Meet the Staff


Phone: (509) 313-4175
With Gonzaga since: June 2009
Hometown: Eagle, Idaho

Educational Background

  • Master of Arts: Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling; Gonzaga University; 2021
  • Master of Arts: Higher Education Administration; Santa Clara University; 2009
  • Bachelor of Science: Psychology; Santa Clara University; 2005
Nicola has been the Director of New Student & Family Programs since January 2021. She is responsible for the overall management and all programs and initiatives for new students and their families as they begin their journey at Gonzaga University. Before becoming the Director of New Student & Family Programs, Nicola was the Director of the Center for Cura Personalis at Gonzaga University. Her experience in student affairs spans over 15 years with 12 of those being at Gonzaga. Her other experience includes positions in residence life and case management at Stanford University, Westminster College in Utah, and Gonzaga University.

Phone:  (509) 313-4016
With Gonzaga since: June 2021
Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Educational Background

  • Master of Arts: Higher Education Administration; Geneva College, 2017
  • Bachelor of Arts: Psychology; Covenant College, 2013
Lyss is responsible for leading all event planning and logistical aspects of all programs for the New Student & Family Programs office. The programs in her purview include, but are not limited to: New Student Orientation, Parent & Family Orientation, and Fall Family Weekend. Before coming to Gonzaga, Lyss held positions in Residence Life at both Whitworth University and Geneva College.

Phone:  (509) 313-5841
With Gonzaga since: June 2018
Hometown: Norristown, Pennsylvania

Educational Background

  • Master of Science: Higher Education Counseling & Student Affairs; West Chester University of PA, 2017
  • Bachelor of Science: Marketing; DeSales University, 2014
Justin co-manages the design and implementation of all Student Orientation Programs for over 1300 students annually. He also oversees the development and training of over 200 student leaders. Before coming to Gonzaga, Justin worked in Residential Life at Lycoming College. His other experiences include positions in student activities, student conduct, and orientation programs at Bellarmine University, Coastal Carolina University, and West Chester University of PA.

 Portrait of the Gonzaga orientation Core Guides

Hannah Ackerman '23 - Operations GUide
Junior Accounting Major
Covington, Washington

Madden Henry ' 23 - Program GUide
Junior Business Administration Major
Bakersfield, California

Kate Anderson '24 - Program GUide
Sophomore Business Administration Major
Ojai, California

Tara Phung '22 - Student Leader Guide
Senior Business Administration Major
Spokane, Washington


Lexi Horton '22
Senior Sport Management Major
Spokane, Washington

Gracie Pelton ' 23
Junior Psychology and Public Relations Major
Olympia, Washington