Name: Rick Feldman
Title: Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society, and Entrepreneurship Coordinator
Areas of study: entrepreneurship, social enterprise, social impact, business and organization
Research focus: Feldman is a successful entrepreneur in software, IT and manufacturing, and a social enterprise founder and director. He has led projects and published research in rural public policy, rural economic development, regional economic modelling and analysis, leadership development and entrepreneurship. His business activities include completing economic impact models for wildlife habitat protection, housing, transportation, high-speed internet connectivity in rural areas and commercial film production, while developing and bringing to market software for regional economic and policy modelling and analysis.
What drew you to your area of study: I am passionate about the roles and functions and synergistic interactions of entrepreneurship, business and organizations in creating beneficial social and environmental impacts, social change and solutions to global and local problems.
What appeals to you about being a professor at Mount Holyoke: MHC has a wonderful environment of collaboration, collegiality and exchange of ideas among faculty, students and staff. It is an invigorating, supportive community, engaged in the world.
What do you like about teaching: I most enjoy the energy, ideas and concerns of the students. Teaching at Mount Holyoke is a collaborative project involving students and faculty. We explore and discover the world together, and I continually learn in the process!
What do you look forward to at Mount Holyoke: The conversations and discussions, working with students and my classes.
What are your proudest accomplishments, academic or other: Not necessarily in this order: enthused and inspired students who experience that flash of realization and discovery during and after my courses; my work as an entrepreneur and entrepreneur educator; getting hired by Mount Holyoke; being a good parent; being a good partner; sailing a boat; climbing a couple 14,000+ mountains; completing some projects for clients that had significant beneficial impacts for their communities.
Favorite previous work/volunteer/research/teaching experiences: There have been a lot of these. Again, in no particular order: helping grow and elevate Valley Venture Mentors; research and work in rural economic development; owning and managing my own companies; directing a few excellent nonprofits in human services, education and the arts; research and writing in public policy; being an administrator and teacher at a large state university.
Favorite things about the campus and region so far: Jogging around Upper Lake. The campus as a whole — beautiful! South Hadley, Village Commons, South Hadley library, the diversity in the region.
What was your favorite class as an undergraduate: I had many favorite classes, having changed majors often in order to explore as many worlds as possible. Literature classes were always exceptional. Also creative writing, philosophy courses with a particular interest in logic and predicate calculus, statistics, physics, and education courses in both methods and in social and community organizations and action.
What do you like to do when you are not working: play guitar, meditate, get into serious conversations and discussions, hang out, jog and walk, write, read, occasional travel. A really great day is usually one spent at home where I can do all these whenever I want.
Favorite book, author, music, movie/TV: I enjoy a lot of authors and often go back to re-read their work: James Joyce, Toni Morrison, Pablo Neruda. I am currently enjoying some David Foster Wallace. I read Bob Dylan lyrics and still enjoy his songs. I listen to jazz a lot and love listening to classical music radio when I drive. I like the darker and probing Shakespearean-drama TV shows that often have powerful social commentary within, like “The Wire,” “Shetland,” and “House of Cards,” while also enjoying lighter shows like “NCIS” and “NCIS-New Orleans.” I enjoyed seeing “The Big Sick” recently (in a movie theater).
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