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Former basketball star to grads: ‘Let your light shine’

April 27, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Rehema Stephens could have rested on her laurels after an outstanding career as a basketball player, both as a scoring leader for UCLA and later in the WNBA. But she went on from that career to get three master’s degrees, the latest from GCU on Tuesday, when she was the speaker of the afternoon Commencement for College of Education master’s degree graduates. “Don’t settle, keep ascending,” Rehema said in an interview. “Once you find that area, that passion, success will find you and money will find you.”

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Grad brings teaching gifts home to Navajo Nation

April 27, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Falonna Ashley never thought she could become a teacher. Growing up in rural Wide Ruins, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, she never thought she was smart enough to become a teacher. Not only did she earn her bachelor’s degree but, on Tuesday, walked across the GCU Arena Commencement stage after earning her master’s degree in educational leadership. She’s taking those gifts with her back to the reservation, where she’s teaching at a hard-scrabbled rural school that’s an hour away from most conveniences. “The goal was never to make it off the rez,” said Ashley. “The goal was to show rez kids that we are capable of far more than anyone wants to believe we are.”

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Commencement speaker wows crowd with fervor

April 26, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Dr. Keziah Tinkle-Williams’ Commencement speech at the first of seven ceremonies for online learners Monday morning was powerful. She shared with the audience her struggles with multiple sclerosis and the importance of slaying our inner dragons that can prevent us from reaching our goals. Her speech was so inspiring, it resulted in a number of outbreaks of applause. “Stop selling yourself short. Be your own hero,” she concluded.

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Doctoral graduates triumphed despite trying times

April 26, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Drs. Alyson Bell and Johnny Fielder are just two examples of overcoming adversity and emerging victorious despite the hardships they endured along the way to their doctoral degrees. Bell juggled raising three children as a single mother, working fulltime as an educator and acting as a caretaker for her parents as their health declined. Fielder’s doctoral pursuit never wavered, even when a wildfire destroyed his home, leaving him and his wife with nothing but the small collection of things they were able to grab before evacuating. Both defied the odds and celebrated their accomplishments at Monday morning’s Commencement ceremony.

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Loss of sister, autism diagnosis didn’t stop this grad

April 26, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

When Bianca Peña started a job at a nonprofit, she knew to move forward in her career she needed an advanced degree. So she started on her journey to earn her bachelor’s in behavioral health science. But it would be a hard road for Peña, who paused her studies when her 14-year-old sister, Nancy, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and later when she became the caretaker for her mother. Peña also was recently diagnosed with autism. Many times, she wanted to give up, she said. “I would try to convince myself I don’t need this degree.” But on Monday, she walked across the GCU Arena stage and accepted her diploma, fulfilling her promise to her sister.

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Slideshow: Spring Commencement, Monday afternoon ceremony

April 26, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by Ralph Freso GCU News Bureau The Monday afternoon ceremony in Spring Commencement at Grand Canyon University featured master’s and doctoral graduates of the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions. Here’s a replay of the ceremony.

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Slideshow: Spring Commencement, Monday morning ceremony

April 26, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by Ralph Freso GCU News Bureau The Monday morning ceremony in Spring Commencement at Grand Canyon University featured the conferring of doctoral degrees and also was for graduates of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. Here’s a replay of the ceremony.

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This graduate is determined to keep on truckin’

April 25, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Cassidy Alexander’s people skills and tenacity earned her the opportunity to be the student speaker in the Friday afternoon ceremony of Spring Commencement. She likes being on campus so much, she’s going to continue working in the Canyon Ventures Center. “I really like the community here. It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before,” she said.

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Success of SIS program is worth shouting about

April 25, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

The Students Inspiring Students full-tuition scholarship program is creating more and more graduates, and their achievements continue to expand, too. Friday, Estephanie Torres was the student speaker at the afternoon ceremony, and Luis Pena Espinoza was one of the most prominent grads in the evening. Torres has done internships with Bank of America and Morgan Stanley and has a job lined up with Uber, and Pena has plotted an interesting career path for himself.

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Graduate’s mission, far and away: Calm the chaos

April 25, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Chloe Childerston has experienced a lot more chaos than the average graduate. Maybe that’s to be expected when your chosen field is to be a missionary and you travel abroad a lot. But the way she has handled her adventures is a lesson for anyone who has faced some challenges — or gone on a trip where everything seemed to go wrong.

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