2017 Conference Speakers
We are pleased to announce our opening keynote speaker, Kyle Bowen, Director of Education Technology Services at Penn State University. In his role, Kyle leads university efforts for effective uses of technology for teaching and learning. He oversees a portfolio of services including instructional design, faculty research support, learning spaces, digital media development, and the exploration of emerging technologies. Formerly the Director of Informatics at Purdue University, he shaped and led the university's strategy to advance student success through new and innovative technologies.
Chris Heard joined the Seaver College Religion Division faculty in 2003 and was named Director of Seaver’s Center for Teaching Excellence in 2017. As a biblical scholar, Chris focuses on the use, influence, and impact of the Bible (especially the book of Genesis) in Western culture, especially pop culture. He recently published a chapter on the Bible in animated films, and has a chapter on divine and human creativity in sci-fi films and a study of Bible-themed board games currently in press. As a budding scholar of teaching and learning, Chris focuses on gameful learning; his chapter in a forthcoming volume on teaching religion with technology describes a largely unsuccessful experiment with interactive fiction.
Dr. Ardavan Asef-Vaziri is a professor of Systems and Operations Management at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). His research revolves around applications of optimization, simulation, and analytics in business process flow, facility logistics, and freight transportation. The main theme of his teaching and research is how to create streamlined, smooth, and synchronized flows. Asef is a four-time winner of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics (DNCBE) publication award. In academic year 2008, he was recognized as CSUN-DNCBE Research Fellow, which is the most prestigious scholarly award at CSUN. Asef's publications have appeared in IIE Transactions, European Journal of Operations Research, Journal of Operational Research Society, Computer & Operation Research, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, and Decision Science Journal of Innovative Education, among others. He has been the track chair of the Innovative Education track, at Decision Science Institute National Conferences 2015-2017.
Carol Che received her BA from the University of California, Irvine and is a recent graduate of Pepperdine University's MFT program. For the past two years, she was involved as the Teaching Assistant and Graduate Assistant of the two capstone courses for the Master's in Psychology program and created the online counterparts of the classroom materials. She currently serves as data manager at the CBT clinic at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and MFT intern at Pepperdine Community Counseling Center in Irvine.
Jaimie Beth Colvin received her BA and Master's in Library and Information Science from University of California, Los Angeles. She currently serves as librarian for Pepperdine University at Payson Library; for the past three years she's researched journal prestige, impact factors, alt-metrics and student's help-seeking behavior.
Jaimie Beth Colvin
Dr. Andres Currah is an Education Development Executive with Apple Inc., where he provides strategic thought leadership around the transformation of teaching and learning with technology. Based in San Diego, he works with higher education institutions across the US and internationally, specializing in the area of business education. Prior to joining Apple, Andrew served as faculty in the Center for the Environment, University of Oxford, with parallel appointments in the Oxford Internet Institute and the Oxford Reuters Institute of Journalism. He holds an MA, MPhil and Ph.D. in economic geography from Downing College, University of Cambridge, England.
Gerard Flynn is the Senior Director of IT Administration and Client Services at Pepperdine University. He manages all business and administrative aspects of the IT operating, ERP, and recharge departments. In addition, Gerard teaches BA 212 "Business Computing Applications" at Seaver College. Gerard has an MBA and has has co-authored two books: Succeeding in Business with Microsoft Office Access 2003: A Problem-Solving Approach and Succeeding in Business Applications with Microsoft Office 2003: A Problem-Solving Approach.
Reyna G. García-Ramos is a professor of education and the Chair of the Department of Education and Pedagogy at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. She currently teaches foundational courses to master's students and chairs dissertations for doctoral students with an interest in schools, communities and multilingual learners.
She served as the Faculty Liaison for the CABE of Pepperdine chapter, was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the board of the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) from 2006-2008, and is currently the secretary for the Bilingual Education Research, SIG #12 of the American Educational Research Association.
Dr. Garcia Ramos' research and teaching interests include the effective instruction of language and ethnic minority students in our K-12 public school system. She is currently exploring the integration of technology tools for teaching and learning and its impact on students of immigrant and English learner backgrounds.
Dr. Hall holds the Julian Virtue Professorship and is a Rothschild Applied Research Fellow. He is a full professor of Decision Sciences at Pepperdine University. Dr. Hall has more than 35 years of academic and industry experience in computer decision systems and information technology. He has authored numerous technical papers and several books on computer-based management decision systems. Dr. Hall received the Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Fellow in 1993, the Howard A. White Teaching Excellence Award in 2009, and the Sloan-C Effective Teaching Practice Award in 2013. His current area of research includes the application of artificial intelligent agents to integrated learning systems. Dr. Hall participated in the Apollo Moon Project at both Rockwell and TRW. He is a registered professional engineer, State of California. Dr. Hall received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and undertook post-doctoral studies at the Center for Futures Research.
Owen Hall, Jr.
With over 20 years of experience in film, television, and theater, plus a successful technology career, Varun has always considered himself a storyteller. His 2004 controversial debut film at the Palm Spring Film Festival was hailed as a "...landmark film on the indie landscape" by Variety. As an early adopter of the idea of the global digital citizen, Varun has successfully combined his entrepreneurial drive, film/television background, and technology skills with a passion for visualized, data-driven decisions to enhance consumer engagement.
Varun believes that visual, media, solutions, technology, and information literacy play a significant role in today's personal and professional life.
Dr. Kyle C. Murphy is a full-time practitioner faculty of strategy for both the MBA and BS in Management programs at the Graziadio School of Business and Management. He brings over 25 years of management experience with a variety of companies, from the Global 1000 to start-ups. Dr. Murphy’s experience includes assuming various C-level positions including CEO, COO, CMO and CFO for multiple successful companies, as well as being an investment banker and venture capitalist. His areas of specialization include strategy, branding, technology and operations management. Some of the companies he has worked with include Disney, Apple, Outward Bound, Microsoft, Ariba, Haier, Lenovo, Goldman Sachs, and Yum! Brands. Currently, Dr. Murphy is an active contract C-level executive and tech entrepreneur. He brings practical real-world experience and an experiential learning approach to the classroom.
Dr. Murphy received his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester. He received his MBA with a dual focus in marketing and global business and BS in Management both from the Graziadio School of Business and Management. Dr. Murphy’s research is multidisciplinary and focuses on strategy, behavioral economics/finance, innovation, and branding. Murphy is an active volunteer for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which works with educators in underprivileged schools to inspire young people to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities, and to plan for successful futures.
Landon Phillips serves as Lead Instructional Designer in Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group. His primary responsibilities include meeting with and assisting faculty in implementing new technologies into their curriculum, producing graphic/video training content, and creating promotional materials.
He is passionate about incorporating design and game-based learning principles into the classroom to enhance faculty messages and learning outcomes. A proud Pepperdine alumnus, he has also spent several years working in the advertising industry.
Alan Regan is the Director of IT Client Services at Pepperdine University. With almost 20 years of professional experience, Alan is passionate about helping the academic community use technology to create efficiencies, address challenges, and meet teaching and learning objectives. While his primary focus is on education, other areas of Client Services include innovation and support services. In addition to his day job, Alan is an adjunct professor for the Seaver College Business Administration Division, teaching BA 212 "Business Computing Applications." He has also served as co-chair for the 2012 Jasig-Sakai conference and the 2013 and 2014 Open Apereo conferences. In 2013 Alan was recognized as an Apereo Sakai Fellow for his contributions to the Sakai community.
Paul Stenis serves as Lead Instructional Designer for Pepperdine IT's Technology and Learning group. He has taught freshman composition, professionally edited textbooks, and served as Librarian for Emerging Technology for Pepperdine Libraries. His most recent role encompassed a range of duties, including instructional design, web design, outreach, training, grant writing, and maker spaces. Paul hopes to instill confidence in Pepperdine faculty through ongoing conversation and continued fellowship.
Natasha Thapar-Olmos, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Online Programs in Psychology at GSEP. She teaches courses on research methods, in both on-campus and online hybrid formats. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at GSEP, she runs the Recovery and Evidence-Based Practice Lab which includes both Master’s and doctoral students in psychology. Dr. T-O is also a licensed clinical psychologist and has a small private practice in Beverly Hills.
Marc Vinyard received his Master's degree in Library and Information from the University of Washington. He has worked as a research and instruction librarian at Pepperdine University since 1998. His subject specialties are business, economics and history. He has published articles in the Journal of Library Administration, Reference & User Services Quarterly, and the Charleston Advisor.
ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP PANEL
Dana Dudley is the Assistant Dean of Special Academic Program for Seaver College. She oversees Seaver graduate programs, fellowship advising, the career center, and is the director of the American Studies master's degree program. She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in American Literature, specializing in African American Literature. Her M.A. is also from CGU. She completed her bachelor's degree at Seaver College. She has served Seaver for 17 years.
Professor Jim Gash is a Professor of Law at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law in his eighteenth year of teaching and teaches Torts, Evidence, Remedies, and Legal Ethics. He is currently the Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and External Relations, and oversees Pepperdine Law’s new online Masters in Legal Studies Program. He also serves as the Director of the Sudreau Global Justice Program, and served as Dean of Students at Pepperdine Law from 2005-12. Professor Gash graduated first in his class at Pepperdine Law in 1993 and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review. He graduated summa cum laude from Abilene Christian University in 1989.
Prior to academia, Dr. McQuaid’s industry experience included engineering, operations, and project management positions with U.S. Steel, General Dynamics, and Abbott Laboratories. After receiving his PhD in Management Science from the University of North Texas, he joined Graziadio as a Decision Sciences faculty member in 1998. In addition to teaching classes in both Decision Sciences and Information Systems, he has served in a variety of service and administrative leadership roles including inter alia: Director of the Full-time MBA Program; inaugural Director of the MS in Business Analytics Program; Chair of the newly created Information Systems and Technology Management discipline; Chaired PGBS’ Full-time MBA Program, Faculty Council, and Personnel Committees; Chairing the University Faculty Council for four years and serving on the University Academic (UAC), Grievance (UGC), and Tenure (UTC) Committees.
Pete Peterson is the dean of Pepperdine’s School of public policy, and a leading national speaker and writer on issues related to civic participation, and the use of technology to make government more responsive and transparent. He was the first executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at the School. In 2008, he developed the organization's annual Public Engagement Grant Program, which has provided over $400,000.00 in grants over the last several years to dozens of municipal governments across California. Peterson has also consulted on several of these projects with local governments, and has directly facilitated public meetings. Peterson has co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, "Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times" a program that has been attended by over 1,000 municipal officials, and he also co-created and co-facilitates the seminar, "Gov 2.0: What Public Officials Need to Know."
Helen Easterling Williams, EdD, is the dean of Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP). Williams, a lifelong educator, has served three decades in higher education leadership. She established Pepperdine’s first PhD program in Global Leadership and Change complete with an endowed visiting professorship and two endowed scholarship funds, one for African American males exclusively and one for all persons-of-color. Prior to assuming her role at GSEP in August 2014, Williams was the president of Health Education & Welfare International, a firm that provides consultative services designed to improve the health, education, and welfare of individuals, faith-based organizations, higher education institutions, and elementary and secondary educational organizations.
Helen Easterling Williams