Graduate School

Professor Susan Moffitt Honored for Exceptional Mentorship and Guidance of Graduate Students

In a testament to her unwavering commitment to academic excellence and student wellbeing, Susan Moffitt, Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs and Director of Academic Programs for the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, has been selected for the 2024 Faculty Award for Advising & Mentoring.

Susan Moffitt headshot witha blurred backgroundSusan Moffitt received endorsements from her colleagues, postdoctoral research associates, and a multitude of doctoral and master’s students who have benefited from her mentorship.

Colleagues and students alike commend Moffitt for her exceptional dedication, often extending well beyond the conventional expectations of an advisor. Christopher Woods, a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, attests to Moffitt's relentless pursuit of academic rigor, stating, "She is constantly asking incisive questions and challenging her advisees to hone their theories and arguments. Our research has been immeasurably improved by Susan’s critiques and suggestions."

Moffitt's proactive efforts in fostering academic connections have not gone unnoticed. Many nominators highlight her initiative in orchestrating workshops that facilitate interactions between students and eminent scholars in their respective fields. According to Muhammad Omar Afzaal, a doctoral candidate in political science, Moffitt's empathetic approach became particularly evident during the tumultuous period of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Dr. Moffitt immediately adjusted the course accordingly to ensure her students were not unnecessarily burdened during that difficult time, also taking the time to provide a listening ear to any pressing student concerns," Afzaal explains.

Moffitt's unique ability to strike a delicate balance between encouragement and constructive criticism has been instrumental in nurturing the academic growth and confidence of graduate students at Brown University and beyond. 

Matthew Lyddon, Director of Program Operations and Director of Graduate Study for the Master of Public Affairs program, commends Moffitt's meticulous guidance, remarking, "I have observed, firsthand, how Prof. Moffitt carefully stewards the research training of her graduate students by designing (and securing funding for) applied research skills development opportunities of varying scope and scale."

Moffit herself is humble when she says, “It is a privilege to work with and learn from our outstanding graduate students at Brown University. They are an inspiration!”

Moffitt conducts research on American political institutions and public policy, with particular emphasis on developing the capacity to implement policy in the fields of public education and public health. Her latest book, Reforming the Reform: Problems of Public Schooling in the American Welfare State, was published by the University of Chicago Press in the Spring of 2023. She received her PhD and MPP from the University of Michigan.

Faculty members Elizabeth O. Harrington, Daniel E. Ibarra, Susan L. Moffitt, and Candace Rice received the Graduate School’s Faculty Award for Advising & Mentoring at the University Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2024.