Office Hours: Dr. Sheryl Vasso

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A personal, after-class interview with your favorite professors

Dr. Sheryl Vasso serves as professor and chair of the MS in Education program. She holds an EdD from Immaculata University, and her academic specialities include assessment, diverse learners, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design.

Tell me a bit about your spiritual journey.

I grew up in a Catholic home and went to Catholic school. When I was a junior, I felt this prompting that God wanted a special relationship with me. As a student in an all-girl Catholic high school, what conclusion did I come to other than, “The Lord’s asking me to go into the convent.”

Thankfully, they were asking young girls to go away for at least a year of college to make sure that, indeed, this was the decision for you. In my first semester at St. Joseph’s University, I had a theology course assignment to read the synoptic gospels. That was highly unusual because Catholics didn’t read scripture on their own . . . I was serious about my studies, so I did the reading, and before I knew it, I was reading outside of the gospels. I came across the verse in 1 Timothy saying, “There’s one and only one mediator between God and man, and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ.” As a Catholic kid, I went to confession to a priest; I never went to God to confess my sins.

One of my brothers was at Villanova and had become a Christian through Campus Crusade. He invited me to a Josh McDowell rally, and that’s when I accepted Christ. God was not calling me to become a nun; He was calling me to become one of His children.

What was the hardest part of being dean of students?

The most difficult part of the job was the discipline—to uphold the “rules and regs” of Student Life. That part was very difficult, especially back then when students weren’t even permitted to go to movies! It was difficult to create a department that students could really love, that instead of avoiding us they would want to come to us. My staff and I worked very hard at that. We tried to take the focus off of the externals and work more on what’s going on in the heart.

When you’re not teaching, what do you like to do for fun?

I like to golf, travel, and read. I’m a ferocious reader. I also teach, speak, and write at Words of Worth, a nonprofit ministry that is geared mostly at women. I speak at church retreats and events like women’s teas, brunches, and graduations, and I also do professional development both internationally and nationally. I’ve co-written several Bible studies that are published, and I write a weekly blog all on biblical topics. Its primary purpose is to get the Word of God out to as many people as I possibly can.