Allison N. Armfield

Allison Armfield graduated from Eastern Washington University with a B.A. in English Literature. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Communication and Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University with an emphasis on writing and educational instruction. Allison resides in Spokane, WA where she enjoys reading and writing, and is an active member of the local running community. Read her story Pride in the Cellar 



Lisa Becker

Lisa Becker works in External Relations for Newmont, a gold mining company, and is based in northeastern Nevada.  She received her undergraduate degree in Fine Art from Hillsdale College in 2007 and now lives in her hometown of Elko, NV.  Lisa plans to complete her M.A. in Leadership and Communication Studies from Gonzaga University in December 2015.   She and her husband Joe enjoy small town life in Elko, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Read her story Marco Valeri: An Ambassador for Change.


Kate Bresnahan

Kate Bresnahan is an online student in Gonzaga University’s Communication and Leadership Studies Program. She lives in Arlington, Virginia and works in Washington, D.C. Kate is a writer-editor for the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, where she has worked for almost seven years. Kate grew up in Wilmington, Massachusetts, 15 miles northwest of Boston. She received her undergraduate degree in English, with a concentration in writing, communication, and rhetoric from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth. In her spare time, Kate enjoys traveling, doing improv, practicing yoga, and visiting friends and family in New England. Read her story Bringing Experience Home.


Patrick Brown

Patrick is a non-traditional graduate student at Gonzaga University. He returned to University after twenty-five years experience as an Executive Chef, and after obtaining a BS Degree in Business Marketing, on-line, from Western Governors University, Washington. Active in graduate student affairs, Patrick serves on the Graduate Student Council as well as participating in various academic committees. He also works as a Graduate Assistant in the Communication and Leadership Department. Upon graduation, Patrick intends to pursue a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership, and will seek employment as an Adjunct Professor in a distant learning environment. Read his story On the Map Again.


Jennifer Colton-Jones

Jennifer Colton-Jones is a freelance writer and full-time mom living in Pendleton, Oregon. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern Oregon University and decided to pursue an interesting (although poorly paid) career in journalism. A mother of three preschoolers, she is a self-proclaimed nerd who loves reading, tabletop gaming, and the occasional MMORPG. Read her story A Voice for Le Marche.


LeAna L. Crowley

LeAna L. Crowley is a graduate student at Gonzaga University in the Communication and Leadership program. Her undergraduate degree is from Seattle Pacific University in Communication. Additionally, LeAna attended the Gonzaga University Graduate Summer Institute: Gonzaga Summer in Cagli, Italy. Read her story Alfonza Costantini: A Passion for Teaching.


Leona George-Davidson

Leona George-Davidson has a B.A. in Humanities and Cultural Studies from Dominican University of California with a concentration in Communications. She is enrolled in Gonzaga’s online master’s program in Communication and Leadership Studies. She works at Dominican University as an Administrative Coordinator, Adjunct Faculty member and leadership mentor. She is also the founder and director of, a charitable non-profit that takes teenagers to Mexico to build homes for underprivileged families. Leona is married and lives in Novato, California, with her husband and their little dog, Barney. Read her story That’s Life…


Sally Hess-Deck

Sally Hess Deck is a university administrator and lives just outside of Portland, Oregon. She is working toward her M.A. in Communication and Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. She is an avid learner and a travel enthusiast. Read her story To Bee or Not to Bee.



Sophie Imbuelten

Sophie Imbuelten graduated from San Francisco State University in 1991 with a degree in TV & Radio Broadcast. With dreams of becoming an entertainment reporter, she approached Barbara Walters. Sadly, Barbara was not interested. Currently, Sophie works as a benefits consultant. She is pursuing her Masters Degree in Communication and Leadership so that one day she can teach. In her spare time, Sophie moonlights as a Zumba instructor. A devoted animal lover, she also photographs any dog that will not bite her. She and her husband Dan along with their best friend Tara (the pooch) make their home in Discovery Bay California. Read her story Cani in Cagli.


Stephanie Jentgen

Stephanie has 26 years’ experience in communications, advertising and marketing. Currently a Communications Manager for General Motors, she supports two manufacturing facilities in Indiana and works on the labor communications team for national UAW-GM negotiations in Detroit. Prior to GM, Jentgen spent 14 years as Communication Director at a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping child abuse and neglect. Stephanie has a passion for helping people and performs crisis work with individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. She has been on the board of directors of Freedom House, Inc. (Fort Wayne, IN) since 1994. Joining the 2015 Gonzaga in Cagli project was a dream come true for Stephanie. She plans on using the experience to better understand the role culture plays in our work and family lives, and the effect it has on our interpersonal, business and political communication. Read her story Dr. Cecilia Copparoni: A Heart for Healing Animals.


Kristi Machado

Kristi Machado was born in DeLand, FL and currently serves as an officer in the United States Air Force. After thirteen years of service, and four different assignments, she is now stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL. She received her Bachelors in Art from Stetson University in 2000, and her Masters in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013. She is currently a second-year graduate student in Gonzaga’s Communication and Leadership program. Kristi enjoys telling the military story, and is inspired to assist families with transitioning into new cultures, specifically helping children to understand the new adventures associated with moving to a new location. Read her story The Truffle Hunter.


Mirna Pleines

Mirna Pleines is a non-traditional undergrad student at Gonzaga University. Mirna will complete her undergrad studies and receive a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Criminal Justice in the fall of 2015.  A resident of Post Falls, Idaho, Mirna has earned placement on Gonzaga University President’s List for fall of 2014 and Dean’s List for the spring of 2015. Mirna has also been recognized within the top ten percent in academic achievement for non-traditional students at Gonzaga University. During her academic career, Mirna has earned membership to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Delta Kappa Chapter and Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, Kappa Rho Chapter. Upon completion of her undergrad studies, Mirna intends to apply to law school and pursue a career in the legal field. Read her story What You Sow, You Grow.


Autumn Reagor

Autumn Reagor hails from the great state of Montana. She makes her home in Billings, where she works as a Senior Marketing Coordinator for HDR, an international engineering company. Her role includes the oversight and development of marketing practices for engineering consulting services. Autumn earned her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Montana in 2007. She previously worked in public relations and interned as a state capital radio reporter. In her free time, Autumn can be found enjoying the great outdoors with her favorite black lab, Frank the Tank, or volunteering with her church. She is an avid reader and self-confessed news junkie. Read her story Optical Amore.


Kevin Sexton

Kevin Sexton earned his BA from Northern Kentucky University in 2012. He is currently working for a large health insurance organization and pursuing his MA in the Communications and Leadership program at Gonzaga University. Kevin Currently resides in Hebron, KY just outside of Cincinnati, OH. Read his story Croce Rossa Italiana: A Community Lifeline.


Joseph Shepard

Joseph Shepard was born and raised in Portland, Maine. Joseph graduated from the University of Maine in 2006 with a degree in Mass Communications, and a minor in Public Relations. He was also a member of the Men’s Track & Field team. After his time as an undergraduate was completed, he worked as a sports writer, covering local high schools. In 2008, Joseph enlisted in the United States Air Force, and was stationed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 2009, he deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Joseph received his Honorable Discharge in 2012 after four years of military service. After his time in the Air Force was finished, he enrolled in Gonzaga University’s online Communication & Leadership Studies program. He is set to finish the program and receive his Master’s degree at the end of 2015. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys long distance running, reading, and is a consistent blood donor. Read his story Claudio Diana: A Carabinieri in Cagli.


Angie Sillonis

Angie Sillonis is a writer, editor, public relations professional, and retired homecoming queen currently living in the Boston, Mass., suburb of Quincy (City of Presidents!) with her husband and adult daughter. She received her bachelor’s degree in communication from Oregon State University, and has worked in marketing, communication and public relations in Oregon, Idaho and Boston for more than 20 years. Born and raised on a farm in Eastern Oregon, Angie’s hobbies include cow tipping, shooting at fence posts and setting siphon tubes. Since moving to the city, her hobbies have become more refined, and include baking, decorating cakes, photography, rejecting the oxford comma, and long walks. Read her story The Pain in Art.


Melinda Marie Smith

My name is Mindy Smith. I am coming at you from Everett, Washington. For those of you not familiar with Everett, it is north of Seattle about 30 miles. I was born and raised in the Seattle area my entire life, with the exception of living in Charleston, SC for a year for work. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Interdisciplinary Arts with a minor in Art History, of which I studied a little photography and a little Italian Renaissance art. I suppose I would consider myself as having an affinity for arts, education & travel. I am perpetually trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and the person that I want to become. My questioning has currently lead me into a masters program in organizational leadership and off to Italy. I always seemingly create resources to go on a new adventure. I have been extremely fortunate to have traveled to 6 out of the 7 continents, and I have been to Italy before. I have to say that my abroad experiences have been for vacation purposes but my intention with every trip is to expand my ways of thinking about the world. I am looking forward to traveling back to Italy, and staying in Cagli, a place I have never been. I am excited to travel to Italy from the perspective of higher education. Read her story What’s Haute in Cagli.


Shea’lyn J. Swan

Shea’lyn Swan was born and raised in the city of Spokane, WA. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Management from Whitworth University in 2014 and continued on to Gonzaga University where she is working on her Masters in Communication and Leadership and will graduation in 2017. Shea’lyn works for the Community Colleges of Spokane as an investigator for harassment/discrimination complaints. In her off time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, working out, and being outdoors. Shea’lyn hopes to work with small organizations, building employee relations and development training. Read her story Stefano, The Goose Archer.


Corey Tanaka

Corey Tanaka will be an undergraduate senior this year at Gonzaga University. He is currently studying Applied Communications with a minor in Broadcasting. At Gonzaga University, Corey is a member of the Comprehensive Leadership Program and the Housing and Residence Life staff. A native of Maui, Hawaii, Corey enjoys being active through playing sports, like soccer, basketball, or surfing, and just being outside. Read his story The Motorcycle Man of Cagli.