Robert Chapman (MPP '06) worked in the graphic design industry for more than a decade until the events of September 11, 2001 changed everything. "I wanted to do something that felt more meaningful to me," Rob reflects. Encouraged by his interest in international policy and his skill with quantitative analysis, Rob left his career as an art director for computer magazines and enrolled in the Pepperdine School of Public Policy.
Change is the movement from the status quo, and it starts from within. Pepperdine trains its students to identify and solve policy issues, but also to balance the many factors at play across many disciplines, which requires attention to personal reasoning and communal passion.
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While studying at the School of Public Policy, Chapman gained firsthand experience of the public policy world, which he describes as "all about making differences on the margins."
"If we can liberate some of the oppressed, feed some of the hungry and reduce some of the evil in this world, we will be able to look back with a sense of accomplishment, and look forward to the next challenge."
Chapman's own career trajectory has indeed been guided by his commitment to service. Participation in mission trips to South Africa and Uganda, where he helped build an orphanage, demonstrated to him how "a little work can make a huge difference in people's lives. Even small changes in public policy can make a huge difference in a whole country," he observed.
Rob now works for a Defense Department contractor, and hopes his family will eventually move to Uganda. He and his wife founded a company called Chappy's Power Organics that manufactures plant inoculants, which enable roots to take water and fertilizer more efficiently, a specific need for farming in the Middle East and northern Africa. "We're interested in improving agriculture so countries can better feed themselves, rather than relying on outside aid so much."