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Meet USTís Residence Life Staff

Understanding the challenges that the beginning of the school year poses, the Residence Life Staff at the University of St. Thomas aims to make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible for freshmen and create enjoyable experiences for returning residents. With campus programs and hall events, the ResLife staff strives to make everyone feel at home. 

“I am honored to be a part of young students’ educational and spiritual journeys and to serve as an example of how to live out one’s faith and discover one’s purpose,” said Marquis Gatewood, assistant director of residence life.

ResLife staff members in Guinan and Young halls are great resources for both residents and commuters, maintaining a ratio of 20 to one, one of the lowest resident-to-staff ratios in the country. They ensure that personal attention is given to each student. 

Take the opportunity to meet and get to know the ResLife Staff.

Yolanda Norman, Director of Residence Life and Conference Housing

The Director of Residence Life and Conference Housing is responsible for creating and maintaining the security and comfort for the on-campus residents. 

Norman is beginning her sixth year at UST. From Memphis, Tenn., Norman attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism and two master’s degrees in sports administration, as well as management and college student personnel and counseling. When she is not working, Norman enjoys spending time with her husband, son and daughter, working out and practicing sign language.

Marquis Gatewood, Assistant Director of Residence Life

The Assistant Director of Residence Life maintains the sense of decorum in the Office of Residence Life. He works with the staff to make sure that policies are enforced and the housing application process is completed properly.

Gatewood is beginning his second year at UST. Gatewood, a Houston native, earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a focus in broadcast journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University. He has also earned a master’s degree in public administration from Texas Southern University. When he is not working, Gatewood enjoys watching the Simpsons, discussing politics and spending time with his family.

Residence Life Coordinators

Residence Life Coordinators are responsible for managing larger residential areas ranging from several floor communities up to an entire residence hall. Each coordinator looks a little different and is meant to provide additional services to the residents and the Residence Life team. Some responsibilities could include managing Conference Housing, mentoring sophomore advisors, planning Wonderful Wednesday events for residents, advising a Residence Life student group, planning and executing staff training, and ensuring the Guinan Hall front desk operations run smoothly.

Ana-Alicia Lopez

A Houston native, Lopez earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UST and is currently working on her master’s in education with a focus in counseling education. She spent last year serving as a Catholic missionary. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, crocheting, board games and card games.

Amanda Bohl is a sophomore double major studying psychology and theology. From Chippewa Falls, Wis., Bohl enjoys traveling.

Michael Brannon is a senior communication and studio arts major from Alvin, Texas. When Brannon is not busy taking photos, he can be spotted riding his bike around campus.

Joshua Hawkins is a graduate student working on an MBA in Finance. A Houston native, Hawking enjoys long boarding in his free time.

Resident Assistants

The duties of the Resident Assistants involve creating a sense of community within their hall. They plan events, settle conflicts and create a comfortable living and learning environment for their residents.

Amber Ali is a sophomore biology major in the Pre-Med program from Houston. She enjoys talking to people, eating and sleeping.

Jenny Ayala is a junior business major and Pre-Law student from Houston. In her free time, Ayala enjoys extreme sports, dancing, relaxing and spending time with her family.

Vivian Cabrera is a junior communications major from Compton, Calif. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting.

Adrienne Copeland is a junior music major from Houston. Copeland enjoys singing Christian contemporary music, writing and arts and crafts.

Karina Flores is a junior education major originally from Chicago, Ill. Flores enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music, writing and singing.

Jared Fontenot is a junior chemistry major from Baytown, Texas, who enjoys classical music, hunting and fishing.

Dominic Kisielewski is a senior international studies major from Johannesburg, South Africa. His hobbies include swimming and water sports.

John Kreischer, a senior English and philosophy major, hails from Chicago, Ill. In his free time, Kreischer enjoys playing basketball and curling up with a good book.

Elena Petre is a sophomore international development and general business double major. Petre grew up outside of Caracas, Venezuela. She is proud to say she has never downloaded music.

Astrid Rojas is a junior marketing and international development major. The Venezuela native enjoys biking, fishing and reading in her spare time.

Seth Romo is a senior international studies major and Houston who enjoys biking at night.

Sophomore Advisors


The primary role of the Sophomore Advisors is to assist freshmen in their transition from high school to college. Having just recently finished their freshman year, they understand the difficulties that freshmen may face as they begin college.

Priya Bhalla is a sophomore double major studying Pre-Med biology and English literature. Bhalla, originally from Chicago, Ill., enjoys reading, writing, exploring new places and meeting new people.

Paul Gries is a sophomore biology major from Houston who Gries enjoys comic books and athletics.

Gabrielle Martinez-Clayton is a sophomore pre-nursing student and Houston. Her interests include baseball, painting, reading and biking.

Joveline Ollero is a sophomore chemistry major from Wailuku, Hawaii. When not studying chemistry, Ollero enjoys eating.

Kevin Rose is a sophomore chemistry major originally from New York City, N.Y. His hobby is collecting sneakers.

For more information about living on campus, contact the Office of Residence Life at or 713.525.3836 or follow them on Twitter, @ustreslife.

Photo 1:

Pictured left to right: Top row –Seth Romo, Michael Brannon, Joshua Hawkins, Vivian Cabrera, Adrienne Copeland, John Kriescher, Elena Petre, Victor Mulanovich, Dominic Kisielewski,  Jared Fontenot

Middle row – Amanda Bohl, Astrid Rojas, Amber Ali, Karina Flores, Jenny Ayala

Bottom Row – Kevin Rose, Gabrielle Martinez, Joveline Ollero, Priya Bhalla, Paul Gries

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