Published 03/19/15

Prof. Enos reflects on her 40 years of civic engagement work

Sandra EnosImagine. Engage. Reflect. Repeat. It's a formula Sandra Enos, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, has developed during her 40 years of civic engagement work.

She reflects on her work in an essay written as the 30th anniversary of Campus Compact nears. The organization is a national coalition of colleges and university dedicated to helping campus-based community service initiatives coordinate, organize, and deepen their individual and collective work, and their collaboration with other service organizations. Enos often collaborates with the organization's Rhode Island chapter.

Enos has been involved in civic engagement work since 1971 when, through VISTA , she "was dispatched to southeastern Alabama for a year of service," she writes. She spent her early career in child welfare and corrections and then worked with Campus Compact's national office before "finally settling into my current position as a faculty member."

"Throughout all of this work, one question has haunted me – whether working in the state prison or behalf of foster children or building houses in Alabama or teaching sociology at a private university – how do I understand what I am doing when I aim to be of service?" she says.

In teaching sociology as a member of the Department of History and Social Sciences faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences at Bryant, "I try to help students understand all the ways that their lives are implicated in the lives of others. So, we think about ways to be more conscientious in what and how we consume, to be more thoughtful about philanthropy, to be better informed about public events, to be careful researchers, to design new approaches to social problems, and to be accountable for our actions, especially those meant to do good."