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Community zest: Love unites GCU students and those in need

December 01, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine Generally speaking, Millennials are self-absorbed, wasteful, even greedy, and not terribly responsible, compassionate or willing to sacrifice. Or so people in that generation (ages 13 to 33) told the Pew Research Group in a 2015 study. The surveyors must have skipped over Grand Canyon University. Here, a growing number of students rise before the sun to feed the homeless, wedge into their schedules babysitting time for neighborhood moms learning English and consistently make friends with 6-year-olds and septuagenarians alike. The students do it for no pay or school credit. They get much more — the joy of being able to give back to the community. They are part of GCU’s mushrooming Local Outreach, which has twice as many student-led ministries this year as last that have attracted 1,500 volunteers in the first 10 weeks of fall semester. Chris Cunningham, Local Outreach coordinator, said the students’ commitment to and love for the populations they serve debunk stereotypes about Millennials. “People say we are lazy, we don’t work hard, that we’re always talking about helping the world, that we’re attracted to big ideas and dreams, but they want to know when […]

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Arts program sets stage for students to entertain different career paths

December 01, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Janie Magruder Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine Whoever said, “Opportunity knocks but once,” was never a student in the College of Fine Arts and Production at Grand Canyon University. Now in Year 6 since resurrecting its theatre and music programs after a four-year closure, the college is peppering students with myriad chances to learn everything in their respective arts fields, which now also include dance, digital film, digital design and advertising design. It’s rare to find a COFAP graduate who can’t tap-dance, sew a seam, build a set, memorize lines, demonstrate perfect pitch, light a stage, direct other students, choreograph, make a film, design a web page and style Bride of Frankenstein hair — or at least hasn’t had occasions to try. “This is a laboratory of education that has a public audience,” said Dean Claude Pensis, who started and was a leader of the arts program for 20 years before it was shuttered in 2006 because of the University’s economic woes. The administration reopened it in 2010, with Pensis at the helm. “The goal is to work with students in such a way that minimizes shortcomings that may occur, while maximizing their successes,” he said. […]

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These smiling faces belong to some of the incoming freshmen at GCU, the Class of 2019.
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Hello, my name is: GCU Class of 2019

August 12, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

GCU is planning the biggest welcome for the biggest entering class in its history next week, as thousands of freshmen move onto campus into seven residence halls, four of them brand new. Meet 10 members of the Class of 2019 who bring a grand diversity of skills, interests, plans, passions, backgrounds and geography to GCU and will surely make their mark on the world.

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Dr. Michael Sheller, associate dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology
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The real deal: New engineering programs show practical applications

August 12, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

The three new engineering bachelor’s degree programs this year in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University have made an important transition: Students are taught industry standards, making them more prepared to enter the workforce.

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Goal-oriented: Hyndman kicks off exciting era in GCU soccer

August 12, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Schellas Hyndman has done a lot of impressive things as a soccer coach, but his goals for his Grand Canyon University men’s program are even more far-reaching. The sixth-winningest coach in NCAA history certainly has the attention of his players.

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Expansion will construct an even greater sense of community at GCU

April 22, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

The GCU campus is changing right before our eyes, and the dramatic alterations have only just begun. By the start of the fall semester, there will be four new six-story residence halls, a new engineering building, a new eating area called Lopes Way, and a new look for Thunder Alley. And there’s a lot more to come by the end of the year.

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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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Lopes baseball team aims for national prominence

April 22, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

When he took over Grand Canyon University’s baseball program before the 2012 season, former big-leaguer Andy Stankiewicz brought a rebuilding mentality to the baseball program but took the team to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship in just his second year as coach. Now, in its second year of the four-year transition process to Division I, GCU has already established itself as one of the top teams in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and a team that can compete with anyone at the D-I level.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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