You’ll find that VU’s faculty are dedicated to helping you make the very most of your college experience. Throughout your Liberal Studies major your advisor will discuss your progress in the program and guide you through your coursework. You will also have the opportunity to build relationships with the Graduate Education faculty, all of whom have extensive experience in classroom teaching and educational research.

Seon Chun-Burbank.WEB

Seon Chun-Burbank

Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Chun-Burbank is the faculty Chair for Liberal Studies as well as the department of Early Childhood Education. Dr. Chun-Burbank received her BA degree in Early Childhood Education from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea; her MA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Northern Iowa; her Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction degree also from the University of Northern Iowa; and Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Fullerton. Prior to working at VU, Dr. Chun-Burbank worked at two higher education institutions as an Early Childhood Education program chair and core-faculty for 7 years and worked for an educational publishing company as a program consultant for 4 years. Dr. Chun-Burbank highly enjoys being a pre-K classroom teacher and treasures her time interacting with young children. Knowing and believing the importance of early childhood in human development, Dr. Chun-Burbank is grateful to have opportunities to provide quality education to adult learners who can influence young children’s development.

Alex Lin.WEB

Alex Lin

Assistant Professor of Education

Alex Lin has over a decade of public school teaching experience teaching English in Japan to children and adults, and then World History in various California public schools. He received his Ph.D. in Education Policy and Social Context at UC, Irvine, which then lead to two postdoctoral research positions: UC Irvine and Arizona State University. His research has focused on several aspects of education and youth development, more broadly, which can be found in several first-authored papers in notable peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Adolescent Research, Applied Developmental Science, and Urban Education. His research interests, more broadly, lies in positive youth development that concerns programs and approaches targeting adolescents who are at-risk of developing poor academic, social, and behavioral problems. As a Taiwanese-American, Alex Lin is extremely excited about what it takes to be an effective teacher, which often requires crossing cultural and linguistic boundaries to affirm students’ identities and implement modified teaching strategies that promote professional success.


Jerry Ternes

Professor of Education

  • Ed.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • B.A., Vanguard University of Southern California

Dr. Ternes holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) an M.A. in Educational Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), and a BA from Southern California College (Vanguard University). Since coming to Vanguard in 2001, Dr. Ternes has served as the Chair of Liberal Studies Department, Director of the Graduate Program in Education, Dean of the School of Education, Director of the Teacher Advancement Program, has taught courses in Liberal Studies, SPS, and Graduate Education. Prior to coming to Vanguard, Dr. Ternes had over 19 years of K-12 experience as a teacher, coach, principal and school administrator. During his educational tenure of over thirty-five years, he has served at the elementary, middle school, high school, and university level. He has chaired and served on numerous WASC, NWASC, and CCTC accreditation committees and review teams for K-16 schools. Dr. Ternes has served on the Teacher Development System Advisory Board for the Capistrano Unified School District’s BTSA Induction Program. He also has served as a facilitator for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s BTSA Colloquium. He has participated with the Santa Ana Unified School District’s T.E.A.C.H Academy at Century High School.  In addition to his wide array of educational experiences, Dr. Ternes has served as a University Supervisor for credential candidates and as a mentor, lecturer, curriculum developer, and retreat speaker for the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.  His research and dissertation topics have included working with teachers persisting in challenging public urban schools, as well as teaching English to speakers of other languages. His educational interests include teacher leadership, educational reform, research methodology, and teacher retention.


Kenneth Killian

Assistant Professor of Education

Professor Killian is a part-time assistant professor in Liberal Studies. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Killian was an adjunct professor at Vanguard University for two years. Mr. Killian has a Master of Science Degree from Indiana State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sterling College. He holds a California Schools Teaching Credential and an Administrative Credential from the University of California, Riverside. Mr. Killian has completed graduate studies at Academia Hispano Americana in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and at Harvard University. Mr. Killian has over 36 years of public school educational experience as a teacher and principal at both the elementary and middle school levels. He serves on the Teacher Education Advisory Committee at Vanguard University and is a retired member of the Advisory Board for the Principals’ Center, Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. His interests include mentoring school administrators, working with at risk students, and integrating technology into standards based curriculum.


Shelley Vaters

Administrative Assistant

Shelley has been at Vanguard since 2003 in Liberal Studies, Child Development and Graduate Education. Shelley is currently pursuing her Business degree through Vanguard’s Professional Studies program. She is a Southern California native and along with her husband Karl, have pastored Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley for 24 years. Together they have started the ministry, New Small Church with Karl’s book, The Grasshopper Myth.