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Dr. James Woodrow, the Traveling Professor

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We are so proud of the caliber of our Vanguard Faculty!
Learn more about Dr. James Woodrow, professor in the Department of Business and Management.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I had the privilege of growing up in a beautiful region of Pennsylvania known for its Amish, Mennonite, and Quaker communities. Living in and among a faith community that valued intentionality and spiritual depth provided me with the foundation for a lifestyle that is simple and God-centered.   After graduating from high school, I attended David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University), and later earned my master’s degrees at Peabody College and the University of Southern California. I eventually earned a doctorate at Vanderbilt University.

My career has been very diverse. In addition to higher education, God has called me into a variety of professional, management, and consulting roles. In each aspect of my career, I can clearly see God’s provisional hand.

 

Article-Bio-PhotoAfter graduation, you became involved in smuggling Bibles into the USSR. Tell us more about that experience.

After graduating from college, among several opportunities I prayerfully decided to spend the summer in the mission field. My experience was unique in that a handful of friends and I travelled with a missionary who was passionately committed to smuggling Bibles across the Iron Curtain. At the time, the governments of the USSR were opposed to the radical message of Jesus Christ, and many believers suffered long imprisonments due to their beliefs. I still remember the feelings and emotions of anxiousness and excitement as we crossed Communist borders as tourists while travelling in a beat-up Winnebago. We had Bibles printed in the Russian language hidden in special compartments. It was definitely a life-changing experience for me.

On the other side of the Iron Curtain, the culture shock was nothing short of dramatic. We met with underground Christians in Soviet-style apartments, where the family patriarch turned up the radio volume to muffle our voices while we quietly sang and prayed together, all while anxiously hoping the neighbors wouldn’t report us to the KGB. We also learned how Russian Christians wrapped their Bibles in newspapers to appear that they were returning from the market in order to avoid being harassed as they walked home from church. Adjusting to the literal interpretation of the holy kiss, on the lips, by both brother and sister in Christ, was another challenge, as was being served soup at the family table, usually borscht, and being told that “the louder we slurped, the greater the compliment.”

 

How did you decide on being a professor?

I had never planned on becoming a fulltime professor. I enjoyed teaching, but saw an adjunct role as a valuable way to connect with students, while pursuing another career. My career path is another example of how important it is to be open to God’s plan for us.

 

Article-Europe.SnowWho have been your biggest influences, and why?

I’ve been blessed with countless individuals who have influenced me personally and professionally over the course of my life. Being a lifelong learning is incredibly important to me. I have enjoyed looking for lessons that everyone, in all stations of life, can teach me, and have become convinced that we’re never too old to learn from others.

 

What brought you to Vanguard University?

Higher education took me overseas, as I lived and worked in London, England. Upon returning to the States in 2002, I returned to my consulting practice and also began inquiring with Christian colleges in the area about adjunct teaching opportunities. From that inquiry and subsequent conversations, I was invited to join VU in a tenure-track position, and a decade later, I continue to feel genuinely blessed that God has called me to Vanguard.

 

Article-GroupWhat do you most appreciate about our community?

Over the years, I’ve learned that I especially enjoy working in small communities, such as Vanguard, and with Vanguard there is the added bonus and blessing of our rich Christian heritage and mission. Vanguard creates a sense of belonging where we can each support and encourage one another, while striving to make a difference in our students’ lives. The people at Vanguard are here because we care about the Lord, and about each other.

 

You are known as an avid traveler. What do you enjoy most about traveling?

When I think about my passion for travel, the words adventure, exploration, new, and different always come to mind. My lifelong desire to explore new countries and cultures has always driven my choice of places to visit. In the good and the challenging aspects of traveling, I am continually challenged and grown in ways I couldn’t imagine. I want to see and experience as much as I can across this magnificent, God-created planet that we call home.

 

How did you get started in traveling?

I have always been interesting in foreign languages and cultures. In high school, I studied German for a year, then changed my language studies to Spanish, which gave me the opportunity to visit Spain and the Balearic Islands with my teacher and classmates. It was during this experience that the travel bug bit me, and since then, travel has been my passion.

 

Out of the 100 + countries you have visited, what are your top 5?

We world is truly an amazing and breathtaking place. Each country has been fascinating to visit, and consequently impossible to rank, so I’d like to list my favorite places around the world.

 

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  • Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
  • Fjords and Arctic Circle, Norway
  • Lake Titicaca and Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
  • Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Alps and Matterhorn, Switzerland
  • Himalayas, Nepal
  • Fish River Canyon and Sossusvlei, Namibia
  • Amalfi Coast, Italy
  • Red Center and Uluru, Australia
  • Pantanal, Brazil
  • Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

     

ARCHITECTURAL MARVELS

  • Palmyra and Crac des Chevaliers, SyriaArticle-Sand-house
  • Great Wall, China
  • Sphinx and Pyramids, Egypt
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Petra, Jordan
  • Roman Coliseum, Italy
  • Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, Turkey
  • Taj Mahal, India
  • Parthenon, Greece
  • Eiffel Tower, France
  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia
  • Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
  • Chichen Itza, Mexico

 

Is there one piece of advice you received, that you now share with your students?

Dream, but don’t let those dreams define you – God may very well have different plans for you,
so be open to surprises and enjoy the journey!

Click here to learn more about Dr. Woodrow.

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Change Your Brain

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Before Dr. Jesse Payne ’06, MA ’09 became the Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education at Corban University, and the Director of Education at the Amen Clinics, he was someone who witnessed the power of brain disorders and mental illness firsthand. Some researchers have the fortune of selecting an area of study simply due to interest, or on the advice of an advisor. For Dr. Payne, the complexity and pain associated with brain disorders seemed to choose him. Growing up, his parents who showered him with love and support, also revealed mental illness through issues such as schizophrenia, depression, and ADHD before his father took his life. The mystery of the developing mind wasn’t a far off concept; it was something that hit close to home.

 

Article-Jesse-and-DanielIn addition to being a professor and researcher, Dr. Payne recently released Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Before 25), and it has quickly received powerful feedback. The book, a follow-up to fellow Vanguard alumnus Dr. Daniel Amen’s ‘78 NY Times Bestseller, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, shows students, parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors how they can unlock the ability to shape the developing mind. What many parents and students don’t realize is that the brain continues to develop into the mid to late 20’s. By taking care of the developing mind and optimizing it now through lifestyle changes and training, you can help unlock your chances of achieving your most aspirational dreams.

 

As Jesse’s own mind was being shaped, it was his time at Vanguard that helped him refocus and push forward in his academic pursuits. He came to Vanguard as a transfer student from community college, where he had grown frustrated with higher education. It was at Vanguard where he felt like more than simply a student, he felt like a valued member of a community. Completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Vanguard’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS), he knew he wasn’t alone – that there were others including professors and students who wanted him to succeed.

 

Vanguard was a place where he valued a diversity of viewpoints from professors and classmates alike. In the SGPS programs, he appreciated the diversity of thought, race, and faith backgrounds, all under the context of a Christian faith community. He contrasts his time at Vanguard, with his other schooling, including his doctoral degree from another institution. Professors at Vanguard bring real world experience, but they don’t just lecture and leave, they are open to connecting outside of the classroom – desiring to see students succeed.

 

Article-Change-Your-BrainDuring his master’s program, when considering what might be next, a transitioning coworker with multiple advanced degrees offered one piece of advice, “Keep learning, and keep happy.” The advice wasn’t a simple recipe for success, but rather advice from someone who recognized that Dr. Payne has an inquisitive mind. At the time, Dr. Payne wasn’t sure whether he should pursue a doctoral degree, but the advice helped him recognize his aspirations.

 

Spending time with Dr. Payne, you quickly realize he is a passionate and driven individual. More than anything, he hopes his research and book provides insights for young people who may be struggling, and adults who want to see their young person thrive. Never lose hope! The current reality does not need to be the long-term reality.

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Before 25) is available wherever books are sold.

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Summer Bridge Program

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At Vanguard, the phrase “Your Story Matters” has been realized in countless situations. In the classroom, the mission and athletic fields, performance venues, dorm rooms, chapel and in mentoring relationships, Vanguard students have always experienced a community that genuinely cares for others. This fall marks the second year of a pilot program in challenging and equipping students to succeed and thrive at Vanguard.

 

College can be a challenging place for any new student, regardless of academic preparation or family support and guidance. For students who are the first person in their family to attend college, these challenges can be especially daunting. Navigating class registration, a host of new acronyms, multiple departments, a new living situation, and challenging coursework can quickly become overwhelming. In the fall of 2013, Vanguard began a two week program that brought both an intentional residential academic enrichment and a challenging leadership program for college bound students. The program is meant to provide a firm foundation, as well as a safe place for incoming students to seek assistance moving forward.

 

The summer bridge program brought together multiple departments across campus, including academics, student life, and enrollment management. Around 20 students were chosen for the program, and offered the opportunity to spend two weeks on campus before classes began. In this experience, faculty shared both insights on the academic rigor in store, as well as healthy ways to manage the challenges. Additionally, administrators, faculty, staff, and peers were involved in the program to provide a crucial support network.

 

As one student said, “this journey in the bridge program has been equipping me academically, mentally, and spiritually. Every leader of the Bridge program truly invests their time to create a relationship with us, encourage us, and help us in any way possible.” With an emphasis on enhancing academic skills in writing and math, the program seeks to overcome two of the biggest academic obstacles to new student success.

 

With a vibrant support network, and expanded academic skills, the bridge program is only the most recent way in which Vanguard continues to evolve in caring for our students. Your Story Matters – whether you are a first generation college student, or a member of the alumni community from the 1940’s. If you are interested in knowing more about the summer bridge program, contact  slmentor@vanguard.edu today.

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Summer Conferencing at Vanguard University

Vanguard University offers a host of services for conferences, meetings, reunions, camps and so much more.  We sat down with Dalila Toledo ‘10, the Conferencing Services Coordinator, and asked her to share with us about what Vanguard has to offer.  With the summer drawing to a close, this is the perfect time to plan your event for next summer.

 

Can you tell us about the services Vanguard offers for conferences and meetings?

Vanguard offers a variety of options for friends, alumni, and guests including meeting spaces and conferences.  On a year-round basis people may inquire about reserving select meeting spaces.  During the summer, Vanguard turns our campus into a full conferencing center that offers housing accommodations – including linen service and meal accommodations.  We also have meeting spaces available on campus, and our beautiful Needham Chapel for weddings and other meetings.

 

How soon do rooms typically reserve in advance?

If you are interested, please contact us in your planning stages.  Many of our rooms are booked well in advance – some one or two years in advance.  However, we also receive requests year round, and will do everything we can to assist you in the process.

 

What types of events does Vanguard host in the summer?EventsFINAL

Vanguard hosts a wide variety of events during the summer.  Some of these include long term mission projects, reunions, church youth camps, athletic camps, theater and music camps, seminars, leadership retreats, weddings, banquets, and many more.  In short, if you are interested in hosting an event in Orange County during the summer, Vanguard may be an ideal location for you and your group.

 

Give us an estimate of how many guests typically stay at Vanguard in a summer?

This comes as a surprise to many guests, but every summer the conferencing department hosts an average of 4,000 guests.
With so many options in Orange County, what separates Vanguard from other locations?

The first thing that separates us is our dedicated staff that genuinely cares for our guests.  We also offer spacious residence hall rooms with private bathrooms, and have a variety of beautiful meeting spaces. When booking an event with us, parking and Wi-Fi are included, free of charge.  Safety is also a priority for all of our guests, as we have 24 hour patrolling by campus safety and close proximity to the Costa Mesa Police Department.  On top of all of that, when you compare prices in Orange County, it quickly becomes clear that Vanguard should be at the top of any list.
Are there any alumni discounts for facility usage such as Needham Chapel?

We love and appreciate our alumni.  Each chapter in our history helps expand the story of Vanguard University. Alumni interested in using our facilities get a special alumni discount!  Contact us today for more details.
Why do you enjoy working with guests of Vanguard?

Service is at the heart of Vanguard University.  We truly enjoy serving our guests, and take pride in providing excellent customer service. It is an honor to be able to share our campus with the community as well as people from all across the country.
EventsGuysFINALDo you have any last pieces of advice to those considering having their event at Vanguard?

If Vanguard is an ideal location for a meeting, gathering, or event, stop by our conferencing office for more information on how to book your next event today. Space is limited so book quickly. Email us at eventrelations@vanguard.edu, or call us at 714.662.5290.

To learn more, check out the Office of Event Relations website.

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New Student Mugging – August 22, 2014

Do you remember getting “Mugged” by Vanguard alumni at the Family BBQ on your first day on-campus? We will be carrying on this Welcome Day tradition and serving root beer floats to everyone attending the Family BBQ on Move-In Day, but we need you!
Volunteers are needed to help with event prep and serving root beer floats at the BBQ, and in return you will receive a new Alumni t-shirt!
*If you would like to volunteer, please email your Name, Class Year, Contact Info, and T-Shirt size to  volunteers@vanguard.edu by Wednesday, August 20.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2014Muggin-TrioFINAL
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM | Event Prep - Campus Mall
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM | Event Mugging – Campus Mall
Vanguard University: Campus Mall
55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hosted by Vanguard University Office of Alumni Relations
Questions?
Katie Heemstra
Special Events & Volunteer Coordinator
(714) 966-5444 | volunteers@vanguard.edu
Check out our Facebook event to see who else is coming!
Laura Brock

Annual Run for Mercy: Brock Family Announced for 2015

 

We would like to announce the Brock family as our race beneficiary for the annual Run for Mercy during our Homecoming celebrations for 2015.

John ’04 and Laura (Ely ’04) Brock’s story has impacted so many in the past year.  John and Laura met at Vanguard, and married shortly after.  Throughout their marriage, their community from Vanguard has impacted them in profound ways.

This past year brought a new challenge to the Brock Family.  John and Laura, the parents to two beautiful young girls, experienced challenges with Laura’s health.  Laura was admitted to Hoag Hospital, and fought an increasingly difficult lung disease known as Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.  She was soon transferred to Cedars Sinai.

In the midst of the fight, John began to reach out to his friends and family.  As texts and phone calls became too overwhelming, he decided to start a Facebook blog that would share Laura’s updates with any friends and family – https://www.facebook.com/BreathingforLaura.  As Laura’s condition continued to worsen, an online giving campaign was created to help cover the costs of medical care, as well as other costs associated with taking time to stay near Cedars Sinai.  John has been overwhelmed with the support he has received from friends, family, and people whom he has never met.

As Laura’s condition worsened, she was put on the transplant list for a double lung transplant.  A new season began waiting for suitable lungs, and eventually also a suitable heart.  As John continued to pour out his thoughts and prayers for Laura, himself, and their two girls, a community began to surround the Brocks with a variety of fundraisers, prayer, and support.

The wait, and Laura’s health, proved too much.  Shortly after finally receiving a double lung and heart transplant – Laura’s body simply could fight no longer.  A memorial service was held on campus in June, with friends and family in attendance to celebrate an incredible woman, spouse, and mother, and to support the entire Brock family.

On January 31, 2015, as part of our Homecoming celebration, we will host the third annual Run For Mercy – a Fun Run/Walk to raise funds for an alumni cause – this year the Brock family.  The proceeds raised from the event will support on-going care for the Brock family.  Included in the event will be a classic car show, live music, food, and much more.  Please make sure to mark your calendars today.

Sponsorships for the race are still available.  Please contact the alumni office today alumni@vanguard.edu  if you or your company would like to support this great annual event.

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

 

Life Without Parole

“Life Without Parole”

 

Elizabeth LeonardWith the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend, Dr. Elizabeth Dermody Leonard, many of our alumni have asked how they can be part of remembering her legacy. While details surrounding her memorial are still in discussion we would like to share with you an impactful way for you to participate in remembering and furthering the work that Dr. Leonard was a part of. Warren Doody, Vanguard Professor of English, has teamed up with the New York Fringe Festival to produce the play he wrote based on Dr. Leonard’s work. Below is his letter to the community:

 

As many of you know, I wrote a play, “Life Without Parole,” that was inspired by Elizabeth Leonard’s research and book, “Convicted Survivors: The Imprisonment of Battered Women Who Kill.” Although it is essentially her work that is onstage, Elizabeth asked me to substitute “inspired” for “based on” or “adapted from” because she didn’t want to take too much credit for what I wrote, which perfectly sums up who she was as a person. In fact, Elizabeth first approached me about turning her life’s work into a stage play because she was looking for ways to expand her message of justice and believed that theater offered a wider audience for dong so.

In August, the play will be produced at the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival and, in honor of Elizabeth, the shows are being dedicated to her life and legacy. This dedication is featured on the website, on the campaign site, and in the brochures/programs at the festival. I know that Elizabeth would be thrilled with the creative team behind the Fringe Production: Working Artists Theater Project is the company that is putting on the play, which will be directed by one of their founders, Jessica Dermody, who, “coincidentally enough,” shares Elizabeth’s last name – well, her maiden name; the company is working in association with Karah Gravatt, a ’11 VU Theater Arts alum, who has been tireless in promoting the play and its message of domestic violence awareness.

As a way to raise money for the production, this team is crowdfunding the project. They are not asking for huge donations; the donations begin at $10.00 and go up from there, and it is 100% tax deductible. I have reached out via Facebook with this request, and some of you may have already seen a facsimile of this message on your newsfeed.

If you would be interested in making a donation, there are two sites at which to do so:

        LifeWithoutParolePlay.com - This is the play’s website, and there is a “donate” button/category on the home page.

        igg.me/at/LWPNYC – This is the IndiGoGo site, and you can donate/contribute directly through the site.

In lieu of a donation, simply spreading the word by sharing these links via e-mail or on social media will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Prayerfully and respectfully,

Warren Doody
Professor of English

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Vanguard 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 11th, 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.

 

Wednesday, July 16 Track and Field
Thursday, July 17 Softball/Volleyball
Friday, July 18 Residence Life
Saturday, July 19 Spiritual Formation/Outreach
Sunday, July 20 Residence Life
Wednesday, July 23 History/Political Science
Thursday, July 24 Diversity Programming
Wednesday, July 30 Frontline
Thursday, July 31 Women’s Basketball
Friday, August 1 Frontline
Saturday, August 2 Student Government Association
Sunday, August 3 Frontline
Wednesday, August 6 Student Government Association
Thursday, August 7 Men’s Basketball

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

 

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Award-winning Forensics Team

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First appearances can be misleading.  This year the Vanguard forensics team appeared to be looking at a rebuilding process.  Of the ten members of the team, eight had no collegiate debate experience.  What the team lacked in experience, they made up for with both work ethic and determination.  Professor Karen Nishie who also coaches the forensic team said, “This team with little experience set aspirational goals, and give them credit: they met every one of them.”

 

The National Christian College Forensics Invitational took place at California Baptist University, and the Vanguard University team walked away with plenty of hardware.  The tournament format is set up by both individual events and team Parliamentary Debate (two person teams).  This year was the best ever finish by a Vanguard University team, with the team winning the 3rd place in individual events, and a national championship in novice debate.

 

Among the notable finishes includes the teams of Alyssa Lax and Colin McCaig, as well as David Bell and Lexi Robinson who are co-national champions for NCCFA, Colin McKaig was also a semi-finalist in Novice Impromptu.  Alyssa Mae Lax took 1st speaker in Novice Parliament, while David Bell took 2nd place.  Josh Popke took 3rd place in Open Extemporaneous Speaking and 4th in Open Impromptu. Matthew Martinez took 6th place in Novice After Dinner Speaking. Lexi Robinson took 4th in Novice Prose. Finally, Delaney Wolf took 2nd place speaker in Novice parliamentary debate.

 

Several students have this to say about their experience on the 2013-2014 Vanguard Forensics team:

 

  • “I was skeptical about Forensics when I joined but with the help of our coach Karen Nishie, I have grown not only as a person but also as a student. I’m no longer terrified of public speaking and my confidence has increased since joining.” David Bell, Class of 2016

 

  • “As an out of state student, being on the Forensics team has allowed me to be part of an Ohana (family) that has truly built me up in many aspects and has given me a sense of belonging when being so far away from home. Through the team I have learned to think critically and on the spot, intellectually and effectively argue, and more importantly learn how to stand up for my Christian values in the political arena.” Jared Sam Agtunong, Class of 2017

 

  • “Being a part of the forensics team this year didn’t just help me grow competitively or even academically; it helped me grow as a person. From pulling up to our first tournament singing “Radioactive” at the top of our lungs to our last exhausted but victorious moments at Christian Nationals, we were a team–we were in it together. You just don’t find that kind of community in many places.” Alyssa Lax, Class of 2016

 

This work would not have been possible without Vanguard alumni who volunteered their time, service, and expertise.  Brianna Nishie ‘11 volunteered throughout the entire year to help the team get ready including weekly practices both with debate and with individual events.  Other alumni who also volunteer their time include Kenji Claudio ’12, Chris Hickey ’06, Michael O’Connor ‘13, and James Valdez ‘09.

 

To learn more about this team or reconnect with other Forensics alumni,
contact Professor Karen Nishie at KNishie@vanguard.edu

Q&A with Provost O’Quinn

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After an extensive nationwide search, Vanguard University President Michael J. Beals announced the appointment of
Dr. Doretha O’Quinn to the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 

Can you tell the Vanguard community about your college experience?

My college experience began at Life Bible College, Los Angeles, now Life Pacific College, San Dimas. I received a B.A. in Theology and minor in Missions and Christian Education. I did educational coursework at U.C.L.A., Cal State Dominquez Hills and completed the credential program at Biola University. I received my M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Christian School Administration, and my Ph.D. from Biola University in Intercultural Education

 

After graduation, can you tell us about your post-college experiences?

My post-college experiences have varied widely, bringing some tremendous blessings and opportunities. My path led me oversees before I returned to higher education. I have had the great opportunity to serve at three tremendous universities – Azusa Pacific, Point Loma, and Biola Universities. My academic opportunities also brought a breadth of experiences, including professor, international educator, program director, facility project manager, service learning and cross-cultural engagement development, and also administration roles as an associate dean and as Vice-Provost of Multi-Ethnic and Cross Cultural Engagement.

Our world is incredibly connected, and I have been fortunate to travel to locations all across Africa, China, Indonesia, Israel, Germany, Martinique, London, and Mexico. I even had the great opportunity of serving as a Foursquare missionary assist in Panama. As an author, I have been a chapter contributor in several books and authored Silent Voices, Powerful Messages, the historical influence and contribution of the African American experience to the Foursquare gospel movement. I have served as keynote speaker for educational, church and marriage conferences, been a workshop and seminar leader, and served as a church and school consultant in various areas. Serving on the Foursquare Board of Directors and Board of Trustees have both been highlights of educational experience. There are additional civic leadership organizations in Los Angeles I’ve been involved in.

 

OQuinn coupleFamily is obviously very important to you. What do you most admire about your husband?

I most admire my husband’s unconditional love and commitment to God and his word, myself, our children and grandchildren along with everyone he encounters. We recently celebrated our Ruby anniversary of 40 years with a packed house of friends and family joining us and we renewed our covenant to God and one another. He loves serving in ministry leading men, developing small discipleship groups and traveling internationally with me. He is loved and respected throughout the Africa countries we have visited. He was an amazing Basketball coach who taught young men character, Godly principles and built a winning AAU team through their high school years. Several of his players went on to play basketball in college and the NBA, and one of his players is now the head coach of Orlando Magic, Jacque Vaughn. Since we have four children our home was a revolving door because of his commitment to young people.

 

What has been the biggest surprise being a mother and a grandmother?

One of the biggest surprises being a mother was how totally dependent I needed to be on God for the diversity of my children and their needs. There are no books or counsel that can be given to being a perfect mother, you need the Lord to direct and guide you with his wisdom, patience, love and courage and you still make mistakes. As a grandmother, my biggest surprise was how much I would love this experience and the joy my grandchildren bring. I currently have 7 grandchildren with 1 on the way and they are all different but lots of fun. I believe the biggest surprise overall as a mother and grandmother is how much money you really need because it is hard to say “no.”

 

ZoeCan you tell us about a time when your faith was challenged and strengthened?

One of the most challenging times for my faith was when my granddaughter Zoe, (daughter of my only daughter) was born with Down’s syndrome. She was in the NICU for two weeks and we didn’t know what God would do. We lived in San Diego at the time and came back for a period of time to be of support to my daughter. There were no words we could say, no answers of “why”. What was so hard was I was mom with the answers and I absolutely had none, actually I had my own questions. Using the same experience has been the strengthening of my faith as well. We totally dug deep into the word as our only source and saw God provide several miracles. First, Zoe came out of the NICU and home to her mom. The President of Point Loma Nazarene University asked me to take the leadership of an off site campus back in LA County and we moved to a home unplanned but 5 minutes from my daughter and we could be closer to my daughter within a month after Zoe’s birth. All the markers doctors said Zoe would not make until 3 or 4 she met at 9 months to 2 years. She began school part time at 2 and began catching the school bus at 3 and my husband who is retired is close by all the time and was her first care provider. We have seen a miracle before our eyes which continues to strengthen our faith. Her name Zoe means God-breathe and we see that evidenced daily. She has a younger sister and brother and Zoe is an amazing big sister to both of them.

 

Who is your biggest role model?

My biggest role model/s was my first pastor’s wife, Dr. Juanita Smith, my grandmother and mother, Dr. Herma Williams, Dr. Gary Railsback, and Harriet Tubman.

 

What is the best piece of career advice you have received?

Proverbs 18:16 – Your gifts will make room for you… and never seek to open doors for yourself, keep your eyes on Jesus, for men will fail you but He never will. Those you lead and teach will learn by what you say, more by what you do, but mostly by WHO you are…always be a person of integrity.
Let your word be your bond, not a piece of paper!

 

What do you see are Vanguard’s strengths?

My observation of what I have learned about Vanguard and our strength is the commitment to vision and mission and the impact of the administration, faculty and staff’s lives, compassion and relationships with the students. There is a clear sense that the academic learning environment is one that is integrated with Spirit-filled principles for lifelong learning and influence throughout the world. There is an excitement I’ve observed for the advancement of innovating ways for different academic delivery systems of a Vanguard education. The potential and possibilities of advancing Global and Domestic service learning opportunities for students are exceptional. There are opportunities for new partnerships with the Assemblies of God international institutions and missions to be developed and strengthened.

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Christian Higher Education?

Finances are one of the biggest challenges facing Christian Higher Education, and the challenge of families being able to send their students to Christian Universities. With high cost bring enrollment challenges, and federal, state and local aid is decreasing for students in aspiring to attain a degree at a Christina University. The need for both scholarships and endowments is vital for students. Another big challenge is culturally diversifying our administration, faculty, staff and student population to train leaders who advance the kingdom of God for community growth and the development in our culturally diverse communities.

 

What do you think the next chapter holds for Vanguard?

I believe the next chapter holds great opportunities for Vanguard being an exemplar institution modeling for other Christian and Public Universities how to be influential during difficult times by remaining true to our mission and vision. I also believe a clear strategic plan inclusive of academics, student development, new facilities, finances, etc. that articulates to our stakeholders the direction ahead with benchmarks that are transparent and measured for effectiveness will foster a strong sense of trust and build a closer community. As a recognized Christian University that is a Hispanic Service Institution we will advance our development and outreach for services for all our diverse populations. Throughout the Old Testament God expected the children of Israel to build memorials and celebrate the victories He accomplished. As Vanguard experience new victories, we must allow for a time to remember and celebrate what God is doing on campus. I am excited for our next chapter, and what God has in store for our great university!

 

To stay updated on the Office of the Provost – http://www.vanguard.edu/provost/