Since 2010, GCU's Faculty Recognition Program recognizes exemplary instructors for their hard work and dedication in the online classroom. These instructors have demonstrated a strong commitment to student success in the online classroom and to GCU. Eligible instructors promote outstanding service to students and dedication to GCU. We appreciate the best practices these instructors are using in the classroom, and we are showcasing them for their efforts and achievements. Thank you to our GCU Faculty Recognition Program instructors for excellent course facilitation and for striving for student success!

 

Michael Bausch

Michael Bausch
College of Theology

Michael Bausch is a pastor, educator and author. As an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he has served churches in California, Iowa and Wisconsin, where he now serves two parishes as interim transitional minister. He teaches Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and has served as adjunct faculty at the Pacific School of Religion and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He began teaching at Grand Canyon University in 2004, developing versions of courses in Old Testament, New Testament and biblical theology. Michael has taught GCU courses in Bible, theology, Christian education, Christian worldview and worship arts.  

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Cristy Bennett

Cristy Bennett
College of Education

Cristy began her career in education over a decade ago. She began as an elementary teacher in a Title I school, with English as a Second Language (ESL), Structured English Immersion (SEI) and English Language Learners (ELL) endorsements.  It was not long after that she added Administration, Teacher Leadership and Reading Specialist to her credentials. Along the way she earned four master's degrees in various education fields. After some time, her adventures led her to Grand Canyon University. 

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Holley Digby

Holley Digby
College of Arts and Sciences

Holley Digby has a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling with an Emphasis in Play Therapy. She has worked with both children and adults with varying presenting problems. She is familiar with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), counseling theories and human development. As a counselor at an elementary school, she facilitates both group and individual counseling and meets regularly with parents, school psychologists, social workers and faculty to ensure a child's success. She believes the individual is affected by their complete environment and approaches each client from this perspective. 

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Julie Nelson

Julie Nelson 
College of Doctoral Studies

Dr. Julie P. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Texas Women's University, a Master of Science in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology from Brigham Young University. She has several publications on the effects of praise. She taught undergraduate and graduate courses for over 10 years before joining Grand Canyon University as chair of the Ph.D. in psychology programs. She held this position for three years, resigning in Sept. 2013 to get married and travel. She currently lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. and teaches online doctoral psychology courses for GCU. She has four kids and loves to travel, hike and play golf!

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Carol Pernsteiner

Carol Pernsteiner 
College of Doctoral Studies

Dr. Carol Pernsteiner earned her undergraduate degree from Marquette University and her Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. She teaches in Grand Canyon University's College of Doctoral Studies, chairs dissertation committees and is a residency instructor. In her business career, Dr. Pernsteiner was a hotel general manager with Starwood Hotels & Resorts for 20 years. She held leadership positions in several Chambers of Commerce, local and state hotel and motel associations as well as served on boards for hospitality and educational organizations.

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Doula Zaharopoulos

Doula Zaharopoulos
College of Business

Doula Zaharopoulos has 26 years of experience as a business owner and 16 years as a college professor. She founded and ran three successful small businesses, including an online retail business. She is a full-time faculty member for the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) where she teaches business courses, including accounting, marketing and business law. She developed several online courses for Ottawa University from 2001 to 2010 and, more recently, nine online courses that have passed Quality Matters Review standards for MCCCD. Online business education is one of her research interests. She is a dedicated teacher, business consultant and presenter. 

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