We had the opportunity to catch up with Dr. Sandie Morgan, who is the director of the Global Center for Women and Justice on campus. The center's mission is to create a just world where women and children are safe, respected and valued.
Sandie was born on 57th and F street in Sacramento, Northern California, as the eldest of three. She has a 14-month younger brother named Bill and her younger sister by four years named Sherrie. They grew up in Sacramento until Sandie was 18 with her Dad, also named Bill Sr. who worked in civil service associated with the Air Force and her Mom, Louise, who was a hairstylist. Growing up closely with military families, Sandie described her time growing up, " I mean talk about diversity, I grew up with friends from all different parts of the world," she continues, "And, because of my upbringing I speak Spanish, German and Japanese." Sandie has lived in different countries like Spain, Japan, Germany, Greece and Iraq.
Sandie attended Fruitvale Elementary School where she enjoyed reading, playing basketball and also learned how to play the piano. After graduating from elementary school, Sandie went to Campus Verdes Junior High School and later Highlands High school, where she was actively involved in the speech and debate team. One day, Sandie decided to open the Bible to get some direction in life. She opened to a random page in the Bible and the verse Proverbs 10:19 popped up that says, " When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise." Sandie reflects back on this verse saying, " Proverbs 10:19 was my life verse and I felt like God told me to shut up," she continues, " I had no idea he would give me a new verse and a voice in 2005 Proverbs 31:8."
When Sandie turned 18, she and her family moved to Tokyo, Japan, due to her Dad's profession, where she attended a University of Maryland extension campus and a private college, called Sophia University. However, she did not complete her degree until later in life. After spending a couple of years in Japan, Sandie came back to the United States and shortly after got married to her church sweetheart, Gene Morgan. During their early marriage, Gene was a Petty Officer in the Navy and they lived in Toms River, New Jersey for six months before he was transferred to the Naval Base in Rota, Spain, where their two daughters were born named Angeline and Jeanette. Today, Angeline is a nurse and Jeanette is a clinical psychologist.
In 1975 - 1979, their family moved back to the States where Gene attended then Southern California College or Vanguard and completed two degrees, who would later go into ministry. Sandie completed her Associate Degree in Nursing at Modesto Junior College and later moved back up north to San Jose to help take care of her sister who unfortunately had a miscarriage. During this time, Sandie also worked at Emmanuel Medical Center in Turlock, California while her husband was getting ready to prepare their family to go on missions in Germany. There, Sandie started online courses with Global University, where she received her bachelor of arts in education. After four years in Germany, the Morgan family moved to Greece for missions where they stayed for 10 years. This move ignited Sandie's effort in aiding against domestic violence and human trafficking.
In Greece, Sandie was walking on one of the popular tourist streets when she saw a young girl being sold. After witnessing this, Sandie took some time to figure out what to do in light of what she saw. Eventually, she started the Lydia Today Foundation which helps fight against domestic abuse and sex trafficking. Upon returning from Greece, in 2006, Sandie, attended Vanguard University to complete her Masters in Leadership and Spirituality (2008) and in 2009 she received her Ph.D. and the discipline in Intercultural Studies in La Mirada. In October 2007, Sandie was working as a coordinator at Vanguard University. Unfortunately, Sandie was given a pink slip because the school was in a difficult financial situation at the time. She was later asked to work as the Administrator for the Orange County Federal Human Trafficking Task Force where she was able to keep her office on campus at Vanguard University. After three years, Sandie was offered a grant from the British Council to do research for women in higher education in post-conflict Duhok, Iraq and was given the opportunity to raise money through a research grant. Sandie speaks into detail about that time, "I told the administration back then at Vanguard that if I write the grant then I need to be on the VU faculty as it required a University platform." Even though she completed her research, the relationships continue to offer opportunities to host academic government officials at Vanguard.
Since then, Sandie has helped lead and pave the way for the Global Center for Women and Justice and has recently been appointed by the White House for a two-year term as a member of the Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to help aid in ending all forms of human trafficking. Since 2011 she has been co-hosts of the "End Human Trafficking" podcast that listeners in 105 countries and also acted as a catalyst for the Anti-Human Trafficking Certificate program that was launched in 2016 which is a 12 unit online program designed for frontline serving professional develop the knowledge base necessary to combat human trafficking.
Today, Sandie feels like she has come full circle in her life where she believes God has taught her the importance of discernment when speaking up and having a voice. In this new season, her favorite verse is Proverbs 31:8 that says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed."
Vanguard is so proud of and thankful for Sandie and the leadership she brings to help combat Human Trafficking.
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