Assistant Professor and Advanced Program Division Lead
Paul Danuser has taught for 27 years in junior and senior high schools in Wisconsin, Washington, California, and here in Arizona, and has taught the last 11 years at University of Phoenix. Paul received his master's degree in Secondary Education, and his bachelor's is in Elementary Education from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. Paul is currently working on his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and hopes to use the work done in that program to affect positive change in the motivation of students of higher education.
Outside of the classroom, Paul is married to a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner and educator, and they combined have three kids ranging in age from 15 to 22. The Danusers have a cat (Poe) and a Beagle (Buster), so their household never gets too boring! Paul has played competitive baseball his entire life and still plays in the Men's Senior Baseball League, which he absolutely loves. Paul is also a lifelong (and diehard) Green Bay Packer fan and loves the Suns, D'backs, Minnesota Twins, and Cardinals, and now of course the Antelopes of Grand Canyon! Paul is looking to make a positive impact on the lives of the students throughout the College of Education and other disciplines.
Assistant Professor and Initial Programs Division Lead
Dr. Karol Schmidt earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Argosy University and her J.D. from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She also received her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and B.A. in Communication Arts from Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Schmidt's research efforts focus on topics related to leadership, teacher preparation, and assessments.
She has over 10 years of instructional and leadership experience at the elementary, secondary, post-secondary and graduate levels. Dr. Schmidt also holds Secondary Teaching (7-12) and Principal (K-12) Certificates from the State of Arizona and has served as an educator in K-12 classrooms at public and private schools. Prior to joining Grand Canyon University, Dr. Schmidt served as an Assistant Dean of Student Outcomes at Phoenix School of Law, where she developed and implemented programming as well as serving on the executive leadership team for accreditation.
Dr. Carlyn Ludlow is currently serving as the Associate Professor in the College of Education. Dr. Ludlow received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy from Pepperdine University, her Master's Degree from Chapman University, and her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Arizona. During her tenure in education, she has been a classroom teacher, a curriculum designer, a university faculty member and program chair, and a research/curriculum consultant for schools, businesses, and government agencies.
Dr. Ludlow's research interests include educational policy, curriculum, assessment and evaluation, and teacher quality, education, and certification. She has been recognized by districts, state agencies, and private corporations for her research, publications, and presentations in these areas, including twice being honored as a university faculty member of the year. Her teaching interests include assessment and evaluation, research design and methodology, educational technology, instructional design, and educational policy. She is a member of AASA (American Association of School Administrators) and ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).
Abby Brown is currently an Assistant Professor in the College of Education. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Elementary and Middle Level Education at the University of Northern Iowa, and her master's degree in education at Northern Arizona University. She is currently working towards her doctorate in leadership through Creighton University. Abby taught in K-12 education for seven years in a variety of roles, including middle school math and science, math interventionist, and data coach. She spent the last year as the Coordinator of Academic Programs for the College of Education here at GCU. Abby and her husband enjoy watching college football in the fall, traveling, and tackling home improvement projects. They also have two daughters in preschool that make every day a new adventure!
Dr. Pennington is now the Advanced Program Division Lead for College of Education. She brings her expertise in early childhood development with an emphasis in learning and cognitive development to the GCU classroom. Her goal is to help future educators develop their pedagogical skills within an environment that recognizes and appreciates the dynamic nature of the child.
Dr. Pennington has a PhD in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in cognition and learning from Arizona State University and has been teaching Education and Psychology courses for about 9 years. Her research interests' focus on teachers' belief systems and how they influence their teaching efficacy, classroom behaviors, and expectations they set for their student's academic success. Another area of interest is student's perception of instrumentality (when students realize that the course or subjects they are taking will apply to their future career goals). She has published articles in the Journal of Developmental Education, and participated in numerous AERA presentations.
Dr. Pennington has many roles as we all do in our lives. She is a mother of four daughters and eleven grandchildren (19-1 years old), one of whom lives with her while attending college in Arizona. Dr. Pennington moved here from western Oregon where it rains almost the same number of days as the sun shines in AZ. Just arriving here from the rain, she jumped out of bed every morning and run outside to enjoy the sun. Time away from GCU is spent with grandchildren, hiking, and traveling when time permits.
Rebekah Dyer graduated from Arizona State University West with a bachelor's degree in special education and a dual certification in both regular and special education. She completed her master's degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. Currently, Mrs. Dyer is pursuing her doctorate degree at Grand Canyon University.
In the eleven years that Mrs. Dyer taught special education, she fulfilled a variety of roles: she spent five years in a 6th-8th grade self-contained special education classroom; she taught special education students for a virtual school for six years; she was the middle school resource teacher as well as a middle school self-contained cross-categorical special education teacher. Furthermore, Mrs. Dyer has taught at Phoenix College, and she has been a college supervisor for teacher candidates at Rio Salado Community College and Grand Canyon University. She is passionate about students with special needs, and she enjoys working with future special educators. Originally from Texas, she has been in Arizona since 1992. She and her husband of 13 years have two boys, ages nine and six. Mrs. Dyer enjoys spending time with family, playing board games, reading, and being outdoors.
Erinn Ferris comes to GCU from the Cave Creek Unified School District, where she was a certified English teacher and the Foundational Academic Mentoring coordinator, delivering and coordinating services for at-risk students at Cactus Shadows High School. Additionally, during her time at Cactus Shadows, she was an AIMS coordinator, faculty chair of NCA accreditation for the high school, successfully authored the school's A+ application, and served on the superintendent's steering committee. She is also a K-12 certified administrator and an International Baccalaureate trained instructor.
Ms. Ferris also taught middle school English at the Marion Burton School in Scottsdale, Arizona, a residential treatment center for at-risk youth. She also has taught courses in the arts at the prestigious Middlesex School of Summer Arts in Concord, MA; she was an instructor in mixed media, theatre, and painting for students aged 8-15 for 7 years. A secondary and collegiate forensics competitor, Ms. Ferris has coached successful speech and debate teams in Arizona and California.
Ms. Ferris' post-secondary experience is most recently at the University of Phoenix, where she has taught both online and at the local campus in Phoenix since 2009. She holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and master's degrees from Northern Arizona University in both Educational Leadership and Secondary Education. She is currently completing her doctorate in Education at Walden University.
Dr. Kay Hansen started her career in Education as a Language Arts teacher for 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Kansas.
She received her Master's degree as a Reading Specialist and her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction/ Language and Literacy from Arizona State University. She has worked with pre-service teachers as a Faculty and Chair at Grand Canyon University. Currently, she serves as Assistant Professor.
Through her roles at the University she has been a part of studies that investigated boys' attitudes about reading and girls' interpretations of female roles in young adult literature. Currently, she is involved in a research directed at strategies used to increase silent fluent reading and best practices in" reading to learn".
Dr. Hansen has developed curriculum for struggling high school readers as well as contributed as a consultant for high school teachers looking for strategies to increase their students' content area literacy. Her passion is to ensure that all students and adults have access and the tools necessary to become fluent readers.
Jim Mostofo is currently an Assistant Professor. He is in his last year of his doctorate at Arizona State University in the area of Educational Leadership and Innovation. He is a proud graduate of GCU for his undergraduate degree in education and he played on the basketball team. He was a clinical instructor the past three years at ASU where he taught methods courses and supervised secondary math teachers. He also teaches workshops for schools and districts around the state in areas such as raising math scores, aligning curriculum to the standards, questioning strategies, motivating students, classroom management, and math AEPA prep.
Before starting with GCU, Jim taught high school and middle school math for seventeen years here in the Valley. He focused mainly on Algebra I and students who struggled to be successful in math. Like everyone, Jim has many roles in his life. He enjoys attending his church weekly as well as working out daily and living a healthy lifestyle. He is an avid sports fan and used to coach high school basketball. Now he enjoys watching the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals.
Dr. McFann attended Springfield Christian School through the eighth grade and subsequently attended Wright State University majoring in Elementary Education, specializing in the Natural Sciences with a B.S. degree. Subsequently, he enrolled in the Master of Science (M.S.) degree program at the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH majoring in Educational Supervision and thereafter enrolled at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH majoring in Educational Policy and Leadership, specializing in Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development, earning a Master's of Arts (M.A.) degree. He pursued a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. McFann's research interests include teacher efficacy, data-based decision making for improving instruction, and urban education.
Throughout Dr. McFann's career he has served as an elementary and intermediate school principal, Assistant Professor of Graduate Studies in Education, Director of Academic Services for Secondary Education, Director of Professional Development, and Director of Education.
He and his wife (who practices medicine as a Family Physician) have been happily married - after meeting in the sixth grade at Springfield Christian School - for 18 years and have four boys ranging in ages from three years old to 16. They attend the Christian Church of Casa Grande where Dr. McFann is a member of the Worship Team.
The family enjoys many hobbies and interests, including but not limited to, swimming, shopping, sewing, painting, piano playing, and teaching.