Published 03/12/14

Bryant professor a ‘Woman of Distinction’

Sandra Enos in classroomSandra Enos, Ph.D. (left), professor of Sociology and Service Learning, is being honored this month as one of Rhode Island’s most “distinguished” women.

A portrait of Enos is featured in a photography exhibit at the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein Providence campus.

The exhibit, “Rhode Island Women of Distinction,” collects images of more than 100 women who have made an impact in their communities. The portraits will be on display at 80 Washington St. from March 3 to 28, with a gallery night reception scheduled for March 20 from 5 to 9 p.m.

"I am very grateful for this recognition and for all the opportunities I have had to bear witness to the challenges people face."

Enos, coordinator of service learning and social entrepreneurship programs at Bryant, is recognized as a “dynamic teacher.” “She aspires to have students develop activated empathy rooted in a commitment to social justice,” the exhibit says of Enos.

“One of the great benefits of being a professor is that you can watch students grow into their own passions and concerns and help them to be willing to be summoned to others’ calls for service,” says Enos about the honor. "I am delighted to be in this company of women who serve our many communities in so many ways. This reminds us that a vibrant justice-seeking community cannot rely on one or two heroes to step forward to take on this world. Instead, we can remind ourselves that we have a great deal to be thankful for.”

In addition to teaching, Enos helps raise awareness and find solutions to a myriad of issues. Some of her projects include:

  • Founder of emerging social enterprise Brains.Toys.Games, which seeks to address the issue of toy deserts in low-income communities
  • Author of publications on campus-community partnerships, mothering in prison, mass incarceration and women, foster care policy, the history of child welfare in Rhode Island, and others
  • Mentor to student-led research projects at Blackstone Academy Charter School. Enos also conducts mock college classes with seniors to help them transition from high school to college
  • Worked with Bryant alumna Ariana Alicea ’12 on Peek Into My Pain - a volume of stories written by young people in the First Star Academy foster youth program. The books are currently available at Books on the Square, Providence
  • Recipient of a grant to develop a mobile application that showcases Rhode Island’s history of orphanages, asylums, and almshouses

“I am very grateful for this recognition and for all the opportunities I have had to bear witness to the challenges people face in prison, foster care, concentrated poverty and other situations,” says Enos.

For more information about the Rhode Island Women of Distinction photography exhibit, please call URI’s Feinstein Providence Campus at (401) 277-5206.