College of Doctoral Studies

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Doctoral learner is still aiming high at age 80

December 01, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Dorothy Galiger’s role as a military spouse didn’t end when her husband retired from the Army. It didn’t even end after he died in 2018. She continues to pay homage to him by pursuing a doctorate from GCU, focusing her dissertation topic on the challenges female Army reserve combat veterans face in trying to reintegrate into civilian life.. Oh, and there’s one other thing: Dorothy Galiger is 80 years old.

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Doctoral degree helped him fulfill a lifelong dream

November 04, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Dr. Corey Shaun Owens knew when he was 12 that he would need a doctorate to achieve his goal of becoming a college professor. He earned that degree last year and, after riding out the pandemic, used it to get a teaching job and eventually a program director role at the University of Louisville. He said it might not have been possible without his experience at GCU. “It was the period that allowed me to put the check next to that goal and say, ‘I now know that I can become a college professor at an institution because of Grand Canyon University,’” he said.

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Foster care, homeless, dyslexic … and a doctorate

August 08, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Foster care, homelessness, dyslexia — you name it and Dr. Danisha Keating lived it. After constantly being told that she was a statistic who wouldn’t amount to anything past high school, Keating successfully proved her naysayers wrong by not only earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees but also a doctorate. “If it wasn’t for GCU’s doctoral program and the way that it’s structured, I would not have been able to know where to start,” she said. “I don’t think I would have been successful anywhere else.”

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What a journey: There was danger in this doctorate

July 30, 2021 / by / 3 Comments

Dr. Shakta Man Ghale literally climbed mountains to finally get his Doctor of Business Administration degree. During his doctoral journey, the Nepal native had to overcome internet and electricity issues, an earthquake, days of travel up and down steep mountains by foot and even encounters with Nepali leeches. But this summer, Ghale’s years of persistence finally paid off with the signing of his dissertation. “I definitely feel proud,” he said. “I really appreciate the GCU team and the opportunity that GCU has given me.”

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Her doctoral chair’s support was key to graduation

July 14, 2021 / by / 5 Comments

The bond between a doctoral learner and their dissertation chair is one like no other. This was especially true for Dr. Laurica Yancey, who recently completed her doctoral program. Throughout her program, Yancey had to take on caretaking responsibilities for both of her parent, all while working full-time and going to school. When things got challenging and she was on the verge of calling it quits, her dissertation chair Dr. Theodus Luckett helped motivate and support her through out the remainder of the program. “I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for Dr. Luckett,” Yancey said. “He was an example in terms of I’m paying it forward to other people because of what he’s done for me.”

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Doctoral chair’s daughter, 10, is a published artist

July 07, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

It’s not every day that a 10-year-old’s artwork is showcased in a published book. But College of Doctoral Studies chair Dr. Wanda Fernandopulle wanted to set up her daughter, Angelica Gary, for future success in the art world. Thus, the book “Exploring Angelica’s Art” was born. “When I’m not looking at dissertations, doing dissertation defenses and helping all my doctoral Learners out at Grand Canyon, this is my other life in terms of her academics and also honing in on her gift,” Fernandopulle said.

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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 / 1 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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