Alum Violeta Alvarez Helping to Rebuild Bell Community

Vanguard University alum Violeta Alvarez, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, is running for City Council for the city of Bell, California, and helping to rebuild the community.

Alvarez, a resident of Bell for over 31 years, has worked as a Los Angeles County social services worker for 19 years by determining whether people who seek social services are eligible for government assistance. She is one of ten candidates running for a full term on the City Council for the upcoming term following a salary scandal that nearly shattered the city.

“I was happy the truth finally came out,” said Alvarez in a recent article on “I didn’t know how much the salaries were, but there was sadness because I knew that money, however much, was coming out of our community.

Thanks to her efforts, and those of others within the community, the city is on its way to reform.

Relying on her experience as a former leader of the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA), the city’s largest reform group, where her roles include going on 3:00am flier runs and calling countless neighbors and community members, she is one of four members of a slate of candidates called United 4 Bell. Their goal is to help reform the city and strengthen the community that was severely weakened, but not broken, by the scandal.

Although at first she was reluctant to run for City Council, she turned to her faith and realized that she needed to step up and bring change. After receiving much support from members in the community, she is making sure she is leaving an impact.

“People were asking me why I want to run and I said it’s because I like to help people,” said Alvarez in the same article. “I don’t have all the answers, but I’m willing to look for the answers and to try to have the city back to how it used to be 31 years ago or even better.”

Alvarez has two children: a son, 12, who attends Magnolia Science Academy, and a daughter, 24, who is studying criminal justice at East LA college.

For further information on Alvarez and her efforts within the Bell City Council, click here.

Vanguard Alum Donna K. Wallace Helps Publish New Book

Vanguard University alum Donna K. Wallace ’96, who graduated from Vanguard with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in theological studies in religion, recently collaborated with authors Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz in publishing their new book, The Healthy Home.

The Healthy Home takes readers on a tour of a specific home to look at the surprisingly vast array of health risks people are exposed to on an everyday basis by way of everyday products and behaviors of a modern family. Readers will learn about degenerative effects of toxins in the home and receive simple solutions to help minimize exposure without giving up convenience.

The book itself is designed to focus on the most important environment to people—their home—and the problems that can most easily be lessened or eliminated to help create a more healthy and happy life.

Wallace has penned fifteen books with accomplished speakers, physicians, therapists and celebrities, including The Creation Health Breakthrough with Dr. Monica Reed and the international best-selling What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You with Dr. Ray Strand. She is also the president and founder of Mere Images, Inc. Currently, Wallace lives with her family in Bozeman, Montana.

For further information, or to purchase, The Healthy Home, please visit

For further information on Vanguard University’s academic departments, please visit

Vanguard Student Kateryna Malakhova Fulfills Her Dreams

Kateryna Malakhova, a senior in her final semester at Vanguard University, is taking advantage of her time at Vanguard to fulfill dreams she has had since she was a child. While utilizing the variety of resources that Vanguard has to offer, Malakhova is on her way to providing children from her community back home, in Novakakhovka, Ukraine, a place to play.

Growing up, Malakhova dreamed of three things: playing tennis in Europe, living near the beach and giving children from her community a place to play. After accomplishing her first dream of playing tennis in Europe, she started to sense closed doors and corruption in Novakakhovka. That is what brought her to attend college in the United States, at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. While at Vanguard University, Malakhova has been able to live out her second dream of living near the beach, but the third dream remained unfulfilled—until she met Dr. Ann Hamilton, vice president of student affairs.

After meeting Malakhova at an annual dinner Dr. Hamilton holds at her home for student leaders, Dr. Hamilton became intrigued as their discussion turned to dreams and Malakhova opened up about the ones she had since childhood. After realizing that she could help, Dr. Hamilton decided to reach out and provide the necessary guidance and resources for Malakhova.

Since that time, Malakhova has worked closely with Dr. Hamilton and the organization Kids Around the World to bring a playground to the heart of Novakakhovka. The playground will give children a place to use their imaginations, while creating a community for parents to come together. Malakhova and Hamilton, along with family and a team from Vanguard, will fly to Ukraine in June to help continue to bring this dream to life.

With that third dream almost being completed, Malakhova has had time to contemplate a brand new dream for her future—to work for the United Nations.

“I want to show that everything is possible and bring that hope,” said Malakhova, in a recent Daily Pilot article. “Everything is possible and you should just go for it.”

For further information on Malakhova and to read her story in the Daily Pilot, please visit,0,4723994.story.

Vanguard Alum Natasha Nelson Helps to Start Successful Business

Vanguard University alum Natasha Nelson ‘98 has found recent success with her business, Yogurtini, which has become a frozen yogurt phenomenon in the state of Arizona.

Known for its variety of flavors and unique toppings, Yogurtini has become a big hit in Arizona. However, what truly makes Yogurtini unique is its owners. Natasha, who graduated from Vanguard with a degree in business marketing in 1998, lived in California with her sister and co-founder Chelsey, until they learned their mom was diagnosed with a degenerative terminal illness. Upon receiving the news, they made it their priority to be back with her in Arizona and moved home.

While in Arizona, they realized one of their favorite things from southern California, frozen yogurt shops, had not yet began to sprout up in their local neighborhoods. So, through applying their knowledge and resources to come up with a business plan, they decided to make their own, and Yogurtini was born in May 2010.

Since their inception only less than a year ago, the sisters have received a huge loyal following, as they are looking to add on 50-100 stores on a national scale in the next 12 to 16 months. The success of Yogurtini is directly related to them sticking with their original vision of an atmosphere that offers exceptional yogurt, and freedom for customers to make their own dessert creations.

Over 75 toppings and 16 flavors grace the menu at Yougurtini. Locals who frequent the shops in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix have fallen in love with the rows of dispensers and seemingly endless choices for toppings, not to mention the welcoming and laid back atmosphere.

At Yogurtini, Natasha and Chelsey want no flavor to be overlooked, so they have options for toppings including granola, fresh fruits, fresh candies, cereals, espresso beans and even Sriracha hot sauce to go on top of classic and unique yogurt flavors such as Classic Vanilla, Chelsey’s Cheesecake, Mango, Green Tea Tart, and Acai Tart.

For further information on Yogurtini and franchise opportunities, visit

Vanguard Professor Ed Rybarczyk Has New Book Published

Dr. Ed Rybarczyk ‘85, an associate professor of systematic theology who specializes in Eastern Orthodox theology and Pentecostal-Charismatic history, has just released his new book entitled The Spirit Unfettered: Protestant Views of the Holy Spirit.

The book explores a comparison of Protestant views on the Holy Spirit with Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox models, while also delving into the important theologians and figures in Protestant tradition, including Martin Luther, the Anabaptists, John Wesley, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Abraham Kuyper, Karl Barth, Jurgen Moltmann, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Clark Pinnock and Michael Welker.

“This book shows how theologians have responded to and interacted with the philosophical changes attributed to the Holy Spirit throughout five hundred years. It is written for undergraduates and lay people to show them how theology impacts the faith and the Christian life of billions of people,” says Rybarczyk.

Rybarczyk, who is also an ordained Assemblies of God minister and a graduate of Fuller Seminary, has published one other book, Beyond Salvation: Eastern Orthodoxy and Classical Pentecostalism on Becoming Like Christ, a book that won the annual Pneuma Award in 2005. Along with Dr. Eric Patterson, Rybarczk also co-edited the book The Future of the Pentecostal Movement in the United States.

For further information on Dr. Ed Rybarczyk, please visit

For further information on, or to purchase, The Spirit Unfettered: Protestant Views of the Holy Spirit, please visit