Antelope Intros: Monique McCoy and DeOngelo Cayce
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: Enrollment counselor, College of Education
Job location: Tempe
What attracted you to GCU? I love the fact that GCU is a university based on Christian values. I come from a Baptist background, and working at a place where you can pray and regularly attend Chapel is amazing.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I like to eat a lot, so don’t let my size fool you. I’m definitely a foodie. I enjoy cooking different kinds of pasta, soul food and Mexican food. I learned how to cook from my mother, who is an excellent cook, and I get most of my recipes from her and my grandmother. I also am frequently learning how to make new things from Pinterest — I’m addicted. My best dishes would probably be shrimp scampi and green chili enchiladas. As an ex-collegiate volleyball player (I got a full-ride scholarship to play for Howard University in Washington, D.C., as a libero, the person with the different color jersey), I still love to work out. I enjoy running mostly, but being a former athlete I also love to cross train and lift weights. I still run every single morning — at least one to two miles every day or until my puppy gets tired. I also enjoy spending time with my 3-year-old son. His name is Marley, after the late great Bob Marley. My dad always played his music while I was growing up, and I fell in love with reggae music. I listen to Bob Marley when I need to mellow out, so when it was time to think of a name for my son it was only natural that I chose Marley.
What are you passionate about? Having a positive impact on the world. I come from a family of helping professionals, and I intend to fulfill and pass that legacy down to my children. I love working with children and having the ability to impact lives at a young age with the hopes that it will carry on into their adulthood. I started as a teacher’s aide at a middle school for three years, worked for child protective services for a year and then worked at Southwest Human Development as a parent aide before I came here. Working as a social worker has given me an amazing platform to reach my community and have an huge influence on social change. I hope to one day help shape policy that governs our nation’s child welfare agencies.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love Macayos and La Fonda Mexican Restaurant & Cantina. You can find me at any restaurant that has good Mexican food, especially chimichangas. I order them at every single Mexican restaurant I go to. You also can find me at Lake Pleasant riding around in my Jeep with the top off because it’s super close.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I have 17 tattoos and I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nev. No, I did not grow up in a casino, and, yes, I have been asked. Actually, growing up in Vegas was pretty normal. Having the Las Vegas Strip is like having a downtown in any other city; once you go a few times you are pretty much over it. I am not much of a partier, so the only time I go to the Strip is to eat or shop. About my tattoos: Every single one has a meaning about a crucial point in my life. My favorite one is an outline of my son’s hand, which my artist tattooed from an art project he made for me last Mother’s Day!
What are you most proud of? Being a mommy to the coolest kid on earth (I’m biased) and being on course to finish my master’s in Social Work in April from USC. I love everything about my baby — well, except for the tantrums — but what I love the most are his dance moves! We have frequent dance parties in our house. Lately we have been getting down to a lot of Stevie Wonder and Prince. We’re pretty old school, but it varies based on the day. He totally gets his moves from me and some from his grandpa, who can’t dance that well. I also love his goofy personality. The funniest thing he has been doing lately when we are dancing is saying, “Go, mommy, it’s your birthday!” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Job title: Online enrollment counselor
Job location: Tempe
What attracted you to GCU? The growth of the company, the stability and the fact that when I see GCU on TV, it’s for positive reasons, or to see Dan Majerle all over TV with a winning record.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I play softball on Tuesday nights in a men’s competitive league, and I like to work out and play with my kids. We like to get out on the trampoline, ride bikes or go to the park. I also have a great spouse, Shannon, who works from home and helps with the kids, which allows me time to do activities that are kid-less. I have been into baseball since I was a small kid. I played Little League ball all the way until I was 16. I was good! But I ended up having kids at 18. As I got older and realized baseball wasn’t a choice for me, I turned to softball, which welcomed older men to play. I started to play when I was around 23 and haven’t looked back. We won two championships the last two seasons and are 8-0 in our new league. I am trying to enjoy this before my bones and muscles tell me I’m not able to do it anymore. I also enjoy hiking. I have done South Mountain a few times, but that was easy so I moved over to Squaw Peak, which was a bit more challenging. I don’t know if I want to try Camelback because I’d like to be able to make it back down the mountain without needing a helicopter to airlift me.
What are you passionate about? My family, being a provider to the best of my abilities and creating a stable life in both my home and work environments. Between me and Shannon we have five children that are in our lives daily. Having so many people depending on my stability is a huge responsibility. Knowing the direction that GCU is heading and has been heading for years, I feel as if I finally have the stability I have been seeking.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I like to step out of Arizona and go to San Diego. I love beaches more than anything! But if I had to pick a place in the Valley, I enjoy Topgolf. I am not good at golf but have a baseball swing, which allows me to hit the ball far — not straight, but far.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I was in New York, staying near the World Trade Center, on Sept. 11, 2001. We woke up thinking it was an ordinary day but started hearing sirens galore and panic on the street from our hotel. I have photos of being two blocks away from the remaining standing building with the huge pile of rubble from the other buildings. It was a scary but amazing experience. It was very sad, but we saw how humble people became compared to their obnoxious behavior on the previous days in Times Square.
What are you most proud of? Being a father. I enjoy being a daddy. I also am proud to call myself a Lope!