At Residency, Four Doctoral Learners Pleased They Chose GCU

June 14, 2013 / by / 2 Comments

By Doug Carroll
GCU News Bureau 

Stacy Tebo works for the University of Arizona, but she can’t get enough of Grand Canyon University. 

Tebo, 45, of Sierra Vista, is in Phoenix this week for her doctoral residency at the Pointe Hilton at Squaw Peak Resort. She also was here last month for the GCU Arena graduation of her daughter Tabitha, who received a master’s degree in counseling. 

And, last but not least, she spoke at commencement at Glendale Arena in 2006, when she received a master’s degree in educational leadership from GCU — and was memorably surprised by the appearance of her husband, Bryan, who had been sprung early from his tour of duty in Afghanistan. 

“Nobody does graduation like Grand Canyon,” she has concluded. 

Doctoral learners (from left) Kathy Decker, Janna Connolly, Ed Udell and Stacy Tebo at residency this week.

Although Tebo works in teacher education for the U of A and would be eligible for a reduced-tuition doctoral program there, she’s a GCU loyalist and she makes that clear. 

“I love the Christian atmosphere,” she says. “That makes a huge difference to me. And with the cohort process, everything is laid out for you. I’m way too busy to make phone calls (to register for classes). Also, wherever you go, you can continue your studies. It’s portable.” 

Tebo is one of 200 doctoral learners attending this week’s residency. Another 200 will visit next week, and the total across eight residencies — seven in Phoenix, one in Atlanta — will be about 1,300 this year. 

There are as many life stories as there are learners. During a break on Thursday afternoon, Tebo joined Kathy Decker, Janna Connolly and Ed Udell to talk about how they had decided on GCU. 

Decker, 57, a full-time instructor in accounting for GCU, needs a doctorate in business administration to become an economics professor. Connolly, 59, originally from Australia, lives in Dallas and works for the Texas State Teachers Association. She’s on the road much of the time but is fitting in work on a doctorate in organizational development. 

And then there’s Udell, 70, a Houston law clerk who has told his wife of 47 years that he’s only taking a “writing course” when he’s actually pursuing a doctorate to go with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. 

When Udell heard GCU’s president and CEO, Brian Mueller, talk about the University as part of a Public Broadcasting System special a couple of years ago, he needed no further persuasion. GCU was for him. 

“I want it and need it and I’m not dead yet,” Udell says of his latest educational pursuit. “The campus blew me away when I saw all the new buildings. 

“I like how this (program) is organized. The professors work with you, and the cohorts challenge you. All of these people want me to get my doctorate.”

Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or [email protected].

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2 Responses
  1. Stacy Tebo

    Thanks for the article, Doug! You did a great job capturing who we are as GCU Doctoral Learners. I am honored to be mentioned here and humbled to be around so many amazing people this week. It has been a great journey so far and I am looking forward to watching my own cohort receive their doctoral degrees in the near future. Thank you for allowing me to reminisce and share a very special time in my life. I am eternally grateful to GCU.

    Jun.14.2013 at 9:47 pm
  2. Ed Udell, Sr.

    Hello Doug!

    Thanks for telling the story of the four of us at Residency last week! You captured our comments very succinctly. Now that my wife (who came with me!) understands that my “writing course” is leading to a doctorate, she has become more interested in completing her education after spending some time visiting with those in Residency. After raising five children while I served various communities across this nation, my wife also served as a child care professional for over 30 years and never had time to complete her dream. Hopefully, I can encourage her to enroll at GCU and take some “writing classes” to earn her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and maybe even a doctorate!

    Jun.19.2013 at 5:46 am
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