LOCALE Magazine Features Vanguard University Senior Communications Major Kristen Achziger

VU Scholarships-13-030In its Holiday 2013 edition, Orange County’s LOCALE Magazine’s article, Shooting Star, commends Vanguard University for offering a wide selection of arts programs and features senior communications major Kristen Achziger.

In the feature, writer Korrie (Hansen ’05) Lukei says that young artists are eagerly filling up art programs ready to “put their own stamp and flare on the world.” Regarding the need for art programs, she says, “Costa Mesa’s own Vanguard University is doing its part by offering majors in film production, screenwriting, music education, performance, composition and ministry and theatre arts. Vanguard also offers art classes that teach drawing, acrylic painting, and watercolor.”

Focusing on the cinema arts, Achziger uses video and photography to put her stamp on the world. Taking the photojournalism course with Professor Chauncey Bayes especially impacted her, the article says. For the class, students were required to use photographs to tell a person’s story. Through 14 photos, Achziger captured the story of a ministry group that builds relationships with homeless individuals staying in Orange County motels.

Working for the Vanguard Office of Marketing and Communications, Achziger creates and edits videos regularly. With her bachelor’s degree almost completed, Achziger has at least 30 videos completed. These include personal projects, videos for the marketing and communications department and for the Student Government Association (SGA), as well as class assignments.

To read the entire feature, click here and proceed to pg. 159.


Black Student Union Club Kicks Off with A Fresh Start and Purpose for this Semester

BSUWith a new name and clearly defined purpose, Vanguard University’s Black Student Union (BSU) started the semester with a clear purpose.

“It’s a support group for African American students on campus. Our motto is heart and soul, affirmation and awareness,” Diversity intern and club coordinator Crystal Todoroff said. At the start of the semester, Todoroff worked with other Diversity leaders to change the name of the year-old club. The previous name, Alpha Phi, is the name for an already established sorority and BSU more clearly represents the club, she said.

BSU seeks to provide a place for members to affirm one another, to grow together and to promote character development while rooting their identity in Christ, Todoroff said. Coming to Orange County can be a shock for any ethnicity, Todoroff said, the club discusses the differences and encourages members to know the culture they are in and know how to be themselves in it.

On Oct. 18, the club hosted an event called “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” in the Cove. The event was open to the whole campus and featured two student speakers and a poem from the BSU cabinet. Students often begin college by sharing only the “ideal” portion of who they really are, Todoroff said. This event encouraged students to reveal their whole identity. The event had a great turnout and “the presence of God was there,” she said.

During Vanguard’s family weekend, BSU hosted another event, their first Diversity family reunion, with the other diversity clubs on campus. About 80 people gathered for a BBQ, games and fellowship. Todoroff said they hope to make it an annual event.

When describing BSU’s purpose, Todoroff said: “Our goal is to establish a community. Our major vision is to help people grow in their identity.” To accomplish these goals, the cabinet gathers every Monday evening to brainstorm for new events and prepare for the monthly club meetings.

To learn more about BSU and other diversity clubs, click here.

Director of Vanguard University’s Nursing Program, Dr. Mary Wickman, Published an Article in The Journal for Nurses in Professional Development

VU-Staff-12-156Professor, director, research facilitator and now author, Dr. Mary Wickman impacts the world of nursing in many ways.

In conjunction with other researchers, all holding masters and doctorates, Dr. Wickman, the director of Vanguard’s nursing program, contributed work from her role as a research facilitator at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton for the article. The article is titled: The Hospital Staff Nurse Perceptions of Competency to Care for Patients with Psychiatric or Behavioral Health Concerns.

Published in the September/October issue of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, the study features work between three sister ministries: St. Joseph, St. Jude and Mission Hospital. According to the article, after performing a survey of 844 nurses across the three locations, the research revealed “a lack of nurse confidence to intervene in situations that require de-escalation techniques and crisis communication.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Vanguard’s Concert Orchestra Led Worship at Irvine Presbyterian’s Oct. 13 Services


Prelude to Postlude, Vanguard University’s concert orchestra led worship at Irvine Presbyterian Church on Oct. 13.

As a member of the Irvine Presbyterian congregation, Vanguard Orchestra Conductor Mildred Yi suggested the orchestra and church choir collaborate on a piece for the Sunday service. Yi, the church choir director and the worship coordinator discussed the idea and decided to have the orchestra provide music for the entire service.

Joined by Irvine Presbyterian’s worship band, Vanguard’s concert orchestra played three contemporary worship songs and a hymn. Songs included Our God by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman; 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman; and Hosanna by Brooke Ligertwood. Directed by Dr. Michael Busch, the church’s chancel choir joined with the orchestra for the hymn, My Jesus, I Love Thee.

“The orchestra, being there, united the church in a special way,” Yi said. As a member, she said it was very special to see the music bring together the different generations. All the generations, from children to grandparents, worshipped together.

The Concert Orchestra will also perform in Vanguard’s upcoming Christmas Fantasia at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Dec. 6. To learn more about Christmas Fantasia, click here.

Theatre Department’s Production of Narnia Sold out by the Final Show

narniaDue to word of mouth, the Vanguard University Department of Theatre Arts’ production of Narnia sold out by its final show.

From Sept. 20 to Oct. 6, the land of Narnia and its many creatures inhabited Vanguard University’s Lyceum stage. Created from C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the musical revue, Narnia, was written by Jules Tasca, Thomas Tierney and Ted Drachman. Vangda Eggington directed the show.

Looking back on the show, choreographer and actor Bretlyn Schmitt said she enjoyed the experience, the challenge and the result. Crafting dances to capture the various scenes challenged and stretched Schmitt, she said, “I prayed about it a lot.” As a junior performance directing major, Schmitt has choreographed four other shows at Vanguard and multiple others in high school.

Detailing her dance-forming process, Schmitt said: “Each one kind of evolved from a materialized idea.” She took inspiration from the time period in the book and the time of year, which was Christmas in Narnia. Schmitt said the dark magic song and its aggressive dance were her favorite.

Describing the show, she said: “It’s very magical. It brings out the childlike essence in a lot of people.” It was fun to see college kids just being kids again, she added. Nine-year-old Margaret Martin, who attended the theatre department’s summer acting camp, said: “I loved it, and on top of that, it really made me want to go back to the summer camp.”

Along with creating the dances, Schmitt played the role of the White Stag, which represented the Holy Spirit. Finding a way to play an animal character and make it believable is no small task.  As weeks of practice went by, Schmitt said it was very impressive to see the actors grow and capture the nuances of their characters.

Another important part of the show went beyond entertainment. As in Lewis’s book, the musical revue clearly displays the Christian message. Schmitt said being at a Christian university allowed them to really develop that message through the script and characters.

“It was a great way to start out the season, and we are excited about the next four shows,” Theatre Manager Bill Hughes said. The theatre’s next production, Dancing at Lughnasa, opens on Oct. 25.

To learn more about upcoming shows, click here.