GCU Today Magazine - November 2017

1 To what do you attribute the Honors College’s growth? When I started in the Honors College, we had just grown from 59 to nearly 200 students, and we’ve been growing ever since. I love the opportunity to work with our bright, eager and ambitious students and look forward to our future growth and development. The Honors College has had significant support from our president, executive and academic leadership team, and fellow colleges and departments on campus. We wouldn’t be where we are today without that collaboration and support. In addition to that, current Honors students are starting to share their experiences with other current and prospective students – and they want to knowmore! 2 What do you like best about your role at GCU? I feel very blessed to have such a diverse job description. Although my primary role is Assistant Dean of the Honors College, I also get to experience different aspects of the University in different roles. As an instructor, I work with NCAA student-athletes. This is fun because my background is in sports psychology, and I get to incorporate those topics into the classroom. I also have been in their shoes as a student-athlete – I played volleyball, softball and soccer and also danced. As manager of the Study Abroad and Global Studies programs, I work with ambitious, global education seekers. I also get to meet and work with our freshman residents while overseeing the four different Living and Learning Communities. 3 What is the biggest misconception people have about Honors College students? That all they know is academic coursework, studying and spending time in the classroom. Our Honors students excel far beyond the classroom. They are motivated, determined leaders on campus, in athletics and club sports, as student workers and as interns for great companies. Our Honors students want to make a significant impact on their local and global communities, and we strive to support them in that mission as they think through their options and maximize their four-year careers. 4 Do you anticipate any changes to the Honors College program? It will continue to grow as GCU grows, and I think we’ll continue to get stronger, too. We’ve developed some great relationships with our fellow colleges and departments on campus and have established a phenomenal Honors College advisory board with esteemed professionals around the globe. Together, we will continue to provide incredible resources and opportunities for our students so they can grow into impactful change agents within our community. 5 How do you juggle all of the hats you wear on campus – in addition to being a newmom? Every day is certainly something different on my plate. It is challenging, but it is also rewarding. The students and their families make it 100 percent worth every minute, and having my baby girl really helped me balance priorities and appreciate family so much more! In general, GCU is a friendly and fun place to have your family, so I couldn’t think of a better place to work while having my daughter. — Jeannette Cruz 5 on5 5 Q U E S T I ON S W I T H Breanna Naegeli Assistant Dean, Honors College B reanna Naegeli was born and raised in Phoenix. Before coming to Grand Canyon University in 2009, she completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Exercise Science from Bethany College in Kansas and her graduate degree in Sports Exercise Psychology from Argosy University. In addition to her role in the Honors College, Naegeli juggles several programs on campus, her doctoral candidacy program and life as a new mother. photo by travis neely GCU MAGAZ I NE • 5