Summer 2015 Outreach Trips

Summer 2015 Outreach Trips 


Vanguard University has a long history of training, sending, and supporting missionaries. Our Vanguard University Outreach short-term mission program is an integral part of that rich heritage! 

Beyond the two or three week experience, our mission program has long-term transformation at its core. This transformation is both for our students and the people they will serve around the world.

[Participating Alumni names are in bold]


Study Abroad: VU Italia (May 12-June 12)

This study abroad trip will take 24 Vanguard students through a 9-unit course throughout three cities in Italy.  It is led by three Vanguard University faculty – Greg Austring ’82 (Intercultural Studies), Sue Berkompas (Theatre Arts), and Ed Rybarczyk ’85 (Religion). #vuItalia


Summer of Service: Uganda (May 13- August 5)

One of our S.O.S. students, Levi Moellering ’16 will volunteer with Impact Ministries Uganda this summer. His focus is on the health needs of the local community and the children in the orphanage the ministry oversees.  This program allows Levi to gain a valuable internship while serving that directly connects to his Biology degree.  He will volunteer alongside Daniel Okabe ’13.  

Argentina (May 19-27)

The Vanguard University Music department will take a group of students to Argentina this summer where they will be provide ministry through music to students, churches, and local outreach opportunities.  This trip is led by Music Faculty, Michael Nigro and Greg Glancey. Members of the Vanguard University Guitar Ensemble will partner with the Universidad Nacional de San Juan in Argentina. #vuMusic #vuMusicTour


Asia (May 20-June 4)

The Vanguard Athletics Men’s Basketball team will participate in a widely recognized and highly competitive basketball tournament in Asia.  They will also minister to athletic fans, staff, and the other teams that participate. We look forward to having Vanguard University represented in this exciting tournament! @vulions #VUMBB – Instagram, Twitter


Philippines (May 25-June 8)

Lauren Walker ’07 and Nolan Steputis ’06 will lead a group of Vanguard student athletes on a mission trip to the Philippines.  These athletes will partner with Kids International Ministries to participate in ministry through sports. They will also connect with Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) Tom ’89 and Connie (Brazell ’88) Bohnert while there. @vulions – Instagram, Twitter

Members of the Vanguard Music department will also travel to the Philippines, where they will be participate in several different music ministry opportunities.  Their team leader is Vanguard Faculty and Music Department chair Dr. James Melton. #vuMusic #vuMusicTour


Ireland (July 1-15)

Dalila Toledo ’10 will lead a team (that includes Julie Caravella ’06) to Ireland. The team will continue their partnership with Cornerstone City Church in Derry, Ireland and the church’s outreach program – I Heart Derry. During their time there, the team will be involved in kids ministry, city beautification projects, mobile medics, sports outreach, and more. 


Study Abroad: Argentina (July 2-14)

A group of students under the direction of our Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University will do an intensive study abroad trip to Argentina. This team is led by Vanguard faculty Dr. Sandie Morgan ’10 MA and Derek Marsh. They will assist with starting an Ensure Justice conference: Argentina edition!  During their time there, they will also connect with AGWM Glibert Contreras and participate in various outreach efforts. @vugcwj – Instagram, Twitter


For team updates, like the Vanguard University Outreach Facebook page or @vuoutreach on Instagram.


Kayli Hillebrand
Associate Director of Outreach
(714)  662-5265 | kayli.hillebrand@vanguard.edu
Website - www.vanguard.edu/outreach

delta kappa

Delta Kappa: Class of 2015

Congratulations to the 2015 Delta Kappa Inductees! The inductees were announced at Vanguard’s Awards Chapel on Thursday morning, April 23. We are
excited to have these future alumni as part of this elite society and see what the future holds for them after they graduate in a few short weeks!

Lucas Brawner

Savannah Cornelison

Charity Culp

Danny Ledezma

Corrine Meekhof

Christopher Lucas

Spencer Green

Natalie Garcia

Jordan Diandy

Christian Lucas

Morgan Burt

Bretlyn Schmitt

Araceli Bravo

Janell Koide

Renn Lazzerin

Robert Miller

Myriah Murillo

Myra Ramos


Dixie Arnold

Delta Kappa is a Greek Letter Honor Society that honors those who have served the Vanguard University Community. Delta Kappa recognizes students who are exemplary in their Christian lifestyle as they serve their peers and represent the university.  Inductees are honored and recognized with personalized engraved bricks displayed on the Campus Mall, in front of the Library.


To see photos from the official pinning ceremony, go to the Vanguard University Alumni Facebook page.



Office of Alumni Relations

(714) 966-5494 | alumni@vanguard.edu

Ashley and Scott Houston

Class Notes – Due March 27

Brian Burhenn

Vanguard Alumni: We are gathering Class Notes for the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of the Vanguard Magazine!

They are the most-read section of the magazine, so we want to make sure as many Alumni are included as possible.

Class Notes are in these categories –
1990sCristina Robeck
Just Married
Future Alumni (babies born among us)
In Memory (honorariums for those who have passed away)


Let us know what you’ve been up to since you graduated. Other information to include: Did you receive another degree? How about a promotion? Have you moved to a different state? Did you celebrate a special anniversary recently? Where have you traveled to? What has your church, family, and/or company been up to? All of this information helps as we write your Class Note for the Vanguard Magazine!



Ashley and Scott Houston

Ashley (Brock ‘10) and Scott Houston ‘11 married at The Parker Ranch in June 2012, and currently live in Irvine. Scott is the creative media director for Sanctuary Belize, the #1 development company in Belize. He also continues to do freelance work for his own business, 32 Productions, editing spots and commercials for the Los Angeles Clippers. Ashley has started her own ETSY business, selling hand-sewn items and launched a lifestyle blog: Live Styled Live Creative. By far, the Houston’s biggest accomplishment and joy was the birth of their son, Jude on November 8, 2013.


Now, HOW do you submit a Class Note? Don’t worry, it’s easy…

  1. Online at Vanguard Alumni website:  http://www.vanguard.edu/alumni/submit-a-class-note-2/
  2. Email: alumni@vanguard.edu with Subject: My Class Note
  3. Mail: Vanguard University c/o Alumni Relations, 55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Deadline is Friday, March 27. Please send any information to us by then! Photos (landscape orientation) can be emailed (jpeg) or mailed at the address above. Prints will not be returned. Also, when you send us your photos, it grants Vanguard University permission to print it.

 Check out other Vanguard Magazines online here: http://www.vanguard.edu/about/alumni-magazine/


Remembering Dr. Elizabeth Leonard

On May 18, Dr. Elizabeth Leonard passed away at her home in Ireland after a battle with cancer. Elizabeth taught at Vanguard University as a full-time faculty member in the department of Anthropology and Sociology for 14 years. Upon her retirement, Dr. Leonard was granted the status of Faculty Emerita.

Below is a letter from President Michael J. Beals regarding Dr. Leonard’s passing -

Dear Vanguard Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that beloved Vanguard professor Dr. Elizabeth Dermody Leonard passed away on Sunday, May 18 in Ireland, her home since retiring from Vanguard.

Dr. Leonard taught at Vanguard University as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, serving as an Assistant Professor of Sociology from 1997 to 2002, and then as Associate Professor of Sociology from 2002 to 2007, and finally as Professor of Sociology from 2007 to 2011. She delivered and expanded the Sociology curriculum to include areas of specialization in gender and crime, the sociology of women, corrections, family violence and juvenile delinquency, and played in integral role in helping grow the Sociology major to one hundred majors.

Dr. Leonard sustained a robust research agenda during her tenure at Vanguard University, producing a book (Convicted Survivors: The Imprisonment of Battered Women Who Kill, State University of New York Press, 2002), four book chapters and nine articles in peer-reviewed journals. She was widely recognized as an expert on issues related to battered women in prison and domestic violence, and as such, was invited to present research, guest lecture, provide expert witness testimony, and give various public presentations on seventy different occasions, and in diverse institutional settings and locales in the United States and Europe.

She served Vanguard University faithfully by being a tireless leader and advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration, which included serving as the Co-Director of Vanguard University’s Center for Women’s Studies from 2002 to 2005. She advised, counseled, and mentored countless numbers of students who, upon graduating from Vanguard University, followed her example by pursing vocations that advance the public good.

Elizabeth was highly respected, admired and regarded by the students at Vanguard University, who voted her the Faculty Member of the Year for 1999-2000, and again as Faculty Member of the Year for 2006-2007. Over the years students have consistently expressed their affection for her and their appreciation of her guidance and support.

Upon her retirement, Dr. Leonard was granted the status of faculty emerita. Dr. Leonard was a devoted colleague and friend and will be greatly missed.

Please keep Dr. Leonard’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Serving with you,


In honor of legacy, we invite you to give a gift to the Elizabeth Dermody Leonard Memorial Fund! This fund will -

  • Establish a grant to fund media and arts that extend the reach and impact of her domestic violence research as depicted in Life Without Parole and Sin By Silence.
  • Expand the Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University in the Vanguard University Library.
  • Launch an annual scholarship for a domestic violence survivor returning to complete a degree in Vanguard University School for Graduate Professional Studies.
  • Fund a research stipend for grad students pursuing research on family violence or violence against women.

Donations can be made here: www.vanguard.edu/leonardfund


In honor of her legacy, we invite you to give a gift to the Elizabeth Dermody Leonard Memorial Fund! Donations can be made here: www.vanguard.edu/leonardfund

Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University
(714) 966-6360 | gcwj@vanguard.edu


2015 Alumni Award Winners

AlumniAwards_IG banner

For nearly a century, our alumni have impacted nearly every aspect of our culture. We want to share some of those stories, by recognizing alumni who have played, and are play a crucial role today. Our alumni award winners are nominated throughout the year from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who recognize the incredible work being done. With each nomination, a brief bio is compiled to better understand the individual or group of individuals. At that point, the alumni office also looks to expand on the bios – drawing information from friends, coworkers, and published information.

With an initial list exceeding thirty nominations, the alumni office narrows the nominees to around four or five per category. At that point, the nominees with bios are presented to the board of the alumni association. Each board member votes on the winners, with additional rounds as necessary for tie breakers.




Tony and Kathy met at Vanguard where he was student body president for two years and she was on a music scholarship.  After Tony’s graduation they married and began ministering to the youth in the church and on the streets here in Southern California.

Their ministry birthed the beginnings of the Christian children’s music industry with albums such as Music Machine and Bullfrogs & Butterflies.  They have received 7 Grammy nominations and many of their albums became Gold and Platinum.  Tony created Bibleman, which toured across the US.  His videos, books, and CDs have received many industry awards, including Teacher’s Choice Awards, Dove Awards, Telly Awards, and Billboard Awards. Tony was awarded as one of the Top 100 Media Producers of 2000. Kathy has also created over 100 activity resource books for companies such as Nest Entertainment, Integrity, and American Bible Society.

Today, Tony and Kathy head up the non-profit, Forever Kids, which has reached over 150,000 children and youth with character-building music assemblies and programs in public schools, churches, and camps. Tony’s book Life In Christ: A Manual for Disciples has gone around the world and he currently disciples a number of groups of mainly young adults. They recently launched Case for Character which provides foster youth with something that adds dignity to their many moves from house to house––a suitcase instead of a trashbag. In just a few months, Case for Character has provided suitcases to hundreds of foster kids.



Wayne and Sylvia, along with their two daughters, Joy, 5 years old and Aimee, 18 months old, arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1973.  A third daughter, Cherie, was born in the Congo in 1978.  Their primary focus for 39 years was training men and women for the ministry through the programs of the Masina Bible School and the School of Theology Extension Center.  Wayne also oversaw the construction of the Bible School buildings.

Through the years, both of them held seminars and preached on Sundays in Kinshasa, the capital city. Over the last 4 years they had a weekly breakfast meeting of 2-10 people in business and government leadership.  This was a time of sharing, studying and praying together.

When Wayne was 18 years old the Lord called him to train African pastors. He sent them to the Congo to work with a team of missionaries and Congolese pastors. There were difficult years, but looking back, the Turners were able to see the Lord was establishing the A/G church through ministerial training.  This of course was made possible through the faithful partnership of USA Assemblies of God individuals and churches.

Because of the enthusiastic evangelism efforts of the Congolese ministers and lay people, the Assemblies of God of the Congo has spread throughout the country, impacting and changing many lives

Wayne and Sylvia retired in January, 2013.



While juniors at Vanguard, the 31 Bits dream began for 5 friends. Kallie, had just gotten back from a life-changing trip to Uganda. She met women who grew up in a war and had nothing. They were single moms with no education and no job.

What the women lacked in education, they made up for in skill and resourcefulness. They were making incredible jewelry out of old posters. Kallie brought a box of the jewelry back, and the girls fell in love instantly.

They started by selling jewelry made by Ugandan women at school events, craft fairs, and home parties. They would tell their story to anyone who would listen.

Eventually they started an online store and a wholesale program. The road was rocky and the sleep was short, but five years later, 31 Bits products can be found in over 300 stores and the girls have shared their story with hundreds of thousands of people.

31 Bits has implemented a five-year holistic development program in Uganda, where each woman receives health education, finance training, counseling, and business training. She belongs to a community where she can earn an income, be educated, and dream for her future.

After five years in the program, the women graduate, leaving with an education, a career, social equity, confidence, and a voice. They now have 120 women in the program whose lives are changed.


To nominate someone for the 2016 Alumni Awards, please email alumni@vanguard.edu by September 1, 2015.




#GivingTuesday 2014

About #GivingTuesday…

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, gifts to Vanguard University will support the Through These Doors campaign for the Scott Academic Center renovation and expansion. Thanks to a generous donor, all donations will be matched dollar for dollar so that your giving will have twice the impact. And gifts of $100 or more will be recognized on a special donor wall display inside the new academic center. This is an opportunity for you to leave your mark in a tangible way at Vanguard. IG

 About the Through These Doors campaign…

The Scott Academic Center is the hub of student services including admissions, financial aid, accounting, and the registrar offices. Gifts of any amount will help us reach the finish line of our $7,000,000 goal—we are less than $170,000 away! Gifts will go to support:

How can you help?

On December 2, we invite the Vanguard community (current students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends) to make a gift of any size to the Through These Doors campaign in conjunction with #GivingTuesday. Gifts of $100 or more will be included on a special “donor wall” in the building. But no matter the size of the gift, the goal is to get alumni to participate and give back to their alma mater. Visit vanguard.edu/givingtuesday.

Be a #GivingTuesday “Champion”:

  1. Making a donation of any amount
  2. Taking an “unselfie” picture of yourself with a sign that says “I support Vanguard because_________________” and post to your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter with the hashtag #GivingTuesday #@VanguardU
  3. Nominating someone else in the Vanguard community to make a gift as well. Let them know they have until 12 midnight on December 2.

When do we need your participation?

We’d love to snap a picture of you prior to December 2 so we already have a strong social media presence when the day begins. Please send us a photo of you (or if you’re local, we can come snap one!) that we can post on December 2? Then post it on your own accounts and tag as many people as you can think of on the actual day! Here is an example:



Office of Alumni Relations
(714) 966-5494 | alumni@vanguard.edu