Photo courtesy of Heather Pardee
Pepperdine administration finalized their decision to select alumna Heather Pardee as the new director for the London International Program (IP). Pardee will move to London this summer with her husband, Cambry Pardee, and begin her new position starting Aug. 1, according to an email the Dean of International Programs Charles Hall sent out to faculty and staff on March 22 announcing the change.
“I am so proud of the ways that Pepperdine is leading in the field of international education, and I am honored to continue building this legacy of Pepperdine students living and learning abroad,” Pardee wrote in an email statement.
Pardee has a long history of interest and experience with international studies that began during her time as a Seaver College student. Pardee studied abroad for a full academic year at Pepperdine’s Lyon, France homestay program and graduated magna cum laude in 2008 with a BA in French and International Studies.
Since then, Pardee earned a master’s degree in Linguistics at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, as well as accumulated numerous additional linguistic certificates and qualifications from different universities.
“I have had the opportunity to contribute to a wide variety of international programs and to work closely with dozens of faculty directors who have been leading study abroad programs for decades,” Pardee wrote. “I have had the benefit of learning from their shared experiences around the globe and I hope to draw on the very best of these examples as Director of the Pepperdine London program.”
Currently, Pardee is the Associate Director of Travel Study programs in the UCLA International Education Office. Although employed by UCLA, Pardee has remained connected to her alma mater.
Pardee’s husband, Cambry Pardee, is a professor of Religion at Pepperdine. In addition, Pardee said she has enjoyed getting to know Pepperdine students through hosting Club Convocations and Campus Ministry House Groups over the past two years.
“Among the 82 applicants for the London director position, Heather stood out from the very beginning of the search process,” Hall wrote in an email statement. “Students in the London program are going to love Heather…she has an engaging personality, loves students and she understands how students are impacted by an international experience.”
Pardee said one thing she is most excited about is being able to share the study abroad experience with the students.
“There is something magical about living abroad for the first time, and I am looking forward to witnessing those moments of magic,” Pardee said. “Living abroad can also be surprisingly challenging, and I hope to be a guide for Pepperdine students as they learn to navigate a new country and culture.”
Pardee will be taking the role of previous director Carolyn Vos Strache, who served the Pepperdine community in various capacities for 38 years and held the London director position for 14 of those years.
Assistant Director of the London Program Jennifer Ryan said she worked with Vos Strache nearly 10 years, and Ryan wrote, “that’s longer than some marriages last!”
“Carolyn has [left] big shoes to fill but that being said, I have faith that the selection committee has chosen a great replacement and I look forward to getting to know Heather and Cambry,” Ryan wrote in an email statement.
Looking to the future of the London IP Program, Pardee expressed a desire to foster “a vibrant spiritual community and a focus on London as a diverse urban center.”
“I hope that Pepperdine students will learn to appreciate and understand the complexities of urban life and that they will come to know London as more than just the historic and refined capitol of the British Empire, but also as an evolving and modern global city,” Pardee wrote.
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