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Commencement offers poignant tribute amid pomp

April 23, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By GCU News Bureau Thursday morning’s commencement, the first of six to be held this week for the Grand Canyon University’s Class of 2015 in the Arena, had all the usual pomp — grinning parents using cellphones and Canons, elaborately decorated mortarboards balanced on graduates’ heads and purple in every corner of the Arena, on flowers, stoles and drapes. (Click here to see a slideshow.) But the 80-minute ceremony attended by 528 undergraduates in five colleges — Theology, Fine Arts and Production, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences and Science, Engineering and Technology — also was punctuated by poignant circumstances. For one, several graduates in the first CSET class adorned their mortarboards in ways unique to their career paths, such as outlines of bodies and crime scene tape. And there was not one but two student speakers, identical twin sisters Joy and Claire Flatz, who earned degrees in theatre from the College of Fine Arts and Production. The duo, who are as close to America’s sweethearts as you can get, did a lovely tag-team bit about how the University’s campus has changed in four years. (Then: no lines, no Chick-fil-A and the worst parking spot was behind Hegel Hall next to […]

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A year to remember: GCU’s Top 10 stories of 2014-15

April 22, 2015 / by / 1 Comment

GCU Today Magazine  Photos by Darryl Webb There was no shortage of news at Grand Canyon University during the 2014-15 academic year. And it was no easy decision picking the Top 10 stories from the dozens that were produced by GCU Today. But those that emphasized community, growth and reputation quickly rose to the top. Here they are: 1. GCU revs economic engine in west Phoenix The University announced a five-point plan to revitalize the neighborhood, continued expanding its campus along the Canyon Corridor, agreed to operate and began renovating Maryvale Golf Course, and opened a hotel to train students in hospitality management and employ local residents. A study credited GCU with an annual economic impact of $1.1 billion that generates 10,490 jobs, with wages approaching $500 million per year. 2. What’s in a name? A lot, when it’s Colangelo GCU’s business school was renamed for Phoenix icon Jerry Colangelo, whose principles of servant leadership, ethics and entrepreneurship became as ingrained into campus life as he did in just a few short months. As part of the hospitality curriculum, the college also announced plans for golf course and tennis management programs. 3. It’s full STEM ahead as 8th college opens Determined to fill high-tech […]

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Brain gain: Growing tutor program reaches more students than ever

April 22, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU Today Magazine As a student at Canby High in northwestern Oregon, Bryce Beatty filled his days with chemistry, honors biology, advanced placement physics and playing shortstop for the baseball team. But when he came to Grand Canyon University in 2012, Beatty traded his mitt and jersey for latex gloves and an apron. For the then freshman, focusing on his major — biology with an emphasis in pre-med — required protection for his hands and clothing in GCU’s cadaver lab. Despite his considerable high school science background, Beatty knew he would need some help in chemistry as he pursued a career in spine surgery. As soon as he arrived on campus, he requested tutoring help from the Center for Learning & Advancement (CLA). Now a junior in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Beatty is one of GCU’s top science tutors. He helped inspire University leaders to restructure the tutoring system and is assisting with its success. There’s extra credit, of course: “If you can teach it, you know it,” he said. Narrowing the focus Tutoring has evolved over the past 18 months during a perfect storm of change at GCU. The administration wanted to boost […]

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Blessings abound for GCU alums Nicole and Brent Nedella

April 22, 2015 / by / 2 Comments

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine Jesse Hannington Nedella is a cherubic blond bundle of busyness. He zips through his living room in Avondale, Ariz., alternately lobbing a fluffy ball at his dad’s head and fitting plastic triangles into a puzzle box. He stops just long enough to bounce on toddler legs to an Elmo song on TV’s “Sesame Street,” then pops a plastic bucket onto his head and continues to entertain. Jesse is 20 months old and even knows how to whistle. By all accounts, he is the definition of a miracle. The uniting of brainpower Looking back, their meeting at Grand Canyon University feels accidental. But Drs. Nicole (Stevenson) and Brent Nedella, now 34, have realized their relationship — which began awkwardly in organic chemistry class — and their entire lives are being orchestrated quite beautifully by God. Brent figured out at 13 that he wanted to be a doctor, and GCU made his undergraduate education possible with a scholarship. Nicole decided in kindergarten that she would be a veterinarian, came to GCU because of its cadaver lab (as so many high school students do) and switched to people medicine as a junior […]

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Graduates regaled at GCU Senior Dinner

April 10, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

The first Senior Night at GCU was a big moment Thursday for nine students and eight faculty/staff members, who were among a crowd of 450 in the Arena. The student award recipients were selected by University leadership in the areas of academics, athletics and student affairs and for their service, faith and spirit. The faculty and staff received awards for positively impacting students.

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Teens, robots swarming campus for STEM showdown

April 01, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

For many students, high school robotics events get them interested in the STEM disciplines they will eventually study in college. If this week is any indication, as Grand Canyon University Arena hosts the West Regional of the Arizona FIRST Robotics Competition, the showdowns are wildly popular and filled with the showmanship of major sporting events. The event is free and open to the public beginning at 8:30 a.m. both days.

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Joblyt gets job done, wins Canyon Challenge

March 25, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU News Bureau In the best sense of the word, Brad Scruggs, Ahmad Saleem and Brian Scruggs are taskmasters. The recent biology graduates of Grand Canyon University put medical school on hold six months ago to jump aboard an international phenomena fueled by the popularity of Uber, the mobile-app-based transportation service. They created a software application that matches people who need tasks done sooner rather than later with people who have the know-how, desire and time — now — to do them and launched Joblyt. The young entrepreneurs needed funding, and they got it Tuesday when the judges selected Joblyt the grand prize winner of the 2015 GCU Canyon Challenge, which was hosted by the Colangelo College of Business before an estimated crowd of 400 in GCU Arena. The Scruggs brothers and Saleem, instructional assistants in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, received a $7,000 check for first place plus $4,000 more for nabbing 49 percent of the votes in a 20-hour texting campaign drawing nearly 5,200 voters. That’s 11 grand that goes, you guessed it, back into the business. “You can’t patent an idea,” Brian Scruggs said of a concept that […]

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Forensic Science Day showcases crime-fighting jobs

March 10, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

It’s not every day that you get to experience how blunt force trauma causes blood spatter patterns that can actually be studied and cataloged to help solve a murder. This morning, more than 1,800 visiting high school students had a shot to learn blood-spatter analysis and other forensic reconstruction techniques as part of Grand Canyon University’s annual Forensic Science Day.

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Alumni Hall of Fame inductees have global influence

March 01, 2015 / by / 1 Comment

As part of its Homecoming/Canyon Day festivities, GCU will induct eight new members into its Alumni Hall of Fame during a ceremony Saturday on campus. The alumni, who were selected from each of the University’s colleges and athletics department, have dedicated their lives to helping others through education, nursing, counseling, science, coaching and the law, while reflecting GCU’s spirit and Christian ideals. Saturday’s ceremony, at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union, second floor, is open to the GCU community and their guests and also will be live streamed here. GCU Today has a story about the inductees and what makes them tick.

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Emotions find way into Hall of Fame celebration

February 14, 2015 / by / 1 Comment

Saturday’s celebration of the eight newest members of the GCU Alumni Hall of Fame featured passionate speeches, none more emotional than that of Michael Kary, who teaches in the College of Fine Arts and Production. But all eight had something important to say.

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