Student Groups and Faculty Leadership
Student and Faculty Leadership
- Doctoral student of psychology Kimberly Smith has served as regional diversity coordinator
for the western region of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Graduate
Student Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA). CEMA encourages the recruitment
and retention of ethnic minority students in psychology by providing grants for student-organized
multicultural training events, and engaging in advocacy activities to increase awareness
of multicultural issues.
- Dr. Reyna Garcia-Ramos, associate professor of education and officer of the GSEP chapter
of the California Association for Bilingual Education, has worked in bilingual classrooms
throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District and designed culturally relevant
curricula for Spanish-speaking immigrants living in California. She is the secretary
of the Bilingual Education Research Committee of the American Educational Research
Association, and has utilized her bilingual skills as an expert witness for the California
Superior Court. The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) selected
Pepperdine University as the Chapter of the Year for 2011. Pepperdine was recognized
for exemplifying CABE’s vision of “Biliteracy and Educational Equity for All” and
for exceling in chapter structure, membership growth, parental involvement, advocacy,
leadership, and vision.
- Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, associate professor of psychology and director of the Culture
and Trauma Research Lab, provides trauma survivors, women, and minorities alternative
coping strategies such as spirituality and the arts. Bryant-Davis aims to help future
generations of psychologists expand the scope of the possibilities that exist for
them as practitioners, researchers, policy shapers, social justice advocates, and
- Dr. Miguel Gallardo, associate professor of psychology and former president of the
California Psychological Association (CPA) and the California Latino Psychological
Association, is interested in furthering the progress of the Latino community. That
passion is a driving force behind his initiative to boost the multicultural psychology
perspectives of CPA and enhance the association’s response to the diverse populations
- Dr. Aaron Aviera, director of the GSEP West Los Angeles Community Counseling Center
and the Pepperdine Counseling Clinic at the Jerry Butler Union Rescue Mission, has
worked extensively with the Latino population. He often conducts therapy sessions
in Spanish, as well as English and previously worked at Metropolitan State Hospital
with persistently mentally ill Latino clients. In addition, he has established culturally-sensitive
interventions such as using "dichos" (sayings) and "proverbios" (proverbs) as therapeutic
tools for Spanish-speakers.
- Dr. Daryl Rowe, professor of psychology and national chair of the African Psychology
Institute, is exploring new territory by developing a curriculum for African Psychology.
He is often called upon to consult with local, state, and national agencies and organizations
regarding issues of diversity. When not teaching cross-culturalism and practicum,
Rowe maintains a private practice in which he emphasizes the psychological needs of
persons of African descent.
- Dr. Farzin Madjidi, professor of leadership, received the California Diversity Council's
2009 DiversityFirst Award. He was chosen for his work guiding student groups on international
trips through the doctor of education in organizational leadership program, which
he co-directs. Madjidi stresses the role of social justice in achieving leadership
success, and encourages students to incorporate ethnic, generational, and gender aspects
into their research and consulting.
- Dr. Martine Jago, associate professor of education, is fluent in English, French,
and German; proficient in Spanish, Italian, and Dutch; and currently learning Korean.
Jago states her goal as promoting intercultural understanding and communication in
the field of education. Jago believes foreign language is an important skill to impart
on children from an early age, and her dissertation explored how policy can improve
the curriculum to help children learn foreign languages.