Two Sociology Majors Participate in SURP

Poster Session 3Sociology majors, Mireya Ruiz and Priscilla Medina, were two of 16 students selected from 46 applicants to participate in the 2016 Summer Undergraduate Research Program.  Selection was based on application quality, GPA, lab experience and recommendations from their lab professor.  The students worked on their research projects with their sociology mentor, Dr. Hien Park, for two months.  The culmination of SURP was a research symposium where students presented their research results in the form of a poster session.  Mireya’s research topic was Biological and Sociological Racial Perspectives.  Priscilla presented her research Parent-Child Dynamics: Language, Religions, Attitude Towards Career.  Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Summer trip to Malaysia

For three weeks in May 2016, Dr. Park and two sociology students, Megan Basalla and Kimberly Jackson, traveled to the other side of the globe to the Muslim country of Malaysia.  For sixteen weeks prior to the trip, the team met weekly to learn about Muslim societies and pray for ministry opportunities.  Through Christian contacts, the team was blessed with amazing opportunities to lead a three-day VBS for local children, attend campus Christian ministries of non-Muslim young adults, and participate in caring and sharing ministries of a local community center and homeless ministry. Dr. Park is looking to combine sociology and mission and offer these opportunities to Vanguard students in yearly basis.


Student Presents Research at PSA

PSA 2016

Sociology major, Megan Basalla, presented her research at the Pacific Sociological Association conference in Oakland during the Spring 2016 semester. Her research, The Impact of Work on the Self Concept of the Employed Homeless, focused on addressing the perceptible ramifications and benefits of work on the individual—specifically for those reentering the workforce while unsheltered. A mixed-method approach using in-depth interview and a questionnaire was utilized in this cross sectional study which found that highly individualized work placement into jobs using skills from ones work experience prior to homelessness is key to positive work re-entry.

Class of 2015-16!

Congratulations to our 2015-16 Anthropology & Sociology graduates!




Anth/Soc End of the Year Party

The Anthropology & Sociology Department took time between finals to celebrate the end of another school year and to recognize and honor our graduates.  Good times together!



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

Anth Soc

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!