Antelope Intros: Laurie Meidl and Dr. Melissa Milliken
Job title: Online student services adviser, military division
Job location: Peoria, 27th avenue
What attracted you to GCU? I was attracted to GCU and this position because of the passion and drive GCU has for supporting students from the time that they inquire about a degree until they graduate.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I can be found watching NFL football, specifically the Green Bay Packers. (Go, Pack, go!). I recently picked up the habit of hiking, so I do that on weekends. I have done Seven Falls in Tucson, Mount Elden in Flagstaff, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, and I am looking for recommendations. After hiking, I curl up with a good book and follow that up with baking — because I burn a lot of calories and they need to be replaced.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about helping others succeed. I really like problem solving and providing information as well as resources that empower the student. I am really excited to be working with military students and their families because they are the population of students that I have wanted to work with since I was an undergraduate student myself. I always have been patriotic; my dad is a Marine Corps veteran, my grandpa served in the Army during Vietnam, and my other grandpa and a great uncle served in the Army during the Korean War. I always have believed that the way I could serve my country was by ensuring that I give the best customer service and help in obtaining resources to our veterans and their families — it’s my way of saying thank you.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I moved here the first week of April, so I am looking for advice as to what I should see or do.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: My family has a history of twins on both sides. There are currently seven sets of twins (both identical and fraternal), five sets on my mom’s side and two sets on my dad’s.
What are you most proud of? Proving to myself that I could get a bachelor’s degree in Biology and then further challenging myself to get a graduate degree in Counseling. I am also the first person in my immediate and extended family to get a master’s degree.
DR. MELISSA MILLIKEN
Job title: Professional counseling educator
Job location: Peoria
What attracted you to GCU? What didn’t attract me to GCU is the better question! I’m from Quincy, Ill., having moved here to Phoenix just a few weeks ago. I love everything about Phoenix and GCU so far. GCU has a beautiful and expanding campus, is reputable and has the friendliest staff, faculty and students!
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? Most things outdoors — hiking, walking, running, biking, gardening, etc. I also love to lift weights and play racquetball. In Arizona it is easy to find places to be active outdoors, so when I want to work out I can pick a spot just about anywhere I see a big hill, park or bike path. I’m also very much excited about using the workout facilities at GCU!
What are you passionate about? As a counselor and an educator, I am (naturally) passionate about helping others. “Helping” is a vague term. More precisely, I enjoy positively influencing others, being a good example, being a light in someone’s darkness, being there emotionally for a person who feels alone, and allowing others to see how useful and appreciated they are in my life. I am passionate about my three adult children, who happen to be my pride and joy and have all of my earthly heart. I am passionate about growing spiritually and hearing God’s convictions and directions. Actually, I am passionate about many other things, as you likely will notice should we ever have a conversation about the following topics: substance-abuse treatment, counseling ethics, living healthy/natural and certain moral issues.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? To date, I have visited “A” Mountain and Lookout Mountain on several occasions as well as several parks. I’ll never tire of the beauty here! Oh, and GCU! Some of my favorite places in the Valley are the GCU campuses.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I lived in Italy for a year and a half in ’95 and ’96 when I was married and my husband was Army Airborne. My middle son was born there, in Vicenza. Also, I am the first in my family to get any type of college degree.
What are you most proud of? My boys. As a single mother I dedicated much of my life to Luke, Logan and Grady, and they forever have my heart. God granted me three exceptionally awesome boys who have grown up so quickly and continue to make me proud.