About Josh‎ > ‎



Biola University 
B.A. Interdisciplinary Mass Communication, 2006 – 2010, La Mirada, CA. Torrey Honors Institute, Deans List
University of Oxford
S.S.O. , Politics & Aesthetics, 2008 – 2008, Oxford, England.
- Report from Oxford is attached at the bottom of this page. 

B.A. Time Statistics: 2006-2010

Korean International Language Institute,
Sudanese Colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic , 2004 – 2005 , Khartoum, Sudan.

Gulf Arabic Program
Gulf Colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic , 2001 – 2002 , Al Ain, U.A.E. 


Josh Penman studied the philosophy of Western Civilization through the Torrey Honors Insititute at Biola, a great books program patterned after the Oxford tutorial system. The main features of the program are small class sizes, in-depth discussion of primary texts, and high academic standards. Grading was somewhat different between Oxford and the Torrey program (1), but an 'A' in Torrey would generally be equivalent to an 'A-' at Oxford (2).

Josh has been interested in Psychometric profiling since he was in high-school, and discovered the Myers Briggs Type Indicator while he was in Sudan. During his undergraduate degree he used psychometric tools in the organizations he led and consulted for, and his final class at Biola, Industrial/Organizational Psychology futhered his expectation that I/O Psych has big role to play in making international organizations more effective.

Because Josh produced Sudan's first national HIV/AIDS prevention media campaign before attending university, the natural major to enroll in was Biola's Film/Television/Radio program ('FTR', later changed to "Cinema & Media Arts"). 

Torrey and FTR required separate applications and were more selective than Biola University as a whole. Literature at the time of application hinted that acceptance rates were at or near 10% for each program, though Josh's later subjective experience would estimate acceptance rates for the programs at 40-50%, and he may have confused Biola's policy that no more than 10% of the student body could be in the honors program with a 10% acceptance rate. 

When ability and preference tests at Biola's career counseling center indicated that Josh would make a good management consultant, he decided to change his major from Film Production to something that would be applicable in a wide range of contexts. In the end, he designed his own interdisciplinary major in the CMA program, called 'Media Management for Non-Profits.' Through this major he was able to take the capstone courses for both Cinema & Media Arts and Biola's Communications department, and study abroad at the University of Oxford, while still completing his B.A. in 3 1/2 years. 

Introduction to the 'Media Management for Non-Profits' Major

Josh Penman designed this interdisciplinary major in order to study abroad at Oxford, and to study all of the most interesting courses that Biola had to offer, regardless of which department they exist in. What follows is the logic he used when proposing this interdisciplinary major to the Cinema & Media Arts department. 

Josh Penman designed this interdisciplinary major under the Mass Comm. department to develop skills that are needed for Media Management for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the Middle East and North Africa.

The mix of courses is chosen based on his experience working with with NGOs, CBOs (Community-Based Organizations), United Nations departments, and governmental organizations such as the Sudan National AIDS Program (SNAP) and the Khartoum State Ministry of Health as producer of Sudan's first HIV/AIDS prevention media campaign in 2005-2006.

As a producer, Josh found himself lacking in three areas: 

  1. Knowledge of practical and theoretical sides of the media production process.
  2. Information gathering and investigation.
  3. Organizational communication and efficiency. 
The Media Management for NGO's major addresses these weaknesses and offers a balanced focus between foundational theory and practical skills. 

Theoretical Media Production
For theoretical knowledge, the initial classes in the Film Production major at Biola University fit perfectly: The Art of Storytelling, Visual Aesthetics, and History of Cinema introduce the theoretical side of media production, while Philosophy of Aesthetics at Oxford and Rhetoric of Media Studies (Biola's Comm. department capstone course) allow deeper study of media theory and philosophical bases.

Practical Media Production
Experience in script creation, pre-production, camera work, sound, and logistics/production management is solidified with Intro to TV & Film Production, Editing for Film & Television, The Entertainment Business, Mass Media Law & Ethics, and the Senior Media Project (Biola's Cinema & Media Arts department capstone course). 

Information Gathering & Investigation
Much of Josh's work in Sudan involved collecting information in a hostile political environments, so Information Gathering and Database Analysis for Investigative Reporting in the Journalism department improves investigative and internet research abilities and Methods of Communications Research, in the CNMA department familiarizes him with research tools and builds academic research skills.

Organizational Communication & Efficiency
From Josh's experience organizational efficiency depends on people and their communication with each other, so Biola's Communications and Psychology departments were the natural place to look for improvement: Industrial Organizational Psychology from Rosemead and Organizational Communication from the COMM department provide the tools and frameworks to improve communication and embed efficiency into an organization's structure. 

Highlights of the Major

I get excited enough about every individual class that I want to include all of them as a highlight, but if I had to narrow it down to four they would be as follows:
    1. Politics and Aesthetics at Oxford
    2. Information Gathering & Investigation at Biola
    3. Methods of Communication Research at Biola
    4. I-O Psychology at Biola.

1. Oxford allowed me to work, analyse, and research like I never had before. It taught me to focus only on the subset of relevant information in large amounts of text, rapidly synthesize it to answer essay questions, and think more clearly than I ever had before. The weight of the production pipeline was exhilarating.

2. At Biola, Mark Landsbaum's Investigative Research and Data Analysis class improved my ability to find information on the internet and analyze its credibility. It amazes me how much improvement on these simple skills impacted my productivity. 

3. Method's of Communications Research is a class that I wish I had taken in my freshman year of college: Qualitative research methods learned in this class are applicable to every kind of information-crunching task that a person undertakes: they should be a basic part of people's education in the modern world.

3. Wade McNair's Organizational Psychology class exceeded all my expectations as an introduction to tools, theories, and techniques that are used to lead and manage organizations today. It gave me specific recommendations for organizational consulting and leadership that I put to good use in volunteer organizations and professional spaces."

Future opportunities:

There multiple career paths coming out of this major. For his undergraduate degree, Josh applied to four completely different programs at four different colleges. For his graduate degree, he likes the following programs:

M.B.A. at the Yale School of Management*

M.S. in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University.

M.A. in Organizational Psychology at Claremont University.  <– This is the one I ended up doing. 

M.A. in Development at Oxford University.

*When I heard Indra Nooyi talk about MOS's influence on her, and her motto of "head, heart, and hands," this sprang onto my radar.

Statistics & Course List

Interdisciplinary Mass Communication Studies: 48 Units 
36% of Units, 29% of Time (see Appendix B) (Roughly 12 months of full-time work)

Theoretical Media studies: 15 Units

    1. The Art of Story Telling, 3 Units, Peggy Medberry, MCOM 101, (A)
    2. Visual Aesthetics, 3 Units, Dean Yamada, MCOM 102, (A)
    3. History of Cinema, 3 Units, Dr. Mike Gonzales, MCOM 104, (A)
    4. Philosophy of Aesthetics, 3 Units, Mr. Matthew Kirkpatrick, PHIL 425 (Oxford), (A)
    5. Rhetoric of Media Studies, 3 Units, Dr. Todd Lewis, COMM 470 (COMM Capstone Class), (A)

Practical Media studies: 15 Units

    1. Intro to TV & Film Production, 3 Units, Dr. Gerald Fisher, MCOM103, (A)
    2. The Entertainment Business, 3 Units, John Schmidt, MCOM204, (A)
    3. Editing for Film & Television, 3 Units, Dean Yamada, MCOM315, (A)
    4. Mass Media Law & Ethics, 3 Units, James Hirsen, MCOM433, (A)
    5. Senior Media Project, 3 Units, Dr. Mike Gonzales, CNMA 456, (CNMA Capstone Class) (A)

Information Management studies: 6 Units

    1. Information Gathering and Database Analysis, 3 Units, Mark Landsbaum, MCOM305, (A)
    2. Methods of Communications Research, Dr. Gerald Fisher, 3 Units, MCOM 458, (A)

Theoretical Leadership & Management Studies: 12 Units

    1. Industrial Organizational Psychology; 3 Units, Dr. Wade McNair, PSYC 315, (A)
    2. Organizational Communication, 3 Units, Julie Little, COMM 387, (A)
    3. Theory of Politics, 6 Units, Seth Lazar, PHIL 435 (Oxford), (A-)

Philosophy of Western Civilization Honors Program: 71 Units 

(52% Units, 42% of Time (See Appendix B), roughly 17 months of full-time work)

  • Greek Thought, 4 Units, YMDT 110 (A-)
  • Old Testament Beginnings, 4 Units, YMDT 111 (A-)
  • Wisdom Literature, 8 Units, YMDT 226 (A-)
  • Greco-Roman Thought, 4 Units, YMDT 125, (A-)
  • Pauline Epistles, 4 Units, YMDT 217, (B+)
  • Medieval and Reformation Thought, 8 Units, YMDT 214, (B+)
  • Church Fathers & Wisdom Literature, 8 Units, YMDT 124, (A-)
  • Early Modern Thought, 8 Units, YMDT 220, (A)
  • Nineteenth Century Thought, 4 Units, YMDT 325, (A)
  • Shaping of the British Landscape, 3 Units, HIST 460 (Oxford), (A-)
  • Humean Epistemology, 4 Units, Phil 425, (Oxford), (B+)
  • 'America', 4 Units, YMDT 410, (A)
  • Twentieth Century Thought, 4 Units, YMDT 465, (A)
  • Torrey Berkeley Off-Campus Program, 4 Units, YMDT 492, (A)

  • Other Units, GE, & Pre-Requisites: 16 Units 

    (12% Academics, 9% of Time (See Appendix B) (Roughly 4 Months)

      • PE: 4 Units
        • Volleyball, 1 Unit,
        • Tennis, 1 Unit,
        • Weight Training, 1 Unit,
        • Mountain Biking, 1 Unit,
      • Introduction to Psychology, 3 Units
      • Nature of Mathematics, 3 Units, 
      • Zoology, (Santa Barbara City College) 3 Units
      • Environmental Biology, (Barstow Community College) 3 Units

    Total Units: 135

    Appendix B: 

    Education Organized by Time


    8/2006-5/2007    9/12 Months (-1 for interterm)

    9/2007-6/2008    10/12 Months

    9/2008-12/2008    3 Months (mid Sept to Mid Dec.)

    2/2009-7/2009    6 Months

    9/2009-1/2010    5 Months

    Total (extrapolated from below) = 34/42 Months: (81%)


    Time-span: 8/2006 to 2/2010: 3.5 years, i.e. 42 Months

    1/2007          - 1 month    Vacation  2% of time

    6/2007-8/2007 - 3 months    Department Supervisor (Thousand Pines) 7% of Time

    7-2008-8/2008 - 2 months    Campus Safety & 

    1, 2009, 8/2009 - 2 months    Vacation, Campus safety; 

    Total: 8/42 Months (19%)

    (1) The Torrey Graders cared more about grammar, spelling, and punctuation than did the tutors at Oxford's analytical philosophy department
    (2) Likewise, the effort required to get an A- in Torrey would generally yield a B+ from Oxford's analytical philosophy tutors. This equivalency is Josh's subjective self-estimate of the amount of effort required for the grade. Oxford allows students to dig much deeper into a single subject, with visiting SCIO students studying 2-3 subjects for the semester vs 5-6 subjects in an average semester at Biola. 


    M.A., Positive Organizational Psychology & EvaluationClaremont Graduate University, 2013-2014, Claremont, CA. 

    Spring 2013
    • Psych 308C: Applied Multiple Regression (2 units)
    • Psych 308D: Categorical Data Analysis (2 units)
    • Psych 315Z: Comparative Evaluation Theory (4 units)
    • Psych 354G: Domains of Evaluation
    Fall 2014
    Spring 2015
    • Psych 350pp: Positive Leadership (2 units)
    • Psych 350kk: Positive Organizational Psychology (4 units)
    • Mgmt 488: The Practice of Self Management (4 units)
    • Psych 354i: Personnel Evaluation (2 units)