TERESA DURHAM, STAFF WRITER
Dr. Grant Gearhart is an assistant professor of Spanish who has been been teaching at Armstrong for a little over a year. He holds a B.A. in both Economics and Spanish, as well as a Master’s and Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature.
While he is originally from Tennessee where he received both of his Bachelor of Arts degrees from The University of the South in Sewanee, Dr. Gearhart and his family enjoy Savannah immensely. He and his wife often bike around town with their son to visit restaurants and parks.
At Armstrong, Dr. Gearhart incorporates research in his Spanish classes to help keep all levels of his students engaged, using methods unlike most college courses:
“I ask students to stand up and move around. It’s proven concentration increases when we’re standing, and language in a lot of ways is about interaction; I try to design activities where students interact in realistic ways.”
Fortunately, engaging students has become much easier with the wheeled chairs that foreign language classrooms in Gamble received last year.
During the summer semester, Dr. Gearhart incorporated his economics degree by teaching Business Spanish. Dr. Gearhart’s passion for economics crosses disciplines as he sees the value in the degree: “It’s probably one of the best degrees a person can get. It helps you understand so much about how the world works, even beyond a monetary standpoint. Why do people make the decisions they make? How do people maximize outputs with limited resources? I just find the questions the discipline poses fascinating across subjects–even literature!”
Professor Gearhart does not specifically have favorite classes to teach but he does have a special interest in seeing the progress of new Spanish learners. “It’s fun to see where a student begins the course and what they can do with the language by the end of term.”
He is excited and grateful for Armstrong’s language resources, like the newly christened Language Resource Center, formerly known as the Language Lab, and the Faculty Development programs. The Language Resource Center provides language tutors and hosts French and Spanish conversation hours to improve student’s foreign language skills.
This month, Dr. Gearhart will be celebrating Latino Heritage month with a Faculty Brown Bag Series Sept. 21, with his presentation, “Through Their Eyes: African American Memories and Perspectives of the Spanish Civil War.”