Antelope Intros: Denage Piper and Jameel Yousif
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 development counselor
Job location: Baton Rouge, La.
What attracted you to GCU? I knew the previous UDC for my territory, and he had great things to say about the University, even after he left.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I enjoy the time I spend with family. I enjoy cooking, especially baking. If you are looking for a great pot of red beans, I’m your girl!
What are you passionate about? Helping others. Growing up, I knew I was greater than my surroundings. Although we grew up with only the necessities and lots of love, I realized as an adult that was all we needed. Love solves all problems My passion to help others come from my family ties. My dad was one of 13 children, and all of my uncles and one aunt would give you their last. I want to give with an open heart.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? I am not too familiar with the Valley yet, but I hope to answer this question with a few more visits to Phoenix.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I was first chair clarinet in high school.
What are you most proud of? My maturity in faith. Growing up in rural Louisiana had its challenges but nothing like what is in the world today. We were concerned with keeping the cows fenced, the horses from jumping the fence and the family fed along with love and protection. Can you believe all I wanted to do was get away from that place? I didn’t know what I had. My parents had us in a bubble. I got to college and learned different. During that time I was tested both mentally and physically. At that time I met the man who is now my husband. He was truly grounded in his faith with a strong family connection. While in college my parents were going through a separation, and it took a toll on me. My husband showed me that I was more than that situation. I don’t think he knows how much he helped me during that time. Twelve years after meeting we were married before God and our friends and family. My parents are back together and never got the divorce, God gave me this job and I can freely speak about His awesomeness. The Lord is my rock in a hard place. He is the light in darkness. I choose to be positive in my life. I choose to be a servant of the omnipotent one, GOD.
Job title: University counselor
Job location: 27th Avenue
What attracted you to GCU? I almost played basketball for GCU in 2011-12, and I attended some games. Walking past the new arena, I caught a glance of myself in one of the windows and was immediately attracted — to the campus, of course! I know this is a growing community and family with a vision I want to be a part of.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? Because of my love of singing and comedy, I create short, comedic relatable videos for people over social media and sing to instrumental karaoke every single day. There are the occasional sports and gym visits. But there are balances to the gym life — I eat one doughnut a day. My motto: “A doughnut a day keeps the abs away.”
What are you passionate about? I love making people happy. My No. 1 passion is bathing baby puppies, though! I love them all.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? Glendale Glitters is an amazing event to attend every year during the holidays. It brings a winter wonderland feel to the desert with thousands of lights, people, families, activities, cultures and food. Oh, and some people bring puppies! Just saying!
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I won a college dunk contest and still can hit my head to the rim!
What are you most proud of? Besides my marriage, which bettered my life educationally, personally and spiritually, I am proud of my father, who has emigrated from overseas, become a citizen and devoted the last 30 years to bringing my entire family over from Iraq to become U.S. citizens and have sustainable and stable lives. It takes a lot to give up your life for the lives of others, which he has done on and off the battlefield. I am most proud to be his son and live by his example of selflessness and inspiration through faith. He is currently writing a book about his life, and I am proud of that.