Release Date: September 3, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Margaret Moss, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, holds five academic degrees, but has never been taught by an American Indian professor.
The realization inspired her to enter a lifetime of work advocating for diversity in academia, a journey that has brought her to the University at Buffalo School of Nursing to fill the newly created role of assistant dean of diversity and inclusion.
Moss, who also joins the university as associate professor of nursing, will work closely with Teresa Miller, vice provost for equity and inclusion, to improve access for underrepresented minorities; establish a pipeline of diverse faculty, staff and students; and identify gaps in school diversity-related policies and procedures.
“American Indians are across the board the poorest people in America — it just never reaches the media. And it’s expensive to go to school, creating a barrier for many people,” says Moss, who plans to focus on experiential programming for students and faculty. “And yet, the expense is just the tip of educational disparity and access.
“However, diversity is not only about race.” Moss continues. “In my new role, I also plan to address issues that people may not ordinarily think about, such as income disparity, that make it difficult for students to cross the finish line.”
Men make up less than 12 percent of nursing students and only 13 percent of full-time nursing faculty come from minority backgrounds, according to a recent report from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
And a survey from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing found that nurses from minority backgrounds make up 19 percent of the registered nurse (RN) workforce, while men account for 7 percent of the RN workforce.
American Indians, adds Moss, account for less than 1 percent of the nursing workforce.
“One of our strategic goals is to create a culture of inclusion, respect and collaboration for all faculty, staff and students to thrive and actualize their talents,” says Marsha Lewis, dean of the nursing school. “Dr. Moss will help us to realize that goal, find opportunities to strengthen our culture and, I expect, will bring her own unique perspective to the position.”
Moss previously was an associate professor and the first director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Yale University School of Nursing.
In 2014, Moss was named a Fulbright visiting research chair in Aboriginal/indigenous life and culture in the North American context at McGill University.
She served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow on the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. She also has held positions as director of the Native Nurse Career Opportunity program and director of inclusivity and diversity at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.
Moss has published more than 15 studies on health disparities, and health policy and aging in American Indians. She also authored one of the first textbooks on American Indian health and nursing.
Her degrees include a doctorate in nursing from the University of Texas, Houston; a JD from Hamline University; a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix; and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington State University.