Faculty Focus: Katy Sell

January 29, 2020 / by / 0 Comment


College of Education

Katy Sell

Title: Assistant Professor

Years at GCU: 5 years

Academic degrees: Bachelor’s degree in Biology from NAU, master’s degree in Education from Walden University

Faculty scholarship (publications, scholarly presentations, fellowships, etc.):


Juarez, B. & Sell, K. (2019). The shared reflective practice of co-planning an undergraduate education course between online and face-to-face teacher educators. Journal of Scholarly Engagement,  2(1), 41-49.

Sell, K. (2019, January). Returning from Winter Break: A Season of Change. Teaching in Purple: GCU College of Education blog. Retrieved from https://blogs.gcu.edu/college-of-education/returning-winter-break-season-change/

Sell, K. (2018). Mentorship. Teaching: A Calling of Purpose and Passion. Vol II. Phoenix: Grand Canyon University.

Sell, K. (2017). Embracing Differences. Living Your Purpose; A Devotional for Educators. Phoenix: Grand Canyon University.


Sell, K., & Werking, K. (2018, November). Instructional Technology Tools for Faculty. Presented at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Chandler.

Franklin, C., Hansen, J., & Sell, K. (2018, February). Taking genius hour to the next level. Presented at the 43rd Annual AAGT (Arizona Association for the Gifted and Talented) Conference, Phoenix.

Sell, K., & Hartman, J. (2017, May). Current trends in teacher evaluation. Presented at Grand Canyon University’s College of Education Spring Conference, Phoenix.

Notable employment in your field: I started my career in education in an unusual way. I was the manager of the before and after school program at a K-6 school in Paradise Valley. I was employed there for four years and was able to get my post-baccalaureate certification in elementary education after student-teaching at that school. I then taught for 10 years in the Glendale Elementary School District. I had the privilege of being a mentor for new teachers as well as becoming a mentor teacher as part of the TAP program (The System for Teacher and Student Advancement) adopted by my campus.

What are you most passionate about in your field? I am most passionate about developing a nurturing and caring classroom environment so that all students feel comfortable to learn, ask questions and take risks. For example, I typically include videos and funny memes to engage students and create a positive classroom culture and climate. I also have provided students with optional tasks and challenges using technology for credit. I have enjoyed teaching the gifted learner and challenging them in new ways that increases their engagement and satisfaction. Further, I have relished serving in both coaching and mentoring roles as part of my later teaching experience. In the online classroom, I am passionate about these same ideals. I also have appreciated planning and collaborating with my colleagues to create ever-better learning experiences for our students here at GCU.

What aspect of your teaching style is the most distinctive and/or memorable? My teaching style is slightly more informal than the traditional style, with humor and personal experiences intentionally thrown in.  I often share tools and ideas with my students that were helpful and successful from my elementary classroom experience. I try to be as responsive and timely as possible. My students respond well to this.

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time? I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I like traveling and watching movies. I rescued my dog, Sunny, last year, a cocker spaniel mix, and I relish taking walks with her.

What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know? I am an Arizona native. I grew up in Cave Creek. Although my family moved out of state three times during my adolescent years, we kept returning here like boomerangs. It must have been because of the beautiful sunsets! Arizona will always be home. Although I did not attend GCU as a student, I did attend a field trip to GCU as a high school senior in AP Bio in which we visited the cadaver lab. That was quite an eye-opening experience! Lopes Up!

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