Life Skills

In upholding the mission of Gonzaga University, the Department of Athletics, and Student-Athlete Support Services (SASS), the Life Skills Program strives to enhance the overall experience of Gonzaga's student-athletes by developing each individual within the Jesuit philosophy of cura personalis, care of the whole person. The Program provides educational opportunities, services, and resources that enrich the total development of Gonzaga student-athletes by focusing on five commitment areas, in alignment with the NCAA's Student-Athlete Affairs Department: athletic excellence, academic excellence, personal development, career development, and service. To support student-athletes on and off the playing field and to prepare them for life after college, the Program works collaboratively with campus and community organizations to further its efforts in providing services that develop transferable skills, athletically, academically, personally, and professionally.

Personal Development

The Life Skills Program is devoted to developing well-rounded student-athletes and preparing them to be productive citizens and successful professionals. Through the Program, the Freshmen Athlete Orientation course, and campus and community partnerships, topics are addressed to foster student-athletes' personal growth and development, including organization and time management, stress and anxiety, depression, motivation, personal relationships, financial management, violence prevention, health and wellness, drug and alcohol use, nutrition, leadership, understanding diversity, communication and media relations. The Life Skills Program builds and maintains strong relationships with campus and community partners to provide personal and career development programming. Such partnerships allow for student-athletes to be better integrated with the rest of the campus community. Previous campus partners have included:
  • Career and Professional Development
  • Center for Community Action and Service Learning (CCASL)
  • Center for Cura Personalis
  • Center for Student Academic Success (CSAS)
  • Foley Library
  • Gonzaga Activities Board (GAB)
  • Gonzaga Alumni Mentor Program (GAMP)
  • Gonzaga Student Body Association (GSBA)
  • Kennel Club
  • Leadership Resource Center
  • Programming Board
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Residence Life
  • Sodexo
  • Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC)
  • University Ministry

Career Development

The Life Skills Program is committed to the career development and life goals of each student-athlete at Gonzaga, as they pursue their undergraduate studies and prepare for their futures following graduation, either in the workforce or graduate/professional school. Career development programs address the following: resumes and cover letters, job and internship search strategies, etiquette, networking, interviewing, career fairs, the transition from college to the workplace, and graduate/professional school. Support and encouragement are offered while stressing the importance of proactive career preparation. The Life Skills Program works closely with Gonzaga's Career and Professional Development Center along with the Gonzaga Alumni Mentor Program (GAMP) to provide programming and services addressing all areas of career development and a network of alumni mentors. The Health and Counseling Center provides guidance for career, personal or academic concerns Gonzaga students may have and offers access to assessment tools to help students discover their personal interests, values, and abilities and how those relate to academic and career decisions. Through the ZagTrax program, students are able to create a career profile,allowing them to connect with current employers and Gonzaga alumni interested in hiring a Zag.


  • Junior Career Meeting 
  • Senior Career Meeting
  • Resume Workshop
  • Etiquette Dinner
  • Senior Resume Book
  • Senior Networking Social
  • Individual Career Planning Sessions


Community Outreach

In upholding Gonzaga's and the Jesuit tradition of giving back and creating a "mature concern for others", the Life Skills Program offers student-athletes several opportunities to serve the local community. Community outreach events provide an opportunity for student-athletes to gain a better understanding of the world around them while giving back to others who may be less fortunate. The Program collegially works with local non-profit organizations and schools while serving a variety of community populations. The Center for Community Action and Service Learning (CCASL) provides all GU students with additional community involvement opportunities. During the 2015-16 year, the Zags achieved 3,033 hours of service, a record for the Athletics Department. Twenty-eight different agencies were served, including:

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Childhood Cancer Organization of the Inland Northwest
  • Autism Tree Project Foundation
  • Blessings Under the Bridge
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County
  • Catholic Charities
  • Central Valley School District
  • Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Indians
  • Generation Alive
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Mead School District
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Sacred Heart Children's Hospital
  • Spokane AAU
  • Spokane Humane Society
  • Spokane Police Department
  • Spokane Public Library
  • Spokane Public Shools
  • Spokane Starz
  • Spokane VA Medical Center
  • St. Charles School
  • Transitions
  • The West Coast Conference
  • Union Gospel Mission
  • Washington First Robotics
  • West Valley School District

SAAC Collections 2015-16

Food Drive (November 2015) - $1,200 raised; 550 pounds of food

Warm Clothing Drive (December 2015) - $1,373 raised; 1,310 items
Diaper Drive (January 2016) - $1,601 raised; 9,274 diapers, 1,916 wipes, and 512 rolls of TP (total items: 11,702)
Book Drive (February 2016) - $735 raised; 1,501 books

Total Monetary Donations: $4,909. The four collections and money raised benefited Catholic Charities and materials were distributed throughout their shelters and programming. 

Leadership Development

Gonzaga Athletics supports leadership development and opportunities through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) and the Student-Athlete Leadership Institute.

Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.)

The purpose of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) is to provide Gonzaga University student-athlete representation on issues and areas of concerns involving student-athletes, the GU Athletic Department, the WCC, the NCAA, and the community. If athletes have any problems or concerns that they feel should be addressed at these meetings, they should speak with their team representatives who will then bring the issue to the S.A.A.C. meeting for discussion. This committee is for student-athletes to improve their experiences at Gonzaga. The S.A.A.C. will receive the full support of the Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator, and the Faculty Athletic Representative, who will act as liaisons to the committee.

Student-Athlete Leadership Institute

The Student-Athlete Leadership Institute is designed to further develop student-athletes' leadership skills as students, athletes, and leaders on campus and in the community. Members were selected to participate in the developmental program to further improve themselves as mentors and leaders on their respective teams and on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

2016-17 Participants:
Trent Schulte (sophomore, baseball)
Anthony Adamek (sophomore, men's rowing)
Brandon Fairhurst (sophomore, men's rowing)
Garrett Wilson (sophomore, men's soccer)
Colton Cavey (junior, men's soccer)
Mason Villarma (sophomore, men's cross country/track and field)
Bennett Gagnon (sophomore, men's cross country/track and field)
Kelly Gilbert (sophomore, women's cross country/track and field)
Emma Morris (sophomore, women's cross country/track and field)
Faith Smith (sophomore, volleyball)
Laura Stockton (junior, women's basketball)
Anna Johnson (junior, women's rowing)
Isabelle Belzil Ijunior, women's rowing)
Bella Spies (junior, women's rowing)
Bianca Pagdanganan (sophomore, women's golf)
Jodi Ulkekul (sophomore, women's soccer)
McKenna Ferrera (sophomore, women's soccer)

Life Skills Calendar 2016-17

Life Skills Programming
Senior Career Meeting - September 7th
Etiquette Dinner - September 14th
Welcome Back Bowling - September 18h
Senior Networking Social - November 7th
Winter Formal - December 9th
Finance Literacy Workshop - March
Junior Career Meeting - April

Community Outreach
Logan Neighborhood Block Party - September 1st
Muscular Dystrophy Association Walk - September 17th
Habitat for Humanity - September 24th
JDRF Walk - September 25th
Habitat for Humanity - October 1st
Habitat for Humanity - October 15th
Catholic Charities Trunk or Treat - October 26th
Catholic Charities Food Drive at MBB vs. Bryant - November 18th
Catholic Charities Warm Clothing Drive at WBB vs. Washington State - December 8th
Catholic Charities Diaper Drive at WBB vs. Pepperdine - January 28th
Habitat for Humanity - January 28th
Catholic Charities Book Drive at WBB vs. Saint Mary's - February 11th
Habitat for Humanity - March 4th
The Humane Society - TBD
Catholic Charities Easter Egg Hunt - TBD
Catholic Charities Spring Yard Clean Up - TBD

Emma Dolcetti
Director of Life Skills Development
Phone: 509-313-4282

Twitter Logo
  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago
Instagram Logo
Facebook Logo
Annual Report Official Apps ZAG_Promo_Icon Numerica Resume Book Varsity Club University Kids Club
» «