Six Things We Learned from FSU Faculty

This semester, we had the pleasure of working as Media Interns with the FSU Office of Faculty Development and Advancement. One of our projects in this role was to create a blog composed of faculty member interviews to highlight their efforts and spread the word of positive work throughout our university. Nearing the end of our term with this great office, we decided to compile 6 things that we have learned while taking classes and meeting with FSU faculty from all different disciplines!


1. Understanding different perspectives opens your mind.

Jennifer Enoch- Department of English- Doctoral Student

In Professor Jennifer Enoch’s course Rhetoric (ENC3021) she lectures on varying groups of rhetoricians, from Ancient Greek to Contemporary American. By including contrasting narratives in the journey of the course and legitimizing differing opinions in class, Ms. Enoch shows her students how to use diverging ideas to deepen their understanding of the topic. From the beginnings of the study of Rhetoric to the modern-day, rhetoricians have gone to war over ideas, and Ms. Enoch is able to wield these arguments for deep in-class discussions, intellectually stimulating written exams, and a welcoming class environment where all opinions are valued. Ms. Enoch’s lighthearted and thoughtful approach to teaching encourages her students to put forth original work that furthers the in-class discussions of Rhetorical theory.


 2. Introspection is the key to embracing yourself.

Dr.  Tomi Gomory- Associate Professor of Social Work

The Human Sexuality class (SOW4152) taught in London by Dr. Tomi Gomory, Associate Professor of Social Work and former Fulbright Scholar, encourages students to use the information that they collect at exhibits, cafes and bookstores in the nearby Soho neighborhood to learn more about their own definition of sexuality, the importance of loving those around you, and how to lift up and support your community. Through activities dedicated to introspective writing, students learn how to embrace theirselves in a holistic and intellectual manner. Sex is a topic that is both over-discussed and misunderstood by college students, but Dr. Gomory’s course takes steps towards enlightening young people about the beauty, power, connection, and power of human sexuality.


3. Your community is your classroom.

Dr. John Reynolds- Professor and Department Chair, Sociology Department

In his London Campus class Social Problems (SYG2010,) Dr. John Reynolds, Department Chair and Professor of Sociology, wields the city of London as his classroom, leading his students on adventures all over the city. He guides his students through local markets, famous British landmarks, museums, parks and small cafes so that they are able to experience the city firsthand, while taking a closer look at the social problems that Londoners struggle with. By finishing the semester with a project dedicated to a problem that students found personally intriguing, Dr. Reynolds allows his students to become sociologists themselves. By taking his class, I learned that the community is my classroom, my neighbors are my teachers, and my textbooks are museum stubs.


4. The people you work with are just as important as where you work.

Dr. Ashby Plant – Professor of Social Psychology

This piece of wisdom actually came from every professor I spoke with. When asked, “What is your favorite part of working at FSU?” all of them included in their answer “the people.” Their excitement when talking about working with colleagues who respect, challenge, and encourage them in their professional lives is contagious. Dr. Ashby Plant mentioned in our interview that the people she works with create a fun, supportive, collaborative program that makes it a pleasure to work together. Taking this wisdom, it is easy to see that the people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your career, so it is crucial to like them!


5. Collaboration is the key to ingenuity and success.

Stacey Makhanova- Department Social Psychology, graduate student, doctoral candidate

“Two heads are better than one” is something we have all heard before. When it comes to your professional career however, it can be easy to remain in your personal bubble with your individual struggles, goals, and deadlines. Stacey Makhanova, teacher of social psychology at FSU, exemplifies the endless possibilities that open up when you make the effort to collaborate with others. Stacey works in multiple psychology labs on campus researching different but related topics. By doing this, she is able to take the expertise and knowledge of one mentor and researcher and apply it to her work in other areas. For her, this has only increased her understanding and success in her work.


6. Start now.

Kevin Curry- Assistant Teaching Professor- Department of Art

While shadowing his class, Kevin Curry told his students, “the biggest enemy of creation is hesitation. Start now.” This advice seems simple, but considering the time we spend procrastinating, this is really something to take to heart. I found it thought-provoking that he phrased it as hesitation is the enemy of creation. Creativity is something we would like to harness and use at our convenience, but that is not how it works. Often, when you have to start a project or task, you may not start right away for fear that the work will not be good enough. What Curry points out here is that if you don’t start now, you could prevent yourself from freely working through the struggle of mistakes and challenges that ultimately lead to your best work.

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