Vanguard University of Southern California (VUSC) is a faith-based university of liberal arts and professional studies committed to preparing students for productive service in the marketplace of the twenty-first century. VUSC offers an educational experience driven by the pursuit of truth, virtue, and service.

The Department of Chemistry (and other related Departments) has been transformed by the acquisition of equipment and the refurbishment of several labs over the past 5-8 years. Funding for this enhanced technological infrastructure has come from a variety of sources: funding from U.S. Department of Education ($248,525) and U.S. Department of Energy ($50,000) grants, the National Science Foundation ($50,000), gifts-in-kind ($125,000), Beckman-Coulter Genomics Matching Grant Program ($49,450), the Fletcher Jones Foundation ($366,460), Department of Education ($2.6M), and the Southern California Edison Company ($29,485).

Science education is intricately linked with experiential learning. Hence, the requirement of students to enroll in Laboratory sections so that they can have meaningful “hands-on” experience. Since the discovery of DNA in 1953 by James Watson and Francis Crick, the disciples of biology, chemistry, and biochemistry have been transformed. No longer are scientists and students relegated to observing life, we can study the most minute particles of life – DNA. In order to do so, one must invest in instrumentation to conduct this research. Now that VUSC has acquired several key pieces of instruments, students can engage in this “final frontier” of modern biology and chemistry on campus under the tutelage of dedicated mentors who have a Christian worldview.

Previously, VUSC has encouraged students to gain exposure to scientific research through off-campus opportunities sponsored by larger, often state-sponsored Universities. The advantage of allowing students to engage in scientific inquiry on Vanguard’s campus is directly correlated to increased student participation in the learning process, increased retention, enhanced learning experiences for all students (including non-majors) who enroll in a laboratory course, and a practical example of the integration of faith and learning.

SURP is the Department’s embodiment of UGR. Every Chemistry major is required to participate in UGR through the course Chem 475.  The model of UGR adopted by the Chemistry Department at VUSC is a summer intensive research immersion experience that can be completed on-campus through VUSCs’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) or off-campus programs or fellowship opportunities: such as City of Hope, American Heart Association’s Undergraduate Summer Research Program, or other REU or SURF sites. Please consult with an academic advisor to determine which course best fits you and your degree program.

Applications for the 2017 SURP program are now being accepted! Applications are due April 1st, 2017 by 5:00pm. Drs. Lorance, Fung, Park, Callejas, Hanna, Lin and Sirvent are the faculty sponsors for the UGR opportunities this summer. For more information on the projects available, please see the project descriptions or contact the SURP Coordinator, Dr. Sirvent.