Antelope Intros: Liz Flanders and Erin McRae
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 title: Talent acquisition specialist
Job location: Peoria
What attracted you to GCU? I was really attracted to GCU after reading about all the wonderful reviews and community involvement GCU has. I was even more attracted to GCU after meeting some of the amazing people who work here just by interacting with them as I waited for my interview. I also find it extremely rare to work for a company that has very similar if not the same values, beliefs and core competencies as I do. I am now dedicated to GCU based on the fact that after being here even just for a short while I can see that all the things that attracted me to GCU are indeed in action. I am so excited to see what else is to come with my long journey ahead.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I like spending outdoor time with my family. We enjoy doing just about anything outdoors — camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, etc. One of my personal favorites is hiking to various waterfalls in Sedona.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about helping others, education, the environment and being a great parent. I thoroughly like to volunteer and get great joy I gain from helping others achieve things. I am the only person in my family to have obtained my degree, and I find sharing that experience with others to be very rewarding. I also am very big on reducing pollution, saving water and other things I try to do to help preserve the wonderful world we live in. But I find perhaps the greatest joy in being a parent. I take pride in raising my children and do everything within my power to give them everything they need to succeed in life both emotionally and physically.
What are your favorite places or events that you like to visit? My favorite place to visit is Hawaii and second favorite is San Diego. I am a huge beach fan and love anything to do at the ocean. Locally, I like visiting Slide Rock in Sedona and various camping spots up north such as those in Flagstaff, Prescott and Camp Verde.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I have run my own business before. I also have been bungee jumping and skydiving and loved both.
What are you most proud of? I’m proud of how far I have come since high school. I had somewhat of a difficult upbringing, and when I was 16 I moved out on my own with no intention of going to college or starting a family. By the time I was 19 I was a single mom, full-time student and had a full-time job but was just barely getting by. Within four years I graduated from college, bought my own house and started a successful career. Today I have a great family with two kids, I work for a company I love and feel truly passionate about, and I cannot wait for what is next to come.
ERIN McRAE Job title: Women’s club soccer coachJob location: Main campus, soccer field
What attracted you to GCU? I have always felt a lure to the spirit of GCU, and as a high school soccer coach I was impressed with the women’s soccer program. As I reached out to the coaching staff for high school soccer support, I have really enjoyed working with them. They have been so helpful in assisting me with my athletes, so when the opportunity arose for a women’s club position, I jumped at the chance. I must say, I’m a little apprehensive about wearing purple. I have spent most of my career loathing the color purple in all its varieties because our rival high school wears purple. I might have to wear gray for a while and ease into “that other color.”
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? My profession is teaching, so my “fun” is coaching soccer, which is more than just guiding athletes to appreciate the beauty of the game. For me, soccer helped mold my identity and was a venue to build characteristics that helped me in so many other facets of my life. I feel blessed to have had such positive experiences with the sport that I can give back to others.
What are you passionate about? My family and my faith. Everything I do has to align with those passions. There are so many things I really enjoy: tennis, hiking, kayaking, cake decorating, baking, reading murder mysteries and eating chocolate. However, I have to be careful because I can easily fill my life with so many good things that I find myself neglecting what really matters most. Nothing compares to the feeling I get when I’m with my family, whether it’s squeezing my nephew’s chubby cheeks or watching my daughter play tennis. My faith keeps everything in perspective, keeps me grounded.
What are your favorite places or events that you like to visit? We are Broadway season-ticket holders. We love attending Broadway as a family! Most people consider the McRaes sports fans (and we are), but they usually are surprised to find out that Broadway is a huge dynamic in our family culture. Yes, we all can sing a variety of Broadway medleys. In fact, my kids often hum Broadway tunes while on the football field, soccer field or tennis court.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I play the piano. I don’t share this talent in public or with really anyone because it’s more of an outlet for me, not for others. But I find the piano relaxing, and it’s nice to lose myself in the music.
What are you most proud of? My children are by far my greatest source of pride. All four of them are unique and amazing in their own way. My husband and I marvel at their integrity and tenacity. Our kids are a million times more amazing that we have ever been and even more amazing that we could have dreamed them to become. Conner, Cameron, Gavin and Abbie are the four people I admire most!