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Pepperdine GSEP Professors and Alumni Recently Featured at Social Business Academia Conference in Paris

Presentation Focused on Social Innovations at the Intersection of Poverty Eradication, Health Technology and Organizational Leadership

The November 2016 international conclave of the Social Business Academia Conference included several current Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology (GSEP) professors and recent alumni, where they shared their work in the fields of social innovation and technology.

Pepperdine GSEP professors Dr. Lani Fraizer, Dr. Farzin Madjidi, Dr. Gabriella Miramontes, and Dr. June Schmieder-Ramirez, along with GSEP alumni Dr. Cathy Deckers, Dr. Brian Thomas, and Dr. Calvin Bonds, presented an academic paper entitled “The Need to Recharge: Exploring Social Business as a Catalyst for Well-Being and Patient Improvement Outcomes” at the conference.  The paper focused on research conducted in Thailand, where the Yunus Center at the Asian Institute of Technology partnered with the Social Health Enterprise to offer health related remedies to address issues caused by office stress syndrome.

Their study reflects the continuing partnership of Drs. Madjidi and Fraizer with the communities of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and professor Muhammed Yunus, the original architect of the social business concept. The purpose of the conference itself was to connect academics, researchers, practitioners and development activists to discuss their insights on Social Business. As described by the Yunus organization, the social business movement is “unlike a charity…. a social business generates profit and aims to be financially self-sustaining. Removing the need for fundraising allows social businesses to re-invest profits back into generating sustainable social impact. A social business is a company that either creates income for the poor or provides them with essential products and services like healthcare, clean water or clean energy.”

A recipient of California's Diversity First Award, Professor Madjidi is known for being a champion of social justice and cultural competency, encouraging his students at Pepperdine's GSEP to incorporate consideration of ethnic, generational, and gender backgrounds into their academic and professional perspectives. Professor Fraizer combines change making with expertise in social entrepreneurship and workforce development. A Yunus Center Scholar as well as a Pepperdine professor, Frazier describes herself as “committed to create a world free from poverty by harnessing the power of social business and effective technologies to improve the lives of the marginalized.”

Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education & Psychology offers multiple graduate degree programs that include educational leadership, social entrepreneurship, and learning technologies, with research projects and partnerships involving current students and professors all over the world. GSEP's involvement with the recent Social Business Academia Conference reflects the graduate school's enduring commitment to training business and academic leaders who will be catalysts for change, both within their communities and across the globe.