Once described as “part activist, part administrator, and part academic,” Anna Sims Bartel earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Cornell University, where she recently returned to work in the Office of Engagement Initiatives, part of Engaged Cornell. Anna’s background includes faculty work, consulting, and public humanities initiatives as well the development of community-engagement centers at several higher ed institutions in cold, white places (upstate New York, Maine, and Iowa). Currently, she serves as Associate Director for Community-Engaged Curricula and Practice, where she works on advancing faculty growth and network development in engaged scholarship, teaching, and research. Her current research interests are broad and include civic poetry; the US agrarian novel; and of course civic engagement. Her most accessible publication (“Why Public Policy Needs the Humanities, and How”) appeared in 2015 in the Maine Policy Review, and her recent work focuses on values-engaged assessment, the intersections of social innovation and civic engagement, and networked models of faculty development.
Anna enjoys the things that support chronic hope: the chaos of her young family; being in, on, or near moving water; the smell of dirt and the good things that grow in it.