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Connect with the colleges of Grand Canyon University (GCU) through the GCU Community page. Enjoy a collection of the latest news, events and hot topics that GCU’s Deans, faculty, staff and students have prepared. As an aggregate of the colleges’ blog, you will find an assortment of topics assembled on this community page. Click around and get lost in the engaging content provided by GCU.
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Category: Honors College
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By Josh McGuire
Finance Major, Honors College

After speaking with Jordan Montgomery, a sophomore at GCU studying electrical engineering, I wanted to pack up and make for Colorado. During summer 2017, Montgomery interned for Sonlight Adventures, a Christian camp for middle and high school students in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. She told me about dazzling mornings and beautiful hikes in the mountains – a little piece of heaven on earth. Montgomery learned a lot at her internship, including how to chop firewood, repair bridges, build shelving and avoid collisions with middle schoolers on a broken golf cart (which she later repaired). Although Montgomery learned all these new life skills and developed a number of friendships with fellow staff members, she told me the biggest takeaway has been growing her relationship with God.

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By Angela Bratt
Marketing Major, Honors College

Growing up in Michigan, I heard very little about Grand Canyon University, let alone their Honors College. On a Discover trip, I learned about GCU and fell in love with all of the opportunities that were offered by the university to students. I was shocked by the amount of potential growth I could have at GCU. Everyone I spoke with had such positive things to say.

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Gabriela Calhoun

By Sean Thomason
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major, Honors College

Amidst a wave of construction projects, the engineering building, one of Grand Canyon University’s newest additions to an increasingly sprawling campus, has set itself apart through the consistent production of noise that can only be associated with student preparation and innovation. Yet today, the traditional whirl of the Lopes Lab (the engineering building’s center for technological experimentation) has been lulled to a systematic silence as a small group of students sit contemplatively around a whiteboard littered with role delegations and points of emphasis for the upcoming week. This unit of dedicated engineering and pre-med majors is currently considering plans of attack for their research and development project, 3Derma, but have encountered the issue of volunteer hesitation that frequently plagues small groups of over-extended individuals. Sensing the indecision and without missing a beat, the group’s co-founder and student lead, Gabriela Calhoun, addresses the wary group and asks, “So, who is going to take care of that for us?”

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By Angela Bratt
Marketing Major, Honors College

Each year, many college students have the pleasure of spending the holidays at home. It’s a great reminder for many of us about the abundant blessings we have received. Thankfulness is a feeling of gratitude and thanks towards something or someone.

At Grand Canyon University, many of our students are from out-of-state; therefore, the holidays are one of the few times that many are able to go home and see their friends, family, home and things that are familiar.

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By Angela Bratt
Marketing Major, Honors College

The Grand Canyon University Honors College sponsored an Honors College Community Service Day this fall in which approximately 80 honors students participated in serving our local community. The service day was put together by a group of honors students in order to provide their peers with the opportunity to serve. Grand Canyon University partnered and served at the Mountain Park Health Center Race, Arizona Taco Festival, Habitat for Humanity, Japanese Tea Garden, Phoenix Children’s Museum and The Veterans Directory. It was a great turnout and the students genuinely enjoyed the opportunity. The Honors College has received various emails and a handwritten note from these organizations expressing their gratitude to our university and students.

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At the Honors College, we are often asked questions like, “Why should I join honors?” and “What is in it for me?” These questions are extremely hard to answer because each student is looking for an answer that is attractive to their specific interests. As you hear the words “honors,” a lot of mixed thought and emotions may enter your mind. More work. Book worms. Nerds. These are the stereotypes that detour students from joining an Honors College.

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Wake up
7 am – Biology
9 am – Finance
Gym
Lunch
Honors College Mixer
Work
Email
Club Meeting
Dinner
Homework
MORE Email
Studying
Group Project
Rinse and Repeat

This schedule commonly fits the routine of an honors student. Simply look at another honors student’s schedule and compare. In our day and age, it is a common adage to reply with the word, “Busy,” when someone asks how we are doing. We live in an ever-stimulating world – a world where nothing slows down and if it does we have an anxiety attack. We feel as if we are losing the race of being busy every hour of every day.

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By Josh McGuire
Finance Major, Honors College

Ryan A. Brandt, PhD, a College of Theology and Honors College professor, says his biggest passion is teaching. Engaging with students in the classroom brings the most rewarding moments: “I enjoy watching students critically think through issues as I teach. I especially like to see the proverbial light bulb go off in their minds as they think.” He described a particular course, Christianity: Story, Theology, and Mission (the honors version of the Christian worldview course), as having “some of the deepest discussions” – and from a freshman-level course nonetheless!

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By Luke Amargo
Program Manager, Honors College

“Until we embrace our mutual brokenness, our work with low-income people is likely to do more harm than good.” (Steve Corbett, “When Helping Hurts”)

Grand Canyon University honors students got to experience a unique cultural paradigm in the Dominican Republic, unrivaled by most nations, with lively and kind people. Jarabacoa’s lush landscapes are constantly assailed by torrential rain, humid climate and the liveliest of people.

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By Gabriela Marrama
Advertising and Public Relations Major, Honors College

They say life isn’t about the amount of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. This summer, 45 Grand Canyon University Honors College students traveled abroad on a European excursion that they would never forget. From Phoenix to New York and New York to Madrid, there was no turning back as they said bye to America and hola to Spain. With France and Italy also on the itinerary, these honors students were in full tourist mode as they were about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

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By Kara Morrow
History Major, Honors College

Honors alum Chelsea Evans has learned to never underestimate the power of connections and involvement. Through what she learned at the Honors College at Grand Canyon University and the opportunities she took advantage of, she received the job of director of social marketing and brand communications at WIDSIX Digital Advertising and Marketing in Scottsdale, Arizona before graduation.

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By Cathleen Daly
Communications Major, Honors College

If you had told me my freshman year at Grand Canyon University that I would have a passion for politics, I probably would have said something along the lines of, “You’re funny. The only things I know about politics are some of the names of past presidents and who the current President of the United States is.”

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By Josh McGuire
 Finance Major, Honors College 

Rachael Wecker a junior at Grand Canyon University ventured into an internship with ON Semiconductor after a tour of the corporate facility organized by the Honors College. She was appreciative of the help to land the role, but that wasn’t the hard part.

“There’s a large learning curve with data and analytics – so many things that I’ve learned in the field that you don’t learn in school,” she said. “There are certainly aspects of my education that I have used throughout my internship, but there are so many more things on the job.”

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By S. Jordan Montgomery 

Electrical Engineering Major, Honors College

Companies are always looking for bright, young students excited to learn during their internship program. Honors student Rachel Robinson is one of these individuals. Robinson is an active member of the Honors College, majoring in sociology with a minor in psychology, and fast tracked to graduate in three and a half years. During her summer break, Robinson decided to take her education to the next level and participated in an internship with Focus on the Family in Colorado.

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By S. Jordan Montgomery
Electrical Engineering Major, Honors College

By Gabriela Marrama
Advertising and Public Relations Major, Honors College

“I hope all of you have big dreams and goals for what you hope to accomplish someday. And if those dreams don’t scare you a little, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.”

Brittany Holen, an Honors College alumna, had the opportunity to be the first ever honors alumni speaker at the 3rd annual Honors College Banquet. Holen eloquently put into words the drive and determination that all Honors College students experience when chasing their dreams.

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By Luke Amargo
Program Manager, Honors College

“Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests.” (Joseph Campbell)

I flipped through my design work in a crudely crafted slideshow, wireframes quickly sketched out on a portfolio pad. I was in Tempe and discussing our app “flow.” One of our app consultants reminded us constantly, “What’s the true story of when the user will use the app? Walk me through it.” Repetitive, but necessary. We heard criticism of our app – our focus warped away from users, whether it was lacking a call to action or a clear flow from getting from point A to Z, let alone point B.

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By Luke Amargo
Program Manager, Honors College

“I am often asked the question, ‘What does it feel like to start your own company?’ I often answer: ‘It feels like you’re jumping off a cliff and building an airplane on the way down.’” (Derrick Fung)

A friend and I sat in a business pitch session at the Colangelo College of Business at Grand Canyon University. We listened to impassioned students blazing forward with their ideas, pitching to Timothy Kelley, a well-respected GCU business professor who was an entrepreneur, Angel investor and speaking aficionado. I tapped Josh on the shoulder and said, “We can do this – even better.” If I knew what a self-righteous and naïve that statement was, I may have said something different.

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By Sean Thomason
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major, Honors College

The work of an ambitious individual with something to prove is a precious commodity that shapes and defines a professional landscape. Acting as a catalyst, the work and efficiency of those interacting with the individual will be amplified. From these beds of communal improvement, it is all too common for well-oiled, productive environments to be established. However, the art of harnessing this resource is not a matter of influence or superiority, but one of solidarity and cooperation, a point easily forgotten by overzealous leaders.

Grand Canyon University’s Honors College exemplifies these principles in every facet of leadership and has thus been able to establish an ever-growing community of student leaders with designs on creating and reshaping vital components of campus organizations.

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