Dr. Gary Elbow, Professor of Geography and Honors Studies, has been at Texas Tech University since September of 1970 so he is a very familiar face on campus. Dr. Elbow has long been involved with the Honors College, having taught Honors courses since the early 1980s. He has also been an active faculty member, having served as parliamentarian, secretary, vice-president and president of the Faculty Senate at various times. Most recently he has been deeply involved with assessment of the university core curriculum.
Dr. Elbow has led a fascinating life and traveled abroad extensively. He was born in San Francisco, California, but grew up in Tillamook, a small town in Oregon. He finished his B.S. in General Science at Oregon State College, went on to attain his M.A. at the University of Oregon in Geography, and finished his education at the University of Pittsburgh where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Geography. He lived in Guatemala for two years while working in the United States foreign aid program (USAID) and collecting data for his dissertation. He has as traveled to most Latin American countries, living in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. In the summers, he and his wife, Margaret Elbow, of the Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work department, enjoy taking walking trips in Europe, especially Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. In summer 2008, in their slender window of free time, they traveled to Slovenia and Croatia.
Dr. Elbow began using films while teaching an interdisciplinary Latin American Studies class at TTU. As a result of that experience he has developed an Honors seminar in Latin American film. In addition, he teaches a service-learning class in human geography as part of the FYE program and team-teaches an Honors seminar "Science and Society."
Although Dr. Elbow's free time is fleeting and rare, he likes to spend it reading, writing, and working with professional geography organizations. His special interests include Latin American geography, Latin American film, urban geography, and geography education. (If you need any information on Latin America, he's your man!)