This past week we had the opportunity to catch up with the Associate Professor of Finance and Economics, Dr. Julius Agbor, who has been teaching at Vanguard for the past three years.
Visitors will find Julius' office very organized with a few books tightly stacked on the shelves. His desk looks ready for work especially for Julius, who is now an ordained pastor and spent his education studying economics.
The eldest of five, Julius was born and raised in Cameroon, Africa, that neighbors Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic. He attended elementary through high school there under the care of his father, who was a Presbyterian missionary, and his mother, who stayed at home where she cared for her children. He gazes out his office window reflecting on his time in Cameroon, "I grew up in poverty and those conditions were tough. My dad gave me an oversized pair of sandals that I think he got for free and those were supposed to last me the whole school year." Julius decided at a young age to put academics first before extracurriculars because he believed education was the key to a life outside of poverty.
Growing up, Julius watched television and saw the socioeconomic discrepancies between his neighbors and different countries. His father always encouraged him to study the sciences so Julius could become a medical doctor in hopes that his son could make a better living. Julius remembers wanting to become an engineer. He smiles saying, "It was not until I saw an engineer or mechanic fixing an engine of a car in the hot sun. While the guy who handled the finances sat in an air-conditioned office and wore a suit." Julius remembers being amazed about what he saw and from there pursued an education in economics. He graduated Cum Laude and got a Master of Commerce degree from the University of the Western Cape and receive a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Cape Town.
Before coming to Vanguard, Julius worked as assistant professor at his alumna matter, the University of the Western Cape, and also worked as an Africa Research Fellow at The Brookings Institution, which is an American research group that focuses on economics and social sciences. In 2013, Julius' ambitions grew and he left his job at Brookings Institution to pursue another position. God had other plans for his life and Julius would be unemployed for 12 months before finding a new position. Julius reflects, "At the time, I had a family of five to feed and bills to pay. But every day God provided. God let me know that He was the source and the provider, not my job." Julius remembers when he received a check from child services, which he believes the timing was from God, that helped feed his family during those hard months.
After that year, Julius' relationship with the Lord grew where he felt completely dependent on God and later went to the U.S to work as a consultant at the World Bank in Washington D.C. Julius recalls this time as an opportunity that he had always dreamed of. He had a house in Maryland and a position that provided enough for his family. After a year of working as a consultant, he saw online that Vanguard was hiring for an Assistant Professor of Finance position. He remembers feeling very comfortable at his current employment and asking the Lord if the move to California was the right decision. After spending some time in prayer, Julius decided to apply for the position and eventually re-located to Southern California. Recently, he has taken up tennis, swimming and likes to go bowling with his household of teenagers, two boys and one girl.
Vanguard is so thankful for Julius and his commitment to the Business Department.
- university news