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College of Doctoral Studies

Achievements from our Students

Paulette Crosby is a student in GCU's Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and graduated in July of 2012. Paulette is also the Founder and President of Reading Star Academy of Excellence Charter School which opened in August 2011 in Volusia County, Florida. This is the first dual language school to open in Volusia County and caters to students whose primary language is Spanish. Paulette has been able to tie the information she's learning in her doctoral classes and in writing her dissertation directly to her proposal and development for the charter school.

Achievements from our Alumni

Nicholas Markette was the first student to graduate from one of GCU's doctoral programs. Nicholas earned his Ed.D. in May 2011 after successfully defending his dissertation "A Case Study of the Structures and Conditions of Public High School Administrations as Teams." His study was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Dissertation Award from the Arizona Professors of Education Administration.


Brenda Combs
graduated in May 2011 with her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership. Her dissertation topic was "A Study of the Success Factors and Strategies that Enabled Women to Overcome Homelessness." Brenda is GCU's Ambassador and in this role she shares her story of overcoming 10 years of addiction and homelessness and how education was a key factor that enabled her to get back into society and successfully reach her dreams. Brenda presented her dissertation findings on May 11-13 at the United Way in Rhode Island and has also shared her story all over the country, including on CNN and The Today Show.


Dr. Perry Berry
who earned his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (EdD) at GCU, was named Superintendent of the Queen Creek Unified School District in April 2015. Dr. Berry served as Interim Superintendent since January and previously served as the Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum for the district. Before moving to the East Valley, Dr. Berry served as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent in Page, Ariz. A former professional baseball player in the Houston Astros organization, Dr. Berry has served as a teacher, administrator and coached three sports (baseball, basketball and football) in Louisiana, Colorado and Arizona for more than 15 years.

Achievements from our Faculty 

In April of 2014, over 80 Masters and Doctoral students gathered in McKinley Hall to hear Dr Gerry Tirozzi's presentation on Current Issues Facing American Education. In his presentation, Dr Tirozzi outlined that school reform, performance-based pay for teachers, and compulsory preschool are several of the issues facing the American school system. He acknowledged that there is no easy solution to any of these but that how they are addressed will impact the effectiveness of American schools for some time to come.

Dr Tirozzi's distinguished educational career includes serving as the Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education at the US Department of Education during the Clinton administration, being the Executive Director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Director of the National Honor Society, and the Commissioner of Education for the State of Connecticut. Dr Tirozzi currently serves as Visiting Professor at Grand Canyon University.