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Charla Griffy-Brown, PhD: Inspiring Personal Transformations

What do you believe distinguishes Pepperdine University in higher education?

"Pepperdine University and the Graziadio School of Business and Management are purposely focused on the personal transformation of its students. Our university mission uniquely involves the whole person in an ongoing educational process that extends beyond their time as a student. We believe in providing opportunity and  equipping individuals with the skills to have impact in their workplace and communities so they can succeed as leaders with purpose. Our focus on moral integrity and theology as valuable optics that should be included in teaching and business practice sets the business school apart. I am honored to play a role in positioning Graziadio students for impact at this institution."

What do you enjoy about teaching here at Pepperdine Graziadio?

"Our university mission uniquely involves the whole person in an ongoing educational process."

Charla Griffy-Brown, PhD

"What I truly enjoy about the Pepperdine Graziadio School are the people who are a part of this community. The faculty members are some of my closest friends. The same can be said of our alumni with whom I keep in constant contact. The students are inspirational and strive to transform their businesses and communities. I see how much they challenge themselves, and admire their dedication and hard work."

How do you think your class enriches the academic experience here at Pepperdine Graziadio?

"I strongly believe in storytelling and engaging students in unique ways. I have been fortunate enough to be appointed to corporate boards and consult with a broad array of companies. Because I work with C-level executives I am often able to bring them into the classroom as guest speakers. These executives bring a high level of expertise from an experienced background and are able to tell their stories. Their personal, business and technology stories – told and experienced in multiple ways – are an integral part of my class.

In addition, in order to further leverage the unique qualities of the BSM, EMBA and FEMBA programs I teach, I engage students with interactive activities. For example, in my EMBA Information Systems for Business Innovation course, students have to learn how to be effective in communicating highly technical concepts to executives and incorporate data into decision-making. They practice this almost on the spot as I put them in 'boardroom' situations where they have to drive a compelling message to key stakeholders. At a more operational level, I use games, simulations, case studies and competitive group work to equip BSM and FEMBA students with a deeper understanding of concepts and their immediate application in their workplace. The goal is for them to achieve a high level of expertise – an ability to communicate concepts and identify gaps and opportunities strategically and operationally. Ultimately, this will get them noticed in their workplace and positioned for career advancement."

Describe a rewarding project, class or academic experience that you are currently working on or have completed here at Pepperdine Graziadio.

"I have a strong appreciation for innovation in education. Currently, I am designing new elements for online learning and I am testing these approaches in the classroom. One approach my students are very attracted to this quarter is gaming. I'm interested to see what the learning outcomes are for this course given these new design elements and my students' eagerness to participate. I am also working to bring in new concepts of risk, analytics and enterprise architecture around innovation and information security."

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