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


Alyssa Aragonheadshot

Alumni Relations Coordinator

Alyssa is a proud Vanguard alum with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a minor in Religion, and a minor coffee addition. She plans to pursue higher education in the near future with a mentality of “the sky’s the limit!”

Not only a scholar, Alyssa enjoys slow-pitch with friends, DIY projects, volunteering at her local church, and eating as many baby bell cheeses as she can get her hands on.

She was born and raised in Sacramento, California where her large family, hefty golden retriever and calico remain. She misses them all of the time and, every once and awhile, manages to lure them to the beaches of Southern California.

Alyssa is inspired, challenged and is captivated by the heart of Jesus.

Email Alyssa at


Adriana GillintaAG

Alumni Relations Student Worker

Adriana is a sophomore and plans on graduating in May of 2018 with a degree in Religion and an emphasis in Intercultural Studies. She is from the desert land of Las Vegas, Nevada; therefore, she is thrilled to be at Vanguard where she can go to the beach as often as possible.

She thoroughly enjoys being the student worker in the Alumni office, especially because the VU Alumni from her church had a huge impact in her decision to attend Vanguard. Adriana has a heart for Jesus, her family, church missions, kid’s ministry and ice cream. She is exceptionally close to her beautiful mother and wonderful sister back home.

After she graduates she wants to dive straight into ministry and eventually travel the world sharing Christ’s love. So far she has traveled to several states in the U.S., Colombia, Nicaragua and Ireland. She cannot wait to see where God leads her next.

Email Adriana at