Bing features Krochet Kids, non-profit company founded by Vanguard alums

Vanguard University alums Stewart Ramsey ’08 and Travis Hartanov ’04-’06 are the co-founders of Krochet Kids International, a non-profit organization that employs women in Uganda and Peru to create crocheted hats and accessories. Recently, Krochet Kids International was featured in the Bing Originals series on television and online. Watch how these Vanguard University graduates have set out on a mission to change the world, one hat at a time.

Nursing leader and Navy veteran takes top post at Vanguard University’s nursing program

Mary Wickman, a U.S. Navy veteran who has served in key nursing positions in southern California, was named the director of the nursing program at Vanguard University effective July 1, bringing with her nearly four decades of leadership in the field of nursing.

“When I first met Dr. Wickman a few years ago, I knew that she would be a great fit with Vanguard’s mission and would bring a wealth of expertise, experience and heart to our growing nursing program,” says Vanguard president Carol Taylor. “Her experience in directing large grants and building strong graduate programs is exactly what we need as we launch our new MSN program.”

Wickman comes most recently from the large nursing program at CSU Fullerton where she was hired to start a program to train nurses to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The position involved starting up a simulation lab, creating curriculum, hiring faculty and teaching. She won the CSU Fullerton Outstanding Faculty Recognition award in 2009-10 for scholarly and creative activity and the 2008 Best Practice Education Award from the Association of California Nurse Leaders.

Wickman earned her BSN from Mount St. Mary’s College and joined the U.S. Navy early in her career “to see the world and to do something for my country,” Wickman says. “It was a wonderful experience for a nurse.”

She served on active duty for three years and in the reserves for 18 years. In 1991 she was recalled in support of Desert Storm. In 2007 she won the United States Navy Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding achievement while serving as officer-in-charge of Detachment A, a unit for doctors, nurses and corpsmen, at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.

“In military nursing you have the chance at a young age to step into leadership positions,” Wickman says. “I learned leadership skills that have served me well throughout my career.”

Wickman has held a wide variety of nursing positions in southern California, including at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, Saddleback Women’s Hospital in Laguna Hills, Tokos/Matria Obstetrical Clinical Services in Orange, and St. Joseph Hospital. She was chair of the department of nursing at Mount St. Mary’s College. She also served as director of nursing and health sciences at Santa Ana College for 15 years. Wickman holds her master’s degree and PhD from UCLA. She has chaired the Orange County Long Beach Consortium for Nursing and held many other industry-leading posts. On the academic side, Wickman has presented widely at conferences and is published in nursing journals.

Wickman accepted the position at Vanguard for the chance to integrate her faith and her work, and to help establish the University’s burgeoning master’s degree in nursing program. In the past she directed projects with grants totaling more than $2.5 million to improve aspects of nursing through education, lab expansion and more. She plans to employ that grant-writing expertise in her new position.

“I feel honored to be stepping into the program at a great time,” Wickman says. “I enjoy program development. In previous jobs I’ve written quite a few grants that have been funded and I hope to do the same thing at Vanguard.”

Wickman says Vanguard’s approach to education is what nurses need to excel at their jobs.

“Vanguard is student-oriented and service-oriented. Each student is seen as an individual and not as a number,” she says. “Faculty and staff attend to the whole student. That’s also what being a nurse is about. When you’re sick, you want someone who pays attention to all your needs — physical, psychological and spiritual. To be really effective, nurses need that kind of training and background.”

Wickman will maintain a periodic position as research coordinator at St. Jude Medical Center. She will also teach in the classroom at Vanguard.

“Before joining us full-time, Mary taught some adjunct courses in our BSN program, and the students adore her,” says President Taylor. “She will add to the tradition of Vanguard faculty — committed professionals who mentor and invest deeply in the lives of our students.”

In response to the power outages in Southern California


Vanguard University With Full Power; Not Affected by Power Outages

COSTA MESA, CA—September 8, 2011. Vanguard University is operating with full power and is not affected by the power outages in other parts of Southern California. Vanguard University is prepared to handle a potential power outage. Vanguard University’s Director of Campus Public Safety, Paul Turgeon states, “Vanguard has a disaster preparedness plan to provide for the safety and health of our students, staff, and faculty. Safety is our top priority.”

In the event of a power outage, the University has plenty of fresh water and food supplies to serve students who live in the dormitories. Tim Young, Director of Resident Life, “Vanguard’s Resident Directors are fully trained to serve students in the event of an emergency.” The University is in regular communication with the City of Costa Mesa officials and its emergency services.

Information is available online at and 714-656-9361

Media Contact
Kelly Kannwischer, Vice President for University Advancement

Vanguard University Named “A Best in the West” College by The Princeton Review

Vanguard University is one of the best colleges in the West according to the nationally known education services company, The Princeton Review. It is one of 121 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its “Best in the West” section of its website feature, “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” that posted August 1, 2011 on

Says Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s Senior VP / Publisher, “We’re pleased to recommend Vanguard University to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree.  We chose it and the other terrific institutions we name as ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.   From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite.  We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences at them on our 80-question student survey for this project.   Only schools that permit us to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for our regional ‘best’ lists.”

“Vanguard is honored to be selected for the fourth year in a row by The Princeton Review. We have outstanding faculty who are experts in their fields who receive recognition and honors for their excellence. And, our student satisfaction and retention continue to improve. It’s an exciting time at Vanguard,” says Kim Johnson, interim vice president for enrollment management.

The 121 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the West” list are located in fifteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.  The Princeton Review also designated 220 colleges in the Northeast, 153 in the Midwest, and 135 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists.   Collectively, the 629 colleges named “regional best(s)” constitute about 25% of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

For this project, The Princeton Review asks students attending the schools to rate their own schools on several issues — from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food — and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life.  Comments from surveyed students are quoted in the school profiles on The Princeton Review site.

The Princeton Review does not rank the 629 colleges in its “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list hierarchically or by region or in various categories.   However, some schools in this list that also appear in The Princeton Review book, “The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition” may appear on some of the Princeton Review ranking lists of “top 20 colleges” in 62 categories that are unique to that book.  They are based entirely on the Company’s surveys of students at the 376 schools in the book.

The Princeton Review, headquartered in Framingham, MA with editorial offices in New York City and test preparation locations across the country and abroad, is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.

About Vanguard University

Vanguard University ( is a private, Christian, comprehensive university of liberal arts and professional studies, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). U.S. News & World Report has ranked Vanguard #9 among the best baccalaureate colleges in the west in their 2010 rankings of colleges and universities.  The Princeton Review named VU “A Best in the West” college for 2011 and 2012.

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review (Nasdaq: REVU) has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for 30 years through college and graduate school test preparation and private tutoring. With more than 165 print and digital publications and a free website,, the company provides students and their parents with the resources to research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for higher education. The Princeton Review partners with schools and guidance counselors throughout the U.S. to assist in college readiness, test preparation and career planning services, helping more students pursue postsecondary education.

The company also owns and operates Penn Foster Education Group, a global leader in online education, providing career-focused degree and vocational programs in the fields of allied health, business, technology, education, and select trades through the Penn Foster High School and Penn Foster Career School ( Penn Foster creates the platform to leverage the company’s Career Education Partnerships division with the National Labor College (NLC). This venture was formed to bring high-quality bachelor degree completion and certificate programs to the AFL-CIO’s 13 million members and the working adults in their families. For more information, visit