Presenter Bios: Civic Prompts in the Major Webinar

Caryn McTighe MusilCaryn McTighe Musil
Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives
Association of American Colleges & Universities
Civic Learning

Caryn McTighe Musil is Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), where she had served as Senior Vice President of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives for fourteen years.  A director of over twenty national and international projects, she has been writing, speaking, and directing projects about diversity, democracy, global learning, civic engagement, women, and social responsibility for the past three decades.  Before working at AAC&U, she was a faculty member in English and women’s studies for sixteen years at La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Musil was the lead author of A Crucible Moment: Civic Learning and Democracy’s Future (2012), which seeks to move civic learning from niches to norms.  The report continues her investigations about democracy, diversity, and higher education.  From 1992-2002, she was a senior leader in AAC&U’s American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning, directing three generations of faculty and curriculum development projects that involved 130 institutions and over 500 faculty members.

From 2012-2016, she continued democratic inquiries through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant working with community colleges on two grants:  Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Community, Difference, and Democratic Thinking, targeting humanities courses, and Citizenship Under Siege, holding public forums to engage in deep dialogue about who counts as American citizens.

She has recently focused on how to seed civic learning in students’ majors by challenging departments to take leadership in cultivating a civic lens and social responsibility as a dimension of disciplinary inquiry and practice for their student majors.  In Civic Prompts: Making Civic Learning Routine Across the Disciplines, she suggests how departments can integrate civic inquiries, issues, pedagogies, and assignments to teach their subject matter more effectively. 

Caryn McTighe Musil received her B.A. from Duke University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University.  

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Cindy Koenig Richards
Associate Professor & Chair, Ringe Media Lab Director, Communication and Media
Willamette University

Cindy Koenig Richards is a scholar of communication, technology, and American politics. She is an associate professor at Willamette University, where she served as the founding chair of the Civic Communication and Media department.

The Association of American Colleges & Universities recently selected the Civic Communication and Media department as a national model for integrating civic learning into a major program. Dr. Richards’s related article, "A Civic-Rich Framework for Liberal Education," is featured in Peer Review.

Dr. Richards is the recipient of the National Communication Association’s 2018 Donald E. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education. In the award citation, NCA notes that “Dr. Koenig Richards is remarkable for using civic engagement as a pedagogical tool. Course content is illuminated by connecting theoretical knowledge to practical application beyond the classroom, with an emphasis on critical understanding and ethical use of technology in the 21st century.” Dr. Richards is also the recipient of Willamette University’s highest honor for teaching and service, which "celebrates the extraordinary impact a professor can make both inside the classroom and within the community." At Willamette, Dr. Richards has developed curricula, courses, and labs that emphasize public engagement and project-based learning. For example, for her course on the public sphere, Professor Richards created the Willamette Debate Watch program. In 2012 and 2016 this student-led program brought together more than 1600 community members to discuss public issues and campaigns.

Dr. Richards earned her Ph.D. and M.A. at Northwestern University. Previously, she worked as a STEM teacher and department chair in Bronx NY and Washington DC public schools. 

Anita Tesh

Anita Tesh, PHD, CEA-II, CNE, ANEF, RN
Associate Professor in the School of Nursing & Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Division and Undergraduate Program
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lecture Professor of Xinglin Scholar, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine.

She currently works on issues related to end of life issues, nursing education, measurement, and research design.

Dr. Tesh holds a doctorate in Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation, with a minor in Mathematical Statistics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She holds MSN from that same institution and a BSN degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is an NLN Certified Nurse Educator, a Fellow in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education, and was a 2011 Fellow in the AACN Leadership for Academic Nursing Program (LANP). Dr. Tesh has participated in projects in geriatrics and in nursing education funded by HRSA, and in health disparities from HHS and NIH.  As Xinglin Scholar at GUCM, she works on issues related to end of life care and nursing education in China.

The nursing program received a mini-grant from the Association of American Colleges & Universities to support the integration of the Carolina Core tenets, and associated focus on civic learning and social responsibility, into metrics for newly developed courses and for the program evaluation plan.  The new conceptual framework for the nursing program at UNC-Chapel Hill’s is radically different from their current one, and radically different from that of most nursing programs.  This new conceptual core will uniquely allow them to prepare graduates to be responsible, informed, and engaged citizens in their workplaces, in the profession of nursing, and in the larger community.

Douglas CrewsDouglas E. Crews
Professor, Anthropology and Public Health
The Ohio State University

Dr. Crews is biological anthropologist whose research interests include aging, allostatic load, chronic non-communicable disease, frailty, genetic epidemiology, stress responses, and the evolution of senescent biology.  He has conducted research on quantitative and qualitative human variation among African Americans, Native Americans from Brazil and Ecuador, and elderly samples from Japan, Kuwait, Slovenia, Poland, and Samoans of the South Pacific.

Currently, Dr. Crews is analyzing data obtained from elders in Kuwait, Japan, Poland, and among American Samoans for associations of life ways, residence patterns, and environmental factors with allostatic load, frailty, and health outcomes.  Previously, he has reported on stress and health among African Americans of central Ohio and Yanomami and Cofan Indians of the Brazilian and Ecuadorian Amazon. Dr. Crews has a joint faculty appointment in the School of Public Health, is a member of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging Coordinating Committee, served on the OSU Senate Diversity Committee for seven years, three as chair, received the University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award in 2010, and is currently President of the International Association of Physiological Anthropologists.  Dr. Crews' graduate students have conducted research on stressors and health in Brazil, Ecuador, Poland, Cayo Santiago, the United States, Japan, Nicaragua, and among the Buthia of Sikkim State, India. Previously, Dr. Crews conducted molecular studies of apolipoprotein genes and candidate genes for diabetes, obesity, and blood pressure. 

Culture is the basic currency in Anthropology; therefore, an understanding of diverse perspectives on diversity and constructions of race are one of Anthropology’s primary learning targets. The Anthropology department received a mini-grant from the Association of American Colleges & Universities to support a thoughtful and coordinated integrated upgrade of teaching about race in the foundation level Anthropology courses of Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology.

Dr. Crews received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from The Pennsylvania State University.