Faculty Focus: Dr. Sherlin Moses
Title: Associate Professor of Biology, College of Science, Engineering and Technology
Years at GCU: 11
- B.S.: Zoology, Womens Christian College, University of Madras, India
- M.S.: Biology, Madras Christian College, University of Madras, India
- Ph.D: Biology with specialization in toxicology, Gujarat University, India
What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?
I have been privileged to have the opportunity to teach young individuals who are finding their purpose, and I get to play a small part in this process as their professor, which I think is a great honor. I never had teaching as a profession in my aspiration list, but God had a different plan — He knew better that I would enjoy this profession the most. In my 25 years of career service in the sciences, I think the last 10 of teaching has been the most meaningful and satisfying, and therefore recognizing my calling in teaching is certainly a notable accomplishment.
Roles that shaped my teaching career:
- My experiences through research, allowing me to publish a few important scientific articles in reputed journals
- Writing a textbook chapter for the environmental science program in GCU
- Being involved in Gen Ed Committee and getting selected as one of 20 people from across the U.S. to attend the Project Kaleidoscope Leadership Institute, where I represented GCU
- Being invited to serve in the National Science Foundation as a grant reviewer for grad school
What are you most passionate about in your field and why?
This is such a great opportunity as a professor to help all students understand not only the application of they are learning but also be a mentor and guide for the many first-generation college students who don’t get educational support from their family. The mentoring that goes along with the teaching is what I enjoy the most — getting to know them, praying with them, understanding their struggles but being able to encourage and motivate them and show them the many possibilities in the scientific field. That is what makes me most passionate about this field of teaching.
What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?
I have quite a few I can list. The ones that give me the most pleasure are the “eureka” moments — the sparkle in students’ eyes and a special nod affirming it makes sense when they see the big picture or the relevance of the knowledge.
One I can still remember vividly is when a usually very quiet computer science student from my Introductory Biology course suddenly was excited when I corelated the cell signaling process to the functioning of a circuit board or a processor to make it relatable for the engineering students. He stood up from his first row seat and took apart his laptop case to show the others in class what I was explaining.
Invariably, by the end of the semester it gives me great joy when students end up acknowledging and marveling the fact that we are chosen beings and we are created in the most perfect manner, as stated in Psalm 139:13-16: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and …”
What all this reveals about my teaching style is that I still feel like a novice, but I get the most joy and fulfilment when I hear of a student who successfully got accepted into a graduate program of interest. I also love it when alumni communicate about the content they learned in my class and its impact on their current journey or share how they were influenced to take a particular graduate program after hearing about the varying allied medical fields, which are backbones of our medical system, or how an inspiring moment in class led them to their chosen field.
Last year, I met a student who was in my class nine years ago and hesitantly approached me, asking if I have worked at GCU as a faculty member. When I confirmed that I have, he vividly recalled fond memories of the class I taught in the old Tell Science Building, which was very special to me.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Gardening, walking, reading and visiting new places of interest.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I love visiting beaches and collecting seashells. I can speak, read and write Tamil, a language that is 5,000 years old. I was a competitive badminton and shuttle player. A few years before I became a full-time faculty member, I attended church services run by an outside entity in Ethington Theatre, not knowing that one day I would teach here and watch it grow to its grandness. I guess God was paving the path for me and showing me where I would go, and here I am.