Grand Canyon University

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Grad finished dissertation amid Afghan bombings

June 02, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Stephen Lagerberg would be on Zoom one night as he pushed ahead to finish his dissertation and the next night might include a bombing at Bagram Air Base, where he was an air traffic controller in the closing weeks of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. His wife Tiffany was often up in the middle the night in Texas helping him with files. Tiffany and the family joined him at GCU graduation in April, and this summer he begins teaching a psychology course at GCU. And you thought you had a tough road to a doctorate.

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Ukraine holds special place in professor’s heart

May 25, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Ukraine has a special place in Sven Olson’s life. His last post in his 27-year military career was at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. It also was where Olson, an adjunct professor at GCU, met his wife, Iryna, and volunteered his time helping American families hoping to adopt Ukrainian children. Olson recently was part of the Ukrainian Crisis Task Force for the U.S. Department of State and started a nonprofit with his wife whose first project is to help rebuild Ukraine. But most incredible of all is how Olson regained his sight and ability to move after a scuba diving accident.

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STELLAR charged up for next mission — on Earth

May 24, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

It was more of a giant leap than a small step for the STELLAR research team, which in its first year launched its first project, a microbial fuel cell, into space. The battery, which harnesses the power of a bacteria called shewanella to turn waste into energy, has been on the International Space Station since April 27. The STELLAR team has been busy on Earth receiving and analyzing data so it can improve the fuel cell while it prepares for the next step: to take the battery to underdeveloped communities on mission trips.

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Faculty exercises its science muscle for ROTC

May 23, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

When the grueling fourth installment of the Army Combat Fitness Test was rolled out, Maj. Troy Merkle, the officer in charge of GCU’s Army ROTC, connected with Exercise Science faculty to help cadets improve their fitness even more. Exercise Science adjunct professor Anthony Acevedo answered the call, assessing cadets’ fitness and nutrition levels, meeting with squad leaders to improve workouts and more. But the heavy lifting begins this fall as faculty develop a tactical athlete certification course for ROTC cadets. “We’re using science to advance their training,” said Acevedo.

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Foster care experts put their heads, hearts together

May 20, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

A diverse group of child welfare professionals from across Arizona tackled goals to improve foster care in Arizona on Thursday at the Foster Care Summit at GCU. Arizona first lady Angela Ducey and Director of the Department of Child Safety Mike Faust challenged the group, with representatives from nonprofits, churches and government agencies, to place more children with kin. ““The state does not make good parents,” Ducey said.

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How a scholarship offer in 3rd grade changed lives

May 19, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

She was in third grade, and all her immigrant parents wanted for her someday was a job out of the heat. But after Erika Delgado Valadez and her 83 classmates at an Avondale elementary school were promised a full scholarship by the Rosztoczy Foundation, the dreams became bigger. Valadez and four others in that class 10 years ago are living out their dreams at GCU. After the foundation looked at the results of the scholarship on the class, it announced more promises to third graders in Phoenix and put Erika and the program in the national spotlight.

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Alumna wins prestigious national educator award

May 17, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Melissa Martin went to school in Chinle, Arizona, in the Navajo Nation, then taught and coached there. But when she led the Chinle Junior High back from the pandemic in her first year as principal it caught the eye of the Milken Family Foundation, which recently awarded her the prestigious Milken Educator Award and $25,000 for her skillful leadership. She attributes some of her ability to GCU’s College of Education, which has more than 100 alumni who have won honors for their excellence.

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GCU podcasters find their voice at Recording Lab

May 13, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

There’s always magic to be had by Worship Arts students in GCU’s Recording Studio. “But then we thought, look at how many students create and do stuff who aren’t in the Worship Arts program,” said Recording Lab coordinator Joseph Vaught — students who now have a resource of their own, the new GCU Recording Lab. It’s where podcasters, such as sports management senior and “Total Soccer Show” contributor Joseph Lowery, are sharing their thoughts with the world. Reprinted from the April issue of GCU Magazine.

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Faculty honored for aiding students’ career success

May 12, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Professors step up in the classroom with lectures, PowerPoint presentations and the like. But they also encourage and mentor students in their undergraduate research, link students to startups or use their connections from their time in industry to help students get jobs. Strategic Employer Initiatives & Internships recently recognized 13 faculty members across seven colleges for their efforts to champion the career success of their students.

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GCU ROTC cadets commissioned as Army officers

May 09, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Isaac Duh Nei Lian immigrated to the United States from Burma when he was just 11 years old and is now headed for infantry training as an officer in the Army. He was among nine cadets appointed to lead enlisted personnel as second lieutenants during the University’s Army ROTC Thunder Battalion Commissioning Ceremony on Friday. “This is my privilege to give back to the country,” he said.

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