This fall, OT students, faculty, and staff gathered for a day of fun to raise money for the AOTF St. Catherine Challenge, which raises funds for occupational therapy research grants. This year the department participated in a kickball tournament and picnic with friends and family. Donations can still be made in NYU Steinhardt OT’s name towards the St. Catherine Challenge by visiting their website. The department looks forward to participating again in the years to come!
A scholar, educator, and epistemologist, Anne Cronin Mosey, Ph.D., OT, FAOTA (1938-2017) devoted her life to advancing occupational therapy. Mosey grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Minnesota in 1961. After graduation, Mosey moved to New York City to work with Gail Fidler. During the five years that Mosey worked with Fidler, she was encouraged to seek advanced education and to engage in self-directed learning. During those years, Mosey learned the value of theory-based intervention and the importance of providing client-centered activities.
In 1965, Mosey enrolled in the advanced Masters of Arts degree program in the Department of Occupational Therapy at New York University, earning her degree in 1965. Committed to advancing her knowledge, she then enrolled in a Doctorate of Philosophy program in Human Relations and Community Studies at Columbia University.
In 1966, Mosey became a faculty member in Columbia University’s Occupational Therapy Program, where she completed her doctoral degree in 1968. Dr. Mosey then returned to NYU as a faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy. There she would serve in multiple roles including professor, chair, and division head. During her time at NYU she established the first Doctorate of Philosophy degree program in occupational therapy in the world.
The focus of Dr. Mosey’s scholarship changed in response to advancing knowledge and changes in the profession. Although not often recognized, Dr. Mosey’s contributions as an educator extended far beyond the classroom. Numerous students have noted that Mosey changed the way they thought about the profession, and that she encouraged them to think like scholars, making learning both challenging and supportive.
Mosey’s most significant contributions can be categorized into two interconnected phases. During the first phase, she focused on the importance of the theoretically sound basis for practice. She observed that the Profession did not currently have accepted guidelines for intervention. She conceptualized the frame of reference for OT’s unique guideline for intervention. These guidelines provided a solid theoretical basis for therapists to provide intervention. The new frame of reference was also crucial for the Profession because it recognized that a client-centered approach for intervention begins with learning and evaluating the client’s individual needs.
During the second phase of her professional career, Dr. Mosey engaged in exploring the philosophy of applied scientific inquiry and the philosophy of the science-based profession. She recognized that as an applied profession, basic scientific inquiry would not support the efficacy of occupational therapy interventions. She proposed methods for examining the efficacy of frames of reference. During this time, grounded in pluralistic philosophy, she argued that the profession needed to devote its limited resources to examining its frames of reference and not developing basic science.
In 1975, Dr. Mosey was inducted into the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows. Her contribution to the scholarship of the field of OT was acknowledged in 1985 when she received the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Eleanor Clark Slagle lectureship. In her lecture, she presented a controversial title, “A Monistic or a Pluralistic Approach to Professional Identity?” In 2003, New York University established the Anne Cronin Mosey Lectureship in her honor to address controversial issues facing the OT profession. Dr. Mosey’s work continues to influence future occupational therapy scholars as well as inspire the faculty in NYU Steinhardt’s OT department. She will be truly missed.