Antelope Intros: Rick Vacek, Amy O’Day and Ashor Chamoun
Antelope Intros is a recurring GCU Today feature that introduces some of our new employees to the people around them in a way that is fun and informative. Employees are eligible to be featured in the month following their orientation.
Job location: Main campus
What attracted you to GCU? The opportunity to work for a faith-based employer and to be in such a positive environment.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? Go to baseball games, play golf, baseball and racquetball, work out, and go to movies/plays/other cultural events.
What are you passionate about? Being a dad, living my faith, physical fitness (I’m a certified personal trainer), playing/watching sports and having a positive effect on the world around me.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? Any sports venue and just about any golf course. I also want to find the best hiking trails.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I covered Major League Baseball (Oakland A’s) back in the days when the writers traveled with the teams and stayed in the same hotels. Autograph seekers often thought I was a player – it was humorous to see the looks on their faces as they tried to figure out who I actually was. I never signed … but maybe I should have. Now that would have confused them.
What are you most proud of? Staying positive through a lot of challenges and finding solutions to them.
Job location: Peoria
What attracted you to GCU? I have a couple of friends who have worked here for a number of years. They have always expressed how happy they are with GCU, the way they are treated and that they are very proud of the programs offered and manner in which the students are treated. I wanted to work for a company others were happy working with.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I love to hike around Phoenix and Flagstaff.
What are you passionate about? I have two amazing kids who are about as awesome as humans can get. My son is nearly 16, and my daughter turns 2 this Saturday. They keep me very busy and completely entertained.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: My favorite way to travel is by Amtrak. I have been to all corners of this country by railway. It’s a great experience, you meet very nice people and you sleep like a baby.
What are you most proud of? I am proud of working here, and my children and how unique, happy and intelligent they are. I am proud that I have earned a master’s degree as a single mother and even prouder that GCU will give me the opportunity to earn another one.
Job location: Tempe
What attracted you to GCU? I was a student at GCU, and the growth and community involvement in the past five years is incredible.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I enjoy playing softball in leagues across the Valley and sometimes tournaments, too. Smoking a cigar for down time is very relaxing, too.
What are you passionate about? My Assyrian community. I take pride in being who I am. We are considered the indigenous Christians of the Middle East. I’ve created different community sporting leagues and also coach young Assyrian kids throughout the year. I utilize sports to help young Assyrian adolescents understand who we are and preserve our traditions, religiously and culturally.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? One of my favorite places in the Valley is Fox Cigar Lounge in Gilbert. It’s a relaxing, friendly place to watch sports and relax while enjoying a cigar.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I’m first-generation Assyrian and I speak the Aramaic language, which is the same language that Jesus spoke. Preserving that language is very important within our community..
What are you most proud of? My younger sister obtaining her doctoral degree in clinical psychology and becoming the first Ph.D. graduate within our family.