Vanguard Honors its Veterans


A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17


At the young age of 18, Marine Infantry Machine Gunner Mike Sudan experienced things in combat that men twice his age would have struggled with. To cope, he turned to his faith: “One of the special things we did was pray as a squad before leaving the wire. That simple one minute prayer lifted the mission up to God. While we knew what was required each and every time, some things are indeed out of our control. Having God in my corner carried some of the weight I felt.” While deployed to Southeast Asia and Helmand Province in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Mike lost several fellow Marines who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. “I believe fellowship through similar experiences is one the most powerful forces we can have in this life. The most positive thing that I took from the Marine Corps was the sense of brotherhood and camaraderie I still have with the Marines I served with.”


Mike.Service560After Mike reentered civilian life, he directed his attention to the next chapter and enrolled at Vanguard University to earn his degree in psychology. As a full participant in the Yellow Ribbon program, Vanguard offers tuition assistance to veterans as a supplement to the GI Bill allowing many veterans to graduate without debt.


One of the unique aspects of VU’s program is the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) located on campus in the Scott Center. The VRC offers veteran students a dedicated space to study, use of the Center’s computers, and a textbook lending program so they can avoid the high costs of purchasing textbooks. Mike is currently serving as President of the Veterans Club and is very grateful for the community’s ongoing financial investment in veterans education at VU. “This continued support allows veterans to harness their skills in an environment that is second to none. Rest assured that we are grateful for the opportunity to pursue these endeavors.


“I hope other veterans can experience the impact the fellowship of Vanguard’s veteran community has had on me,” says Mike. “I have built lasting friendships that I hope to carry throughout my life. If this can be one of God’s many tools in helping veterans, I hope many more can experience it.”


 Give Now to Honor a Veteran

In recognition of Veterans Day and the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom, we invite you to make a gift to the Through These Doors campaign to honor a special veteran in your life. When you support this campaign for the Scott Center renovation, you’ll be helping to support the expansion of the Veterans Resource Center. Gifts of $100 or more will be included on a special recognition display in the building and thanks to a generous donor, all gifts will be matched up to $120,000. Click here to make a gift.

Veteran’s Challenge Coin Ceremony Thursday, May 1, 2014

Challenge Coin Ceremony FBVeteran’s Challenge Coin Ceremony

Celebrating the Class of 2014 Vanguard Veteran Graduates!

DATE:  Thursday, May 1, 2014
TIME: 4:00 – 5:30pm
LOCATION: Vanguard University | Veterans Courtyard of Honor

Challenge Coin History
Challenge coins date back to World War I when a lieutenant ordered bronze coins for the men in his squadron. One of the men, who kept the coin in a leather pouch around his neck, was captured by the Germans. The Germans took everything from him except the leather pouch. When he later escaped, he avoided execution by the French when they recognized the unit insignia on the coin. It then became tradition for military members to carry challenge coins.

Today, challenge coins are popular throughout all branches of the military, and most military members have at least one coin in their possession at all times. The challenge coin is used for a variety of reasons, from recognition to morale. Military members carry the challenge coin to display pride and to ensure they are always ready when a coin challenge is initiated by another member of their unit.

Consistent with this military tradition, Vanguard University is honoring each of our graduating veteran students by presenting them with a unique challenge coin. On one side is a picture of the U.S. flag and the flag of the branch of service the veteran served with a challenge to Act Justly, Walk Humbly, and Love Mercy with Commitment, Honor, and Excellence. On the other side of the coin is the Vanguard University Logo with the values of Truth, Virtue, and Service – a challenge to all of our graduating veterans as they begin their next season in life.

Dominica Scibetta
Coordinator of Faculty and Veteran Student Services
(714) 668-6108 | dominica.scibetta@vanguard.edu

Director of Campus Safety & Veteran Paul Turgeon Shares His Story

vets_operationed_headerNovember 11, 2013

This Veteran’s Day, CCPE would like to take a moment to thank and honor those who have served in the armed forces.  Many veterans are enrolled in our degree and certificate programs. We recently spoke with Paul Turgeon, a student in the Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration (EMER) at CSULB who served in the Marines, and Carole Snyder, a graduate of the EMER program who served in the Army and California National Guard.

Paul joined the military directly out of high school and served with Subic Bay Marine Barracks, 3/9 Marines at Camp Pendleton, and at the Base Brigs in Camp Pendleton and Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan. He used the G.I. Bill to earn his Bachelor of Science in History from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and currently works as Director of Campus Public Safety at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA. He oversees security, emergency management, life safety, and environmental health and safety for the university.

“I have always been a lifelong learner in pursuing certificates and advanced training,” Paul said. “Working in higher education for the past four years has pushed my desire to pursue an advanced degree,” he explained, adding that he wanted to set a good example for his eight-year-old son by teaching him the value of education. “If I have homework and I’m doing it, he can’t complain about his homework.” Paul’s wife is pursuing her PhD from Regent University. “We decided to go back to school at the same time, in an online format, so neither of us becomes a distraction to the other. We figured if we are both in school and busy we will both push each other to do the course work. We have had to plan vacations and recently our wedding around our semester breaks.”

Paul hopes to eventually teach in the field of emergency management or use his knowledge to consult with entities in the field. He highly recommends the EMER program at CSULB to other veterans. “Veterans have a lot of experience in emergency management by the very nature of their time in the military. You do not need to be a first responder to be in this program. What I like about the program is the ability to connect and learn from others in the field. You learn from your professors who are content experts and direct the learning, but the weekly discussions with your classmates really drives the learning. I like the interaction the online format provides. I have connected more with students in the online format than I ever did in a large traditional classroom.”

Carole Snyder served as a medic in the Army and California Army National Guard. She earned an A.S. in Nursing from San Francisco Community College using veteran’s benefits and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pacific Union College. She currently works as an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for PIH Health Hospital in Whittier, CA, and said she decided to earn her Master’s degree to increase her knowledge of disaster management.  “The EMER program gives you a global perspective on disaster management,” Carole said.

CSULB provides many services for veterans, and was named a “Military-Friendly School” by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine. Visit our Veterans Services website for more information and learn more about the EMER program at CSULB.

- See more at: http://www.ccpe.csulb.edu/ContinuingEd/blog/blogposts.aspx?postNum=98#sthash.FmFAs9cV.dpuf

Vanguard University Selected As A Top Military-Friendly School In 2014

MAE'sVanguard University of Southern California has been selected as a top military-friendly school in our  2014 Guide to  Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities, a list featured annually in our December issue.  A record number of schools responded to our extensive survey, and MAE staff evaluated each submission by our strict criteria.

In this issue, we use an easy-to-read graphic presentation in the form of bar charts, which will enable our readers compare and contrast schools to find the best match for their needs. This year, we also asked for schools to provide additional details about their programs, and will make those answers available on our newly designed searchable database.

We’re excited about the new Guide, and we think our readers—the  ESOs, TOs, top-level commanders who influence educational decisions, and, of course, servicemembers—will value the format too. We think it will reflect positively on your school as well. As the first publication to do a military friendly list, MAE has been improving the process every year in order to provide our men and women in uniform information that will help them make the right choices about college.  Go to http://www.militaryfriendlyschools.com/search/profile.aspx?id=123651


Dr. Andrew Stenhouse, Dean of School for Graduate and Professional Studies

AndyDr. Andrew Stenhouse has returned to Vanguard to serve as the new Dean for Graduate and Professional Studies.  Recognized as an expert in leadership development, Dr. Stenhouse brings a unique approach from education and industry, as well as the insight of an alumnus and former faculty member.  Dr. Stenhouse was kind enough to share with us the changes in adult learning at Vanguard, his thoughts on leadership, and what makes Vanguard such a unique place.

Q: You received three degrees from Vanguard, taught as a tenured faculty member here, and now returned as the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies.  What is it about Vanguard that sets it apart from other institutions?

There is a Soul to Vanguard like no other institution I have encountered. What we do here is unique in that there is a deeply spiritual foundation that underlies absolutely everything that happens here. I know other universities talk about their unique Christian perspectives, but things really are different here. There is a spiritual commitment that binds the faculty together that is inspiring. We can sometimes disagree on the “how,” but we are all absolutely committed to the “what” (student learning) and the “why” (our calling to change lives). When you have faculty who are absolutely dedicated to the what and why, the how will inevitably be resolved – and with better outcomes due to the collaborative process. We all want the same outcome – students living a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.

Q: You are known as an expert in leadership development.  What advice do you give to students and alumni who want to better develop themselves as a leader?

Whenever anyone tells me they want to be a leader, I ask them why? Where they want to lead people and why they want to lead them there is foundational. Until a person has discovered that passionate call to truly make a difference – to rectify an injustice or to bring restoration to the broken – leadership is not about creating positive change; but is merely an ego trip. Leadership is always about other people. The best leaders I know really are not all that interested in being in charge. They’re interested in making a difference. People always follow someone like that.

Q: Our graduate programs and our School for Professional Studies have now merged into Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) at Vanguard.  Can you tell us the benefits of all adult learning being in one school?

All of our graduate and professional studies programs equip adult students for professional excellence. Our students are not the traditional students who live on or around campus and take classes throughout the day. Our students attend classes in the late afternoons, evenings, on weekends, or online. They generally have family obligations while furthering their own careers and are highly motivated to succeed academically as well as professionally. With this new organizational structure we can better leverage our efforts to attract, equip, and graduate students into fulfilling careers whether its business, education, nursing, counseling, or ministry.

Q: What would surprise our alumni who haven’t been back to campus in over a decade?

If they walk around campus at nights or on Saturday mornings, they will see hundreds of adult learners ranging from their mid-20’s to mid-60’s. Some of the greatest diversity within the university is among our graduate and professional studies students.

Q: What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received?

From my Dad: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Q: Can you tell us a little about your family.

My wife Karen and I were married ten years ago in Needham Chapel – a place that has always been special to me. Since she had a daughter (Lindsay) and I had two (Taryn and Kayla) I proposed to her with a simple gold band with five diamonds. I told her that if we were to marry, it would be a package deal. There would be five us involved in the new enterprise. She agreed and life since has been an amazing blessing. Sure blended families like ours have unique challenges, but we also have unique blessings as well. I have written numerous articles for Focus on the Family about our stories and the November issue of OC Family will carry one of my favorite stories. I hope you get a chance to read it.

Q: What is the single greatest attribute you admire about your wife?

She absolutely loves the Lord. Her faith is constant.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time, when you are not on campus?

You will find me at the pool or the beach. Water is good for my soul.

Welcome Vanguard University’s 10th President Dr. Michael Beals

Beals-1President Michael Beals, PhD

Over the last 36 years, Dr. Michael Beals has been called to Vanguard University in many different capacities, including undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, and administrator.  Mike’s rich journey with Vanguard is evidence of his ability and willingness to serve its constituents in the highest capacity.  After a rigorous and prayerful search, the Board of Trustees has chosen him as the finalist for the role of 10th president of Vanguard University.

A native of California, Mike originally came to faith in Christ at Vallejo First Assembly of God in 1977.  That same year, Mike followed God’s initial call to Vanguard and became an undergraduate student of Religion, double-majoring in Christian Education and Psychology.  After receiving his BA, he went on to earn his MA from Vanguard in Church Leadership, and a second MA at Fuller Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies and Theology.  Mike also holds a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Fuller where he has served as an adjunct faculty member since 1999.

Mike began teaching at Vanguard as an adjunct faculty member in 1991.  In 2005, Mike became an Assistant Professor of Philosophical Theology and Christian Ethics. He left that position in 2009.  In 2012, after serving for 23 years as the senior pastor of Mission Hills Community Church in Rancho Santa Margarita, Mike returned to Vanguard as Dean of Spiritual Formation, a position that serves as the university pastor for the Vanguard community and the senior administrator of the Spiritual Formation Department.

Mike is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and spent 31 years of ministry in local churches. He was first credentialed as a Licensed Minister in 1981 and that fall he began as a youth pastor at The Harbor Church AG in Lomita, California. In addition to membership in the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Mike has written for Enrichment, the journal for Assemblies of God ministers, and contributed to Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization.  Mike has been actively involved in global outreach in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Israel, Switzerland, France, England, and Scotland.

Mike met his wife of 33 years, Faith, at Vanguard.  They have two grown children and a grandson.  His son-in-law is also a Vanguard alumnus.  In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys reading and working in the garden, fly fishing, sailing, listening to jazz and blues, and playing the upright bass.

Hollywood Charity Horseshow


Mark your calendars for the next Veterans Club Community Service Project Event!

April 27, 9:00 am – 11:00 pm 

  • Our club is volunteering for the 23rd Anniversary William Shatner Hollywood Horse Show
  • A fantastic event you do not want to miss!
    • Gala Dinner
    • Celebrity Auction
    • Vince Gill Performance
    • and of course, a phenomenal Horse Show
  • Proceeds benefit local charities, including Veteran-oriented Dream Catcher of LA
  • Minimum volunteer time is one three-hour block
  • Volunteer Questionnaires are available online or at the VRC
  • Questionnaires must be submitted directly to Daryl and Jennifer Curtis

C/o Daryl Cutris
4718 Poppyseed Street
Bakersfield, CA 93313

  • Volunteers must submit an application and RECEIVE WRITTEN CONFIRMATION from the coordinators to be allowed in.
  • We will carpool if there is enough interest.

For more information contact Veterans Club Secretary Dasha Gariepy or stop by the VRC.

2013 Volunteer Questionnaire[1]


Writing as a Way of Healing

I will never forget what I morbidly call the weekend of death: three loved ones within three days died in completely unrelated ways.  

The first was painful, but expected – a grandmother to cancer. The second was unexpected but understandable -an uncle suffered a sudden brain aneurysm. The third loss was and still is indescribably painful - the suicide of a close Marine friend, Mike.

It is horrifying that our military members are committing suicide at the alarming rate of one every twenty five hours.

No one understands this statistic better than Ron Capps, who, with gun-in-hand was startled out of the act by his ringing cell phone.

Using his experience to reach out to others, Capps created The Veterans Writing Project, which uses writing as a way of healing. It is no secret that writing is therapeutic, and Capps’ utilizes this idea by giving “veterans the skills they need to capture their stories and do so in an environment of mutual trust and respect.”

Many of the Veterans at Vanguard are dealing with the effects PTSD, myself included. We talk amongst ourselves, and we approach recovery in a variety of ways: my favorite is theraputic writing. Mike didn’t acknowledge his PTSD, and he didn’t seek help. I know when he pulled that trigger he felt completely alone.  

If you or someone you know is suffering, please reach out.  To a professional, to a friend, to a Vet here on campus. We had each other’s backs on active duty, and we’ve got your back now. You’re not alone.

God, the Ultimate Puppet Master

Tim Tebow’s favorite bible verse is John3:16which was etched in eye black on his facewhen he led his college football team, the Florida Gators, to the BCS Championship title in 2009.

Contributed by Brittany Aase

In light of this past weekend’s Super Bowl game and the end of the 2012-2013 NFL season I thought it was a great time to reflect on God’s work that took place during a playoff game in the 2011-2012 NFL season.

Tim Tebow, back-up quarterback for the New York Jets (former Denver Broncos quarterback), spoke at Impact Church in Scottsdale, Arizona on Super Bowl Sunday this past weekend. In addition to sharing his testimony with the members of Impact Church, he also told a remarkable story about the unlikely coincidences that the Bible verse John 3:16 had during the playoff overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers last year.

After the Broncos victory, a man came up to Tebow and asked if he realized what had happened. Tebow replied with what he thought was the obvious: they won and were moving on in the playoffs! The man went on to tell him about all of the similarities that took place between Tebow’s statistics and John 3:16:

He threw for a total of 316 yards,
averaged 31.6 yards per completion,
his yards per rush were 3.16,
the time of possession was 31.06 minutes, and
the peak ratings were 31.6.

Tebow was shocked and ecstatic. He said, “What was so cool about it was I can’t take any credit. I had no idea….I wasn’t even a part of it. God was using it and I was just like a little puppet.”

The next day John 3:16 was the number one thing searched on Google and the #1 thing posted on Twitter and Facebook. It is truly amazing how God works in each of our lives and how he uses our talents and devotion to spread His goodness.

The Lord uses His followers as puppets in different ways, sometimes guiding us to an unexpected career change, or softening our hearts.

For example, a couple of weeks ago the Lord kept directing me to 2 Corinthians 5:10. At this time my thoughts, attitude, and feelings about a particular situation were hardened. When I let Him take control I was convicted and put my anger aside to respond in a way that would be right in His eyes. We can’t change people or their perceptions, but we can make the decision to do what is right.  It is so difficult to do when conflicts arise with those that you are close, but at the end of the day I can say that I have complete peace.

The most extraordinary puppet shows ever performed are when God uses His Christian followers as puppets to carry out the truth of His word.

How has God used you as his puppet?


For more insight on Tim Tebow’s testimony follow the links below:
Tebow Talks Bible Verses Ministering Tebowing
Tebow Professes His Faith Carefully

It Doesn’t Take a Genius to become a Mentor

Contributed by Kenia Cueto

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a mentor? Travel back through your past personal experiences to search and select individuals who have influenced your life in a positive way. Were they of the same race, gender, age, education, or socio economic background? Did they have the same approach in guiding you?

This blog is not intended for research, comparison or study, rather it is a lifelong observation on the effects of people’s leadership and guiding actions towards one another.  It is also intended to express the ease in which a positive, caring mentor can change a mentee’s path in life. 

As children, our parents become our first mentors (or at least that is our hope). A parent need not be educated or wealthy to make a positive difference in their child’s life.  Constant positive reinforcement and encouragement of a child’s academic progress, for example, is crucial – even if the parents themselves never attained a formal education.

Unhealthy mentoring and/or abuse of one’s own power, whether it is at home or in the workplace, can lead to negative outcomes, and lack of self-worth or success. Telling a child he or she can achieve great things with hard work is obviously better than telling them they will never amount to anything. Because parents are the first mentors in a child’s life, the effects of bad parenting may cause a life-long struggle in diverse areas of their children’s lives.  

We can change the title “parent” to coach, teacher, boss, supervisor, co-worker friend, or sibling. Anyone can be a mentor.  In fact, you may not know it, but someone may already perceive you as a mentor figure. It is important to be cognizant of your perceived status in relation with others, because you might become the one to make or break the spirit, plans or future of your mentee.

Many articles and training manuals have been written on how to become a mentor, but in my opinion, it takes little effort to make a big difference in someone’s life. Below are six everyday principles that you can follow to ensure that you are a positive mentor. 

  1. ROLE MODELING- Personal values and morals play a key role in showcasing who you really are. You will earn the respect of others by the way in which you live your life in and out of work.
  2. INSTINCT- Many times it is your instinct that will tell you someone needs a little bit of your time.  It may take one or multiple mini-mentoring moments to make a difference.
  3. TIME- Making time for your mentee is a great way to build a stronger bond and reassure them you will be there for the long run.
  4. LISTENING - It doesn’t take much time or effort to listen intently. The fact that you are taking a moment out of your day for your mentee will give importance and credence to their self-worth and journey.
  5. PATIENCE- The mentee may take a while to accomplish his or her goal, therefore show patience to reinforce your support.
  6. SUPPORT- There are many ways to show your mentee that you are on their side.
  • Monetary Support helps reinforce your belief of the mentee’s success. It gives them a chance to recognize that you are serious about wanting to support them, and shows that you believe in the course of action they are taking.
  • Moral Support helps build self-esteem. Make the interactions genuine, positive, and continuous. Opening a way to build self-worth in a productive manner may profoundly impact someone’s life forever.


“Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
Martin Luther King, Jr