Faculty Focus: Evelyn Racette
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Title: Instructor, MPA Coordinator
Years at GCU: 3
Academic degrees: B.A. in Music Performance, Master of Public Administration
Notable research in your field: The Fair Housing Act and Sober Living Facilities in Arizona
Notable employment in your field: City Manager in Pinetop-Lakeside, Ariz., City Manager in Fort Atkinson, Wis., and City Administrator in Prairie City, Iowa.
What are you most passionate about in your field? I love public service and government because it’s about people. My students often joke with me that Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation is really based off of my experiences in city management. Leslie Knope is passionate about government because it serves people, and that is what draws me to public service, too!
What aspect of your teaching style is the most distinctive and/or memorable? Everything I do is about connecting to my students, and I find that humor helps – I do a couple of goofy but fun things to connect to my students. I use my bitmoji in my PowerPoints to signal that I’m talking about something important that needs to be remembered. (My bitmoji is also doing something relevant to what I’m talking about. For example, I might use my bitmoji behind a desk with a lot of papers when explaining that bureaucracy literally means to “rule from the desk.”) This year I started giving high-fives to my students as they walk into the classroom before class starts!
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time? I like being outside and exploring Arizona. My husband and I enjoy riding and racing mountain bikes.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know? Growing up in South Dakota gave me a love for the outdoors (even though it’s freezing there in the winter!) and helped me learn how to create fun. My family built a tree swing with a three-level platform to jump off (we had to do all the math so we didn’t hit the platform as the swing returned). We’d ice boat in the winter and play in the lake in the summer. I also enjoyed riding my horses and feeding our bottle calves.