Antelope Intros: Michael Terek, Rachel Velarde and Chase Kerry
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 location: Tempe
What attracted you to GCU? Opportunity, atmosphere and the color purple. Reminds me of a fluffy dragon and really good grapes.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I love to spend time with my family. I have seven kids and the oldest is only 10. Five of those are boys who love sports and outdoor adventure, so it is never a dull moment.
What are you passionate about? Other than family, I work with the youth in my church and focus on high-adventure activities. For example, this summer we are taking the youth to Camp Pendleton, where they will have an opportunity to go through some of the military survival trainings. They also will have the chance to spend three days on a boat in the ocean and “live off the sea.”
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love my neighbor’s house. She makes great Mexican food. Tortilla Flats is also pretty cool. Of course, I am a fan of the Grand Canyon, and I go there almost every year with the youth. The Beeline Café in Payson is tiny but great. I took my wife there on our first date, and it has become a favorite for us.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I am a twin who has twins, and my zodiac sign is the twins (Gemini).
What are you most proud of? I am most proud that somehow I was able to convince an amazing woman to take a chance on me and be my wife. That and my hole-in-one on the third hole of the Jack Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The pin was 147 yards out, wind in my face, and I smoothed a nine iron perfectly. I swear I could hear Bill Murray (from “Caddyshack”) shout, “It’s in the hole!”
Job location: Main campus
What attracted you to GCU? I love both the people and students I work with – the positive energy and sense of community make coming to work a joy. I’ve been an adjunct since COFAP re-started in 2010, and I am proud to be part of the college’s continued growth and expansion.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about teaching so that every student understands the concepts under consideration. If I have to state a concept in 50 different ways, I will.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love to visit the Arizona Science Center with my children. No matter how many times we go, we always have an amazing time.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I studied ballet extremely seriously when I was in high school until an injury sidelined me.
What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my family – how close we are and that we communicate and support each other.
Job location: Prescott Hall, main campus
What attracted you to GCU? I really enjoy working with student populations in a community-oriented setting.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I enjoy reading, writing, teaching, good food, good movies, playing golf and other sports, traveling and spending time with the family.
What are you passionate about? Helping others experience the freedom that comes when we see ourselves the way God sees us, that freedom from shame.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love going to sporting events (go ‘Lopes!).
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I’ve worked with and spoken at workshops and seminars about populations struggling with eating disorders, trauma, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, relationship issues, personality disorders, family system dynamics, sexual addiction issues, substance use, attachment issues and performance anxiety, including others.
What are you most proud of? My wife and two kids.