The College of Science, Engineering and Technology offers degree programs that prepare students for high-demand professions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. With an emphasis on Grand Canyon University’s Christian worldview, our college believes in instilling social awareness, responsibility, ethical character and compassion. Our blog, BrainSTEM, focuses on topics related to science, engineering and technology, with engaging contributions from students, staff and faculty. On the blog, you can find helpful resources relating to STEM fields and learn more about current events occurring globally, locally and within GCU. We hope to provide our readers with information that helps them learn about the necessary knowledge, skills and mental disciplines to succeed in today’s job market.
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College of Science, Engineering & Technology Contributors

Adrienne Crawford

Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Adrienne J. Crawford has a BS in Biology from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Ecology from the University of Arizona, where she researched the effects of urbanization on seed dispersal and plant characteristics of fishhook barrel cactus. Currently, Adrienne is pursuing interests in coral reef restoration and has contributed to reef restoration in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas. Efforts include transplanting fragmented elkhorn and staghorn coral as well as diadema relocation. In Arizona, Adrienne is working towards increasing awareness and improving water conservation efforts along the Verde River. As an instructor at GCU, she enjoys being able to share her excitement for biology with her students as well as bringing her research background and real-life experiences into the classroom. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, skiing and kayaking. ​

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Brian Sillanpaa, MD

Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Brian Sillanpaa Official GCU headshotBrian Sillanpaa, MD, has been an assistant professor of pathophysiology at Grand Canyon University since 2011. He has also taught and researched at Arizona State University and has conducted bio-behavioral cancer research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, while working for the department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona. Other classes he has taught include embryology, nutrition, and human anatomy and physiology. He has been affiliated with several hospitals, including Scottsdale Healthcare, Maricopa Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. Dr. Sillanpaa has also been a peer-reviewer for several published articles, published a few of his own and been a frequent speaker at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life events.

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Cherissa Medina, MBA

Coordinator of Pre-Health Professions, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Cherissa Medina headshotCherissa Medina is a pre-health advisor at Grand Canyon University. She assists students navigating the process of applying to graduate school. She is a Phoenix native and loves it here – you can’t beat the weather and food! Her undergraduate degree is in psychology, and she is pursuing a second master’s degree in psychology. Cherissa has loved learning from a young age and believes in the importance of education. She knew from a young age that she would go to college. She was the first person in her family (extended family, too) to go to college and graduate. She now hopes to help students achieve their dreams of becoming a professional in health care.

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Mark Reha

Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Mark Reha’s passion has always been teaching and working with engineering students. He taught in college for two years as a TA in 1982 while he was going to college and fell in love with teaching! This past year at GCU, he taught Database Application Programming I, Database Application Programming II, Database Application Programming III in PHP/MySQL, Enterprise Application Programming in .NET/C#, Operating System Concepts and C++ Object-Orientated Programming. Prior to coming to GCU, he spent three years as an adjunct professor at a community college and local technical university where he taught C#/.NET, Digital Electronics, Introduction to C, Introduction to Java, Advanced Java, Advanced Android Programing and the senior software development capstone project. He has also spent many hours doing corporate training and given training classes on cloud computing, software development methodologies, DevOps and many other technical topics.

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Neal Adam

Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Neal Adam grew up on a farm in Nebraska and continued in the agricultural field. He received his Bachelor of Science in 1985 from Kansas State University and his Master of Science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1989. His PhD research was completed in 1996 at Kansas State University in global change biology. After the PhD, he had several postdoctoral research appointments with the USDA-ARS. The emphasis in his PhD research, as well as on the first three postdoctoral research appointments, was on responses of photosynthesis and photosynthetic enzymes to elevated atmospheric CO2 levels in the global change program. The last postdoctoral appointment focused on photosynthetic, germination and growth limitations of native industrial crops. Research methodology included gas exchange measurements, leaf collection techniques, assay of enzymes using radioactive isotopes, gel electrophoresis, ecological/field applications, micrometeorology techniques and analysis, germination studies and design and assembly of research equipment. Neal is a father of three girls and enjoys spending time with them and embarrassing them (which isn’t difficult).

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Shelley Gilbert

Administrator, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Shelley Gilbert headshotShelley relocated from New York in 2013 to be with family. She has been in higher education for many years, as a registrar in a college of health sciences and assistant to the president/CEO of an educational consortium that provides osteopathic medical residencies and post-doctoral medical education programs. She is presently the administrative assistant to Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology Mark Wooden, PhD. Shelley has a people-oriented personality and truly enjoys working with students and faculty. Shelley has a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies. She has previously published 11 articles: six in print in “Practical Pain Management” and “The Forensic Nurse,” and five electronically. Shelley is an accomplished musician and when not working enjoys playing her piano, going to the Phoenix Symphony and exploring her new environment.

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Will Primack, MD

Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Primack HeadshotWhen not teaching at Grand Canyon University, Will Primack, MD, can probably be found swimming, biking or running in the Tempe area as he trains for his next Ironman Triathlon. Dr. Primack has been married to his lovely wife Kara for over six years now. They are always finding fun and exciting new adventures, whether it is hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, racing a mud run in the middle of the Arizona desert or volunteering at the local soup kitchen. One of his favorite quotes is by Ironman Founder John Collins: “You can quit and they won’t care… but you will always know.”

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