Dr. Barbara Mossberg
President Emerita of Goddard College, and Senior Scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland, Barbara Mossberg is an activist educational leader who weaves being a poet, lecturer, scholar, author, consultant, and actress into a career that spans college and university teaching and academic administration, community and national service, and federal and international appointments. A dedicated and prizewinning teacher, with emphasis on promoting creativity and expression for greater consciousness and conscience in how humanity treats each other and the earth, Dr. Mossberg has received international recognition for her work in American Studies, global studies, and the role of arts and humanities in public policy, leadership studies, interdisciplinary studies, and environmental affairs.
Dr. Mossberg received her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University, and began her career and tenure at the University of Oregon in the Department of English teaching tragedy, comedy, and American literature. Her book on Emily Dickinson was named by Choice an Outstanding Academic Book of the Year. Following her first senior Fulbright award as Bicentennial Chair at the University of Helsinki, Mossberg returned to Oregon to co-found the interdisciplinary American Studies Program (named by College Board International a national model for interdisciplinary approaches to culture studies) and to serve as dean in the graduate school, with special charge of the Individualized Program Interdisciplinary Studies M.A. Mossberg has worked nationally and internationally to advocate both global and interdisciplinary scholarship, teaching, and programs.
She held the first Senior Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship, and a senior Fulbright for the American poetry seminar at the University of Rome, as well as a federal appointment as U.S. Scholar in Residence in Washington, D.C., to represent American higher education in the U.S. and internationally as American Studies Specialist for the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity she has lectured and consulted worldwide and led cultural leadership tours in the U.S. for leaders in education, culture, business, media, politics, and government. For leadership across sectors, she develops mandates for new thinking based on emergent sciences and traditional humanities to integrate deeply humanistic and global arts and science learning into curriculum and public policy.
She has served the American Council on Education as Senior Fellow for the Office of Women and Center for Institutional and International Initiatives, and Founding Director of its Mary Robertson Smith Council of Scholars (“thinking about difference differently”), and the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies as Mellon Fellow, Resource Fellow, and Moderator for The American Experience; in addition to consulting and lecturing for international organizations with global learning missions, professional leadership groups, and academic institutions, she has been part of the Humanities Institute.
Named as a Danforth Foundation Associate, Dr. Mossberg’s teaching honors include awards such as the Rector’s Medal of Merit at the University of Helsinki and University of Tampere, the William Riley Parker Prize at Indiana University, The Ersted Prize at the University of Oregon for Distinguished Teaching, and the Mortar Board Award. Mossberg’s scholarship roots her service as senior scholar for the National Council for Research on Women and Distinguished Institute Scholar at Mt. Vernon College. Her scholarship is recognized in awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, and others; a video was made of her research on the art of daughters by Mary Helen Burnham. She has won awards for her poetry and regularly gives readings, as well as supports the Monterey High School Poetry Award Program.
Mossberg’s academic leadership includes service at colleges and universities as program founder and director (American Studies) and dean at University of Oregon, assistant provost and director of external relations (Hobart and William Smith Colleges), special assistant to the president and dean of arts and sciences (National University), and president and faculty (Goddard College). Mossberg joined the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at California State University Monterey Bay as founding dean to promote interdisciplinary global studies, and currently serves as Professor and Director of the Integrated Studies Special Major.
Her ongoing scholarship integrates arts, humanities, and sciences. In progress are a Leader’s Reader, a collection of essays on her work interpreting American culture in the U.S. and abroad, and two interdisciplinary books: the art and science of John Muir’s cultural leadership; and the relevance for “common genius” of classical studies and emergent sciences for global and multicultural American society. Besides her poetry, Mossberg publishes on cultural studies, global studies, and the arts and science of leadership. She has developed original interpretations of chaos and other complexity theories of science to integrate with mythology and literary wisdom.
Lecturing and consulting in over 30 countries, Mossberg has represented the U.S. as a cultural studies scholar and is a frequent keynoter to national and international organizations ranging from the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) to IONS to Phi Beta Kappa. She is a Featured Presenter at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching where Dr. Mossberg speaks on the “genius of empathy” and other “lessons from Professor Sphinx,” the literature of aging, learning, and resilience, integrated thinking, the relevance of history, chaos theory for learning organizations, and other topics, and is on the Editorial Board of Journal of Excellence in College Teaching.
Dr. Mossberg speaks on medicine, law, ethics, teaching, leadership, global thinking, and science for colleges, universities, and organizations. In the summers Mossberg lectures at the LeConte Memorial Lodge at Yosemite National Park on the role of arts and humanities in developing public values and policy on the environment. Dr. Mossberg advises and serves on national and community boards promoting arts, scholarship, and the environment, and performs as well in community dramatic arts programs including her own original works. Recent and forthcoming publications include articles in John Muir: Family and Friends on the role of arts and humanities in leadership for U.S. public policy, Chaos Theory and Higher Education, “Chaos: Leadership’s Natural Ally,” and The Joy of Teaching, “Teaching as Leadership, Love, and Forgiveness/Comedy and Tragedy.”.