Prospective Students

College of Doctoral Studies

Achievements from our Students

Paulette Crosby
is a student in GCU's Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and will graduate in July of 2012. Paulette is also the Founder and President of Reading Star Academy of Excellence Charter School which will open in August 2011 in Volusia County, Florida. This will be the first dual language school to open in Volusia County and is catered toward students in which Spanish is their primary language. 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.

College of Nursing

Achievements from our Students

Tarah Gramza is the President of GCU's Student Nurses Association (SNA) and sits on the Arizona Student Nurses Board (SNAAZ). Tarah has been devoted to working closely with the new GCU simulation center to assist new students in learning about becoming nurses. She has a background in business and is pursuing a future as a nurse leader.

Brian Bearese is the Vice President of the GCU Student Nurses Association. Though born in America, Brian grew up abroad and is therefore interested in world health and safety. He worked with Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together to assist in providing safe and healthy homes for low-income families. He currently plans to move back to the Middle East, where he grew up, after graduating.

Cari Anderson is Director of Communications for the GCU Student Nurses Association. Cari has booked interesting and intelligent guest speakers to provide students with insight into different parts of nursing and allied health. She also organizes the GCU team for the Arizona Heart Walk. Cari is interested in pursuing trauma nursing. 

Meghan Hartmann is Director of Community Service for the GCU Student Nurses Association. She has developed a service project for students to travel to Mexico and serve the needs of those living in poverty. Meghan is also involved in a program called Team of Physicians for Students (TOPS) that allows GCU nursing students to take vitals at local high schools.

Tarah Gramza and Brian Bearese both served as delegates for the National Student Nurses Association.

Tarah Gramza, Brian Bearese and Cari Anderson were invited and participated in the 2011 Promise of Nursing Event in Phoenix, Arizona. 

In the 2010-2011 school year, the GCU's Student Nurses Association

  • Participated in simulation events for future students 
  • Volunteered in Mexico by building houses and providing medical care
  • Currently working on a project for Habitat for Humanity to help build housing for underserved populations.
  • Recently opened a store on campus to raise money to support these events. 

Achievements from our Faculty

College of Nursing Dean Anne McNamara has been appointed to a two-year term on the 10-member board of directors of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The ANCC certifies nurses in specialty healthcare areas such as cardiac rehabilitation and gerontological nursing.

Two members of GCU's Tucson faculty were honored recently at the Tucson Fabulous 50 Nurses Gala. The winners were selected from more than 150 applications based on professionalism, education, research and personal vitality. Chosen from GCU were Kay Lehman and Anita Gallardo. Lehman, a nurse for 25 years, is the skills lab coordinator for our Tucson campus. Gallardo is a full-time family nurse practitioner for the University of Arizona Family and Community Medicine Mobile Health Program. She is teaching in the Tucson FNP program this summer.

International Exchange with China:  Four College of Nursing faculty members, including Dr. Cheryl Roat, Dr. Kay Turk, Jennifer Brody,  and Anne Wendt, along with 11 graduate students, will be traveling to China from June 24-July 11, 2011. Faculty members and students will be making formal presentations in conferences to nurses and student nurses in the Beijing area and at Changchun Medical College in Changchun. GCU graduate students will be working in clinics alongside Chinese physicians to complete a total of 80 clinical hours toward their Family Nurse Practitioner clinical education. At the same time, the four nursing faculty members will be lecturing to Chinese undergraduate nursing students. This exchange experience will allow faculty and students the opportunity to learn about primary care and the nursing education system in the People's Republic of China in a direct way as they work with healthcare providers.  GCU is excited to partner with Changchun Medical College with plans for an ongoing exchange for years to come.

As an Assistant Professor for GCU's College of Nursing, Debra Haber is pursuing a post master's Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner degree at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Debra is currently in the Primary Care of the Adult clinical rotation with a Family Practice Physician and a Pulmonary Nurse Practitioner. She will graduate with the ANP/GNP in 2012 but will still be taking classes toward her DNP. By furthering her education, Debra is taking the next progression in her nursing practice, which improves her ability as a professor in the pre-licensure program.

As a GCU Assistant Professor of Nursing, Linda Hemmila is currently working on her Ed.D. from Walden University and is scheduled to graduate in January 2012. Linda's doctoral project will involve exploring students' test taking experiences in lower-level nursing courses and how it affects their academic success or failure. Part of the project will include a plan to develop a remediation program specifically for students who are at risk for academic failure on the first two levels of the nursing program. The ultimate goal would be to improve retention rates and provide students with the guidance they need to be successful. Linda is passionate about this topic because of her experiences with nursing students at a higher cognitive level who have experienced difficulty with multiple-choice test questions.  

Achievements from our Alumni 

Crystal Ericksen graduated from GCU in May 2010 with a degree in nursing. While at GCU, Crystal was an active member of the Student Nurses Association, serving as treasurer for a year and then becoming a student mentor her senior year. Crystal also worked at Mayo Clinic as a student assistant while in school for a year. After graduating from GCU with her nursing degree, Crystal moved with her husband to Joplin, Missouri where she worked on a Cardiology floor of a hospital. Crystal was in Joplin during the time of the catastrophic tornado in May of 2011.

According to Crystal, "Some say your training leaves you when a crisis happens and others find out where their strength is and determine that they are in the right calling. I found my calling that evening [of the tornado] and know that God moved my husband and I to Joplin because that was where he was going to use us."

College of Arts and Sciences

Achievements from our Students

All-American basketball player Samantha Murphy has been named the Pacific West Conference Women's Athlete of the Year. Murphy was the NCAA Division II scoring leader in 2010-11 with an average of 24.6 points per game. She scored 2,147 points in her four-year career at GCU. Murphy and Coach Trent May recently helped put on a mini-camp for more than a dozen children who are battling cancer. 

Achievements from our Faculty

Ginger L. McPherson
, an instructor of English and Christian Worldview, has successfully defended her dissertation, the final step in earning her Ph.D. in English from Baylor University.  Her dissertation is entitled "Serialization and 'The Book of Mrs. Eddy':  A Rereading of Mark Twain's Christian Science Materials."  In addition, Dr. McPherson has also been invited to join the prestigious national academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa.  She will celebrate her doctoral graduation in May 2011.

Dr. Sammy Alfaro, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies, has had his most recent book published last October (2010) by Pickwick Publishers. The title is Divino Compañero: Toward a Hispanic Pentecostal Christology. The book aims to develop a methodology for constructing a Christology from a Hispanic Pentecostal perspective. The book has recently won the HTI annual book prize. Dr. Alfaro recently gave a talk on his book at Princeton.

Ruth Douthitt, lead curriculum developer for our colleges of Arts and Sciences and Fine Arts and Production, has written her first book. It's called "The Dragon Forest," and it tells the fictional story of a prince who sets out to save his father's kingdom. 

College of Fine Arts and Production

Faculty Achievements

In 2011, digital design instructor Cheryl Christensen's paper, "An Educational Evolution: From Conventional Learning, to E-Learning, to Game-based Learning," was accepted for presentation at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Convention in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director of Dance, Susannah Keita, participated as a panelist at the National Dance Education Organization annual conference in October 2010.

Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production Claude N. Pensis won an ariZoni Award for Excellence in Lighting for The Turn of the Screw in 2009-2010. Claude has been a faculty member at Grand Canyon University since 1982 during which time he has also been Theatre Chair and Artistic Director.

William H. Symington V, an instructor for the College of Fine Arts and Production, received an AriZoni Award for Theatre Excellence in Best Scenic Design for Don Pasquale, Lyric Opera Theatre in 2009-2010.

Instructor for the College of Fine Arts and Production Michael Kary created, wrote, directed and produced "Little League," a spec pilot and official selection for the Independent Television Festival (ITVF) in Los Angeles (2008).

Ken Blanchard College of Business

Donna DeMilia, professor in the Ken Blanchard College of Business, recently completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in financial management from North Central University (Prescott Valley, AZ). Dr. DeMilia successfully defended her dissertation titled "Exploring the Effects of Generation X on the Gender Wealth Gap in the United States."

"Completing and defending my dissertation was an incredible learning experience. Throughout this process, I have learned to more effectively research, provide substantiation for my claims, and write more succinctly. This experience has impacted my job approach in several ways. First, I understand the commitment required to manage working full time and completing a degree program. I have always enjoyed teaching working adults, and this has furthered my interest in assisting these individuals in achieving their educational goals. Secondly, I have taken away ideas about what does and does not work in promoting an effective learning environment through the online modality. I hope to use my own experiences to enhance our classrooms here at KBCOB."