Seaver College Career Center Staff

Meet The Staff

Amy Adams, Executive Director

Amy has worked at Pepperdine University for over 10 years in multiple capacities. She is a dual alumnus of Pepperdine, where she earned a BA in Public Relations and Non-Profit Management ('02) and an MBA ('08). Amy is passionate about leadership and enjoys strategically guiding the Career Center team as they seek to help students and alumni prepare and compete professionally. Her experiences with event planning, marketing, public relations, fundraising, information system management, and communications influence her work every day.

Marla Pontrelli, Associate Director & Industry Specialist

Marla Pontrelli serves as the Associate Director and Industry Specialist for the areas of non-profit, social services, and ministry. She guides students and alumni in all stages of their career development from a goal-oriented and strengths-based approach. She seeks to connect Pepperdine's vast network of faculty, employers, and mentors to provide a diverse range of valuable professional opportunities. Marla holds a master's degree in counseling psychology and has a background in career counseling, teaching, and research in higher education.

Nancy Shatzer, Industry Specialist

Nancy has served as an internship coordinator and industry specialist in the career center for 15 years. She has extensive experience with employers in the entertainment, media and the arts industries and works with employers setting up new internship programs. Nancy represents the career center at the national consortium University Career Action She has served as Past President, President, Secretary, and Conference chair with the California Internship and Work Experience Association. She has studied the learning experience of student interns and has her Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara in education and organizational leadership.

Christine Gist, Industry Specialist

Christine graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Management and a Master in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. She also holds a Career Coaching Intensive certificate from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Christine serves as the Industry Specialist for Business and has over 10 years of experience in career advising working with students, alumni, and employers. Her advising experience ranges across various career fields including business management, accounting and human resources. She also enjoys volunteering her time with non-profit organizations providing guidance and support with resume reviews and mock interviews.

Yeneba Smith, Industry Specialist

Yeneba is a career development professional with a strong commitment to serving the needs of young adults and early careerists. Yeneba brings 10 years of career coaching experience in higher education, six years in teaching, and over eight years as a professional resume writer for professionals from various industries and backgrounds. She is skilled in individual coaching, workshop facilitation and design, writing, teaching, and speaking. She has also held ministry roles as an evangelist and worship leader alongside her career. Yeneba is a summa cum laude graduate from the University of Illinois with a BA in English/Writing ('00) and is thrilled to serve the Pepperdine community.

Ryan Groves, Director of Strategic Employer Partnerships

Ryan is an experienced entrepreneur with a a background in non-profit, consulting, talent acquisition, and tech. His first company, Wishing Well, worked with students at more than 50 schools across the US to provide clean water to 40,000 people. Ryan has been a speaker at the Creativity World Forum, TEDx, and dozens of universities across the country, including Yale. As Director of Strategic Employer Partnerships, Ryan works closely with the Seaver Career Center team to create relationships and opportunities with Pepperdine's core employer group. Ryan holds a B.S. in Interdisciplinary studies from Oklahoma Christian University ('11) and a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship & Change from Pepperdine University ('15).

Maile Hetherington, Manager of Programs and Partnerships

Maile graduated as Magna Cum Laude from Sacred Heart University with a B.A. in Media Studies and Digital Culture, and a M.A. in Digital Media Production Communications. Maile comes from a background of film, television and video production. She serves as the Marketing & Events Coordinator for all Seaver College Career related events.

Madelline Abourched, Office Manager

Madelline is an Azusa Pacific University graduate with a B.A. in Sociology and an emphasis in Psychology. She joined the Seaver Career Center team in the fall of 2015 as the Office Manager and finds joy in serving the Pepperdine community through the resources that the Career Center offers. Her various responsibilities includes supervising student staff, data accuracy and reporting, managing the Career Center's online platform Handshake, and reconciling office finances.


Jeffrey Longust, Student Affairs Intern

Jeff Longust graduated from Seaver College in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science and a Certificate in Conflict Management from the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution. He is currently pursuing his M.A. in Public Policy with concentrations in both Economics and International Relations. He is interested in foreign and trade policy and has used several functions of the Pepperdine Career Center to access internships and advance his competitiveness for future job opportunities. He will serve as the Student Affairs Intern with the Seaver College Career Center for the 2017-2018 school year.

Seaver College Career Center, Tyler Campus Center, Suite 210
Phone (310) 506-4184 • Fax (310) 506-4428