Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff: In recent days, there has been a renewed and palpable sense of energy on our campus. Many of us are feeling optimistic for the future, especially as more and more members of our community…
Anne Mosher Named Provost’s Faculty Fellow for Shared Competencies and High Impact Practices
Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu has named Anne E. Mosher, associate professor of geography and the environment in the Maxwell School, a Provost’s Faculty Fellow. Her fellowship will focus on advancing the University’s work in implementing the Shared Competencies and evaluating the use of high-impact practices in undergraduate education.
Mosher began her work on the Shared Competencies in 2017 as a member of the Senate Committee on Instruction and the following year joined the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Shared Competencies, a group she has chaired since the beginning of 2019. Mosher worked closely with Provost Faculty Fellow Mary Graham, the Senate Ad Hoc Committee and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment to gather input on and generate support for the Shared Competencies and corresponding framing language, leading to their overwhelming approval in the University Senate in 2018. “Anne Mosher’s substantial efforts in consensus building and her solid, trustworthy reputation among her faculty peers, were instrumental in achieving Senate approval for the Shared Competencies,” Graham says. Mosher then wrote a vision paper with the committee outlining the tenets of the shared competencies pilot operating system.
“Over the past two years, our committee’s thinking on the Shared Competencies has really evolved. We are now thinking of them as a framework that has the potential to promote curricular mindfulness,” says Mosher. “Once we have identified how each undergraduate major and undergraduate course contributes to competency development, we will communicate this through the course catalog and syllabi. This will help students have better conversations with their academic advisors and make informed choices about where to enhance the skills and knowledge that will set them up for success after Syracuse. Our goal is an improved and more consistent undergraduate learning experience for our students,” Mosher says.
“Syracuse University’s progress toward implementing the Shared Competencies is important for our accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which requires that we evaluate our curriculum,” says Liu. “But more importantly, it is an opportunity to come together as an institution to innovate in ways that benefit all students. Professor Mosher’s experience as chair of Maxwell’s citizenship and civic engagement program and as a New York Public Scholar means that she has an ability to listen to many stakeholders. She has a track record of bringing people together to inform teaching and learning. I am looking forward to her contribution to our efforts to provide students with co-curricular opportunities that link what they learn in class to concrete skills and real-world problems,” Liu says.
As Provost Faculty Fellow, Mosher will work with deans, faculty, University Senate committees, Associate Provost Chris Johnson, Senior Assistant Provost Jerry Edmonds and with curriculum committees at the school and college level. But she sees the Shared Competencies as a way to promote educational equity. “There are students who know from the moment they step foot onto campus how to look for co-curricular experiences or research opportunities or how to apply for grants or study abroad,” says Mosher. “There are others who are more like I was: the first in their family to go to college. I needed encouragement and help navigating these opportunities and a lot of coaching and advising when it came to recognizing and articulating the skills and knowledge I was getting in college. I wish I had had access to something like the Shared Competencies framework,” she says.
“Anne is a tireless advocate for student equity and ensuring that all Syracuse University students have a rich and meaningful experience in their degree programs, required courses and co-curricular experiences. She is helping to bring the shared competencies to life,” says Jerry Edmonds, senior assistant provost for Academic Affairs. Mosher stresses the importance of co-curricular activities to competency building. As a first generation college student, she says that a year studying abroad in the United Kingdom while an undergraduate at Macalaster College was a transformational experience that led her to earn a master of science and Ph.D. in geography at Penn State University. “Through study abroad I discovered how to be in a community that was not my own, how to learn from people and how to be sure I understood the issues on the ground—all skills I have used extensively in my career at Syracuse University and in my scholarly work as an urban geographer,” says Mosher.
She believes that Syracuse University students should have the opportunity to connect what they learn in the classroom with hand’s-on experiences. All students should understand how their coursework and assignments are providing the practical and academic knowledge they need to achieve their goals. “I look forward to working with faculty from across the University to think about how the shared competencies and high impact practices work in different disciplines. We have a highly creative and productive faculty, and when we work together, there’s really no limit to what we can do to create an outstanding academic experience for our students,” she says.
In addition to her other academic appointments, Mosher is co-director of the Coronat Scholars Program in the College of Arts and Sciences and a Senior Research Fellow in the Maxwell School’s Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. She was also the recipient of the 2019 Mentor of the Year Award from the Syracuse University Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising, a member of the inaugural class of New York Public Scholars for Humanities New York (2015-17), a past board member to the Alden Street Foundation, and co-founder of the Syracuse University Community Engagement Roundtable.