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Pepperdine Mourns the Loss of GSEP faculty member Dr. Elizabeth Fong

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It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Elizabeth (Lyz) Fong, associate director of the online master of science in applied behavior analysis (MSABA) program at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. The University was notified that Lyz passed unexpectedly on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

A Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, native, Lyz earned her bachelor’s degree at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; her master’s degree from Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pennsylvania; and her PhD from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. Lyz was a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and licensed behavior specialist in Pennsylvania. She published in the area of behavior analysis, culture, and diversity. Lyz served on the Executive Committee for the American Psychological Association’s Division 35 as the co-chair for the Committee on Technology. Lyz was the founder of the Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts (now called the Culture and Diversity SIG of ABAI) and the coordinator for the Association for Behavior Analysis International Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion board. She was also a subject matter expert for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

Remembering Lyz and her time at Pepperdine, GSEP MSABA program director Adel Najdowski shared, "I am profoundly saddened by the loss of my dear friend and colleague, Lyz Fong. She was a beacon of joy, making people happy and bringing smiles to those around her. Lyz’s impact extended beyond her warm spirit; she led the field of behavior analysis in its initial efforts toward diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her legacy will be remembered and missed dearly by all who were fortunate enough to experience her kindness."

We are planning an online memorial for our community. Details to follow.

We encourage those who feel they may need support to contact the Counseling Center (310.506.4210), where counselors are available to talk 24/7 for any emotional assistance. Out-of-state students can access ongoing counseling using the TimelyCare app. Student pastoral care is also available from the team at the Hub for Spiritual Life. Contact Tim Spivey, vice president for spiritual life, to make an appointment. For additional support or to locate a mental health professional in your community, contact the Student Care Team. Faculty and staff may reach out to University chaplain Sara Barton.

For those who wish to send condolences to Lyz’s family, please send cards, notes, or letters to: Robert deMayo, associate dean of psychology, Pepperdine GSEP, 6100 Center Drive, Los Angeles CA 90045; psychassocdean@pepperdine.edu. The office of the GSEP associate dean of psychology will forward all correspondence to Lyz’s family.

We offer our deepest condolences to Lyz’s family, friends, and loved ones and keep them in our hearts during this time of grief. Please join me in lifting up Lyz’s family in prayer and remembering Lyz as a beloved member of our Pepperdine community.