GCU to host online learners at campus reception

February 13, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By GCU News Bureau

Grand Canyon University will award a $10,000 scholarship to an online student in a drawing during Online Student Night on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Phoenix campus.

GCU is inviting all online students to a 5 p.m. reception at the Antelope Reception Center before the men’s basketball game vs. New Mexico State. Students will have an opportunity to mingle with fellow online learners and meet with the online faculty members, enrollment counselors and student service advisers (SSA) they deal with on a routine basis via computer or telephone.

“That will be the best part about this event,” said Brian Mueller, GCU’s CEO/president. “The SSAs and enrollment counselors often become part of these students’ daily lives with their support and encouragement. Those relationships are what set our online experience apart from so many other schools.”

All online students and their families will get free admission to the game, and three online students will share their stories of perseverance and determination during the reception and will  be recognized during the game:

● Gary Skinner, who is blind, has shown his determination in his quest to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Skinner is on course to graduate this spring and plans to pursue a master’s degree in professional or Christian counseling.

● Jessica Smith, a registered nurse in Phoenix, entered GCU’s RN to BSN program while working full-time and raising her three children as well as two nephews. Her husband works internationally and there have been two deaths in her family during the time she has been taking classes, yet she has maintained a 3.8 GPA and is on track to graduate this summer.

● Eric Gabriel, who is studying in GCU’s doctor of education in organizational leadership program, had to have his leg amputated after several failed knee replacements. He went on to win a silver medal at the Paralympic Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston and has that same can-do attitude toward his doctoral studies.

“These three students are incredible inspirations,” Mueller said, “and there are thousands more stories like theirs out there. It’s really a testament to the importance of education and the faith, love, perseverance and purpose that these people demonstrate in pursuit of that.”

John Steele, a GCU online faculty member and author who has been involved in course development and several community outreach efforts, also will be recognized at Online Student Night.

The stories behind their successes will be told next week at news.gcu.edu.

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