In a Calgary Herald article this month, William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig P’22, an expert on topics in pedagogy and introversion, explains how the lockdown restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic are effecting introverts, extraverts and those somewhere in between.
The constant flow of information about the virus and its myriad effects is “a lot of external stimulation for anybody,” Kaenzig says in the article, “Unleashing our inner introverts.” “So, I think all of us, even those who are extroverted, it’s like, ‘Ah, I need some time to feel a little bit more quiet.’”
And for introverts and extraverts alike, she says, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people are reaching back to high school friends, to college friends. People are desperate to connect with times that felt more normal. We’re reaching back for those memories of times when we weren’t worried about all this stuff like we do as adults.”
A frequent invited speaker on issues relating to gifted and introverted learners, Kaenzig’s acclaimed research on the topic, “Introversion: The often forgotten factor affecting the gifted,” is cited as one of the most influential references in the field. Kaenzig has appeared on NPR and the BBC’s podcast “The Why Factor” to discuss her research on introversion. Her work was recently featured in an AP story, published in 300 news publications across the country, about the social challenges of COVID-19.
Kaenzig earned her Ph.D. in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William and Mary, her M.A. in human resource development from the George Washington University and her B.A. in political science from Rutgers University. It was while at the College of William and Mary in 1999 that she began researching introversion.