Ms. Susan Moss, professor of art at Fort Lewis College and winner of the 2016-17 FLC Roger Peters Distinguished Professor Award, describes the late Dr. Peters, who served as her husband’s best man at her wedding, as “a creative and spirited teacher, an enthusiastic and dogged researcher and scholar, a generous and effective contributor to the larger campus community… I am truly honored and humbled to receive the award named for Dr. Peters, recognizing achievement in teaching, scholarship, and service.”
With her own career, Ms. Moss is continuing Dr. Peters legacy. For her, pursuing what she loves serves as motivation to be the best teacher, mentor, scholar and advocate she can be.
“I came to teaching via art, the discipline and practice that I am most curious about and most passionate about,” she explains. “And teaching, for me, is about having something to teach, something you really care about. Art is an open, sometimes perplexing (I like being perplexed), and constantly changing field. That makes it exciting.”
As a teacher, her focus is her students. There is a perception claiming that majoring in art means going against the advice of concerned parents and forgoing a steady career and future financial security. It’s not necessarily true, but the idea persists nonetheless, and that makes Ms. Moss respect her students even more.
“I really enjoy the students who are drawn to art. They are interested in its expressive power, in its potential to have an impact, in its visual aspects and physical processes, in its beauty. Following that interest can be dangerous. It’s an uncertain path. Both in the short run and the long, it requires expending time and effort without knowing the outcome. But, in the process, art students develop the ability to persist, make nuanced judgments, present themselves publically, work collaboratively, articulate a bridge across the visual and the verbal.”
Those same skills she strives to instill in her students are what make Ms. Moss such a valuable member of the FLC community. Her service to her students, her colleagues, Fort Lewis College, and the discipline of art have distinguished her among the many excellent professors who call this campus home. It’s a career that exemplifies what Dr. Roger Peters stood for, and she’s grateful for the opportunities she’s found here.
“I’ve been allowed to contribute in a wide variety of ways, to work with faculty, staff, and administrators from all corners of the institution. I like to think of Fort Lewis College as a spirited place, where ‘we’re all in it together,’ yet where there is room for the kinds of animated conversations that will shape a vital Fort Lewis tomorrow.”