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Wave 1 was designed to provide you with basic introductory information about Pepperdine University and the Graziadio School of Business and Management. You will be introduced to key leaders and guided to resources that you can review at your own pace.

Dean's Welcome

Read Dean van Rensburg's welcome message about the higher purpose we share as staff members of Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the words that he encourages us to embrace and embody in everything we do.

About Pepperdine

In this section you will learn more information about our founder George Pepperdine; the history of Pepperdine University; the five schools of our University; and our senior administration. Links to videos and publications highlighting the Pepperdine experience also are provided.

About the Graziadio School

Read more about the history and mission of the Graziadio School of Business and Management. You will also find our organization chart and information about our benefactors, executive leadership team, faculty, programs, locations, and accreditation.


Meet the Graziadio Employee Onboarding (GEO) Team

M Bell Y Gendelman M Knapp roger lotho C Mcnamee
T Nguyen Valerie Nowacki JQ D. Galuhn  



In former Dean Linda Livingstone's 2009 message, she stated that “each of us has a role to play in ensuring the Graziadio School’s future” and that she would be calling upon “each student, staff member, faculty, and alumnus” to contribute “time, energy, and talents.” The idea of developing an onboarding program specific to the Graziadio School surfaced in 2010 when staff members under former Associate Dean Gabriella Soroldoni collectively brainstormed how we could contribute to the Distinctive Leadership 2015 strategic plan. Task Groups relating to the five key objectives were formed, and as we examined ways in which we could enhance community and communication within the Graziadio School, the Graziadio Employee Onboarding (GEO) project emerged as a natural fit.


By integrating and coordinating onboarding efforts within the Graziadio School, we can create a foundation for consistent transfer of knowledge for both staff and supervisors. Specifically, the onboarding program could provide the following positive business impacts:

Develop Realistic Job Expectations, Positive Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction: It is important that employees learn as soon as possible what is expected of them, and what to expect from others, in addition to learning about the values and attitudes of the organization. While people can learn from experience, they will make many mistakes that are unnecessary and potentially damaging. The main reasons orientation programs fail: The program was not planned; the employee was unaware of the job requirements; the employee does not feel welcome.

Reduce Anxiety: Any employee, when put into a new, strange situation, will experience anxiety that can impede his or her ability to learn to do the job. Proper orientation helps to reduce anxiety that results from entering into an unknown situation, and helps provide guidelines for behavior and conduct, so the employee doesn’t have to experience the stress of guessing.

Save Time for the Supervisors: Simply put, the better the initial orientation, the less likely supervisors and co-workers will have to spend time teaching the employee about general Graziadio information, and thus can spend more time on job-specific training.

Reduce start-up costs: Proper orientation can help the employee “get up to speed” more quickly, thereby reducing the costs associated with learning the job.

Reduce Employee Turnover: Employee turnover increases as employees feel they are not valued, or are put in positions where they can’t possibly do their jobs. Orientation shows that the organization values the employee, and helps provide the tools necessary for succeeding in the job.


Our research showed that most modern corporate on-boarding programs offer a hybrid platform of delivery that consists of in-person components, checklists, and just-in-time online information, so that is how we designed GEO to enhance community and communication within the Graziadio School.




GEO - Enhancing Community and Communication