Antelope Intros: Steven Long and Megan Blease
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
Job location: Peoria
What attracted you to GCU? I want to help students achieve their ministry goals through leadership education, mentoring, training and placement in ministry. I have found encouragement is the fuel that drives purpose in the lives of people.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I take men from our church to Zion National Park in Utah around two to three times a year and teach them how to rappel down world-class, 150-foot cliffs. The largest trip had 22 men in attendance, and I have been rappelling in Zion for the last six years on world-class canyons. I don’t necessarily consider myself a daredevil, but many of the guys I train usually say, “You’re nuts!”
What are you passionate about? The mission of turning unchurched people into fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. I have been publicly speaking for 18 years to crowds as large as 7,000 and as small as groups in my home. When an individual makes a greater commitment in faith, I get really excited for their life and future.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I am from California, so I grew up surfing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, trail running, rappelling, etc. As a family, we really enjoy hiking and running the White Tank Regional Park trails. We love to camp, fish, explore crazy areas of the Southwest and spend time together.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I am the lead pastor at a church in Waddell. I have been a full-time pastor for 18 years. I was a junior high pastor for four years, senior pastor for three years, executive pastor of a 6,000-member church for three years, and now lead pastor.
What are you most proud of? My beautiful wife, Cheri, and four beautiful daughters. They are all gorgeous on the inside and out. My daughters receive good grades, are highly motivated, love Jesus and have tremendous plans for their future. I have instilled in them from birth the ideal, “If you can see it, you can achieve it!”
Job title: Field experience specialist for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program
Job location: Peoria
What attracted you to GCU? It’s funny, I actually spent a great deal of my childhood here! My mom earned her undergraduate degree from GCU in 2001 and then worked for the university. My sister and I used to spend evenings in the North Rim Apartments, where one of our old babysitters lived. Fast-forward seven years and I witnessed a completely transformed campus. The school’s population had practically tripled by the time I graduated from GCU. It always has felt like a home. No matter what happens, I can come back here and feel safe and welcome. I am so excited to help other students find a home in Grand Canyon University, regardless of where life takes them.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? Although I do many things for fun, I am constantly entranced by creative activities. I am not particularly gifted with the inherit talent I see so many others possess, but I am passionate and — to put it delicately — tenacious. I greatly enjoy singing and playing instruments (especially the ukulele) even if the only people who enjoy it are my dogs. I also danced ballet for several years. Even though my own skills are not where I would prefer, I certainly am devoted to art appreciation.
What are you passionate about? Walt Disney and his legacy. Not only do I admire the man and aspire to be like him, but I feel such devotion to the company, the land and the works. Growing up, my home was filled with a deep love for Disney, and we spent all of the vacations we were able to take at Disneyland. After dreaming of participating in the Disney College Program, I finally decided to pursue my dreams. For my internship I was placed in Disneyland — my heart, my home! I lived, worked and breathed Disney for the best five months of my life. I was able to visit Disneyland every day and call it an internship? I’m still enamored of everything Disney and tend to talk about it all the time. Thankfully, no one has minded that so far.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I really enjoy visiting Bookman’s, Dutch Bros. Coffee (I love coffee) and First Friday in downtown Phoenix. I also love going to random events that my friends invite me to. I typically enjoy those more than the events I plan myself, so it pays off to be spontaneous sometimes.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: My eyes change color. Not like a mood ring, but they change a few times in the course of a day. In the morning, they start out gray, then change to a green/hazel/blue combo that settles into a green or aqua color. I’m not sure what causes it, but it’s pretty cool!
What are you most proud of? Not to be cliché or anything, but definitely my mom. She has achieved so much professionally and academically while raising two girls. She always pushed me to achieve more than she did so that I would not struggle as much, but I don’t think she ever realized how inspirational her life has been to me. While pushing me to reach my own potential, she continues to raise the bar of success in my family. If I do achieve more in regard to education or my career, it will not be to do “better” than she did, but rather because of her own striking success.