IG Dovel family

Vanguard University Remembers Dr. Randy Dovel

IG Dovel family

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of former Vanguard University faculty member Dr. Randy Dovel, on Friday, April 9.

Dr. Dovel came to Vanguard University in 2005 after serving as a tenured faculty member at Oregon State University. Having received his PhD from Texas A&M University, Dovel was a trained plant physiologist and served as chair of the department of biology at Vanguard University for four years, teaching courses in botany, genetics, microbiology and field biology. Dovel was an active researcher in the field biology, nitrogen fixation, and plant/pathogen relationships for nearly 20 years. During his faculty career, Dovel also was an expert researcher in plant breeding, plant molecular biology, and microbial water quality analysis. Dovel is a member of the Gamme Sigma Delta academic honor society and a proud recipient of the E.R. Jackman Team Award, recognizing team and interdisciplinary research.

Dr. Dovel was a teacher and mentor to countless biology majors at Vanguard. He touched many lives with his knowledge, wisdom, generosity, and love of Jesus Christ. Dovel took a special interest in his students, and in the senior projects he guided them through.

Dr. Dovel was married to Vanguard University staff member, Teresa Dovel, MA `09, for 35 years and is the beloved father of Kathryn (Kate) Dovel `07 and Kallie (Dovel) Thomson`08, and of two grandchildren, Ariella Dovel and Honey Thomson.

Above all of Dr. Dovel’s research and achievements in his professional field, he had an enormous love for Jesus Christ. Dr. Randy Dovel will be deeply missed by the entire Vanguard University family.Dovel.beach

Here is a slideshow of Dr. Dovel.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to Vanguard to provide a scholarship to future promising pre-med students.


Here is a slideshow of the entire memorial service.





2015 UG Travel

VU on the Road: Assemblies of God Events

Vanguard wants to enjoy refreshments and fellowship with YOU at these upcoming AG events! Check out the details of each event below: 

Wednesday, April 13
VU Gathering – Arizona Network Conference
After the Evening service | Room 206 and 207 (Without Walls Church, Mesa, AZ)
Coffee, hot chocolate, and sweet treats catered by Panera Bread

Tuesday, April 19

VU Gathering- Oregon Network Conference
After the evening service | Fellowship Hall Room 100-C (Parkway Christian Center, Grants Pass, OR)
Coffee and refreshments served

Tuesday, April 26
VU Gathering- NorCal/Nevada District Council
After the evening service | Parlour Room at (Capital Christian Center, Sacramento, CA)
Coffee, hot chocolate, and sweet treats catered by Panera BreadAssemblies of God

Tuesday, April 26
VU Gathering- Rocky Mountain Ministry Network
After the evening service | room 200 at ( Life Church, Salt Lake City, UT)
Coffee, hot chocolate, and sweet treats catered by Panera Bread





Portland: Alumni Event


We are coming to Portland, Oregon! Come have coffee with your fellow Vanguard University Alumni -


Wednesday, April 20
7-9pm | The Pied Cow Coffeehouse

Address – 3244 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214


Family and guests are welcome. We look forward to meeting you!


Vanguard University Alumni
(714) 966-5494 | alumni@vanguard.edu


** Follow and TAG your event photos with – @vanguardalumni (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) **




Ashley Espinoza

Ashley Espinoza


Ashley (Estrada ’08) Espinoza lives in Florida with her husband Christian, and is a singer with the Voices of Liberty at Walt Disney World. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from Vanguard University of Southern California. She also is a member of Sweet Adeline’s International and her current quartet, Windsor, came in 4th at International competition in Vegas this past October. She and her husband are expecting their first child in May of 2016.



  1. When did you start singing?

A: I started singing in church when I was 8 years old.

  1. How has music impacted your life?

A: Music has greatly impacted my life. I love to sing and have managed to make a career out of it, which is such a blessing. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to combine what their passionate about with their job, so I’m very grateful.  And, I met my husband through music.

  1. How did your time at Vanguard help you grow as a singer and/or person?

A: As far as my education goes, I received a well-rounded musical education,  that has greatly benefited me on the career path I’ve chosen. At Vanguard I studied classical voice, was involved in the Concert choir, Vanguard Singers & Band, and the Beautyshop Quartet. By going back and forth between different styles at Vanguard, it made me a versatile musician and has helped me land different types of gigs. Also, traveling so much with my ensembles at Vanguard has taught me how to get along with others in close quarters, and definitely prepared me for the work place.

Disney Voices of Liberty4. What have you been doing since your time at Vanguard?

A: Since I graduated from Vanguard, I worked at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian church for a few years, then I worked at Disneyland performing with a group called the Voices of Liberty for about a year. In 2013, my husband and I moved to Florida, and I started working at Walt Disney World performing with the Voices of Liberty (the Voices of Liberty have been performing at EPCOT since 1982). I am currently working there full time. I’m starting to do some studio work as well.

  1. What is Voctave and how did you get involved in it?

A: Voctave is an a capella group of singers from central Florida. We are a versatile group that can sing everything from arrangements of top 40 tunes, to musical theater, Contemporary Christian, Disney, etc.. I’ve worked with all the singers before and was asked to join.

  1. How has your life changed since being a part of this new adventure?

Ashley (Estrada ’08) Espinoza with fellow alumni Erin (Sears ’05) Basile

A: I’m a little busier, but over-all, my day to day life is basically the same.

  1. What advice do you have for current VU students who are involved in music or otherwise?

A: For those planning to be performers, get as much experience as you can (without neglecting your studies). And your reputation is as important, if not more, than talent. Be nice to work with! You’ll get more work that way. And vocal performers, take aural theory seriously! Sight-reading is so important, especially if you want to do studio work. My aural theory training has come in handy.

  1. Whether it’d be by yourself or with your group, what are your favorite songs to sing?

A: Jazz and big band songs! Especially anything sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

  1. What do you have planned for your music in the future?

A: Voctave is hoping to expand our repertoire with other artists and our own songs, and just see where that takes us.

Also, Voctave just came out with a Disney Medley music video that features Kirstin Maldonado from the famous a cappella group PENTATONIX and Jeremy Michael Lewis. Click HERE to watch the amazing talent that all of the artists bring to this video.

VoctaveTo listen to Ashley and Voctave’s music or keep up with current events, click the links below:

Ashley Estrada Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ashleyestradafanpage

Voctave Website: www.voctave.com

Voctave Facebook page: www.facebook.com/voctavesings

Voctave YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKb63xBY-hnVbQ82sxfzXEQ


Jonathan Rowden

Jonathan2Jonathan Rowden ’07 was born in north Los Angeles near Sun Valley. His father’s career as a pioneering worship leader and missionary caused his family to move around quite a bit and also sparked Jonathan’s love of music. He started playing the saxophone at the young age of seven years old, after hearing the sax player on an album his dad was recording. He served in music ministries and spent a number of years as a part-time worship leader/director at a small church plant in Orange County, but his interest as a jazz/creative musician only grew stronger. He graduated from Vanguard University in 2007; where he was classically trained by Ken Foerch and went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Saxophone/Jazz performance at CSU Fullerton. In 2013, he formed an original band, the Jonathan Rowden Group, performing exclusively original music for the first time.

  1. What instrument(s) do you play?

A: Saxophones (mostly tenor and soprano these days), some woodwind double like flute and clarinet. I dabble with piano, drums, and guitar, but mostly for writing purposes.

  1. When and why did you start playing?

A: I began playing the alto saxophone when I was 7 years old. My father was a singer-songwriter/Christian music pioneer when I was a boy (we spent a huge amount of time touring with him when I growing up) and he hired a Seattle-based saxophonist named Richard Cole to play on his second album (I think). I heard him playing in the DIY studio we had in the garage and I guess I really liked the sound and asked him to teach me how to play. My dad actually thought I was too little to do it, but Rich gave it a shot and gave me a few lessons. He got me started on all the fundamentals of the instrument, but we moved to California before too long. Somehow I managed to stay interested and continued to play independently until senior year of high school, at which point I decided I wanted to pursue the saxophone professionally. Most of my early life, I wanted to be a comic book artist, so it really took everyone I knew at the time by surprise.

  1. How has music impacted your life?

A: I suppose it’s complicated to describe, since music has been a constant in my life since I was a boy. When I would go to bed at night I’d fall asleep to the sounds of my dad writing music on the piano or guitar in the room down the hall, experience music in all sorts of situations, and had a really eclectic collection of CD’s, tapes, and some LP’s growing up. In order to say how it has impacted me, I’d have to imagine life without it. Music was a good friend to me in some pretty dark times. But once I chose to do music professionally, my relationship with music changed and went through many stages. I think it has given me a creative outlet that is very unique and allows me to really explore nuanced personal expression, and my faith both in the abstract and otherwise. Once I discovered that I could write music without trying to pay homage to any style or genre in particular, my eyes and ears really opened up.

  1. How did your time at Vanguard help you grow as a musician?

A: My time at Vanguard was spent building an intimate connection to my horn. I sacrificed a lot of time working on my playing. I was very focused – there were a lot of personal desires that needed to be put aside for the sake of the longer goals I had. My time studying with Ken Foerch was foundational, and his pedagogy of the saxophone is exactly what I needed at that time. I was always really self-motivated but Ken showed me that I could overcome technical and mental blocks that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Greg Glancey taught me a lot about Jonathan theory and really gave me the freedom to explore a lot of music that (believe it or not in a music program) other students would basically scoff at. In many ways, there were few students during my time at VU that were really pushing themselves, but I strongly believe that being in a small program where I wasn’t extrinsically obligated to “do thus and so” for 10 different groups really benefitted a self-motivated person like me, who had a LOT of technical work to do. I just took advantage of the time and hit the shed.

  1. What have you been doing since your time at Vanguard?

A: I completed my Master’s degree in saxophone/jazz performance at CSUF in 2011, during which time I created my band now known as the Jonathan Rowden Group. The band went on to release our debut album “Becoming” in 2014 on the Los Angeles based creative-music label Orenda Records, including a West & East coast CD release tour stint, and the album received a nice review in the world-renowned Downbeat Magazine. The Jonathan Rowden Group is now prepping/fundraising to record our second album, slated to hit the studio in April – there will be some previews available on my website. I’ve continued teaching in a number of different capacities over the years (something I began in 2004), and am currently serving as the adjunct professor of saxophone at Cal Baptist University and leading/or co-leading jazz/jazz-combo programs at a few high schools. In 2015 I founded Tear It Down Los Angeles | Orange County with is a non-profit organization that produces shows in OC and LA, featuring many of the brightest and best up-and-coming creative-music artists in southern CA. We will be producing a Downtown LA Arts District Jazz Festival the end of 2016. Finally, I created WYR which is the highly experimental side to my musical personality.

  1. What is your new film project about?

A: WYR TERRANIGMA is a full-length concert film (think about it like a live album but with studio-production value and incredible filming) of entirely improvised, experimental music. The core of the ensemble WYR is made up of two drummer-percussionists (Chris Wabich and James Yoshizawa) and myself on saxophones with electronic effects and gadgets. The group improvised on a loose-formal score of instrument/color/timbral cues. This sounds intellectual, but really, the music is pure heart – there’s almost no instruction, just play. For TERRANGIMA we invited two incredible vocalists Areni Agbabian and Joanna Wallfisch to join us. Areni also played prepared piano, and Joanna used a looper to created really interesting vocal effects. The collective sound is something with it’s foot in jazz, new-music (classical), electronic-ambient, and really just anything that feels right in the moment. With so much freedom, you’d think the music would lack focus, but because of the world-class musicianship of my collaborators, the music is incredibly focused and really “lives” in it’s own universe. I think that the best music does this – discovering the intended nature of a given musical moment, and finding a way to live it out to the fullest, or helping its natural direction come to fruition, is what makes this as focused as it is free. There was no rehearsal, only conversation. What I found is that if everyone’s personalities just “make sense” together, their aesthetic sensibilities can come together in some very surprising and beautiful ways during the performance.

  1. What advice do you have for current VU students who are involved in music or otherwise?

A: I think I have three suggestions. First, utilize those practice rooms and don’t be afraid to be a hermit. Good friends will understand. Secondly, don’t wait to start creating your own projects – this is a time in your life when you will (likely) have more time and opportunities to hone your craft than when you graduate and the real world sets in. Third, it’s never too soon to begin looking at what you want your career to look like, and to go out there and start creating opportunities for yourself. Find a mentor, get involved professionally, and never convince yourself that you’ve “arrived”. That’s an easy road to complacency and inactivity.

  1. What are your top five favorite songs to play?

A: Of the songs I’m playing with my band, I’d have to say I really enjoy two new songs I wrote and those of my bandmates. 1) The Wait (a electro-pop/drum & bass-meets-minimalism inspired original) 2) 133 (an ethereal original named after a lovely drive on an OC toll road which costs way too much) 3) Ruins of Númenor (an epic original composed by my bandmate Ryan Pryor) 4) Snowing In Paradise (an original song composed for my wife’s hometown of Paradise CA) 5) Can’t decide on the 5th…

  1. What do you have planned for your music in the future? Any other film projects possibly?

A. There are many exciting plans, actually. We will be releasing a new album this year (2016) with my band the Jonathan Rowden Group with plans to record in April/May. The band will be  performing at the incredible MENG CONCERT HALL at CSU Fullerton on March 12th (please join us). There is a possible WYR studio record on the horizon as well. Additionally, I am in the throws of crafting a vision for a YouTube series of short music films, exploring outdoor locations with improvised and composed material with a variety of collaborations. There are some other editorial things coming up that are really, really exciting for me but I’m not at liberty to share them publicly as of yet.

Jonathan R.As Jonathan had previously stated, he and his band are having a HUGE OC show on March 12th at Meng Concert Hall in Cal State Fullerton and would love for you all to attend. There, he will also be raising money for his NEW ALBUM! Click HERE for more details!

To listen to more of Jonathan’s music, keep up with current events or get into contact with him, you can visit:

Website: www.jonathanrowden.com

Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/jonathanrowden

Instagram: @JonathanRowden

Twitter: @JonRowdenMusic

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanrowdenmusic


Class Notes – Spring 2016



ALUMNI, we are gathering Class Notes for the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of the Vanguard Magazine!

Thursday, March 24
CLASS NOTES deadline
5pm | Online

Class Notes are in these categories –
Just Married
Future Alumni (babies)
In Memory (honorariums for those who have passed away)


EXAMPLE – “Joe McCarthy ’89 is the Director of Marketing & Public Relations at Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He and his wife of 17 years have adopted two daughters, Eliana Joy (8) and Gabriela Grace (6). The McCarthy’s have lived in Brea since 2006.”


HOW to submit a Class Note:

  1. Online: www.vanguard.edu/alumni/classnotes
  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

Photos 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.


We look forward to hearing about what you’ve been up to since graduation!


Vanguard University
Office of Alumni Relations
(714) 966-5494 | alumni@vanguard.ed


Homecoming Recap 2016

HC16_sliderHomecoming 2016 on January 30th included MANY exciting events and familiar faces back on campus! It was a wonderful time for alumni to reconnect and for the whole Vanguard community to join in fellowship with one another. It was great to see alumni, current students, families, faculty and staff share their own stories about Vanguard while partaking in the fun events the 2016 Homecoming weekend had to offer.

Instagram Winner

PC: Faith Pryzer

Prior to Homecoming week, current Vanguard students were participating in an Instagram Contest hosted by the Alumni Relations Office. The challenge was for students to post a picture and a heart-felt caption about  how Vanguard was home to them by using the Homecoming hashtag: #Home2VU. The Alumni team chose five winners, each winner was revealed day by day during Homecoming week. The first four winners received a $25 Visa gift card and the first place winner received a $50 Target gift card. All of the photos did a great job in expressing how Vanguard has truly become their home, but the post that really tugged on the Alumni  team’s heart strings was submitted by Faith Pryzer. In her post, Faith told  the story of how her home had burned down at the beginning of last semester. Therefore, Vanguard was the place where she not only had a roof over her head, but where the VU community took the time to pray for her, her family and hometown.

Joe & Friends

PC: Chris + Jenn Photos

The Homecoming festivities started early from January 26-29, alumni speakers and worship leaders were featured throughout the week at Vanguard’s morning chapel services. Tuesday, January 26, was kicked off by Worship Leader Joe Lopez ’02 and his team including: Jenn (Castro ’03) Robertson and his good friends Joel and David. Then, Distinguished Alumni Award winners Bonnie (Bethany) Brigman ’73 and Keith Brigman ’75 shared their incredible testimony of being educators for the past 30 years. On Wednesday, January 27, worship was led by Heidi (Rose ’12) and Jeff Fernandez ’14, Christopher Lucas ’15, Matt Johnson ’12 and Mark Davenport. Following worship, Young Alumnus of the Year Award winner Dr. Jesse Payne ’07 gave an enticing speech about the importance of the development and personal care of the brain. The last Homecoming Alumni Chapel took place on Thursday, January 28, where Jenni (Schork ’07) Rouanzoin, Courtney Harell ’07, Bryan Rouanzoin ’07, Tim Burnette ’07, Savannah Cornelison ’15 and Oscar Islas ’16 led the congregation in a time of worship. Then, Alumni of the Year Award winner Erin (Bongiorno ’03) Donovan gave an incredible message on leadership and following God’s call.

Check out more about each of the award winners in this special Alumni Award Winners Article!

The annual VU’s Got Talent occurred that Friday night where the Alumni Relations Office provided the top three winners with their prizes. First place winner Emmy Fischbenk blew the judges away with her remarkable voice and original lyrics!


PC: Vanguard University SGA


PC: Vanguard University SGA










Saturday, January 30, was a big day for everyone on Vanguard’s campus! Events went all day long, starting with our biggest event of the week- The Run for Mercy 5K! Vanguard Alumni, current students, faculty, staff and eventhe surrounding Vanguard community joined together to support the Harrington Family. Nathanael Harrington ’15 began his Vanguard experience as a freshman in the fall of 1998. He continued his studies until the spring of 2001. Following September 11th, he felt a call to serve in the military and began serving as a Chaplain Assistant in the Army, but again his life took an unexpected turn.

Harrington.familyAfter only two years of service, Nathanael was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, an incurable disease that causes breakdown of the nerves cells in the brain. He received an honorable discharge due to the diagnosis. In the midst of this painful season, he met his beautiful wife, and three boys who were five, four, and two. They moved back to the Pacific Northwest, and welcomed a beautiful daughter. In
2013, Nathan returned to Vanguard University to finish his degree. He and his family moved to Costa Mesa for 2 years while finishing his Bachelor’s degree. At the completion of his degree, Nathan and his family moved back to his home town of Clarkston, WA.

Run for Mercy was a huge success! Seeing the Vanguard community come together in support of the Harrington Family was a truly beautiful sight. There were 200+ people who participated in this event and about $3,000 was raised! The Doyle family was able to make another appearance this year and Mercy provided her cherished artwork for the winners! The Vanguard Jazz band performed by the Vanguard sign in order to pump up the runners as they passed by. Upon finishing the 5K, participants were invited to a celebration for the Harrington Family in the Campus Mall. The Blues Lyne Band performed while people enjoyed a meet and greet with the Harrington’s and a delicious, well-earned lunch from Chick-Fil-A. People also visited the array of Vendor Booths while children played in the Kid Zone.


PC: Pray For Mercy

5K RunnersBegining 5KHarringtons & Veterans Club

There were several events that occurred throughout the rest of the day. A worship service was held in Needham Chapel where Rusty Peavy ’70 and friends led the congregation into an old school worship set. Afterwards, Vanguard’s newest praise ensemble, LIFEsong, rocked the house with hymns and gospel music. Check out more by visiting LIFEsong’s homepage on our Vanguard website.

The Vanguard Athletics team had a full day with several games and activities. The men’s baseball team played a double-header against Loyola Marymount University and won both games! Click HERE to see more details about the games! Due to inclement weather the girl’s softball game was cancelled. However, there was a fantastic Softball Alumni 30 year reunion where each team dating back 30 years was honored and recognized. For more details on this event, visit this article about the 30 Year Softball Reunion! During these two events the men’s basketball and women’s soccer teams ran around with some children during the Kid’s Sports clinics. There, they provided these future little VU lions with the correct amount of skill development and fun!

SoftballSoccerBBall Camp








Later that night, prior to the basketball games everyone enjoyed scrumptious tailgate food in the Caf and the Activate spirit committee stood in front of the pit painting faces, providing sign materials, and foam Lion paws! The Vanguard men and women’s basketball teams challenged The Master’s College in the pit. The women fought extremely hard, but fell behind losing 55-58. Click HERE to read about women’s game! However, the men secured a victory of 82-57! Read more about the men’s game HERE!

Nice Shot

PC: Vanguard University Athletics

The Vanguard Concert Choir sang the National Anthem, and the Alumni Upperdeck was open during halftime of both games. Speaking of half-time, Vanguard used this slot during the men’s game to recognize Athletic Director Bob Wilson as he is retiring this year. The VU community is proud of all that he has accomplished in his past 20+ years at Vanguard. Click on both links to learn more about his accomplishments and journey at Vanguard: Bob Wilson and Champions of Character.

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated this Homecoming Weekend with us. We hope you had a fantastic time reconnecting with former classmates and had a chance to meet new friends as well!

We look forward to seeing you next year at Homecoming 2017!

Alumni Relations Team

IG Award-Erin

2016 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.




IG Award-ErinErin (Bongiorno ‘03) Donovan graduated from Vanguard with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology in 2003. While at Vanguard, she was involved in soccer and spent several summers volunteering in Kenya. Erin is the Executive Director of HopeSprings. HopeSprings is a faith-based 501(c)(3) that awakens, equips, and engages the Church by developing networks of faith communities in the Baltimore region and beyond. These networks train congregants as volunteers in order to build human resource capacity within HIV Service Provider Organizations. Its goal is to reduce the spread of HIV and its stigma and provide hope and healing to those impacted by HIV and AIDS. They seek to do this through the power of relationship. In Baltimore, 1 in 40 people is infected with HIV/AIDS, and in 4 Baltimore zip codes, that number is closer to 1 in 20 – a statistic on par with some of the worst developing countries in the world.  In 2015 alone, through training, outreach, education, testing and volunteerism, HopeSprings has worked with 117 churches and provided 975 volunteers from congregations.

Donovan is the Chair of Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research Community Participatory Advisory Board, sits on the Mayor’s HIV/AIDS Commission for the City of Baltimore co-chairing the Faith work group, and on the Board of the Presbyterian AIDS Network.

Prior to her work at HopeSprings, she served in the public and private sectors and has consulted for Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the U.S. Department of Labor.




IG Award-BrigmanBonnie (Bethany ’75) and Keith Brigman ‘75  have served as educators for the past 30 + years. Bonnie was selected Teacher of the Year by Kaiser Elementary School in Costa Mesa in 1999. She has been a master teacher, a Teacher on Special Assignment, a curriculum leader, as well as an adjunct professor at Vanguard University. She has also been nominated for Disney Teacher of the Year, as well as Teacher of the Year for Newport Mesa Unified School District and Orange County. Keith was selected Teacher of the Year twice by Kenneth Mitchell School in 1988 and in 2002. He also has been very involved in coaching Special Olympics for children with disabilities, and has won various recognitions: in 1986 he was awarded the John West Memorial Award as California’s Special Olympics Coach of the Year; his Special Olympic Team received the Gold Medal at the USA National Volleyball Team in Denver, Colorado. The Mighty Ducks honored his achievements by awarding him the Community Hero Award.




IG Award-JesseDr. Jesse Payne ’07 completed his BA in Business Administration from Vanguard, as well as his MA in Education and his teaching credential. Dr. Payne has dedicated his career to teaching, teacher preparation, and educating others about diverse issues, including the developing brain.  Dr. Payne worked as an elementary school teacher for three years in Orange County, and spent five years of non-directive play therapy/group instruction for at-risk students in grades K-3 with the Chula Vista Elementary School District in Southern California.  During this time, he also began his involvement Dr. Amen, and the Amen Clinics for which he is now the Director of Education, developing curriculum and programs related to the developing brain. His latest book, Making a Good Brain Great: Course (2nd Edition) was published and released in September 2015 and is being used by thousands of students all over the world.

Following graduation, he continued to work at Vanguard while completing his Doctorate of Education from USC. He currently serves as the Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education at Corban University. He has presented at universities around the world, from Harvard to South Korea, and is the author of three publications, including Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Before 25). His curriculum shows students, parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors how they can unlock the ability to shape the developing mind.


To nominate someone for the 2017 Alumni Awards,
please email alumni@vanguard.edu by September 1, 2016.