Italy Bound Students Countdown for Takeoff

Italy 2Bound for the boot, 18 Vanguard University students and three professors pack their bags for a month-long study abroad in Italy.

Flying out on May 14 at 7 a.m., the group will pass through New Jersey and then arrive in Rome on the morning of May 15. Upon arrival, they will hop on a bus to Florence where they will spend the first two weeks of the program. When they finish their studies in Florence, they will return to Rome for their final two weeks abroad.

The program is created and run by Vanguard University and is worth nine credits. All-day classes are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays leaving the weekends for homework and travel. Part of the homework has already begun as students have had papers and other homework to complete during this semester.

The professors heading up the trip and leading the program are all Vanguard University professors: Professor of Business and Management Ed Westbrook, J.D.; Department of Theatre Arts Chair Susan K. Berkompas, M.F.A; and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology Edmund J. Rybarczyk, Ph.D. Courses will include Christian Heritage, Introduction to the Arts, and a business course titled Negotiation and Dispute Resolution.

Looking forward to the adventure, junior Rebekka Ramirez, a communications major, said: “I’ve been wanting to go to Italy since I was six years old.” With that dream less than a week away, Ramirez said she is “pumped” but needs to get through finals week first.

With weekends to travel, Ramirez plans to keep school as her number one priority while getting a taste of Italy’s rich culture. There is “so much ancient architecture to explore,” Ramirez said. She plans to keep her travels within Italy so she can experience as much as possible there. Some other students plan to travel outside of Italy to places like Paris, France.

Describing the group of students she is going with, Ramirez said: “Everyone gets along really well. We mesh.” She said the group plans to “eat lots of gelato” and “walk everywhere and anywhere.” With this program, they will have the opportunity to see places like the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican and much more.

Embracing a different culture, seeing artifacts and architecture from history books and eating lots of gelato are only a few highlights to this trip. Ramirez summed up her overall goal for the program by saying: “Just to experience a new country, a new lifestyle and learn as much as I can.”

Learn more about Vanguard University’s Study Abroad program online at

Nigerian Women Against Violence International Conference to be Hosted by the Global Center for Women and Justice on May 22-24, 2013

NigerianWomenAgainstViolenceJoin Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) as they host the Nigerian Women Against Violence International Conference on May 22-24, 2013.

The conference will bring together women from Nigeria, Kenya and the United States with the mission of working together through brainstorming and collaboration to come up with strategies to decrease domestic violence, human trafficking and violence against women.

With the goal of equipping the women to combat these issues in their own country, speakers will share best practices and long-term solutions for moving the nation of Africa to peace. This conference will be a great “cross-cultural opportunity to learn,” the coordinator for the GCWJ, Alexis Miller, said. It will be a time to interact with women from different cultures with the purpose of joining hands to play an active role in peace making, peace keeping and peace building.

Conference speakers will include the director of the GCWJ, Sandra Morgan; the director and professor of nursing, Dr. Mary Wickman; and an astute health management and health research consultant, Dr. Kaka Ahmed El-Yakub. Dr. Yakub is also a respected nurse/midwife tutor and health administrator.

The event will be held at Vanguard University. Registration for this special event is $50, which does not include meals.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn more about the issues facing African women today, register here. To read more about the speakers and the conference, click here.

Department of Theatre’s Hairspray Production Blasts Stereotypes and Box Office

hairspray-01-260x300Seeing record turnouts, Vanguard University’s Department of Theatre witnessed its production of the classic musical comedy Hairspray bring a crowd that filled the Lyceum Theater.

Out of 13 performances, 10 were sold out. Theatre Manager Bill Hughes said: “The three that were not sold out were in the first weekend, so once the word got out, we were packed.” The cast also performed three well-attended matinees at local high schools, he said. Having worked at Vanguard University for the past eight years, Hughes said Hairspray was the most well attended show since he began working at Vanguard.

Stage Manager Katie Thornberg said Hairspray was so popular that some students and other last-minutes arrivals had to be turned away at the door because there were no more seats available. Thornberg said she hopes that the student body and community will “be excited for our upcoming productions as a result of Hairspray.”

To check out Vanguard University’s theatre department and upcoming shows, visit the department’s website at

Nursing Pinning Ceremony Honors and Sends Out Nursing Program Graduates on May 9

Nursing-invite2Vanguard University’s Nursing Program held the Nursing Pinning Ceremony on Thursday, May 9 at 10 a.m., in preparation for the commencement of the program’s 44 graduating students.

The pin each graduate received features two symbols that reflect core values for the nursing graduates to carry with them as they leave Vanguard University. The symbols overlap at the center of the pin with the words “Vanguard University” and “Baccalaureate Nursing” surrounding.

The first symbol on the pin is the “Florence Nightingale Lamp”, which holds historical and symbolic significance. The lamp points back to the founder of the nursing profession, Florence Nightingale, who took a group of women to care for sick and wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War, which had never been done before. It symbolizes Nightingale’s care and devotion that is carried on by the nursing graduates of Vanguard University.

The second symbol is the traditional Christian cross. The cross reminds graduates of the sacrificial love of Christ, which serves as the foundation and motivation for the kind of service and care they will provide. In addition, the cross symbolizes the core Christian commitment of Vanguard University and its mission to deepen students’ faith, equip them to serve the Lord and prepare them for their vocational callings.

Read more about the history and symbolism of the pin by clicking here.

Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice Hosts University of Duhok Delegates for Two-Weeks of Training to Reduce Violence Against Women; Story Featured in Daily Pilot

VU CWJ conference-13-057A two-week training visit organized by Vanguard’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) was designed to inform Northern Iraqi officials of ways to reduce violence against women in Iraq.

The Daily Pilot met with the delegation during one of the training sessions on gender-based crimes held at the Westminster Police Department. The article that was published Thursday, May 3, 2013 details the relationship between the two universities, the events leading to this successful trip and the reactions of the government officials in attendance. The article quoted the group’s ranking official, Tariq Rasheed, through a translator saying that he desires for his regional government to take steps toward taking “care of human cases, domestic violence and violence against women…”

The article also quotes Vanguard University’s director of the GCWJ, Sandra Morgan, saying: “This team is stepping out in front to combat centuries of tradition that have not recognized the harm to women in their community.”

To read the full article featured in The Daily Pilot, click here. Also, you can learn more about the GCWJ by visiting their website at