Dr. Dale L. Garrett: Associate professor of social sciences and assistant football coach
February 20, 2012
Dr. Dale L. Garrett has been an associate professor in the Social Sciences Department since retiring as a Lt. Col. from the United States Air Force in 2003. During his 24-year career with the USAF, he was selected as a squadron-level commander three separate times and also chosen as part of a select group of five, setting up bomber operations for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
He logged 2,968 flying hours as a navigator, including 13 combat missions. His military decorations include the Bronze star, Meritorious Service Medal, Defense meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal , AF Commendation medal, AF Achievement Medal and the Joint Service Achievement Medal.
Dr. Garrett attended West Liberty State College, West Liberty, West Virginia, on a football scholarship, captained the football team and won seven letters in football and wrestling. Today, in addition to teaching at Evangel, Dr. Garrett also volunteers as a running backs coach for the Evangel Crusaders. Dr. Garrett and his wife, Martha, have three grown children, Wendy, Bethany and Anthony.
In addition to teaching in the Social Sciences Department, you also serve as an assistant football coach. What is your favorite part about being a coach?
I am a position coach (working with running backs), which means I get involved in practically every aspect of the player’s life. It’s as close to a mentorship relationship as it gets. I like to think our job as coaches is cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He builds these young men into world changers for Christ.
What brought you to Evangel?
I was working the in U.S. Embassy in El Salvador when Dr. Linda Wellborn led a group of Evangel students on a missions trip to El Salvador. We got to interact with the group through some missionary friends. I was kidding Dr. Wellborn and said, “You make Evangel sound so good I think I’ll just go there and work when I retire.” She asked if I would really consider that. When I responded yes she gave me her business card and four years later I emailed her, not knowing if she would still remember me.
She said she would pass the word around. Soon Dr. Bryan Sanders called saying he would be in Washington, D.C., in a couple of weeks with the Washington Studies Program and wondered whether we could meet. We did and several months later I retired and came to Evangel.
What is your favorite part about working with Evangel students?
Just like with my running backs, I feel very privileged and honored over the opportunity of cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He molds students’ lives here at Evangel. I believe our students are not here by accident but are called by the Lord and that He draws them and uses their time here molding them for use in His kingdom in a variety of ways. To be a small part of that process is amazing, and watching the students subject themselves obediently to that process is about as rewarding a profession one could imagine.
What sets the Evangel Social Sciences Department apart from similar programs at other universities?
The overwhelming response from our majors and the other students interacting in our department is the personal relationships and care that our faculty members show them. We’ve had transfers state that the difference is stunning. Coming from a system where you are regarded as just another number to a department where the faculty and student leaders treat you as part of the family, check up on you and pray for you leaves some of the transfer students in culture shock.
What exciting opportunities do Social Sciences students have here at Evangel?
Many are based on the idea of “experiencing” education rather than just traditional classroom learning. We emphasize and encourage extensive internship experiences that can last from a few days to a semester or longer interaction with professionals in the field.
Imagine playing the role of a soldier on a Civil War battlefield and then going back to the classroom to talk about the importance of that battle in our nation’s history. Imagine experiencing Washington, D.C., from a historical perspective and then having the opportunity to intern in a congressional office. Imagine meeting a former U.S. president and getting to ask his opinion on a personal question you’ve been dying to ask, and then getting a personally signed copy of his new book.
All of these are examples of what Social Science students at Evangel have had the opportunity to experience in the last couple of years, and they represent only a sampling of the opportunities available.
What advice do you have for prospective Evangel students, especially those interested in pursuing a degree in the Social Sciences?
Come on board. I have found that true happiness is found from being where God wants you, doing what God wants you to do, at the time God wants you to be there. As God is calling you to Evangel, and the Social Sciences Department in particular, rest assured that your family here is anxious for your arrival and can’t wait for the opportunity of interacting with you on a regular basis.