Turn Off Campaign Trail Leads Mann to Full-Time Job With Student Life
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
Few former students left an impact on Grand Canyon University like former student president Anthony Mann.
After serving as president of Associated Students of GCU for two years, graduating this spring, and getting his first taste of pro politics, Mann recently returned to campus this fall to work as student activities coordinator. He will work with student leaders to plan campus events like the upcoming Lip Sync and Mr. GCU pageant.
“I can honestly say that I love being back at GCU,” Mann said. “Being here gives me a chance to work with people in a way that brings me joy.”
Mann said the most exciting aspect of his new job, which requires him to work with many of the student leaders he grew close to as a student, is being able to work with students and staff in a relational way. He entered this semester with the idea of giving current students a chance at enjoying their time at GCU more by encouraging them to get involved.
Sarah Thatcher, GCU’s student involvement manager, hired Mann earlier this year. Thatcher knew immediately what the former student leader could bring to campus with his perspective and experience.
“When we interviewed him and heard his heart, it was evident that he got (the position),” Thatcher said. “He understands how to lead people, and I think he will make a huge impact on the people he leads at GCU.”
Mann became ASGCU president in 2010 and served through the spring 2012 semester. During his presidency, he helped reorganize student government to focus on student advocacy and activities. He initiated events to engage students in the GCU community. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and set his mind on putting his campus political experience to work this summer.
Mann spent time in political fundraising and campaigning this summer, getting a chance to work with the offices of Republican Arizona policymakers like Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. Jon Kyl, and Rep. Ben Quayle. Mann also contributed to the National Republican Congressional Committee and assisted with two congressional campaigns.
Mann said as he became more involved in campaigning, he realized he enjoys politics, but learned about the unforgiving nature of the campaign trail.
“Campaigns have a nature of being all-consuming and caused me to sacrifice things that I’m not willing to sacrifice: time with family, relationships, and time with the Lord,” Mann said.
He decided that working in politics full-time would be a challenge and began to look for opportunities elsewhere. But a return to GCU wasn’t on his radar.
“I didn’t plan on coming back here, but our ideas and plans aren’t always what (God) has in store for us,” Mann said.
Ty Keiser, Mann’s ASGCU vice-president during his second term, believes the former president’s return to GCU could have a huge impact on the university and student community.
“The reason he was successful as a student leader was because he cared so much about the student body and the school itself,” Keiser said. “When you bring back someone like that, you can’t help but be successful.”
Contact Cooper Nelson at 639.7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.