Antelope Intros: Rob Matthew and Nathan Wood
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: Admissions representative
Job location: Main campus
What attracted you to GCU? I completed my B.S. in Sports Management at GCU in 2014, and while attending I fell in love with the culture and education.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I love to watch movies and read. Although I love all movie genres, I always have been a big fan of comedies. There is something about a comedy that just helps melt away all of the stress of our day-to-day lives. I have more than 100 movies in my collection, and one of my all-time favorites is “All About the Benjamins.” If I am not watching a movie I am reading a book, usually something motivational by my favorite author, Napoleon Hill. Another author I like is Dave Ramsey, a Christian financial life coach. What I like most about the genre is hearing the stores of people who did not give up on their goals. Sometimes we count ourselves out of God’s blessing out of fear of failure. In these inspiring stories we can see that all success has come from failure. It is about overcoming that failure and learning from our mistakes. One of my favorite quotes is, “In school you are given the lesson before the test, but God gives you a test so you can learn a lesson.”
What are you passionate about? I am most passionate about helping youth find their path in life. I also get joy out of spreading the word of Christ to young people through sports. I believe God placed it on my heart to guide today’s youth. Through sports we can fill that negative void that may be leading them down the wrong path. While talking to a few of the kids, I asked them who their role models were. All but one named a professional athlete. It made me think about the impact athletes have on kids. When athletes pray before and after every game, kids see that and want to be part of it.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I like to visit local events that are hosted by small businesses as a way to help promote them. Every Friday my wife and I go to the food truck stands in downtown Gilbert. There are local vendors selling their food in the parking lot of a movie theater. I use SnapChat as a way to promote these businesses.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know? I do not have a favorite color. I like all colors, but my wife thinks I look best in black.
What are you most proud of? Marrying my high school sweetheart and best friend, Nequa. She means the world to me because she is so loving and supportive of everything I do. She is also my motivation because I see how hard she works to be the best she can every day. She already has a bachelor’s degree and recently went back to get a second bachelor’s in nursing while working full-time.
Job title: Military enrollment counselor
Job location: Peoria
What attracted you to GCU? GCU’s character, its Christian foundation and its integrity. I was raised as a Christian and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 4 years old. GCU was founded on the Christian faith, and I feel that God wants me to be a part of a strong and healthy company providing a wonderful service. It has been a long struggle from the time I separated from the Navy until now, but my faith has only increased in the Lord and in knowing that I am on a journey and He is leading me in every way.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I enjoy spending time with my five nephews and nieces and my family. We normally camp at Woods Canyon Lake up on the Mogollon Rim near Payson twice a year, and about once a month we enjoy our time at our three-year-old family cabin in Forest Lakes. It is unique, in my opinion, because it’s an opportunity to get out of the desert heat by traveling only two hours to experience weather that is 20 degrees cooler. It also provides a camping experience that allows one to be immersed in the forest and away from all other people and campers. Our cabin has three floors with a furnished basement that my dad and I completed in time for Thanksgiving last year. So if we don’t want to deal with the hassles of camping and would like a shower, this is definitely the way to go. The cabin sleeps 14 people and has three bathrooms; it is quite beautiful and special to all of us.
What are you passionate about? Assisting peers, students and helping all people succeed. Success, to me, is defined by making someone smile or making them feel encouraged. In my own life, success doing my job to the best of my potential and going home with a smile on my face.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I like visiting the Renaissance Festival, the Arizona State Fair, the Rim Country and the Phoenix Open golf tournament, where hundreds of thousands of people attend throughout the weekend. It truly is the greatest show on grass.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know? I served 11 years in the U.S. Navy from 1999 to 2010 and was deployed to all areas of the Pacific and also the Middle East. I was in Bahrain, Dubai, China, Japan, Australia, Guam, Hawaii, the Philippines and Thailand. It was such a wonderful and enriching experience. The most significant part of my military service was the fact that, as a petty officer second class, I was in a position as a leader to be a role model and a life/professional coach to those who were only 18-19 years old just joining the military, scared to death. I joined the Navy at the age of 22, so I had some life experience and maturity that most young guys that I knew were just beginning to develop. Still, I was a part of something that was most important than just myself – I was a part of a team.
What are you most proud of? My faith and relationship with Jesus Christ and what He has allowed me to do in my life and how it allows me to affect others. No matter the struggle, the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life and knowing that I will always be in the presence of the Lord makes every day easier to live. My faith also makes me want to be a better person every day and be that shining light to anyone I meet. I enjoy seeking and getting to know Jesus Christ through the word of the Bible and on my daily walk and journey to become more like Him.