College of Doctoral Studies

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Mom wouldn’t rest until daughter attained her dream

September 02, 2020 / by / 1 Comment

Beverly Galbreath gave up a chance at higher education because she was raising her family, but she was determined that her only daughter wouldn’t suffer the same fate. Now she can look proudly at Dr. Trish Galbreath-Varner, who not only is the family’s first college graduate — she has earned her doctorate.

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Initiative writes new chapter for doctoral learners

August 28, 2020 / by / 1 Comment

The College of Doctoral Studies has learned a lot about its learners over the past 10 years, and that’s why it’s introducing a 2.0 version of its programs. This redesign will take tools such as the dissertation template and early dissertation focus and build upon them to address both quantitative and qualitative research. A higher emphasis also will be placed on better preparing students for dissertation writing.

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Honors Associate Dean has new title: Dr. Naegeli

August 03, 2020 / by / 2 Comments

Dr. Breanna Naegeli has worked for the University for almost 11 years and has multiple siblings with GCU degrees, but she couldn’t herself be called an alumna — until now. She successfully defended her dissertation in May and completed her Ph.D. in Performance Psychology.

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Doctoral chair’s talk inspires mother/son grad pair

June 09, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

When Spring Commencement was postponed because of COVID-19, the Graefe family still wanted to celebrate its two graduates: Jake, who had earned his bachelor’s degree, and his mother, Beth, who had just completed her dissertation defense. Beth asked her dissertation committee chair, Dr. JoAnn Foley Markette, if she would give a speech via Zoom for the impromptu ceremony, and Markette delivered a talk they won’t forget. “I got teary eyed because Dr. Markette said such beautiful things,” Beth said.

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A dissertation defense with danger like no other

May 22, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

What makes Dr. Brandon O’Neil’s doctoral degree so interesting is where he conducted his dissertation defense: via Zoom while he was on Air Force deployment in Saudi Arabia — and, on top of that, under the threat of a missile attack. Fortunately, it all went well.

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Grad secures position with help from doctoral faculty

May 14, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

When a teaching job for Dr. Steven Mohler (pictured) depended on approval of his dissertation, the College of Doctoral Studies sped up the process. Mohler praised the work of his committee, led by Dr. Kevin McClean. “He was very helpful, very supportive and went to bat for me several times at the college to make sure that the process continued on,” said Mohler, who got the job.

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Doctoral faculty host virtual celebration for grads

May 11, 2020 / by / 3 Comments

The postponement of Commencement wasn’t going to stop the College of Doctoral Studies from celebrating its spring 2020 graduates — it just had to get creative. Friday morning, it hosted a virtual celebration of its graduates.

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COVID-19 can’t rain on this doctoral grad’s parade

May 01, 2020 / by / 1 Comment

Dr. Eric Peterson refused to let the postponed Commencement ceremony dampen his enthusiasm about earning a doctoral degree. But what stands out about his story is that he had virtually no time to prepare for defending his dissertation because he spent most of the day with his mother at a hospital. It still turned out fine. “God knew what I needed,” he said.

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Doctoral degree had major impact on her career

March 11, 2020 / by / 2 Comments

Dr. Charlotte Wheeless’s journey to receiving her doctoral degree had it’s fair share of obstacles, one of which included the unexpected loss of her husband Gene just three months after her first residency. Yet she decided to persevere and since graduating in October has advanced in her career at Williams Baptist University from assistant professor to associate professor and was granted endowment for her chair position as well.

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Former pro hockey player has a goal — his doctorate

February 13, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

There’s a lot more to Jay Harrison than his National Hockey League career, which spanned 2005 to 2015. He operates a consulting practice for athletes, and he’s pursuing his Ph.D. in Performance Psychology through GCU’s College of Doctoral Studies. “Education actually allowed me to be the best player I could be,” he said.

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