Meet the Staff

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 Professional Staff, a Graduate Assistant during the Summer months, a four-person student planning team, office assistants, and over 200 New Student Orientation Leaders.

Kelly is a first generation, Latina college graduate from New York and has been at Gonzaga since April 2014. Kelly has a Master's degree in Student Development Administration from Seattle University and a Bachelor’s from The Evergreen State College in Community and Organizational Development. Kelly is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education from Oregon State University.

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. He earned his Master's degree in Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and his Bachelor's degree in Marketing from DeSales University. Before coming 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.


Gonzaga's New Student Orientation is planned by four current students who are known on campus as "GUide Core". GUide Core is your go-to resource and communication liaison for any questions, concerns or thoughts you have about transitioning into Gonzaga University. Please contact us at for assistance. We are here to be your resource for your first year.

GUide Core aspires to provide opportunities of engagement between the new students and the Gonzaga community, learning from one another in reciprocal relationship through questioning, conversation, kinship, and support.

Jesus Espinoza - Program GUide

Jesus is a Freshman Computer Science Major from Camas, WA. He is anticipating on graduating in December 2023.

Lucy Reed - Program GUide

Lucy is a Junior Accounting Major from Clarksville, TN. She is anticipating on graduating in May 2021.

Grace Edwards - Student Leader GUide

Grace is a Freshman Business Administration Major from Las Vegas NV. She is anticipating on graduating in May 2023.

Brooke Lee - Student Leader GUide

Brooke is a Junior Psychology Major from Lake Tapps, WA. She is anticipating on graduating in May 2021.


Lexi Horton
Spokane, WA; Sport Management Major, May 2022

Gracie Pelton
Olympia, WA ; Business Administration, May 2023

Miguel Robledo
Brownsville, TX ; Political Science Major, May 2020

Ava Smith
Boise, ID; English Writing Major, May 2020