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 in participation. He supervises the management of the alumni online community and alumni communication, and also contributes to the Vanguard magazine.

While serving the Vanguard community, Joel has had the privilege of interacting with a various components of its community. He served as Resident Director of Balboa and Newport Halls (in fact, this was the first home he shared as a newlywed with his wife, Kristin). He attained his MBA from Vanguard, and worked with Vanguard’s School for Professional Studies, coordinating the business students.

These past years of service have allowed Joel to experience many facets of the vibrant community that is Vanguard University.  He is passionate about making the alumni office a transformative department for alumni and current students alike.

Email Joel at

Heather (Rachels ’02) Clements

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Heather’s experience in the Alumni Relations office makes her feel even more proud of her education. She graduated in 2002 with a degree in Communication.

After graduation, she spent a year working in Vienna, Austria. After coming home she married Caleb Clements ’02. They are happily married and have a home in Costa Mesa with daughter Emily Ruth and son Charles “Charlie” Timothy.

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.

Email Heather at