Exchange Program Participant from Albania Creating Community Solutions During Fellowship with Vanguard University

Costa Mesa, CA, September 21, 2015 – Iris Aliaj is currently in Costa Mesa on the U.S. State Department’s Community Solutions Program. For four-months Aliaj, an emerging international leader on women issues is working with American counterparts at Vanguard University, collaborating on projects that will provide skills and ideas for creating lasting change in her home community.

During her fellowship, Aliaj will work closely with NGO’s, public and private institutions, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, and justice officials. The focus of her work will result in the organization of a SUMMIT in Tirana, Albania, which will focus on combating human trafficking in the country.

A human rights lawyer at the Center for Legal Civic Initiatives (NGO) in Albania, Aliaj works daily to increase the access of poor and domestically abused women in the justice system. Since 2008, she has been providing free legal services to victims of domestic violence, up to 15 a day. Aliaj was part of a team that prosecuted the first case on human trafficking in Albania, winning compensation for the victim. She has been involved in improving legislation and lobbying for draft-laws and State policies protecting human rights, focusing on gender equality, discrimination, domestic violence and human trafficking and corruption – making the justice system more effective in Albania.

Started in 2010, the Community Solutions Program is a professional development program for global community leaders working in the fields of transparency and accountability, tolerance and conflict resolution, environmental issues, and women and gender issues.  During their fellowships, the emerging leaders spend up to 400 hours learning leadership and organizational skills through training courses and more than 600 hours at their U.S. host organizations. The fellows also design community development projects that they implement upon returning to their home countries.

The State Department partners with IREX to identify and place engaged leaders who are committed to the ideal that individual efforts can fight poverty and discrimination, correct inequalities, cultivate peace, and develop new approaches to environmental issues.

“I am eager to host Ms. Aliaj as this year’s fellow because I was living in Greece when the borders opened, and saw hundreds of Albanian young people trafficked into Greece. Ms. Aliaj has worked on the first human trafficking case in Albania. We know her experience here will expand her abilities and resources to help hundreds more,” said Dr. Sandra Morgan, director for the global center for women and justice.

To learn more about The Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University, visit www.vanguard.edu/gcwj.

 

ABOUT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The 2016 U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard #13 in the Regional Colleges (West) category, #10 for Best Colleges for Veterans, and #19 for economic diversity. The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2016 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit www.vanguard.edu

 

ABOUT THE GLOBAL CENTER FOR WOMEN AND JUSTICE

The Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University is a faith-based organization that exists to advance the global status of women through research, education, advocacy, collaboration and hope. The Global Center for Women & Justice promotes gender reconciliation and the inherent dignity of all persons. For more, visit www.vanguard.edu/gcwj.

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To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications

714.966.5452
erin.hales@vanguard.edu

For IREX press inquires please contact:

Taunya Atwood, Senior Program Officer, IREX: 202-628-8188. tatwood@irex.org

Susan Pittman, Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State: 202-632-6445, eca-press@state.gov

And, join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter @cspecairex.

U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2016 Best Colleges, includes Vanguard University

Costa Mesa, CA, September 18, 2015 – U.S. News & World Report released the 2016 edition of Best Colleges to help domestic and international students compare the academic quality of U.S.-based schools. Vanguard University in Costa Mesa was named #13 in the Regional Colleges (West) category, #10 for Best Colleges for Veterans, and #19 for economic diversity.

The new edition of Best Colleges includes data on nearly 1,800 schools nationwide and features rankings of 1,376 schools. Eligible schools are ranked on up to 16 measures of academic quality, emphasizing outcomes, with graduation and retention rates carrying the most weight in the methodology at 30 percent.

“Taking into account how well a school supports its students from freshman year through graduation is important,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News. “To find the best fit, students should consider a range of factors, from financial aid offerings and location to campus size and majors. The process can be overwhelming, but our rankings and advice content are a great place to start.”

The highly ranked Vanguard University, located in the heart of Orange County, is a private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies, founded in 1920. A 4-year baccalaureate college, Vanguard University offers 30 majors and concentrations. Single and multiple subject teaching credentials are offered, as well as graduate programs in education, religion, clinical psychology, organizational psychology, and nursing. Vanguard University also provides a range of services for veterans, including career counseling and academic support, assistance in finding veterans benefits and connection to programs which can cover nearly all of their tuition.

The college ranking categories are based upon the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications. U.S. News has used the Carnegie classification system since the first Best Colleges rankings in 1983, because they are accepted as the basis for classifying schools by most higher education researchers.

In an exclusive arrangement, the launch of the 2016 edition of Best Colleges is being sponsored by Fidelity Investments.

For more information about Best Colleges, visit www.usnews.com/colleges or explore Facebook and Twitter using #BestColleges.

To learn more about Vanguard University, visit www.vanguard.edu.

 

ABOUT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The 2016 U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard #13 in the Regional Colleges (West) category, #10 for Best Colleges for Veterans, and #19 for economic diversity. The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2016 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit www.vanguard.edu

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To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications

714.966.5452
erin.hales@vanguard.edu

 

Q Commons Hosts Event in Costa Mesa, Features Big List of Local Speakers

Costa Mesa, CA, September 17, 2015 – Q Commons brings the Q National event experience to Orange County, where the gathering will join 10,000 participants in over 75 cities, learning how to advance good in local communities. The program will be held Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m., at Wayfare HQ in Costa Mesa, California.

Q was founded by Gabe Lyons, author of The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live The Gospel and Restore the World. Q was created as a place where church and cultural leaders could come together to explore ideas on how Christianity can be expressed within a cultural context.

“The next wave of Christian influence will come from the pews, not the pulpit,” said Lyons.

This year’s speakers at the Q Commons event include mayor of Compton, California, Aja Brown, Physician and Ebola survivor, Dr. Kent Brantly, and Q founder, Gabe Lyons. Dr. Sandra Morgan, director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University, as well as singer/songwriter and Vanguard alumna, Joy Olakodun, are also included as featured local speakers at Q Commons in Costa Mesa, on September 24.

“That kind of format allows Q to include both Richard Land from the religious right and Jim Wallis from the religious left; both will…discuss areas of potential agreement” said USA Today.

For additional schedule information or to attend Q Commons, visit http://host.qideas.org/cities/costamesa/view.

For more information on Vanguard University centers and institutions, and alumni network, visit www.vanguard.edu.

ABOUT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 12 regional college in the west and a top veteran-friendly college for 2015, and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2016 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit www.vanguard.edu

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To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications

714.966.5452
erin.hales@vanguard.edu

 

Costa Mesa Police Promote Vanguard University Alumna, Joyce LaPointe, as the Department’s First Female Lieutenant

Costa Mesa, CA, September 16, 2015 – Starting this week, 18-year police veteran Joyce LaPointe will move into the role of lieutenant, marking the first time a female has held that title in the city of Costa Mesa.

“I really don’t look at it as blazing a trail,” said Lt. LaPointe. “There have been so many females and so many great leaders who have come before me.”

She pointed to a historical photo on her office wall of three female police officers and gave them the credit.

“They came so far from wearing skirts and carrying purses,” she said. “They really did all the work. It’s more along the lines of paying it forward for them. It’s now my turn to take the baton and keep moving forward with it.”

In her new role, LaPointe will be the commander for Area 1, which is the southern end of town, and will be charged with overseeing patrol officers and quality of life issues for residents and business owners. She was officially sworn in at 9 a.m. Wednesday Sept. 16.

Police Chief Rob Sharpnack had high praise for his new lieutenant. “Joyce is one of our top officers and a highly skilled member of our team,” Chief Sharpnack said. “We are all so proud of her and the work she does. This is a well-deserved promotion and the people of Costa Mesa are getting a great new lieutenant.”

This isn’t the first time that she has made history in the department. She and Sgt. Stephanie Selinske were the department’s first female DUI enforcer officers. In the first three months, they had arrested 230 drunk drivers, which was big back then. She was promoted to corporal in 2002 and then sergeant in 2007.

LaPointe attended Vanguard University on an athletic scholarship for basketball and softball and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in kinesiology.

She began her career with Costa Mesa police in 1997 after being hired out of the Orange County Sheriff Academy. LaPointe worked in patrol, as a field training, bike patrol, traffic and tactical flight officer and as a defensive tactics instructor. In 2006, she earned her private helicopter license. As a sergeant, she managed patrol teams, the Field Officers Training Program, jail operations, emergency management, and Force Tactics training. She is also is the recipient of the Mothers against Drunk Drivers Century Award and a Life Saving Merit award.

 

ABOUT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 12 regional college in the west and a top veteran-friendly college for 2015, and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2016 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit www.vanguard.edu

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To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications

714.966.5452
erin.hales@vanguard.edu

Vanguard University Department of Theatre Arts Announces Orange County Premier in New 2015-16 Season

Costa Mesa, CA, September 16, 2015 – The Vanguard University department of theatre arts announces its 2015-16 season. The following five mainstage productions will be presented in Vanguard University’s Lyceum Theater in Costa Mesa, California:

  • A musical revue, The Beat Goes On
  • Life Without Parole, a contemporary drama
  • A new Christmas musical, Christmas is Here Again
  • A romantic drama production, The Winter’s Tale
  • The musical comedy, The Addams Family

The Beat Goes On will kick off the new season, in its return to the Lyceum Theater stage at Vanguard University. Longstanding faculty member, Vanda Eggington, will direct this production, along with the spring musical, The Addams Family. Life Without Parole was added to this season with a heavily revised script from playwright and Vanguard professor, Warren Doody. Susan Berkompas, MFA, chair of the department of theatre arts at Vanguard, will later produce Life Without Parole in Los Angeles, on a professional stage in 2016. Berkompas will also direct The Winter’s Tale, a timeless piece about jealousy, loss and forgiveness.

The 2015 calendar year will come to a close with the Orange County premiere of Christmas is Here Again, directed by Kevin Slay. This Christmas musical was originally cast by longtime friend, Rene Haynes, CSA casting director, as an animated feature, with a star-studded cast, including Kathy Bates, Ed Asner, Jay Leno, Andy Griffith, Shirley Jones, Norm MacDonald, and more.

This year, the National Association of Schools of Theatre accredited department of theatre arts is launching “Popular Demand,” a new improv comedy team. The new, student-directed “Cabaret Ensemble” from the department will also perform gigs and galas around Orange County and Los Angeles.

Season subscriptions to shows are on sale now by calling the theatre box office at (714) 668.6145. Individual tickets are for purchase at www.vanguardtickets.com.

For more information on Vanguard University’s department of theatre arts, visit www.vanguard.edutheatre.

 

CALENDAR
The Beat Goes On
September 18-20, 24-27, October 1-4

Life Without Parole
October 23-25, 29-31, November 1

Christmas is Here Again
December 3-6, 10-16

The Winter’s Tale
February 26-28, March 3-6

The Addams Family
April 8-10, 14-17, 21-24

ABOUT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 12 regional college in the west and a top veteran-friendly college for 2015, and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2016 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit www.vanguard.edu

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To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications

714.966.5452
erin.hales@vanguard.edu