Grand Canyon University’s innovative doctoral degree programs prepare learners for leadership roles in their professions, communities and society. Our dynamic online learning community, integrated dissertation process, wealth of resources and collaborative environment support a successful and meaningful doctoral journey. We believe earning a doctoral degree is a journey and similar to climbing a mountain—challenging, invigorating and completely rewarding when you reach the top. Our goal is to help you conquer your own mountain and succeed on your doctoral journey. Readers of The Doctoral Journey blog, presented by the College of Doctoral Studies, will find resourceful and knowledgeable posts regarding the doctoral process, research best practices and dissertation tips among other topics from GCU’s doctoral faculty.
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Jessalyn Johnson

English Major, Digital Copywriter for GCU Blogs

Jessalyn Johnson headshotJessalyn Johnson is a sophomore at Grand Canyon University. She is an English major with a minor in theatre. Coming all the way from Central Florida to Phoenix, Jessalyn has enjoyed the change of environment and loves being a student at GCU. She has adjusted well and is excited to continue her journey at the college. Jessalyn has recently become a member of the StartleBloom: The GCU Literary Review Editorial Board, with the review making its debut in 2016. In her free time she enjoys creative writing, photography, acting and film. 

Spotlight Questions:

Who am I and how did I get to GCU?

I am a writer before I am anything else, hoping to write creative work professionally in the future. I love all forms of art, and was looking for a small school on the West Coast that had good programs in the arts to work towards my bachelor’s degree in English. What drew me to GCU was the kindness of the students and faculty upon my initial visit, and the close-knit community. Of course, being from Florida, Arizona was a long way to travel for college and a huge risk to take being so far from home. I previously lived in San Diego, CA, for a short period of time, where I grew to love the West and all it had to offer. I knew I was making the right choice by coming back out West, and I stand by my decision today.

What do I enjoy most about my role at GCU?

It has been a huge change in my life adjusting to GCU. Everything is new – my life in Florida seems to be only a shadow now. The change has been excellent, as I am enjoying my classes and extracurricular activities, and have made wonderful new friends who make the experience that much greater. This year, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences has started a literary review titled StartleBloom, of which I was able to be a part. The experience thus far has given me a foot in the door with my college and some of the professors now know me personally. I am thrilled to have a role in the making of this review and am excited to see it grow over my years at GCU.

What advice do I have for future GCU students?

I think it is important for future GCU students to know that college is not as easy as it might seem on Welcome Week. It is important to get all your work done on time – even if it doesn’t feel important, it definitely is! It is easy to want to go hang out with friends instead of doing schoolwork, and sometimes that is more than okay. Everyone needs a break sometimes. But, nothing feels worse than losing points on an assignment for turning it in late! Keeping a good GPA is why you are here, so make sure your time and money mean something for your education!