Antelope Intros: Laurie Merrill and Lance Hyden

October 09, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

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.

Laurie Merrill

Laurie Merrill


Job title: Senior writer, Communications and Public Affairs

Job location: Main campus, Hegel Hall

What attracted you to GCU? I spent most of my news career writing about murders, mayhem and tragedy. At GCU, I get to write about positive, uplifting people, places and events at one of the most dynamic, fast-growing and exciting campuses in the Valley.

What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I love to read literature, hike just about anywhere and play card games. I also enjoy watching my children’s sports teams compete.

What are you passionate about? As the proud mother of two amazing teenagers, I am passionate about my children and family, which includes three dogs and a cat. I am a recovering New York Knicks junkie and a fan of just about all Bruce Springsteen music. 

What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? There are so many wonderful choices, whether it’s taking a stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden, hiking in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve or grabbing a Mexican dinner at Via de Los Santos or Manuel’s.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: As a teenager in New Jersey I was a ribbon-winning horseback rider and once had a part-time job driving a horse and buggy around Boston.

What are you most proud of? My love of people and my fairly newfound ability to see the glass as half-full.

Lance Hyden

Lance Hyden and his girlfriend, Deb Evans


Job title: Enrollment counselor, College of Doctoral Studies

Job location: Tempe

What attracted you to GCU? I wanted a more positive work environment with growth opportunities. And I had to find out why the Valley is turning purple.

What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? Fun is with my family. I enjoy doing crazy fun things with my boys, and spending time doing unique things with my girlfriend, Deb Evans, a student in the master’s nursing program at GCU.

What are you passionate about? I love to write. I have had a short story published and am working on a second one. I love movies and also have written screenplays that I hope to one day see on the big screen. I am very supportive of our veterans because I have served in the U.S. Marines. “Semper Fidelis.”

What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love going to Phoenix Comicon with my little superheroes (my boys). I enjoy going to the Tempe Festival of the Arts with my girlfriend. I also like to attend any sporting events here in the valley when any Detroit team comes to play — we never miss a Red Wings game when they play the Coyotes in Glendale. Anything outdoors with family is the best.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I use women’s shaving cream to shave off my beard. That’s why I still look as if I’m in my early 30s. And if you believe that, then maybe you’ll also buy the idea that my waist size is 32.

What are you most proud of? My boys. They are truly great kids and getting all As in school. Both are in honors society. I’m also very proud of my girlfriend, who has been promoted in her job and is going for her master’s at GCU. Personally, I’m proud of becoming a published author this year for the first time.

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