Nicole Galante ’19, progam assistant for the Elon Core Curriculum, offered the following column about Assistant Professor Mark Dalhouse, who recently left Elon for a position at Duke University.
My first memory of Dr. Mark Dalhouse involves a roomful of tears.
It was Nov. 9, 2016. I was a sophomore in Dr. Amy Allocco’s Current Controversies in Feminism course. In light of the news announced just hours earlier, our class plans for the day had been scrapped. Dr. Dalhouse was invited as a guest professor to help us process the results of the presidential election and its implications for the future.
We shared our fears and our hopes. Processed our emotions in community. And we cried — a lot. Much of that day was a blur, but I do remember the tears. I also remember Dr. Dalhouse’s dedication to us. Although he was likely feeling the same uncertainty and hopelessness that we were, he afforded us the space to be vulnerable while simultaneously ensuring us that there is always room for optimism.
Mark Dalhouse is just that passionate about what he does.
Ask almost any of Dr. Mark Dalhouse’s students — specifically his COR 1100 students — to describe him, and they’ll likely use that very word: passionate. “Dr. Dalhouse is extremely passionate about teaching, about his subject, as well as passionate about his students learning and performing well,” says Haynes Baker ’25. Similarly, Lydia Cohen ‘25 notes, “I most enjoyed Dr. Dalhouse’s clear passion for the topic of the class. He is dedicated to developing the minds of the young global citizens in his classroom.”
Dr. Dalhouse has been sharing his passion with the Elon community since he arrived in 2014. He joined Elon as the director of Study USA and an assistant professor. Since then, he has worn many hats: faculty director of East Neighborhood, advisor of the Paideia LLC, director of Global Experiential Initiatives, and co-advisor of the Change Makers Scholars cohort, to name a few.
Some of his most profound contributions to Elon, however, have been in the Core Curriculum. “He is an invaluable member of our COR 1100 community,” said Paula Patch, senior lecturer in English and assistant director for First-Year Initiatives in the Core Curriculum. “Students rave about his class and express appreciation for the opportunity to think deeply and critically about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, including what led up to and has arisen from them in the years before and after.”
And rave students do, particularly about the ways Dr. Dalhouse’s COR 1100 course is designed to foster meaningful dialogue and connection. “Professor Dalhouse has a unique ability to make every student feel comfortable sharing, which filled our discussions with a diverse array of perspectives” says Ezra Schwartz ‘25. With 9/11 as a focal point, students learn about global perspectives, personal and social responsibility, and the connection between history and the present.
Dr. Dalhouse helps students learn about these valuable topics in co-curricular contexts, too. For the past several years, Dr. Dalhouse has served as the faculty director of East Neighborhood and the advisor of the Paideia LLC. Dr. Shannon Lundeen, director of Academic-Residential Partnerships and associate professor of philosophy, says Dr. Dalhouse has helped students learn in the context of the residential campus. “In everything Mark does for our university and our students, he cultivates informed civil and political engagement in our campus, local, and regional communities,” Lundeen said. “He is an excellent teacher who engages students holistically both inside and outside of the classroom. And, he inspires his students to take on leadership positions in the classroom, in students’ own residential communities, as well as in larger student organizations including Elon’s student government association.”
In short: Dr. Dalhouse’s contribution to Elon has been lasting and profound.
Which makes it so bittersweet to announce that Dr. Dalhouse will be leaving Elon in March to begin a new role as academic dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University. In this role, Dr. Dalhouse will support student learning by providing valuable leadership at the College level.
Although he is transitioning, Dr. Dalhouse’s will leave an Elon legacy behind. “Dr. Dalhouse is a gifted teacher whose impact on Elon has been profound and lasting. His work in global programming and across the Core Curriculum has been invaluable in so many ways, for students and faculty alike. While he will be sorely missed at Elon, he has left a lasting legacy here,” says Dr. Matt Buckmaster, executive director of the Core Curriculum and Associate Professor. “We wish him all the best in the new successes that await him!”
“We will do our best to ensure that his legacy will live on after he’s moved down the road to become a Blue Devil,” Dr. Lundeen said.
Elon seems to have left a mark on Dr. Dalhouse, too. When asked what he will take away from his time teaching in the Core, he remarked, “Mostly gratitude. I am profoundly grateful to have been able to teach in the Core, have wonderful colleagues, and great students. I have also learned there is so much I don’t know, and I am quite content to be a student myself for the rest of my life.”
It only took me one class (and a few dozen tears) to see how valuable a person Dr. Dalhouse is. His new colleagues and students at Duke will no doubt see that, too. Please join the Core team in congratulating Dr. Dalhouse on this new opportunity.