Name: Don Sawyer
Title: Professor of Sociology
Company: Quinnipiac University
What They Do: Teaches courses like, Sociology of Race and Sociology of Hip Hop
Originally From: Harlem, NYC (Abraham Lincoln Projects)
College: Hartwick College, Syracuse University
Field of Study: Undergrad: Psychology with a focus on multicultural counseling; Master’s and Ph.D in Sociology
- Makes Me Want to Holla: A Young Black Man in America by Nathan McCall
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
- 212: The Extra Degree by Sam Parker
- Linchpin by Seth Godin
Listen in to the interview:
A Few Notes From the Show:
- You want to Tweet this: Gotta have a plan. Talk to people who are in positions you aspire to be in.
- Gives where he is from credit for his success
- Had a strong community that included his peers that stood shoulder to shoulder with him
- You should become a professor so you can have the summers off…not really
- Opportunity to do research and add to the community and society
- Working on research about the concept of educational success and Black males
- Working on research on re-entry of formerly incarcerated Black and Latino males. We know about the numbers but we don’t know their stories or what they are facing.
- His biggest goal is for students to come out of his class, not wanting to be a sociology professor but to be able to be a critical thinker. Being able to take in information, synthesize it and make a thought of their own.
- k-12 teaches us to regurgitate. In college you have to think
- Don’t want students to just be mindful consumers, but also a critical producer of the culture you are participating in.
- We talk about his Hip Hop sociology course which is not a music appreciation course.
- Practice applied sociology to help find solutions.
- Gotta have a plan. Talk to people who are in positions you aspire to be in.
- Getting a Ph.D is about perseverance not how smart you are
- Actually got a “D+” in his Introduction to Sociology class and now he’s a sociology professor.
- Being the only Black person can be lonely. Have to remind yourself you deserve to be here and you can do the work
- Survivors guilt: a lot of my friends didn’t make it. Have to remind myself that I’m inspiring them.
- Sometimes deal with the question of “am I competent enough.”
- You have to be ok with your upbringing.
- Your peers may be abel to call their parents for help, but you can’t.
- Used to think your mentor had to have a similar background
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