Alumni

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Doubly special: Mother, daughter graduate together

October 05, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Ever since Linda Jessie and her daughter Brittainy Shirley started their respective graduate programs at GCU, they knew they wanted to sit together at graduation. After over a year of waiting, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the pair finally made it happen at this week’s Make Up commencement ceremony. “My mom’s amazing, she’s like my best friend and has had a huge impact on me being where I am today,” Shirley said. “It’s been really cool to say that I’ve been going to school with my mom and not just go to school with my mom, but be able to celebrate that accomplishment together.”

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Commencement to culminate her 16-year journey

September 20, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

When Desiree Ortiz put her education on hold 16 years ago, all she could think about was caring for her daughter, who was born with heart disease. Now, Ortiz finds herself in a position that she never imagined she’d actually be in — celebrating her graduation from her undergraduate sociology program. Ortiz is one of thousands of graduates returning to campus in the coming months to participate in makeup in-person Commencement ceremonies.

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Hall of Famers surprised by honor despite success

May 13, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

It’s been a year like no other, and that notion is especially true in regards to this year’s GCU Hall of Fame recipients. Rachel Winkler, Scott Van Newkirk, Garth Bailey and Dan Snyder were selected to be added to the growing list of impressive alumni who are making an impact in their fields. From business to the health insurance industry, each recipient holds an impressive resumé and an even more impressive journey. “I feel like your education is just the start,” Van Newkirk said. “Nothing is going to be given to you, and how you prepare your work ethic through school is going to carry on into your career.” Reprinted from the April issue of GCU Magazine.

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SpaceX dream comes true for Honors graduate

May 11, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

For some, it takes a life time for their wildest dreams to come true. For recent Honors college Graduate Quyen Phan, his dream of landing a job with SpaceX came to fruition straight out of college. As a new Associate Engineer Phan hopes to be a trail blazer for fellow engineers graduating from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. “I want to do good so I can prove that a GCU student can provide this much impact on the company,” Phan said. “I’m hoping that other future GCU students can come on board with me as well.”

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Degrees of leadership: Honors College staff unites

January 08, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

The Honors College leaders showed last year that their teamwork goes beyond their work duties — five of them earned graduate degrees. Associate Dean Dr. Breanna Naegeli finished work on her doctorate, while Program Managers Dennis Williams, Cathleen Daly and Anna Cofrancesco and Program Development Specialist Faith Beatty all received their master’s degrees. “I feel as though this story illustrates the support we have for one another both personally and professionally,” Naegeli said.

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Engineering degree rocketed her into aerospace job

October 05, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Madeline Bradshaw was interested in aerospace engineering, and her time at GCU sparked her interest in computer-aided design. Then a summer internship led to a great job she secured even before graduating last spring — she’s an Associate Engineer for Aerojet Rocketdyne and has clients in NASA and the Department of Defense. She credits her GCU professors for helping her reach her potential.

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From foster care to GCU grad: Carter defied the odds

September 21, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Jacqueline Carter was placed in foster care at age 17, one week before she was scheduled to start at GCU. But a Good Samaritan arranged to have her live on campus, and now Carter has her bachelor’s degree and is set to start working on her master’s. Friday afternoon, Carter’s achievement was celebrated at the Arizona Department of Child Safety, where a small gathering included her favorite GCU professor.

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Business degree, connections prove healthy for alum

July 24, 2020 / by / 1 Comment

Luke Elliot never imagined that he’d be working in medical insurance when he decided to pursue a business degree at GCU, but last month he joined Aetna as a senior project manager. The experience taught him that connections with professors can pay off and a business degree can be valuable in many fields.

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These brothers have designs on the same path

June 19, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

The Pineda brothers, Josh and Jake, have used their GCU degrees in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Web Design to get off to a strong start in the field. But that’s not where their similarities end. Hardly. They hung out together when they both were on campus, and now they share their common interests when they travel.

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Graduate overcomes anxieties to complete master’s

April 30, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Daniel K. Owusu-Bempah had to repeat the sixth grade, but his father kept reminding him that “education is not a race” and there’s no shame in taking a little more time to reach your goals. Now Owusu-Bempah has graduated from GCU with his master’s in Public Administration with an Emphasis in Government Policy and hopes to someday work for the FBI.

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