Brian Mueller

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Rescue Mission alums receive GCU scholarships

April 15, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

There was no shortage of inspirational redemption stories at Wednesday’s Phoenix Rescue Mission Signing Event as three of four scholarship recipients signed their letter of intent to attend the University in the fall. The recipients, who have completed the nonprofit’s Recovery Program, include Amanda Jaramillo, Jacqueline Mix, Brian Farretta and GCU 2019 alum Jesse Dalla Riva. “These people have had some significant challenges and they’ve taken the first step now, they’ve gone through the Phoenix Rescue Mission Program, they’ve come out of it successfully and they’ve started their new life,” said GCU President Brian Mueller. “For us to be able to offer them this opportunity to take their life now to a whole new level is a blessing.”

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GCU, CityServe feed spirit, families on Good Friday

April 02, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

When community partner CityServe called to see if GCU could distribute two truckloads of Farmers to Families Food Boxes on Good Friday, “I knew there was only one answer to give. I mean, you don’t say no. This is your opportunity to say yes,” said Community Relations Director Debbie Accomazzo. The University rallied and found homes for approximately 2,300 boxes of food, just in time for Easter weekend.

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Symposium/Showcase shows range of research

March 29, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

From natural deodorant to COVID-19 research, there was no shortage of impressive student presentations at this year’s CSET Research Symposium and Honors Showcase on Saturday. Honors finalists delivered in-person presentations while CSET finalists presented orally via Zoom. “It just goes to show how active and engaged our students were both inside and outside the classroom this year despite COVID-19 and limitations on what they could and couldn’t do,” Honors College Associate Dean Dr. Breanna Naegeli said.

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Virtual celebration homes in on fun for everyone

February 26, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

The pandemic wasn’t going to keep the GCU community from celebrating alumni, students and their families. That determined spirit was the catalyst for this year’s virtual Homecoming and Family Week. For the first time, the two events have been combined to bring together everyone in the GCU community for a week filled with tours, livestreams, watch parties and access to GCU archives.

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GCU helps school districts fight food insecurity

February 25, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Patti Bilbrey, Director of Nutrition Services for the Scottsdale Unified School District, was looking for a way to honor her mentor, Dave Schwake, who passed away earlier this month from COVID-19 complications. Schwake tirelessly fought food insecurity as the Food Service Director for the Litchfield Elementary School District and as a volunteer for several nonprofit organizations. She found that opportunity to carry on his legacy with the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Her district is one of several school districts who received boxes Wednesday in the latest round of food box distributions.

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COVID-19 couldn’t stop GCU’s mission in community

February 16, 2021 / by / 2 Comments

COVID-19 may have disrupted so many things — everything, really — but it couldn’t stop the GCU community from finding ways to help its neighbors. From establishing new partnerships, such as with CityServe International in the USDA Farmers to Families food box distributions, to strengthening existing partnerships with such groups as Chicanos por la Causa, GCU has become an even more integral part of the community. “It’s a more intimate relationship that we have with the community,” said Community Relations Manager Debbie Accomazzo. “We’re all coming from the same place of vulnerability, and, because of that, we all have the same risks and many of the same things at stake. So I think we’re sharing that vulnerability in new ways.” Reprinted from the February 2021 issue of GCU Magazine.

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After 12-month hiatus, GCU returns to Serve the City

February 08, 2021 / by / 3 Comments

When COVID-19 struck Arizona last spring, the University paused many of its community initiatives, including its most visible one — its partnership with Habitat for Humanity to renovate homes in the Canyon Corridor. But after a 12-month hiatus, about 50 GCU students and staff on Saturday fanned out into the neighborhood to work on renovation projects at five homes as part of Serve the City. It was a pared down version of the semiannual event to keep in line with COVID-19 protocols. It also was a triumphant return to doing what GCU does best: help its neighbors. “It’s just really cool to be able to slowly bring back things that we really look forward to doing under normal circumstances,” said senior finance major Jacob Norgord while painting one of the homes. “It just helps us feel like we’re one step closer to hopefully being back to normal, even if that is with masks or whatever it might be.”

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GCU vaccine site opens to public by appointment

January 26, 2021 / by / 2 Comments

It took just 10 days — 10 days — for GCU to create a regional COVID-19 vaccination site, one unique in that it is the only point-of-dispensing site, or POD, in Maricopa County that offers a walk-through option. The goal is to administer between 800 to 1,000 vaccinations each day it is open to various community populations by appointment, depending on vaccine availability. “We’re doing it because this is part of our mission. This is part of our values to serve the community in this regard,” said Emergency Preparedness Manager Marcus Castle of the site, which opened today.

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Allocate to Elevate never on back burner for one team

December 22, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Office of Financial Aid Vice President Chris Arnold sees firsthand how Allocate to Elevate impacts his community. He remembers receiving a letter, written on grade-school, wide-ruled paper, about trip to the Arizona Science Center taken by a student at a school he supports through the initiative. He passes on that passion for the program to his team, which is always the first to reach 90% participation in Allocate to Elevate. JoAnna Langston, Director in the Office of Financial Aid, said the team doesn’t make the program a backburner item. “You make it a priority item,” she said.

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Food box distribution a bright light for GCU partners

December 10, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

“I can’t even put into words the impact this will have for some of our families,” Westwood Elementary School Assistant Principal Paige Bodam said at Wednesday’s USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program distribution. It was the second of two distribution events to families in need hosted by GCU and CityServe, which partnered to deliver more than 2,000 food boxes prepared by Shamrock Farms.

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