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GCU changed doctoral learner’s life for the better

June 10, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Erick Hester’s time at GCU has turned his dreams into reality. After graduating with his master’s from GCU in 2018, it wasn’t long before the urge to challenge himself further brought him back to pursue his Ph.D. in Psychology. “Dating back to my master’s, I couldn’t ask for a better university,” he said. “It’s literally changed my life.” Last in a series highlighting learners in the College of Doctoral Studies. 

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Learner’s goal for doctorate: serving fellow vets

June 09, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

After 28 years of serving the country as a member of the United States Air Force, Stefney Dunson plans to use the research for his Ed.D. to help his fellow veterans avoid homelessness. “My goal is to go back into the VA system and help with the issue of homelessness and see if we can bring those numbers down,” Dunson said. “I know there’s a lot of issues out there with veterans right now, and after spending 28 years in the military and having some of my young folks go into the world and end up homeless, I want to be able to continue to serve, in some way, those who wore the uniform.” Sixth in a series highlighting learners in the College of Doctoral Studies. 

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Family, doctoral chair are motivation for learner

June 08, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

Christina Solares already has a bachelor’s and master’s from GCU and enjoyed it so much, she’s working on her doctorate. Her connection with her chair, Dr. Tetiana McLemore, has helped shape Solares’ dissertation. “The chair that I have, she’s the only person I can think about when I come back to this doctoral program,” she said. “She has pushed me so hard and she’s so supportive, and that is probably the number one thing that us doctoral students would ever want.” Fifth in a series highlighting learners in the College of Doctoral Studies. 

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Helping others is key for veteran in doctoral program

June 04, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Russell “Russ” Kuhn has had an impressive career of service, from his time in the Navy to his work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) acting as an advocate for abused and neglected children. It only makes sense that Kuhn, now a university development counselor for GCU, has big goals for the Ph.D. he is working on. “I’m hoping my dissertation itself will help universities significantly improve doctoral graduation rates,” he said. Fourth in a series highlighting learners in the College of Doctoral Studies. 

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Education never gets old for 75-year-old learner

June 03, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

In all her years in academics, Ophelia Brown’s love of knowledge never has dwindled. The 75-year-old doctoral learner and retired geriatric nurse practitioner has completed a number of different degree and certification programs in her career and ranks her GCU experience at the top of her list. “In all my academic environments, this is one of the best environments,” she said. “They’re supportive, the religious foundation is good but not overwhelming and I haven’t had one professor that I thought that I couldn’t talk to.” Third in a series highlighting learners in the College of Doctoral Studies. 

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An attorney, a single mom … and now a doctorate

June 03, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

As a single mother and attorney, Shaina Thompson is no stranger to the struggle of juggling multiple roles. She is seeking a doctoral degree from GCU because she hopes to establish more family-friendly policies in nonprofit law firms. “It’s difficult to have a place that understands that everyone’s life is not very cookie cutter, and finding an institute that will provide support for that and encouragement is very important,” she said. Second in a series highlighting learners in the College of Doctoral Studies. 

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She’s fashioning an inspiring example for her family

June 01, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

Many 25-year-olds still are trying to figure out what to do with their lives. But for Mireille Mukiza, her pursuit of a doctoral degree from GCU is just one impressive accomplishment she can add to her resumé. Her education is an inspiration to her family back home in Congo, where women are not encouraged to pursue higher education. “I’m a woman and I can do it,” she said. “I know my degree will have my name on it, but it kind of feels like a family achievement.” First in a series highlighting learners in the College of Doctoral Studies. 

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Despite challenges, online students reach finish line

May 17, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

The virtual Commencement ceremony for online students Saturday was actually eight prerecorded ceremonies — one for each college, with a promise of more ceremonies this fall for graduates who would like the in-person experience. But the acknowledgment of their accomplishments amid the pandemic couldn’t wait. “What you have accomplished is remarkable, and we are celebrating it today,” GCU President Brian Mueller said.

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For 30 years, she never quit on her college dream

May 13, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

No one would blame Rosemary Zuniga for quitting after she started college as a single mother in Las Vegas 30 years ago. She had worked fulltime as a cocktail waitress, had medical problems, her parents died of cancer months apart and she had back surgery. But Zuniga made a promise to her mom during their last conversation and to her daughter Mariah, who was a newborn when she first started college. She wouldn’t quit. She is set to graduate from GCU on Saturday.

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Online students benefit from new tutoring program

April 21, 2021 / by / 2 Comments

A new tutoring program already is reaping huge benefits for online students as well as the students who help them. The connections are good for everyone. “I’m so grateful that I’m able to give them my help,” tutor Kimberly Parra said. Student Colleen Joseph said of Parra, “Whenever we would communicate, she would break it down for me.”

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