How a Lecture was an Rx for Passion
Dr. Stuart Harris says GCU culture ‘really impacted who I would become’
s Dr. Stuart Harris walked down the
brick Promenade connecting Grand
Canyon University’s entrance to the
heart of the Phoenix campus, he reminisced
about how the University molded him into the
man he is today.
It had been years since Harris, 27, last saw
Brazell Stadium, where he played catcher
for the Antelopes baseball team, or the Tell
Science classroom building, where he studied
human biology and chemistry en route to
graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in
human biology.
After graduation, Harris briefly pursued
a master’s in biomedical science at Central
Washington University, then entered
Pacific Northwest University’s College of
Osteopathic Medicine and graduated in May.
During medical school, he served on three
international medical mission trips — to the
Philippines in 2011, Belize in 2013 and back to
the Philippines in March. In the Philippines,
he served with doctors and nurses from Reach
International Healthcare and Training, Inc.
which provided free clinical care to and
performed minor surgeries on indigenous
people with little or no health care.
But Harris, an academically accomplished
doctor of osteopathic medicine, cared little
about his studies when he arrived at GCU in
2005 to play baseball. He hadn’t applied himself
in high school in Liberty Lake, Wash.
However, after being denied by the NCAA
Clearinghouse, which grants eligibility to
compete in collegiate athletics, Harris turned
his focus to his coursework. A classroom
lecture during his sophomore year was a
defining moment in his academic success.
“I went from this person who was totally
focused on sports to this person who was
focused on academics and getting involved in my
community and serving other people,” he said.
“The culture at GCU and the professors I
had really impacted who I would become. If I
didn’t go to GCU, I don’t think I’d be where I
am today.”
Grand guidance
Harris came to GCU on a leadership scholarship
and walked on to the baseball team. He was
bright, but his focus was on athletics, not
While on his second medical mission trip to the Philippines
inMarch, Dr. Stuart Harris and missionaries fromReach
International Healthcare and Training, Inc., provided free clinical
care to more than 1,300 local people.
photo by brad
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