What were you doing before coming to Pepperdine GSEP?

Before beginning the Masters of Arts in Learning Technologies at Pepperdine, I was on the cusp of embarking on a new journey. I was making a huge career "shift" from marketing to a new career in Information Technology within an academic setting. During this time, I did a lot of "soul searching" and reflecting on what mark I wanted to leave on the world. I asked myself, "when I leave this earth, how do I want to be remembered?" With this introspection came the realization that marketing didn't exactly "fit the bill" - that is, it wasn't a label I wanted to define me. Instead, I wanted my love of gadgets and my passion for learning, to be my "label." I knew that I wanted to share my love of technology with others and help people learn and I knew Pepperdine could help me achieve those goals.

What are your career goals post-GSEP?

I am currently working as a System Support Analyst in the IT department for a college district. My position requires that I help train individuals and implement various technological systems. While I enjoy my current job, my goal is to move toward a more academic role, as a professor. In Pepperdine's Masters of Arts in Learning Technologies program, I was shown the importance of learning theory and what it takes to design products that encourage learning. From the Action Research component, I was able to enhance my professionalism; to be one who is willing to examine issues, confront the effectiveness of current practices, and develop a method for resolution. Understanding results, when acted upon can then result in change. From here, I plan to continue to study educational technology by pursuing a doctorate degree and continuing to conduct research.

What are you doing with your GSEP degree?

With my Master's Degree, I am currently practicing several key elements that were a significant theme of the MALT program. Those themes being 1) the benefit of social learning 2) focusing more on the process of getting something done than on the product and 3) putting your ideas into action. The following is how I am using my degree:

As a Systems Support Analyst, I am constantly working on systems which a majority of my faculty and administrators use. In working on these systems I am required to implement, problem solve and instruct people about how they work and how to use them. My methods of teaching the members of faculty and administration how to use these systems has been greatly aided by what I learned in MALT. Additionally, my ability to find issues and bring about resolutions has also been greatly increased by what I learned while attending GSEP.

In addition to being a System Support Analyst, I am also a coach for a club swim team. Many of the theories I learned in MALT also apply to athletic environments. At practice the swimmers I coach and I, explore new and innovative ways to 1) learn to swim faster 2) learn more about how you, the individual swims and 3) that just because an environment is competitive doesn't mean the learning within needs to be exclusive. In fact, my final Action Research Project in MALT, focused on the performance benefits of collaborative swimming instruction. The lessons learned from this study are still fundamental in how I coach my team today.

Essentially, in every aspect of my life, the lessons I learned while at Pepperdine are being employed in some way.

Why did you choose to come to Pepperdine GSEP?

The reason I chose Pepperdine's Master of Arts in Learning Technology program, in GSEP, is quite simple...my entire life I felt that I was taught that I was supposed to learn in a very prescribed method, a method that opposed what I felt to be natural for me. MALT challenged the "cookie cutter method". Naturally, as a result, I felt that the program was a perfect fit. My experience in the program proved that notion correct. Participating in MALT was easily one of the best decisions I have made with my life. I would recommend it to anyone! If I could do it again, you can count of the fact I would. As such, Pepperdine's Doctorate in Learning Technology is my number one pick for a doctorate program!