Student Spotlight – Austin Rockwell

Recently, we were able to catch up with a current student named Austin Rockwell. We asked him about his time at GCU and all that he has done. Here’s what he shared:

Tell us about yourself! What are you currently involved in, some of your favorite hobbies, and what are your future career goals?

My name is Austin Rockwell. I am currently a senior studying Biblical Studies and Communications. 

I’m from Madison, Wisconsin. “Go Packers, Badgers, and Cheese.” I’ve gotten the opportunity to work at Discover GCU for all of my years at college and I always tell the future baby Lopes to come to college with three fun facts about themselves to make the process of meeting people more fun! 

So here are my three fun facts: 

  1. I am #6 of 10 kids in my family. I always told my parents we should’ve called TLC and pitched them “Wayne and Jen plus 10”. It could’ve been a hit. 
  2. I started a camping trip event called Camp Lope, mainly for freshman to meet each other and upperclassman and to have their first big off campus adventure. The gospel preached and adventure had, nothing better. Last year we led 300+ kids camping and hiking down the Grand Canyon. Check out @camplope on Instagram. 
  3. My sophomore year, I was zip lining in Guatemala and I fell backwards 40 feet from the platform. Got carried out of the forest in El Ramaté by two Guatemalan guides and rushed to the hospital. No broken bones, and I’m alive to tell the story. Praise God! Calling my mom to tell her I was in a Guatemalan hospital was scarier than the actual fall. 

I always say I’m an evangelist for three things: Jesus, GCU and Chick Fil-A. 

I’ve spent the past three years here in Lopeland heavily involved in student affairs and investing into Lope culture. 

Here are a list of my favorites: 

GCBC hangs, Havoc parties disguised as “basketball games”, late night Grove lawn talks, life groups discussing deep theology (and our future spousal situations), working at Discover GCU meeting thousands of incoming students, eating all three meals at Chick fil-A, creating and leading Lip Sync Teams for three years (shoutout GCU McFly’s 2018 championship title), helping pioneer the Lopeshop’s Brand Ambassador program, serving as GCU’s first ever sustainability director on ASGCU, going to CAB events like silent disco, worshipping at Chapel and The Gathering every week, camping out for midnight madness, and of course helping all the new baby lopes move in during Welcome Week. 

Currently I am finishing my degree and working for a startup solar company called Genesis Power. My official role at the company is “Director of Media and Culture” and I’m very excited for the growth opportunity there. I attend and serve at New City church. I am also involved in an off campus young adult ministry called Ankle Deep on Wednesday nights. 

Ultimately, I would love for my vocation to transition from business to full time teaching of God’s Word in ministry. My biggest passion in life is people and relationships. I believe that the gospel is best spread through relationships and so whether I am selling Solar or preaching on a Sunday morning, the gospel is being spread because relationships by the Spirit are being built. 

What do you think is important about the theme of the newsletter for the Spring of 2021 (Moving Forward)?

Being a spotlight student in this newsletter with the theme “Moving Forward” is interesting in the season of life I’m currently in. In September, my best friend Jarod Lovekamp passed away while we were on a friend group camping trip. So I’ve actually been thinking a lot about what it looks like to live a life in relationship with my creator who knows me and loves me, and really seek to move forward in the Kingdom of God and in this life after such a tragic and hard thing has happened in my life. 

The truth is that most days I don’t even want to get out of bed, much less move forward, but it’s the gospel and the spirit of God that pushes me forward. God’s word says that when I received salvation, it was no longer going to be Austin Rockwell who lives, but Christ who lives in me. God’s word also tells us to encourage one another *daily, so Hebrews 12 gives us a good encouragement from God’s word to keep the faith, keep eternal perspective, and move forward every single day. Often times what we think is a set back from the enemy, God actually uses as a set up for God’s blessing in our life. He is in the business of taking our few fish and loaves of bread and feeding thousands. Jesus tells us in the greatest sermon ever preached, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I’m holding onto that truth daily as I heal, grow, and move forward in relationship with God and those around me. 

What are some of your favorite courses and/or which instructors do you really enjoy at GCU?

One of my favorite courses during my time at GCU has been my Christian worldview class with Professor Dwayne “D-Train” Pedroza. The reason its been my favorite is because it was the perfect mix of biblical truth being spoken every class, with an opportunity to share the gospel with the other students who don’t know God personally. We got to see multiple students come to know Christ, and we had such a fun time talking about what life as a Christian should really look like. I also really enjoyed my Old Testament survey class with Brian Koning. He taught me so much about God’s character and His love displayed in the OT. It was clear that Professor Koning cares deeply for his student’s hearts and for the gospel.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be, and why?

If I could give one piece of advice to a student at GCU it would be this: 

“Life isn’t always going to be Sunshine and Stampedes, but for four years it can be. Spend your time deeply invested into the community here. Get to know your classmates, professors, baristas, building janitors, RD’s, roommates, coworkers, fellow havocs, freshman and everyone in between. Go to any and every event and be a part of all that you can. Be a student leader. Think deeply in class and ask a lot of questions. Don’t procrastinate. Drive to the Grand Canyon at midnight to catch the sunrise. Always say yes to adventure and to new opportunity. Lopeland is a really special place, and you want to soak it all up for all it’s worth while you can. You’ll never look back in life and say to yourself, “You know, I wish I would have slept more in college and did less activities and met less people.” 

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