Meet the Gillenwater Hall Staff

Get to know your Residence Hall Directors and Resident Assistants.

Residence Hall Director 


20147 John Wachal - Courtyards
Name: John Wachal
Phone: 928-523-2941


  • Associate of Arts – Central Community College, 2006
  • Bachelor of Science - History & Sociology, University of South Dakota, 2010
  • Masters of Arts - Adult & Higher Education, University of South Dakota, 2012
Why I chose NAU? I believe they have a tremendous Housing and Residence Life department that genuinely cares for their students. I wanted to be a part the state’s premier residential university. I love the town of Flagstaff because of its vibrant community filled with beautiful vistas. In South Dakota their motto is “Great Places, Great Faces.” That is what I see here in Flagstaff, between the community and NAU there are so many great people and great places to go and things to do. And at the end of the day you just can’t beat life at 7,000 feet.

A little about John: First off I did not come to NAU alone. I am happily married to my wife Jodie. We are both from Nebraska. I am an avid sports fan and I love my Nebraska football. My wife played collegiate basketball at South Dakota. We are both excited to attend some sporting events while at NAU. We are also big fans of National Parks and the great outdoors (wildlife, camping, hiking, etc.) I have been involved in Residence Life in one form or another since 2005. I love to work with young leaders and help students on their path to graduation. TRUE BLUE NAU!!! 

Graduate Assistant Residence Hall Director

Resident Assistants 

2014 Thorin Fash - Gillenwater
Name: Thorin Fash
Floor: 1st floor
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Why I chose Northern Arizona University: I chose NAU because I wanted the all-around "college experience." NAU provides a unique sense of community and encourages participation. The smaller class sizes tailor to individuality and allow for more growth, personally and professionally, that I believe I would not find elsewhere. NAU isn't just the means to an end (a degree), but focuses rather on the present experience.

Why I'm excited to be an RA: I am excited to be an RA because I know that this opportunity is once in a lifetime. I will have the chance to further my skills as a leader, a team-worker, a mentor, a friend, and many other qualities important for professional and social situations. Being an RA allows me to build a strong relationship not only with my residents, but NAU as whole.

2014 Kiersten Gaetano - Gillenwater
Kiersten Gaetano
Floor: 1st floor
Major: Special & Elementary Education
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

Why I chose Northern Arizona University: As soon as I set foot on campus, I knew I wanted to come to NAU. The beautiful landscape and the incredible education program impacted me, but it was really the people and the welcoming community that made the difference!

Why I'm excited to be an RA: I enjoy getting to know people and serving as a resource to others. I hope to build a community that has a positive impact on each student's college experience. 

2014 Beth Diehl - Gillenwater
Name: Beth Diehl
Floor: 2nd floor
Major: Social Work
Hometown: Prescott, AZ

Why I chose Northern Arizona University: I chose NAU because I fell in love with the atmosphere when I came to visit. I love the mountains and all the opportunities for adventures in the area! The school itself was also very welcoming and everyone was so helpful, I immediately felt at home here.

Why I'm excited to be an RA: I am excited to be an RA because I meeting new people and being able to help them! NAU has so many opportunities and recourses for success and I can't wait to share them with my residents so that they can have the best experience possible.