President Taylor Distinguished Speaker at Marketplace Women of OC

President Carol Taylor will share the story of her pathway to the presidency to a group of female CEOs, mid-level managers, administrators, veterinarians, lawyers, doctors, artisans, health/fitness specialists and philanthropists at the Distinguished Speaker luncheon on September 21, 2012, for Marketplace Women of Orange County, held at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.

Marketplace Women exists to provide growth opportunities that empower women to have a positive, Christian influence in the marketplace. Their vision is to create a movement of Christian women inspiring a growing Christian perspective in the civic and professional life of Orange County. They accomplish this by providing motivation through speakers who have made a mark in their marketplace and who tell the story of their spiritual journey at women luncheons. And by providing a safe, welcoming environment for networking, support and professional growth through monthly networking meetings.

Dr. Taylor became the university’s leader in 2008 during a time of great fiscal challenges that threatened the institution’s existence. As the ninth President of Vanguard University, and the first female President in the institution’s 90-year history, she has led the school through a difficult refining, restructuring and re-vitalization process that saw in the fall of 2011 the largest incoming class in the university’s history!  Among Dr. Taylor’s honors are being named one of OC Metro’s Top 20 Women to Watch, and being named the Orange County Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year.

Dr. Taylor does not see herself having gotten a “big break” in life.  Carol Taylor says, “Rather than a single big break, my life has been a series of what has appeared to be small moves that prepared and positioned me for the next thing.”

When asked her secret to success Dr. Taylor responds, “For me, it would have to be a willingness to take risks and take on a challenge, a passion for learning, a willingness to view each position as an opportunity to serve others, and an eyes-wide-open optimism.”

For tickets to this event, visit

Vanguard University Names Mike Beals Dean Of Spiritual Formation

Dr. Mike Beals brings 31 Years as an ordained minister and served as faculty at Vanguard from 1991 to 2009

COSTA MESA, CA. August 2012 – Vanguard University announces that Mike Beals has been named Dean of Spiritual Formation.  This position will serve as the university pastor for the Vanguard community and the senior administrator of the Spiritual Formation Department.  Mike will provide leadership for student spiritual development and the chapel program, in addition to service to the community through local outreach and global missions.

President Richard Mouw of Fuller Seminary, states, “Mike is a careful thinker, a solid scholar, and an intellectually stimulating conversationalist.  He is also a very fine person, whom I consider to be a good friend.  In our many conversations together over the years I have been impressed by his pastoral sensitivities, his sense of his own humanity as a servant of the Kingdom, and his deep love for his family.  In short, I admire him greatly as a Christian fellow-disciple. When I read your published description of this position, it struck me that Mike is a perfect candidate for this particular assignment.  He has just the right blend of spiritual mentorship, administrative savvy, and love of the academic life that this position requires.”

Mike came to faith in Christ at Vallejo First Assembly of God in 1977.  He began attending San Diego First Assembly of God while pursuing the pre-med program at San Diego State University, but sensed God calling him to Vanguard.  While at Vanguard, Mike double-majored in Religion and Psychology and went on to earn his MA in Church Leadership.  Mike completed a second MA at Fuller Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies and Theology.  He earned his Ph.D. at Fuller in Christian Ethics. After completing  both his BA and MA, he served as an adjunct faculty member from 1991 to 2005 and an Assistant Professor of Religion from 2005 to 2009.

As an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, Mike has spent the past 31 years in ministry at Mission Hills Community Church in Rancho Santa Margarita, the last 23 of those as Senior Pastor.  Mike has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Fuller Seminary since 1999.  In addition to scholarly involvement in the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Mike has been actively involved in global outreach in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Israel, Switzerland, France, England, and Scotland.

Jeff Hittenberger, Provost of Vanguard proudly states, “We have experienced many blessings at Vanguard.  Having Mike join us as Dean of Spiritual Formation is a particularly rich blessing as so many here already know and appreciate him and look forward to serving with him as we equip each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.”



For more information about Vanguard University visit;

About Vanguard University

Vanguard University is a private, Christian, comprehensive university of liberal arts and professional studies equipping students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Vanguard among the best baccalaureate colleges in the west in their 2011-2012 rankings of colleges and universities and The Princeton Review named VU a 2014 “Best in the West” College. Vanguard is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

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Vanguard is Bringing Enlightenment to the Stage

Theater seeks to enlighten and inspire


Each summer, American Coast Theater Company – a professional drama troupe attached to Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, performs two plays seeking to enlighten and inspire audiences with plays that share a fresh perspective on the human condition.

The six-year-old company is still in its “building stages,” says founder and artistic director Susan Berkompas, but is “ready to take it to the next level.” Berkompas has headed up the theater program at Vanguard University, where ACTC’s shows are held, for 16 years. Vanguard students are also given the chance to intern for the American Coast Theater Company for course credit.

Through Sunday, ACTC is performing “”, an original comedy by Warren Doody, a Vanguard professor who teaches composition and playwriting. “It’s really a play that’s made up of seven quirky, foolish people,” Berkompas said. “It really is all about seeing their foolishness and their antics play out.”

“” is about the connection between romance and technology. It is the story of a soon-to-be groom who, upon receiving an RSVP from a past love, looks within to move forward. To achieve this, he seeks help in an “enlightenment therapist,” a minister for the online community who also interprets dreams.

Although ACTC is founded on Christian principles, faith isn’t the only lens the plays are presented through. Berkompas revealed that “it’s not about preaching a sermon” but about finding “light in the darkest of storylines” and “that grain of hope or that seed of redemption.”

Unafraid to present dark or heart-wrenching material, ACTC finds the fine balance between gripping and gratuitous. Mature content, such as in the company’s first show, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, is handled creatively, but still true to the original vision. “We have to do justice to what the playwright has written. If it’s meant to be dark and dangerous, then it’s about finding the depths of darkness and of the dangers,” Berkompas shared.

In a similar manner, Berkompas explained that ACTC strives to have “an original point of view while trying to be honest about what the story really is.” With Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”, which they performed from June 8 to July 8, they had “a very particular point of view that hasn’t been told very often. If you didn’t love the shrew by the end of the show, there’s something wrong with you,” Berkompas joked.

The American Coast Theater Company offers an intimate and impactful experience that is family-friendly and “illuminates hope, redemption, and enlightenment.” Emphasizing this, Berkompas shared, “ACTC’s mission is to tell the stories that haven’t been told, yet that are worth telling.”


Vanguard Goes Beyond the Expected to Help Veterans

“Of any school I have attended, Vanguard has been by far the most supportive and efficient, whether it be answering my questions or validating my enrollment with the VA.  The Veterans Resource Center staff has far exceeded any and all expectations I have had, coming from other universities I have attended in California.”  – Jon Barkley ’12 United states Marine Corps.

Veterans need to be connected with their meaning and purpose in life after the military.  Vanguard serves a small population of veteran because we believe that relationships are at the core of the healing process. Vanguard invests in the individual: Academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

More below about Vanguard’s honoring of Veteran’s by The Daily Pilot.

By B.W. Cook

The Daily Pilot

During this Fourth of July remembrance week, it is important to acknowledge that our freedom often comes at a very high price. That price, of course, is the sacrifice of loved ones serving military missions far from their homes, and putting their lives on the line every day so those of us not in harm’s way can share the 4th of July holiday with family and friends.

Recently in Costa Mesa at Vanguard University, a much more serious dedication in advance of the Fourth of of July celebration honored America’s veterans with the creation of a “Courtyard of Honor.” Adm. Vernon E. Clark, former chief of Naval Operations for the Navy, joined forces with Brent Theobald, Vanguard University’s director of Veteran Affairs, in welcoming some 150 local veterans and their families at the unveiling of a permanent installation that Vanguard officials are labeling as “Value Pillars.”

Each of the pillars in the Veterans Courtyard relates to a specific ideal of service. Inscribed on the pillars are quotations and verses from scripture dealing with the ideals of honor, gratitude, camaraderie, commitment, justice, truth and integrity.

The Daily Pilot

OC Register: Meet Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Nicole Suydam ’95

As of April 2012, Nicole Suydam ’95, has accepted the role of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County’s chief executive officer. Suydam studied history/political science during her time at Vanguard University. Second Harvest commented on her promotion: “As we make the transition to new executive leadership, we are thrilled to welcome Nicole as CEO. Nicole is a proven leader in community relations, fundraising, organizational leadership and board development, maintaining long-term relationships with Orange County funders and community leaders. She will be an invaluable asset to the organization.”

Nicole served as Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County’s development manager from 1997 to 2001.  Her latest position as vice president of development for Goodwill of Orange County had her as the overseer of business and fund development, community relations, and board development, also managing the successful $7 million Goodwill Fitness Center capital campaign.  Her experience also includes roles as development manager for Women in Community Service in Alexandria, Virginia and deputy finance director for the California Republican Party in Burbank. In 2011, Suydam was featured in OC METRO’s “40 Under 40” list of outstanding young professionals in Orange County. All-together, Suydam brings 16 years of successful non-profit management and leadership experience to the organization.

The Register‘s own Adam Probolsky speaks to his admiration and appreciation for Nicole and her accomplishments and service to the community.  (See article below. )

FOR The Register

I have known Nicole Suydam for at least 15 years. When we first met, she worked for Second Harvest Food Bank (her first stint at the charity) as development manager. Later, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she raised money for a national nonprofit organization. Then, she returned to Orange County where she spent nine years at Goodwill. When she left, she was vice president and a member of Goodwill’s senior leadership team.

Today, Suydam is a mother of two and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. She manages over 50 employees and oversees the distribution of 16 million pounds of food a year from Second Harvest’s 121,000 square-foot food distribution facility on the Great Park site. Secured from the U.S. Navy through the McKinney Act (legislation which provides land for poverty relief organizations), the warehouse was used for storing Humvees during the days when Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was operational. The massive space has a redwood super structure and includes office space and cold storage.

Second Harvest provides food to 470 member charities, from church pantries to soup kitchens and homes for abused women, homeless shelters and rehabilitation centers.

Nicole has always had a passion for people in need. “If you are hungry, it is very hard to be a good citizen,” she said. “A lot of people are struggling.” Speaking to Nicole in her office, she says the photos of her family on her desk keeps her grounded. The “It CAN be done” plaque reminds her to be positive and to look for ways to overcome challenges. She also made it clear that she is fond of her wireless telephone headset.

Why does she like it so much? “Because I like to talk with my hands,” she said.

OC Register