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SPP Alumnae Hattie Mitchell (MPP '12) and Hanna Skandera (MPP '00) Recognized as Pepperdine Outstanding Women in Leadership

November 7, 2019  | 2 min read

Hattie Mitchell

Pepperdine School of Public Policy is thrilled to recognize two of our most dynamic alumnae whose leadership in their respective fields is shifting cultural landscapes, shaping and reshaping industries, and innovating in powerful and purposeful ways. 

Alumnae Hattie Mitchell (MPP '12) and Hanna Skandera (MPP '00) are two of Pepperdine University's 2019 Outstanding Alumni | Women in Leadership honorees.

Pepperdine asked Mitchell what it means to be an honoree of this campaign. 

"Being an honoree of the Outstanding Alumni | Women in Leadership campaign is a distinct privilege. It represents outstanding accomplishment and a life of dedicated service. Ultimately, the honor of being an outstanding alumna is validation that I am fulfilling my purpose and making a difference in the world."

Mitchell describes how the Pepperdine School of Public Policy has played a role in her success. 

"My time at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy was profound in shaping who I became as a leader. The principles gained during my education at SPP continue to be a guide for my work. Moreover, the skills I learned set me apart from others and allowed me to accept opportunities when they were presented. Additionally, the friends I made during my time at Pepperdine have become some of the closest individuals and mentors that I know today. Overall, I would not be where I am today and have the effect that I do on my community without my experience at Pepperdine."

Learn more about Hattie Mitchell (MPP '12)

Hanna Skandera

Pepperdine asked Skandera what it means to be an honoree of this campaign.

"It is an incredible honor to receive this recognition. There are a tremendous number of amazing women who have gone before me and led with grace, integrity, and courage; they inspire me, and I am truly grateful to them for their example and leadership. Still today, it's so important for women to encourage and support one another on their professional journeys. There are countless glass ceilings left to break, and in both business and government especially, more women leaders are needed.

It is important for me to recognize that I would not be where I am today without the mentorship of two people I met here at Pepperdine—former president David Davenport and dean Ron Phillips. They encouraged me, had faith in my abilities, and consistently believed that I have what it takes to play a prominent role in improving the world around us. As I look forward in my professional life, I aspire to provide the same guidance and mentorship to the next generation."

Skandera describes how the Pepperdine School of Public Policy has played a role in her success. 

"Pepperdine's School of Public Policy has been a valuable part of my leadership journey, both the curriculum and experiences I engaged in, but also the relationships I built during my time here and since. It has provided a strong grounding in the foundations that America is built on, which pushed me to get clearer about my basic presuppositions. That foundation is what presented the opportunity for an internship at the Hoover Institution and later parlayed into my first real-world public policy experience. The value, however, went beyond the classroom, and the opportunity to meet and get to know so many amazing advocates, mentors, and leading thinkers— president David Davenport, dean Ron Phillips, dean and Gail Wilburn, Dr. Gordon Lloyd, Dr. Ted McAllister, Helen Young—was unparalleled. For me, Pepperdine truly was a launch pad."

Learn more about Hanna Skandera (MPP '00)