Antelope Intros: Lydia Fritz and Cody Cusack
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 title: Assistant professor, computer programming, College of Science, Engineering and Technology
Job location: Main campus, Building 6
What attracted you to GCU? Lots of things! In no particular order, the teaching mission of the university, the beautiful Arizona weather, a chance to be part of an exciting, dynamic, growing campus community, and the opportunity to engage in service outreach with other faculty and students.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I have many varied interests. I love hiking and being outdoors, and, as a North Carolina transplant, I’m looking forward to hiking in my new surroundings as well as doing a little mountain biking, which I’ve tried since moving here. I work out regularly, which makes me feel strong and mentally clear. I work out with a trainer when I can, doing primarily conditioning and circuit training workouts. I like lifting weight and feeling strong. Now that I’m in Arizona, I plan to do more outdoor workouts. I also enjoy a variety of indoor, quiet activities such as watching movies, knitting, video games (yes, I’m a nerd to the core) and meditation.
What are you passionate about? Teaching. I’ve worked as university faculty for the last 14 years, and I’m passionate about helping young adults get started on their undergraduate journey as they figure out how they want to utilize their education to contribute to our world.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I moved here to be with my fiancé. He’s been in the area a little less than a year, and we are discovering new restaurants together. One of our favorites is Tomaso’s, a fantastic Italian place. They’ll cook almost any Italian dish you request. He and I are both “foodies,” so any local suggestions are great.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: Even though my professional degree is in Computer Science, my undergraduate degree is in English Literature. I enjoyed mathematics and took more math courses than most any English major. I got a job as a technical writer for a small software company and, because the company was small, I got to interact with the developers. I loved the problem-solving aspect of their work, so I returned to school to pursue a master’s in Computer Science.
What are you most proud of? My two children. Maddie, 22, is finishing her senior year at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., where she’s double majoring in Italian and Art History. She spent her junior year in Italy, and her Italian is amazing. Jake, 18, will start as a freshman at ASU (Appalachian State, not Arizona — I’m an East Coaster, and I have to remember that ASU doesn’t mean App State around here). He enjoys math and computer science, but he’s also artistically inclined and absolutely hilarious. They are smart, kind and ready to enter the world as adults who contribute to helping make the world a better place. I’m also proud of the students I’ve worked with over the years.
Job title: Enrollment counselor, military division
Job locations: Peoria, 27th Avenue
What attracted you to GCU? I was a student here, and I loved the environment. I majored in digital film production. When I was a freshman in high school, I was introduced to the class, and I fell in love with it. There is so much that goes into creating even the shortest of projects, and every aspect of it is appealing to me.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I am an avid gamer. I may be an adult, but there’s no reason not to be a kid. My favorite video game right now is called Rocket League. In this game, you essentially use rocket-powered cars to play soccer against one another. It has sucked away many hours of my life, and I can see this trend continuing to happen. If anyone wants to play, let me know!
What are you passionate about? Music, family and friends, and it’s been that way since my childhood. I love to kick back with a few friends and play a good video game or watch a good movie. It’s one of my favorite pastimes and something I do almost every weekend.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I have been to countless concerts, but I think my favorite live show had to be seeing Green Day in Marquee Theatre. This venue holds around 500-800 people. It was such a small and intimate show, and they made that place shake. It was amazing!
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I have a secret love for cats. I have one 17-year-old that I have had since she was a kitten. Anytime I am home, she is at my side or on my lap. She is like my best friend.
What are you most proud of? Graduating from college. A lot of people thought I wouldn’t make it far out of high school, where I did well in digital film classes but struggled in normal academic areas, but look at me now. My first year at GCU I ran into an old teacher who was shocked that not only did I make it to college, I made it to GCU. It was a nice feeling proving myself to her and to everyone else when I graduated.