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God is star of graduate’s ‘supernatural encounter’

October 14, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Corrine Martinez Santanelli was amazed that she was chosen to be the student speaker at Fall Commencement. Listen to her talk, and you shouldn’t be surprised at all. She told the story of an encounter with God convinced to leave behind a 10-year job in a strip club and seek a new life that has resulted in ministry, marriage and a degree from GCU. “If you’re ever feeling not smart enough, not popular enough, not loved enough, whatever you think you’re not enough of, remember that God is true to His word,” she urged her audience.

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Slideshow: Fall Commencement, Wednesday afternoon ceremony

October 14, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by Ralph Freso GCU News Bureau The Wednesday afternoon ceremony of Fall Commencement at Grand Canyon University was for master’s graduates of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  

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First cohort set to help battle mental health crisis

October 14, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

Alexis Sowell has seen the need for mental health during troubled times while working as a dispatcher for emergency rooms. The suicide calls were numerous. She wanted to do more to help, so the Mesa native studied in GCU’s new Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and is among the first cohort to walk in Fall Commencement Oct. 13. “I grew so much individually,” Sowell said. “To help others, I had to work on myself. You learn from clients. They bring self-awareness, too.”

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Doubly special: Mother, daughter graduate together

October 05, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Ever since Linda Jessie and her daughter Brittainy Shirley started their respective graduate programs at GCU, they knew they wanted to sit together at graduation. After over a year of waiting, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the pair finally made it happen at this week’s Make Up commencement ceremony. “My mom’s amazing, she’s like my best friend and has had a huge impact on me being where I am today,” Shirley said. “It’s been really cool to say that I’ve been going to school with my mom and not just go to school with my mom, but be able to celebrate that accomplishment together.”

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L.O.P.E.S. Academy students connect with Buddies

September 29, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Alexa Herriman had plenty to talk about: swimming in the Special Olympics, her Batman-Wonder Woman comic book and her Scooby-Doo stuffed animal. She also has someone to talk to about all those things, her new L.O.P.E.S. Buddy, Jaclyn Turner. Turner is one of six GCU students matched with students at the new L.O.P.E.S. Academy at the Cardon Center, a two-year program for adults with mild intellectual or developmental disabilities who want a college experience. Buddies accompany L.O.P.E.S. Academy students to Chapel, lunch, basketball games and other activities. “I have a friend to chat to,” Herriman said about her new Buddy. “I kind of have a plus-two to chat to.”

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Grads go far to applaud in-person Commencement

September 28, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

The second of seven makeup Commencement ceremonies Monday proved once again that graduates will travel long distances to celebrate earning their degree. “I just felt that desire to walk across the stage,” said Anthony Jackson Jr., who came all the way from New Orleans. “I wanted to feel that same intensity that the locals feel. I just had to do it.”

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Enrolled at 14, grad at 17 … and found her purpose

September 22, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

In fifth grade she was too stubborn to study, at age 14 she was too immature to attend GCU classes on campus and three years later was too scared to student teach in front of people her age. But Shannon Kerr, who graduated last November at 17, got it done anyway. She endured with determination. That’s her mantra now as she studies for law school entrance exams: Just do it. “That’s really all it comes down to,” Kerr said.

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Commencement to culminate her 16-year journey

September 20, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

When Desiree Ortiz put her education on hold 16 years ago, all she could think about was caring for her daughter, who was born with heart disease. Now, Ortiz finds herself in a position that she never imagined she’d actually be in — celebrating her graduation from her undergraduate sociology program. Ortiz is one of thousands of graduates returning to campus in the coming months to participate in makeup in-person Commencement ceremonies.

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Cardon Center accents possibilities, not disabilities

September 13, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

Emma Cardon wants to be everything: a lawyer, a judge, a teacher, and now, she wants to perform under the bright lights on a theatre stage. But the brightest light for her these days is the L.O.P.E.S. Academy at the Cardon Center, which gives individuals with mild intellectual disabilities, like Emma, the college experience. It’s something her parents, Don and Kim Cardon, never thought would be a possibility — until now. The L.O.P.E.S. Academy’s first 10 students will step onto the GCU campus this fall, and Emma will be one of them.

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Student work helped him keep promise to grandpa

August 27, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

How valuable is landing a student job? Ask Torrey Martin. He came to GCU with a promise to his grandparents and little money in his pocket. He got a student worker position his first day, and after graduation he used the experience and connections for a job at a nearby school. It also led the math teacher to work in the same department that he joined as a student. Today, he’s an adjunct professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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