When Tim Clarke left MFS to teach at Penn Charter, science students were unsure if their beloved teacher’s unique demeanor and passion for his subject could ever be matched. To many, Mr. Clarke is an irreplaceable soul, but astrophysics expert Jennifer Mosher has already rocketed off into the 2015-16 school year as the new MFS physics teacher, and she is aiming for the stars.
Mosher may be a physics expert now, but she did not start her journey off that way. After attending a “hippie high school in California” without a physics class, she attended Bryn Mawr college. She majored in political science, hoping initially to become a politician. But Mosher soon became disillusioned with her major, because “it turns out logic is not the most important part of politics.”
While taking college physics for her lab science requirement, she met a teacher who would give her new direction. Professor Peter Beckman, “a giant, outgoing, lumberjack-looking guy from Canada” convinced her of her potential as a physicist, and after changing her major, she has not looked back since. “[He] fed his classes pizza every Thursday,” doubtlessly making his students, Mosher included, more receptive to his advice.
Dr. Mosher is both intellectually driven and sports-crazed. Mosher expressed future interest in teaching a “sports statistics class. . .like fantasy football predictions.” A huge baseball fan, she says she’d be interested in exploring with a class how Moneyball-style mathematical baseball predictions can be extended to other sports. But her inquisitiveness extends far beyond the MLB. When asked what great scientific mystery she’d like to see solved, Mosher answered, “Dark matter, absolutely. Dark matter and dark energy make up a huge chunk of our universe, and we still don’t know exactly what they are.”
Although a Californian born-and-raised, Mosher came to South Jersey partially out of a desire to “return to [her] family’s roots.” Her mother’s family is from from Philadelphia, and her mother herself attended Germantown Friends School. She enjoys the seasons’ changing on the East Coast, but misses the food in California, although she admits the food in Philly is “improving.” The MFS community would be well-served by keeping her around with good pizza.
When asked what she would do if an alien ship landed in front of Stokes Hall, Mosher answered instantly: “I would want to make sure that they weren’t taken away by some government instantaneously. A scientist’s instinct, and especially a physicist’s, is always to share information. … I’d like to stop the aliens from being taken out by the government before we can interact with them. Scientists want to share information and learn from each other.” She is unsure about how she will compare to Mr. Clarke—commitment to doing elaborate science projects and “fighting the good fight against Gremlins” notwithstanding—but her commitment to intellectual openness and honesty above all proves her to be cut from the same scientific cloth.