Featured History Alumni
Gregory Dodds, Ph.D. in History
Gregory Dodds is a professor of history at Walla Walla University. His Ph.D. in History was completed in 2004 at Claremont Graduate University under the direction of Dr. Lori Anne Ferrell. Previously, in 2000, he received a Masters in Business Administration from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management. While his primary area of expertise is early modern religious history, he also reads, researches, and teaches in the areas of medieval and early modern European history, British history, the history of Christianity, the history of the scientific revolution, economic history, and women’s history.
In 2009 Professor Dodds had his first book published by the University of Toronto Press: Exploiting Erasmus: The Erasmian Legacy and Religious Change in Early Modern England.
"People always want to categorize, simplify and organize life. But life is complex. It is not possible to compartmentalize knowledge, work, culture, or academia. I was taught at Claremont Graduate University to look beyond traditional and artificial boundaries that inhibit understanding and knowledge creation. One of the greatest gifts we can receive in life is the ability to look at the world through someone else’s eyes and from a variety of perspectives. This is something that I learned to do at Claremont through an interdisciplinary focus on early modern studies and by taking a dual degree track that led me to an MBA as well as the Ph.D. in history. This is now something that I try to pass on to my students. The interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary, approach at CGU is not simply talk, as it is at so many places. I wanted to study the History of Christianity, but I also wanted to get a Ph.D. in history. Claremont was the only place I could find that actually encouraged a degree program that embraced courses from history, religion, philosophy and literature. Now, when I teach, I do not think of my courses as belonging to any one discipline, but rather as holistic studies of time and place."
"Being able to think broadly is not only helpful in the classroom, it is also invaluable when actively engaged with faculty governance, public speaking and community service. I can say, without hesitation, that a broad-based CGU education, which included model mentoring, is the perfect foundation for a faculty position at a smaller liberal arts college or university. All the things I was able to enjoy at a smaller graduate program like CGU’s is now precisely what I find useful when teaching and mentoring. I found the history department to be incredibly supportive and the faculty at CGU, such as my dissertation advisor, Dr. Lori Anne Ferrell, are true models of scholarship, teaching, and mentoring."
"CGU is also unique in providing opportunities for dual degree programs. The Drucker program, with its emphasis on philosophy and management for the social good, was the perfect counterpart to my history Ph.D. program. The added security of an MBA in a difficult academic job market is a blessing and I would encourage more students to take advantage of this option. I can also say, from personal experience, that business skills are very useful for faculty governance and leadership positions, whether those are at the local university or in professional associations."
"Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I was impressed by the quality of the courses I took at CGU. Classes were rigorous and prepared me well for qualifying exams, my dissertation, and my current research and teaching activities. One of the reasons I initially chose Claremont was because of its proximity to the Huntington Library. The research I was able to do there formed the basis of my dissertation and first book, which was published in 2009. Strong courses, supportive faculty, excellent research opportunities, and remarkable flexibility make CGU a hidden gem. While much of higher education is becoming depersonalized and brutally competitive, CGU offers something that isn’t easily quantified in the ranks: an environment that supports personal growth, life-long learning, and multivalent careers."