Meet Our Staff

Dennis Colestock

Educational Background:

  • Masters in Education, College Student Services Administration, Oregon State University, 1987
  • Bachelors in English, California State University Sacramento, 1984

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: Cura Personalis and Magis. Caring for the person in front of me in much larger and deeper ways than would be expected.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: Spokane feels like a large city, behaving like a medium sized town, making it easier to feel like a member.  Surrounded by a forested area of Washington, it is easy to get away from city life on a bike, boat or skis and feel renewed and connected to nature.  Spokane is rich in the arts, and in a deep variety in places of worship.  I have deep and experienced appreciation for the Spokane District 81 K-12 educational system while raising my own children - a very solid and well-resourced school district!

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: I participate in mentoring programs for students and take the opportunity to journey with students who seek out mentoring - along their educational path and early years away from home. 

Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy alpine skiing in snowstorms - preferably mid-week while everyone else is at work, off road mountain biking, late night movies at local theaters and road trips.

 
Jon Wheeler

Educational Background:

  • Master of Art in English Literature, Northern Arizona University, 1993
  • Bachelor of Science in English Literature, Northern Arizona University, 1991

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: The magis.

Reasons I enjoy working at Gonzaga University: Magis - meaning "more."  Magis, for me, is an ethic toward reaching for more in one's life.  It is the search for something greater and living on one's learning edge.  It is the search for Magis that keeps us growing and keeps us eager to do good work.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: Nature surrounds us!  Spokane speaks to me.

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: There's no shortage of people who want to engage with Housing and Residence Life.  We're sought for our knowledge of students, for our connection with residents, and our abundant energy.  My opportunities come from being a student advocate.  People want that perspective at the table, which is refreshing to see. 

Hobbies and Interests: I am a scuba diver; I've gone sky diving and paragliding; I enjoy traveling and eating top-notch pizza.  I also run in marathons and half-marathons - though I can't say that I really enjoy running even though I run four days a week. .

 
Jared Payton

Educational Background:

  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership emphasis in Higher Education & Student Affairs, University of Northern Colorado, 2011
  • Bachelor of Arts in English, University of Northern Colorado, 2006
 

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: The ideal that I appreciate the most is the thought of a value oriented education that anchors itself in the head, the heart and the hands of the students.

Reasons I enjoy working at Gonzaga University: I enjoy the small size of Gonzaga University. It makes the students, faculty and staff that you live and work with feel like family. It is certainly a great community. I also really appreciate the beauty of our campus.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: I love Spokane! I rarely go a weekend without doing something new and exciting around the area or within a short distance drive. The inland northwest is spectacular.

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: I am involved in departmental and division wide committees and task forces.

Hobbies and Interests: I love to travel with my wife and dog Wylee. We enjoy camping and hiking and most recently skiing. I am a fan of Star Wars and enjoy movies. I am also a pilot and enjoy flying around the area.

 
Drew Satter

Educational Background:

  • Master of Business Administration, Gonzaga University, 2016
  • Master of Education in Counseling – Student Affairs, Northern Arizona University, 2011
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology, Pre-Medicine, Minors in Africana Studies, Biochemistry and Chemistry, Eastern Washington University, 2009
 

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: Cura Personalis because student affairs is all about caring for, and developing, the full person.

Reasons I enjoy working at Gonzaga University: We work with some outstanding faculty, staff, and students.  The people here are warm, genuine, and hard working.  The Jesuit ideals are outstanding, it really seems like the Jesuits had the student affairs thing down before the rest of us!  I also enjoy the free tickets to the sold out Gonzaga basketball games.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: I love the four seasons!  I enjoy the size of Spokane (Spokane and Spokane Valley is about 300k), there is plenty to do, yet the traffic isn’t too bad.

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: Gonzaga gives full tuition remission, so I have received my MBA at Gonzaga.  I also teach in the School of Business Administration here at GU, which is a great way to get some different student interaction.  I have also met a lot of great people that play basketball and spend time together.

Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy spending time with my spouse, boys, and cat.  I love playing and watching sports, specifically football and basketball.  You can also find me playing board games and listening to hip-hop!

 
Sam Bass

Educational Background:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English, University of Northern Iowa, 2015
  • Master of Science in Education, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, 2017
 

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: The care for "the poor, the vulnerable, and the marginalized." I am motivated in my work and life by a social justice ethic on the foundation of compassion and care.

Reasons I enjoy working at Gonzaga University: I enjoy the dedication to the students and the authentic fulfillment of Jesuit values. The staff I have worked with have an enthusiasm and passion for their work that I find completely contagious.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: For me, and a lot of others, the size and location of Gonzaga are perfect. I wanted the opportunities and lifestyle of a city with the ability to enjoy nature when I need an escape.

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: Beyond my role as a Residence Director, I serve as an advisor for the Residence Hall Association. As I become more acclimated to life at Gonzaga I hope to pursue other opportunities such as social justice education, mentorship, and spiritual engagement.

Hobbies and Interests: I love going to the movies, playing board games, reading, and comic books (especially X-Men). I also have the classic hobbies of time with friends and watching Netflix! 

 

Christina Thomas

Educational Background:

  • Master of Education Student Affairs, Regent University, 2016
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Business and Human Services, Minor in Psychology and Theatre Elmira College, 2013
 

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: I agree the most with the "fundamental right of life" ideal.  I believe that people should be able to live life in the best way possible.  People should be able to complete the duties, responsibilities, and roles for their family and friends in a decent environment that betters their growth and development. 

Reasons I like being a Residence Director: I enjoy working with my staff and seeing my residents' growth and maturity throughout the year.  It's always amazing and inspiring to see how they handle the obstacles and challenges of life and come out on the other side with new perspective on how they view life and their contribution to the world.

Reasons I enjoy working at Gonzaga University: It's the first place where I've truly felt like I've belonged and felt like a true member of one's community.  Since being at Gonzaga I'm consistently reminded why I chose this field and how I developed a passion for it.  The students are truly the best of the best and working with the professional staff has been one of the positive experiences I've had since starting my career.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: Coming from NYC, I enjoy the openness of the PNW and the opportunities to come out of my comfort zone and check out everything Spokane and nature has to offer.

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: So far in my first year, I've been really involved in Residence Life but I've been continuously branching out to work with and alongside campus partners that allow me to get fully immersed in Gonzaga and get to see our students in an active and new element.

Hobbies and Interests: Love cooking, dancing, hockey, playing with my dog, adventuring through this new journey called Spokane, WA!

 
Michael Zangl

Educational Background:

  • Master of Arts in College Student Personnel, Bowling Green State University, 2016
  • Bachelor of Arts in Art History with Honors, Minor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, University of Washington, 2014

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: The Jesuit ideal that I find myself unpacking most often in my work is magis.  I do my best to pause and consider how my work with students, faculty, and staff is being done, not simply to get done, but with a consideration for how I might make my work more meaningful, or in a manner that addresses problems and determine solutions that address the deeper issues, not solely the surface-level issues.

Reasons I like being a Residence Director:  A couple of the reason I enjoy being a Residence Director include the high degree of student interaction in my day-to-day work and having the opportunity to really think about the "why" in what we do in Housing and Residence Life to better support the university's mission.

Reasons I enjoy working at Gonzaga University: If you ask any student what their favorite part of being a Zag is, you will undoubtedly hear, "Community!"  Since beginning my work at Gonzaga in the summer of 2016, the sense of community and place that one can sense on campus is unique to being a Zag.  I enjoy the relationships I have developed with students and staff alike.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: I grew up as a military dependent all over the world and I can comfortably say the PNW is the best and most beautiful!  Spokane has all the comforts and amenities of a large city, yet shares space with the natural features of the region in a manner where you can take some respite from the city living.

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: Since beginning my work as a Residence Director this past year, I have focused on learning how to do my job to the best of my ability.  I have been offered a number of opportunities to take a more active role in particular projects and look for opportunities to connect to the campus community, such as the Out to Lunch with LGBTQ+ and Allies.

Hobbies and Interests: I really enjoy spending time with other people and am always down for an adventure so long as I get to be with others.  I enjoy an epic Catan session, reading books of all kinds, am an avid Netflix binger, and enjoy trips to the movie theater. 

 
Emily Murphy

Educational Background:

  • Master of Teaching in Secondary Education, Gonzaga University, Expected May 2019
  • Bachelors of Arts in History, University of Washington, June 2016

Jesuit ideal I most identify with: Cura Personalis because the care and development of the whole person is essential to every student's growth.

Reasons I enjoy working at Gonzaga University: There is a continuous action and reflection on how we live out our Jesuit mission, very rare to find a university that truly does this.

What I enjoy about Spokane and the Northwest: Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I love the mountains! Whether for a quick hike or a few day camping trip, there is always a new place to explore.

Ways I have been able to get involved on-campus: Being new to Gonzaga, I look forward to attending sports events and participating in campus events throughout the year!

Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy playing games of all sorts. From kubb and bocce ball outside on a nice day or catan and cribbage inside, I'm always ready to teach or learn new games!