Vanguard’s Veterans Center Honors the Lives Lost and the Sacrifice of Service Men and Women since the 9/11 Attacks

FlagsWalkway9.11In honor of the heroes and civilians lost in the 9/11 attacks, Vanguard’s Veterans Center held a 9/11 Remembrance Open House on Wednesday, September 11 from 3 to 6 p.m.

American flags lined the walkways of Vanguard University on September 11 thanks to Vanguard’s veterans club. Knowing the sacrifice required to serve this country, Vanguard’s student veterans and the Veterans Center purposed to honor and remember the victims and the heroes of 9/11.

The open house was held in the Veterans Courtyard of Honor and the Veterans Resource Center.  Dominica Scibetta, the veterans resource services coordinator, said the evening was a “huge success.” It was a great time to interact with students, community leaders, faculty and staff. Refreshments were provided, attendees walked through the Veterans Resource Center and a candlelight vigil was held.

Reflecting on the event as a whole, Scibetta said: “It was a touching moment in which we saw the Vanguard community partner with outside organizations to honor the lives lost on September 11 and recognize the bravery of the service members who have fought for our nation.”

As vice president of Vanguard’s student veterans club, Jonathan Ramer took part in hosting the event. The theme for this year’s Patriot Day open house was the “9/11 soldiers from today becoming the leaders of tomorrow,” Ramer said. It was a time to reflect on the sacrifices made on the day of the attacks and the sacrifices service men and women continue to make today.

“Despite the fact it has been 12 years since the event, veterans should never be forgotten and the sacrifices made to have our freedoms should never be taken for granted,” Ramer said.

To learn more about the Vanguard Veterans Center, click here.

KCAL9 Features Special Interview with Vanguard Student Veteran Rory Self on September 11

On September 11, a special interview on KCAL9 featured one Vanguard University student veteran and the board president of Strength in Support (SIS), an organization serving veterans and their families.

From the marines to studying religion at Vanguard University, Rory Self is no stranger to stress. Dealing with the challenges of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something many veterans face. SIS Board President Dr. Evan Fewsmith said in the interview that SIS encourages veterans to drop the “D” in PTSD. He described the issue as being more of an intense stress rather than a disorder.

Post Traumatic Stress is “something that not only our military is suffering from, I think our whole nation after 9/11 has been experiencing a heightened since of stress and grief, and so in a way we can all perhaps relate to post traumatic stress and what that feels like and not just our guys coming home,” Dr. Fewsmith said.

SIS offers many services including counseling, workshops and the opportunities for comradeship. Upon his initial return, Self did not seek help. He dealt with stress, nightmares and anxiety. When he finally went to SIS, Self found their workshops challenged him with manageably stressful situations to stretch his capacity to handle stress.

One workshop Rory found particularly helpful was the golf workshop, where he learned to cope with different stress factors: performing the task, having people watch him and helping others all the while. Dr. Fewsmith said the golf workshop is purposed to provide socialization, comradeship and fellowship. “Part of the first step of any kind of healing is just bringing them into the fold,” he said.

Through the workshops and many SIS services, Self said veterans learn that “we can work through this, and not just alone, that we can do it with someone.” He added: “We’re not just going to get medications pushed to us, we’re going to get a team and a friendship along with it.”

To view the interview, click here.

The Global Center for Women and Justice Celebrates 10-year Anniversary

10yr_gcwj_logo_final-01After 10 years of advancing the global status of women, Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) celebrates its 10-year-anniversary Thursday, September 19, 2013 through Saturday, September 21, 2013.

The special events start with GCWJ Director Sandra Morgan speaking at the 9:30 a.m. chapel on Thursday, September 19.  At 6:30 p.m., the documentary Girl Rising will screen and a panel of experts on the power of education in the lives of girls will answer questions.  The panel includes GCWJ Director Morgan and World Vision leaders, Cory Trenda and Ruthi Hanchett.

Girl Rising is an exemplary documentary,” Morgan said. It focuses on the power of education in the lives of girls worldwide. According to research done by the International Monetary Fund, educating girls helps build the local socioeconomic strength in a community more than educating boys.

On Friday, September 20, the GCWJ will have a birthday party and history exhibit opening. It will be a chance to celebrate the history of the center, the founders and the plans for the future while enjoying some birthday cake.  The party takes place in the Great Commission Hall and Heath Rotunda from 4 to 6:30 p.m. It will include a special presentation at 4:30 p.m.

The final event of this celebration weekend, the More Priceless than Diamonds Luncheon, will take place at the Balboa Bay Club in the Grand Ballroom at 11:00 a.m. KOCE’s Ed Arnold will host the event and Ernie Allen, the president and founding chairman of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, is the special guest speaker.  “The luncheon will celebrate our ten years and launch us into the future,” Morgan said.

The decision to launch a Women’s Studies Minor in 2003 not only put Vanguard University on the leading edge of the social justice wave, but also took the University on an academic road toward living out the true religion written about in James 1:27, Morgan said.  Commending the work of founders Dr. Elizabeth Leonard and Dr. Sheri Benvenuti, GCWJ director Morgan said they are “amazing women.”

“If there is a final exam in the Bible for religion, it is in James 1:27,” Morgan said. “Women and children, widows and orphans, are the most marginalized individuals in the world,” Morgan continued after reading aloud the verse.  Through Vanguard’s Women’s Studies Minor and the GCWJ, Morgan said: “We are going to do everything in our power to help students pass that test.”

During the past 10 years and continuing into the future, the GCWJ holds fast to its commitment to study the issues, be a voice and make a difference. Because of the many women’s studies courses that are dispersed among various departments at Vanguard University, “we’re equipping anyone who is going to be anywhere to recognize the unique challenges women face,” Morgan said.

To read more about the events and purchase tickets, click here.

OC Register Features Vanguard University’s Director of Veterans Affairs and Community Relations Brent Theobald

Brent_NewSpotlighting a “real life super hero”, the OC Register features Vanguard University’s director of Veterans Affairs and Community Relations.

The article details Director Brent Theobald’s journey to Vanguard University, his work as Vanguard’s director of Veterans Affairs and Community Relations, and the opportunities Vanguard’s Veterans Resource Center offers. A couple of the opportunities mentioned include Vanguard’s Yellow Ribbon Program and the Veteran’s endowment scholarship program.

After graduating from Vanguard University in 2011, Theobald continued his work with the Veterans Program on campus. Now, on staff at Vanguard, he fulfills his passion to assist veterans in reintegrating themselves into society while acquiring an education.

The Veterans Center at Vanguard University provides resources, support and community for veterans. The Veterans Program currently has about 62 participants. The center provides the means for returning veterans to obtain their career goals and reintegrate into civilian life through education; Theobald says this is key.

The article also includes interviews with Vanguard’s vice president of the Student Veterans Club, Jonathan Ramer; a senior student veteran studying psychology, Christopher M. Kupitz; and the president of Vanguard’s Student Veterans Club, Jacoby Gonzalez.

According to the article, Vanguard focuses on mentoring and internship programs in conjunction with the local business community. To have employers in Orange County’s business community step up and provide internships for veterans would be amazing, Theobald says.

To read the full article, click here.

Vanguard University ranks in top 10 for US News & World Report’s 2014 Best Colleges

2014_Best-Colleges_with-badge425x283US News & World Report today announced its 2014 Best College rankings.  For several consecutive years in a row, Vanguard University has ranked in the top 10; in the 2014 Best Regional Colleges – West category, Vanguard ranks #10.

According to the US News & World Report FAQ page, a college education is one of the most important – and one of the most costly – investments that prospective students will ever make. For this reason, the editors of U.S. News believe that students and their families should have as much information as possible about the comparative merits of the educational programs at America’s colleges and universities.

The data gathered on colleges – and the rankings of the schools that arise from these data – serve as an objective guide by which students and their parents can compare the academic quality of schools.

There are 1,596 regionally accredited U.S. institutions that are part of the U.S. News data collection universe.  Regional colleges (such as Vanguard University) focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. These rankings are split into 4 regions: North, South, Midwest and West.

Each year, the methodology is refined for the purpose of improving the process.  Last week, Us News & World Report announced some methodology changes impacting this year’s rankings.   The refined methodology reduced the weight of input factors (which look at characteristics of the students, faculty and other resources going into the educational process)and increased the weight of output measures (which look at the results of the educational process, such as graduation and freshman retention rates).

For more information about the rankings/methodology for Best Colleges 2014, click here.