Tom Mould named J. Earl Danieley Distinguished Professor

Professor Tom Mould from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology becomes Elon’s second faculty member to receive the honor. 

Professor of Anthropology Tom Mould has been named the J. Earl Danieley Distinguished Professor at Elon, becoming just the second faculty member to receive the honor since it was created in 1997.

Mould joined the faculty at Elon in 2001 as an assistant professor of English, shifting to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2003, teaching courses in anthropology as well as in folklore, general studies, and literary journalism. He will begin serving as chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology this fall.

Mould was recently instrumental in the development of a team-taught course, “Refusing to Wait: Intellectual and Practical Resources in Troubling Times,” that took a unique approach to exploring topics affecting the daily lives of students. He is now working on a project that examines the legends and real stories of those living on welfare in the broader community.

A prolific author, he has written three books and co-edited two others, including two on Mormon Folklore and two on the Choctaw. In his research, he focuses on oral narrative, paying particular attention to generic boundaries, constructed identities and the elements of performance.

In 2003, he became the director of the Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS) at Elon and served as its director until 2014, with PERCS now offering a certificate program that provides students with rigorous training in ethnographic research.

He received the Excellence in Service Award from the Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, in 2006 and the Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2012, and in 2013 received the university’s Distinguished Scholar Award which recognizes a faculty member whose research has earned peer commendation and respect, and who has made significant contributions to a field of study.  

Mould holds a bachelor of arts in English literature with a minor in fine arts from Washington University in St. Louis. He received his master’s degree and doctoral degree in folklore from Indiana University in 1998 and 2001, respectively.

Mould follows Thomas S. Henricks, a professor of sociology and Distinguished University Professor who retired this year, as the J. Earl Danieley Distinguished Professor. The professorship was created by the Elon University Board of Trustees in 1997 to honor 50 years of the service to Elon by the late J. Earl Danieley, the university’s sixth president. The professorship is awarded to an outstanding professor in any field.