Vanguard Student Athlete’s Inspiring Story Debuts on PBS Sat, May 11

One Vanguard University student’s inspiring story captured the attention of up-and-coming filmmaker, Michael Zynda, and will now air on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Orange County channel. PBS OC can be found on channel 50.2 (channel number may vary based on location and cable or satellite provider).

On May 11, 2013, In a Race Against Time, a feature length film about runner Daniel Okabe will premiere on PBS Orange County. Studying communications at Vanguard University, Okabe is a senior and expects to graduate in the fall of 2013. His story inspired independent filmmaker Michael Zynda, who directed and produced the film.

The film focuses on a six-month period in 2011 where Okabe trains and races in multiple marathons, while attempting to raise the necessary funds to stay in the U.S. and finish his degree at Vanguard. Based on immigration law, if he was unable to get the funds and stay enrolled, he would have been forced to leave the country in 60 days. But that did not stop Okabe.

Before the film’s making, driven by a mission to save his father’s Christian radio station, Okabe began studying radio broadcasting at Golden West College in 2009. The need to save the radio station, Faith Radio, came after the Uganda Communications Commission set a new requirement for radio stations. The rule mandates that only individuals with degrees in journalism or mass communications can operate radio stations in Uganda.

Once Okabe learned of the new regulation, he knew what he had to do to save the family’s station, and so his journey began. With the help of Trish Fisher, the chair of the department of business and management at Vanguard’s School for Professional Studies, Okabe’s parents, as well as scholarships in music and athletics, Okabe was able to raise the funds necessary to attend Vanguard. Everyday Okabe gets closer to achieving his goal of saving his father’s radio station.

Radio is one of many ministries the Okabe family does for their country and their community. His father, Patrick, leads Impact Ministries Uganda running an orphanage and child care center that houses more than 300 children and feeds another 400 daily.

Now a distance runner on Vanguard’s cross-country team, Okabe is receiving actual training for the first time. Years of training himself, Okabe developed his raw talent and practiced a quality found in great athletes, the ability to self-motivate. These qualities coupled with his coach’s instruction have allowed Okabe to begin fine-tuning his skills since being at Vanguard.

Transitioning from life in Uganda to life in Southern California is a large part of the film. Okabe expressed his hope that the film will bring awareness to his country and inspiration to viewers. Thankful for the opportunity to have his story shared on TV, Okabe said: “I give God the glory. He is the one who made it possible.”

From his home in Uganda to the region of Southern California, Okabe’s purpose-filled journey brings hope and a reminder of the impact individuals can have on the world around them. Before coming to America, Okabe had never run in a marathon. Now, he has participated in marathons in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Orange County, and he is only one semester away from fulfilling his mission.

To read more about In a Race Against Time, click here.

To read the 2011 Fall/Winter Vanguard Magazine article about Okabe, click here.

Vanguard’s Career Services to Host Job and Internship Fair on April 4

Looking to strengthen your professional portfolio and land a job or internship? Come to the multiple events Vanguard University’s career services is providing in preparation for the free Job and Internship Fair.

On Thursday, April 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m, Career Services’ Job and Internship Fair will host more than 20 different businesses and companies on Vanguard’s Heath Lawn.  This is a great opportunity for students and alumni to meet potential employers and make the next step in their professional development.

Leading up to the fair, career services is hosting a networking event and providing resume critiques by appointment. Communicating professionally, being confidant and forming a strong professional portfolio are a few of the valuable skills attendees will learn during these events.

The networking event is on Wednesday, March 27, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Forrest Room. Alumni and local employers will be in attendance to provide coaching for students to prepare for the Job and Internship Fair. Attendees should wear business casual dress. Also, appetizers and refreshments will be provided.

Resume critique appointments will be held on Thursday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students will learn ways to bolster their resumes to give them an edge in the hiring process. Contact career services to schedule your 15-minute appointment by emailing:

Vanguard’s career services aims to provide students and alumni with resources to set them on their career path. The networking event, resume critiques and Vanguard University’s Job and Internship Fair are great first steps down that path.

So, dress your best, bring your resume and land the job or internship you are looking for!

To learn more about these events, click here.

To view a campus map of any of these locations, click here.

Vanguard University’s Marketing and Communications Department Receives Publication Awards

Vanguard University’s Marketing and Communications Department struck gold in the 28th Annual Education Advertising Awards, sponsored by the Higher Education Marketing Report.

Among the nearly 3,000 entries, Vanguard University’s undergraduate admissions student blog site received gold placement in the category of new media. The total number of gold awards granted was 167.

The Marketing and Communications Department also received awards in two other categories. Vanguard’s fall/winter magazine received a bronze award in the category of external publications. And Vanguard’s undergraduate admissions viewbook received a merit award in the student viewbook category.

According to HMR Publications, the Higher Education Marketing Report has been the nation’s leading marketing publication for higher education professionals, for the past 28 years.

To view the lists of the award winners, click here.

Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice Provides Support for Women Veterans

A four-page spread in Coast magazine highlighted the commitment of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) to provide a network for women veterans to connect and reintegrate into society upon their return from deployment.

Recognizing that transitioning back into civilian life and employment can be a difficult process; the GCWJ saw need for more aid focused on the unique challenges that women veterans face.  In response, the GCWJ created The Orange County Women Veterans Network (OCWVN) using a grant provided by the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California.

The network is an opportunity to connect the 9,600 women veterans in Orange County. Opening these lines of communication will allow women veterans to encourage one another with their stories and shared experiences.

With March being Women’s History Month, the GCWJ wants to honor women veterans by holding a gathering for them to share their stories and begin the process of coming together in their time of transition. The GCWJ will hold their annual Women in History program on March 25 from 4-6 p.m. in Needham Chapel, followed by a reception at Vanguard’s Veterans Courtyard of Honor. Everyone is invited to join the OCWVN for this special event. To RSVP, contact Alexis Miller by March 20.

Vanguard University’s Director and Professor of Nursing Dr. Mary Wickman, seen in the photo, will speak at the event. Now a retired U.S. Navy Captain, Dr. Wickman will share about her experience as a woman serving in the military. She is one of the featured service women in Coast magazine’s G.I. Janes spread.

To learn more about the Women’s History Month event, click here.

To view the online version of the women veterans spread in Coast magazine, click here. To learn more about Vanguard University’s veterans program, visit