With numerous teaching awards under his belt, Dr. Farzin Madjidi, professor of leadership at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP), is well-known as an expert in diversity in education. In fact, he recently received the California Diversity Council's 2009 DiversityFirst Award, one of the highest honors that can be attained in the field. Madjidi was chosen for his pioneering work cultivating cultural competency and leading student groups on international trips to Mexico and China through the doctor of education in organizational leadership program, which he co-leads with professor of education Dr. June Schmeider-Ramirez. "Teaching is a privilege and an opportunity for me to serve our students," said Madjidi. "If I can contribute even slightly to helping them fulfill their God-given potential, then I have taken a step toward fulfilling my own purpose in life."
In the classroom, Madjidi stresses the role of social justice in achieving leadership success, and encourages students to incorporate ethnic, generational, and gender aspects into their academic research and consulting. "Leadership is far more about sharing than it is about taking charge," Madjidi explained. "I view my students as equal learning partners with different roles and responsibilities. Ultimate learning takes place in an environment of trust and mutual respect."