Archive for December, 2014

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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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GCU shows fearless, big-time toughness at Kentucky

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

The GCU men’s basketball team faced a monumental challenge when it opened the season at Kentucky. Despite losing by a sizable margin, the Lopes earned praise — even from Kentucky coach John Calipari — for their determination and physicality.

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Komi Lokossou a shining light on campus

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Grand Canyon University public safety officer and online master’s student Komi Lokossou is known around campus for his endearing personality and infectious smile. He overcame two brushes with death and seven years as a refuge before coming to America. He considers GCU the “promise land” and feels called by God to serve others.

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Campus ministries a nurturing force for students

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine The trinity of sacredly held campus ministries at Grand Canyon University — small group Bible studies, chapel services and local/global outreach activities — not only are surviving unprecedented student population growth, they are thriving amidst it. Call it a God thing. “The more people who come, the more opportunities we have to impact the kingdom, and it’s up to us to figure out how to reach them,” said Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin. “God is allowing thousands and thousands and thousands to come to this campus, and it’s a great opportunity that we don’t want to miss.” Upon Griffin’s arrival at GCU a little more than four years ago, he spelled out spiritual life at GCU and drew a line in the sand with Christian organizations clamoring to provide those services on campus. In those early days, Griffin might have felt like Daniel in the lion’s den. “We told them they were welcome on campus but that they would have to do something different from small groups, worship and outreach,” he said. “We defined our field of play, what the rules would be and how we would engage […]

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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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Winter dance concert to explore opposing themes

December 02, 2014 / by / 1 Comment

Faculty and students in GCU’s dance department have been working on their winter dance show, “Balance/Opposition,” since last fall. On Friday and Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the talented artists will present a sophisticated series of pieces that communicate the trials of humans through movement. Be prepared to laugh and cry.

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Chapel: Don’t limit your faith to ‘The Box’

December 02, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Chris Brown of North Coast Church in Vista, Calif., is an animated storyteller, scene-setter and humorist, and his Chapel talk Monday morning was filled with references to everything from genies to Pop-Tarts. He challenged listeners to examine whether they’re using God or truly worshipping Him and making Him central in their life.

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COFAP pioneers concept of onstage student shepherds

December 01, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Alexis Bolze GCU News Bureau Like one of those resonant quotations that’s attributed to “anonymous,” the origins of the unusual — and possibly unique — student chaplaincy post, which has been embraced by the College of Fine Arts and Production at Grand Canyon University, might never be known. Assistant Dean Dr. Juan Hernandez began allowing music students to select chaplains from among their peers several years ago during preparations for a concert. The request came from students, who wanted to designate someone to handle their spiritual needs before, during and after rehearsals, Hernandez recalled. “Our students spend a significant amount of time together,” he said, “and so it became a way for them to create community, to take ownership of their work and their activities in a way that was not just them being told what to do, and to promote the University’s initiative of faith, learning and leadership.” It was so successful that Hernandez’s students now elect two of their own at the beginning of each school year as ensemble shepherds. With the endorsement of Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin, the College of Theology and COFAP Dean Claude Pensis, this voluntary spiritual […]

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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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