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Student Spotlight: Lina Safa - AERA Chair

Lina Safa headshot

“Empowering women through education has been my guiding star, a passion that has shaped my journey at Pepperdine University, a place I proudly call home,” says Lina Safa. As she nears her completion in the Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership program at Pepperdine GSEP, she is humbled by the path that has led her here. With her graduation expected in May 2024, Lina’s focus has been unwavering: to elevate leadership among women in higher education.

Her research on Lebanese women leaders in higher education reflects this commitment. This focus was central to her presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2023 Annual Meeting and in her role as a Graduate Student Reviewer for the 2024 Annual Meeting submissions. AERA is a national research society that aims to advance education knowledge, encourage education-related scholarly inquiry, and promote research that might improve education and serve the greater good of society. It is the world's largest gathering of education researchers and a showcase for seminal, innovative studies in a wide variety of areas. This work not only honed Lina’s critical thinking skills but also earned her the honor of chairing three sessions and serving as a discussant at the upcoming AERA Annual Meeting 2024.

“Pepperdine University has been more than an academic institution for me; it’s been a nurturing ground for my aspirations. Here, I found a community that shares my vision of empowering women through education. This alignment of values has been a significant force in my journey, pushing me to strive for excellence in every endeavor.”

Reflecting on her journey, Lina realizes how crucial her role is in shaping the future of leadership. Her involvement is a testament to her commitment and the support she has received from Pepperdine, a place that has been instrumental in turning her dreams into tangible impacts.

As Lina looks forward, she is energized by the prospect of contributing meaningfully to the field of education and organizational leadership. This chapter at Pepperdine, filled with learning and growth, is just the beginning of a lifelong journey to empower women and make a lasting difference in the world of education.