CMS Spotlight

CMS May Spotlight - Betty Anne Younker
Early Career Music Faculty Cohort

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Dr. Betty Anne Younker served as CMS President from 2015-2016, and has since led CMS in numerous capacities, including her current role as co-facilitator of the CMS Early-Career Music Faculty Cohort, which she leads alongside fellow CMS Past-President Dr. Mark Rabideau. This cohort aims to provide professional development and peer support to faculty members navigating the earlier stages of their careers. 

Dr. Younker is currently Adjunct Professor Emerita at the University of Western Ontario, following her service as Dean of the Don Wright Faculty School of Music from 2011-2021. Previous appointments were at the University of Michigan (2000-2011), University of Western Ontario (1997-2000) and the University of Prince Edward Island (1992-1997). During her time at Western she was awarded the Dr. Pedro Goldman Award Faculty of Music Students Council. In 2008, she was awarded the distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture. Her research interests include critical and creative thinking within the disciplines of philosophy and psychology. Publications include articles in national and international journals, and chapters in several books. Paper presentations have occurred at provincial, state, national, and international conferences. Before appointments at the university level, Dr. Younker taught music in the public school system and maintained a private flute studio.

We recently had the opportunity to reach out to Betty Anne to discuss the Early-Career Music Faculty Cohort and her larger experiences as a leader within The College Music Society. 

Q: What was your entry point into involvement with CMS? How has your work with CMS enriched your career?

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In Conversation with President Brian Kai Chin

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Hello Friends and Colleagues in the College Music Society,

For those of you who are paying very close attention, you might recognize this writing from my first letter to the membership as the new CMS President:

This past year, under the brilliant leadership of Mark Rabideau, Jeffrey Loeffert, and Hannah Pearson, the CMS Board hired an outside consultant to take a 360-degree view of our organization. The findings report was presented to the board at our national conference in Miami, and we have been diligently unpacking the information and inferring our process for meaningful and actionable steps forward. This year, I will present the following agenda for action amongst the board, the regional leadership, and the membership at large:

  1. Why be a member of the College Music Society?

We will examine and reauthor our mission, impact, and values statements. Our current Mission Statement:

The College Music Society promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the Society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.

While thorough, it has become apparent from our review that we lack a clear and focused articulation of why we exist and why all of those in collegiate music will want to participate. We will seek language that is compelling and well-defined. 

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CMS Cohorts

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The College Music Society is excited to announce the implementation of CMS Cohorts, a new initiative that will allow CMS members to connect with one another through shared professional goals, academic affinities, pedagogical initiatives, and career experiences. 

With plans to expand in scope and range of disciplines, the first CMS Cohorts will encompass the following areas of focus:

  1. Aspiring Academic Leaders Cohort - The Aspiring Academic Leaders Cohort aims to nurture and prepare future academic leaders with a music focus in higher education. This cohort will focus on professional development, fostering essential leadership skills, and exploring the responsibilities of academic leadership roles. 
  2. Early-Career Music Faculty Cohort - The Early Music Faculty Cohort aims to support and empower early-career music faculty members in their professional development. For the purposes of this cohort, “early-career” faculty are defined as those who are within 5-7 years of completion of their terminal degree. This cohort will provide a platform for peer mentorship, networking, and skill-building to navigate the challenges of the early stages of an academic career. 
  3. Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort - The Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort aims to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist pedagogy in music education. This cohort will serve as a platform for educators to learn about and discuss inclusive teaching practices, exchange ideas, and collaborate on fostering equitable learning environments. 
  4. Music Administrators Cohort - The Music Administrators Cohort aims to create a supportive network for music administrators within The College Music Society. This cohort will focus on addressing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by administrators in music units, facilitating professional development, and promoting best practices in music administration. 
  5. Collegiate Music Student Cohort - The Collegiate Music Student Cohort aims to bring CMS student members together across disciplines to foster conversation and bring attention to timely issues facing students in institutions of music higher education. This cohort will be facilitated by members of the CMS Student Advisory Council.
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