Category Archives: Ken Blanchard College of Business

CEO Lecture Series: Bringing the Best of Business to GCU

The CEO Lecture Series is presented by the Ken Blanchard College of Business at Grand Canyon University in partnership with AZ Business Magazine. Visit the CEO Lecture Series page for information about future lectures.

The first speaker for 2012 in the CEO Lecture Series, Jim Teter, is constantly working to impact some pretty sobering statistics — 2.5 million unemployed in Arizona (approx. 8.7 percent, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor). Teter is the president and CEO of Goodwill of Central Arizona, a nonprofit organization that uses donation-driven retail stores to create Career Centers to assist the 7.9 percent that are unemployed in the Phoenix-Metro area and act on their mission, “Put People to Work.”

“Goodwill of Central Arizona has a $300 million impact on Maricopa County, Yuma and Prescott, which is more than even the Fiesta Bowl brings,” Teter said. “We’re using that to help the unemployed by placing them in jobs within our organization and in their communities. Our commitment is to ‘Put People to Work’ and 92 cents out of every dollar goes toward that mission.”

Goodwill of Central Arizona operates 47 retail stores and 13 Career Centers in the Phoenix-Metro area. Each store and Career Center is different, focusing on serving their surrounding community best. Goodwill Career Centers offer resume building and interview training, all free of charge.

“In 2011, we put 35,000 people to work,” Teter said. “Over 12,000 of those weren’t within our organization, they were jobs out in the community.”

With organizations like Goodwill of Central Arizona actively assisting the jobless population at such significant numbers, the 8.7 percent unemployment rate in Arizona is lower than the national average of 9.3 percent.

“We want to give people a hand up, not a hand out,” Teter said. “We want to teach people the power of work.” Teter’s vision for Goodwill of Central Arizona embodies the servant leadership emphasis that the Ken Blanchard College of Business teaches, along with entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.

Grand Canyon University’s Ken Blanchard College of Business offers a variety of programs of study that give students the knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in their communities through business, such as the B.S. in Businesses Management or the Executive MBA.


Introducing the Colangelo School of Sports Business

On Tuesday, October 25th, the formation of the Colangelo School of Sports Business was publicly announced at a news conference in the Grand Canyon University Arena by the entrepreneur and legendary sports professional himself, Jerry Colangelo.  Alongside Grand Canyon University CEO, Brian Mueller, and Business Dean, Dr. Kevin Barksdale, Mr. Colangelo championed his mission to share what has made him so successful with a savvy generation of current and prospective students.

Launched in mid-2010, the Bachelor of Science in Sports Management has more than 300 ground and online students currently enrolled in Arizona’s only sports business major program. The opportunity for Grand Canyon University students to engage with experts in the field through the Colangelo Guest lecture Series and participate in exclusive networking events truly sets this program apart from others throughout the country. In addition, each year, an outstanding second-year student will be selected to be mentored by Colangelo.

Jerry Colangelo possesses a remarkable track record of casting a vision which has helped transform organizations, franchises, and entire metropolitan cities.  In honor of this historic collaboration with Grand Canyon University, Mr. Colangelo will donate personal sports memorabilia to be displayed permanently in the new Arena.

Equipping students with a sports business education focused on innovation, servant leadership, and then enveloped under the Colangelo banner speaks volumes to the quality and ambition of GCU’s latest pioneering academic program.

“Casting a big vision” with Ken Blanchard

Not a single seat was left empty in the Ken Blanchard College of Business auditorium on September 20th as business students enthusiastically greeted distinguished guest, and Grand Canyon University College of Business namesake, Dr. Ken Blanchard, the first speaker in a new series of on-going seminars focused on themes of leadership titled “Developing Yourself as a Leader”.

Dr. Ken Blanchard took the floor after a warm introduction by Dean Kevin Barksdale and Grand Canyon University CEO, Brian Mueller.  Dr. Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and 15 other best-selling books began by asking the audience a rhetorical yet poignant question, “Have you determined who you are as a leader?”

Through a myriad of personal accounts, golf metaphors, and insightful wisdom, Dr. Blanchard spoke about the concept and practice of servant leadership.  Described as a sharp contrast to much of today’s business practices, servant leadership can be broken into three distinct components:

  1. The Servant: It’s not about you.
  2. The Steward: You don’t own a thing.
  3. The Shepherd: Everyone is important.

Scanning around the auditorium, one could sense a deep level of engagement between the students and Dr. Blanchard’s message. The message of servant leadership resonated with both full-time students and active business professionals.  It became clear that the Ken Blanchard College of Business strives to instill a value-centered education in each of its students

In Blanchard’s teachings, effective servant leadership occurs only when vision and direction intersect with resolve and humility.  Dr. Blanchard furthered this idea with a memorable saying: “It’s not thinking little of yourself, but rather thinking about yourself a little”.

The ‘Developing Yourself as a Leader” Speaker Series runs throughout the 2011-2012 school year.  Each event features a dynamic speaker and presentation focused on a unique leadership theme.

Mock Trial Team Scores High at First Competition

By Brooke Bellah

During its first year on campus, Grand Canyon’s Mock Trial Team is already turning heads.  The team traveled to Fresno last weekend to compete in its first trial scrimmage – the regional competition, featuring schools such as UCLA, Cal Poly, Weber State University and UC Davis.

Most of the team’s members are freshman with degree programs that vary from the Justice Studies to business and drama. Although they had been working hard and meeting every day for the last month, many of them still did not know what to expect at the regional competition.

At the beginning of the year, each team receives the same case to study and defend.  This year’s case involved a civil lawsuit for the wrongful death of a child.  Judges award points to teams based on overall knowledge of the case and performance during the trial. The team with the highest point total wins, regardless of whether or not they won the case.

GCU’s team held its own and impressed the judges.  The team did not go home empty-handed.  Team member Alma Matrecito impressed the judges with her performance as witness Andy Davis, the mother of the child who died due to negligence.

Each team must have three witnesses, whose job it is to memorize whole testimonies and deliver a convincing performance on the witness stand.  Matrecito, a drama major, put on quite a performance during her testimony, earning her the award for Best Witness, and her new nickname – Hollywood.

Team coach and GCU professor Cornel Stemley was encouraged to see how quickly his team adapted to an unfamiliar situation.

“You could really see how they matured through each round,” says Stemley, “Our goal for next year is just to learn and improve on this year.  We know we can be as good, and even better, than these other schools.”

The Mock Trial Team is just one of many branches of the Lopes Justice Society, also in its first year on campus.  Other teams include the Knowledge Team, Firearms Team, and the Crime Scene Investigation Team, among others.

“Our goal is to promote criminal justice issues and for our members to gain experience, whether it is in law enforcement, the legal field or corrections,” says Lopes Justice Society President Marcus Rodriguez.

Rodriguez expects the club to be able to provide scholarships to the Mock Trial Team by next semester.  He is so confident in the team’s potential that he guarantees the team will qualify for Nationals next year.

Stemley is also confident in the team’s potential, but says that the focus is “taking concepts learned in class and applying them in real world environments.”

Holiday Break Details for Online Students

Grand Canyon University is pleased to announce we will be observing a two week break for classes in celebration of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays.

Classes beginning on Mondays will begin the break on Monday, 12/20/2010 and courses will resume on Monday, 1/3/2011. Classes beginning on Thursdays will begin the break on Thursday, 12/23/2010 and courses will resume on Thursday, 1/6/2011.

Undergraduate Students: Holiday Break (noted in purple)
Calendar for UG Holiday Break
Graduate Students: Holiday Break (noted in purple)
Calendar for GR Holiday Break

If students are scheduled to be in a course that spans over the Holiday Break, it is important to understand how it will operate:

  1. Students will attend their course up until the point the break begins.For example:
      a. A student was scheduled to start Week 3 of his/her course on 12/23/10. The student will begin the Holiday Break, as scheduled on 12/23/10 and will return to Week 3 of his/her course on 1/6/11, after the break has ended.

      b. A student ended his/her course on Sunday, 12/19/10. The student will observe the Holiday Break and return to a scheduled course on Monday, 1/3/11, after the break has ended.

  2. Students are not expected to participate in online discussion, submit assignments, or work with the CLC team during this Holiday Break period. Students can work ahead if they choose, but need to understand other students and instructors are not required to be in the classroom during the Holiday Break.
  3. Any postings made during the break will not count toward attendance or participation for any week of the course.
  4. During the Holiday Break, GCU’s faculty will not be required to participate in online discussions, return feedback, or be responsible for posting final grades for courses that end the day prior to the Holiday Break beginning. Any feedback or final grade that is due, will be completed the first week after the break ends.For example:
      a. A student ended Week 2 of his/her course on Wednesday, 12/22/10. The instructor will not be required to return the feedback for Week 2 to the student until the end of Week 3 (Wednesday, 1/12/11).

      b. A student ended his/her course on Sunday, 12/19/10. The instructor will not be required to return the final feedback or grade until the week after the Holiday Break (due by Sunday, 1/9/11).

  5. Students are not required to take any action to schedule the Holiday Break, as it will be automatically scheduled on the student’s behalf.For example:
      a. 7 week courses that span over the Holiday Break will extend to 9 weeks in duration.

      b. 8 week courses that span over the Holiday Break will extend to 10 weeks in duration, etc.).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Instructor or your Academic Counselor for clarification.

November FYP Now Available!

The November 2010 issue of FYP is now available on campus and online. Click here for the PDF version.

This issue includes:

  • KBCOB Dean and motorcycle nut Dr. Kevin Barksdale.
  • Notes from Campus Pastor Tim Griffin, COLA Professor Dr. James Beggs and Career Services Director Jacqueline Smith.
  • A profile of International online student Louise Tamutebi, written by online student Gina Breadon.
  • Going to the Next Level – the top five features of the new Student Recreation Center and the top five events in Antelope Gym.
  • A profile on freshman pre-med and award-winning songwriter Casey Lee Smith.
  • The GCU Poetry Club collaborated on a Haikai poem based on the theme of “giving.”

For more information on FYP, including ideas for contributions, contact Doug Carroll or 602.639.8011, or Zane Ewton at or 602.639.7086.

Mini Classes: Grand Canyon University Master’s in Leadership

By Bethany Dunks

Video produced by Ryan Moore

We recently had the chance to sit down with John Kilroy, a professor for the Ken Blanchard College of Business and the College of Doctoral Studies at Grand Canyon University.  He found his interest for teaching when his college professor inspired him to help students learn just as his professor had taught him. Dr Kilroy has been working for GCU for six years now and teaches classes for the Masters Of Leadership program, as well as in the College of Doctoral Studies.

When speaking with professor Kilroy, we asked him some questions on his teaching methods as well as what he wants his students to take away from his leadership classes. When asked what students should take away from his class at the end of the semester he responded that he wants students to really understand the impact the culture they live or work in has on them and the people around them. Dr. Kilroy wants students to dig deeper into their culture and see what and how an organization’s culture influences them. He notes that organizations can range from the places we work, to the church we attend, groups we contribute to, even our families function as little organizations. Dr. Kilroy encourages students to explore the elements and aspects of their culture in which they work and live in. He also teaches his students important leadership skills and helps them explore how they are able to apply them in their life and successfully implement them

Participation is key in Professor Kilroy’s teaching. He does not lecture.  It is all based on creating meaningful discussions among peers and using knowledge for hands-on experience. This makes Kilroy’s class as part of the Master’s In Leadership stand out  He encourages students to ask questions and really engage and learn from one another in his class.

Dr. Kilroy strives to create conversation that leads to an “Ah Ha!” moment.  Dr. Kilroy defines this as when a student gets a full understanding for the topic at hand and sees the direct implications of the concept in their lives.

Dr. Kilroy likes to use innovative tools and resources to teach his students, make his class more intriguing. He uses videos to explore situations that may be similar to their everyday life and analyze the cultural implications and leadership solutions for a given scenario.

Grand Canyon University’s Masters of Leadership Program is a great contribution to the Ken Blanchard College of Business. Because the Master’s in Leadership program is built to be progressive in nature, Dr. Kilroy’s Organizational Culture and Leadership class allows students to combine the knowledge from previous classes and apply it meaningfully as a skill in leadership.

For more information about the Ken Blanchard College of Business and the Master’s in Leadership program visit

Finance Students Attend Stock Market Challenge

By Keleigh Norman

The National Bank of Arizona held its fifth annual Stock Market Challenge at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. GCU sent two teams of four to compete.

Ali Selcuk, Nick O’neal, Kyl Pearsall and Joshua Ademoso

The first team included of Ali SelcukNick O’nealKyl Pearsall and Joshua Ademoso.The second included Paul EdmondJimmy CastleTJ Abraham and Whitney Reichert.

The teams participated in a series of fast paced, energetic events wherein they had to buy and sell trades to and from fictitious companies in an attempt to attain the highest return for net worth than any other school.

Each team performed extremely well at the competition, achieving over at least 50 percent on return for their proposed net worth.

Last year the team of Robert MohleMark Hardy and Joe Bower took home the trophy for first place.

Paul Edmond, Jimmy Castle, TJ Abraham and Whitney Reichert

The students who went to the event take various business or finance courses. Ernest Scarborough, Associate Professor of Finance at the KBCOB, led the students to the Junior Achievement event both years.

He notes that the event is “a great way for students to network and meet numerous business and finance companies, have fun while putting lessons in class to practice, and also to think about the broad market.” He hopes to make the Junior Achievement event an annual opportunity for all interested students.

IMASC Students Attend Student Leadership Conference

By Keleigh Norman

GCU students in the Institute for Management Accounting (IMA) Student Chapter attended a national Student Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The three-day conference featured various corporate speakers relaying information about the business world to college graduates and soon-to-be graduates from all over the United States.

Students from Brigham Young University, Wyoming, Georgia, and Portland came together to participate in various workshops and sessions, learning about ethical business values, networking and purpose.

President of the IMA student chapter at GCU, Bryce Roth commented on the message portrayed to participants, noting that when applying for a job “the speakers emphasized education, experience, credentials, and knowledge about the industry.”

He felt the conference provided “excellent information” regarding the finance and global business environment today. Additionally, Roth remarked that all six GCU participants felt “more prepared than other schools” because of what Grand Canyon has taught them through various business courses, through career services, and academic counseling.

Bryce said all GCU IMA students had business cards to network, and no other colleges provided them for the other IMA students.

The IMA chapter looks forward to the 91st Annual Conference and Exposition from June 5 through June 9, 2011 in Baltimore, MD. The conference will feature over 40 student sessions about business strategies, tips, and information about the fast-pace, changing atmosphere.

‘Be Curious, Not Judgmental’: Vicki Halsey Speaks at GCU

By Brooke Bellah
Communications Staff

Every two weeks, KBCOB Dean Kevin Barksdale hosts a World Changers seminar for students. These seminars teach leadership skills, and the speaker on Wednesday was Vicki Halsey, vice president of applied learning from the Ken Blanchard Companies.

Halsey says her goal is to help people claim their greatness. She opened her presentation by asking everyone to tell her what sort of judgments they had made about her when she walked in the room.

The group was uncomfortable with responding to this question for fear of offending her, but Halsey’s positive and relaxed manner put them at ease. Some of the students said they thought she was old, confident, rich or high-maintenance.

Halsey opened up about her upbringing and the many challenges she faced as a child.  Her point was that you never know the complex histories of all the people you meet in the workplace.

“Be curious about people, not judgmental,” she said. “People are not only essential to an organization, they are the organization.  After all, what would an organization or business be without people?”

According to Halsey, leaders should strive to include others in their business goals.  The more people you include in reaching a personal dream, the richer the experience will be. Barksdale added, “There’s not a soul I encounter that I cannot learn from.”

“Many young adults, when they are first breaking into the business world, try to do everything on their own,” Halsey said. “It is a sign of maturity when one begins to reach out to others for support.”

She said another sign of maturity is learning to take care of yourself.  Taking a break now and then helps the mind recover so that it can be more productive.  Halsey recommends taking a break every 90 minutes.

The students who attended took away invaluable knowledge from the Ken Blanchard executive.

Kait Patterson, a graduate student pursuing an MBA and a Master of Science in Leadership, said, “It’s great to have a forum for young people to start discussing and exploring leadership skills.”

Brooke Bellah is a junior majoring in English Literature. After graduating, she plans to go