GCU Today Magazine - November 2017

GCU MAGAZ I NE • 3 1 Ally Nill, B.A. in Communications, ’15, was promoted to Communications Coordinator for First Community Credit Union in Jamestown, N.D. In her new role, Nill will manage internal and external communications, media relations, advertising, press releases, the company newsletter and social media. Brandon Chandler, M.S. in Leadership, ’16, graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland (Texas) with the U.S. Air Force. As an Airman First Class, Chandler completed an intensive eight- week program that included military discipline training, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills. Kara Seratte, B.A. in Communications, ’16, competed in the International Cheer Union (ICU) China Cheerleading Open in Nanjing, China. Performing as Team USA, Seratte and her partner, former GCU student Zaryn Manier, finished first in Hip Hop doubles and second in Pom doubles. Brian Platz, M.S. in Leadershipwith an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership, ’16, was selected to be the first full-time fire chief of North Liberty City (Iowa). Platz has served on the Iowa City Fire Department for 24 years and most recently was its deputy fire chief. He is responsible for coordinating and directing emergency operations, maintaining facilities, managing special projects and serving as the department’s accreditation manager. Lucas de Jong, B.S. in Sports Management, ’17, is a group sales and hospitality account executive for Phoenix International Raceway. A two-time national champion with the GCU lacrosse team, de Jong married fellow GCU alum Brenna Roth this summer. Aaron Koehne, B.S. in Accounting, ’17, is a candidate for selection as an officer in the U.S. Army. Koehne says his desire to become an officer comes from wanting to serve his nation and do his part to defend the country. Emily Rios, B.S. in Early Childhood Education, ’17, started her first year of teaching at Lucile S. Bruner Elementary School in North Las Vegas, Nev. Rios has 20 first-grade students in her classroom and is the youngest teacher at the school. Rachael Owojori, B.S. in Nursing, ’17, is a gospel singer and songwriter who recently released an original single, “Let’s Praise Him.” Owojori was the first choir director for The Redeemed Christian Church of God in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Students earn experts’ raves for Canyon Worship album Geoff Hunker is the founder and lead singer of Satellites & Sirens. He has worked in Nashville, aka Music City, for a long time. That made it a head-turner when Hunker spoke at an open house for 2017 Canyon Worship, the new album that features songs written and sung by students in Grand Canyon University’s Center for Worship Arts. Hunker, a guest producer for the album along with Billy Smiley, a core member of White Heart, said the music “rivals stuff I’ve heard in Nashville.” Smiley was equally effusive in his praise. “These kids – their heart, their energy, their excitement – they pushed me,” Smiley said. “... Their passion for what they love to do is unbelievable.” The album, available on iTunes, is the third release by the Worship Arts program, and the consensus of the students and their mentors is that it is their best work yet. Even more important, it features a variety of genres, from southern rock to jazz. “The quality of this year’s selection of songs is a testament to the growth of the students who wrote them and the instructors in the Worship Arts program that are guiding their education along the way,” said Eric Johnson, Manager of GCU’s recording studio and also one of the album’s producers. “The students are the best examples of GCU students in their humility, grace, leadership, contribution to their communities and ability to communicate the message of a loving God.” —RICK VACEK GCU NEWS The artists on 2017 CanyonWorship include (from left) Desiree Aguilar, Casey Moreno, John Rowe, KristynMarie, Jessi Sams, Katie Brown, Nick Buckle, CourtneyWelker and Lade Kolawole.