New dean up for challenges in 2009

Dr. Patricia Mosto becomes the new liberal arts dean in the fall of 2009.

by Amber B. Carter

A new dean, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires, will take the reins as the head of the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Science (CLAES) next fall.

Dr. Patricia Mosto is currently the associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Rowan University, where she has worked for the last 15 years. She started as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor. She was also the chair of the Biology Department and interim associate provost for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Don Steven, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Rider, headed the search committee and decided to hire Mosto because he believes she will “champion academic excellence” and be a leader in innovative program development.

“[Mosto is] an experienced and visionary leader who demonstrated throughout the process a keen interest in Rider, in our students, our faculty, our mission and our goals,” Steven said in a statement. “She demonstrated an ability to work collaboratively with faculty, other administrative leaders and students, and she has a strong commitment to teaching and learning and to scholarship.”

Mosto did not always think she would be a dean. But, while she was a young faculty member, her dean “planted a seed” that ripened into a desire to hold the same position.

Rider’s search committee contacted Mosto when such a position became available in CLAES. As she looked at Rider’s Web site, and the strategic plan, she found the university to be a place with a “myriad of new challenges and opportunities.”

“After visiting the campus for two days during my interview, I left with a sense of a perfect match, an incredible energetic feeling, and a very positive connection with faculty, students and the college programs,” Mosto said.

Mosto wishes to bring her passion for liberal education, active learning and interdisciplinary approach to teaching, and lifelong learning to Rider.

“I strongly believe that we should provide students with the tools they will need to be responsible and productive citizens in a changing world, able to accept the ethical consequences of their ideas and actions,” she said.

Mosto attended Teacher’s College in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to become an elementary education teacher, but was attracted to the sciences. She attended the University of Buenos Aires and earned a master’s in hydrobiology.

Shortly after, she moved to the United States where she attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a master’s in psychology and a master’s in environmental science from Drexel University. She went back to the University of Buenos Aires for her Ph.D. in environmental science.

Mosto has held many different jobs, such as a research associate for the Council of Research and Investigation in Argentina, the assistant curator for the Algae Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, the laboratory director for the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles, a research assistant at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and a consultant for the University of Southern California, Rohm & Hass Corporation and the Naval Service for Investigation and Development of Argentina.

“I love to work, and no matter where my personal life has taken me, I always found interesting and challenging opportunities, so I had worked both in the academy and in government/industry settings,” Mosto said.

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