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Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Project For Equity Research (PEPPER)

September 14, 2021  | 2 min read

Please congratulate our inaugural class of Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Project for Equity Research (PEPPER). As alumni of our PhD in Global Leadership and Change program, these three women bring a sense of professionalism, ingenuity, and academic inquiry that will propel them in their academic endeavors.

Our three Fellows are:

  • Amanda S. Wickramsinghe
  • Jeanette (Hutton) Pugh
  • Sonya Sharififard

In a continued effort to create and foster a diverse community of inclusion, equity, and belonging, the Education Division of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) has launched the inaugural Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Project for Equity Research (PEPPER) on September 1, 2021, to complete a one-year, part-time postdoctoral fellowship to engage in teaching and research in partnership with the Education Division faculty. We are humbled and excited to have them continue their journey with us.

Through the framework of PEPPER, GSEP aims to provide opportunities for research and scholarship and maximize the impact of diversity through pedagogy in order to increase both the number of professors who value diversity as a means to enhance the education of all students and the overall diversity in higher education.

“Many recent doctoral graduates often find it challenging to enter the professoriat or academic career tracks,” shares Farzin Madjidi (MBA ’88, EdD ’91), associate dean of the Education Division and professor of leadership at GSEP. According to Madjidi, students with previous work experience or relationships with strong mentors in the academy experience fewer challenges when seeking career opportunities in their chosen field of study. However, “This is not a pathway that is generally available to all students, especially those who systemically and historically have not had access to these mentorships or relationships,” Madjidi says. “The Pepperdine Excellence Postdoctoral Program for Equity Research creates the needed support for our recent PhD graduates to spend a year with us in teaching and scholarship to better prepare them to enter academia."