The First Year Experience Programs (FYEP) staff believes each Gonzaga University student deserves to have a college experience that instills a love for their alma mater. To create an environment that promotes this and student success, our staff provides key programs and activities focused on orientation, transition, and retention. These include intentional new student orientation and welcome programs, first-year student programs, and communications.
Through these key activities, our staff aspires to create an environment where all students feel empowered by their unique talents and identities, find a sense of belonging and support, and have positive social and emotional experiences that lead to personal growth and academic excellence. We aim to inspire a shared vision with students, their families, campus partners, and other agents who want to foster student success.
Currently, the FYEP team consists of 2 Professional Staff, a Graduate Assistant during the summer months, student office assistants, and over 200 New Student Orientation Leaders.
Meet our staff below.
Kelly is a first generation, Latina college graduate from New York and has been at Gonzaga since April 2014. Kelly has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Adult and Higher Education from Oregon State University, a Master of Arts degree in Student Development Administration from Seattle University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community and Organizational Development from The Evergreen State College.
Kelly’s passion is helping decrease barriers for students to engage to their fullest potential in and out of the classroom. Her research interests include Latino/a student engagement, ethnic identity and leadership development. When she is not cheering on our Bulldogs at basketball games, she is out walking her little dog, Sebastian.
Justin is a first generation college student from Pennsylvania and has been at Gonzaga since June 2018. Justin earned a Master of Science degree in Higher Education Counseling & Student Affairs from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from DeSales University. Prior to Gonzaga, Justin worked at Lycoming College as the Residential Life & First Year Programs Coordinator.
Justin's passion is helping students through their collegiate transition into becoming positive members of society while being advocates for themselves and all those around them. In his free time, Justin loves to workout at Orangetheory Fitness, try new restaurants, travel, and spend time with his family and friends.
Carla is a citizen of Brazil and Spain. She has Masters degrees in Women, Gender Studies, and Citizenship (University of Barcelona), International Studies (Cidob/Autonomous University of Barcelona), and International MBA (Eserp Barcelona). Carla is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. Prior to coming to Spokane, she worked in Barcelona as coordinator for the International Masters and Undergraduate degrees and as a researcher and practitioner on empowerment projects for women and their communities. Carla also co-founded the Casa Iberoamericana de la Mujer en Barcelona (CIMB), a project she continues to collaborate on remotely.
Carla’s passion is working with community-based and educational organizations developing leadership, gender, diversity, immigration, and international projects and workshops. Carla is now working on applying her leadership knowledge and skills towards the development of leadership research and workshops focusing on Social Justice. Her dissertation research focuses on collaboration; social identities; intersectionality; power relations; women and feminist leadership; and the processes of women’s experiences and voices in diverse communities. Carla currently lives in San Diego, CA where she enjoys the beach and writing her dissertation.
Lexi Horton is a Student Office Assistant for First Year Experience Programs this summer and during the academic year. In this role, she assists the office with marketing and social media design and implementation.
Lexi is a Junior Sport Management Major from Spokane, Washington, who is set to graduate in May 2022. Along with working at First Year Experience Programs, Lexi is also a Marketing and Promotions Intern with the Gonzaga Athletic Department. In her free time, Lexi loves to watch sports, be active, travel, and hang out with her friends and family.