Students Present at Santa Clara Research Conference

IMG_0647Four Anthropology & Sociology majors were accepted to present their papers at the 43rd Annual Western Departments of Sociology and Anthropology Undergraduate Research Conference on April 23, 2016.  They are pictured here along with faculty sponsor, Dr. Ed Clarke.

Megan Basalla – The Impact of Work on the Self Concept of the Employed Homeless

Kimberly Jackson – Tattoo Satisfaction Over the Life Course

Nicole Suganuma – The Japanese American Perception of Korean and Chinese People

Miranda Dupree – Meanings and Motivations Behind College Students’ Identification with Superheroes

Congratulations to these students who represented Vanguard well!

2016 Awards Chapel

IMG_2138IMG_2141The University Awards Chapel was held on April 21, 2016.  Three students from the Anthropology & Sociology Department received awards at this ceremony.

The Outstanding Student Award in Anthropology went to Jasmine Ezell (left).  This award was given in recognition of exceptional knowledge and problem solving as well as academic excellence and a commitment to service.

The Outstanding Student Award in Sociology was shared by two students, Xanic Fernandez (right) and Kimberly Jackson (pictured below).  This award was given in recognition of student scholarship and social activity.

These award recipients will have their names engraved on perpetual plates in the Social Science Office.IMG_2224

2016 Spring Colloquium

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe 27th Annual Social Sciences Spring Colloquium was held on April 18, 2016.  This is a night of oral presentations featuring outstanding student research papers from Anthropology, Sociology, History & Political Science and Psychology majors.  Two students from the Anthropology & Sociology Department were chosen to present their research projects.

Emily Campbell (left) presented “Ring by Spring at Vanguard University.”  Kimberly Jackson (right) presented “Tattoo Satisfaction Over the Life Course.”

New book released by Anthropology Assistant Professor Isaac Voss

Health, Healing, and ShalomIsaac Voss, our new anthropology professor, has just released an edited volume, Health, Healing, and Shalom: Frontiers and Challenges for Christian Healthcare Missions.  The volume is co-edited by Bryant Myers, professor of International Development at Fuller Theological Seminary, Erin Dufault-Hunter, associate professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Isaac Voss, assistant professor of anthropology at Vanguard University.

In this volume, authors with an interest in health “missions” from a wide variety of experiences and disciplines examine health and healing through the theological lens of shalom.  For every age, Christians need to examine how they can best announce the gospel message of God’s healing in word and deed in their own context.  In our era, we are often simultaneously grateful for modern medicine and frustrated by its inability to care for the whole person in effective, affordable ways.  Shalom, often translated “peace” or “wholeness,” names a much more complex understanding of human well-being as right relationships with one another, with God, and with creation.  Reading about various aspects of healthcare missions through this lens not only yields much-needed correctives to current practice but also exposes the Spirit’s invitation to participate in God’s ongoing work of tending, caring, and healing our broken world.

Isaac served as the facilitating editor for the project and co-authored two chapters in the book. One chapter was authored with a nurse, Anntippia Short, and is titled “Overcoming Barriers in the City: Transforming Cross-Cultural Practices for Health Workers.”  The chapter draws from the authors’ experiences of starting a medical clinic in Watts, CA, and presents five practices that equip and empower cross-cultural workers.  The second chapter, “Looking Forward in the Healthcare Missions Movement,” was written along with theologian Erin Dufault-Hunter and physician Rick Donlon. This chapter focuses on the future of the healthcare missions movement.

As this book emerged from an interdisciplinary conversation, Isaac looks forward to seeing how it will be used to equip students, health workers, theologians, and others as they follow Jesus’ example and help others to truly flourish.

The book is available for purchase on the publisher’s website ( or at





Students Honored at Awards Chapel

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L to R: Dr. Vince Gil, Elysia Foraker, Savannah Cornelison, Joshua Hummel, Dr. Ed Clarke


Mayra Ramos

The department’s top students were honored at the University Awards Chapel on April 23, 2015.  They are pictured here along with Dr. Vince Gil and Dr. Ed Clarke.

Elysia Foraker received the award for the Outstanding Student in Anthropology given in recognition of exceptional knowledge and problem solving as well as academic excellent and a commitment to service.

Two students, Elysia Foraker and Savannah Cornelison, shared the Lambda Alpha Award for Anthropology, the national honor society for anthropology.  This award honors superior academic achievement in the discipline.

Joshua Hummel and Mayra Ramos were awarded the Outstanding Student in Sociology in recognition of student scholarship and social activity.

Congratulations to these students!

Spring Colloquium

Joshua Hummel 1Double major Joshua Hummel represented the Anthropology & Sociology Department at the 26th Annual Spring Colloquium on April 22, 2015.  He presented his original research “When ‘The Claws Came Out’:  Analyzing Put-Down Language Within a Christian Community.”

Students Present at Santa Clara University

Santa Clara 2015Eight anthropology and sociology majors along with faculty advisors Dr. Vince Gil and Dr. Hien Park participated in the 42nd Annual Western Departments of Anthropology & Sociology Undergraduate Research Conference at Santa Clara University on April 18, 2015.  Kathryn Arnold, Araceli Bravo, Savannah Cornelison, Hayley Flowers, Alissa Kasper, Arielle Linson, Shannon Little and Mayra Ramos presented their original research to students and faculty from other colleges and universities.

Dr. Vince Gil Collaborates with the University of California, Irvine, on their Medical Humanities Initiative

Dr. Vince Gil has been invited to be a collaborator in a novel program initiative at the University of California, Irvine. The Provost’s Office at UCI has begun a “Medical Humanities Initiative” along with significant funding to bring together the arts, humanities, and schools of medicine to further research, develop curriculum, and projects that will enable culturally sensitive and appropriate healthcare.

Dr. Gil is the only off-campus member among a select group of UCI faculty/department chairs that have either volunteered or been recruited to serve on the Medical Humanities Research Workgroup, charged with generating novel research possibilities, curricular, and other venues that further the Medical Humanities. Dr. Gil recently created an instrument to poll UCI faculty and students regarding their involvements with Medical Humanities projects — a first step among many more to come to ascertain, encourage, and then develop Medical Humanities as a bona fide field at UCI. Dr. Gil states,

“We are also working on developing a workshop for funding opportunities involving Medical Humanities projects, suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students. Our Workgroup will be assessing worthy undergraduate projects for funding through the University’s summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. As well, the Medical Humanities Initiative is providing seed money for research grants for faculty to engage in cross-disciplinary research.”

As such, Medical Humanities at UCI will become an interdisciplinary field with application to medical education and practice. The humanities and arts provide insight into the human condition, suffering, personhood, beliefs, and offer a cultural-historical perspective on medical practice. Attention to literature and the arts helps develop and nurture skills of observation, analysis, empathy, and self-reflection — essential skills for humane medical care. Medical Humanities provide the interdisciplinary approach necessary to investigating and understanding the profound effects of illness and disease on patients, health professionals, and the social worlds in which these live and work.

Dr. Gil is excited to be a part of a growing interdisciplinary field, as well as collaborating with colleagues “across the aisle” at UCI. Moreover, the involvement is providing models for interdisciplinary venues which can eventually benefit Vanguard’s own programs. “We can find instructional models and opportunities for mutual engagement here as well.” Dr. Gil counts it a privilege to be the only Medical Anthropologist on board on this venue.