Stay in the know about the latest happenings at Grand Canyon University's (GCU) College of Humanities and Social Sciences so you can fully engage in the richness of college life. Learn what is new at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences by checking out our calendar of events, news from around campus, blog and faculty accolades.

College Accolades

GCU has extraordinary students, faculty and staff who achieve success, generously give of themselves and contribute to our amazing academic experience. Here are just a few of their accomplishments:

Speech and Debate Places Five on Academic Team
Five members of the GCU Speech and Debate Team - senior Thomas Rotering, juniors Kara Sutton and Ashley Hofteizer, sophomore Amanda Ostrem and freshman Matthew Calderwood - were named to the Academic All-Conference Team of the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association. Qualifications include a minimum GPA of 3.75 and attendance at three conference tournaments. For the first time, the team's GPA for a semester finished above 3.50, and senior Zachary Kuykendall, junior Joshua Sterkin and Hofteizer, Sutton and Ostrem all earned a 4.0.

CHSS Faculty Present at Psychology Conference
Two faculty members from the College of Humanities and Social Services presented at the recent Society for the Teaching of Psychology pre-conference in San Antonio, Texas. Julia Langdal, PhD, gave a talk titled, "Stress Prevention Circuit Training," and Elizabeth Valenti, PhD, shared her thoughts on "Using Technology and Social Media to Bring Course Material to Life and Increase Student Engagement/Motivation."

Speech and Debate Director to be Published in The Journal of the International Public Debate
Barry Regan, director of GCU's award-winning debate team and College of Humanities and Social Sciences faculty member, will be published in the Spring 2017 edition of The Journal of the International Public Debate Association (IPDA). His article is titled "Building New IPDA Communities - Using the Full Range Leadership Model to Grow IPDA in the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association."

GCU's Speech and Debate Team, ranked in the top 25 in the country this year, held a mock presidential debate to help students on campus learn about the candidates in this year's presidential election. The goal of the event was to encourage students to vote and help them get informed about the candidates' policies, not just their personalities.

  • The GCU Speech and Debate Team finished third among four-year schools, beating out 34 other schools, in the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association Tournament - Fall Championship.

    The Parliamentary Debate team finished with a 3-1 record and made it to the quarterfinals, which gave them enough points to qualify for a first round bid to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) in March. Only the top 64 debate partnerships (out of the 546 currently ranked by the organization) are invited during the three rounds of bids. No partnership from an Arizona school has earned a first round bid to the NPTE during the past two years, and only three have accomplished it since 2010. This is an extremely rare accomplishment for a team that is less than three years old.

  • On Friday, November 13, Psi Chi, hosted a spectacular career-building night. Approximately 175 traditional and non-traditional students gathered to explore career options, internships and volunteer opportunities. The event included 23 psychology leaders from around Phoenix, representing fields such as clinical, industrial-organizational, forensic, case management, neuroscience, health psychology, social work and more. Many speakers commented on the professionalism of the event and the politeness and intelligence of the students who attended. Psi Chi leadership includes seniors Tiffany Nickerson, Sophia Briscoe, Lauren Haden, Megan Flores and Cassandra McCabe.
  • For the first time in the team's history, the GCU Speech and Debate Team was ranked in the top 20 by the National Parliamentary Debate Association. The team ranked ahead of other teams that have consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation the past few years, including the Air Force, TCU and Texas Tech. For such a new team to be ranked this high in the nation is a huge accomplishment!
  • The GCU Speech and Debate Team competed at the Robert Barbara Invitational #1 at California State University - Northridge. The team finished first among four-year universities in Individual Events (Speech) out of 11 schools, beating out two of the top-ranked schools in the nation (ASU and University of California - Berkeley). The team was led by freshman Chrycia LeGendre (1st place Novice Programmed Oral Interpretation and 2nd place Novice Poetry Interpretation), freshman Keliann Nash (1st place Novice Extemporaneous Speaking and 4th place Novice Impromptu Speaking), junior Jessica Bradley (1st place Novice Persuasive Speaking and 4th place Novice Extemporaneous Speaking), Brian White (2nd place Novice Programmed Oral Interpretation, 5th place Novice Impromptu Speaking), freshman Thomas Gleason (2nd place Varsity After-Dinner Speaking) and freshman TaylorRae Humbert (2nd place Varsity Prose). Also, the top varsity debate team of Thomas Rotering and Zachary Kuykendall finished the preliminary rounds with a 5-1 record and made it to the final round (beating out 18 other opponents) before losing on a close 2-1 decision to Cal State Long Beach.

  • We are proud of two dozen GCU students who uplifted the community by offering care and comfort to homeless individuals one Friday afternoon and evening. These nursing and counseling students provided free health screenings, education and counseling to homeless individuals at the Phoenix Dream Center, a volunteer nonprofit organization that serves about 40,000 homeless and low-income people monthly.

  • At GCU, we find that good guys almost always finish first. We are proud of GCU graduate Phillip Jean-Louis, Jr., a true humanitarian, who was honored with a Sustained Excellence award for his work with at-risk youth in Louisiana's juvenile justice system. He is a graduate of GCU's master's degree program in addiction counseling and is currently working on another GCU master's degree in professional counseling. Congratulations on your excellent good work, Phillip!

Letters, Numbers, Minds and Voices

Uncover new views about the human experience by reading our blog, Letters, Numbers, Minds and Voices, written by College of Humanities and Social Sciences' students, faculty and staff.

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