Faculty & staff honored at annual awards banquet
Elon University employees on May 15 celebrated teaching, scholarship, service and mentoring at a program in Alumni Gym.
Four respected Elon University educators - Stephen Folger, Tom Mould, Jean Rattigan-Rohr and Jana Lynn Patterson - were recognized May 15 for superior teaching, scholarship, service and mentoring.
The award announcements, made in front of hundreds of colleagues who filled Alumni Gym for the annual faculty-staff award banquet, also included recognition to longtime employees of the university and to pending retirees.
Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Teaching
Professor of Physical Therapy Education
Stephen Folger is described by students and colleagues as a constant voice of reason, fairness, compassion and caring. As a professor of physical therapy education, he uses multiple methods to reach students with different learning styles and is skilled at presenting material in a way that allows students to gain mastery of complex content in the neuroscience course he teaches.
Folger joined Elon’s charter faculty for the Master of Physical Therapy program in August 1998. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Ithaca College in 1988. Soon after, he began his clinical career at Duke University, enrolling in the doctoral program in biomedical engineering in 1991 and completing his degree in 1998.
During his 15 years at Elon, Folger has taken a leadership role in his department and at the university. Embracing cutting-edge technology, Folger developed the Curriculum Enhancement Database (CED), a tool used to ensure the DPT curriculum continues to meet the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education’s requirements. Along with Bill Andrews, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy Education, Folger developed neurologic web-based case studies. Both advancements are used to improve physical therapy education programs nationwide.
“Dr. Folger has a way of teaching that engages students,” says a former student. “He provides them all of the information that is necessary for learning while at the same time presenting that information in the style that works for them. These subjects can be frustrating to learn, and it is often halfway through the four-month module before students truly grasp the concepts. Dr. Folger is always calm, reassuring and helpful to students during this process.”
Folger will assume the role of chair and program director of the Department of Physical Therapy Education on June 1.
Folger is the 41st Elon faculty member to receive the award, established by President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley ’46 and his late wife, Verona Daniels Danieley, in honor of their parents.
Distinguished Scholar Award
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Folklore
Research is at the heart of Tom Mould’s professional story. It is why he pursued graduate school. It remains a driving force in his career today.
As a folklorist, Mould is most interested in personal interaction and immersing himself in people’s everyday lives to better understand how they think, believe, create and communicate.
A prolific author, he has written five books. Two of his books feature Mormon folklore and two the Choctaw. The fifth one is about folkloristic perspectives. Mould has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and book reviews on folklore and oral traditions. In addition, he has produced three video documentaries.
“His keen ear and carefully honed sense of nuance invite readers in the lived experiences of communities and individuals in ways that are profound,” says a colleague. “This is one of the hallmarks of truly successful folklore and ethnography, for while Tom’s published work is notable for its depth of scholarship and research, I have been acutely aware of its ability to bring complex cultural experiences into reach.”
Mould received his master’s degree and doctoral degree in folklore from Indiana University in 1998 and 2001, respectively. He received a bachelor of arts in English literature with a minor in fine arts from Washington University in 1992.
Mould started his career at Elon in 2001 as an assistant professor of English, sociology and anthropology. Since 2003, he has been an associate professor of anthropology teaching courses in anthropology, folklore, ethnography, general studies, interdisciplinary studies and literary journalism.
Mould developed the Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS) beginning in 2003 and continues to serve as its director. He recently embarked on a collaborative ethnographic research project through PERCS in order to help address the damaging narratives and stereotypes about welfare and welfare recipients that shape public perception and public policy.
Mould is the recipient of numerous internal and external grants and awards. He has received many honors, including the 2006 and 2012 Excellence in Scholarship Award from the Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences.
Mould is the 14th recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award, which recognizes a faculty member whose research has earned peer commendation and respect, and who has made significant contributions to his or her field of study.
Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility
Associate Professor of Education
Jean Rattigan-Rohr makes it her mission to prepare teacher candidates so they leave no child behind.
Rattigan-Rohr, an associate professor of education, demonstrates that desire through her instruction in the classroom and in the “It Takes a Village” project, a tutoring program that assists struggling young readers in the local community through the involvement of their parents and Elon students that she founded in 2008.
Rattigan-Rohr is described by a colleague as a “woman who unselfishly, and very often without recognition, contributes so much to her community and to the wholeness of our students’ educational experience.”
Her students consider Rattigan-Rohr a go-getter, a high achiever and someone to be admired and respected.
“Dr. Rohr is a dynamic professor whose passion originates in every fiber of her being,” a former student says. “Her zealous stance on children and education inspires me to foster rich student and parent interactions. Dr. Rohr’s creation and implementation of the Village project not only embodies the essence of Elon and its mission to foster respect for human differences, but furthers this idea by making the statement that we, as a community, must work together to elevate others around us.”
Rattigan-Rohr joined faculty in Elon’s School of Education in 2007. She has received several grants, including two awards totaling more than $900,000 to fund her research and teaching and to expand the “It Takes a Village” project.
Rattigan-Rohr grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. She began her career as a broadcast journalist for Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation before moving to New York City as part of a desktop publishing team for Blair Television. When her family moved to North Carolina, she completed a bachelor's degree in speech language pathology and audiology, a master's degree in special education and a doctorate in curriculum and teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
President Leo M. Lambert recently appointed Rattigan-Rohr to a two-year term as Faculty Administrative Fellow and Assistant to the President. She will begin her duties June 1.
Rattigan-Rohr is the 11th recipient of the Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility, which is given each year to a member of Elon’s faculty or staff whose community service exemplifies the ideals of Project Pericles.
Ward Family Excellence in Mentoring Award
Jana Lynn Patterson
Assistant Vice President for Student Life and Associate Dean of Students
Despite a busy schedule and multiple commitments, Jana Lynn Patterson always makes time for students.
In the 27 years she’s worked at Elon, Patterson, assistant vice president for student life and associate dean of students, has developed a reputation by many former and current students as a constant source of support, a mentor and confidante.
“She always sees the best in her students and expects nothing short of excellence, and they rise to the occasion,” a former student says. “I only hope that I can continue to support and mentor young people to the level she has in my career. I am so grateful to have a mentor in my life that supports my dreams, celebrates my successes, and challenges me to follow the passion of my heart and make a difference in the world.”
Patterson serves as the adviser for the Student Government Association as well as for the sororities, Sigma Kappa and Alpha Kappa Alpha. As SGA adviser, she devotes countless hours to weekly senate meetings and retreats. She encourages and supports new students, fostering lifelong relationships.
For many years, Patterson has taught Elon 101 classes. In this role, she has advised students about selecting classes and has assisted them and their parents with the transition into the college environment.
She writes recommendation letters, offers career advice, listens and asks engaging questions so students can make sound decisions on their own.
“I am extremely proud of my relationship with Dean Patterson and grateful to call her a friend and mentor,” a former student says. “She embodies the spirit of Elon University, fostering both personal and academic growth for students each year. Staff members such as Dean Patterson are the reason I choose to give my time and financial resources to the university each year. When I speak to others about the qualities of an Elon education, Dean Patterson is a frequent part of the conversation.”
Patterson is the sixth recipient of the Ward Family Excellence in Mentoring Award, which honors a faculty for staff member who demonstrates a commitment to Elon undergraduates through outstanding mentoring. The award was established by Tom and Beth Ward P ’05, ’08, ’14, their sons, A.T. ’05, Christopher ’08 and Chase ’14, and Tom Ward’s mother, Dorothy Mears Ward GP ’05, ’08, ’14.
Also honored for their years of service to Elon are the following staff and faculty who have retired this academic year or will do so at the end of the semester:
Jimmie Agnew – Senior Faculty Fellow of Physics
Mark Albertson – Registrar
James Brown – Associate Professor of History
Marilyn Collins – Student Account Specialist, Bursar
Rosa Degraffenridt – Physical Plant
Rich D’Amato – Senior Faculty Fellow of Engineering
Gerald Dillashaw – Professor of Education
Dixie Lee Fox – Executive Assistant to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Richard Gang – Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts
Janet Hardie – Mail Services
Claristine Lockett – Environmental Services
Bill Morningstar – Director of Golf, Head Men’s Golf Coach
Carolyn Nelson – Director of Design, University Communications
Louise Newton – University Advancement
Robert Pavlik – Associate Professor of Finance
Lillie Mae Slade – Environmental Services
George A. Taylor – Professor of Public Administration and Political Science