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Faculty Spotlight: Kristi Perkins

November 18, 2009 / by / 1 Comment

COLA English and writing instructor Kristi Perkins grew up serving others. In grade school, when she was short on humans to serve, her parents noted she brought home every injured animal she could find. She would feed and nurse all the wounded birds, bunnies, dogs and cats back to health. The urge continued through college, where she proposed projects that involved large-scale homeless housing plans and other “enormous efforts to save the world,” she says. “I was a bit of a dreamer,” says Kristi. “But I was always directed toward making the world better and helping others in the process. I believe that serving others is the most natural thing about me and it feels more like instinct than work or effort.” Kristi also found that she had a gift and a love for writing. Kristi earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Arizona State University before returning for a master’s in English with a specialization in Rhetoric and Composition. Today, Kristi most frequently teaches English 101 and 102, at GCU, as well as developmental writing courses. She recently began teach UNV 101, the new University Success course, which is aimed at providing new GCU students with the writing […]

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For Veterans, New GI Bill Offers New Opportunities

October 12, 2009 / by / 1 Comment

Today, unprecedented numbers of retired and active duty military personnel are wondering what the next step in their lives might be. After having a very clear path of serving their country, they may now be at a professional crossroads – sign up for another tour or retire and pursue another profession. For many, this is an appealing option – more command of your personal schedule, more time at home. And thanks to the newly implemented Post 9-11 GI Bill, obtaining a high quality education without a financial investment just got easier. “With this money, I now have the opportunity to be whatever I want to be,” says 38-year-old Gilbert, Ariz. resident Christopher Van Huss, who left the military in April 2004. The new bill, available to vets or active duty personnel who served after the 2001 terrorist attacks, requires no pay-in, and the tuition is paid directly to the college, so enrollees don’t have to pay money up front or wait for reimbursement. The benefits can also be transferred to spouses and dependents. “Many individuals may have aborted plans to obtain their degree earlier in life when they fulfilled a call to serve,” says Wendy Proffitt, director of the military […]

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GCU Awarded for ANGEL Online Classroom Environment

September 25, 2009 / by / 2 Comments

The 2009 ANGEL IMPACT Awards recognize universities and colleges that take the ANGEL online classroom environment…

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New Center for Learning and Advancement Helps Students Succeed

September 25, 2009 / by / 0 Comment

New and returning students this fall will find a new resource aimed at helping both traditional and online students through any academic bumps in the road. The new Center for Learning and Advancement (CLA) is prepared to arm every student with the essential skills for academic success, according to Dr. Kevin Thrasher, who heads the new Center. CLA employs a combination of full and part-time tutors, as well as a growing list of online tools that include live, web conferencing technology. Dr. Thrasher says the primary focus will be on writing and math support. “Those are the basic skills areas,” he says. “Without those tools, students can struggle across a number of courses.” The Center staffs a number of full-time tutors – who will specialize in writing or math. Plans include adding local professionals who would be willing to offer their time as tutors. Some faculty members are also devoting a portion of their office hours to help tutor in specific content areas. A number of resources are also available at the CLA web site for online students. The CLA web site is a one-stop shop with resources that will meet any student’s needs. Even students that may not need […]

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Respiratory Care Student Honored as Practitioner of the Year

September 25, 2009 / by / 0 Comment

The Colorado Society for Respiratory Care honored Derrick Davis as its Practitioner of the Year.

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GCU Adds Master’s in Criminal Justice Program

September 25, 2009 / by / 2 Comments

In answer to student demand and a growing interest in criminal justice, Grand Canyon University (GCU) will begin offering a master of science degree in the subject beginning in spring 2010. “Criminal justice is one of our more popular programs for incoming students, and has been a growing area of interest over the past decade,” said GCU Dean of College of Liberal Arts Lisa St. Louis. “A master’s program enables us to offer our students – many whom are working professionals wishing to advance their career and education – a way to do this through rich online curricula.” Like many higher education institutions, Grand Canyon University has seen a tremendous increase of students enrolling in its criminal justice programs – likely due to the growing popularity of network programs such as “Law and Order” and “CSI” as well as the growth of public safety and homeland security sectors. Many of GCU’s online classes utilize supplemental learning tools such as 3D models, simulations, flash movies and audio lecture recordings lending to a fresh, visually appealing online learning environment. “It’s a very interesting professional pursuit – and an advanced degree in criminal justice can help those who are in government or public […]

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GCU Named Military Friendly College

September 25, 2009 / by / 1 Comment

PHOENIX – (Business Wire) With a team of veterans exclusively dedicated to helping active duty and retired military accomplish their educational pursuits, Grand Canyon University (GCU) was recently named to the list of the top military friendly institutions by GI Jobs Magazine. “With our division staffed by veterans, we have first-hand understanding of the opportunities and aspirations of active-duty and retired service men and women,” said Wendy Proffitt, director of GCU’s military division. “Our team members are completely focused on helping students navigate the tuition assistance opportunities to determine the best course for their own personal situation.” The list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools which are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students. Schools on the list range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools. “This list is especially important now because the recently enacted Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school,” said Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher. “Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified.” Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting […]

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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jim Helfers

September 25, 2009 / by / 1 Comment

A few years ago, GCU had a major in Martial Arts. Dr. Jim Helfers taught a few courses, including one on traditional Okinawan weapons. Today he sticks with literature and humanities courses. That range in itself is a testament to what a good liberal arts education can do for a person. Dr. Helfers graduated from college with intentions to become a journalist. Working to break into newspapers in San Francisco, he ended up working as a technical writer. “All of my coworkers were checking off their calendars for vacation and retirement,” he says. “I could do the work, but it was not exciting work.” Inspiration for a change came from Harper’s magazine. After another day of technical writing, Dr. Helfers sat down to a story about a group of scholars translating the works of philosopher Thomas Aquinas. The project was decades in the making. “I was reading this and thinking, ‘This is exactly what I want to do,’” says Dr. Helfers. “I applied to graduate school and was accepted at the University of Michigan. That is how I got into teaching.” Dr. Helfers came to Arizona in 1990 as an instructor at ASU. In 1992, he responded to an opening […]

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