A boy in Titanyen, Haiti, filled his belly with nutritious meals of rice, soy and vitamins, thanks to the global nonprofit, Feed My Starving Children. It is being supported by GCU during a volunteer event on Saturday on campus. Photo courtesy of Josh Thrall
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Sending world hunger packing, one meal at a time

December 17, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau Anytime something cool is taking place on the campus of Grand Canyon University, the music is loud and upbeat, competition is encouraged and everyone seems to be having fun. This Saturday will be no exception as hundreds of GCU faculty, staff and students team up to pack 100,000 meals for a nonprofit organization that has served 1 billion meals to hungry children around the world. The volunteer event for Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), from noon to 7 p.m. on campus, is part of GCU’s season of giving that is benefiting charities in various ways, each tied to men’s home basketball games. Saturday’s game, a 7 p.m. start in the Arena against St. Edward’s, is Feed My Starving Children Night. (It’s not too late to sign up: More helpers ages 5 and older are needed to pack meals or clean up after the MobilePack, and they each will receive a free ticket to the basketball game. Click here to volunteer.) Billy Thrall, GCU’s director of church relations, said the University chose FMSC because of the appeal and specificity of its missions. “It’s very clear what they do: They pack meals for children in distress around the world,” Thrall said. […]

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Members of the Class of 2014 were all smiles Friday at GCU's first winter commencement.
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GCU’s winter commencement is first rate

December 12, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By GCU News Bureau On a day when 530 Grand Canyon University traditional graduates were on cloud nine as they paraded up to receive their diplomas, numbers were the name of the game — and there were two ways about it. First, this was a first. GCU had never before held a winter commencement until Friday afternoon at the Arena, but the University’s ever expanding student population made it obvious a year and a half ago that it would become necessary. First-semester graduates previously had to wait until spring commencement if they wanted to participate in the ceremony. Second, there was the numerical magic of Justin Willman, who wowed the crowd in his entertaining commencement address, just as he had in the October ceremony for online graduates. His closing trick, in which the random numbers he got from four students equaled, when multiplied, the date and exact time (121,214,437, or 12/12/14 at 4:37 p.m.), is impossible to figure. But in between jokes and other tricks, Willman, host of “Cupcake Wars,” had a simple message for the graduates: “No matter how you do the math, the past and the future always wind up adding up to the present.” Three cheers for that. —Rick […]

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Dr. Pete Charpentier (center) prays on Wednesday with senior Jordan Burnidge (left) and sophomore Emmett Foster before their finals. Photo by Alexis Bolze
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GCU faculty: Going the distance, making a difference

December 12, 2014 / by / 1 Comment

Fall semester at GCU was a time of great growth — in students, courses, programs and learning — and as GCU hosts its first winter commencement this afternoon for about 700 traditional graduates, GCU Today takes the opportunity to celebrate the University’s stellar faculty. They have gone beyond the call of duty to assist students inside their classrooms and outside of them, too, dedicating many extra hours, evenings and weekends to student success. Click here to read stories about several of them.

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A grand concert of Christmas favorites planned for Tuesday

December 08, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

GCU’s Music Department has a special Christmas gift for you. About 150 student singers and instrumentalists will tell the Christmas story through music at the fifth annual “A Grand Canyon Christmas,” beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix, on the southeast corner of campus. Admission is free. GCU Today has a preview here.

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Leap to Teach
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Students connect with local schools at inaugural education career fair

December 04, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Story and photos by Cooper Nelson GCU News Bureau Grand Canyon University hosted nearly 50 K-12 school districts across Arizona on Wednesday for the inaugural Lopes Leap to Teach career fair, a networking event for current students and alumni to find jobs at local schools. The career fair is part of a new education initiative announced by the University in October to address the state’s shortage of high-quality teachers by bringing together undergraduate and graduate students needing to complete practicum hours in classrooms with school districts. It also was designed to link College of Education graduates with local schools to fill teaching vacancies. According to an October survey by the Arizona Association of School Administrators and job postings listed on the Arizona Education Employment Board, there were more than 500 open teaching positions statewide. Public, private and charter schools from Gilbert to Chandler and Glendale to Maricopa were represented. Two future career fairs will be held in March and April to bring together May graduates and school officials for positions available in the 2015-16 academic year. Tom Beckett, director of human resources for the Maricopa Unified School District, which was represented at the fair, said it has a handful of vacancies. The event was a good launching point to familiarize GCU students with […]

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GCU Today Magazine highlights revitalization plan

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

The latest edition of GCU Today Magazine — featuring a comprehensive look at the University’s new plan to strengthen its west Phoenix neighborhood — is available here. The December issue also has a story about GCU nurturing its spiritual-life roots, a feature on the men’s basketball team’s debut on the national sports stage and an article about what a new name and a new dean mean for students in the Colangelo College of Business. Don’t miss our stories about alumni Gustavo Anton’s journey to medical school and Michelle Lara’s road to recovery from a near-fatal accident, plus a profile of online student Komi Lokossou, a broadly smiling goodwill ambassador on GCU’s main campus.

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Beginning in January, GCU staff and students will work with Habitat for Humanity leaders to renovate homes near the west Phoenix campus. Photo by Darryl Webb
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Embracing the community: GCU’s plan to renew neighborhood

December 02, 2014 / by / 1 Comment

Story by Bob Romantic Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine Six-year-old Gadiel walked up to Louis Falk at the dedication ceremony for his family’s new home and offered two simple words: “Thank you.” For Falk, who taught Gadiel to use a hammer on the first day of the Habitat for Humanity project to build their home in Mesa, those words resonated more than he could have imagined. “That was amazing,” Falk, a freshman at Grand Canyon University, said of his first experience as a Habitat volunteer two years ago. “It’s just heartwarming to see how grateful these people are.” Vanessa Garcia, a 27-year-old administrative assistant at GCU, had a similar encounter at her first Habitat experience five years ago. “It was for a single mom with two kids who couldn’t afford a home on her own,” Garcia said. “To see it from beginning to end, every Saturday morning, and watch her dream come true, the impact is just incredible.” Garcia and Falk have been hooked on Habitat ever since those initial experiences. So when GCU announced it was embarking on a first-of-its-kind partnership with Habitat for Humanity to revitalize an entire community of homes in its neighborhood over the […]

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Gustavo Anton prepares for his white coat ceremony at Midwestern University in Glendale,
Ariz. The event introduces first-year medical
school students to the university using a common
pledge to uphold modern health care standards and
professionalism. Photo by Alexis Bolze
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Alumnus overcomes dyslexia to pursue medicine

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Grand Canyon University alumnus Gustavo Anton overcame dyslexia to excel in GCU’s premed program prior to finding his way to Midwestern University, where he is following his dream to become a pediatric surgeon.

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GCU alumni Raul Saenz and Kea Goode, with Cesar Chavez High senior Tatiana Farias in their classroom.
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Alumni step up to support youth through Elevate Phoenix

December 01, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau Kea Goode’s mother died when she was 5 and her father never was part of her life, so she knows better than some the importance of teachers and other mentors to a young person. Their influence in her own life helped the 2012 GCU alumna find her purpose in the classroom. “I want to be that same positive influence in the lives of my students,” said Goode, who works for the nonprofit Elevate Phoenix. “I know what it’s like to feel alone and discouraged. If I can be a beacon of hope for just one of my girls, then I’ve successfully done my job.” The 27-year-old Phoenix native is among 10 teacher-mentors employed by Elevate Phoenix to teach peer leadership to students in the Phoenix Union High School District. At Cesar Chavez High in southwest Phoenix, Goode and fellow alum Raul Saenz co-teach good character, habits and life skills to classes of about 30 young women and men at a time. Goode and Saenz also teach the students how to teach their own leadership lessons each week at a nearby elementary school. “I love the interaction with the kids,” said Goode, who has a B.S. in psychology. “We teach them to be proactive, […]

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Career Services: Etiquette an important workplace skill

November 24, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Alexa Wennet GCU Career Services The practice of etiquette is on the decline, yet it is one of the most important ways to demonstrate confidence, trust and professionalism.  Practicing workplace manners is especially critical during the holiday season as employers generally may be more jovial and inclined to conduct business over meals as opposed to in the office. Whether you are just entering the workplace or have many years invested in it, here are some tips to making a lasting and positive impression by using proper etiquette. The handshake is often the most important nonverbal signal in a business encounter and communicates who you are.  Here are some tips for an effective handshake: Make sure your hands are free of food and grease. If your hands are sweaty, nonchalantly wipe them along the sides of your pants before extending them. When you extend your arm for the handshake, make eye contact and smile. Make sure your handshake is firm but not floppy like a dead fish. Don’t crush the other person’s hand. A business meal is an extension of your work day. Your ability to interact professionally in a relaxed restaurant atmosphere can determine how you are perceived by management, colleagues and potential clients. Knowing basic table manners […]

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