Canady-2782Dr. Andrew McNeill Canady
Associate Professor of History
Chair, Department of History, Political Science and Religion

Office: Davenport Hall 105B
Phone: 434-791-7175
 [email protected]

“I’ve never had a class of his,” says Kevin, an Averett senior, “but I know who he is — he’s the one rockin’ a bow tie.”

Of course Dr. Andrew Canady doesn’t always wear a bow tie, but when he does, it’s certainly not a clip-on. “Oh, no,” he says with a laugh, “of course they’re ones I have to tie myself. Funny, isn’t it, how a little thing like a tie can make such an impression.”

One could say that it makes sense for his style (a classic tie) to be influenced by the past; after all, he is a scholar of the past. “My interest in history began when I was in elementary school,” he admits. “I simply enjoyed learning about the past.”

Now he passes along that understanding, both at Averett and in the community around Danville.

“I love the diversity here,” he says. “Danville is about 50 percent Black, and Averett is an open-minded university in a conservative part of the country. I like that. I also like the diversity of Averett’s enrollment. Our racial diversity is unusual in such a small, private school … and we have many international students, too. They really bring a richness of cultural differences.”

Canady is an active presenter among the area’s communities, both on- and off-campus, and he’s a travelin’ man, as well. He takes Averett’s Honors Program students on educational trips here and abroad.

For instance, they just returned from Washington D.C., and they leave soon for London. (He should know his way around London; he lived and studied there for a semester when he was an undergraduate.)

The Honors conference they attend annually will be in Richmond, Virginia, this year. For their travel next year? “Haven’t decided yet. One trip probably will be to Boston, Charleston or Savannah.”

Many of the Honors Program activities are planned over meals. Canady meets with those students over lunch, usually. “I enjoy getting to know all the students — Honors and others — and it’s one reason I came to Averett. Although I still do some research, the emphasis here is on teaching, not on publishing.”

He adds, “I went to small, private schools myself, and I want to teach in a place that allows the students and professors to get to know each other. It can make a big difference, especially to first-generation [first in the family to attend college] students.”


Doctor of Philosophy, History, Rice University

Master of Arts, History, Rice University

Bachelor of Arts, Wake Forest University, double major in History and Religion

Dr. Joshua Sperber
Assistant Professor of Political Science and History

Office: 312 Frith Hall
Phone: 434-791-5773
Email: [email protected]

After teaching in New York City and Los Angeles for five years, Joshua Sperber began working at Averett in 2018. He received his PhD in political science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he focused on American Politics and International Relations. Prior to his work at the Grad Center, he received an MA in Modern European Studies, focusing on 20th century European history, at Columbia University. Originally from Los Angeles, Sperber began his academic career at Los Angeles Valley College and then transferred as a history major to San Francisco State University. After attending and working at large schools, Sperber is excited to be at a small but lively and  stimulating campus.


Jonathan SherryDr. Jonathan Sherry
Assistant Professor of History

Phone: 434-791-5825
Email: [email protected]

Sherry is a PhD in history and a scholar of modern Europe with research specialization in 20th century Spain and the Soviet Union. He is author of the forthcoming Stalinism on Trial, a book about the Spanish Civil War that will be published at Liverpool University Press. He teaches intro courses on Western Civilization and advanced courses in Europe’s World Wars, Russian and Soviet history, the Spanish Civil War, and the history of communism. Sherry joined Averett University after doing research in Spain for several years and working at the University of Miami and Penn State University-Erie. He’s also an avid hiker, a musician, and a dedicated film enthusiast. You can see him on campus at one of his Film Series movie nights or hear him on his podcast, History Today at Averett, an interview show that showcases the research of Averett’s history students.