Faculty Focus: Nathan Hollis II
NATHAN HOLLIS II
College of Education
Nathan began his professional career in education over 20 years ago as a classroom teacher for grades 1-4. In addition, he was a mentor teacher, private tutor and curriculum designer before he moved into a variety of administrative roles in nonprofit education and higher education.
He is active in his community as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Arizona Schools Administrators — Higher Education Division, as a member of Profound Gentlemen, a mentorship program for male educators of color and as faculty advisor for the Black Student Union at GCU.
Title: Assistant Professor
Years at GCU: 8
- Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Arizona State University
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University
- Master in Business Administration from Grand Canyon University
- Pursuing a Ph.D. in Cognition and Instruction from GCU. Dissertation topic will explore how Black fathers perceive their influence affects the academic resilience of their sons.
What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?
I have had some phenomenal professional experiences, such as presenting at local and national conferences, providing several keynote commencement speeches and sitting on esteemed boards with my colleagues. However, I don’t believe my most notable professional accomplishment has come just yet. I believe it is on my journey ahead, and God continues to prepare me.
What are you most passionate about in your field and why?
I remain passionate about equitable and fair treatment for all people, especially our children, and specifically our Black children in public schools.
Although many advancements and opportunities have been made available across the country to all, Black children remain disproportionately disadvantaged academically and socially compared to their peers. Because of this, I am an advocate for researching and discussing the variables for this systematic occurrence and practicing educational and community sustainable strategies for improving and eventually eliminating this norm with the help of my teacher candidates and colleagues in the field.
What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?
I am blessed to have many memorable teaching moments over the last 22 years, both good and challenging, that have helped to develop me into who I am today.
Perhaps one of the most pivotal moments was under the guidance of my former mentor, who passed away several years ago. He was the first person to push me to honor my instinct and my voice unapologetically.
Since then I have learned the power of saying no with kindness, but without regret, and the value that comes with using my previous experiences to guide my critical thinking and decision-making both in and outside the classroom.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Before the pandemic, I enjoyed attending basketball games with family and friends. Whether my son’s high school or club games, the GCU home games or the Phoenix Suns, the excitement of basketball never failed us. I am really looking forward to seeing live games again!
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
Before I decided to become a teacher, I had every intention to pursue dentistry. At the end of my sophomore year in my undergraduate studies, I was awarded a summer dental college internship to learn more about the variety of practices. The experience was rewarding, but after six weeks I went back to my campus and decided it wasn’t the profession for me. Instead, I changed my major, pursued teaching and never looked back!