers (those who purchase tickets to four or more shows) are entitled to a 10 percent discount on select ticket prices. Tue, 25 Jun 2019 08:15:00 PDT Roseanne CashCelebrated songwriters Rosanne Cash and Burton Cummings, American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, returning favorites Tommy Emmanuel and Lea Salonga, and Whose Line is it Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are just a few of the artists set to appear at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University during its 2019–2020 season.

“Each year, we present an innovative, unique, entertaining, and diverse program of exceptional performances and museum exhibitions,” explained Rebecca Carson, managing director of the Center for the Arts. “The 2019–2020 season will include several returning favorites as well as many new-to-Pepperdine performances. I look forward to helping create magical moments our audiences will talk about for years to come.”

Ruben StuddardAmong the musicians and bands coming to Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus areharmonious a cappella group Naturally 7; former member of The Byrds and folk icon Chris Hillman; classical crossover string trio Simply Three; acoustic guitar legend Leo Kottke; ukulele virtuoso and songwriter Taimane; big band jazz ensemble the Phil Norman Tentet; New Orleans-inspired collaborative music experience Take Me to the River Live!; the Beatles’ tribute performance Classic Albums Live; Canadian Celtic rock group Derina Harvey Band; Grammy Award-winning bluegrass group Steep Canyon Rangers; world-renowned Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas’ AMERICANO Trio; multi-genre Martin Luther King, Jr. music celebration “We Shall Overcome;” American indie band The Weepies and renowned vocalist Joan Osborne; and brilliant tunesmith Marc Cohn.

Los Angeles’ “best dance troupe for hip-hop empowerment” (LA Weekly) Versa-Style Dance Company will kick off the season’s dance and spectacle offerings, which will include thrilling multimedia dance experiences Viva MOMIX and acrobatic troupe Cirque FLIP Fabrique.  

Lea SalongaThe Gregg G. Juarez Stars of Stage and Screen series includes Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love, and movie critics Peter Travers and David Fear’s analysis of recent films in “Rolling Stone Reports the Year in Movies.”

Colin Mochrie and Brad SherwoodThe Recital Series, featuring the talents of young classical musicians, will include performances by violinist Blake Pouliot, cellist Zlatomir Fung, pianist Yi-Nuo Wang, and violinist Benjamin Baker.

The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art will feature a selection of black and white artwork from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, as well asthematic sculptures of women by Auguste Rodin, and elegant animal sculptures by Gwynn Murrill. The museum is open from 11 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Sunday, and one hour prior to most shows through intermission. Admission to the museum is free.

Season subscribers (those who purchase tickets to four or more shows) are entitled to a 10 percent discount on select ticket prices. 

Tickets for all performances are available by calling 310.506.4522 from noon to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, and two hours prior to curtain time. Tickets are also available for purchase through the Center for the Arts website.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Professor Observes Critical Changes in Grunion Population https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/06/professor-observes-critical-changes-grunion-population/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/seaver/2019/06/professor-observes-critical-changes-grunion-population Dr. Karen Martin and alumni publish grunion observation research in marine science journal. Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:15:00 PDT Dr. Karen Martin walks across rocks and tidepools on shore. Another addition to Dr. Karen Martin’s critical research on the indigenous grunion population was published in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Journal of Marine Science. While she is in Sweden this fall, Martin will present this research during a meeting on recreational fishing.

As key indicator species, these small fish have a mighty impact on our understanding of the climate. In this publication, Martin and the citizen scientists, the Grunion Greeters, observe the spawning patterns along the California coast. In a unique reproductive process, the fish visit the shore during high tide, then release and fertilize eggs while burrowed in the sand. Because their spawning runs leave the fish exposed, grunion hunting has become a cultural phenomenon with insufficient protections.

Martin, with the help of Pepperdine Alumni Emily Pierce (‘16) and Vincent Quach (‘14) and Grunion Greeters, observed that spawning runs are declining on beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara. There is a small population shifting north, however, those runs are too small to endure potential fishing pressures. Martin is hopeful to encourage better California sandy beach management and improve conservation with grunion hunting regulations.

To read the latest of Martin’s research, visit Pepperdine Research News. To learn more about the grunion, visit Martin’s website dedicated to the unique fish.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Parkening International Guitar Competition Announces 2019 Winners https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/06/parkening-international-guitar-competition-announces-2019-winners/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/06/parkening-international-guitar-competition-announces-2019-winners The event, recognized as the world's preeminent guitar competition, took place at Smothers Theatre from May 28 through June 1, 2019. Wed, 05 Jun 2019 15:30:00 PDT Andrea Roberto - 2019 Parkening International Guitar CompetitionAfter a week of classical guitar performances, Christopher Parkening and Pepperdine University announced the winner of the fifth quadrennial Parkening International Guitar Competition. The event, recognized as the world's preeminent guitar competition, took place at Smothers Theatre at the Malibu campus from May 28 through June 1, 2019.

Andrea Roberto (pictured right), a 23-year-old musician from Italy, took the Gold Medal with his rich interpretation of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Concerto No. 1 in D Major during the sold-out final round on June 1. He received the $30,000 Jack Marshall Prize in addition to his medal.

Alec Holcomb, a 24-year-old native of Nashville, Tennessee, won the Silver Medal and received $15,000. Sergey Perelekhov, 22, of Russia was awarded the Bronze Medal and $7,500.

The three finalists, each of whom performed a concerto with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra under the baton of conductor Michael Stanley, were selected from a pool of 15 standout competitors from seven different countries. A winner was announced after a deliberation following the final performance.

The three competed in the semifinal round on May 31 along with Bokyung Byun, 24, of South Korea (fourth place); Junhong Kuang, 19, of China (fifth place); and Riccardo Calogiuri, 29, of Italy (sixth place).

Other competitors included Javier García Verdugo, 25, Spain; Samuel Hines, 27, Mora, Minnesota, USA; Beiyan Liu, 20, China; Christopher Mrofchak, 27, Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Cody Noriega, 27, Riverside, California, USA; Alex Park, 26, Culver City, California, USA; Miguel Checa Paz, 21, Spain; Marko Topchii, 28, Ukraine; and Tengyue Zhang, 25, China.                             

All of the competitors performed on the first full day of the competition, and six semifinalists were then selected to proceed to the second day. The competitors performed required and free-choice pieces and were judged on musicianship, tone, technique, and stage presence.

The distinguished panel of five judges, representing different areas of the music world, were Mia Bongiovanni, assistant general manager of media and presentations for the Metropolitan Opera; Charlotte Lee, president and founder of Primo Artists; Steve Schoen, former vice president of Sony Music Masterworks and Sony/BMG; David Thomas, recording producer; and Pablo Sáinz Villegas, classical guitar virtuoso and winner of the 2006 Parkening International Guitar Competition. 

The 15 competitors vied for cash awards that totaled $60,000. The fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-place winners each received $1,000. Awards of $500 were given to each of the remaining nine competitors.

“It has been a true inspiration to see the extraordinary level of talent of all who have performed in the competition. We can say with confidence that the future of classical music is bright,” said jury chair Charlotte Lee, at the awards ceremony on June 1. “We’d like to acknowledge each and every competitor for what you have sacrificed to participate in this competition. You have given your commitment, your discipline, your time, your dedication, and your heart. This journey has made you a better musician and a better person.”

Andrea Roberto was born in Italy, and began studying guitar at age 4. At 9 years old, he was admitted to the U. Giordano Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of guitarist Sandro Torlontano and attained his bachelor's degree with honors at the age of 14. Roberto continued his studies with Aniello Desiderio at the Koblenz International Guitar Academy in Germany, and he completed them at the Conservatorium of Music of Maastricht in the Netherlands under the mentorship of Carlo Marchione.

Roberto has received a variety of international awards. In 2009 he won the David Russell Prize for young talented musicians at the Conservatory of Vigo in Spain, fourth prize in the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition at Pepperdine, and the Joven Promesa Prize at the VIII José Tomás—Villa de Petrer International Guitar Competition. In 2010 he won the Valter Cococcia Prize, which goes to the youngest Italian conservatory student graduating with honors.

In 2012 he participated in the Parkening International Guitar Competition. Since then, he has won multiple other awards, including first prize at the second International Competition of the Adriatic in Pescara, first prize at the fourth Stefano Strata International Competition of Pisa, first prize at the International Competition of Twents in the Netherlands, and first prize at the José Tomás Villa de Petrer International Guitar Festival in Spain. Roberto also placed fifth in the 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition.

In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, Pepperdine presented the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition for guitarists ages 17 and younger on May 28 and 29. First place went to Eric Wang, 15, San Jose, California, USA; second place to Nikolas Rejto, 17, Australia; third place to Garrett Podgorski, 17, Burbank, California, USA; fourth place to Hui Chan Yun, 16, South Korea; and fifth place to Joseph Malvinni, 11, Santa Barbara, California, USA.

Additional Young Guitarist competitors were Hilbert Chen, 10, Cupertino, California, USA; Maggie Grether, 16, Pasadena, California, USA; Mira Morales, 15, Los Altos, California, USA; Evelyn Nguyen, 16, Monrovia, California, USA; and Darren Wu, 16, San Jose, California, USA.     

Cash awards for the Young Guitarist Competition included $3,000 for the first-place winner and $750 for each of the other four finalists. Awards of $500 were given to each of the remaining five competitors.

Judging the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition were music professor Sara Banta, director of digital sales at Naxos USA Mark Forlow, and 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition Gold Medal Winner Meng Su.

The Parkening International Guitar Competition is pleased to congratulate and announce the winners of the 2019 competition:

  • The Jack Marshall Prize and Gold Medal were awarded to Andrea Roberto, 23, Italy

  • The Silver Medal was awarded to Alec Holcomb, 24, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

  • The Bronze Medal was awarded to Sergey Perelekhov, 22, Russia

  • Fourth Place was awarded to Bokyung Byun, 24, South Korea

  • Fifth Place was awarded to Junhong Kuang, 19, China

  • Sixth Place was awarded to Riccardo Calogiuri, 29, Italy

The Parkening Young Guitarist Competition is pleased to congratulate and announce the winners of the 2019 competition:

  • First Place was awarded to Eric Wang, 15, San Jose, California, USA

  • Second Place was awarded to Nikolas Rejto, 17, Australia

  • Third Place was awarded to Garrett Podgorski, 17, Burbank, California, USA

  • Fourth Place was awarded to Hui Chan Yun, 16, South Korea 

  • Fifth Place was awarded to Joseph Malvinni, 11, Santa Barbara, California, USA

About the Parkening Competition

The competition, which debuted in 2006, offers the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition in the world, with competitors vying for cash awards that total in excess of $65,000. After three days of intense public performances, the winner of the Parkening International Guitar Competition receives a gold medal, the Jack Marshall Prize of $30,000, and the most prestigious title in classical guitar. The 2019 Parkening Competition was made possible by a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson. 

Christopher Parkening is celebrated as one of the world's preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar. For over 40 years his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim. Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. He has performed at the White House, appeared with Placido Domingo on Live from Lincoln Center, participated in the Carnegie Hall 100th anniversary celebration, and performed twice on the internationally televised Grammy Awards, and has appeared on many nationally broadcast television programs.

He has collaborated with composers John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Joaquin Rodrigo, F. Moreno Torroba, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and premiered new concert works in an effort to keep the guitar in the musical forefront. Parkening has been guest soloist with the finest orchestras in the United States, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota orchestras, the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National symphony orchestras, the Detroit, Houston, Oregon, and St. Louis symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

Parkening is the recipient of two Grammy nominations in the category of Best Classical Recording for Parkening and the Guitar and The Pleasures of Their Company, a collaboration with soprano Kathleen Battle. He was given the acclaimed American Academy of Achievement Award for excellence in the field of music. He also was presented with the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Classical Guitarist and the 2003 University Musical Society's Distinguished Artist Award.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Pepperdine Introduces New Student Success Platform Navigate https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/05/pepperdine-introduces-new-student-success-platform-navigate/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/05/pepperdine-introduces-new-student-success-platform-navigate Students will be able to use the mobile app to facilitate their progress toward timely degree completion and schedule advising and student success appointments. Fri, 03 May 2019 08:00:00 PDT Navigate - Pepperdine UniversitySeaver College, in partnership with the Educational Advisory Board (EAB), has announced the launch of Navigate, a new platform that focuses on comprehensive student academic support and success. With a core objective to guide students throughout their Pepperdine journeys from orientation to graduation, Navigate is a powerful new tool that integrates with several existing University enterprise systems, allowing students greater control of their academic experience with the long-term objective of improving both graduation and retention rates. Incoming students will be able to use the Navigate mobile app, which launched in the App Store and Google Play on May 1, to keep track of important tasks and facilitate their progress toward timely degree completion. Students will also be able to schedule advising and student success appointments with faculty and staff directly from within the app. 

The innovative platform is also intended to become a more centralized advising hub, offering a shared workspace for faculty and staff to engage with students in more cohesive and meaningful ways. Advisors will be able to build four-year academic plans for students in the platform and share notes across the University’s various support areas. The desktop advising platform for faculty and staff advisors will be available for use beginning in August for the fall 2019 semester, at which time the Navigate mobile app will be available to all returning Seaver students.

“The success of our students is of foremost importance to Seaver College, and I am excited at the potential of the Navigate platform to increase the engagement of students in their education,” expressed Michael Feltner, dean of Seaver College. “Based on the success of other institutions, the advising and communication features of Navigate, and the robust analytics capabilities of the platform, I am confident that two critical metrics of student success—retention and graduation rates—for both four- and six-year tracks, will be enhanced when Navigate is implemented.”

Pepperdine University’s plans to develop Navigate began in 2017, when a group of Seaver College faculty, staff, and administrators convened to investigate a new solution to enhance student success. In this investigation, the group sought to identify a platform to support comprehensive student academic resources, promote increasingly robust academic advising capabilities, and provide meaningful analytics and measurement data to improve student success. After receiving positive responses from various college constituencies, two leading companies in the field presented their offerings. Upon critical review and reflection, Seaver College formalized an agreement to adopt the Navigate platform through EAB in spring 2018 and began the technical implementation process in July 2018.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Fifteen Competitors Selected for 2019 Parkening Guitar Competition https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/05/fifteen-competitors-selected-2019-parkening-guitar-competition/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/05/fifteen-competitors-selected-2019-parkening-guitar-competition Representing six countries, they will compete for the largest prize among guitar competitions, from May 30 through June 1. Wed, 01 May 2019 08:15:00 PDT Parkening International Guitar Competition - Pepperdine UniversityThe world's preeminent classical guitar competition, the Parkening International Guitar Competition, has selected 15 standout competitors for its fifth triennial competition. Representing six countries, they will vie for the largest prize purse among guitar competitions, performing at Pepperdine University from Thursday, May 30, through Saturday, June 1, at the Malibu campus. 

Renowned guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening, the competition's namesake and artistic director, is a distinguished professor of music at Seaver College. The competition honors his lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists as demonstrated by his mentor, Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia.

“We are thrilled to bring such a diverse range of young guitarists from all over the world here to Southern California for what is sure to be an extraordinary week of music,” says Rebecca Carson, executive director for the Parkening International Guitar Competition and managing director for the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts. “Our competitors are united by their passion for classical guitar and by their love of music. We are looking forward to welcoming all of them to Pepperdine.”

The 15 competitors, who range in age from 19 to 29 years old, are among the international community's most talented guitarists:

  • Bokyung Byun, 24

Los Angeles, California, United States

  • Riccardo Calogiuri, 29

Italy

  • Javier García Verdugo, 25

Spain

  • Samuel Hines, 27

Mora, Minnesota, United States

  • Alec Holcomb, 23

Carmel, Indiana, United States

  • Junhong Kuang, 19 

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

  • Beiyan Liu, 20

China

  • Christopher Mrofchak, 27 

Tallahassee, Florida, United States 

  • Cody Noriega, 26

Riverside, California, United States

  • Alex Park, 26 

Culver City, California, United States

  • Miguel Checa Paz, 20

Spain

  • Sergey Perelekhov, 21 

Russia

  • Andrea Roberto, 23 

Italy

  • Marko Topchii, 28 

Ukraine

  • Tengyue Zhang, 25

China

Judging the competition will be Mia Bongiovanni, assistant general manager of media and presentations for the Metropolitan Opera; Charlotte Lee, president and founder of Primo Artists; Steve Schoen, former vice president of Sony Music Masterworks and Sony/BMG; David Thomas, recording producer; and Pablo Sáinz Villegas, classical guitar virtuoso and winner of the 2006 Parkening International Guitar Competition.

Three of the competitors will advance to the final round on Saturday, June 1, to perform a concerto with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra before a live audience at Smothers Theatre. The gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the conclusion of the final round.

In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, Pepperdine will present the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28 and 29, to 10 competitors: 

  • Hilbert Chen, 10 

Cupertino, California, United States

  • Maggie Grether, 15 

Pasadena, California, United States 

  • Joseph Malvinni, 11 

Santa Barbara, California, United States 

  • Mira Morales, 14

Los Altos, California, United States 

  • Evelyn Nguyen, 16 

Monrovia, California, United States 

  • Garrett Podgorski, 17 

Burbank, California, United States 

  • Nikolas Rejto, 17 

Australia

  • Eric Wang, 14 

San Jose, California, United States 

  • Darren Wu, 16 

San Jose, California, United States

  • Hui Chan Yun, 16 

South Korea                

About the Parkening Competition

The competition, which debuted in 2006, offers the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition in the world, with competitors vying for cash awards that total in excess of $65,000. After three days of intense public performances, the winner of the Parkening International Guitar Competition receives a gold medal, the Jack Marshall Prize of $30,000, and the most prestigious title in classical guitar. The 2019 Parkening Competition is made possible by a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, as well as Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy.

Christopher Parkening is celebrated as one of the world's preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar. For over 40 years his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim. Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. He has performed at the White House, appeared with Placido Domingo on Live from Lincoln Center, participated in the Carnegie Hall 100th anniversary celebration, and performed twice on the internationally televised Grammy Awards, and has appeared on many nationally broadcast television programs. 

The celebrated guitarist has collaborated with composers John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Joaquin Rodrigo, F. Moreno Torroba, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and premiered new concert works in an effort to keep the guitar in the musical forefront. He has been guest soloist with the finest orchestras in the United States, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota orchestras, the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National symphony orchestras, the Detroit, Houston, Oregon, and St. Louis symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

Parkening is the recipient of two Grammy nominations in the category of Best Classical Recording for Parkening and the Guitar and The Pleasures of Their Company, a collaboration with soprano Kathleen Battle. He was given the acclaimed American Academy of Achievement Award for excellence in the field of music. He also was presented with the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Classical Guitarist and the 2003 University Musical Society's Distinguished Artist Award.

For additional information about the Parkening International Guitar Competition, visit the Center for the Arts website.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Seaver College to Celebrate 2019 Commencement https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/04/seaver-college-celebrate-2019-commencement/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/04/seaver-college-celebrate-2019-commencement Andrew K. Benton, president and chief executive officer of Pepperdine University, will serve as this year's commencement speaker. Thu, 18 Apr 2019 08:45:00 PDT Andrew K. Benton - Pepperdine UniversityThe Pepperdine University Frank R. Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences spring 2019 commencement ceremony will take place at Alumni Park in Malibu on Saturday, April 27, at 10:30 AM. Andrew K. Benton, president and chief executive officer of Pepperdine University, will serve as this year's commencement speaker.

President Benton joined Pepperdine’s central administration team in 1984. Before becoming president in 2000, Benton served in a number of executive leadership roles, including vice president for administration, vice president for university affairs, and executive vice president. Among his many achievements as president are the successful completion of the Campaign for Pepperdine, which raised $470.8 million from more than 49,000 donors. He also shepherded the approval of Pepperdine’s Long Range Development Plan and the development of the Drescher Graduate Campus. 

A highly respected voice in higher education, Benton is among an elite group of university presidents who have been elected to lead our nation’s largest advocacy organizations for higher education. He is currently the chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and former chair of the American Council on Education (ACE), both of which are based in Washington, DC. He is also past chair of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities and is an active member of many organizations, including the President’s Cabinet of the West Coast Conference and the Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Benton will conclude his presidency at Pepperdine University at the end of the 2018–2019 academic year. With his approachable demeanor and friendly manner, Benton is often referred to as “the students’ president.” 

A Kansas native, Benton received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Christian University and his law degree from Oklahoma City University.

For additional information, visit the Seaver College Graduation website.

 

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Pepperdine University to Host Sixth Annual Climate Calling Conference https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/04/pepperdine-university-host-sixth-annual-climate-calling-conference/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/04/pepperdine-university-host-sixth-annual-climate-calling-conference Climate Calling explores climate change, its consequences, and the moral calling to respond to growing concerns about the future of the planet. Wed, 03 Apr 2019 08:45:00 PDT Climate Calling - Pepperdine UniversityIn partnership with the Malibu Public Library Speaker Series, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives and the Center for Sustainability at Pepperdine University will cohost the sixth annual Climate Calling conference at the Malibu campus on Wednesday, April 10. 

Led by a group of Pepperdine faculty members from diverse disciplines, Climate Calling explores climate change, its consequences, and the moral calling to respond to growing concerns about the future of the planet. 

This year’s conference will feature:

  • Arbor Day Celebration

9–9:30 AM

Teri Frahm Rokus Field

  • Sustainability Fair

11 AM–2 PM

Joslyn Plaza

  • Student Research Presentations

2–4 PM

Upper Mullin Town Square

Stephen Davis, distinguished professor of biology at Seaver College, will present the keynote address, “Environmental Stewardship Begins in our Backyard,” at Elkins Auditorium at 7 PM. 

At Pepperdine Davis has served as coordinator of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program in biology, has been a member of the board of directors for the Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR), and was the lead organizer for the 18th annual meeting of SCCUR in 2010. He has co-authored journal articles with over 50 undergraduate students, has directed over 30 undergraduate students in their honors theses in biology, and has been the principal investigator on over 15 government grants, primarily from the National Science Foundation. Davis is currently a principal investigator at Pepperdine on an NSF IUSE award that engages first-year students in authentic research during their first semester on campus. His personal research focuses on plant physiological ecology, including adaptations of chaparral vegetation to wildfire, drought, and freezing. 

The annual Climate Calling conference draws students, faculty, and community members together in a mutual effort to address the subject of climate change and to foster a more sustainable future. Attendees learn about topics such as species extinction, drought, flooding, marine impacts, sustainable food practices, and environmental justice and activism through lectures, documentaries, and student presentations.

For additional information about this year’s conference, visit the Climate Calling website.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Beth M. Laux Named Executive Director of International Programs https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/04/beth-m-laux-named-executive-director-international-programs/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/04/beth-m-laux-named-executive-director-international-programs Laux, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of international education, will commence her new role on August 1, 2019. Mon, 01 Apr 2019 10:00:00 PDT Beth M. LauxBeth M. Laux has been named executive director of international programs at Pepperdine University. Laux, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of international education and currently serves as the director of learning abroad at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, will commence her new role on August 1, 2019.

“Pepperdine University has a national reputation of excellence, and Seaver College has positioned international programs as a cornerstone of the undergraduate Pepperdine experience,” said Laux. “Studying abroad was the most powerful experience I had in college. It influenced me academically, personally, and spiritually, which made a career in international education a natural fit. My continued commitment to international education stems from its impact on students.” 

Throughout her career, Laux has experienced the benefits of international programs firsthand as a student, faculty, and administrator, having witnessed that college students who participate in international programs gain intercultural competence, are more likely to graduate on time, are better positioned for career promotions, and are more engaged with their communities. 

“Beth is imminently qualified and prepared to lead international programs into the future. I am excited to work alongside her to advance our existing programs and to explore new opportunities that provide students with opportunities for intellectual, social, personal, and spiritual transformations,” explained Michael Feltner, dean of Seaver College. “Beth follows two prior deans, Dr. William Phillips and Dr. Charles Hall, both of whom are exceptional leaders. From them she inherits a program supported by outstanding faculty and staff, equipped with exceptional facilities across the globe. I am confident that from this foundation Beth will lead international programs to even greater heights.”

Hall, the current dean of international programs and associate professor of sociology at Seaver College, will continue to fulfill his role through July 31 before returning to the Seaver College faculty following a sabbatical next year. A special celebration commemorating his 14 years of service as dean will be held on May 17.

A recognized leader in the field of international education, Laux discovered her professional passions when she traveled to Costa Rica and Spain as an undergraduate student at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After earning her degree in Spanish and political science, she returned to her alma mater to serve as the director of international education and programs. 

In 2004 Laux left her position at Aquinas and spent two years as a missionary in Guatemala and El Salvador, primarily focusing on educational programs and faith development in underserved communities. After completing her mission, Laux earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Toledo. She also served as an intern for the United States Department of State before transitioning back to international education.

Laux’s professional background includes education abroad policy development, curriculum integration, international education leadership, assessment, and program design. She has taught political science and Spanish, served as an onsite program manager in Latin America and Europe, and advocated for a wide range of international education initiatives at both the state and national levels. Her research interests include outcomes assessment and the intersection between course design and intercultural competence. 

Laux has also worked with nonprofit, government, and education entities in more than 18 countries. An active contributor in the national dialogue, she has delivered more than 25 conference presentations and frequently publishes on high-impact practices in a global context. In 2017 she received a Fulbright International Education Administrators Award in Germany and Belgium. 

Laux is currently pursuing a doctor of education degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Pepperdine Theatre Department to Present The Taming of the Shrew https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/03/pepperdine-theatre-department-present-taming-shrew/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/03/pepperdine-theatre-department-present-taming-shrew Shows will take place at Smothers Theatre from April 3 through April 6. Wed, 27 Mar 2019 08:30:00 PDT The Taming of the Shrew - Pepperdine UniversityThe Seaver College Fine Arts Division will present The Taming of the Shrew at Smothers Theatre in Malibu on Wednesday, April 3 through Friday, April 5, at 7:30 PM, and Saturday, April 6, at 2 PM. The actors and director will lead a talk back session after the Wednesday performance.

In this unbridled new spin on Shakespeare's comedic battle of the sexes, themes of cross-dressing, gender roles, love, power, relationships, and companionship will be explored and raucous heights will be reached when the shrew is truly put on the other foot. 

Scott Alan Smith will direct Andrew Borba's celebrated version that thrilled audiences at the famed Chautauqua Theatre Company. The student cast will feature Lauren Drake, Sara Eakman, Marcela Ferrarone, Dylan Forehand, Christine Galyean, Lauren Jennerjohn, Isabel Klein, Gabi Meacham, Brooke Moltrum, Julia Pankow, Chase Perry, George Preston, Evatt Salinger, Katy Semple, Eliahs Sumpter, and Indy Wilson.

“Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is set up to continue a debate—what exactly is the nature of our relationships with each other? To say that our current times have us engaged in a very frank discussion of gender roles would be an understatement, but this discussion is hardly new. Shakespeare dealt with these very issues in his day and sought to explore the question: what would you do if the shrew were on the other foot?” Smith said.

The Seaver College Fine Arts Division offers students excellent training in the disciplines of studio art, art history, music, and theatre arts. A group of renowned faculty, who are revered in their fields as practicing scholars, artists and teachers, prepare students for careers in the arts and continued graduate study. With approximately 300 students in the division, the unique programs are designed to prepare and inspire students to develop critical thinking, nurture creativity, and create the highest level of art and scholarship.

Ticket prices range between $10 and $15. For additional information about The Taming of the Shrew, visit the Center for the Arts website.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Philosophy Professors to Debate Christian Principles amid Academic Interests https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/03/philosophy-professors-debate-christian-principles-amid-academic-interests/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/03/philosophy-professors-debate-christian-principles-amid-academic-interests The event will take place at Elkins Auditorium on March 27. Tue, 26 Mar 2019 08:00:00 PDT Tomas Bogardus and Michael BrentTomas Bogardus, assistant professor of philosophy at Seaver College, and Michael Brent, assistant professor of philosophy at University of Denver, will engage in a debate to address the question “Are Christians closed-minded?” at Elkins Auditorium on Wednesday, March 27, at 6 PM.

Bogardus and Brent will explore Christian principles as they pertain to secular academic pursuits, and examine whether accepting the authority of the Bible or a church impairs critical thinking abilities. The two professors will also analyze whether academic freedom becomes limited when Christian colleges require additional faculty members to agree to religious statements or creeds.

For additional information about this free event, visit the Events page on the Pepperdine University website.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
NFLPA Executive to Discuss the Sports Industry and Labor Laws https://www.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/03/nflpa-executive-discuss-sports-industry-and-labor-laws/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/university/2019/03/nflpa-executive-discuss-sports-industry-and-labor-laws DeMaurice Smith will explore “The Ethics of Zealous Advocacy: Understanding the Business of Sports and Labor.” Thu, 14 Mar 2019 08:30:00 PDT DeMaurice SmithDeMaurice Smith, executive director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), will present “The Ethics of Zealous Advocacy: Understanding the Business of Sports and Labor” at Pepperdine School of Law in Malibu on Thursday, March 21, at 5 PM.

Within the combined context of the sports industry and labor laws, leaders who represent players' interests are required to zealously advocate for their rights. During this fireside conversation hosted by Seaver College, Smith will share stories and provide examples of how he and other NFLPA executives have utilized multifaceted strategies to advocate for players' best interests.

In his current role with the NFLPA, Smith has led players through a 132-day lockout imposed by NFL owners to collectively negotiate and sign a 10-year collective bargaining agreement. Throughout his tenure, Smith has been a noted advocate for ensuring new health and safety protocols for football players. 

For additional information about this free event, and to register to attend, visit the Seaver College page on the Engage website.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences
Former CIA Analyst Jami Miscik ('80) to Discuss Public Service at Pepperdine https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/newsroom/2019/03/former-cia-analyst-jami-miscik-80-discuss-public-service-pepperdine/ https://newsroom.pepperdine.edu/seaver/2019/03/former-cia-analyst-jami-miscik-80-discuss-public-service-pepperdine The event is part of the W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series at Seaver College. Wed, 13 Mar 2019 10:30:00 PDT Jami MiscikJami Miscik, former deputy director for intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), will present “The Enduring Need for Public Service” at Elkins Auditorium in Malibu on Wednesday, March 20, at 5 PM. The event is part of the W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series at Seaver College.

Miscik is chief executive officer and vice chair of Kissinger Associates, Inc., a New York-based strategic international consulting firm that assesses and navigates emerging market geopolitical and macroeconomic risks for its clients. Prior to joining Kissinger Associates in 2009, Miscik served as the global head of sovereign risk at Lehman Brothers.

Before entering the private sector, the Seaver College alumna had a distinguished 22-year career in intelligence, ultimately serving as the CIA's deputy director for intelligence. In this role, she was responsible for all of the CIA's intelligence analysts, the production of all-source analysis, and for determining the content of the President's Daily Brief. Miscik also served as the director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council, and from 2014 to 2017, served on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board as co-chair. 

Miscik holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in political science and economics from Pepperdine University and a master’s degree from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

For additional information about this lecture, visit the Seaver College website.

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Seaver College of Letters Arts & Sciences