Theatre Professor Interviewed

Professor of Theatre Arts, David Pecoraro, recently gave an interview for the website detailing how he got into Theatre production, and what advice he would give to college graduates on their graduation day.  In the interview, Professor Pecoraro says students should start transitioning into the workforce before graduation so it’s not an overnight transition.  He also recounts his memories about being in the M.F.A. program at Temple University.  Highlights of the interview which was originally broadcast on November 20th, 2013 can be found at this link


For more information about Vanguard’s Theatre Arts Department, visit the Department Website here.


Dr. Elizabeth Dermody Leonard

Dear Vanguard Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that beloved Vanguard professor Dr. Elizabeth Dermody Leonard passed away on Sunday, May 18 in Ireland, her home since retiring from Vanguard.

Dr. Leonard taught at Vanguard University as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, serving as an Assistant Professor of Sociology from 1997 to 2002, and then as Associate Professor of Sociology from 2002 to 2007, and finally as Professor of Sociology from 2007 to 2011. She delivered and expanded the Sociology curriculum to include areas of specialization in gender and crime, the sociology of women, corrections, family violence and juvenile delinquency, and played in integral role in helping grow the Sociology major to one hundred majors.

Dr. Leonard sustained a robust research agenda during her tenure at Vanguard University, producing a book (Convicted Survivors: The Imprisonment of Battered Women Who Kill, State University of New York Press, 2002), four book chapters and nine articles in peer-reviewed journals. She was widely recognized as an expert on issues related to battered women in prison and domestic violence, and as such, was invited to present research, guest lecture, provide expert witness testimony, and give various public presentations on seventy different occasions, and in diverse institutional settings and locales in the United States and Europe.

She served Vanguard University faithfully by being a tireless leader and advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration, which included serving as the Co-Director of Vanguard University’s Center for Women’s Studies from 2002 to 2005. She advised, counseled, and mentored countless numbers of students who, upon graduating from Vanguard University, followed her example by pursing vocations that advance the public good.

Elizabeth was highly respected, admired and regarded by the students at Vanguard University, who voted her the Faculty Member of the Year for 1999-2000, and again as Faculty Member of the Year for 2006-2007. Over the years students have consistently expressed their affection for her and their appreciation of her guidance and support.

Upon her retirement, Dr. Leonard was granted the status of faculty emerita. Dr. Leonard was a devoted colleague and friend and will be greatly missed.

Please keep Dr. Leonard’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Serving with you,



Vanguard University Names Doretha O’Quinn New Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Costa Mesa, CA, May 15, 2014 – After an extensive nationwide search since September of 2013, Vanguard University President Michael J. Beals announced on May 15 the appointment of Doretha O’Quinn to the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective July 2014.

“Doretha O’Quinn carries esteemed credentials in higher education, a strong academic commitment to diversity, and intellectual passions which make her a great cultural fit for Vanguard University,” said Beals. “Dr. O’Quinn’s engaging personal style and demonstration of mentor relationships will make a transforming impact on our students, our faculty, and the mission of Vanguard.”

O’Quinn succeeds acting provost/vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Mike Wilson. Wilson served in the position since August of 2013.

O’Quinn currently serves as vice provost of multi-ethnic and cross cultural engagement at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., where she has served since 2011. She also received her Ph.D. and M.A. from Biola University and a B.A. from Life Pacific College of San Dimas, Calif. Prior to this recent appointment, O’Quinn served as Associate Dean of the School of Education of Point Loma Nazarene University.

Dr. O’Quinn has spent over 34 years working as an administrator, principal and teacher in public and Christian K-12 schools and universities in southern California. She brings a passion for advancing the mission of Vanguard University in diverse communities. Honored as the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa’s “Outstanding African-American Educator of the Year,” O’Quinn was also invited as a fellow of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities’ Advanced Women in Leadership Development Institute.

An award-winning teacher, speaker, administrator and published author, O’Quinn is up to the task of leading the academic house at a nationally ranked Christian university.

 “Vanguard University has an established commitment to equipping students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service,” said Wilson. “Dr. O’Quinn joins a strong academic faculty where her leadership will further this mission, and undoubtedly serve the institution well.”

O’Quinn will work closely with President Beals in the leadership of all academic programs, and work to promote Vanguard University’s academic excellence that integrates faith and life. She will work with administration and faculty on a daily basis concerning Vanguard’s renowned undergraduate, graduate and adult degree completion programs.


To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications

55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626




Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 10 regional college in the west for 2014 and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit

Business Professor’s Book on Communication Skills is Published

Dr. James Walz, Professor of  Business and Management and Chair of the Department, recently had a book published for leaders in organizations focusing on honing their communication skills. This book resulted from Dr. Walz’s desire to give leaders the tools they need to orient everyone on their teams toward a single, action-oriented goal. The book is titled: SPeak Perfomance: Using the Power of Metaphors to Communicate Vision, Motivate People, and Lead Your Organization to Success and promises to give leaders the tools they need to advance their leadership skills.

For information on the book and the publisher click here

For more information on Vanguard’s Department of Business and Management, visit the Department Website here.

Sociology Professor Presents on Learning Approaches and Their Impacts

Dr. Edward Clarke, Professor of Sociology at Vanguard University recently presented a paper entitled “3 Years Later: Outcomes and Reflections on Community-Based Active Learning” at the California Sociological Association in November of 2013. Using the Homlessness Project in Costa Mesa, CA that began in 2008 as the context to describe this learning approach and its outcomes, Clarke describes how students collaborate with faculty in community projects that seek real solutions to widespread problems, and in so doing gain disciplinary skills and insight into developing research. In his presentation, Clarke assessed the effectiveness of this learning approach, student research produced as a result of the approach, and the impact of community and university relations.

For more information on Vanguard’s Anthropology and Sociology Department, visit the Department Website here.

Kinesiology Professor Published on Second Impact Syndrome

Dr. Terry Zeigler, Professor of Kinesiology at Vanguard University, recently had an article published concerning her work on Second Impact Syndrome. This syndrome can result in fatality and is caused by concussed athletes returning to play too soon. This article reflects Dr. Zeigler’s commitment and knowledge to diagnosing and treating sports related injuries. Her articles are now being sought out by a fitness company who seeks her knowledge on a range of sports injuries, diagnoses, and treatments. Her article on Second Impact Syndrome was published on Sports MD website. To read this article click here.

Director of Nursing Program publishes another piece from her work as a Research Facilitator

Dr. Mary Wickman, Director of the Nursing Program and Professor at Vanguard University, recently had an article published from her work as a research facilitator at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. This publication resulted from a multi-site research that was conducted between the sister ministries of St. Jude, St. Joseph, and Mission Hospitals and is the third publication from that research. The article is titled: “Nursing’s “Evolving Responsibility”” and is published in the November issue of Nursing Management.

Director of Nursing Program Recently Published for her work in Behavioral Health

Dr. Mary Wickman, Director of the Nursing Program and Professor at Vanguard University, recently had an article published from her work in Behavioral Health. This publication resulted from a research study discussing the validity and reliability of using the Adolescent Invincibility Tool to measure invincibility in youth and its correlation to risk behavior involvement. The article is titled: “Invincibility Fable: Tool To Measure Invincibility” and is published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Pediatric Nurses.

Director of Nursing Program recently published for her work as a research facilitator at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton.

VU-Staff-12-156Dr. Mary Wickman, Director of the Nursing Program and Professor at Vanguard University, recently had an article published from the work she does as a  research facilitator at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. This publication resulted from a multi-site research study that was conducted between the sister ministries of St. Joseph, St. Jude, and Mission Hospital and is the second publication resulting from this research.  The article is titled: “The Hospital Staff Nurse Perceptions of Competency to Care for Patients with Psychiatric or Behavioral Health Concerns” and is published in the September/October issue of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development. For the full article and more publication information, please click here.

Professor of Psychology presents at 2013 WASC Academic Resource Conference

Professor of Psychology, Ludmila Praslova, recently presented at the 2013 WASC Academic Resource Conference in San Diego, California. Her presentation and research was especially unique due the active involvement of undergraduate and graduate students. If you would like to read more about the details of her presentations, please check out the links below.