Joyce LaPointe ’91

Seeing how God is using Vanguard Alumni is incredible, and Joyce LaPointe ’91 is no exception.  She attended Vanguard University on an athletic scholarship for basketball and softball and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology.  After graduating Vanguard, Joyce began her career in 1997 with Costa mesa police in 1997.  She was hired out of the orange Cuonty sheriff Academy and then worked in patrol, as a field training, bike patrol, traffic and tactical flight officer and as a defensive tactics instructor.  In 2006, she earned her private helicopter license.  As sergeant, she managed patrol teams, the Field Officers Training Program, jail operations, emergency management, and Force Tactics training. She is also the recipient of the Mothers against Drunk Drivers Century Award and a Life Saving Merit award.

Recently, in September, 18-year police veteran Joyce LaPointe moved into the role of lieutenant, marking the first time a female has held that title in the city of Costa Mesa.

I really don’t look at it as blazing a trail.  there have been so many females and so many great leaders who have come before me.  They [female officers before her] did all the work.  it’s more along the lines of paying it forward for them.  It’s now my turn to take the baton and keep moving forward with it.

-Joyce LaPointe

In her new role, LaPointe will be the commander for Area 1, which is the southern end of town, and will be charged with overseeing patrol officers and quality of life issues for residents and business owners.  She was officially sworn in at 9 a.m. Wednesday September 16.

Joyce has received much praise and compliments as she entered into this new position. However, this isn’t the first time that she has made history in the department.  She and Sgt. Stephanie Selinske were the department’s first female DUI enforcer officers.  In the first three months they had arrested 230 drunk drivers, which was big back then.  She was promoted to corporal in 2002 and then sergeant in 2007.

We are so proud of Joyce LaPointe and cannot wait to see how she continues to use her God-given talents.


Inaugural Larson Lectureship: Featuring Admiral Vern Clark

admvclarkYou are cordially invited to the Inaugural Larson Lectureship on Ethics & Business featuring Admiral Vernon E. Clark (Retired Chief of Naval Operations).  This special VIP event will be held on Monday, October 26, 2015 from 7:00pm-8:00pm at Newport Mesa Church (Vanguard University Campus).

The Bill & Joanne Larson Lectureship on Ethics & Business features nationally recognized business and civic leaders who embody a life of Christ-centered leadership and service.  This particular featured speaker, Admiral, US (RET.) Vernon E. Clark, is the second longest serving Chief of Naval Operations in history, and completed a distinguished 37-year Navy career in 2005.  He also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan.  Forged an effort to make the Navy more competitive and postured the Navy for the challenges of the past 911 world.  His innovations led to billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayers of the nation and the highest operational readiness the Navy had witnessed in decades.  Clark was a former member of the Vanguard University Board of Trustees and has served on various boards in industry and education including rolls Royce North America, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Company and Regent University.

Please join us for this exclusive opportunity to meet with a man who has played a significant part at Vanguard University and our country. If you would like to go, RSVP by October 19 to


Letter from SGA President

Dear Vanguard family,

Hello, my name is Sheridan Smith and I am the Student Body President of Vanguard University. I hail from Northern California, a city called Elk Grove to be precise and will be graduating next year in May. Every Vanguard colleague and alumni have told me the same piece of advice when preparing for graduation: “Enjoy your senior year, it goes by fast”. From my own personal experience I’ve realized that it does! I still remember eagerly researching colleges one night and researching a school that would not only be the right fit as a resource to help me develop my personal faith, as well as be a community that felt like a “home away from home”.

In the first few years, I learned that what makes Vanguard so special was that it balanced a community that nourished your spiritual life, and challenged you academically. This is one of the things I love about Vanguard. Every classroom you walk into each student realizes that a Professor’s lecture will be interesting based on the subject matter, as well as enriching based on the incorporated faith that is discussed no matter what class you are in. My Vanguard experience has been a beautiful, challenging, and life-giving experience. I believe as an 18 year old you come into college knowing nothing about who you actually are and then you end up graduating realizing that you know a little bit more of who you were called to be. This change happens when after a season of experiencing Vanguard, you realize that your story truly does matter, and God is continuing to help you understand your own unique and personal narrative. I started realizing what it means to be Sheridan Smith by having enough courage to press into what I believed God was calling me to, and how He was trying to show me who I am. He taught me through great Vanguard resources like our free counseling center, mentoring programs, and dynamic classes that “who I am” is discovered through understanding who I am in Him.

Over summer I found myself realizing how much God truly had some awesome things in store for Vanguard’s student body. I was reminded of our traditions, my personal goals, and the vision my team and I believe God is calling us to. The vision for our student body was that we continue to acknowledge ourselves as the vibrant community that Vanguard is, and how we can better spiritually and intellectually thrive together. Vanguard still has the same values and traditions it had when it opened in 1920, a community rooted in Jesus Christ. I believe what made Southern California College so great, and now Vanguard is that is helps students understand that their personal narratives are important, and that God has a plan for each member of the community. I hope that someone who has once called Vanguard their home realizes that our academic institution that we call Vanguard still helps cultivate an environment that shapes, ignites and encourages growth in our Christian faiths and personal development. Our keys to fulfilling our great potential as a community starts with being Kingdom-minded and firmly rooted in our identity in Christ Jesus. In order for us to better serve each other; whether as a member of leadership, an athlete, or a thriving academic student on campus, we first must understand the importance of recognizing our identity. When we first recognize our identities as followers of Christ, we will better recognize what true service looks like. We will also learn how to help continue generating a culture of empowering leaders of men and women of God to influence the communities around them. I’m excited for our campus. I’m excited because I get to see freshman and senior, students at completely different moment in their Vanguard journey, have their lives changed in the exact same place.

There are many goals Student Governments seeks to accomplish this year. Student Government Association encompasses values that care about advocating for the needs of the student body. I sit on a student senate that helps to ask the right questions and provide the right solutions to better represent my student constituents well. We are still putting on great events that create a space where students can have fun and enjoy each other’s company. My vision for SGA is that we continue to look and see how we can implement new resources that are rooted in the traditions and heart of Vanguard, as well as look into improvements that may be essential for the life of our students. As a Senior, I continue to recognize how much Vanguard has shaped me and given me resources to better pursue the dreams God has placed in my heart, as well as continue to be shaped by the resources God has given me on this campus. Pray, with us this year about the journey toward bigger and better things for the student body, that we will be empowered as leaders that are guided by the Holy Spirit in everything we do, and will boldly live and love in a way that is in Jesus Christ’s name. I am excited to be the Student Body President; it’s a lot of responsibility but also a lot of fun. What I am more excited about though, is that I know that I am a part of a community that supports me as a student, a leader, and a man of God. I am thankful for Vanguard and the incredible impact it continues to have on my life.

Sheridan Smith

Vanguard University SGA President, 2015-2016


Academy Class of 216 Graduation Ceremony.

Police Academy Graduate: Kevin Christianson ’13

Academy Class of 216 Graduation Ceremony.
After graduation, Kevin Christianson ’13, began to pursue a career in law enforcement.  For 26 weeks, Kevin and 33 other members of Class 216 endured stress training, physical training, as well as learning how to use firearms, arrest control techniques, and communication skills.

On August 27, 2015 Kevin ’13 graduated from what is considered one of the “toughest and most professional police academies in the nation.”  Not only did he graduate, but he graduated 1st in his class.

We are so proud of our Alumni and can’t wait to see where God takes Kevin ’13 as he continues his journey at the Costa Mesa Police Department.


The Created Co.

ryanWhen leaving Vanguard it is our hope that one graduates with the necessary skills, insight, and knowledge to pursue the things that God has called them to.  After graduation, Ryan Schneider ’13, was able to pursue his dream of starting his own business called The Created Co where they design inspirational drink ware, giving 10% towards their water campaign through charity.

  “We believe that every person has been created. 

Each of us created for a certain purpose — a purpose to fulfill and to live out on this earth. 

So then, we ask this question ‘What were you created for?’”

-The Created Co.anchor my soul

Vanguard students and graduates know all too well that some of the “most meaningful moments occur alongside a drink.  Whether that’s the early morning moments with your cup of coffee when you’re most inspired.  Or connecting with your closest friends at a local coffee shop.”  The goal of this company is to take those meaningful moments and remind ourselves what we were created for.  Based on truth, community, and empowerment, Ryan ’13 and Jeremy have started something that they are passionate about with the hope of inspiring “the dreamers of the world to overcome the ordinary, connect with a community of like-minded people,and empower others both locally and globally.”

To learn more about this company, visit their website:  or check out their Instagram page: @thecreatedco.


Alta Coffee Night

If you’re a Vanguard Alum, chances are you remember sipping a hot chai by the beach with some good friends.  Come relive the moments with your Vanguard University Alumni Family!

On Monday, August 17, 2015 the Alumni office is hosting an Alta Coffee Night.  There will be FREE drinks for the first 30 guests and dessert will also be served.

We can’t wait to see Alumni in the area and reconnect with all of you while enjoying a coffee from Vanguard’s favorite coffee shop. Hope to see you there!919384_10152050628058626_30835691_o1077118_10152050626888626_1659565761_o


Student Story: Jessie Hornibrook


Each year Vanguard sends out teams of students to different global partners around the world. The Ireland team, led by Dalila Toledo ’10, partnered with Cornerstone City Church in Derry, Northern Ireland. The student leader from the trip, Jessie Hornibrook ’16 shared a little bit about her amazing experience with the Vanguard team in Northern Ireland.


If there is anything that is true about our incredible God it’s that he works in amazing and unique ways. I think that it’s fair to say that before Ireland our entire team was feeling a little less than adequate for the trip, myself included. I’ve been on many trips before and as much as my heart wanted to go, a part of me was still screaming, “Do I have to?”  I’ll be honest; this past season of my walk with Christ has been rough. I found myself second semester questioning whether I even still believed in the things I was preaching. I felt fake. Fake and alone. Then, I got this amazing opportunity to student lead the trip to Ireland.

Like I said, I’ve been on a million trips before, but none like this. From the second we landed our team was welcomed into this new country as if we were family. The slogan for Cornerstone City Church is “Bringing Love to Life.” That was the cry of their heart for mission week. That was what we got to be a part of. We can all say that we learned how to love in a completely new way. Being in Ireland wasn’t about how busy we could be or how useful we could make ourselves appear. In America, we are told by everything we see that our busyness is a sign of success. That the more we are able to accomplish, the more valuable we become. In Ireland, the most prevalent part of the trip to me was that my identity does not revolve around my ability to keep myself busy. When we arrived, who we were was enough for them. We were sufficient, adequate, honored and that stuck out to me. Cornerstone greeted us with a grace and love that was exactly what I would picture the Kingdom being like.

I believe this is a huge part of the reason why our team was able to bond so quickly. I would love to say that we all had this huge, life changing experience as a team and that it affected us all in the same way. However, I think that limits the severity of what God actually did for us. We all had different experiences with Christ. We were all tested, tried, and stretched in different ways and, in my opinion, that’s what made it so real. We all worked on the same site, with the same kids, for the most part offering the same services but the life experience we gained from it was vastly different. For some of us, we were called to pray out loud for the first time and to seek answers from our peers that we were once too afraid to ask. For others, it was as simple as being called out of their introvert shell to engage in the relationships around them and to engage in a meaningful way about something real. For me, I was told for the first time ever, that I’m not what I do. That my value isn’t in my ability to attain a title. God spoke truth into my life and I finally heard it.

On our last day of service in Derry we had a big celebration service where all of the kids from camp came together in a big church and we showed the entire congregation the awesome things we had been doing all week long. Then, as usual, the Pastor gave a message. The message was titled, “The big wean way.” He started off by stating that if you want a great position in Heaven, then you have to play like a child on earth. As the service came to a close and the band began to play their ending song, something beautiful happened. From the front row we heard this giggle erupt out of a little four-year-old boy named Riley, who we had the pleasure of playing with all week. He then proceeded to get up out of his chair, run to the front of church and Irish step dance. He danced his heart out for the next three songs, never stopping to catch his breath, never hesitating because he was afraid of what all the staring adults were thinking. He just danced a blessing over the hearts of every person there. As he continued dancing, I glanced around the room at the rest of my team and I knew we were all thinking the same thing, “This is the kind of faith I want.” I swear I could feel God smiling down on Riley, proud of his ability to take a chance, risk looking a little silly, and have a childlike joy.

That is what Ireland was about for me: learning to be a child again, in every season and every storm, to choose joy. To sum up the experience of everyone’s trip is nearly impossible and I think their stories are unique and different for a reason and most definitely worth listening to. So if you’re curious, don’t hesitate to ask them. If you’re reading this and you haven’t been on a mission’s trip or maybe you’ve never led one before, I encourage you to take a chance. It’s an experience of a lifetime and our God is greater than any excuse you can come up with. Find that childlike faith again, and embrace it because when you do you will be blown away with what God can do in your heart.

“Do not be afraid but take courage! I am here.”

For more information about Vanguard Mission Trips, please contact the Office of Global Education and Outreach.


Student Story: Oksana Orlik

The Global Center for Women & Justice (GCWJ) at Vanguard University is a faith-based organization that creates an environment for education, advocacy, and collaboration. Whether in our backyard or on the opposite side of the world, we are preparing young women and men to understand the impact of gender issues. We are a voice for those with no voice, breaking through walls of oppression and fear, attacking ignorance and apathy.

Last month, a group of students joined Dr. Sandra Morgan on a research trip to Córdoba,  Argentina. We asked a student from the trip, Oksana Orlik ’17 to share a little bit about her experience.


argentina 2

1. What interested you about the opportunity to travel with Dr. Morgan?

Before this trip, I knew of the GCWJ because of the annual Ensure Justice Conference, but I was not actually involved with the center. Of course I was drawn to the trip because it was an opportunity to go to Argentina. My previous studies and interests enabled me learn so much about human trafficking in Europe, Asia, and even the United States, however I never heard anything about human trafficking in Latin America. I knew this would be a unique opportunity to learn about human trafficking while “on the ground” with various experts.

2. What preparation did you receive for the trip that you felt like impacted you the most? Was there any part of training that specifically resonated with you?

A pre-requisite for attending the trip was one of the human trafficking courses offered at VU and I took CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) and the impact of that class is hard to put into words. Human trafficking in any capacity is such a dark and heavy subject, but when you have to explore the exploitation of children, it hits even deeper. Our class had multiple guest speakers from the field and what stuck out the most to me was how the vulnerability of a child (of a human of any age really) can be used for exploitation. This resonated with me because as an Anthropology major, I have been focusing on community development and building healthy communities is something that I am passionate about. Healthy communities are essential to protecting people from future exploitation.

3. When you arrived, what thoughts were going through your head? How did those change over the course of the trip?

As soon as the plane landed in Argentina my mind was in comparison mode, comparing what I saw to what else I knew about Latin America- El Salvador. The roads, the chaotic driving, the city, and all of the signs in Spanish were so familiar, but different in many ways. Because I had lived in El Salvador last year, being in a Spanish speaking country was not foreign to me. I love to listen to and speak Spanish so I am always excited to be in Spanish speaking countries. It was interesting to be in an urban setting. Getting to experience the city life was exciting and I think Argentinians never sleep (except during siesta when everything is closed). One of the things that is very obvious about Argentinians from the beginning is how affectionate they are. People are greeted with a kiss on the cheek and people are much more expressive. This took a few days for me to get used to, but by the end of the trip I really appreciated the closeness and familiarity that the culture brought.

Upon arriving to the trip, I had very little expectations for what our time would be like or what we would get to experience, but by the end I realized how amazing it was to fit so many different opportunities into such a short trip. Our activities ranged from hearing Sandie preach to a group of pastors at a Bible school, giving the Live2Free presentation in Spanish at a few churches, interviewing different anti-human trafficking organization, visiting a convent and having mate (an Argentine drink similar to tea) with the Frey and his team, eating at the local mall food court, walking really far to try ice cream, assisting with the Ensure Justice conference, and visiting a German town in the mountains. Living in the city, eating at the local mall, and going to nearby coffee shops gave us the opportunity to observe and participate in local culture.

4. What were the biggest challenges you faced while in Argentina?

One of my biggest challenges in Argentina was forcing myself to stretch my Spanish speaking ability. Conversing with people came easily to me, but there were times when I had to translate between conference attendees and our speakers and that was a struggle because I came in contact with a lot of vocabulary that I did not know because I never needed to. One situation stands out in particular, I had to translate a very sensitive conversation between a woman and our trauma-healing speaker. The woman was telling a story of a friend who was sexually abused as a child and how the rest of her life was affected by the trauma and asking for practical advice. In that moment as I had to listen to the Spanish and translate it out loud to the speaker in English, everything we were learning in Argentina (and what I had learned in CSEC) became very real to me. Telling the story, saying the words out loud, made me realize how power the effects of trauma are. It also made me realize how much the conference attendees were affected by the conference material.

5. What impact did you see the GCWJ having on the people you went to work with?

I think my answer to question 5, when I had to translate between the woman and our speaker is also a good answer for this one. In general, all of the short, little conversations I had with conference attendees at the door or the ones that I translated between attendees and the speakers revealed how much they were learning from the conference and how excited they were to have practical tools for addressing human trafficking, violence, and trauma in their communities. In addition, when we gave the Live2Free presentation in churches, the young people in the church would come up to talk to us about it after the service and it was cool to see them interested in getting involved. Sometimes what we think is the simplest thing can have the most impact.

6. Anything else you’d like to add?

In general, I think this trip was a really unique experience because it combined academic work with spiritual growth. We learned a lot about analyzing Trafficking In Persons reports, talking with experts, asking culturally sensitive questions, and thinking through global issues, but I also experienced spiritual growth. Dr. Morgan preached to pastors and church congregations about the responsibility that Christians have to ensure justice to the oppressed and to make disciples as we go through out lives following Jesus and those were great things to be reminded of. I believe that God is always speaking and it is up to us whether we will make the room to hear Him. During the trip God reminded me of His faithfulness to His people and the fact that He is continually working to restore broken relationships. Being a part of Asegurar Justicia gave us the opportunity to be a tiny part of God’s redemptive work in Córdoba, and that was a huge blessing.


For twelve years, the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University has provided training and resources to enable leaders to promote justice for women and girls.

If you’d like to sponsor more work that the center is doing around the world, join the Priceless Committee in supporting the Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ).


If you have questions about the event, please contact Erin McHenry, the Director Annual Fund and Stewardship, by email or at 714.966.5459. Sponsorships and tickets are non-refundable.


Welcome Week Volunteers

Join us in welcoming our new Vanguard University – Class of 2019 freshmen and transfers!

Friday, August 21, 2015


[Frontline Alumni & Veterans Club]
8AM – 2PM | Towers Lobby
… Let’s move new students into their dorms! Frontline Alumni and Veterans Club: Join current students in carrying luggage and boxes to Laguna, Huntington, and Catalina Hall.


[Vanguard University Alumni]

(3:30PM Set Up) 5:30-8PM | VUSC Letters
… Remember getting an “I Got Mugged” cup from Vanguard Alumni on your first day on-campus? We are carrying on this Welcome Week tradition to serve root beer floats to 1000+ new students and families at the Family Bbq.


We need as much help as we can get! You will receive a free Alumni/Veterans Club T-shirt to wear (and keep) in exchange for your service.

**If you would like to volunteer, please EMAIL your Name, Class Year, Contact Info, and T-Shirt size to by Wednesday, August 19.
Welcome Week schedule –


Lauren Francis

Vanguard University Alumni
(714) 966-5494 |


Event hashtags – #WELCOME2VU #vuFamilies #vuVeterans @vanguardalumni

OC fair

OC Fair Parking

It’s that time of year again for turkey legs, carnival games, and art exhibits. The OC Fair returns this Friday, July 17th, and the Vanguard campus is open for parking! So be sure to come out and support our various VU groups as they raise money for their teams/departments.


Friday, July 17 Student Life
Saturday, July 18 Student Life
Sunday, July 19 Student Life
Wednesday, July 22 Student Life
Thursday, July 23 Student Life
Friday, July 24 Student Life
Saturday, July 25 Student Life
Sunday, July 26 Student Life
Wednesday, July 29 Outreach
Thursday, July 30 History/Poli-Sci
Wednesday, August 5 Volleyball/Softball
Thursday, August 6 Women’s Basketball
Wednesday, August 12 Track & Field
Thursday, August 13 Men’s Basketball

*The dates not mentioned above will be fundraising for various Newport Mesa Church ministries.