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GCU alum gives voice to taming Tourette Syndrome

August 10, 2016 / by / 2 Comments

When Jennifer Smestad sings her first single, “It’s Only Rain,” her voice is giving a hint to a backstory that is equally powerful. The 23-year-old GCU alum and former Miss Arizona has overcome Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements and sounds. In an ironic twist, Tourette has had a key role in her singing career.

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For VA whistleblower, truth is paramount

July 11, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

Brandon Coleman, a Phoenix Veteran Affairs employee who blew the whistle on the improper care of suicidal veterans, told his story Friday to fellow GCU faculty and staff members who were riveted in their seats. Coleman, an adjunct professor who teaches counseling classes, was a highly controversial figure because he would not be silenced no matter how the VA treated him.

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Speech and Debate Team is talking point for GCU excellence

June 06, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

When Ashlyn Tupper was a freshman in 2012, Grand Canyon University didn’t have a speech and debate team, and even though she had been on the team at North Pointe Preparatory high school in Phoenix, she didn’t think she wanted to continue in college. Boy, was she wrong, Tupper, who graduated this year, said joining GCU’s Speech and Debate team was one of her best decisions, and the team has become so strong it will surely attract families to the University.

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GCU 2015-16: Golf course is just one of the big hits

April 25, 2016 / by / 2 Comments

The opening of the Grand Canyon University Hotel and Grand Canyon University Championship Golf Course were big stories in 2015-16, but they were just part of the continued community revitalization. And the rapid growth on campus continued, too. GCU Today Magazine picked the top 10 stories of the academic year just completed.

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Commencement Day 2: Lifetime achievement award

April 23, 2016 / by / 2 Comments

The commencement ceremony stopped for a few seconds Saturday afternoon so that 73-year-old Diana Dilcher could be properly acknowledged for getting her degree in communications. But if the crowd that was applauding knew the whole story, they would have given her a standing ovation.

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Commencement Day 1: Afternoon session

April 22, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by Darryl Webb GCU News Bureau Friday afternoon commencement at Grand Canyon University was for traditional students in the College of Fine Arts and Production, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, and College of Theology.  

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Commencement Day 1: There’s a lot to shout about

April 22, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

There were significant messages amid the tears of joy as spring commencement began Friday morning at Grand Canyon University. Speakers emphasized the importance of change, both in how you bring it about and how you deal with its inevitable challenges. “When we find our purpose, will we have the courage to pursue it?” student speaker Brittany Holen asked her fellow graduates.

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Startling idea blooms into new GCU literary review

April 18, 2016 / by / 2 Comments

A dream four years in the making came to reality last week when StartleBloom, a 63-page literary review, was published. The book is filled with about 40 extraordinary, original stories, poems, essays and art, all created by GCU ground and online students. A student editorial board spearheaded the labor of love and GCU’s Marketing Department published the review, which is being distributed today.

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Raffle Boss wins the big prize in Canyon Challenge

April 14, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

The Canyon Challenge was so even Wednesday night, the five entrepreneurial teams that qualified for the finals all won prizes. First place in the judges’ voting went to Raffle Boss, followed by TailSpace and Near. But even though it didn’t make the judges’ top three, Own Wood won the online vote.

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Speech and Debate Showcase stirs emotions

April 12, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

In their final Speech and Debate Showcase of the 2015-16 academic year, students presented riveting, provocative topics that reminded the packed audience in the Colangelo College of Business why the three-year-old team has become a national success story. The speeches, performed two days before the team leaves for the National Forensics Association Championships at Ball State University in Indiana, made spectators laugh, cry and, in the end, applaud.

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