Joel Gackle

Director of Alumni Relations

Joel is responsible for cultivating relationships with alumni and increasing their involvement with the university, both in giving and participation. He supervises the management of the alumni online community and alumni communication, and contributes to the Vanguard magazine.

In his own words – “I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Joel Gackle, and it is with humility and great joy that I have the privilege to continue with my position as the Director of Alumni Relations for Vanguard University. I look forward to serving the community, and watching how God continues to use Vanguard to build His kingdom. As I look at Southern California Bible School’s 1925 graduating class with eleven students, I can’t help but marvel at Vanguard’s incoming classes that continue to grow each year.

While serving our university, I have had the privilege of interacting with each component of our community. I had the honor of serving as Resident Director of Balboa and Newport Halls. In fact, this was the first home I shared as a newlywed with my beautiful bride Kristin. In addition, I have worked with our School for Professional Studies coordinating our business students. I also attained my MBA Master’s degree from Vanguard. These past years of service at Vanguard has allowed me to experience the vibrant community we all love. I look forward to expanding on the solid work that has already been done in the alumni office. It is with your help we can make the alumni office a transformative department for alumni and current students alike.

Joel and Kristin welcomed their first son, Levi, into the world in June 2013.

If you are on campus, please stop by my office in Smith Hall and introduce yourself.
I look forward to meeting you!

Email Joel at

Heather (Rachels ’02) Clements

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

There is much to say about how much Heather enjoys working at Vanguard University. Her experience in the Alumni Relations office makes her feel even more proud of her education. Heather graduated in 2002 with a degree in Communication.

After graduation, she spent a year working in Vienna, Austria. She says, “It was amazing!” After coming home she married Caleb Clements ’02. They are happily married and have a home in Costa Mesa. Caleb, a worship pastor at Mariners Church, and Heather are proud parents to daughter Emily Ruth, 5, and son Charles “Charlie” Timothy, 2.

With Heather’s favorite word being “Accomplish,” it is sometimes hard for her to sit and relax. Lately, that stillness discipline is something she is tackling. Some things that help are: great meals with friends, Starbucks, Nashville, any sort of chocolate, fun conversation, hot french fries, Diet Coke, and her husband when he has had one too many Swedish fish candies.

“It is truly a privilege to serve you!
I look forward to helping you reconnect with your friends from Vanguard.”

Email Heather at