As the title of our blog suggests, these posts by College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) faculty and special guests will engage, inform and challenge you in a myriad of ways. The posts reflect the diversity of our programs of study: degrees that are traditional (history), current (justice studies and communications), academic (English literature) and career-oriented (psychology, counseling, criminal justice and government). Here, there is something for everyone.
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Sherman Elliott, EdD

Sherman Elliott, EdD, has been at Grand Canyon University since 2011 and was appointed dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2014. Prior to joining GCU, he served as assistant clinical professor of secondary education and director of the Center for Civics Education at Arizona State University. Trained as an Ignatian educator, Dr. Elliott joyfully served over 11 years as a Catholic educator at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix and as a principal in the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

Dr. Elliott has served as an executive board member for the AZ Council for the Social Studies and serves as a lead reviewer for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. He was appointed to the Board of the Arizona Humanities by Governor Ducey in 2016 and to the Sister Cities Commission in 2017 by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. He maintains a passion for education by providing individuals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to explore various aspects of the richness of the humanities through a journey of self-discovery. He also enjoys academic research, particularly in the fields of civic education, adolescent moral development and Holocaust education. Working through the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Belfer Program, he shares his Holocaust expertise as a guest lecturer at schools and national conferences.

In his spare time, Dr. Elliott enjoys traveling the world with his family. Some of his favorite destinations have been England (particularly Cornwall), Ireland and Japan. His travels have brought forth the importance and benefits of partnering with other countries to provide educational opportunities otherwise not available and to exchange the richness of cultures.

Faculty Spotlight Questions:

Who am I and how did I get to GCU?

I received my Doctor of Education in Teaching Innovation and Leadership in 2009 from Arizona State University. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Government and a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of San Francisco. Prior to joining GCU, I held the positions of assistant clinical professor of secondary education and director of the Center for Civics Education at Arizona State University. Since joining GCU, I have worked with both the College of Education and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

When not furthering the goals of the college and university, I relish volunteering at church, spending time with my family, playing the piano and walking my third child, a 13-inch Beagle.

What do I enjoy most in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences?

The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human experience. They allow us to delve into the depth and meaning of life. In this ever-shrinking, diverse world of ours, the value of studying the humanities is most apparent. The humanities teach us to think critically and imaginatively, to reason with an open mind and to not only understand, but to also appreciate the culture of others.

All of our programs are designed to prepare students’ minds and souls for the 21st century. The faculty in our college are dedicated and compassionate, and help create an enriching and meaningful academic experience. I truly enjoy training future teachers and have worked extensively in offering professional development to Christian and Catholic schools.

What advice do I have for students seeking a liberal arts degree?

Get to know the faculty—they can assist you in discovering who you are and ultimately help lay the groundwork for you to find your purpose. Earning a humanities degree is a worthwhile pursuit, as you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the world around you and awaken your own God-given vocation in the world.