Barry hails from Arroyo Grande, CA, a small town on California’s central coast. Barry is the director of the GCU Speech and Debate Team, which finished the 2013-14 school year 15th overall in the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament (out of 80 schools). Barry’s academic interests are in presidential rhetoric, history of intercollegiate debate and the intersection of sports, politics and race. Barry is passionate about empowering low-income, first generation youth through public speaking and debate; he served as an instructor and residential director for Upward Bound at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo and the University of Arkansas. Barry lives with his beautiful wife Carly in Chandler, AZ, and spends his free time hiking throughout the Valley and Northern Arizona, attending Arizona Diamondback games and disc golfing.
Faculty Spotlight Questions:
Who am I and how did I get to GCU?
During my final year of graduate school at the University of Arkansas, I dedicated myself to improving my ability to teach public speaking and coach intercollegiate speech and debate. In addition, as a California native who is married to Las Vegan, we wanted to move back West. I finished my M.A. in 2012, and began teaching at Phoenix College and Central Arizona College shortly thereafter. After a year as an adjunct instructor at both schools, I yearned for an opportunity to coach speech and debate and teach at a university. Fortunately, God blessed me with the opportunity here at Grand Canyon University in 2013.
What do I enjoy most in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences?
The wide array of programs available to students. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers the most diverse set of majors available at GCU, and I love being able to walk the halls and find experts in a variety of fields, from the literary history of J.R.R. Tolkien to the most effective public safety strategies at the Super Bowl. This breadth of academic offerings makes coming to work each day unpredictable, invigorating and an immensely enjoyable experience!
What advice do I have for GCU students?
Buck the conventional norms of staying quiet during class out of “fear” of what your classmates will think of you. Learning at a university is a personalized journey, and the only way you can maximize it is by asking questions that are integral to your academic, spiritual and job-related development. Some of the most fruitful and enjoyable discussions that take place in my class aren’t a result of my planning, but spontaneous questions by students that spark a much-needed dialogue.