Distinguished Young Alumna Award
Kerri Cissna-Heath ’01
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” – Daniel 12:3
Warner Pacific College is honored to recognize Kerri Cissna-Heath ’01 with the 2011 Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Inspired by the leadership training she received as a student at Warner Pacific, Kerri has dedicated her career to serving college students, specifically in the areas of leadership development, team building, and diversity training.
A Religion and Christian Ministry major at Warner Pacific, Kerri served as student chaplain during her sophomore and junior years, and Student Body President her senior year. Kerri credits many Warner Pacific faculty and staff for serving as mentors in her life and encouraging her to explore higher education administration as a calling and career. At graduation, Kerri received the 2001 A. F. Gray Award, given to a graduating senior who most demonstrates the living example of a godly life, a disciplined mind, and a warm and loving heart.
After leaving Warner Pacific, Kerri spent two years completing a master of Education in College Student Affairs degree at Azusa Pacific University, where she also worked as the assistant residence director in the Office of Residence Life. Kerri then moved to Wilmore, Ky. in 2003 to become the Resident Director in the Office of Leadership Development. She managed an apartment complex of 150 student leaders, taught leadership workshops, and coordinated service projects. It was also at Asbury that Kerri met her future husband, Zac.
In 2006, Kerri accepted a position as the Student Leadership Development Coordinator at Pepperdine University, in Malibu, Calif. A year later, she added the role of Resident Director of Graduate Housing. Kerri advised and guided student government leaders, coordinated campus-wide leadership education and development programming, and organized the first Student Leadership Conference. In July 2009, Kerri became the Director of Housing and Residence Life at Pepperdine, supervising 11 professional staff and 115 paraprofessional staff, and overseeing a multi-million dollar budget. She also leads emergency response team training and recruitment.
In addition to her career in higher education, Kerri is passionate about using the medium of film to communicate Christian truth. She and Zac co-founded Inspired Life Films and produced their first film, “The River Within”, in 2009, with a micro-budget of only $40,000. The film was profitable and the Heaths plan to film their second feature later this year.
Kerri is continuing her education by pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine. She is evidence that Warner Pacific is living out its mission of modeling a community that reflects the Kingdom of God. In recognition of her faithful career of service, Warner Pacific is pleased to welcome Kerri into the circle of distinguished alumni, this day, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.