Dr. Kevin Thrasher
Dr. Kevin Thrasher joined the GCU family back in the summer of 2004 when he was initially hired as the Associate Director of Online Learning in the College of Education. Since that time, he has served as a faculty member and program chair for the Elementary Education and the Reading programs, as well as the Associate Dean of the College of Education. His current position is the Executive Director of the Center for Learning and Advancement, which oversees the tutoring services for students and the professional development for ground faculty at GCU. Dr. Thrasher was an elementary classroom teacher and a K-8 Reading Specialist for 8 years in several high needs, inner-city, bilingual school districts and taught graduate courses in literacy education for several local universities before starting his career at Grand Canyon University. He received his doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in language and literacy. His dissertation focused on the instructional behaviors of kindergarten teachers who exhibited a high level of literacy success with their ESL students. He has served on several advisory boards for companies who publish textbooks in early childhood and literacy development. Dr. Thrasher is a member of the Arizona Reading Association and the International Reading Association. He has presented at state conferences and has extensive experience providing professional development in literacy practices to school districts in the Phoenix area, the HeadStart Program on the Navajo Indian Reservation, and community colleges in New Mexico.
Director of Lifelong Learning Assessment
Tom Mason arrived at Grand Canyon University in July 2007. He was a professor of Criminal Justice and previously served as the Director of Academics. Tom worked as a law enforcement specialist in the United States Air Force for 25 years. During his service he attended college courses at every duty station, culminating with a Master's in Education from Northern Arizona University just before his military retirement at Luke Air Force Base. Both his Associates in Applied Science and Bachelor's degrees were earned using the concepts of lifelong learning that he will now help open to other students (in fact, he was only required to take one college course to earn his Associate's degree). Tom is enrolled in a Doctoral program to reach his next milestone along the path of life-long learning. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, he and his family have been to Rome, Venice, Paris, Munich, Texas, Idaho, and Arizona. Tom also spent one year in Korea. All trips were courtesy of the Air Force - a great way to fly.
Director of Student Academic Enrichment
Chris Barker serves Grand Canyon University students as the Director of Student Academic Enrichment, which includes the Honors, First Year Experience and Study Abroad programs. Chris initially joined GCU in 2012 as a Campus Faculty Development Specialist to support ground faculty with professional development initiatives. Before joining GCU, he taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at the post-secondary level for over six years. His teaching experience includes teaching traditional courses to deployed United States Sailors and Marines around the world. On top of pursuing a Doctorate of Education from Grand Canyon University, his academic background includes a Master of Arts in Philosophy with an emphasis in Religion and Ethics from Biola University and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Grand Valley State University. Whether empowering Honors students, first-year students or students studying abroad, he is fully committed to providing students with an exemplary academic experience.