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Friday, January 14, 2005

Lincoln Presents Convocation Honoring Slain Civil Rights Leader and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 19, 2005

Lincoln University will present its Annual Convocation honoring slain Civil Rights Leader and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, January 19, 2005, at 4 p.m., in Mary Dod Brown Memorial Chapel on the campus in southern Chester County, PA. The Convocation is free and open to the public.

Dr. Judith A.W. Thomas, University Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Behavioral Studies, is the featured speaker. Her topic is "Don't Die With Your Music Still In You."

On June 6, 1961, the Reverend Dr. King delivered the Commencement Address to Lincoln University graduates and received an honorary degree. Dr. King, who was born on Jan. 15, 1929, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his national and international leadership of and powerful voice in human and civil rights activism. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968. On January 18, 1986 – after heeding a national grassroots campaign to create a holiday in Dr. King's honor — then-President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring every third Monday in January to be Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Dr. Thomas, who will be featured in the February 2005 Black History Month issue of American Legacy Magazine’s “Teaching Black History Today” special section, is the immediate past Chair of Lincoln’s Education Department. She has also served at Lincoln as the past interim Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Student Life, and past Chair of the Social Sciences and Behavioral Studies Division.
Dr. Thomas is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In the spring of 2003, Dr. Thomas was the recipient of the “Most Eloquent” and “Most Dedicated Academic Dean” Awards from Lincoln students. In February 2002, she was presented with the W.E.B. DuBois Community Service Award by Harrisburg Community College.

Her awards also include Lincoln’s Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, Sojourner Truth Award from the National Association of Business and Professional Women, Outstanding Educator Award from Black Dupont Employees, Mary E. Baltimore Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education from the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education, Outstanding Faculty Member Award from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Distinguished Alumni Award from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Outstanding Educator plaque from the Minority Employees of the Xerox Corporation, Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching from the administration at Lincoln, Finer Womanhood Award, “Women in Education Award,” from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Beta Delta Zeta Chapter, and the Basilius Award for Outstanding Contributions to Students from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Dr. Thomas’ biographical sketch was published recently in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Who’s Who Among Intellectuals. Also, a learning institute at Raising Horizons Charter School in Philadelphia, PA is named in her honor.

A widely sought after keynote speaker and educational consultant, Dr. Thomas has served as the commencement speaker for the Pennsylvania State University-Media, PA Campus, Gwynedd Mercy College, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, the Governor’s School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She regularly serves as a consultant in both basic and higher education on topics such as: Oral Language Proficiency, Multicultural Education, Teaching Methodology, Discipline Without Damage, Curriculum Development, Interpersonal Relations on the Job, Recruitment Strategies of Minority Students and Faculty, Male/Female Relationships and the African American Experience.

Her foreword in Lincoln’s fall 2004 edition of Journal of Social and Political Thought responds to social activist, philanthropist and entertainer Bill Cosby and his critique of the questionable behavior of some Black teenagers. She is presently the Journal’s co-editor. Her article on “A Response to the Kuyper Scholar’s view on ‘Brown v. Board of Education, 2004,’ will be published in the spring 2005 edition of the Center for Public Justice’s Journal. Recently, Dr. Thomas served as the outside reviewer for American Cities Foundation’s report, Best Practices in High Achieving Urban Schools, September 2004.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Master’s degree from Duquesne University, and Doctor of Education degree from West Virginia University. She has studied Spanish at the University of Puget Sound and Kalamazoo College. She has also conducted post-doctoral study at Northwestern University on a Lilly Foundation grant. She is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to teach English and Spanish. She regularly addresses “English As A Second Language” teachers on the methods, techniques and strategies to use with students and adults whose first language is other than English.

Dr. Thomas is a recipient of the Danforth Award for Scholarship and Teaching, past Scholar-in-Residence at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, member of the Board of Managers for the Philadelphia Foundation, board member of the Chester County Historical Society, past Chair of the Education Sub-Committee for the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African-American Affairs, past President of the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education and the Chester County Education Foundation.

Dr. Thomas is married to Dr. James A. Thomas, a physician. They are the parents of a daughter, Michelle, who is a graduate of both Howard University and Georgetown University Law Center, and twin sons, Brad and Brian, who are graduates of Hampton University and North Carolina Central University, respectively.


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