Vanguard to Host a Free Tax Filing Event for Faculty, Staff and Students on March 2, March 9 and April 6

Filing taxes can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be this year. Vanguard University staff and students have the opportunity to receive a special free tax service.

At Vanguard, a top christian university, Enactus will host the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides free tax return services for individuals and families who make under $50,270 a year. Enactus, a student-led, environmental advocacy organization, is focused on using its positions to “transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world,” its website said. The VITA program is an arm of the IRS, which partners with the OC United Way.

Individuals who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) could claim up to $5,891.

The requirements for qualifying are as follows:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Have earned income during 2012
  • Have earned less than $50,270 (total household) in 2012
  • Cannot use “Married Filing Separately” Status
  • Cannot be claimed as a qualifying child
  • Cannot file Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income)

When going to the appointment, individuals should bring:

  • Picture Identification
  • Copy of 2011 income tax return
  • Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer identification number (ITIN) for each family member
  • W-2s, 1099s and all other tax-related documents for 2012
  • All 1098 E&T forms for educational expenses
  • Childcare provider name, address & Tax ID Number

Members of the Vanguard community will have three opportunities to take advantage of this free tax service: March 2, March 9 and April 6. Each event’s services are provided by appointment only.

To schedule an appointment and receive answers for any questions, please call: 888-434-8248.

Summer Study Abroad Programs in El Salvador, Nepal and India Now Available for Students

As a Christian university, Vanguard has the unique privilege to take what could be simply a long term summer missions trip and transform it into an accredited college learning experience for students to experientially see how organizations work to make real changes in the world.

Two of these experiential courses will take place this summer. Vanguard’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology is offering two study abroad programs, one based in El Salvador and the other in Nepal and India, to challenge students to take their education to the front lines in the battles against poverty and human-trafficking.

In the El Salvador study abroad program, led by Dr. Jamie Huff of the Anthropology Department, students will learn skills in nonprofit management, community and economic development, public health, and church-based strategies for poverty alleviation.  Students can join with members of the VU faculty and spend their summer gaining hands-on experience by coming alongside nonprofit leaders and local pastors of El Salvador. This program runs from May 13 to June 1.

For students interested in helping to prevent child trafficking, there is the study abroad program in Nepal and India. It focuses on introducing students to strategic solutions for stopping the trafficking of girls along the border of Nepal and India. Students will work with local organizations and churches, and learn about the Daughter Project. This program runs from June 17 to July 5.

An informational meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 28, at 4:15 p.m. in Heath Rm 105.

To learn more, visit the Department of Anthropology and Sociology’s news site by clicking here.

Distinguished Speaker Series Hosts Russell Howell, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, Westmont College on Tuesday, Feb 26

Vanguard University speaker series welcomes Howell Russell

Professor Howell Russell

Take a “leap of faith” and come to the Vanguard Distinguished Speaker Series on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 from 4-6 pm.  Russell Howell, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics at Westmont College will be discussing another approach to faith-based education.

The lecture is titled: Consistency, Completeness, and “Pranalogical” Approaches to Faith-Learning. Dr. Howell will introduce attendees to an avenue of faith learning that he describes with the word: “pranalogical.” Finding out this created word’s meaning is one of many reasons to mark this event on the calendar.

Discussing the four faith-learning approaches from Arthur Holmes’ well-known book, The Idea of a Christian College, Dr. Howell will introduce and intertwine his “pranalogical” approach.  Holmes’ faith-learning approaches include: the attitudinal, ethical, foundational and worldview.  Dr. Howell’s lecture will explore and define his recommended approach through examples while presenting an attitudinal posture for all Christian faculty members.

With his specialized background in complex analysis, Dr. Howell has authored more than 25 publications, including Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith, which is a Harper Collins publication, co-sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Also, Dr. Howell has written numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals in mathematics and other notable journals, such as Christian Scholars Review.

Being an active professor, Dr. Howell has taught many courses in math, statistics and computer science, and a course named Mathematics and Philosophy in Western Culture. He has received the Westmont’s “Teacher of the Year” award twice. Along with his focus in complex analysis, he researches theological and philosophical issues relating to mathematics.

The lecture will take place in the Great Commission Hall, which is located on the second floor of the Heath Academic Center.  The event begins at 4:00 pm and concludes at 6:00 pm.  Light appetizers & refreshments will be served from 4:00-4:30 pm.

To read more on Dr. Howell, click here.

Exclusive Radio Interview with President Carol Taylor and Vanguard Students on Program She Listened to as a Youth

Vanguard University President Carol Taylor Interviewing no Haven Today

It began as The Haven of Rest, a radio program that emerged from the redemptive story of a well-known Los Angeles radio personality in the early 1930′s.  After destroying a successful career in radio, hitting rock bottom, and accepting Christ as his Savior, Paul Myers created The Haven of Rest which brought thousands to faith in Christ.

A few thousand miles across the country and a few decades later, a young girl named Carol and her family listened to The Haven of Rest on WMBI in Chicago.  Young Carol had no idea where it was recorded; but that didn’t matter.  She eagerly anticipated each broadcast with its endearing messages of love, redemption, and hope.

Charles Morris of Haven Today meets Vanguard President Carol Taylor

President Taylor meets Charles Morris

Fast forward a few decades.   Dr. Carol Taylor, President of Vanguard University is listening to HAVEN Today on her iPod, as she often does in the morning as she gets ready for work.  One day, she meets a man named Charles Morris, Speaker and President of Haven Ministries.  When he finds out she is President Taylor of Vanguard University, he asks her if she might be interested in broadcasting from Vanguard University.  You see, there is another connection between Haven and Vanguard.  Three of the original members of the quartet are Vanguard (then Southern California Bible School) alumni!

Vanguard students discuss how to balance college life as Christians

SGA President Allison Tash answers questions about being a college student of faith

Be sure to listen to HAVEN Today on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, for this exclusive interview with President Carol Taylor, and on Feb 20, 2013 to hear Vanguard students – SGA President Allison Tash, Jonathan Murillo, Marina Plott, Sara Gonzales, and Thomas Sutton – address the challenges of being a college student and a Christian in today’s world, the value of a Christian education, and what God means to them.

Vanguard students interview about Christian life as a student

Sara Gonzales thoughtfully respond to Charles Morris on the value of a Christian education

Click here for a listing of California stations that broadcast Haven Today:

Santa Ana/San Clemente station:

Santa Ana/San Clemente – KWVE-FM  107.9FM  M-F 2pm

Student-run, Fifth Annual Environmental Sustainability Conference at Vanguard University Deemed a Success!

Vanguard University Enactus conference keynote speaker is Martin Diedrich of Kean coffee

Martin Diedrich speaks at Enactus conference

It was a rainy day here in Southern California last Friday, but the mood at the Environmental Sustainability Conference held at Newport Mesa Church on the Vanguard University campus was bright and hopeful.  About what?  That businesses will start embracing an environmental-friendly philosophy.

Enactus, a student environmental advocacy group, welcomed business leaders, community residents, and students who gathered to listen to experts address the increasing global concerns over the harmful impact businesses have had on the planet.  Keynote speaker Martin Diedrich, of Kéan Coffee, and other guest speakers discussed ways to implement sustainable business practices while not adversely impacting their bottom line.

Over 120 people attended the event which included students not only from  Vanguard but also from other colleges such as UC Irvine, Golden West College, and Orange Coast College.

Student advocacy group,  Enactus, holds Environmental Sustainability Conference at Vanguard University

Enactus student leaders

Vanguard  junior Elizabeth Vasquez, who served as coordinator for the conference said, “I feel the event overall was a success and that everyone wanted to be there and they walked away with a greater knowledge about sustainability.”

Guest speaker and sponsor Becky Rosaler, with Plant with Purpose, said “Last year I attended and it inspired me to get a degree in sustainability.  Now I am back as a speaker for Plant with Purpose.

Feedback from students and attendees were also extremely positive.  One attendee said, “I was not going to stay for the entire conference, but it was so good I stayed till the end!”

“I learned a lot of new information such as composting and food waste, that we can actually do ourselves!” said another attendee.

Vasquez added, ” All of our speakers had a fully engaged audience, and so did our exhibitors. It was obvious to our guest that our speakers and exhibitors were doing something they loved.  The speakers were thrilled to speak about what they are doing to help the environment and to educate about current environmental issues. The success of this conference is motivating me to be the project coordinator for next year’s conference and make it even better!”

When asked what he found particularly memorable about the event, Michael Newton, co-founder of one of the sponsors, Guayaki, said, “the invaluable perspective offered up from Martin Diedrich, revealing the passion he has for his coffee, along with the respect he has for his growers, and the struggles he encountered when bringing the family business public.  He confirmed for me the simple rewards in having a more locally-focussed business with Kéan Coffee and maintaining a close watch on their offerings and impact on the planet.  Additionally, I quite enjoyed the variety of positive organizations that tabled at the event which brought a range of great programs, products, and initiatives to create a more harmonious society.”

Guayaki Yerba Mate at Vanguard University conference

Guayaki Yerba Mate

    Sponsors included:

  • Kéan Coffee, a purveyor of fresh-roasted artisan coffee the way it is meant to be, in a beautiful, eclectic coffeehouse environment.
  • Fit for Green, which partners with companies that retrofit gym equipment so that energy created by users can be captured
  • Costa Mesa Sanitary District, which  provides curbside trash collection and sewer services to residents in the city of Costa Mesa, portions of Newport Beach and unincorporated sections of Orange County
  • Pasadena Heritage, which strives to identify, preserve and protect the historic, architectural, and cultural resources of the City of Pasadena through advocacy, education, and oral histories
  • Gray Designs, a company environmentalist Patricia Gray founded to showcase her art which includes: Mixed Media, Oil, Watercolor, Ceramic Tile and Upcycle Art including glass slumping
  • Plant with Purpose, a Christian, environmental non-profit organization that transforms lives in rural areas worldwide where poverty is caused by deforestation
  • OC Green Drinks, which organizes a casual, monthly get together for anyone and everyone interested in chatting about and advocating all things “green”.
  • Center for Living Peace, a non-profit peace education center dedicated to empowering people to make Good Happen and be part of the solution in their local community
  • Guayake Yerba Mate, a stimulant from the South American Atlantic Rainforest that encompasses the strong energizing effects of coffee, more antioxidants than green tea and the euphoric qualities of dark chocolateAttendees and Vanguard students line up for Enactus conference

Featured Speakers included:

  • Jesse Baker, founder, Ecofficiency
  • Becky Rosaler, marketing and events coordinator, Plant With Purpose
  • John Spirko, founder and chief executive officer, Fit For Green
  • Dr. Francene Caplin, professor and certified master composter
  • Claire Cummings, west coast fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation