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GCU economics professor Dr. Robert Sherman receives a Lifetime Achievement Award and a letter from President Joe Biden.

Robert Sherman He carefully removed the Lifetime Achievement Award from an envelope he received from President Joe Biden last month.

This was the beginning of a series of documents that Sherman, who teaches at Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business, patiently pulled from his collection, documenting his involvement in forging business relationships between Arizona, the United States and his native Liberia over more than three decades.

There were letters of praise from people like former governors of Arizona Fife Symington And Julia Hull and former US Senator Jon Kyl, They symbolize their appreciation for Sherman’s involvement at the local, state and federal levels.

Sherman was also the first president of the African Association of Arizona.

But while these recognitions and successes improve financial prospects on various levels, they fall short of what gives the professor the most joy.

“My satisfaction lies in what I do for the students, because those students will be representing us,” said Sherman, who has taught economics at GCU since 2014.

The students gained knowledge from Dr. Robert Sherman, who has taught at GCU since 2014.

“We may be here today and gone tomorrow, but they will carry on our legacy.”

Sherman’s involvement in the international business sector has helped his students stay up to date on financial issues.

Sherman is known for organizing events in Arizona that introduce potential business partners to trade opportunities in Africa.

“He always wrote everything on the whiteboard in class because he wanted interaction,” said So yesN Tusslewho took an intermediate course in finance at GCU before completing his bachelor’s degree in 2016 and currently serves as an internal financial advisor for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

“He wanted student input. He wanted students to think about what he was doing, what he was talking about, what he was teaching. He didn’t want students or himself to just read from a textbook.”

Allison Masonthe associate dean of the business school, recognizes the effectiveness of Sherman’s open dialogue with students.

He “integrates his personal experiences as well as current events into the classroom so that he can impart knowledge to students that they can apply in their daily lives,” Mason said. “Dr. Sherman is also very passionate about serving the community and I believe he inspires students to be more involved and supportive of others.”

Sherman found his own motivation after leaving Liberia to pursue a degree at Arizona State University with the intention of returning to his home country.

“But you know, when you’re single, you get to meet people,” Sherman said. “I met my wife at ASU.”

They married, but his in-laws insisted that their daughter stay in the United States, so Sherman agreed to settle in the valley.

As he continued his education, he noticed similarities between Arizona and East Africa in terms of trade potential and began organizing events in Arizona to educate potential business partners about trade opportunities in Africa.

Sherman said his efforts have caught the attention of the U.S. government, which has asked him to help organize a conference in Phoenix on behalf of the State Department, the Department of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa.

“We invited people from all over Africa and from the U.S. Department of Commerce,” Sherman said.

Sherman shows one of his many awards for his services.

He became emotional as he spoke about Liberia in the late 1980s, when a civil war broke out and citizens fled to neighboring countries and were housed in refugee camps.

He worked with the local International Rescue Commission to bring some of the citizens to the United States to settle there and received a prestigious award from the City of Miami for his humanitarian work.

Some Liberians wanted to enroll in a Valley Community College so they could acclimate more slowly than they would at a four-year school. Sherman’s role on the Chancellor’s African American Advisory Council enabled him to highlight the importance of Africans in Phoenix and enroll several of them in these two-year schools.

“As you can see, I’ve won many of these awards,” Sherman said, looking at a table of his accomplishments. “But I want you to know that I’m proud of what I do. But more importantly, my relationship with GCU is very important to me.”

Sherman particularly enjoys breaking his students into small groups to encourage critical thinking, which often leads to “wonderful discussion.” In addition to teaching, he helps develop and revise courses.

Critical thinking expands students’ knowledge, said Dr. Robert Sherman.

“Dr. Sherman has been through it all,” said Denny Li, who is currently doing his Masters in Business Administration with a focus on project management. “He is an expert in economics and finance, so his personal experiences and opinions on things are not only a real asset to the textbook, but in my opinion even better than the textbook.”

Sherman’s experience often allows him to present case studies to his students, usually related to Arizona or Africa. Discussions revolve around how the students approached the issue, what they have done for their country, what challenges they have faced and what the outcome is, Li added.

“When I accepted the (lifetime achievement) award, I said I wasn’t accepting it for what I’ve done,” Sherman said. “There’s a tremendous amount of challenge. I went overseas and this will inspire me to do more. And I really believe that. God brought me here for some reason.”

GCU News Senior Writer Mark Gonzales can be reached at (email protected)


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