Veterans Chapel

VetsChapel.groupOn April 6, 2016, the Vanguard University Veterans Center hosted their annual Veterans Chapel event!

It was great to hear from student speaker Justin Blankenship on how he grew up, joined the Army, and enrolled in the Kinesiology program at Vanguard University. Every person has a unique story, and it’s something that you cannot take away from someone. This is why I personally love Vanguard University’s motto “Your Story Matters” because it truly does matter.

The Veterans Chapel is also a great place to network and meet other Veterans who are students, Faculty/Staff, and alumni here at Vanguard University.

Special thanks to Captain Thomas Gorla, Colonel David Fey and Scott Williams — members of the Freedom Committee of Orange County — for coming out to support our Vanguard Veterans.

I want to especially thank Brian Burlingame (VU Veterans Resource Coordinator), the Veterans club, and the Vanguard community for providing refreshments, special music, and decorations for the event. Without any of these people, these Veteran events would not happen.

Everyone is welcome to come to our Vanguard University Veterans events! Whether you’re a Veteran yourself or just want to show your support, we invite you to join us.

Semper Fidelis,
Jordyn Salter



Introducing: Jordyn Salter

Jordyn.friendHi, my name is Jordyn Salter! I am from Phoenix, Arizona and currently a Junior at Vanguard University. My major is Business Marketing, and I will graduate Spring 2017.

On March 23, 2009 I joined the Marine Corps as a 0621 Field Radio Operator. After completing boot camp, Marine Combat Training, and The Field Radio Operators course, I was sent to my first duty station in Camp Pendleton, CA serving with 1st Marines HQ/CO Communications Platoon. In 2010-2011, I was deployed to Afghanistan in Helmed Providence as the Regimental Air Officers radio operator. After my deployment, I set a goal to use my GI Bill benefits to play college baseball. I was honorably discharged in 2013.

Transitioning from the military back to being a civilian was very challenging. I knew there was much more to life that was bigger than myself. On January 29, 2013, I decided to make Jesus my Lord and Savior and was baptized. I started my first semester of school at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA. I played baseball for Golden West that summer and fall, but after some additional cuts, they decided to let me go. It was heartbreaking to be cut, but the Lord knew what I had needed… because that’s when I heard about Vanguard University.

Thomas Tatchi, a friend from my church Christ Church of Orange County, suggested that I check out his college in Costa Mesa, which was 10 minutes from where I lived. He offered to introduce me to Coach Rob Pegg and Jordan Moak of the Vanguard University Baseball team. They immediately made me feel welcome and invited me to a team practice. As I continued to sharpen my athletic skills and play baseball, I unfortunately got injured with a pulled hamstring and fractured foot. My heart and soul wanted to play, but I felt my body struggling to recover. I decided to hang up my cleats and focus on pursuing a degree in Business Marketing.

What I appreciate about being a student at Vanguard University is how welcoming and accommodating everyone is. The Veterans Center has made transitioning back into civilian life much easier. All the faculty and staff care and show love to the students.


Vanguard University to me is not a place to just go to school.
Vanguard is my home because it truly embodies COMMUNITY on-campus.


My plans after I graduate are to get my Real Estate license and pursue a Master’s in Finance. I hope to help other service members with their finances and fulfill their dreams of buying a home. My long-term goal would be to develop apartment complexes that service member families can rent at a low cost as they transition back into civilian life.

Through all of my own challenges, I want to continue to give back and help my fellow Veterans! Thanks for reading my story.

Semper Fidelis,
Jordyn Salter


Veterans Spotlight: Jonathan McCarthy

Jonathan.boat560My name is Jonathan McCarthy! I am from La Mirada CA and currently a Junior at Vanguard University. My major is Biology, and I am excited to complete complete my degree in three semesters.

I served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic. I served in the U.S. Army for two years before being injured in a training accident and was medically separated.

I heard about Vanguard University through my wife, who received her undergraduate degree here in Developmental Psychology. I was able to come on-campus and meet some of the VU  Science faculty and fell in love with the friendly atmosphere. The small community really did speak to me.

What I appreciate about being a student here is the access to my professors and upperclassmen. The willingness of my fellow classmates to work together to solve problems. The Vanguard Veterans Center is also a great place for studying and connecting with fellow Veterans and traditional undergraduate students.

Since being appointed Veterans Club president, my overall goal for the club would be to better integrate Veterans into Vanguard University campus life. We hope to achieve this by hosting events and encouraging Veterans to engage with other students. Service should not deny the Veterans population the ultimate college experience. In addition, I would like to expand traditional undergraduate involvement  in the Veterans organization.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Jonathan McCarthy
Vanguard University
Veterans Club President



Q&A with Brock Milhorn

Brock MilhornWhere are you from?

From Glenwood Springs, Colorado (I grew up a mountain boy!)


How long, where, and what branch did you serve in the military? 

I served 4 years in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Atsugii, Japan. We were attached to the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, and then I forward deployed all around the world.


What’s your Theater background?

I grew up with a passion for performing and the stage. I have been acting and singing since the age of 6. I love to sing, act, and fake my way through dancing! My next role is ‘Commissioner Kellerman’ in Vanguard University’s production of Life Without Parole, which opens at Lyceum Theater on October 23, 2015. There’s nothing better than feeling God use you through story telling to impact someone else’s life!


What is your current staff role at Vanguard University? 

I am currently working as the Copy Center Specialist in the Information Technology office.


What do you like about working at Vanguard University so far? 

The best highlight of working at Vanguard University is… the VU family. I was immediately made to feel welcome, like I was always supposed to be here. I was treated with kindness and patience, unrivaled at any job previously. I felt God’s hand in everything. How amazing is it that we get to come to work and are able to pray openly and worship freely, whenever we want!


Life Without Parole




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.

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.

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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

How Do You Embrace Change?

When you’re married to the military and relocate as much as I have (I lost count after twenty moves) you learn to deal with change. My husband can call me at a moments notice and ask, “Hey, ya wanna move to Zimbabwe?” and I’ll let loose with a whoop of excitement. I love to experience new things, and I’m a seasoned traveler.

Like me, I always expected my military friends to move, because it comes with the territory. I completely understand that they are here today, gone tomorrow. But as a rule, most civilians don’t just rip up their roots and leave for new adventures. That’s my role, after all.

You can imagine my disbelief when an acquaintance-who-could-have-been-a-great-friend announced today that she was moving. I was so looking forward to building this particular friendship, it never dawned on me that I might not get the chance. My reaction to her news took me completely by surprise: I cried. In spite of the fact that I’ve only known her for a couple of months, the reality that “moving happens” in the civilian world hit me hard. I was thankful for my ever-present sunglasses, because they hid the tears that swam in my eyes.

I don’t know if I was crying because she is moving, or because I had to face a change that I did not initiate. Maybe it was a bit of both. But I did what I always do when I need to mull something over – I dove into the internet in an effort to understand my complicated emotions.

What I found was a phenomenal article written by business Guru Tom Mendoza, who observed that “Most people are averse to change. They like to keep things the way they are; they like to stay in their comfort zone.”

I’m sure they (like me today) simply want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend change isn’t happening. Unfortunately, as I found out, change finds it way into our lives whether we want it or not. And when it does we have to face it.

How we face it is critical. Mendoza explains, “More than any other, one single attribute separates people in the workplace. That’s attitude. Attitude is critical when it comes to embracing change.”

I think this theory is demonstrated well in the following image, and today I can completely relate to the caterpillar.

The butterflies among us probably don’t need any advice on how to handle change.

But the caterpillars in the crowd need to head over to Forbes’ site and discover 6 Powerful Ways to Embrace Change.

Are you a butterfly, or a caterpillar?

ostrich image compliments; caterpillar image by Mike Waters,