Antelope Intros: MJ Mauney and Sedrick Ratchford
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.
MARJORIE JANE “MJ” MAUNEY
Job title: University development representative
Job location: Virginia Beach, Va.
What attracted you to GCU? I worked with an organization called Troops to Teachers. I referred a lot of my military members and spouses to GCU because we have teacher licensure for almost every state in the country and for a transient service member, flexibility is key. I was impressed with the robust online programming and the quality of education my students received. Once I met the GCU military rep in Hampton Roads (Va.), I wanted to become a part of the Lopes Nation.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I’m an avid foodie, love farmers markets and enjoy attending festivals. I bike, paddle board, kayak, swim and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
What are you passionate about? Higher education opportunities for all. I love assisting nontraditional college students achieve their desire for higher education.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love visiting my uncles in Carefree and enjoy Phoenix a lot. There’s a completely different feel/lifestyle here compared to the East Coast.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I used to play professional cartoon characters for special events when I was in college (Barney, Baby Bop, Funky Chicken, etc.). I once did the chicken dance as the Funky Chicken at a psychiatric facility for a counselor’s birthday. The patients, counselors, administrators and I had the best time dancing in halls of the facility. We did get pretty rowdy, but it was all in good fun and we weren’t out of control. Unfortunately, the director showed up and was none too happy that I was there, so the fun got cut short. But the joyful freedom we all felt and smiles on everyone’s faces made it a powerful and moving experience. When I was Barney at a child’s birthday party, the parents left me to “babysit” 15 or so 8- and 9-year-old boys. Now Barney is a very big dinosaur but I am only 5-foot-1, so the costume’s head attached to its neck right around the bridge of my nose, making it difficult for me to see. The tail is rather large but is hollow and hard to maneuver, making it an easy way for little boys to climb on and subdue the creature. When the parents finally returned the boys had “captured the dinosaur” and were tying me to the stake (i.e., a tree in their backyard).
What are you most proud of? My family. I have two beautiful, intelligent, amazing, funny nephews, a wonderful sister and brother-in-law and momma and daddy. They are my rock, and I am so blessed to have them in my life.
Job title: Travel counselor (Procurement)
Job location: 27th Avenue
What attracted you to GCU? The family vibe that I felt when I came to campus to interview combined with the ability to walk in my Christian faith without having to suppress it. Although I am still on the path of discovery, I felt like GCU was the perfect place to enhance my relationship with God.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I am a total road trip guy — I love the open road with a bag full of snacks and a satellite radio.
What are you passionate about? Living my life in a way that is pleasing to me and makes a positive impact on everyone I meet.
What are your favorite places or events that you like to visit? Lake Pleasant is my home away from home.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I was born to be a singer if singing didn’t require perfect pitch and the ability to remember lyrics. I usually make up my own on the spot. I especially enjoy making up lyrics to show tunes but wouldn’t dare share them for fear of embarrassing myself.
What are you most proud of? I am proud that I finally went back to school to finish my degree. I have a long way to go, but I am on that path.