Sandra Enos, PhD, serves as Associate Professor of Sociology. She joined academia fifteen years ago after a career in public and community service. She earned her B.A. in sociology from Rhode Island, a Master’s Degree from Brown University and a doctorate from the University of Connecticut.
In this episode, Sandra discusses social entrepreneurship, teaching innovation and creativity, and learning to play the mandolin.
Episode 1: Teaching Creativity and Innovation
00:00: Introducing Sandra Enos, and an overview of her broad background in social entrepreneurship, community engagement, and teaching Sociology.
01:30: Prior to entering Academia, Sandra worked in civic and community settings, corrections, child welfare policy (and even stand-up comedy!). How did she decide to become a University Professor?
04:40: “Teaching Creativity in the sociology classroom and beyond”; an innovative course designed to try to help students understand how we apply creative ideas and innovation to problems in the larger community. Why are some communities creative and others less so?
06:15: What happens when you ask students to self-identify as more or less creative?
07:40: She had to develop this class from scratch – that itself required great creativity.
10:58: Creative ways to get students engaged in the subject. Techniques like “Magnitude” and “Risk or Probability” help to trigger creative conversation and constructive debate.
15:45: How do you manage students use of technology in the classroom? Sometimes you need to say “laptops down”. How does she use PowerPoint?
16:50: What is her next challenge? What new approaches does she want to try?
18:29: Taking her class on a site visit to a prison: challenges and outcomes. “The prison I saw was not the prison I had in my head”
19:57: Fascination with how students perceive the world, and creating opportunities for students to rethink those perceptions.
22:00 She asks her students: Would you rather be a benchwarmer at an elite school, or a star player at a midrange school? And the Bryant football coach happens to be passing by…
28:30: What advice would you give to a faculty colleague who is just starting their teaching career? She is inspired by Parker Palmer – the best teachers are those who are genuine and authentic. Believe in what you are doing.
31:23: Can you define innovation? Creativity – having an idea; Innovation – putting an idea into place.
Read about Sandra’s innovative teaching and her reflections on civic engagement work.
Professor Sandra Enos & Social Entrepreneurship: A Presentation to Bryant CEO
Listen to her interview about about managing life’s enduring conundrums at RIPR.
Sandra recommends “The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life” by Parker Palmer