DEAN’S MESSAGE: Find Your Center in 2013

Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

Image courtesy of DreamWorks

Over the holiday break my family and I enjoyed having the time to see several movies that had just come out. One we found particularly enjoyable was Rise of the Guardians. While this is an animated movie marketed to children, it has a much deeper message that I believe is relevant for us at the Graziadio School.

A classic tale of the battle of good (the Guardians) vs. evil (Pitch, the Boogey Man), the traditional Guardians (Santa, Sandman, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy) are joined by a new Guardian, Jack Frost. Jack, however, doesn’t understand why he has been chosen as a guardian or what he has to contribute to protecting children from the fear generated by Pitch.

Santa implores Jack to find his “center” (which for Santa is wonder, for Sandman dreams, for Easter Bunny hope and for Tooth Fairy light) and then he will know his role. Ultimately, as you might expect, Jack learns that his center is “fun” and through that plays an instrumental role in helping the guardians overcome Pitch’s fear so that children do not lose wonder, dreams, hope, light and fun.

As we begin a new year at the Graziadio School, reflecting on what is our center and, I think, how we live out our center in the classroom and in our interactions with our students and with one another is a valuable exercise.

Our mission statement articulates four core values that help to “center” us: integrity, courage, compassion and stewardship. In the coming year may we all exhibit integrity in our words and deeds, may we display courage to live out our values on a daily basis, may we show compassion for our colleagues and those less fortunate, and may we be good stewards of the gifts and resources God has given each of us.

Dean Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.Wishing each of you a blessed and centered 2013,
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Management

Heartfelt Concern for Storm Sandy Victims


My heart goes out to the millions who are still without power in the Northeast and the many communities from New England to North Carolina struggling to dig out from the debris and damage following landfall this week of Storm Sandy. We know from the news that this storm is one of the region’s most devastating ever.

As I watch and read the accounts, I cannot help to remember Katrina and its horrifying impact. There is no part of the country that is not affected when nature acts so destructively. We all know someone directly touched by Sandy’s fury, even here in Los Angeles, be it family members, friends, colleagues or classmates.

When such disasters strike it is comforting to know that there are so many willing to help those who have been affected. I encourage you to use your alumni and professional network. Do not hesitate to reach out to classmates, professors and the University if we can be of assistance.

You have numerous connections through the Graziadio School that may be in the area or that know someone who is. Your network can be a resource for information and for ensuring those in harm’s way are safe and secure. I am also encouraging all in our community to give in this time of need to one of the many worthy organizations that are meeting the needs of the storm victims. The people displaced by this storm will need food, clothing, medical supplies and any number of things in the coming weeks.

If the University can be of assistance and you wonder where to start, contact the Graziadio School Office of Alumni Relations at, or 310-568-5532.

Please join me in keeping in your prayers and hearts the millions in the Northeast enduring this storm’s aftermath. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Holiday season approaching, they will particularly need our common humanity during this season.
Bless You,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
Dean, Graziadio School of Business and Management

Photo: Courtesy