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 Professional Development
Mori Kemper joined Grand Canyon University in August 2009 as the Director of Professional Development. Her primary responsibility is to design and plan highly effective professional learning experiences for ground faculty and adjuncts that is aligned to research-based best practice in teaching and learning in higher education. She is differentiating professional learning for faculty and adjuncts based on the unique needs of individual colleges, their programs of study and faculty. A current initiative with the College of Nursing includes integrate classroom observations, faculty mentoring and cognitive coaching to improve instruction and student learning. Prior to joining Grand Canyon University, Mori served 20 years in K-12 education as a middle and high school French and English teacher, Mentor teacher, high school Principal and Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment for a high school district. As the Director of Curriculum and Instruction she coordinated several district-wide initiatives and interventions for school and student improvement, including: READ 180, Curriculum Mapping, End-of-Course Assessments, and professional development aligned to the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) Standards.
Mori received a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University and an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from University of Phoenix. She holds current Arizona Principal and Superintendent Certificates. She is the President-Elect for the Staff Development Council of Arizona, an affiliate of NSDC, a member on the Affiliate Leaders Council for NSDC and a 2008 NSDC Academy graduate. Mori has presented several times at the NSDC national and summer conference as well as at the SDCAz state conferences. She is a member of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, an organization committed to quality professional development in the post-secondary arena.
Director of Student Success
Eva M. St.Arnauld joined Grand Canyon University as Director of Student Success where she currently provides leadership and supervision for the tutoring and webinar services in the Center for Learning and Advancement. She organizes academic support and programs for both undergraduate and graduate level students. In 2001, Eva was trained and certified as an academic coach with AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a college-readiness organization designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year institutions. Eva is a member of the National Tutoring Association and has presented on the importance of quality peer tutor training programs. Eva received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in 2003 and her master's degree in Education Administration in 2009 from Grand Canyon University. Prior to joining Grand Canyon University, Eva worked in public education for eight years and demonstrated leadership in educational technology, data analysis and student achievement. Currently, Eva collaborates with several departments at GCU and is involved with a variety of student success initiatives, working closely with student services to support overall success, satisfaction and achievement of all students.
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.