Rating: - 0

Healing from the heartbreak of childhood cancer

March 03, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau Life was too short for McKenzie Monks. A born performer, youngest child of Denise and Richard Monks and part of a mutual admiration society with her two  older siblings, McKenzie was diagnosed with kidney cancer at age 3. Despite aggressive treatments, she died before she  could get to kindergarten. “She went through so much and her life was taken far too soon,” said sister Mandy Monks, a student at Grand Canyon University. “The lessons she taught us — to always be grateful for your blessings and tell the people you love — changed our entire outlook on life. We wanted to do something to have her name live on.” Ten years ago, the family started the McKenzie Monks Foundation, which has donated $1 million to open the Kenzie Center in Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s (PCH) Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and has given 2,000 wheeled suitcases filled with age- and gender-appropriate toys and comfort items to children diagnosed with cancer there. Called Kenzie Kases, the suitcases are patterned after McKenzie’s pink Hello Kitty bag that she took to the hospital for every treatment. The Monks plan to join an estimated 4,500 people on GCU’s main […]

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

GCU nurses share extraordinary achievements

March 03, 2015 / by / 1 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine They grew up worlds apart, one in Swaziland with missionary parents and four siblings, the other in a smaller military family that over the years lived on more than a dozen Air Force bases in the United States. Their paths to Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions also were divergent. The science enthusiast toured GCU’s campus as a high school student, was intrigued by the cadaver lab and enrolled as a freshman, while the athlete transferred as a college senior after the future of her school’s track and field program became muddy. But once they met, Bekah Hansz and Lauren Graham discovered they had much in common. They were the same age and came to GCU from the same city, Colorado Springs. They shared career aspirations in nursing and were interested in the military, specifically, Army ROTC. And now, the two women share the honor of being named distinguished military graduates — Graham in 2013 and Hansz in 2014 — by the U.S. Army. As such, they were among the top 10 percent of cadets in their respective classes, competing not only with other students […]

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

Blended learning format mixes traditional, online learning

March 02, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

GCU introduced a new blended learning format to a number of undergraduate classes during summer 2014 as a way to reinvent 100-level classes to be more engaging and valuable as core degree courses. The format, which combines the best elements of online and traditional classes, has already impacted student learning.

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

Learning a new way: COE transforming Arizona’s classrooms

March 02, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Michael Ferraresi Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine As his second graders sat cross-legged in front of a colorful interactive assignment board, Anthony Pérez cautiously monitored the lesson. His eyes darted from student to student to examine their varying responses. This time, though, he wasn’t the teacher. A girl in a pink hoodie held that title for the moment, at the request of “Mr. Pérez.” It was her turn to lead her Sunset Elementary peers — kids in braids, camouflage fleece jackets and well-worn sneakers — through multiple exercises in the cinder block room. She directed the class with a cartoonish rubber finger. Pérez learned early that this method allows students to feel what it’s like to guide their own classmates to the correct answers and digest the material with ease. The 32-year-old Grand Canyon University alumnus and west Phoenix native grew up on the same side of town as his students — many who come from immigrant families and low-income homes and are part of a district with a higher than average number of children who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch. In Arizona, a statewide teacher shortage, struggles with funding for public schools, and a […]

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

Master’s = adventure in Qatar for new graduate

March 02, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU Today Magazine There are no tiny patients born too early for their own good, no new mothers wrung out with worry over their babies’ ragged breaths, no nurses rushing to respond to jarring alarms in Marla Booker’s new workplace. In fact, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Sidra Medical and Research Center, which Booker has been hired to help staff and run, isn’t open yet. But there’s still plenty for this Grand Canyon University alumna to do in a place that could not be more different from where she spent her entire adult life, as a wife, mother, nurse and hospital administrator. In November, not 30 days after walking across the GCU Arena stage to accept her diploma for a master’s degree in health care administration, Booker moved 6,600 miles from her longtime home in Connecticut to Qatar, a small, oil-rich nation on the coast of the Persian Gulf. Ending a 25-year career at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, she is helping create a state-of-the-art hospital for women and children in the capital city of Doha. It was a bold move for anyone but especially for someone who, at age 47, never had traveled […]

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

Divine guidance on the road to ‘Worshipology’

March 02, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Students in the University’s new Center for Worship Arts have had a memorable first year — and so have the center’s director, Bart Millard, and worship coordinator, John Frederick. “There is a deeper spiritual governance to this,” Frederick said. “That’s the cool thing about teaching theology — you’re on the journey yourself.”

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

‘Zoey’ earns top honor at GCU Film Festival

March 02, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Best Picture at the ninth annual Grand Canyon University Film Festival went to “Zoey,” a found-footage style film of a couple’s home video for their unborn child by junior Anthony DiMaria, recent alumnus Jeff Dykhuizen and seniors Jeremy Bridges and Sam Varghese.

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

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.

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

Masterworks Concert II inspired by Bible passage

February 25, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau Each year, as Dr. Juan Hernandez, director of Grand Canyon University’s music department and assistant dean of its College of Fine Arts and Production, is planning the kind of music that vocalists and instrumentalists should perform at major concerts, he goes straight to the Bible. This year, in Philippians 4:8, Hernandez found his inspiration from the Apostle Paul: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Music that exists to do just that, in the praise and worship of God, will be performed at GCU’s Masterworks Concert II, beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix, 3100 W. Camelback Road, on the southeast side of campus. The free event will feature about 100 student performers in the Canyon Chorale, Canyon Singers and Critical Mass, in addition to faculty and student soloists, performing traditional choral repertory. They will be led by Hernandez and GCU vocal instructor Dr. Sheila Corley and accompanied by veteran pianist Mark Fearey. The feature work is English composer Benjamin Britten’s “Rejoice […]

READ MORE
Rating: - 0

Stellar student film program to host expanded festival

February 24, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

The GCU Film Festival will include screenings of student films at Ethington Theatre from 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. An award ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday. Awards will be given out for six categories (animation, comedy, documentary, drama, faith and music video), in addition to an award for best overall film and a fan-favorite award students can vote on. The festival will be hosted by Associated Students of GCU president Cody Dumas and Lopes basketball player Daniel Alexander. Both are film majors.

READ MORE