Faculty Focus: Dr. Patricia D’Urso

January 20, 2021 / by / 4 Comments

Dr. Patricia D’Urso

Title: Faculty, chair and methodologist, College of Doctoral Studies 

Years at GCU: 10 

Academic degrees: 

  • Post-doctorate: Black Belt and Green Belt Six Sigma from American Society of Quality and Villanova University, respectively
  • Ph.D. in Adult Education with a cognate in Research and Measurement from The University of South Florida
  • MBA from Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S. in Psychology from the University of Phoenix
  • Bachelor of Science from State University of New York
  • Supervision Certificate and Industrial and Labor Relations coursework, Cornell University

What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important? 

My most notable accomplishment at GCU is chairing Dr. Richard Henderson’s doctoral committee. Dr. Henderson and I met in RES 861, the lit review course. I was his faculty, and then I was assigned as his chair. He graduated in 2018 with a DBA after so many life challenges (California fires and home evacuations, throat cancer, a very serious car accident, memory loss, job change …), and there were times when we both weren’t sure if he would make it to that doctoral finish line. But with constant prayers, encouragement and much hard work on his part, Dr. Henderson is a tribute today to his profession as a project engineer at Boeing. He is the ultimate professional.

What are you most passionate about in your field and why? 

I get so much gratification from graduating doctors, and I rather enjoy talking numbers. I often say,  “If you have collected valid and reliable data, it is hard to argue with the numbers.”

What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style? 

Many learners would like to do a quantitative study but do not trust their ability with the statistics, so they choose a qualitative method. I have been able to show several learners over time how to have the best of both worlds — they can do a qualitative study and collect and analyze descriptive data to satisfy their need or desire to have some numerical analysis in their study.

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?

I am an avid walker and biker and a constant student of weight training. Exercising clears my head.

What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know? 

I began learning to play classical piano music when I was 4 years old, and I continue to play occasionally. I am an only child, but I have been blessed to have met and cultivated deep relationships with my emotional, psychological, spiritual and intellectual sisters (and brothers) at GCU. I want to learn to speak Italian before I die. Ciao!


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4 Responses
  1. Jeff Martin

    Dr. D’Urso is the best. She was my Methodologist and completely unlocked the craziness that can be data analysis. Love her!

    Jan.20.2021 at 1:26 pm
  2. Dr. Cheryl Martin

    Dr D’Urso was fundamental during my residency! She explained my methodology and helped me draw a graphic to understand it. She is an amazing mentor!

    Jan.20.2021 at 3:14 pm
  3. Dr. Jacqueline B. Saldana

    I had Dr. D’Urso was my professor both at the master’s and doctoral levels. She was also part of my doctoral committee. Her commitment to critical thinking, academic research, and scholarly writing is outstanding. She is an extraordinary role model and I am proud to be one of the many students that have been influenced by Dr. D’Urso. 

    Jan.20.2021 at 7:32 pm
  4. Patricia Wolskee

    I found your story most interesting. I too feel that exercise clears my head especially when it is a scattered or fragmented day. I think it is great that you want to speak Italian. I have relatives in Italy and have visited three times. I have taken many Spanish courses and they helped me enough to be able to function regarding the basics. How are you going to learn to speak Italian? I am looking for a Tai Chi class. I enjoyed reading about you and would like to see more of these Faculty Focus(es)!
    Tish Wolskee, PhD
    Health Psychiology
    [email protected]

    Jan.21.2021 at 2:06 pm
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