Admissions Counselors

Katy Neric

Associate Director Admissions Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment
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Katy is originally from Yucaipa, CA.  She graduated from Vanguard University in 2002 with a B.A. in Communication.  As a student at Vanguard, she was very involved in the Music Department, Frontline, and Student Government.  She is grateful for the doors this involvement opened, and the once in a lifetime opportunities she was able to experience.  After graduating, she spent a year abroad, teaching at an international school in Haiti.  Upon returning to the states, Katy found herself back at Vanguard University to work in the Financial Aid Office and completed her MBA at VU in May 2010.  She hopes every student that comes to Vanguard will find his or her own passions, and allow the countless opportunities available to them change their lives.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, including her cat and 2 pups, and baking.

Jenni Hamelink

Admissions Counselor
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Jenni is originally from Waupaca, WI. She moved out to beautiful Southern California in 2008 to attend Vanguard University and escape the bitter Wisconsin winters. During her time at Vanguard she was a student worker in various offices around campus, served incoming students as a leader of Frontline, actively involved in both local and global missions, lead a chapel series, and mentored freshman girls as a resident assistant (RA). She graduated from Vanguard in 2012 with a degree in Communications Studies with a Public Relations emphasis, as well as a Religion minor. Her life was deeply impacted by her time at Vanguard, and now her passions lie in seeing other’s lives transformed just as hers was.  In her spare time you can find her watching movies, eating delicious foods, crafting, day-dreaming about puppies and pandas, and serving throughout the week at Newport Church.

Jenni works with all California students from Santa Barbara county, Ventura county, the central valley, as well as all students from MN, IA, WI, MI, IL, IN, OH, and MO.


Krista Garcia

Admissions Counselor
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Krista is originally from Yakima, WA. She graduated from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA in May 2012 with a B.A. in Pastoral Ministries and Biblical Studies. Krista is a licensed minister in the Assemblies of God. While a student, she served in Residence Life as a Resident Assistant and Apartment Representative, as well as a mentor to high school girls in her church. Her experience in student leadership developed a strong passion for student pursuits and success in higher education. Krista is excited to be a part of launching students into an extraordinary college experience at Vanguard! A northwest native, she is a connoisseur of coffee and enjoys running, being outdoors, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

Krista works with all California students from Orange, Imperial, San Diego counties, and extreme Northern counties, as well as all students from OR, WA, and ID.

StacieStacie Leach

Admissions Counselor
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Stacie is originally from Anaheim, California and graduated with a B.S. in Biology with a Pre-Med Emphasis from Northern Arizona University in 2007.  As a student at NAU, she was a Resident Assistant, Orientation Counselor, Assistant Conference Manager, led a small-group Bible study with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and worked in the Registrar’s Office.  She returned to Southern California to work as an EMT on an ambulance in Los Angeles and Orange County as well as in an Emergency Room for three years. Soon after, God revealed that Stacie’s passions lie in Higher Education and she returned to Northern Arizona University to receive a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership – Higher Education in 2012. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, hiking or running with her golden retriever (Sierra), surfing, reading, cheering for the LA Kings, and learning to play ice hockey.

Stacie works with all California students from LA, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties, as well as all students from AK, HI, ND, SD, NE, KS, and OK.


Kevin Alexander

Admissions Counselor
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Kevin is originally from South Florida. He was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, obtained his B.A. in Communication with a minor in Youth Ministry from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida, and has been in SoCal since early 2011. He loves the beautiful climate (and fewer mosquito bites) that SoCal experiences year round. Two of his passions are music and youth ministry. Over the years, Kevin has been the bass player and/or vocalist for numerous bands and even spent some time working as a professional touring musician and record label A&R representative. He’s also an ordained youth pastor and served  for 2 years as a full time youth pastor at a local Orange County church prior to joining the VU family. He’s currently involved in the Ignite High School Ministry at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, where he mentors students and other volunteer leaders. Kevin is passionate about helping students explore and discover what God’s plan is for their lives and experience God fully! In his free time, you can usually find him riding his Harley, going to rock shows, or watching movies. He’s also a die-hard Florida Panthers hockey fan (who also likes the Ducks), the Florida alligator is his favorite animal, and he loves snowboarding.

Kevin works with all California students from LA, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties, as well as all students from AR, LA, MS, AL, TN, KY, VA, NC, SC, GA, and FL.


Matt Nixon

Admissions Counselor
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Matt is originally from Palmdale, CA. He graduated from California State University Bakersfield in 2012 with a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. While in school, Matt was able to join the high school staff at his church as a worship leader and mentor. Experience in youth ministry has given Matt a passion for high school students and he looks forward to introducing them to the great things VU has to offer! Matt’s greatest desire is to see students thrive in their walk with the Lord. In his spare time, Matt loves going on dates with his wife, playing the drums and guitar, watching sports and eating at Del Taco.

Matt works with all California students from San Bernardino, Riverside, and Kern counties, as well as all students from MT, WY, UT, CO, WV, PA, NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, and DC.


Mike Teague

Admissions Counselor
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Mike is originally from Huntington Beach, CA. He graduated from Biola University in 2010 with a B.A in Communication Studies with a Biblical Studies minor. While at Biola, he was a member of the soccer team and helped coach local teams throughout the year. Upon graduation he worked in the hospitality industry at a local resort, but soon realized that he was passionate about helping students achieve success, cultivate their own passions, and create a deeper relationship with Christ. Mike is excited to see students succeed and thrive in the wonderful community here at Vanguard! In his free time Mike enjoys playing soccer, being outdoors, watching sports, and going to the beach.

Mike works with all California students from Orange, San Diego, Imperial, and bay area counties, as well as all students from AZ, NM, and TX.

Ashley Photo

Ashley Armendariz

Visit and Events Coordinator
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Ashley is originally from the small town of El Centro, CA. She ventured out from the Imperial Valley to attend Vanguard University in 2009 and graduated in 2012 with her B.A. in Psychology. While at Vanguard she was a Frontline leader turned Student Director and served as a Resident Assistant for Vanguard Center. She was involved in Psy Chi, Psychology’s International Honor Society, was invited as a 2012 inductee into Delta Kappa, Vanguard’s Honor Society, and fell in love with the city of Florence while studying abroad in Italy. For two years she enjoyed working in the Admissions Office and upon graduation, was hired full time to continue her work of warmly welcoming students to the University. Her involvement in the college ministry at Mariners Church continues to grow her love for college students and develops her desire for others to experience the matchless qualities of a Christian higher education. Ashley stays active at the dance studio, enjoys conversations over coffee, and is not afraid to admit her love for country music.

Ashley works with every guest who visits campus! Schedule your visit day now!

VU-Staff-12-345Kristi Pruett

Assistant Director Operations

Kristi is originally from Newark, CA. She heard the siren’s call and transplanted to beautiful Southern California to attend VU in 2004. She graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Performance/Directing. While at VU, Kristi was a resident assistant for Catalina Hall and a student worker in various departments on campus in addition to being involved in theatre productions on campus. When Kristi is not working she enjoys acting in local theatres, sewing, reading, hanging out with her husband, playing with their furry family members, and drawing dinosaurs.

Kristi works with all international and re-admit students.