Antelope Intros: Jeff Penzone and Jessica Hatton
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: Admissions representative
Job location: Main campus, Kaibab
What attracted you to GCU? My son is a sophomore at GCU, and my wife did some of her undergraduate studies here and fell in love with GCU while earning her master’s in education administration. It looked like a great fit for my gifts and experience, and I was fortunate and blessed to land here.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? Spending time with the family is No. 1 for me. I also love coaching — I’m an assistant for the GCU men’s club soccer team (new on campus this fall) and also am the girls’ soccer coach at Northwest Christian High School in Phoenix. Longboarding is another passion although it’s been a bit since I’ve done some carving.
What are you passionate about? Helping people and organizations realize their potential.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love doing things with my family, no matter whether we’re hiking, going out to eat, attending professional sports events or just hanging around home and chilling. My favorite Valley places are Carefree and North Scottsdale.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I’ve watched the “Back to the Future” movies more than 100 times — the original 75-90 times and the other two 25-40 times each. I had a fascination and appreciation for the simple times of the 1950s (the clothes, the music, the dancing, etc.), and the original “Back to the Future” is set in the 1980s, which was the greatest decade to grow up in (for the same reasons). I have a sci-fi geek side to me, which is why the future piece interests me, and I received a bachelor’s in American history, so the Old West scenes in “Back to the Future Part III” fascinated me. Time travel would be an awesome experience! I also do the Molly Ringwald “’80s dance” better than anyone I know.
What are you most proud of? Being husband to my wife and father to my kids.
Job title: Enrollment counselor
Job location: Peoria
What attracted you to GCU? I’m always challenging myself, and I was drawn by the opportunity for growth, both personally and as part of a team. I also loved GCU’s commitment to volunteer work and its mission of building a better community.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I run, complete triathlons and practice Olympic lifting for fun. I also read, hike, go camping and love hanging out with my two cats. If it involves rocks/geology or “Star Wars,” I’m there geeking out.
What are you passionate about? I am extremely passionate about helping people and about education. No matter what you do in life, always be open to learning, no matter how big or small the situation may be. I’ve learned from experience that we are always learning and can help educate others.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I really enjoy the northern part of the Phoenix metro area near Anthem. I also love Thunderbird Park for hiking and Desert Ridge for an amazing vegetarian sushi place.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I am a musician and play guitar.
What are you most proud of? I am proud of a great number of things in my life, but a standout moment for me is when I completed my first half-marathon. I set a big goal that used to be unthinkable — I once weighed close to 400 pounds. Even though I had minimal support, I lost a lot of weight, trained consistently and was driven to succeed. On race day I had no one at the finish line waiting for me, but I still finished, beat my time goal and proved to myself that I can do anything.