Amy Salgado

Joyce Morrison Dr. Joyce Morrison earned an Associate of Science in Nursing through a community college in Tucson, Arizona followed by a Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the University of New York. She then earned a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Education from the University of Phoenix. Joyce said each program was quite challenging and required a sacrifice of time and effort, but she does not have regrets because the rewards outweighed the sacrifice.

Since earning her degrees, Joyce has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years and a Grand Canyon University adjunct faculty member for over five years. She strives to model high-quality nursing care and believes effective leadership, particularly clinical leadership, and high-quality patient care is vital to the success of today's healthcare system. She led through example while holding a leadership role at the Tucson VA Health Care System for
over 18 years. Joyce also held an educator's role at the facility by instructing students, interns, and seasoned nurses.

On a personal note, Joyce is the mother of three grown daughters and proud of their accomplishments. One daughter received a double master's degree in education and is enrolled in an educational doctorate degree program. She opened a charter school with a current enrollment of almost 300 children. Another daughter opened three charter schools in Tucson and is also currently enrolled in an educational doctorate degree program. Joyce's youngest daughter received a Master of Social Services and is currently a social worker for a major healthcare facility; she also teaches at a local university.

How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?

Since a young girl of 13, I envisioned teaching in a classroom. I remember pulling myself away from family and friends and closing the door of my bedroom to pretend I was teaching in a classroom while using the wall as a blackboard. As strange as this seems, it happened over and over. Since then my passion to become a teacher has grown stronger every year.

Even though my experiences at my place of employment have been immeasurable, my role as faculty member for Grand Canyon University is what God had in His plans - His purpose for me. My yearning to teach and share the knowledge I gained comes from deep within and overflows into my actions and interactions with students and new faculty members. Although I am a faculty member, what I do at GCU is a ministry rather than a job. Every path has a purpose and I thank GOD for leading me into my purpose here at GCU!

What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?

One strategy I feel is advantageous and effective in my online classes is my personal experience with online learning. I had several years of online experience as a master and doctoral student, so my experiences as an online learner have helped me relate to and understand what students might be experiencing. I think being an online student taught me what it feels like to wait for an instructor's reply or graded paper. Both were times of uneasiness for me. I do not want my students to go through this.

I am convinced the presence of faculty and their interactions in the classroom are crucial to the humanistic component that can be missing sometimes in the online environment. For this reason I am committed to being visible in the classroom and respond to student inquiries quickly. Students need to know they are not alone and there is another human on the other side of the screen invested in their success and accomplishing their educational goals.

What is one GCU online student success story you can share?

I am amazed at what many students go through while trying to meet their educational goals. It would be remiss to think all is well with these students. For many students, it is quite the opposite - all is not well. I have learned it is important to take note of the small voice within that says, "Call the student." Many times we miss these opportunities because we fail to yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking within. I would like to share this story:

A student was enrolled in one of my BSN capstone courses and ready to drop the course. I noticed during the first two weeks this student's points on assignments were lower than other students. This student also failed to respond to some DQs. I was compelled to reach out to this student and refused to let her fall through the cracks, especially after making it to this point in the journey. I had to call her. I somehow knew things would change if I could only speak with her. Little did I know this student was going through a devastating event in her life; she had recently been told she had cancer and did not know what her future would hold. Can you imagine? Faced with such a life-changing event, the student was ready to give up. I am thankful to God for his patience in my timing to be obedient to His voice urging me to call this student. I was privileged to speak with her as a sister and a friend rather than a faculty. She needed a listening ear; someone to share the heavy load. Even though I would have certainly understood if the student decided to withdraw from the program for a period of time, she did not, which I was most excited to hear. After several subsequent phone conversations, I am thrilled she pressed her way through and successfully completed the program and obtaining her BSN degree.