Dean of Humanities Elizabeth Moose loves swimming, Greece, and, of course, NCSSM.


After Hours: Elizabeth Moose

Position: Dean of Humanities, and instructor of American Studies and Classical Myth courses, among others.

How long at NCSSM: 24 years in August

Home: She’s originally from Concord, NC, and now lives half a block from campus.

What she does outside of work: “What I love most to do is to swim,” says Moose. And not just any kind of swimming: for the last six years, she’s been doing something called Total Immersion swimming, which focuses on going farther in the water with less effort and more grace, paying attention to form, balance, and streamlining, and using mindfulness techniques. “You get into a flow state,” she explains.

Moose has attended a couple of open water swim camps on the coast of Turkey with people from all over the world. She’ll be at another one this summer that will culminate with a 7.1 kilometer swim from a Greek island to the Turkish coast—all with just her goggles and swimsuit. “It’s a big event; there’ll be several hundred people from all over the world,” she says.

“The Mediterranean is beautiful there. You see sea turtles, big ones, and fish. And to see these shafts of light going through the water—it’s cathedral-like.” In fact, Moose is a certified Grecophile who travels to the country nearly every summer. Her first visit was a three-month biking-and-camping adventure, and now she takes an annual trip with NCSSM students.

Moose swimming in Turkey

What coworkers may not know:  “I always wanted to go to Greece. My first grade teacher read us Greek myths and that got the idea of Greece into me,” says Moose. “That says a lot about the positive power of a first grade teacher!”

Best part of her job: The people, says Moose. “I love working with all my students from across North Carolina, and I love my talented and dedicated colleagues. After all these years, I still look forward to coming to work each day.”

Favorite perk of working at NCSSM: Her office, which overlooks the art garden and pond. In the spring, the window is graced with color from azaleas, dogwoods, and crepe myrtles. “Plus the light streaming through—I feel bathed in sunlight,” says Moose.

One thing about working here that she would do differently: “I think it’s great for all of us to be ambitious, but sometimes we need to be gentle and loving and forgiving of ourselves and each other. There’s a big world outside this bubble, and compassion and the ability to make people comfortable and to listen to them are important. I think the more understanding we have of ourselves, the more we have to give each other as people.”