Mosher appointed new chair of Maxwell program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement

Mosher,-AnneThe Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is pleased to announce Anne Mosher as the new chair of the school’s distinctive double-major in Citizenship and Civic Engagement (CCE)—a rigorous interdisciplinary course of study designed to help students deepen their understanding of social activism, public affairs, and political change. Mosher, who has been on the faculty of the Maxwell School for 20 years, is an associate professor of geography and a senior research fellow in Maxwell’s Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. 

“Anne’s longstanding commitment to community engagement, and her dedication to both her students and the public good, make her the perfect choice to lead the CCE program,” says James B. Steinberg, Dean of the Maxwell School. “She is a first rate teacher and scholar.”

Mosher’s work as an urban historical geographer builds upon her commitment to public engagement, incorporating the use of “mental mapping” as part of her standard research protocol. Mental mapping asks local residents to make sketch maps of their community, then encourages them to explain what they’ve drawn. The technique prompts spontaneous storytelling about valued landmarks, sacred spaces, toxic spots, and traffic bottlenecks—past and present—and is followed by quantitative and qualitative social science analysis of this information. 

Work like this also gives Mosher an opportunity to introduce the idea that everyone is a geographer to some degree. “They just haven’t thought about their local knowledge or way-finding abilities in that way,” she says. “Geography is so much more than memorization of countries and capitals.”

This type of public engagement experience also contributed to the New York Council for the Humanities’ invitation to Mosher to join the 31-member inaugural cohort of New York Public Scholars. This initiative is jointly funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State, foundations, and other private donors and enables Mosher and the other New York Public Scholars to facilitate discussions across New York state about citizenship and critical public issues of local, national, and international concern.

In addition to this public engagement work, Anne Mosher teaches and conducts research on urban planning and infrastructure (including the Erie Canal), engaged place-making, crisis and disaster management, public memory as expressed via social media, and interdisciplinary theories of space and place. She has also been a teaching team member in the Maxwell School’s acclaimed interdisciplinary undergraduate course, MAX 123—Critical Issues for the United States, and currently serves on the University Senate Committee on Instruction. 

About CCE

The Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement (CCE) is a double-major program, an individualized, hands-on undergraduate course of study designed to deepen students’ understanding of social activism, public affairs, and political change. In addition to CCE, students choose a second major in a policy relevant field, usually in the social sciences or public communications. CCE adds leadership skills, training in policy relevant research, and a chance for students to put their plans into action before graduation through completion of a Senior Action Plan. To learn more about CCE, visit https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/citizenship/