Meet Our Graduates and Students
Serving for 19 years as a West Virginia State Trooper, First Sergeant Michael Baylous credits his philosophy of law enforcement to an episode of old sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. In the episode, Deputy Barney Fife is giving testimony to an judge in a hearing concerning Sheriff Taylor's competency. Barney states that Andy's philosophy is, "When you're a lawman and you're dealing with people, sometimes you do a whole lot better if go not so much by the book but by the heart." Baylous perceives the fictional character Sheriff Andy Taylor understood what it meant to be a true servant leader. Baylous says, "I try to perform the duties of my profession with the heart of a servant leader. In my opinion, the job description of a law enforcement officer can simply be defined as 'to serve and protect.' Each time I address a cadet class at the West Virginia State Police Academy, I pass on my philosophy of law enforcement."
Currently a spokesperson for the West Virginia State Police, Baylous has many opportunities to utilize the skill sets he gained while a student at Regent's Robertson School of Government. Regularly interviewed by television, radio, and print media, Baylous says "My course of study at Regent significantly improved my communication skills. In my interviews, I always answer questions from my Christian, conservative worldview. I have found that most people appreciate such candidness."
A former United States Marine Officer candidate, Baylous sustained an injury that closed that door. He considered law school, but that did not work out either. He says the failure of those plans were part of a bigger plan that led him on the path to Regent. He says in hindsight, "God had a better plan."
While at RSG, Sgt. Baylous developed research acumen he was able later to apply at his state police's Planning and Research Section. One study that he completed focused on assaults on officers. The research discovered that aggravated and simple assaults on law enforcement officers in West Virginia have been steadily increasing in recent years. Baylous's findings increased media coverage and encouraged legislators to support increased funding for the department.
Baylous also speaks very highly of his relationship with RSG faculty member, Dr. Gary Roberts. Working closely with Roberts on a research project, a strong relationship ensued. Baylous,a husband and father of four says, "My wife told me that she saw more spiritual growth in my life during that class than any other time in my life. Professor Roberts and I have continued that friendship beyond the classroom."
He says, "It was clear to me that the faculty was going to give me every opportunity to succeed and graduate. It was also clear that they were willing to assist me in discovering and achieving God's will for my life. In doing so, we allow our light to shine in an otherwise dark world."
Hannah Bell was 8 years old when she first stood in Robertson Hall on Regent University's campus during a visit with her parents. That's when God told her she would be back one day. Little did she know it would be to attend the Robertson School of Government, and it would put her on a path to inspire generations of other young leaders.
Hannah earned a master's in government with a concentration in American government and public administration. As an online student, she relied on email and phone calls to build relationships with her professors—and was impressed by how available they were.
"They care about you more than just intellectually," she says. "They care about you as a person and how you are doing."
Hannah also enjoyed that her professors connected topics in the classroom to one's calling as a Christian. "They would give real-life lessons and then connect that with God's purpose for your life in a culturally relevant manner," she explains.
Even before she graduated in May 2012, she was ready to apply all she was learning. She felt God calling her to build up the next generation of leaders. With her dad's encouragement, she developed a nonprofit organization and planned a conference for young adults age 18-29. The enVision Conference, launched in 2011, helps young adults find their God-given purpose and empowers them to accomplish it.
"I think this generation really wants to have an impact in people's lives and do something that is going to help people on an individual basis," she says.
The annual conference brings together students, young professionals and dynamic speakers for workshops and networking. Her goal is to equip attendees to become servant leaders and leave a lasting legacy in their communities.
As she began to develop the organization, Hannah turned to her Regent professors for guidance. "So many of my professors and the staff functioned as mentors," she recalls. "Then once I was done with the program, they looked at me as a colleague. It is a really unique and very special way they approach education." She hopes to expand her ministry and host conferences across the nation and around the world. Just as her education at Regent emphasized identifying God's purpose for her life, she seeks to pass that vision to others.
"We have to realize God has created us as individuals to take the skills He has given us to impact other people's lives," she shares. "I want to raise up the next generation of leaders who, wherever they are called, will raise a standard of excellence." Learn more about The enVision Conference at www.theenvisionconference.com.
"911 - What is your emergency?" For five years, this was the call Keelyn Geoghean answered hundreds of times as a professional Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). As a first responder, she dealt with accidents and other life-threatening situations. While providing immediate care to patients as an EMT can be stressful, she says, "I truly enjoyed working as an EMT; I was challenged in many ways."
Looking back, she says being an EMT taught her that small acts of kindness, a simple smile, and being courteous makes all the difference in the world when serving people. Today, Geoghean is answering a different call - the call to RSG. "Last year I felt called to go back to school, more specifically, to Regent's School of Government."
Upon her arrival at Regent after five years of working, Geoghean found getting back into the mindset of graduate school a challenge. But, the professors helped: "All of my professors have such a passion for what they are teaching and it is contagious," she says. "RSG professors have first-hand knowledge about the subjects they teach. They emphasize that we can make moral arguments in the public sphere."
During her first semester, Geoghean applied and was accepted to represent Regent University as a Student Alumni Ambassador (SAA). SAA is a volunteer organization that works to foster strategic, yet effective communication within an established support network between the students, alumni and the public.
This has allowed her to demonstrate Regent University hospitality to many guests while attending world-class events. For instance, she served at Regent's Clash of the Titans event in October, featuring former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.
She came to Regent armed with a Bachelors of Art in History from Messiah College. Geoghean is inspired by the public service example of her favorite political figure, George Washington. She notes, "He was a strong man of God who led his life by example showing that a great leader is a servant first."
In 2008, a continent away from Virginia Beach, Javkhlantugs Ganbaatar ('10) was inspired by Regent University and the motto: "Christian Leadership to Change the World." Today, Ganbaatar is back in his native Mongolia aspiring to live out this motto as an advisor of external affairs for the largest mining company in Mongolia. Ganbaatar routinely advises Parliament members and government agencies regarding national energy policies and Mongolia's political climate.
Prior to his current position, Ganbaatar worked as a political analyst with the same company. "Thanks to the intensive requirement of working on research papers and exercises of critical thinking and analysis at RSG, I was able to analyze the political environment here and write political reports without any major headaches," Ganbaatar says.
Crossing the ocean to become a student at the School of Government, Ganbaatar stresses the importance of Regent University's international reputation: "Regent University has an excellent reputation that enables our alumni to work nationally (in the U.S.) or internationally in public offices or prestigious organizations after they graduate." He notes his experience of mentorship with the RSG faculty who provided advice and support were invaluable.
Ganbaatar says he had great experiences as a student, such as "being taught by Distinguished Professor Charles Dunn (former Fulbright chairman) and Dr. Doug Walker (former UN economist), serving as the RSG Student Chaplain, interning at the United Nations headquarters, and being part of the annual Reagan Symposium were great rewards for me." When he graduated in 2010, Javkhlantugs received the RSG Outstanding Service Award for his service as RSG chaplain.
As a student, he led the Executive Board of the International Students' Organization at Regent. "My fellow board members were from India, Bolivia, and Brazil, and I worked to build a great team so we could successfully meet the challenge of re-instituting the International Festival. I also had an opportunity to serve as one of the Student Alumni Ambassadors, which gave me lots of opportunities and adventures," he says.
Ganbaatar says his most challenging class was Congressional Leadership. "Dr. Dunn required hard work, and had very high expectations of his students. However, I enjoyed every minute of his class."
While interning at the UN Headquarters in New York City as a delegate for an NGO, Ganbaatar says he learned a great deal regarding advocacy and lobbying. Ganbaatar was also able to secure an internship with an U.S. Congressman in Washington D.C. who advises Mongolian Parliament members.
Inspired by such political figures as Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan, Ganbaatar seeks to become a great leader for Mongolia. In 2011, he had the opportunity to meet the President of Mongolia, "Our president is fighting to strengthen democracy and the rule of law after our countries communist rule," says Ganbaatar.
Since there is a presidential election in Mongolia this year, Ganbaatar will be busy monitoring the election and engaging with multiple stakeholders. With a passion to raise up future leaders for his nation to positively influence their local communities, Ganbaatar' s main focus is to excel in his work and continue to learn about Mongolian politics, while walking out his faith as a witness to the people surrounding him.
Slated to graduate in May with a M.A. in Government, Nathan Gill plans to continue his educational journey by earning his Ph.D. — aspiring one day to become a professor of history and political thought. "God has used my time here are Regent to broaden my concept of what Christian higher education can and should be," says Gill.
Raised in rural upstate New York, Gill longs to return to his roots to make a difference. Homeschooled along with his three brothers, Gill says his early education fueled his love of great books, history and politics. Motivated to make a difference by the economic downturn of 2008 and its devastating effect on a family business, Gill worked for his local U.S. congressman. His work helping people in small business eventually led him to Regent.
"I ultimately realized politics' inability to deliver on its promises to solve the root causes in society," says Gill. Rejecting an offer to work in D.C. on Capitol Hill, Gill ended up at the Robertson School of Government hoping to prepare himself to make a more long-lasting impact on government through education.
Upon his arrival at Regent, Gill began working as a graduate assistant for Dr. Jeffry Morrison, an expert in American political thought. Gill says, "If I had to choose one highlight of my time here at Regent, it is my working experience with Professor Morrison as a research assistant. Working with him has taught me first-hand how to honor God with my mind." Gill believes the personal relationships students have with faculty members sets RSG apart from other higher education institutions.
Gill says Morrison has been instrumental in his decision to pursue a Ph.D. Gill says, "Aspiring Ph.D.'s face tremendous pressure to relegate their faith to Sunday mornings. Learning from scholars like Dr. Morrison has helped me to learn to talk about my faith intelligently and in terms other academics can understand," say Gill.
Recently, Gill had the opportunity to represent the university student body by traveling to Richmond, VA with Regent President Carlos Campo for a meeting with Virginia Governor McDonnell ('89). "Having the chance to meet the governor impressed upon me the impact for truth that a Regent graduate can have in an often difficult political environment."
She moves fast and with vision: California native and recent RSG graduate Gabrielle Jackson has landed in the nation's capital working for The Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics (IFWE). She completed her M.A. in Government in December 2012, taking most of her coursework online.
Jackson, a former California Senate Fellow worked in the California State Legislature. Accepted into the competitive Capital Fellows program, Jackson was awarded a year-long fellowship to engage in policy-making and public service in the California state government.
"I cut my teeth on politics as a Senate Fellow. My time in the Senate provided me insight into the inner-working of the political world that few experience. I worked on many issues including tax and education reform, banking and finance and legislation that helped at-risk youth earn their GED," she says. "My time in the Legislature reinforced my beliefs about the importance of being a Christian and standing up for truth."
A first generation college graduate, Jackson graduated suma cum laude from William Jessup University with a degree in Public Policy and Theology. When deciding to pursue her Master's degree, the Robertson School of Government was her choice.
Jackson began her education with Regent as an online student while working full-time for a California senator. As a full-time student in the School of Government, she learned to juggle the workload of a demanding career and graduate school.
"I did my degree entirely online which allowed me to incorporate my academics with my profession making my graduate experience at Regent incredibly relevant," she says. "I could write a paper over the weekend on taxation policy and public budgeting systems and then apply it on the job on Monday. Not many programs can beat that."
Concerned about the online learning experience, Jackson says her questions were answered by the excellent quality of the Regent online programs, which are ranked among the best nationally by U.S. News and World Report magazine. "Being a distance student, I had concerns about lacking the community and the interaction of a traditional classroom," she says.
But the personal telephone call from RSG Professor Philip Bom a day after the end of a legislation session demonstrated RSG's faculty commitment to non-traditional students. That she was she was looking for.
Jackson is thinking ahead — her aspirations include starting a think-tank that equips Millennials to develop real world solutions to challenges facing America. She observes, "I believe in the power of generational collaboration and utilizing the skills and expertise of young and old alike to discover creative and pragmatic approaches to political and societal challenges. I also have a strong passion to inspire others and help them discover their destiny."
"The PhD Project, an award-winning program designed to create diversity in corporate management, recently invited Regent University Robertson School of Government student Theresa Judge, to participate in their annual conference. Held Nov. 14-16, the conference exposed Judge and the other candidates to more than 100 doctoral-level programs across the country.
The PhD Project was created in 1994 to address the severe under-representation of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in management by diversifying business school faculty. According to The PhD Project, a diverse faculty encourages more minorities to pursue business degrees, thereby increasing the pool of minority applicants for positions in today's multicultural corporate environment.
Judge joined other qualified candidates at the two and a half-day conference where they heard from deans, professors and current minority doctoral students about the benefits of pursuing a business Ph.D.
"I learned that the pursuit of a doctoral degree is a challenging, yet rewarding experience," Judge said. "I was able to gain insight on the lifecycle of a doctoral candidate when I attended a panel consisting of first, second and third year doctoral students. I also had the opportunity to interact with scholars and professors during small workshops focused on my desired area of study, organizational behavior. Throughout the conference, we were given advice from admissions counselors, participated in a GMAT seminar, and attended a college fair where we met representatives from AACSB accredited business schools from across the country."
Judge is a student in RSG pursuing a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Leadership, and a Graduate Certificate in Law and Public Policy. She currently serves as president of the Council of Graduate Students (COGS).
Judge is also taking courses in the School of Business & Leadership. "The knowledge obtained from taking courses in both schools will help me in reaching my future career goals which include pursing a [business-related] Ph.D.," Judge said. "I think that after attending this conference I am more committed to pursuing a Ph.D., and I now understand the importance of having a diverse representation of scholars in this field."
When The PhD Project was created, there were only 294 doctorally qualified African-American, Hispanic American or Native American minority business professors in all U.S. business schools. Today there are 1,158 minority business professors, an increase of more than 250 percent. Further, 374 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs and will take their place at the front of the classroom over the next few years.
Having achieved a number of professional goals in the financial industry, Larry Mayes '98 was looking for a change. He began to reexamine his life and future following his mother-in-law's death from cancer.
"I remember thinking, 'At the end of the day, if I were to die what would my tombstone say? Here lies a mortgage broker?' It seemed cold," Mayes recalls.
That's when he decided to begin a new career. A friend suggested he attend Regent University's Robertson School of Government. He was immediately drawn by the school's integration of faith with rigorous academics.
"I was fascinated by the idea that you could reconcile faith and reason," Mayes explains. "In my experience there was always a clash. I was confronted either by no reason or by a faith that accelerated to absolutely nothing. The intellectual pursuit for truth I found at Regent was very appealing to me."
He describes his educational experience at Regent as "drinking through a fire hose." Mayes was introduced to theories and viewpoints he had never heard before. He also enjoyed lively debates among peers and faculty.
"I am so glad Regent is not afraid to engage with other viewpoints," he says. "It is a place where people are willing to debate their position honestly and without fear. Those were the debates happening in the mainstream market place."
Mayes' interest in government centered primarily on working to improve systems and public policy. He knew he wanted a job that would make a difference in people's lives. He assumed this would be through nongovernmental organizations, but since graduating, he has had opportunities to bring about change through a variety of roles. He served as a director of Log School, an alternative school in Dorchester, Mass., where he helped start an all-girls radio station in a neighborhood where violence was prevalent. His students began the station to provide young women with an alternative to music from a hip-hop culture that they felt degraded women.
Next, he served for six years as the cabinet chief of human services for the city of Boston. In this role, he was engaged in fostering community development and creating anti-violence initiatives. In the process, he had the opportunity to partner with a variety of nonprofit organizations.
Two years ago one of those organizations, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston, invited him to join their staff as Vice President of Programs. Mayes says it is "a great honor and a privilege" to work for one of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts. "Catholic Charities is very much local," he says, "but it has an international reach." Some of the many services they offer include childcare, interpretive services for limited-English speakers, educational and career preparation, counseling, and programs for young parents.
To him, each program he oversees is an important opportunity to live out his calling and make a difference. "I remember thinking when I was at Regent that I wanted to fight for those who can't fight for themselves," he recalls. Now he is doing that every day.
"My last year in the Navy, I started a small ministry encouraging sailors," says new RSG student, Chief Petty Officer Chad McQueen (ret.) My mentor and I designed a "witness" military challenge coin with a scripture verse on it, and on my last deployment, the chaplain and I gave out about 60 of them to the sailors we mentored and counseled. Shortly after we had a revival service, six of them accepted Jesus and we baptized them in a swimming pool in Bahrain. I realized I could make a difference for Christ while serving my country."
On a separate deployment, we distributed food and shared Christ with sailors. McQueen recounts, "When on a port visit to the Seychelles, several sailors and I went to a powerful church service there. We spent time with the pastor and members of the church. When we left, we had lunch in a park area. One of the sailors saw a homeless guy digging in the trash. The sailor took his plate of food and gave it to the homeless man. We spoke with him, encouraged him and shared Jesus as best we could through the language barrier. The experience touched each of our lives and at every port we visited, we tried to share the love of Christ with someone."
Chad McQueen is originally from Pocahontas, Tenn., a small town in the southwestern part of the state. In July, he was able to retire after 15 years of service and became a joint degree student in the schools of government and divinity. His B.A. was in Occupational Education (Wayland Baptist University) and he completed graduate coursework in Diplomacy and Military Studies at Hawaii Pacific University.
McQueen emphasizes that God can open doors to witness to political leaders around the world. He notes, "I have recently been inspired by former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark. Seeing their faith and love for Jesus continues to encourage me every day as a leader." He goes on to applaud the faculty and staff of RSG for their willingness to serve and promote a Christ-centered environment: "I love how RSG helps students find their calling so they can be a Christian Leader exactly where God wants them to be."
The historical figure that has influenced Chad the most is George Washington. "It is safe to say we may never experience any leader as devoted to our country as this founding father. In more than seven years of war he only spent one day at home. His level of commitment set the example for every American generation and for every nation seeking freedom. While at RSG, I hope to learn more from studying our greatest historical and political leaders. I want to understand the best policies that protect freedom while also unifying our nation and promoting Christ," says McQueen.
Miguel Moreno, from Bolivia, already had extensive experience as a leader when he decided to attend Regent University. At a young age, Miguel became active in the government of his country and worked in large corporations. He also served as a Navy officer.
When Miguel decided to study in the United States, he asked his brother, a Tufts/Harvard graduate, what school he would recommend—fully expecting the answer to be Harvard or a similar Ivy League university. Instead, his brother suggested he attend Regent. Miguel's brother became a Christian while studying at Tufts/Harvard. Watching the transformation in his brother's life is what led Miguel to accept Christ.
"He said I should go to the best Christian university," Miguel recalls. He took his brother's advice and says his studies at Regent were "an amazing experience." Miguel earned an MBA ('94) through Regent's School of Business & Leadership, as well as a master's degree in public policy ('95) through the Robertson School of Government.
A highlight of his time at Regent, he says, is the relationships he formed with the faculty. "They were devoted, called and concerned about us learning at the highest level and with high standards," Miguel explains. "They walked the extra mile, teaching hours outside their regular jobs, providing for us the best tools, methods, information and insights not only for our profession, but also for our lives. After many years, I still keep in touch, visit and collaborate on projects with them."
After graduation, Miguel returned to Bolivia where he took on new leadership positions. "Regent gave me the tools, knowledge, principles, values and skills necessary to be a great employee in competitive markets," he says. "I was prepared at Regent to become the salt and light of the world."
While in Bolivia, he served as a representative of The Leadership Institute (LI), an organization in Arlington, Va., that works to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders working in the arena of public policy. In this role, he coordinated training sessions for leaders both in Latin America and the United States.
When his daughter chose to attend college in the United States, Miguel decided to move also. That's when LI hired him to be their director of International and Government Programs. Now he travels the world training government leaders, business owners, leaders of nonprofit organizations and presidential candidates. His training sessions focus on a variety of topics that include implementing technologies and good business practices, fundraising, gaining media coverage, using technology in political campaigns and developing excellent communication skills. For all of it, he draws on principles he learned at Regent.
Writing to RSG from Iraq, Jennifer Salcido ('12) observes, "RSG provided valuable internship experiences - from working for a Congressman to work in Iraq with the Kurdish government - that provided me with important knowledge and skills. Each experience provided excellent advice from my supervisors."
From her Regent internship with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research she went on to a full-time job. "When I first started my graduate studies at Regent, I had no idea that I would be working in Iraq! I came to Iraq to teach first and second year university students. These last five months in Iraq have been both a challenge and rewarding experience. Working in a foreign country especially in the Middle East is not an easy task. However, it is fascinating to partake in the educational development of a region, especially one that has been torn by ethnic and foreign wars," she says.
When asked about living in an area governed by the Kurdish Regional Government, Salcido notes, "Living in a Muslim country is a struggle as a single woman, especially when dealing with a very different culture, tradition, and language." However, in many ways her Kurdish students have it much harder: "The students' views of democracy and freedom are distorted by years of tribal and ethnic wars. However, seeds of hope for their nation are evident when they speak. The students have shared stories of family survival during the cruel years of Saddam Hussein. For many restoring Iraq into a nation of religious freedom and ethnic diversity is primary goal. Salcido says, "I can honestly say that teaching here in Iraq has enabled me to see a different side of human nature including the results of persecution. My work, although challenging, is not in vain."
A native of Lompoc, California and graduate of Vanguard University's Department of History and Political Science, Salcido originally planned to go to law school. She says, "A month before law school applications were due, the Lord impressed upon my heart that it was not in His plans for me to go to law school. The message was simply said "I have other plans for you, and if you allow me to take control of your life, you will never look back." At first I didn't understand. After praying and researching schools in the international politics field, I came across Regent University. After prayer and receiving valuable feedback, I chose Regent."
She was not disappointed. "From the first moment I stepped foot at Regent university, I knew that Regent was a special place. I felt welcomed and at home. RSG was different in every way - from the way professors opened up class in prayer to the way they interacted with the students. RSG professors also took the time to invest in each student's academic career - making it clear that we had a purpose for which we were being prepared." She cites Colossians 3:17 as an important beacon: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
How does a successful fashion model with political aspirations become known as "The Manners Lady"? Just ask Judi Johnston Vankevich ('87 Government). But, when you ask, be prepared for her to do more than just tell you; she just might break into song.
After all, there's no better way to explain what she does than to sing about the Bad Manners Monsters—six characters who embody the ultimate in disrespect. The Bad Manners Monsters—Grouchy Rouchy, Messy Bessy, Whiney Rhino, Grabba Jabba, Slobbo Roo and Wiggly Jiggly—are familiar to fans of the Manners Club, an international organization whose goal is to teach children the importance of good manners and respect for others.