joe manuel

Joe Lopez

fantasia articleJoe Lopez ’02 recently poured his experiences into the arrangements of this project.  He was born in a preacher’s home in Long Beach California where church songs became the norm.  He later attended Vanguard University where his love for old hymns developed.

“The wealth of theology and word imagery in the lyrics, the stories of the writers, and the unforgettable melodies were more than enough to motivate this making of a hymn album that would place familiar tunes inside a new and creative acoustic setting.”

He graduated from Vanguard in 2002 with a BA in Music Education.  He then toured with many different musical groups all over the world, including China, Spain, Peru, Central America, Israel and the United States.  In 2015 he recently released an album titled “The Hymnal” (by Joe Manuel).  The album is filled with ten of his favorite songs that one would typically see in a hymnal.  However, it is recorded with new acoustic guitar arrangements along with voices, violin, and piano.   It contains songs such as  How Great Thou Art, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, I Surrender All, Amazing Grace, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and many more.

joe manuel

This album is available for purchase at and is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.  Join us in supporting one of our Vanguard Alums!

OC Register

Jeff Motske

Jeff Motske ’88
 graduated from Vanguard with a Business degree and reputation as a dedicated star baseball player.  He is currently the president of Trilogy Financial Services in fountain Valley.  He grew up living in the Orange County area and has continued to raise a family in the area after graduation as well as quickly gaining rapid success in his own financial business.  His success has only grown, both professionally and personally.  With coaching his children’s sports teams, playing on a softball team with his dad for 30 years, keeping up regular date nights and family times, Motske has definitely made an impression within the community of Orange county as achieving the balanced life.

His secret?  Jeff Motske says that he has a game plan for every day and challenges himself with the question – “What did I do that was productive today?”

In the OC Register article, Jeff Motske is an example of balance, motivation, and commitment
in every aspect of his life.

Read the full length article in the OC Register- News.

Coffee 1

Alumni Spotlight: NEAT Coffee with Ally Garvin

Ally 2It is very rare that you come across a Vanguard student that does not enjoy coffee, which is why we are so excited about the new coffee shop in the area that has been opened by our very own Alumni, Ally Garvin ’09.  We had the opportunity to hear Ally’s story, how she ended up at Vanguard and what pushed her to pursue her dream of opening a coffee shop in Costa Mesa. Ally grew up in Colorado with dreams of moving to the West coast and out of her land locked state.  After touring other colleges in Southern California that were not nearly as close to the beach, she quickly decided on Vanguard.  Her four years at Vanguard had a great impact on who she is today.

“My time outside of the classroom was just as influential as the time I spent sitting through great lectures and discussions.  Between friends, metnors and professors, I learned the importance of knowing myself and my strengths and understanding how I can uniquely play a part in what God is doing around me.  I learned how to be a good neighbor by walking alongside others to encourage them in using what they have to better their situation and their neighborhood.  I learned how to approach the world around me with a consistent and faith filled worldview and I will be forever grateful for my time here.”

Through Vanguard, Ally met some of her closest friends along with her husband, David Garvin ’09.  Shortly after graduating and getting married, Ally and DAvid moved to Uganda to work with Krochet Kids and 31 Bits which was fundamental to the shaping of their marriage.  During their year of traveling around Uganda, they were able to visit a coffee farm in the Mount Elgon region.  They were able to give a tour of the land and see every stage of the coffee bean from the cherry on the tree to stripping away the parchment to drying the beans to roasting them over a campfire and finally grinding and steeping those coffee beans in a French press the next morninCoffee 2g.  This full circle experience combined with Ally’s love for community and the way that coffee brings people together birthed a dream to one day own a coffee shop in what she now considers to be her home- Costa Mesa.  Since moving back to Costa Mesa, she worked at three different coffee shops learning and preparing for the day that she would be able to branch out on her own.  About two months ago, Ally’s dream was turned into a reality when she opened “Neat Coffee.”

Ally describes Neat Coffee as “Simple. Good coffee, good service, good community.”  Her goal is to let the coffee experience remain approachable and friendly, warm and inviting.  For the time being, Ally plans for Neat Coffee to remain a pop-up shop while she gains momentum.  As time goes on, she is striving to create a common space for people to gather.

“Shared spaces are vital for healthy neighborhoods and I plan to help create that type of space where everyone is welcome.  It will give local residents, students, business men and women, foodies and artists room to connect, dream and plan ways to better their community and see themselves as an integral part in a bigger story while they sip on the best coffee in town.” 

If you are in the Costa Mesa area, don’t forget to stop by Neat Coffee at Wayfare and enjoy the “good coffee, good service, and good community.”


Joyce LaPointe ’91

Seeing how God is using Vanguard Alumni is incredible, and Joyce LaPointe ’91 is no exception.  She attended Vanguard University on an athletic scholarship for basketball and softball and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology.  After graduating Vanguard, Joyce began her career in 1997 with Costa mesa police in 1997.  She was hired out of the orange Cuonty sheriff Academy and then worked in patrol, as a field training, bike patrol, traffic and tactical flight officer and as a defensive tactics instructor.  In 2006, she earned her private helicopter license.  As sergeant, she managed patrol teams, the Field Officers Training Program, jail operations, emergency management, and Force Tactics training. She is also the recipient of the Mothers against Drunk Drivers Century Award and a Life Saving Merit award.

Recently, in September, 18-year police veteran Joyce LaPointe moved into the role of lieutenant, marking the first time a female has held that title in the city of Costa Mesa.

I really don’t look at it as blazing a trail.  there have been so many females and so many great leaders who have come before me.  They [female officers before her] did all the work.  it’s more along the lines of paying it forward for them.  It’s now my turn to take the baton and keep moving forward with it.

-Joyce LaPointe

In her new role, LaPointe will be the commander for Area 1, which is the southern end of town, and will be charged with overseeing patrol officers and quality of life issues for residents and business owners.  She was officially sworn in at 9 a.m. Wednesday September 16.

Joyce has received much praise and compliments as she entered into this new position. However, this isn’t the first time that she has made history in the department.  She and Sgt. Stephanie Selinske were the department’s first female DUI enforcer officers.  In the first three months they had arrested 230 drunk drivers, which was big back then.  She was promoted to corporal in 2002 and then sergeant in 2007.

We are so proud of Joyce LaPointe and cannot wait to see how she continues to use her God-given talents.

Academy Class of 216 Graduation Ceremony.

Police Academy Graduate: Kevin Christianson ’13

Academy Class of 216 Graduation Ceremony.
After graduation, Kevin Christianson ’13, began to pursue a career in law enforcement.  For 26 weeks, Kevin and 33 other members of Class 216 endured stress training, physical training, as well as learning how to use firearms, arrest control techniques, and communication skills.

On August 27, 2015 Kevin ’13 graduated from what is considered one of the “toughest and most professional police academies in the nation.”  Not only did he graduate, but he graduated 1st in his class.

We are so proud of our Alumni and can’t wait to see where God takes Kevin ’13 as he continues his journey at the Costa Mesa Police Department.


The Created Co.

ryanWhen leaving Vanguard it is our hope that one graduates with the necessary skills, insight, and knowledge to pursue the things that God has called them to.  After graduation, Ryan Schneider ’13, was able to pursue his dream of starting his own business called The Created Co where they design inspirational drink ware, giving 10% towards their water campaign through charity.

  “We believe that every person has been created. 

Each of us created for a certain purpose — a purpose to fulfill and to live out on this earth. 

So then, we ask this question ‘What were you created for?’”

-The Created Co.anchor my soul

Vanguard students and graduates know all too well that some of the “most meaningful moments occur alongside a drink.  Whether that’s the early morning moments with your cup of coffee when you’re most inspired.  Or connecting with your closest friends at a local coffee shop.”  The goal of this company is to take those meaningful moments and remind ourselves what we were created for.  Based on truth, community, and empowerment, Ryan ’13 and Jeremy have started something that they are passionate about with the hope of inspiring “the dreamers of the world to overcome the ordinary, connect with a community of like-minded people,and empower others both locally and globally.”

To learn more about this company, visit their website:  or check out their Instagram page: @thecreatedco.


Special Olympics


The city of Costa Mesa proudly declared its official partnership with Vanguard University to participate in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games “Host Town” program. Vanguard will host over one hundred Special Olympics athletes from Aruba and the Bahamas on its Costa Mesa campus on July 21-24, 2015.  The athletes will reside in Vanguard University dormitories and will utilize the practice field for training.

“The Host Town program will not only create lasting memories for these athletes and coaches from around the world, but leave a lasting legacy for the communities who are opening their doors, hearts and minds to host these inspiring athletes.” -Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee

The City of Costa Mesea joins as many as 100 communities across Southern California on the list of officially proclaimed Host Towns.  the Orange County Host Towns for the pre-Games celebration include fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Mission Viejo, La Habra, Fullerton, and Orange.  

“Vanguard University has a deep history in the City of Costa Mesa and an esteemed tradition of athleticism and sportsmanship through our NAIA Division I men and women athletic programs, As such, we welcome this natural partnership with the City of Costa Mesa to co-host a delegation of athletes from the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.” -David Vazquez, director of strategic partnerships at Vanguard University

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches expected to participate this summer, the Host Town program is a very significant 3-day program.  It takes place prior to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games as a complete welcome roll out.  Delegations of athletes from around the world will be welcomed and celebrated at the city of Costa Mesa Host Town, specifically on the Vanguard University campus.  Athletes from Orange County will also complete as part of Team USA, as well as volunteer as ambassadors for The Games.

Vanguard is so excited for the opportunity to play a part in this year’s Special Olympics World Games!

For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit

- Contact for volunteer and additional info: David Vazquez, Director of Strategic Partnerships, / 714.966.5467


City Appoints Vanguard University Alumnus, Costa Mesa Captain Robert Sharpnack, as Police Chief

[Article taken from City of Costa Mesa website]

Costa Mesa, CA, May 28, 2015 – Robert Sharpnack, a 22-year veteran of the Costa Mesa Police Department has been hired as Costa Mesa’s new Police Chief.

Sharpnack started his career in Costa Mesa as a Custody Officer in 1993 and was appointed as a Police Officer for the Department in 1994. He was promoted to Corporal in 2002 and Sergeant in 2003. Subsequently, he was promoted to Lieutenant in 2010 and Captain in 2013. He has extensive field experience including patrol, field training officer, crimes against persons detective, motorcycle Sergeant, special events detail, and managing all areas of police services. In addition, he was a supervisor of the Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) for three years and a member of the S.W.A.T. team for six years.

Sharpnack has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Vanguard University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Regarding Sharpnack’s appointment, City CEO Tom Hatch said, “Rob has been a valuable member of the Police Department and the City organization for many years. His commitment to providing outstanding police services in an efficient and effective manner is exemplary. He is a man of integrity who will do an outstanding job leading this department. I am looking forward to working with him in his new role and the leadership he will provide not only to the Police Department but to the entire organization, as well as the City Council and Community.”

His official start date in this new position is June 28th. Sharpnack’s annual salary will be $196,860.

Sharpnack is married to his wife Stephanie for 8 years and they have two children Colin and Elyse.

Sharpnack will take the place of Interim Chief Ron Lowenberg who has been directing and guiding the Department since the beginning of this year.

To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications


Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 12 regional college in the west and a top veteran-friendly college for 2015, and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit




Cori Cook Floral Design in Martha Stewart Weddings

coricookOur very own, Cori Cook ’06, former Entourage girl and Vanguard choir singer, was featured in Martha Stewart’s Weddings as one of the Top Floral Designers to book for your wedding.  “To be named one of Martha Stewart Weddings Top Floral Designers in the country is beyond our wildest dreams.  It is a complete honor and highlight of an already highly anticipated 2015.  This “it” list includes designers that we greatly admire and respect and are daily inspired by, so to be named among them is just so wild.  If you are a flower nerd like us, you should probably follow every one of them on Instagram.  I promise you won’t be disappointed! “

Check it out in the latest issue (March 2015) of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine or online here.

We are so proud of our Alumni who made an impact during their time here, at Vanguard, and continue to do great things in everything they do today.