Antelope Intros: Mikee Garcia and Maddie Grove
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: University admissions counselor
Job location: Main campus
What attracted you to GCU? It was something about the community – I just knew the people were very intentional and caring. It was also affordable and not too far from my home in Gilbert, enabling me to attend family events, but not too close, allowing me to grow independently. I lived in Southern California for 11 years, and then we moved to Chandler. I went to Hamilton High School and played varsity basketball for four years. Now my family lives in Gilbert.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I like to play the GCU Golf Course and jam out on grand pianos in Colter. I played the piano for 12 years. I play by ear and music theory, at my church on Sundays and doing songs from movies and popular songs on the radio. Music from “La La Land” is my favorite to play. I just started playing golf two years ago. I would play in 119-degree weather because it was empty, affordable and fun. I drive a golf cart so that the wind blows in my face, and I bring extra water and a wet towel to help cool my body down. It’s not as bad as you think, especially when you’re playing well! I would go with my dad all the time because that’s one of our bonding activities.
What are you passionate about? Being a light in the world to serve our Lord.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? There are many golf courses around the area that I love to visit, especially in the summer. They are reasonably priced then!
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I am a “one-hit wonder” rap star for “Lopes and Bros.” I was in Mr. GCU 2016 and made a music video inspired by the movie Step Brothers. It’s on YouTube! I also sang a Spanish opera, “Por Ti Volare,” after the music video premiered at Mr. GCU. Afterward, many students, faculty and staff recognized me for the music video and gave me comments and praises about how funny it was. I couldn’t have done it without my friend Caleb Raney, who also is in the music video and helped me out.
What are you most proud of? Growing independently and building a relationship with Christ.
MADELEINE “MADDIE” GROVE
Job title: University counselor
Job location: 27th Avenue
What attracted you to GCU? I graduated with my bachelor’s from GCU and loved the culture and atmosphere, so I decided to apply to work here
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I hike almost every morning at either Piestawa Peak, Lookout Mountain or North Mountain. I love the outdoors and camping as well. I recently just came back from a weeklong backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park, where I hiked 36 miles with 50 pounds on my back. I had to bring my own freeze-dried food, tent and water purifier!
What are you passionate about? Learning and becoming successful in life. I do not want to forget about having fun, though.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I love visiting the Superstition Mountains because they have so many trails! I also love rock climbing, either indoors or outdoors whenever the weather permits!
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: My first language was French. I had what is called an au pair growing up in Las Vegas. It’s the French word for a nanny. She still lives with my family in Las Vegas, and she is turning 90 this year in October. I am first-generation American, and my family is from Italy. My parents were busy working when I was a baby and early childhood, so my nanny taught me French because that is her best language (she speaks five languages: French, Flemish, German, Spanish and English and was born in Brussels, Belgium). I eventually learned English from my parents and, surprisingly, never learned Italian. My parents thought since we lived in America, I should only know English and that Italian wasn’t necessary. French was my first language, however, and I can understand it more than I can speak it now. My accent is awful, and I am horrible at conjugating.
What are you most proud of? Moving from my hometown and deciding to stay in Phoenix after I graduated from GCU in December. Lots of “adulting” happened in the last six months, which is pretty cool!